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Make Flossing A Priority For Your Child

August 15th, 2019

IS FLOSSING A PART of your child’s oral hygiene routine? Daily flossing is just as important for a child’s dental health as it is for an adult’s. As parents, you play a major role in helping your children learn to floss correctly and understand its importance from a young age.

Remember, Baby Teeth Matter

Flossing should begin as soon as your child has two teeth that touch. By starting regular flossing early, your child will get used to the daily task and will be more likely to incorporate it into their own oral healthcare routine later in life. As flossing requires a certain amount of manual dexterity, children will need parents’ help and supervision until about age 10 or 11.

Unfortunately, because baby teeth eventually fall out, many parents underestimate their importance and may neglect flossing. Even though they are temporary, baby teeth are essential to a child’s growth and development. They aid in chewing, promote proper speech development and reserve a space for permanent teeth to grow in. Daily flossing will keep your child’s smile healthy and protect it from tooth decay!

Choose The Right Floss For Your Child’s Smile

Every smile is unique and may require different types of care. Learning what floss can benefit your child’s specific needs can make flossing their teeth easier and more effective. Here are different kinds of floss and how they may work best for your child:

  • Waxed floss: If your child’s teeth fit tightly together or are more crowded, waxed floss is for you. It is generally thinner and easier to glide between tighter-fitting teeth.
  • Dental tape: This is a wider, flatter type of floss that is designed to be gentle on exposed gums. If your child has gaps in their teeth, we recommend using dental tape.
  • Ultra Floss: Some children have varied spacing between their teeth. Ultra floss is wide enough to comfortably clean between gaps but can also stretch thin enough to clean between teeth that are close together.
  • Floss threader: Orthodontic appliances such as braces can make flossing extra difficult. The floss threader is designed to get into the nooks and crannies between teeth and around braces.
  • Pre-threaded Floss Pick: Many parents report that floss picks are easier to use on their children because of the convenient handle. They often come in different colors and can be fun for a child to pick out for themselves and be more involved.

No matter which floss you choose, the most important thing is to floss your child’s teeth on a daily basis! Call us or come into our office to discuss which type of floss may be best for your child. We will teach you how to floss your child’s teeth correctly as well as provide tips to make it easier.

A Lifetime Of Good Oral Hygiene Starts Early

When you don’t floss your child’s teeth, you miss cleaning 35 percent of tooth surfaces in their mouth. Flossing completes brushing by cleaning the hard-to-reach spaces between teeth that a toothbrush can’t. By brushing and flossing your child’s teeth on a daily basis, you ensure that their smile stays cavity-free and help put them on the path of good oral hygiene for a lifetime!

We love caring for your child’s smile!

Gum Disease Can Delay Orthodontic Treatment

July 9th, 2019

RECENT STUDIES ESTIMATE about half of all adults have some form of gum disease. Shocking, isn’t it?

One reason the spread of periodontal conditions is so common is because gum problems progress slowly and often painlessly. In many cases, dental neglect and skipping regular checkups allow periodontal disease to seriously damage gums and even underlying bone structure before action is taken!

When bone structure is weakened, teeth can begin to drift out of place. Normally, when teeth need to be aligned, orthodontic treatment including braces or retainers can do the job. But when gums are infected, things become more complicated.

Periodontal Disease Can Delay Orthodontic Treatment

Attempting orthodontic treatment on a mouth affected by periodontal disease can invite even more problems. The pressure of braces on already weak bone structure can cause teeth to move unpredictably and cause further damage.

The first order of business should be getting periodontal disease under control. Once gums are healthy enough to provide the needed support for orthodontic treatment, gaps can be closed and teeth can be straightened.

Expert Diagnosis is Key

In general, periodontal disease should be addressed before moving any teeth. However, in some cases, applying orthodontic treatment sooner can help to alleviate gum problems!

Each individual situation is different, and by getting to know your unique dental profile, we can develop the optimal treatment plan for you. Information provided by your general dentist also helps us decide the best way to proceed.

Take Care of Your Gums, With Braces or Not

Even if you’re not planning on getting braces anytime soon, caring for your gums is crucial for oral health—and total-body health! Healthy gums are linked to lower risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.

We view orthodontics as an essential part of your overall well-being. Along with treatment, our goal is to help you establish dental habits that will not only benefit your smile, but your total health and quality of life!

Thanks for being our valued and patient and friend! We invite you to talk with us on your next visit if you have any questions.

Seasonal Allergies? Take Care Of Your Smile

May 29th, 2019

SPRING IS ON THE HORIZON and we couldn’t be more excited! Chirping birds, blooming flowers, and warmer weather are just a few of the things we look forward to when spring comes around. We have to admit though, there is one thing about the season that’s not particularly appealing, and that’s allergies.

Be Aware Of These Dental Side Effects During Allergy Season

Many of you have experienced it, red, itchy and watery eyes and the constant sneezing and congestion. The effects of seasonal allergies can go even further, however, and may even affect your oral health! Here are some mouth-related symptoms to be on the lookout for when seasonal allergies strike.

Tooth Pain

When your body reacts to allergens in the air, you often end up with congested sinuses. Sinus pressure in the maxillary sinuses can sometimes cause the upper molars to ache. Treating your allergies and the congestion should relieve tooth pain. If the pain persists, however, make an appointment with your dentist. It’s important to make sure any aching teeth aren’t the result of tooth decay.

Bad Breath

All that mucus your body is creating can also be bad news for your breath. When you’re congested, mucus from the sinuses leaks into the back of the throat–we call this “post-nasal drip.” Not only can post-nasal drip lead to a sore throat, it can also be the cause of persistent bad breath.

Dry Mouth

Many of you will reach for antihistamines to keep your allergies under control this spring. As helpful as they are, they can often lead to an unpleasant side effect: dry mouth. Saliva is our number one defense against cavity-causing bacteria, so when your mouth is dry, you have a higher risk of developing tooth decay.

Protect Your Mouth This Spring

We want your mouth to stay healthy, even during allergy season. Here are some helpful tips to help you protect your mouth this spring:

  • Continue to practice good oral hygiene. Brush at least twice a day, and floss on a daily basis!
  • Take allergy medication as recommended by your physician, but remember to drink plenty of water to compensate for dry mouth.
  • Try gargling with salt water to help with congestion. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water and gargle for a few seconds before spitting it out.

Don’t Let Allergies Get The Best Of You

We know how difficult spring can be for some of our patients because of allergies. Keep practicing good oral hygiene and call us if you need anything! We’re here to get you through allergy season with a smile on your face.

Thank you for ACHOO-sing our practice! (Bless you!)

Relief For A Burned Mouth

May 8th, 2019

HAVE YOU EVER SAT down to a plate of lasagna from your favorite Italian place and immediately taken a huge bite without waiting for it to cool down? Or taken a swig of hot chocolate too fast? Maybe it wasn’t lasagna or hot chocolate for you, but we’ve all burned our tongues or the roof of our mouths on foods or drinks we love, and we’ll all probably do it again. We want to make sure you know what to do for your mouth when that happens.

Step 1: Get rid of it!
What you do immediately after burning your mouth will determine how quickly you recover, so instead of persevering with your hot food or drink, you need to get it out.  Nobody wants to spit out their food at the table, but you can discreetly use "the napkin trick" to just put your napkin up to your mouth as if you are wiping it and get the superhot food out.  If you burnt your hand on the oven, you wouldn't say "well I'd better finish what I started!"  You'd jerk your hand away.  So don't let politeness make your injury worse.

Step 2: Drink Cold Water
Next, just like you should run cold water over that burned hand, cold water will stop the cooking of your tongue as well.  Take a big sip of cold water and let it sit in your mouth for a minute before you swallow.  Do that a couple times.  You can even suck gently on an ice cube.  Again, we all worry about making a scene, but likely nobody will notice you are applying first aid, but you!

Step 3: Keep Things Cool
After administering your first aid, you want to be gentle with this area over the next few days while it heals.  Soft, cold foods will help to numb the sting of the burn, so open up the fridge and grab a yogurt, fruit cup, or applesauce. It might even be a good reason to spring for a smoothie or some frozen yogurt, and make sure to keep drinking cool water as well.

Step 4: Keep it Clean
Your mouth is just full of bacteria, which makes it hard to keep a mouth wound clean.  And that makes it take longer to heal.  So do the best you can with homecare.  As much as you might not want to brush the teeth right next to that burn, just do so gently (avoiding the burned gums or tongue) and make sure you floss.  The cleaner you keep your mouth the faster it can heal!

Step 5: Tasty Relief
Well, this may be the one time you hear your dentist advocating for a dab of honey because those sticky sugars can be hard on teeth, but believe it or not, it can speed up wound healing in your mouth or on your skin!  Turns out grandma's remedy had some truth to it! Sugar is a quick source of energy for the cells that are trying to heal, and studies have shown that honey is even more effective at promoting healing than sugar. Just make sure to drink some water afterward to rinse away any sweet residue.

Step 5: Pain Medication
For particularly bad mouth burns, these measures might not be sufficient to relieve the pain. At that point, it becomes a job for over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Luckily, oral tissues heal more quickly than any other part of the body, so even a particularly painful burn to the tongue should be gone within a few days.

Burning Tongue Syndrome And Your Dentist
Some people feel like they have a burned tongue even when there is no actual burn, a chronic condition known as burning tongue syndrome. If you’re feeling the burn for no apparent reason, schedule a dental appointment. Otherwise, follow these steps to get your burned tongue feeling good as new as soon as possible!
We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!

Ever Wonder How Teeth Whitening Works?

April 9th, 2019

IT IS NOT UNCOMMON for your teeth to lose their luster over time, which is why so many people are interested in whitening them!

Teeth Get Yellow For A Number Of Reasons

Teeth becoming yellow over time is as normal as graying hair–it is a natural part of the aging process. As we get older, our tooth enamel begins to thin due to everyday wear and tear. This causes the layer beneath our enamel, called the dentin, to show more, giving our teeth a more yellow appearance.

There are other factors that can cause teeth to yellow other than aging however, such as:

  • Tobacco use
  • Food and drink
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Dental trauma
  • Certain medications

If you want to prevent your teeth from yellowing as best you can, we suggest you change some of your lifestyle habits. If you use tobacco in any form, quit. Consume acidic food and drink in moderation and monitor your intake of beverages that can stain your teeth such as wine, coffee, tea, soda, etc. And as always, brush up on your oral hygiene habits and make sure you’re getting frequent cleanings!

The Way You Whiten Your Teeth Depends On The Stain

There are two types of stains that you can have on your teeth. Surface, or “extrinsic” stains, caused by smoking and diet occur on the surface of the enamel. “Intrinsic” stains are deeper, and happen inside the tooth.

You can remove surface stains on your teeth by using a whitening toothpaste. These kinds of toothpastes usually contain special abrasives that gently polish the teeth as well certain chemicals that can help break down stains. These toothpastes can be tough on tooth enamel, so make sure to always read labels when using them–some should only be used temporarily.

Intrinsic stains can’t be helped by whitening toothpastes. To get that brighter smile, you’ll need to actually change the color of your teeth. You can do this using a bleaching agent. The bleaching agents most products use are hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These chemicals break stains into smaller pieces, making their color less concentrated and leaving your teeth much whiter! Some of the most common ways to bleach your teeth are whitening strips and gels, tray-based tooth whiteners and in-office whitening services supervised by a dentist.

We Would Love To See You At Our Office

At our practice, we offer in-office whitening that will get you the white smile you’ve been dreaming of in half the time or less than other whitening options. We will also carefully monitor the whole process to ensure its safety and efficacy.

Or, if you’re looking to use a tray-based whitening system, we can customize your mouthpiece to exactly fit your teeth! This will protect the soft tissues of your mouth, especially your gums, as well as ensure maximum contact between your teeth and the whitening solution.

Either way, we’d love to see you, whether that’s for a cleaning, checkup, or whitening treatment!

Have any questions? Call us or let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading our blog!

Take Care Of Your Furry Friend’s Smile!

March 28th, 2019

WE TALK A LOT ABOUT what you need to do to keep those teeth of yours healthy and beautiful. While you’re taking care of your smile, don’t forget about your pet’s! Your furry friend’s teeth need to be cared for as well.

Keep Up On Your Pet’s Dental Health

You probably don’t think about checking your dog or cat’s mouth very often, but it’s important that you do. Dental problems can often lead to other health problems in your pet, not to mention they can be painful and costly. As with our own teeth, prevention is key!

Here are some things you should do to keep your furry friend’s mouth healthy:

  • Have your pet’s teeth checked and cleaned at least once a year by a veterinarian
  • Make sure your dog or cat is on a nutritious diet that is good for their teeth; your veterinarian will help you know what kind of food is best
  • Chew toys are great for scraping plaque off of your dog’s teeth and can be a great supplement to tooth brushing!
  • Special Note from Drs. Powell and Tiller:  Speaking of chew toys, we have patients come in easily once a month with a dog-chewed dental appliance.  They seem to LOVE your night guards, mouth guards and retainers as much as they love you, so keep them out of your dog's reach - they make for very expensive and inconvenient chew toys!

There are many products out there that can help keep your pet’s teeth healthy and breath fresh. Talk to your veterinarian about what might be best for your pet.

Healthy Smiles Make It All Worthwhile

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association(AVMA), 70 percent of cats and 80 percent of dogs have some kind of oral disease by the age of two or three. That’s why attending to your pet’s oral health on a daily basis should be as normal to them as their daily walks.

After enough practice, they may even look forward to toothbrushing time! And while brushing your pet’s teeth may be a lot of work, just remember, healthy smiles make all that work worthwhile.

We’d love to see your pets’ smiles! Snap a photo of you and your pet showing off your pearly whites and post it to our Facebook page!

Thank you for reading our blog and supporting our practice.

More Reasons to Start Invisalign Today!

February 26th, 2019

THE MOST OBVIOUS impact of orthodontic treatment is a straighter, more attractive smile. While it is true that we tend to perceive people with properly aligned teeth as happier and more successful, the benefits aren’t just superficial.

Healthier Digestion

We don’t give our teeth enough credit for the role they play in good digestion. Chewing is a very important part of the process. It doesn’t just chop the food into small enough pieces to fit down the esophagus, it mixes the food with saliva, which begins the chemical digestion process.

When we wolf down our food without much chewing — or when we chew with misaligned teeth that don’t do the job effectively — it forces our stomachs to work harder than they should. If you already have straight teeth, put them to good use by chewing each mouthful for longer. If you don’t, your digestive system will thank you for getting orthodontic treatment.

Better Breathing

Having poorly aligned teeth can make it difficult or even impossible to comfortably close your jaws when you aren’t moving them, which can lead to habitual mouth breathing. Mouth breathing has a number of negative effects, including dry mouth, bad breath, snoring, chronic fatigue, and brain fog. The effects are an even bigger problem for kids, sometimes going as far as changing the development of their facial bone structure.

Clearer Speech

Do you remember the lisp you had between losing your two front teeth and the adult ones growing in? Based on that, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that our teeth are a crucial component to our ability to speak and enunciate clearly.

In order to make the right sounds, our lips and tongues have to maneuver around our teeth. When teeth are properly aligned, this is simple, but misaligned teeth can result in a lisp, slurring, or difficulty making certain sounds that require tongue-to-tooth contact, such as the “t,” “s,” and “ch” sounds. Orthodontic treatment can solve these problems by moving the teeth into their proper positions.

Better Oral Health

Straight teeth also help keep your teeth healthy.  Misaligned teeth can put unintended forces on areas of your teeth and lead to cracks, broken teeth, and receding gums.  And of course teeth that are lined up nicely are much easier to clean and don't harbor as much bacteria, so you are less likely to get gum disease and can even help eliminate active gum disease in people who have it.

Straight Teeth For A Better Life

Not only do straight teeth make it easier to speak, eat, and breathe properly, they’re also easier to clean! Maybe you’ve been avoiding orthodontic treatment because you’re happy with the way your smile looks, but the many benefits of straight teeth are worth considering.

Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller are both Certified Invisalign Providers and have used Invisalign to improve the health of their patients since 2005!  Come in for a complimentary consult.  We can even digitally scan your teeth and show you a simulated outcome of your new smile!

Straight teeth lead to better oral health and better overall health!

Alcohol’s Effect On Our Gum Health

January 21st, 2019

EVEN IF YOU only enjoy an occasional glass of wine, it’s important to know how it can affect your gum health. A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology brings new light to the connection between alcohol consumption and gum disease.

Drinking Can Raise Our Risk For Gum Disease By 27 Percent

Over 500 study participants were asked about their drinking habits, and their gum and overall oral health was evaluated on several levels. This revealed a surprisingly close relationship between alcohol and gum disease risk.

  • Men who drank regularly were shown to have an 18 to 27 percent increased risk of gum disease.
  • For people who already had periodontal disease, levels of alcohol consumption increased the rate and severity of the condition.
  • In participants without periodontal disease, heightened alcohol consumption increased risk factors for gum disease: symptoms like gum detachment, gum bleeding, and increased plaque levels.

Correlative Relationship May Be Caused By Dry Mouth

While further research is needed to evaluate the precise reason for this connection, it seems to be greatly due to dry mouth, a common effect of alcohol consumption. Saliva neutralizes acid in the mouth, and serves to cleanse our mouths from harmful bacteria. Alcohol decreases saliva production, and can strip our mouths of the protection they need.

Preserve Your Smile By Taking Gum Disease Seriously

Gum disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss in adults. 50 percent of those over 30 are affected by some level of gum disease. The good news is that in its early stages, gum disease is reversible with strategic oral care.

Here at our practice, we know how to deal with gum disease and we can help you get control of it.

Talk With Us About Your Habits So We Can Give You The Best Care

Here’s our advice to you: be aware of the risks that alcohol poses to your oral health, especially if you enjoy an occasional (or not-so-occasional) drink. Be upfront with us about your habits, and we can help give you the most effective care and advice to preserve your healthy smile for life.

Thanks for your trust in our practice! We appreciate you.

Our Team’s Favorite Smile-Friendly Snacks

December 3rd, 2018

EVERYONE KNOWS that snack time is one of the best times of the day! Getting a tasty treat in the middle of the workday or grabbing a snack after school can be just the pick-me-up you need to tackle the rest of your day with a smile.

But before you reach for the chips or chocolates, we have a few smile-friendly suggestions! Today we want to share our team’s favorite snacks that protect your teeth and benefit your smile.

 

Eat More Of These
Leafy Greens: Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens have calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, and magnesium; all essential for healthy teeth and gums.
Cheese, Milk, and Yogurt: Dairy is a delicious source of calcium, which supports strong bones and teeth.
Kiwi, Oranges, And Other Vitamin-C-Rich Foods: Vitamin C boosts your body’s ability to fight infection that causes gum disease.

Eat Less Of These

Soda And Energy Drinks: These acidic, sugary drinks attack and gradually deteriorate your protective tooth enamel.
Sticky Candy, Gummies, And Dried Fruit: These foods stick in your teeth and continue to bathe your teeth in sugar for hours after eating.
Highly Processed Carbs: This includes crackers, white bread, and pastries, which feed decay-causing bacteria in your mouth.

Keep In Touch To Learn More!
Now that we’ve shared our favorite healthy snacks, we want to hear from YOU! If you have any healthy recipes you make make at home, share them in the comments below or on our Facebook page! We’d love to see what kinds of creative snack ideas you’ve come up with.

Thank you for CHEW-sing our practice!

Alzheimer's Disease and Dental Care

July 3rd, 2018

June is Alzheimer's Awareness Month. For this month's charity, Powell & Tiller Dental Care is giving to the Alzheimer's Association to help with research and awareness into this disease.

If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, it is important that you help them with their dental care. Proper care of the mouth and teeth can help prevent eating difficulties, digestive problems and extensive dental procedures down the road. However, brushing is sometimes difficult because a person with dementia may forget how or why it’s important to take care of his or her teeth.
To assist the Alzheimer’s Association provides this advice (excerpted from Alz.org):
• Provide short, simple instructions. "Brush your teeth" by itself may be too vague. Break down each step by saying: “Hold your toothbrush.” “Put paste on the brush.” Then, “Brush your teeth.”

• Use a “watch me” technique. Hold a toothbrush, and show the person how to brush his or her teeth. Or, put your hand over the person’s hand, gently guiding the brush.

• Monitor daily oral care. Brush teeth or dentures after each meal, and make sure teeth are flossed daily. Disposable flossing devices may make flossing easier. Remove and clean dentures every night. Very gently brush the person’s gums, tongue and roof of the mouth. Investigate any signs of mouth discomfort during mealtime. Refusing to eat or strained facial expressions while eating may indicate mouth pain or dentures that don’t fit properly.

• Keep up with regular dental visits for as long as possible. Seeing a dentist regularly is essential for healthy teeth. Ask the dentist for suggestions or items that may help make dental care easier.

One more way you can help? Help Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller raise money and awareness for this cause by reposting this blog to your facebook or other social media. Tag us so we know you did, and we will give $5 per share to the Alzheimer's Association.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April 17th, 2018

 

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. If you are not already scheduled for your regular check-up, now is an excellent time to schedule one. Regular visits to Powell & Tiller Dental Care can be the first line of defense against oral cancer, by identifying early warning signs of the disease, or helping you with preventive care tips to lower your chances of developing it.

 

Oral Cancer Rates in America

Nearly 50,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and nearly 10,000 die every year from this disease. It is a devastating illness: almost half of those people who are diagnosed with it do not live more than five years beyond their diagnosis. Oral cancer has a higher death rate than many other common cancers, including cervical cancer, testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and thyroid or skin cancers. The high death rate results from the fact that most oral cancers go undiagnosed until the disease is well advanced and has spread to another part of the body—most often, the lymph nodes in the neck.

What Causes Oral Cancer

While there is no way to predict exactly which individuals will get oral cancer, there are some potential causes you should know about—because in some cases, you can minimize these risk factors.

  • Age (most patients diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 40)
  • Tobacco use, either from cigarettes or smokeless chewing tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol consumption (especially in combination with tobacco use)
  • Persistent viral infections, such as HPV16
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables

In addition, oral cancer tends to occur twice as often in men than in women, and more often for African Americans than other ethnic groups. No genetic links have been identified to explain the higher incidence in these populations, so lifestyle choices remain the likeliest cause.

Oral Cancer Treatments

Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment of oral cancer usually involves a multi-disciplinary team that includes surgeons, oncologists, dentists, nutritionists, and rehabilitation and restorative specialists. Our team will decide on the best approach for each patient, depending on the risk factors and how far the cancer has progressed. The strategy will be different in every case. Some of the most common methods include chemotherapy, radiation, and potential surgery.

Finding out you have cancer can be devastating news, but better to know and start fighting it than not to know that it is fighting you. If you are concerned that you might be at risk for developing oral cancer, talk to Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller about it at your next appointment and they can show you more about how they are screening you and what they are looking for in person.  They can also discuss with you any other things you can do to reduce your risk.

Help us educate and screen more people for Oral Cancer in one of several ways and Powell & Tiller Dental Care will give $5 to the Oral Cancer Foundation during the month of April.

  • For every new patient you refer to us this month
  • Any review of our office (to help send people you don't even know)
  • Share this on Facebook this month
  • With your help more people will know that Powell & Tiller Dental Care is committed to early screening for oral cancer and more money will go toward treating it.

References:

The Oral Cancer Foundation. (2018). Oral Cancer Facts. Retrieved from http://oralcancerfoundation.org/.

Study shows Teeth are Unlucky on St. Patrick's Day

March 16th, 2018


 

 

 

 

On the day after St. Patrick's, there is a 77 percent spike in emergency visits to the dentist according to an article on CNBC.com by Eric Chemi!  And it's not just guys getting into drunken brawls.  Seems to be from accidents associated with the unsteadiness of a drunken stuper!  The data is very similar by gender.  Women (between ages 30 and 65) see a 77.4 percent increase in emergency dental visits. And men (in the same age range) see an increase of 78 percent.

The data is from Sikka which tracks dental care across the country and reports that March 18th is always in the top 10 for busiest days of the year in a dental office!

That got us curious at Powell & Tiller Dental Care and looks like we have a responsible crowd!  We do not traditionally have a spike that day!  Let's keep it that way...have fun, but be careful out there!

Resources for your local Tooth Fairy!

March 13th, 2018

 So what’s the average pay-out from the tooth fairy per tooth?

Well, a recent poll sponsored by a dental insurance company says that for 2017 the average payout was about $4 per tooth!  That sounded like a lot to us, but according to their data this is an 11% drop from 2016!  We hear the Tooth Fairy pays more for cavity-free teeth, so hopefully it wasn’t because the collected teeth were less healthy this year!

The Tooth Fairy is a great way to encourage your children to take good care of their teeth!

Let your little one know that the tooth fairy loves to collect perfect teeth and that’s one more good reason to take care of them.  But the Tooth Fairy also realizes that sometimes cavities happen, so you know the saying “live and learn?”  Well she believes in that too, so let your child know that if a tooth with a filling is going under the pillow, just tell the Tooth Fairy what you learned to help prevent future cavities, she will be so happy that she’ll still pay that top dollar!

Great Tooth Fairy Resources from the American Dental Association

MouthHealthy.org offers for download free scrapbook pages for lost tooth photos, a toothbrushing calendar, a Tooth Fairy receipt, and other Tooth Fairy resources.

They even have a door hanger for your child to decorate and hang on their bedroom doorknob when there is a tooth ready for pick up!  How fun is that?!

We hope you enjoy these fun years of wiggly teeth and toothless smiles!  And be sure to visit us at Powell & Tiller Dental Care to keep your child’s teeth their healthiest!

February is National Dental and Heart Health Month!

February 13th, 2018

You may remember our post from last week, when we discussed February being American Heart Health Month, but did you know that February is also National Dental Health Month?  Coincidence?  We think not!

Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, underscoring the importance of good oral health care. Visiting our office on a regular basis can help prevent gum disease or at least catch it in its early stages. If you do have gum disease, it is important to have it treated as this is an inflammatory disease in your mouth that leads to higher levels of inflammatory factors in your blood stream.  Studies are still underway to determine the connection between the increase in heart disease in patients who have gum disease and vice versa.  Scientists believe it could have to do with the bodies inflammatory response in both cases.  Both heart disease and gum disease show higher levels of C-reactive protein.  A protein more prevalent in people with diseases caused by inflammation or autoimmunity.  More work needs to be done to really learn the connection, but no matter what, we want you to keep your mouth and whole body healthy.

Our office is committed to the health of your gums by preventing and treating gum disease and giving you the tools and techniques to keep them healthy after.  Make sure you stay regular with your dental care and keep up with that flossing - you maybe keeping more than just your teeth and gums healthy!

Also, remember that this month Powell & Tiller Dental Care is giving $5 to the American Heart Association for every post on our patient's social media pages where you tell us why you love us and tag our office.  Help us show America's hearts some love!

Heart Health Month: Healthy Mouth and Healthy Heart

February 1st, 2018

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Good oral health is important for more than just your smile!  Many studies are currently exploring the link between gum disease and heart disease or stroke. While scientists haven't shown a direct cause and effect relationship, we know increases in one elevates your risk in the other. One theory suggests that oral bacteria may affect heart health when it enters the blood and attaches to the fatty plaque in the heart's blood vessels. This can cause the formation of blood clots. Another theory suggests the possibility that inflammation could be a contributing link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Gum disease increases inflammatory factors in the blood stream which may also contribute to the development of swollen or inflamed coronary arteries.

What is Coronary Artery Disease?

Coronary artery disease is caused in part by the buildup of fatty proteins on the walls of the coronary arteries. Blood clots cut off blood flow, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. Both blood clots and the buildup of fatty proteins on the walls of the coronary arteries may lead to a heart attack. Moreover, periodontal disease nearly doubles the likelihood that someone will suffer from coronary artery disease. Periodontal disease can also worsen existing heart conditions. The fact that more than 2,400 people die from heart disease each day makes it a major public health issue. It is also the leading killer of both men and women in the United States today.

 

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care, we want to help you keep your body and heart healthy.  Our charity of the month is the American Heart Association for Heart Health month.  Share this blog or tag us in a post on Facebook or Instagram on why you love our office this month and we will give $5 per tag to the AHA to help further research into heart health.  We <3 our patients!

 

Making our World Smile

January 30th, 2018

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care, we always want to help you smile your brightest, healthiest smile.  We also want to give to our community.  Starting next month, we are introducing a monthly campaign to increase awareness on a health issue and to give to it's cause.

Share our educational posts on the campaign of the month or post on social media and we will give $5 for each share to the good cause of the month when you tag our office.

Do you have a cause that you care about?  Let us know and we will consider it for one of our months.  Tell us why it is important to you and how we can make a difference.  Together, we can make many smile a little brighter!

Smile-Friendly After School Snacks

August 9th, 2017

AS MANY PARENTS KNOW when your child comes home from school, they often run straight for the pantry!

We understand that kids can be a bit hungry after a long day in the classroom and we want to help you provide snacks that won’t only fill their bellies, but will benefit their smile as well!

Try These Smile-Friendly Snacks!

Consuming a lot of starchy and sugary treats in the afternoon can do a number on a child’s teeth—not to mention ruin their appetite for dinner! Sticky, sugary snacks can adhere to your child’s teeth for long periods of time, potentially causing harmful cavities. In order to avoid snack-induced cavities and other oral health concerns, try these ideas instead:

Leafy Greens and Fresh Veggies

Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens have calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B2, and magnesium–all essential for healthy teeth and gums. Veggies like broccoli and celery are great too! In addition to being rich in vitamins, broccoli has been shown to create an acid-resistant teeth “shield.” As for celery, because of its fibrous material, it massages gums, cleans teeth, and encourages saliva production—making it a natural tooth scrubber!

If your kids like a little crunch in their snack, you could even try making homemade veggie chips! You can use anything from kale and spinach to sweet potatoes and carrots. Simply mix your veggies with enough olive oil to coat them, add any spices you’d like (garlic or pepper is always good!), and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, flip your veggies, and then bake until crispy!

Cheese, Milk, and Yogurt

Dairy is the go-to dental snack for a reason! Few other foods give such a great boost of calcium. Cheese and yogurt even help cut acidity, helping protect your child’s teeth from erosion caused by acidic fruit juices.

If your child doesn’t just want plain yogurt, fruit and yogurt parfaits are a great option to add some flavor and healthy vitamins to their snack.

Fruit High in Vitamin C

A lack of vitamin C can break down the collagen network in our gums, making them tender and more susceptible to bacteria and gum disease. Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and kiwi are great sources of Vitamin C.

To make their citrus snack fun, you can make fun kabobs with some citrus, berries, and some of their favorite cheeses.

Do You Have Anything To Add?

Do you have any healthy snack recipes of your own? We’d love to hear them! Feel free to share in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Thank you for your trust in Powell & Tiller Dental Care!

How Pregnancy Affects Your Oral Health

August 1st, 2017

PREGNANCY AFFECTS NEARLY every aspect of your life–your lifestyle, your diet, your health, and much more! Your mouth is no exception to the changes your body may experience during pregnancy. During this special time, you’ll need to pay particular attention to your oral health for both your sake and your growing baby’s.

You May Be More Prone To Dental Problems

One of the main concerns we have for expectant mothers is what we call pregnancy gingivitis. Around 40 percent of pregnant women have some form of gum disease–gingivitis being the first stage. Because of raised hormone levels during pregnancy, you may be more sensitive to dental plaque than before, causing your gums to be sensitive, swell and bleed. Studies have linked mothers with gum disease to premature delivery and lower birth weights.

In about five percent of pregnancies, women may experience lumps along the gum line and in between teeth. Luckily, these swellings are harmless and usually go away after baby is born. Even though these are known as “pregnancy tumors,” there is no need to be alarmed as they are not cancerous and can be easily removed by your dentist.

Morning sickness can also cause dental woes for expectant mothers. Pregnant women often complain of sensitive gag reflexes and even routine tasks such as brushing and flossing can induce vomiting. Exposure to acid, especially strong stomach acid, can lead to tooth enamel erosion, decay and sensitivity. After vomiting, we recommend rinsing your mouth out with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to neutralize stomach acid and prevent any damage to teeth.

Protect Your Teeth During Pregnancy

To protect your teeth during pregnancy, one of your first stops should be to Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller. If you are planning on getting pregnant, talk to your dentist beforehand so you can fix any dental issues before conceiving. And when you do find out that you are pregnant, don’t just go to your OB/GYN, make your way to the dentist’s as well!

Routine cleanings and checkups are safe during pregnancy, and as you may be more susceptible to certain dental problems and gum disease at this time, getting frequent cleanings is a must. You will also need to be diligent about your oral hygiene at home. As always, brush at least twice a day and floss daily.

Another thing to remember is that your diet matters. Did you know that baby’s teeth start developing between the third and sixth months of pregnancy? You will need plenty of nutrients–specifically vitamins A, C and D, protein, calcium and phosphorous–to make sure their teeth, gums and bones develop properly.

Mothers, We Are Here For You

Pregnancy can bring with it a lot of change and responsibility, but we want our patients to know that we are here for you. We want to make sure that your dental health is taken care of so you can focus on preparing for your little one to come into the world. So whether you’re planning on becoming pregnant or already are, we’d love to see you in our office!

Our patients mean the world to us!

Don’t Be Fooled By Fruit Juice

July 20th, 2017

EVERY CHILD LOVES sugary treats! But most parents understand how bad they can be for a developing smile. Unfortunately, some sweet things are more deceiving than others. As your trusted dental team, we’re here to make sure your kids can get the nutrients they need to have strong, healthy and beautiful teeth!

Fruit Juice Contains A Lot Of Sugar

It’s not always easy getting little ones to eat their fruits and veggies. Many parents turn to juice as an alternative to help them get some of the nutrients they need. While there are nutritional benefits to fruit juice, it can also be really hard on teeth.

Fruit juice, even if it’s all natural, contains a lot of sugar. What’s worse is that many fruit juices, especially those marketed for children, have added sugar in them. And even though fruit juice is often touted as a healthy alternative to soda, the majority of them contain just as much sugar as soda, sometimes even more! And as you well know, sugar is the number one culprit behind tooth decay.

Unfortunately, sugar isn’t the only problem–fruit juice is also very acidic. The combination of sugar and acid can pack a mean punch: while acid weakens tooth enamel, sugar feeds cavity-causing bacteria and contributes to decay. Needless to say, this can be extremely bad for young, developing teeth!

Follow These Steps To Protect Your Child’s Teeth

The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children one to six years old should have no more than four to six ounces of fruit juice per day. When you give your child fruit juice, follow these five tips to help protect their teeth from decay:

  1. Don’t let them sip throughout the day. Have your child drink fruit juice all at once instead of throughout the day. Tooth decay is more about how long sugar comes in contact with the teeth and less about how much. This means that parents should avoid putting juice in sippy cups.
  2. Dilute it with water. This is an easy step to protect your child’s teeth from damage.
  3. Drink at mealtime. More saliva is produced when eating a meal, helping wash away sugar left by juice and remineralize tooth enamel. Chewing food also helps to physically remove sugar adhering to teeth.
  4. Use a straw. Using a straw will reduce the amount of sugar and acid that comes in direct contact with teeth.
  5. Rinse with water. Offer your child water after drinking juice to wash away any remaining sugar.

In general, it’s better to eat fruit than to drink it. Fiber in whole fruit slows the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, so it’s not only better for your child’s teeth, it’s also better for their body.

Your Child’s Smile Deserves The Best

Fruit juice and soda may be what your child requests, but milk and water are much better choices. They’ll thank you later in life for healthy, cavity-free teeth! After all, your child’s smile deserves the best… not necessarily their taste buds!

Thank you for trusting us with your child’s dental health!

3 Tips To Keep Teeth Clean Between Meals

July 12th, 2017

WE UNDERSTAND HOW BUSY life can get–between work, school, sports, and having a social and family life, it can be hard to find time for your dental health. Because we know how precious your time is, we’ve decided to compile a list of quick, easy tips to keep your teeth clean in between meals and on the go!

First Of All, Snack Healthy

Did you know that frequent snacking throughout the day can contribute to tooth decay? Try to keep snacking to a minimum. If you do need a pick-me-up during the day, choose tooth-friendly snacks, such as broccoli, carrots, seeds, nuts or apples. These are also great choices when finishing off a meal! Because of their abrasive texture, these foods act as a natural toothbrush, scrubbing your teeth as you chew and removing bacteria and plaque.

Brush And Floss Your Teeth, Even On The Go

This is an obvious one. One of the best ways to prevent tooth decay and dental disease is to brush and floss often! With that being said, we understand that not everyone has time to make a trip to the bathroom to brush their teeth after every meal. A quick on-the-go tip is to brush your teeth without toothpaste!

Carry a travel toothbrush with you and when you feel plaque or food on your teeth, simply pull it out and brush! Even without the added benefits of toothpaste, this will help remove plaque and bacteria adhering to your teeth. You can do this sitting at your office desk or waiting in the car for your kids to come out from school!

A lot of our patients have also benefited from floss picks. Because of their easy-to-use handle, you can use them one handed and without a mirror. This makes flossing in between meals much easier and more accessible!

Chew Sugar-Free Gum And Drink Plenty Of Water

We’ve mentioned the benefits of chewing sugarless gum after a meal plenty of times before. It’s such an easy and enjoyable way of protecting your teeth from cavities that we can’t say enough about it!

The act of chewing increases saliva flow in your mouth, which washes away food particles and neutralizes acids. Saliva also promotes remineralization, helping teeth to recover from any damage incurred while eating. Just pop a piece of sugar-free gum especially one with Xylitol (which also kills bacteria)  in your mouth for 20 minutes after a snack or meal to reap the benefits!  Next time you are in ask us for a sample of Xylitol gum (like Spree - available at Whole Foods too).  It's great for on the go!

Water, similar to saliva, washes away food debris and cleans between teeth. Rinsing your mouth out frequently, especially after eating, is a simple way to bolster your teeth’s defense against cavity-causing bacteria.

Keep Your Oral Health In Check

We know life gets busy. We hope these tips will make it a lot easier to keep your oral health in check! By taking care of your teeth throughout the day, not just in the morning and at night, you can ensure that your smile will be happy and healthy for a lifetime. Do you have any more on-the-go tips? Let us know in the comments below!

We love to serve you!

Wisdom Teeth: What You Need To Know

July 6th, 2017

GETTING YOUR WISDOM TEETH REMOVED is such a common procedure these days that it’s almost a rite of passage among teenagers. But why do some of us have to get them out anyway, and why do we even have them in the first place? In today’s blog post we’re going to answer these and a few other common wisdom teeth questions!

Wisdom Teeth Are Remnants Of An Ancient Era

The most widely accepted theory about wisdom teeth’s origins goes back to our early human ancestors. Because they had a very different diet–mainly roots, raw meat and fibrous plants–they needed extra molars to grind up tough food. These days, we eat much softer foods. We also have smaller jaws that don’t fit in those third molars quite as well.

Wisdom Teeth Are Removed For A Number Of Reasons

While some people never get their wisdom teeth, they’ll show up for most of us between the ages of 17 and 21. Unfortunately, they don’t always come in the way they should, which is why a lot of us have to get them removed.

If Dr. Powell or Dr. Tiller recommends getting your wisdom teeth taken out, it is likely for one of the following reasons:

  1. They become impacted. This means that the wisdom teeth don’t come through the gums because they are angled in such a way that there isn't a clear path and become trapped in the jaw, under the gums. Impacted wisdom teeth can form cysts around them and do significant damage to nearby teeth and bone.
  2. There isn’t enough space for them. This can cause damage to nearby teeth, crowding, and pain.
  3. They don’t come in correctly. Wisdom teeth that come in partially or aren’t in the right position can make flossing more difficult, allowing food and bacteria to become trapped and cause problems.

Some dental work may require wisdom teeth removal as well. However, if your wisdom teeth come in correctly and you are able to clean them properly, you will most likely not need to have them removed. And that means that you’ll have some extra molars in your mouth to chew with—awesome!

Remember These Tips If You Get Your Wisdom Teeth Out

To facilitate healing after wisdom teeth removal, make sure you get plenty of rest. Drink lots of water and avoid alcoholic, caffeinated and hot beverages for the first 24 to 48 hours. Ice packs on and off for the first 24 hours will keep swelling down.  And of course, everyone’s favorite part of the healing process, eat soft foods such as ice cream, yogurt, and applesauce for the first day. You can add in soups one to two days after the procedure, but stay away from hard or chewy foods for about a week.

We Want What’s Best For Your Smile

We treat wisdom teeth removal on a case-by-case basis. We will monitor them closely as they come in and together, we will make the best decision for your smile! And remember, having your third molars come in may cause some discomfort, but if it causes pain, come and see us immediately.

Do you have any more questions about wisdom teeth? We’d love to answer them! Comment below or on our Facebook page to let us know!

Thank you for placing your trust in our practice!

Want To Get Rid Of Bad Breath?

May 24th, 2017

WE ALL KNOW THAT FEELING… you wake up in the morning to sun shining, birds chirping and happily lean over to your significant other to say hello! Instead you are greeted by the horrible smell of morning breath. Or maybe you run into friends after work and suddenly become conscious of that bad taste in your mouth. We’ve all been there! Unfortunately, bouts of halitosis, or bad breath, are pretty much inevitable. Today we’re going to explain why that is, what causes that nasty smell and what you can do to keep bad breath at bay!

It All Starts With Bacteria
We’re not the only ones who need to eat to stay alive, so do the bacteria living in our mouths. When they snack on whatever’s left behind from our last meal, they release foul-smelling odors as a by-product, causing bad breath.

What you can do: Clean your teeth after every meal! Brush, floss and pop in a piece of sugar-free gum for good measure. This will eliminate food debris and bacteria from your mouth and prevent bad breath. A clean mouth, is a fresh mouth!

Choose Breath-Friendly Foods And Beverages

Keep in mind that certain foods and beverages can make bad breath more likely, such as sugary foods and drinks, garlic, onions, coffee, and alcohol.

What you can do: Choose breath-friendly foods and beverages! Water washes away food debris and increases saliva flow in your mouth, protecting your teeth and mouth from bacteria. Healthy food choices such as carrots, celery and apples are high in water content and actually work as a natural toothbrush, scrubbing plaque bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth.

Good Oral Hygiene Can Reduce Morning Breath
Morning breath seems to be an especially pungent offender. Why is this? It’s mainly because of dry mouth. During the day, saliva works to wash away food debris and keep bacteria in check. When we sleep at night, however, our saliva production goes down, causing our mouths to become dry and allowing bacteria to proliferate. If you sleep with your mouth open, it can be even worse.

What you can do: To make your morning breath less offensive, follow a good oral hygiene regimen. By brushing and flossing your teeth before bed, you’re giving bacteria less food to munch on, which will help your breath be better in the morning.

In addition, we highly recommend cleaning your tongue by either brushing it or using a tongue scraper, since this is where most bad breath-causing bacteria are found. Another tip is to keep water by your bedside. When you wake up at night, take a drink! Keeping your mouth moist will combat the spread of those smelly bacteria.

We’re Here For You
For the most part, bad breath is manageable. If you feel like your halitosis is severe however, especially if you follow the steps above, it can be a sign of something more serious such as gum disease, diabetes, sinus problems, gastric reflux or liver or kidney disease. If this is the case, come in to see us at Powell & Tiller Dental Care so we can address the issue and find the proper solution. We are here to serve you!

Our patients’ smiles make it all worthwhile!

See What Invisalign® Can Do For Your Smile

May 3rd, 2017


IF YOU WANTED TO STRAIGHTEN your teeth back in the day, you really only had one option–traditional metal braces. Nowadays, our patients have a variety of different options when it comes to how they would like to have their teeth straightened and what is most convenient for them. At our office, we offer Invisalign®!

Invisalign Treatment Provides Many Benefits

Drs. Powell and Tiller recognized the benefits of Invisalign very early.  They received their training to become Invisalign providers in 2005 which was only 5 years after the product came on the market.  We were some of the first providers in the area and continue to be impressed with the improvements made in the products based on research, data and doctor feedback.  Not everyone is a good candidate for Invisalign, but after 12 years of offering this care, we can let you know if you are.  It can improve your dental health by aligning your teeth for better cleaning and less risk for fractures and other issues due to a bad bite and  may be a great option to achieve your dream smile!

As the name implies, Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible, allowing you to go throughout your daily activities with most people being unaware that you are undergoing orthodontic treatment! The aligners are custom-made for you, ensuring a perfect, comfortable fit.

Of course one of the best perks of choosing Invisalign is being able to eat whatever you want! Because you can take your aligners off while eating and drinking, you don’t have to worry about staying away from the foods that you love. Invisalign aligners also don’t affect your oral hygiene routine like traditional braces do. You can brush and floss as you normally would!

You also won’t have to worry about getting used to metal brackets that may cut into your cheeks and lips which is great for people who play sports or a wind instrument, but is more comfortable for everyone. With Invisalign, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to get the smile you’ve always wanted.

As an Invisalign patient, you’ll generally have fewer office visits than those with traditional braces. So if you have a busy schedule but still want to improve your smile, Invisalign might be just the thing for you!

Talk To Us About Invisalign

We want your treatment to reflect your unique smile, lifestyle and personality. Call us today to make an appointment to discuss any questions you might have about Invisalign! At our practice, we believe your smile deserves the very best.

Thank you for choosing our practice. We absolutely love our patients!

Get Screened For Oral Cancer

April 4th, 2017

WHEN YOU COME TO SEE US, we know it's not because you are thinking "I am due for my oral cancer screening!" We know it's because you are ready to get that clean sparkly smile again or because you are taking care of a dental condition. But this month being Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we want to emphasize more than ever how important regular, twice-yearly dental exams are. Of course we will make sure you don’t have any cavities, but what you may not realize is those oral cancer screenings Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller do at your regular dental exams could actually save your life.

What You Need To Know About Oral Cancer

Some people think oral cancer is rare, but here are the facts: approximately 132 individuals are diagnosed with oral cancer each day in the United States alone, and someone dies of oral cancer every hour. It is a particularly deadly cancer–only about half of oral cancer patients survive five years past their initial diagnosis. But what we really want you to remember is that early detection saves lives. When oral cancer is detected early, survival rates increase by 80 to 90 percent!

Be Aware Of The Risk Factors

Certain lifestyle activities can put you at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Familiarize yourself with these risk factors:

  • Tobacco use–Smoking and other tobacco use makes you three times more likely to develop oral cancer
  • Alcohol consumption–Drinking alcohol more than doubles your risk of oral cancer
  • Excessive sun exposure–Frequent and prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays increases your risk of developing lip cancer
  • Age–Two-thirds of individuals with oral cancer are over age 55

While knowing the risks can help us prevent oral cancer, it still occurs in people without any of the above risk factors. In fact, in our office, we have found oral cancer in patients in their 20's and in non-smokers and people without any of the risk factors listed above.  We have also detected masses in our patient's thyroid glands as we were doing our head and neck exam and some of these have been cancerous as well.

Oral cancer  is also becoming increasingly more prevalent among non-smoking, healthy individuals due to the rise of HPV, or human papillomavirus, a common sexually transmitted infection. Individuals with HPV are 32 times more likely to develop oral cancer–even more so than tobacco users.

Keep up with your Twice a Year Dental Exams

Oral cancer often begins as a painless sore in the mouth. We encourage doing frequent self checks at home as well as visiting Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller regularly, where you will receive routine oral cancer screenings. Come and see us immediately if you experience any lumps, white or red patches, numbness, or a sore that doesn’t heal within two weeks in and around the mouth and throat.

As dental professionals, we are the first line of defense against this awful disease. Next time you’re in our office, ask us more about how we screen for oral cancer. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have.

Help Us Raise Awareness

Unfortunately, we don’t hear as much about oral cancer as we do other cancers, and many people are unaware of their need to get screened on a regular basis at routine dental exams. As your trusted oral health care providers, we want to change that. Help us spread oral cancer awareness this month by sharing this post with your friends and loved ones.

We love being the dental practice you trust! Thank you!

February Is Children’s Dental Health Month

February 3rd, 2017

THE CDC REPORTS THAT 1 in 5 children (between ages 5 and 11) in the US have untreated tooth decay. Not only should tooth decay be treated in regular dental appointments, it should be prevented! Tooth decay is 100 percent preventable with effective personal care and regular dental cleanings.
In honor of Children’s Dental Health Month, we’re spreading the word about children’s dental health.
YOU Can Help Little Ones Have Healthier Smiles!
Encourage them to brush for two full minutes for 6 and up and about 1 minute for under 6 (depending on the number of teeth they have): Pick a song about as long as the time needed to brush and sing it to them during brushing time.  We also have light up toothbrushes for our youngest patients that blink for one minute, so they can brush while it's lit up.  And we have two minute sand timers for school-aged children.  Make sure you get one at your next visit.
Set reminders to brush twice a day: Brushing after breakfast and just before bed are the best times for preventing bacteria growth from food.  We ask parents to take a turn brushing their child's teeth until about the age of 6.  They just don't have the dexterity to brush thoroughly in the back especially until then.
Show them flossing is fun, not harmful: Be gentle at first when doing it for them. A bad experience can stop them from flossing on their own.  Most children will need you to help them floss until they are 8-10 years old.
Be persistent: Don’t let fussy children off the hook. Be motivating! Kids may gladly brush for a sticker or star if you make it an activity.

For your toddler's first dental appointment, be excited.  Let them know it will be fun.  Tell them Dr. Powell or Dr. Tiller will count their teeth and they can watch a TV on the ceiling!  They will get a token and can pick a toy from the special toy tower.  Your excitement will help them be excited.  If you act worried, so will they!

Help Us Spread The Word!
Share this message with your friends and family, and especially with the children in your life. If you have any questions about children’s dental health, don’t hesitate to ask us!

Is Chewing Gum Good Or Bad For Your Teeth?

January 16th, 2017

DID YOU KNOW that the average American consumes 1.8 pounds of gum each year? With so much gum going into our mouths it’s important to know how chewing gum affects our dental health. You may have heard that it’s both good and bad for your teeth… so what’s the real answer? Read on to find out!

Avoid Chewing Gum Sweetened With Sugar

Gum has always been a childhood favorite! What child doesn’t love that sweet burst of flavor or a bubble-blowing competition with friends? Unfortunately, gum sweetened with sugar is bad news for teeth.

When you or your child choose sugary chewing gum, you’re not the only ones satisfying your sweet tooth. The bacteria in our mouths like sugar too! And they enjoy it long after we’ve spit our gum out. These bacteria use sugar as fuel, producing acids that weaken tooth enamel and cause cavities.

Stick To Sugarless Gum

Here’s the good news: chewing sugar-free gum can actually boost your oral health! Chewing gum increases saliva flow in your mouth, strengthening your teeth and washing away food debris and bacteria. While the same is true for sugary gum, the increased saliva flow isn’t quite enough to offset the damage that the sugar can do.

According to the American Dental Association, studies show that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can prevent tooth decay. Saliva helps neutralize acids in our mouths after eating. It also contains calcium and phosphate which strengthen tooth enamel, our teeth’s first line of defense against cavity-causing bacteria.

So, when choosing gum, “stick” to the sugarless kind.  In fact, gum sweetened with Xylitol, a natural sweetener, actually has antibacterial effects!  Our favorite is Spry, which you can find online or at Whole Foods.  It is sweetened exclusively with Xylitol, so that you get the maximum help from it.  Ask for a sample at your next visit to our office to try it out.

Gum Can’t Replace Good Oral Hygiene

Chewing sugar-free gum can only act as a supplement to your daily oral hygiene routine and can’t replace daily brushing and flossing. Keep up your everyday mouth-healthy habits and you’ll have strong, beautiful teeth for life!

Make The Right Choice For Your Smile

Chewing gum is fun and delicious! But remember, the type of gum you choose can make a big difference for your teeth. So next time you’re at the checkout counter and reach for a pack of gum, make sure it’s sugar-free. Your smile will thank you!

We love to treat you! Thank you for supporting our practice.

Know Your Gum Health Numbers!

November 18th, 2016

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN LAID BACK in our dental chair wondering what the numbers mean that a hygienist calls out while examining your gums? They’re readings of the gum pocket depths in your mouth, and they’re an important part of monitoring your gum health.

Pocket Readings Help Us Measure Inflammation

Pocket depth refers to your gums’ attachment to your teeth. If there’s an infection in your gums, they can become inflamed. The gums slightly pull away from teeth, making that pocket between your teeth and gums deeper. The deeper the pockets, the higher the risk of gum disease.

We use a labeled probe to see how deep the pockets go. 1–3 millimeters is a good reading. Any higher than that, and you may be in the danger zone!

Inflammation Leads To Gum Disease

Bacteria harbors in those deep pockets, and can cause more inflammation and detachment, so it’s important to counteract the first signs of encroaching gum disease right away. The early stages of gum disease (gingivitis) are reversible, with refocused care for your teeth and gums.

However, if the infection has progressed to periodontitis, it becomes a more complex condition to care for, requiring constant vigilance and possibly, more intensive treatments.

Take Your Periodontal Health Seriously

Periodontal disease is the most common cause of lost teeth in adults. Possibly 80% of adults have some level of gum disease. It’s something everyone needs to take seriously.

Also, since periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease,there are many studies linking this oral disease to systemic disease.  Studies show gum disease can correlate to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, increased risk and difficulty controlling other systemic diseases like diabetes or autoimmune disorders.  There have even been studies linking periodontitis to premature birth.

Your gum health and overall health is very important to Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller and our team.  Given all the new startling information about the oral systemic link, we closed our office last week for 3 full days of intense continuing education and up to date training on the very latest in optimal periodontal care for our patients.  We will share some of what we have learned with you at your next visit.

You can take responsibility for your own dental health. Talk to us about your gum pocket readings. You can even ask to have a mirror and watch as we measure. Ask us what you can do to reduce your risk. And if you have gum disease, take action to get control of the infection right away!

Proper Flossing Is One Of The Greatest Prevention Habits

Regular cleanings with our team can help to fight gum disease, especially when paired with your vigilant at-home care, including daily flossing. If you ever have any questions about your oral health, please ask us!

Thanks for your trust in our practice! Now go floss!

Diabetes And Your Oral Health

November 2nd, 2016

DIABETES IS ONE OF THE MOST prevalent chronic diseases today. In fact, 29.1 million people in the U.S. have diabetes and millions more living with the condition don’t even know they have it.

You may know that diabetes can result in other health complications such as vision loss, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. But many are surprised to learn of the impact diabetes can have on your mouth.

Diabetes Is Linked To Oral Infection And Disease

Periodontal, or gum, disease affects 22 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes. What’s more, one in five cases of total tooth loss is linked to diabetes. These statistics can be distressing, but a proper understanding of the association between these two diseases is the first step in preventing complications.

So, first and foremost, why does diabetes affect oral health?

We have billions of bacteria living in our mouths. If that bacteria is allowed to build up, it can lead to gum disease–swollen, bleeding gums as well as bone and tooth loss. Because people with diabetes have a decreased ability to fight off harmful bacteria, they are more susceptible to gum disease. Poor blood glucose control also increases the likelihood of gum problems.

The relationship between diabetes and gum disease, however, is two-way. Because infected gums are an easy access point for bacteria to enter the bloodstream, bacteria from the mouth can cause blood sugar spike and fluctuate, making diabetes harder to manage.

Beyond gum disease, there are other oral infections and problems associated with diabetes including thrush, dry mouth, cavities and ulcers.

Keep Your Dentist Involved

Keeping us involved is the most important thing you can do to prevent gum disease and other oral complications linked to diabetes. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or if there are changes in your condition, let us know. Keep us informed of your medications and your doctor’s recommended treatment plan. Come in to see us regularly–every six months or more if deemed necessary.

Other things you can do to manage your oral health and diabetes include:

  • Develop good oral hygiene habits
  • Quit smoking
  • Control your blood sugar

Your Health Matters To Us

Every aspect of your health is important to us, not just the health of your mouth. If you have questions about how we at Powell & Tiller Dental Care can help you manage your diabetes, contact us. We want to partner with you in ensuring both your oral and overall health.

Thank you for being our valued patients and friends!

Protect Your Smile With A Custom Mouthguard

October 5th, 2016

THE CRISP SMELL OF FRESHLY CUT GRASS on the soccer field, the gleam of the basketball court before a game, the cheering fans at the football stadium, the feeling of the baseball bat, familiar in your hands… There’s no doubt about it–playing sports can be a magical thing.

We love when our patients are having fun and being active, but unfortunately, sports-related dental injuries happen all the time. That’s why we make custom mouthguards in our practice, so you and your children can always play it safe!

Wear A Mouthguard And Reduce Your Risk Of Injury

You may be surprised to learn that up to 40 percent of dental injuries are sustained during sports activities. In fact, not wearing a mouthguard makes you 60 times more likely to sustain an injury to the face and mouth! Wearing a mouthguard during recreational as well as competitive sports activities decreases both the frequency and severity of injury.

A fractured, chipped or knocked-out tooth isn’t the only thing a mouthguard safeguards against. Did you know that wearing a mouthguard can also help prevent more serious injuries such as concussions, jaw fractures, and neck injuries? Not to mention the protection it provides for the soft tissues of the mouth like the tongue, lips and cheeks.

This is especially true for those of you with braces. Not only are your braces an investment you should protect, but those metal brackets can be especially damaging to your mouth if you’re hit by a stray ball or elbow. On top of that, if your braces are damaged, there may be a delay in your orthodontic treatment.

Custom Mouthguards Provide More Comfort And Protection

When it comes to purchasing a mouthguard, you have a couple different options. A custom-fit mouthguard made specifically for you by a dental professional is the most effective and comfortable choice. We can even specially customize your mouthguard for the specific sport you play. Custom mouthguards are:

  • Less likely to be displaced during the action because of their custom fit.
  • Durable and tear-resistant. Custom mouthguards last longer due to the higher quality of materials used to construct them.
  • More fitted and less bulky. This adds to the overall comfort and makes talking, breathing and swallowing easier.

Your Smile Is Worth Protecting

Customized specifically for your smile, the mouthguards we make here for you at Powell & Tiller Dental Care provide superior safety and genuine comfort. Your smile is worth protecting. Talk to us today about your own custom mouthguard!

Our patients make our day!

Post a Pink Pic and We’ll Give $5 To Breast Cancer Research!

September 29th, 2016

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Powell & Tiller Dental Care is joining the fight. Beginning today and through the entire month of October we will be donating $5 for every social media post in which you show your support by wearing pink and tag our office. In fact, tell your friends that if they too post a pink pic and tag our office we will give $5 for their post as well!
According to the American Cancer Society breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among American women, second only to skin cancer. It is estimated that 1 in 8 women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime and 1 in 36 women will die from this disease. This year alone 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. Even though this is a very large number of cases, death rates from breast cancer have been dropping since about 1989, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be due to finding breast cancer earlier through screenings and increased awareness, as well as better treatments. These advanced are only made possible through increased funding.
Thank you for helping us support this cause by spreading the word on Facebook!

How Your Dentist Can Help With Sleep Apnea

August 31st, 2016

FEELING A BIT TIRED at times during the day is completely normal, even with a good night’s sleep. Some people, however, struggle every night for a restful sleep, especially those with sleep apnea.
Did you know that one in five adults has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with 80 percent of cases going undiagnosed? This condition can disrupt your sleep and increase your risk of severe health problems.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. This can cause a person to stop breathing hundreds of times per night, immensely disrupting their sleep. Here are some indications of a problem:
-Morning headaches
-Excessive daytime drowsiness
-Irritability
-Impaired mental or emotional functioning
-Insomnia
-Excessive snoring, choking or gasping during sleep
-Awakening with dry mouth or sore throat
We Can Help
Dentists are often the first professionals to become aware of a potential case of OSA and many are specially trained for the treatment of sleep apnea. Powell & Tiller Dental Care is just such a practice!
While the most common treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliance therapy that dentists provide is the increasingly preferred form of treatment. This is due to the high rejection rate of CPAP therapy and the fact that oral appliances are much more convenient, portable, and easy to care for.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy uses a mouth guard-like device to maintain an open, unobstructed airway while you sleep. They are typically as easy to wear as most retainers. There are two ways the oral appliance works to open up your airway:
1. By repositioning your lower jaw, we can keep your throat muscles engaged as you sleep and prevent them from collapsing.
2. Oral appliances can also move your tongue forward, keeping it from falling back and blocking the throat.
Don’t Ignore Sleep Apnea
Never underestimate the power of a good night’s rest! The quality of your sleep is extremely important to your overall health and well-being. Ask us today how you can better your life by treating sleep apnea through oral appliance therapy!

Our Thoughts on Floss

August 23rd, 2016

Pack of dental floss Lying Down On White Surface

Quite a bit has been said lately about flossing, we thought we'd share our thoughts and also some from Harvard Health Publications.

If you are a good flosser, you know how much plaque and bacteria you see on the floss once you use it.  We do have good data on how plaque removal decreases decay rates and gum inflammation, but yes, it appears we do not have good long term studies showing that flossing in particular does these same things.  We (Drs. Powell and Tiller) are data girls too!  Whenever something new comes on the market or available to dentists, we want to see the research.  We must admit, we were shocked when these reports came out saying there was no long term study on the benefits of flossing at home.  We were sure it was wrong, but we've poured through the literature and there actually is not! (but before you get too excited, there is not one to prove it doesn't help either).  While we (Drs. Powell and Tiller) research new things thoroughly, we had accepted the standards of care from dental school without further review.  Logically, when we know plaque removal increases dental and gum health, then a form of plaque removal to get places our toothbrushes can't, seems helpful, BUT that's not how research works.  We know that something is not proven because it makes sense, we need controlled studies, we need to show cause and effect.  We know that and the professions knows that and I sort of feel like "shame on us!"  Having said that, while the profession follows up with due diligence to produce these long term studies, we here at Powell & Tiller Dental Care are still going to floss and we hope you will too.  We have always focused on prevention, we'd much rather tell you "good check-up!"  So, we wouldn't throw away the floss just yet.  Read below for more on the topic.

Tossing Flossing?
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications
Posted August 17, 2016, 9:30 am

The burning question in the news last week was this: should you bother flossing?

The answer for decades has been “of course.” And it’s likely you’ve heard something similar from your dentist. I know I have.

But, while the importance of flossing may have been widely accepted, the evidence supporting it turns out to be surprisingly thin. At least that’s the conclusion of health experts who developed the recently released Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020. These guidelines are issued every five years by the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture “…to reflect the current body of scientific evidence on nutrition, food, and health.” The 2010 edition included this sentence:

“A combined approach of reducing the amount of time sugars and starches are in the mouth, drinking fluoridated water, and brushing and flossing teeth, is the most effective way to reduce dental caries.”

But, the latest edition leaves this sentence out. That’s because the authors of these guidelines could not find convincing evidence to support flossing, and the guidelines are supposed to be evidence-based. According to reviews of the evidence published in 2011 and 2015, there is minimal, short-term, and generally unreliable evidence that flossing might reduce gum inflammation, but no convincing evidence that it promotes plaque removal or prevents tooth decay or dental caries (cavities).

Is the lack of evidence for flossing big news?

I’ve seen several eye-grabbing headlines regarding this development, including:

  • “Feeling Guilty About Not Flossing? Maybe There’s No Need” (New York Times)
  • “Guilty No More: Flossing Doesn’t Work” (Mother Jones)
  • “A big problem with flossing” (CBS News)

It is surprising to learn that there is so little evidence to support such a well-accepted bit of health dogma. Yet, there may be less here than meets the eye.

In fact, I think these headlines (and some of the comments I’ve heard from friends and family) miss the mark on this flossing kerfuffle. There’s a saying in the science world that “absence of proof isn’t proof of absence.” That is, just because the evidence isn’t there doesn’t mean an idea is wrong. Unproven is unproven, not disproven!

A cousin emailed me to say “Good, now I can feel less guilty about not flossing.” I’m all for people feeling empowered with their health decisions (especially if they are well-informed). But the experts who removed the flossing recommendations from the dietary guidelines did not find flossing was useless. They only found that flossing had never been well-studied and that the evidence to date was inconclusive. If my cousin has gum disease, flossing might be important for his oral health. Flossing is low-cost, low-risk, and has potential (and biologically plausible) health benefits; it seems premature to conclude it is useless. In fact, it may very well be a good idea just waiting to be well-studied.

Flossing in the dietary guidelines? What about brushing?

And am I the only one that finds it odd that flossing was even mentioned in a compilation of dietary guidelines? They are supposed to be about what you eat, not how you care for your teeth! And where is the outrage about brushing? That was removed as well but no one seems to be worrying much about that; perhaps it’s because people don’t mind brushing as much as they mind flossing. In fact, a 2015 survey found that 14% of respondents would rather clean a toilet than floss their teeth each day.

So to floss, or not floss (without guilt)?

The obvious next step is to recommend that researchers study the health impact of flossing. With a well-funded, well-designed study, it may be easy to prove that, in fact, flossing is good for your oral health, and I would not be surprised if it turned out to be good for you in other ways, since gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke. But that’s getting ahead of the story; let’s first prove that daily flossing is at least good for your oral health. I’m not going to wait for the research; I’m going to keep flossing. I hope my cousin does too.

Snacking Tips To Keep Your Child’s Smile Healthy

August 11th, 2016

GOOD NUTRITION IS ESSENTIAL for a child’s healthy growth and development. It’s also important for their dental health! A good diet can help your child build strong, healthy teeth, while poor eating habits puts your child at a higher risk of tooth decay.
You may understand how important nutritious meals are, but one thing some parents struggle with is snack time. Here are our best tips on how to make sure your child’s snack time is tooth-friendly!

Not All Snacks Are Created Equal
Stay away from starchy, sticky or sugary foods during snack time, like dried fruit, crackers, chips and cookies. These types of snacks can stick to the teeth for long periods of time, potentially causing cavities. For snack time it’s best to opt for fruits, vegetables, nuts, yogurt and cheese.

If You Indulge, Do It During Mealtime

Don’t worry, we don’t expect you or your child to never eat sweets or starches. There is a better time to eat them than at snack time, however, and that is during meals! That’s because it’s not just important what you eat, but when you eat. At mealtime, there is an increased amount of saliva in the mouth that can help wash away those starches or sugary treats, counteract acid-producing bacteria and remineralize teeth.

Watch Out For Added Sugars
Almost all foods have some type of sugar in them. Naturally occurring sugars–like those found in milk and vegetables–are less worrisome, since these choices are healthy overall. What you want to keep an eye out for when choosing snacks are added sugars.

According to the American Dental Association, added sugar consumption should be limited to less than 10 percent of total energy intake, ideally less than five percent. To put things in perspective, one can of soda is equivalent to three times the daily recommended sugar intake of a child!

Choose Beverages Wisely
On that note, we’d like to advise parents to choose their children’s beverages wisely. Soda and juice may be your child’s preferred drinks, but milk and water are much healthier choices. Good sources of calcium, like milk, aid in building strong teeth and bones and water helps to wash away food particles that may be clinging to teeth, thus protecting against decay.

Sip All Day, Get Decay
Whether your child is drinking milk, juice or soda, don’t let them sip it throughout the day. Constant consumption of either food or drink is harmful for teeth, because not only are you feeding yourself, you’re also feeding the cavity-causing bacteria that reside in your mouth. Limit snacking to once or twice a day and have your child sip on water. If they drink anything that contains sugar, have them drink it during mealtimes or all at once.

Your Family’s Health Is Our Priority
If you have any tips or healthy snack ideas that your kids love, leave it in the comments below! At Powell & TIller Dental Care, we care about the health of your whole family. Proper nutrition, especially at snack time, will ensure healthy smiles for you and your children for a lifetime!

Thank you for being part of our practice family!

How To Help Prepare Your Child For The Dentist

August 3rd, 2016

THERE’S NOTHING BETTER than seeing a child’s smile light up a room.  Parents understand the importance of keeping that smile healthy by regularly visiting the dentist, so here's some tips to help make their first visit great!

Try These Tips To Help Prepare For Their Next Visit!

Start early. We will see your little one as early as one year or sooner if you or your pediatrician has questions or sees issues.  We start regular 6 month check -ups and cleanings at the age of 2.  When they are this little, we often do what we call a knee to knee exam.  We have a parent facing us in a chair, knee to knee with the dentist.  The child lies on the parent and doctors lap (we show you how) and we check her little teeth.  As she gets older (around 3 or so) she usually sits in the dental chair alongside our froggie stuffed animal, or with a sibling, or even on mom or dad.  We like making it easy and comfortable for them!

Know that it can and should be a very positive experience for your child

By starting early and getting your child excited about their first dental visit, you can get them off to a great start.  Tell them that the dentist will show them and tell them what they are going to do first with their friend, Mr. Froggie or Mr. Lion.  Your child and Dr. Powell or Dr. Tiller will count Mr. Froggie's teeth together.  He will see how the Froggie leans back and opens big.  They actually have a lot of fun helping the dentist check Froggie's teeth.  We show them how our gloves are colored and flavored and let them smell and feel them.  When we do lean them back, they can watch a cartoon on the TV overhead.  They even get to wear some cool sunglasses!

There may be several reasons why your little one isn’t too excited about visiting the dentist. It could be fear of the unknown, or maybe a friend or a sibling has told them a that they are afraid to go to the dentist. A parent’s own apprehension about visiting the dentist can even influence their child’s opinion about their upcoming dental exam.  Children are very perceptive, so you will help them most by being positive and excited for them.  There is no need to mention being "brave."  We feel this will just worry them unnecessarily about why they need to be brave.  Don't you only need to be brave if it's going to be scary?!  We do everything we can to make sure it's not!

We Can Help Your Child Have Enjoyable Visits

As your child continues to grow, we want to ensure they develop a happy, healthy smile. We strive to help them feel comfortable during their visit so they can develop good oral health habits for a lifetime. If you have any questions about how you can prepare your child for their next appointment, let us know! We’d love to help you prepare them for the most enjoyable visit possible.

We love seeing our young patients grow up in our office!  We can't wait to meet your little ones!

The Benefits Of Brushing With An Electric Toothbrush

July 20th, 2016

BRUSHING TWICE A DAY is important to keeping your smile healthy, but what can switching from a manual to an electric toothbrush do for your oral health routine?
Electric Toothbrushes Provide Many Benefits

While a manual toothbrush can get the job done if used properly, an electric toothbrush provides benefits that go beyond simply scrubbing your teeth.

They clean teeth more thoroughly. When we brush by hand, we average about 300 strokes per minute. Electric toothbrushes can average thousands or even tens of thousands of strokes per minute depending on what technology they employ.

They’re easier for those with dexterity issues. Certain conditions–such as arthritis, limited mobility, or involuntary tremors–can make brushing with a manual toothbrush difficult. The larger handles of electric toothbrushes can be easier to hold, while the powered toothbrush head does all the cleaning for you.

They help ensure you’re brushing properly. Many electric toothbrushes feature built-in timers and pressure sensors. These features help ensure you’re not too brushing too hard and that you brush for a full two minutes.

They clean hard to reach spots around braces. Some electric toothbrushes even have special attachments made specifically for cleaning around brackets and orthodontic appliances.

Why We Recommend An Electric Toothbrush To Our Patients

Years ago, we used to just recommend electric toothbrushes to our patients when they weren't brushing correctly because of all the built in help these brushes provide.  We'd recommend them for people had dexterity issues, or if they were brushing too hard, or were brushing back and forth instead of up and down or in circles, or weren't brushing long enough.  Electric toothbrushes, we would say, aren't going to forget and start brushing back and forth or too hard, like people sometimes do when they are rushing to get out the door.  Many of us in the office initially didn't use them ourselves because , we knew we brushed for long enough and do it the right way consistently.  Then, studies started coming out showing that even with great technique, good electric toothbrushes could eliminate plaque better than manual.  There were also studies that showed it took the plaque longer to re-accumulate on the teeth after using certain electric toothbrushes.  It appears that the sonic wave of toothbrushes like Sonicare, disturb the dextran matrix that the bacteria lay down and live in.  By doing this it takes the bacteria a little longer to recolonize on your teeth.  So, we all started using them in the office.  After you use one for a while, you will feel the difference.  Further, we have seen check-ups improve for many of our patients who have switched to electric toothbrushes.  They can be a little bit of an investment, but your smile is important and Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller have always felt that prevention is the best medicine!

We Love Brightening Our Patients Smiles!

Electric toothbrushes aren’t just fancy gadgets—they can provide a host of significant benefits for your oral health. If you have questions about how an electric toothbrush can improve your brushing routine, call and make an appointment today! We love helping our patients achieve happy, healthy smiles.

Thank you for being part of our practice family.


Know The Risks Of Oral Piercings

July 13th, 2016

THERE ARE MANY FORMS of self-expression, art, writing, fashion, even body piercing. When it comes to oral piercings, however–such as lip, labret, cheek and tongue piercings–it’s important to know all the risks involved.

Know The Risks Before You Pierce

Piercing anywhere near the mouth is very different than simply piercing an earlobe. The oral cavity is home to an abundance of bacteria as well as an intricate system of nerves and blood vessels. Because of this, there are a number of health-related risks associated with oral piercings. Some of these include:

Bacterial infection. The mouth hosts vast amounts of bacteria and is thus easily infected. If the piercing is not done with sterile tools or if the wound is not properly taken care of, bacterial infections–and even secondary infections like hepatitis and herpes simplex virus–can develop.

Damage to teeth and gums. Contact between teeth and jewelry leads to tooth enamel erosion and oftentimes cracked or chipped teeth. We have unfortunately had quite a few patients end up needing a crown because their tooth fractured from accidentally biting their piercing. We have found that the ones with the plastic balls are less harmful to teeth because they tend to break instead of your tooth if you catch it. Irreversible gum recession is also a common side effect of oral piercings, which can lead to tooth sensitivity and even tooth loss.

Tooth movement. Tongue piercings in particular can cause gaps to form in between teeth.  Most commonly the gap forms between the two front teeth on the top or bottom arches.  Some patients can lose the beautiful smile they worked toward with braces from these piercings.  Braces may be required to move the teeth back into position.

Difficulty with speech, swallowing, chewing and tasting. Oral piercings can cause an increase in saliva production, sometimes making speech difficult. Tongue piercings have been known to swell, too, potentially hindering normal function and blocking the airway. Oral piercings have also been known to alter taste.

Allergic reaction. Allergic reactions to the metal in the jewelry are possible, especially if surgical-grade stainless steel isn’t used.

Nerve damage or prolonged bleeding. This mostly occurs with tongue piercings. Because the tongue is a muscle, it contains a lot of nerves and blood vessels, including arteries. Movement problems, or numbness and loss of sensation at the site of the piercing can occur if nerves are damaged. If a blood vessel is punctured, bleeding can be severe and hard to control.
Gum disease. Oral piercings put the wearer at greater risk for periodontal, or gum disease. Gum disease can lead to tooth and bone loss, and some studies have associated gum disease with other health conditions like diabetes and stroke.

If You Choose Oral Piercings

After understanding the risks, if you still decide to get an oral piercing make sure the procedure is performed by a trained professional who uses sterile instruments. Consult with Dr. Powell or Dr. Tiller before getting an oral piercing to learn proper aftercare and maintenance that will help you reduce your risk of infection or complication.
Your health matters to us. If you have any questions concerning this post or an existing oral piercing, call us today. We’re always happy to hear from our awesome patients!

How Dental Sealants Can Protect Your Child’s Teeth

July 7th, 2016

DID YOU KNOW, on average, a child smiles around 400 times per day? That’s up to ten times more than the average adult! No matter how many times your little one smiles, we want to help them make sure theirs remains healthy throughout their childhood.
One way to protect your child’s pearly whites is by applying dental sealants.

Dental Sealants Protect Teeth From Tooth Decay

A dental sealant—also known as a pit and fissure sealant—is a protective barrier placed on the chewing surfaces of teeth in order to seal out food and bacteria which result in cavities. These sealants are often made of a plastic-like material and applied in a thin layer to fill hard-to-clean recesses in teeth known as fissures in the premolars and molars, and cingulum pits found in canines and incisors.

Application Of Dental Sealants Is Quick And Easy!
The application of sealants is a quick and comfortable process, and usually only takes one visit!

First, the surface of your child’s teeth are polished and cleaned of any plaque or food debris.
Next, each tooth receiving sealants will be isolated and dried.
The teeth are then etched to allow the sealant to adhere more securely and then rinsed and dried to prepare for the sealant application.
The sealant is then applied to each tooth and cured by a special light to bond the sealant to the teeth.
Finally the new sealants will be evaluated and once hardened, will be safe to chew on!
When Should Your Child Get Sealants?

Children should get dental sealants as soon as possible after their permanent teeth erupt. This happens at a different time in each child’s life, but most children will begin to get their first permanent teeth around the age of 6.

Children often develop dental caries (cavities) in the pits and fissures of these new permanent teeth because they can be very difficult to clean,even if they are brushing and flossing properly. If sealants are applied soon after permanent teeth erupt, food and bacteria don’t have the chance to settle in these crevices and your child child can reduce their chance of cavities by 80 percent. Studies show that sealants can remain effective for many years if properly cared for.

We Can Help Protect Your Child’s Smile
Each and every smile is precious, and we are committed to ensuring your child’s remains happy and healthy as they continue to grow. If you have any questions about dental sealants, please call and make an appointment today! We’d love to answer any questions you might have about your family’s oral health care needs.

Thank you for continuing to be part of our practice family!

How Breastfeeding Affects Your Child’s Oral Health

June 29th, 2016

CHOOSING TO BREASTFEED a child is a personal and special decision for a mother. Not only does nursing provide a valuable bonding experience for mother and baby, it also has many health benefits, such as decreasing the child’s risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and lowering the chances of mom developing breast and ovarian cancer. But what effect can breastfeeding have on baby’s oral health and development?

Breastfeeding Aids in Bite Alignment

You may not have known that the sucking mechanisms are different for bottle-fed and breastfed babies. Breastfeeding stimulates muscle tone in the jaw because it requires the use of the jaw muscles more so than bottle-feeding. A study published in “Pediatrics” also showed that babies who were exclusively breastfed for six months were 72 percent less likely to have crooked teeth.

With that being said, it is important to remember that every child is different. Breastfeeding does not guarantee that a child will not have future orthodontic problems just as bottle-feeding does not always lead to bite misalignment. There are many factors that go into bite alignment such as thumb-sucking, pacifier use and genetics.

Decrease Your Child’s Risk of Tooth Decay

Breastfed babies have a reduced risk of cavities. This is because they aren’t at risk for baby bottle tooth decay. Baby bottle tooth decay happens when a child is put to bed with a bottle that contains formula, milk, or fruit juice. Cavities and decay can still occur in breastfed babies, however, if parents aren’t careful.

To prevent decay, whether bottle feeding or breastfeeding, gently wipe your infant’s gums with a wet washcloth or soft towel after feedings. Later, when your child’s teeth finally make an appearance, start brushing them with a small toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste twice daily. For children under three, use no more than a smear of toothpaste, approximately the size of a grain of rice.

And good news, moms. The eruption of teeth doesn’t mean you have to stop breastfeeding. Every mother and every child is different. Start weaning your child whenever it is right for both of you.

Moms, Don’t Neglect Your Own Oral Health

Mothers with newborns are completely focused on taking care of the new addition to their family. But, moms, don’t let that get in the way of setting enough time aside to focus on your oral hygiene. Cavity prevention is even more crucial for new parents, as bacteria can be transferred from you to your baby.

We Want Healthy Smiles for Mothers and Their Children

Whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby, or a combination of both, it’s up to parents to start their children off right when it comes to their oral health and development. If you have any questions concerning pediatric oral health care, give us a call. Our job is to keep families smiling!

To our patients and friends, thank you.

What Causes Stained Teeth?

June 22nd, 2016

WE OFTEN TAKE STEPS to achieve that sparkling white smile when we brush in the morning and before we go to bed. The truth is, what we consume throughout the day is often the largest contributor to whether or not our smile will light up a room.
Although there are several causes for tooth discoloration, we can separate them into three basic categories: intrinsic, extrinsic, and age-related discoloration. Here’s how each affects your teeth, and what you can do to ensure a life full of bright, healthy smiles.

Food And Drink Are Large Contributors To Surface Stains
Extrinsic tooth discoloration occurs when the enamel—the outer layer of the tooth—becomes stained. These stains are caused by pigments, acidic content, and other chemical factors (natural or artificial) present in things we enjoy eating and drinking.

A few common culprits for tooth discoloration include:

Wine
Coffee
Tea
Cola
Sports drinks
Hard Candy
Berries
Tomato Sauce

Most of these items won’t have an immediate affect on the color of your teeth, but over time, they can begin to wear away and cling to enamel causing unsightly stains. Try to consume these in moderation and always remember to drink plenty of water and brush your teeth after meals.

Trauma Can Discolor Teeth From The Inside Out
Intrinsic tooth discoloration occurs when the inner structure of the tooth—the dentin—begins to darken or develop a yellow tint. This type of discoloration can develop because of a trauma sustained to the tooth. Sometimes when a tooth sustains trauma during childhood, it can damage the developing permanent tooth beneath it, affecting the tooth's color. If a trauma is sustained during adulthood, internal bleeding can potentially discolor the damaged tooth.

Other causes include uses of medication at certain stages of life or being born with a rare condition called Dentinogenesis Imperfecta which can cause gray, amber, or purple discolorations. If you have questions about intrinsic discoloration, come in and see us and we can help answer your questions.

Your Smile Can Change Color With Age
Age-related tooth discoloration is a combination of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The dentin inside our teeth naturally yellows as we age. Enamel on the outside of teeth also thins as we get older, allowing the yellow pigment of the dentin to show through. A lifetime of consuming certain foods or smoking cigarettes will also contribute to deep-set stains on the enamel’s surface.

We Can Help Brighten Your Smile
We know just how important it is to provide our patients with bright, healthy smiles. Each situation is unique and we provide our patients with effective solutions for their unique oral health needs. If you have any questions about your smile’s appearance, let us know in the comments below or call and make an appointment today!

Thank you for continuing to be a part of our practice family!

Calcium Isn't Just Good for Bones—It Benefits Your Smile Too!

June 15th, 2016

WE'VE ALL BEEN TOLD (and many of us tell our children) that milk builds strong bones. But our nutritional and dietary preferences are not only widely varied, they also change from time to time.

Regardless of your take, you’re not alone. Today, millions of people follow vegan or vegetarian diets, and tens of millions of people are lactose intolerant. Whether or not you choose to avoid dairy for health or other personal reasons, here are some thoughts from Drs. Powell & Tiller.

Calcium and Vitamin D Play a Key Role in Oral Health

It’s true that dairy products are full of calcium, and often supplemented with vitamin D (which helps your body absorb calcium and other bone-building minerals). While people on specialized diets (including vegans and vegetarians) are typically very careful about eating healthy, there’s still a risk of calcium and vitamin D deficiency.

One of the dangers in calcium and vitamin D deficiency is the increased risk of periodontal (gum) disease. In addition, these deficiencies can weaken your teeth and lead to tooth decay. Without the right vitamins and minerals, your mouth’s defenses may be down.

Need a Good Source of Calcium? Dairy Isn't the Only Option!

The good news is that, if you choose, you can get these nutrients from alternative sources. For example, just one ounce of sesame seeds contains almost as much calcium as an entire glass of milk. Other major sources of calcium are dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens.

When it comes to vitamin D, surprisingly, your best source is the sun! When exposed to the sun’s radiation, your body naturally produces vitamin D. But of course, be careful and use common sense—you also know the potential problems associated with prolonged/unprotected sun exposure.

There are also a number of things we can eat and drink that are “fortified” with calcium and vitamin D including soy milk, orange juice and some breakfast cereals. You can also consider taking supplements.  As you're drinking your milk or fortified juice do remember that both of these have sticky sugars that can contribute to tooth decay. It's best not to sip on these beverages all day long, and when you can, brush after drinking.

Do you have questions about this topic? Contact us! Do you have suggestions for others who may be wondering about other sources for their daily calcium? Let us know! Leave a comment below, or on our Facebook page. We love hearing from you!

And, as always, thank you for being our valued patient!

Learn the Benefits of Dental Implants

June 8th, 2016

IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED TOOTH LOSS, you are not alone. In fact, more than 35 million Americans are missing all of their teeth, while 178 million are missing at least one tooth. Here’s the good news: there are solutions for you.

Dental Implants Function Much Like Natural Teeth

While there are other tooth replacement options, dental implants have many advantages over other treatments. They are called “implants” because an artificial tooth root is placed, or implanted, in your jawbone. It is then covered by a natural-looking tooth replacement. Implants are the only tooth replacement option that incorporate an artificial root, allowing them to function much like natural teeth.

There Are Many Benefits to Choosing Implants

Here are five major benefits to consider when deciding between dental implants and other tooth restoration options:

#1: Dental implants are convenient and long-lasting.

Unlike dentures, you don’t need to take them out to eat or clean and there’s no need to reapply them with adhesive. Implants also provide a permanent solution to tooth loss–they are built to last a lifetime if they are well taken care of.

#2: Get the look, feel and function of your natural teeth.

Dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth so you can look and feel your best. They also function like real teeth, meaning you can bite naturally and eat the foods you love without hesitation. Implants also don’t interfere with speech like some other replacement options.

#3: Oral hygiene isn’t complicated by implants.

You can take care of your teeth as usual, flossing once a day and brushing twice daily. With implants, it’s easy to maintain that bright, beautiful smile!

#4: Implants prevent bone deterioration and loss.

When you lose teeth the jawbone deteriorates, causing your face to appear sunken over time. Implants act as an artificial tooth root, stimulating the jawbone and promoting bone growth. This helps maintain the natural shape of your face and jaw.

#5: Leave your natural teeth unaltered.

Some treatment options, like a dental bridge, require grinding down other healthy teeth to support the bridge. Implants replace lost teeth but do not require any alteration of your existing healthy teeth.

Don’t Let Tooth Loss Keep You From Smiling

You should never let tooth loss keep you from a healthy, beautiful smile. If you have experienced tooth loss, come and talk with us today. We will consult about what tooth restoration options will be best for you, your lifestyle and health.

Our patients' smiles make it all worthwhile!

Floss is Awesome - and not just for teeth!

May 24th, 2016

WE KNOW, WE KNOW… We ask you about flossing every time you come visit us! It is an integral part of your oral hygiene routine and essential for healthy gums and teeth. But did you know there’s more to floss than cleaning between your teeth? Dental floss can actually be used for a lot of other things!

Eight Useful Dental Floss Hacks

Another reason to always have your floss handy, try these cool dental floss hacks.

  1. Use floss for perfectly sliced cake. Ever slice a cake and the knife comes up with half of the cake on it? Use flavorless dental floss to make the perfect slice by stretching it taut and gently pressing through the cake. Pull it out when you reach the bottom and voila!
  2. Don’t have any kitchen twine? Floss will do. Some foods like meat and bacon need to be bound when cooked. Usually kitchen twine takes care of this but what if you run out? Floss (again, flavorless) has got you covered!
  3. Floss can help you start a campfire. Believe it or not, waxed dental floss burns well! Wrap dental floss around a match or a dry piece of wood to increase burn time.
  4. Floss can clean out those hard-to-reach spots in your furniture. You know those small cracks and crevices in your wooden furniture that you can never manage to clean? Well, dental floss is meant to get into nooks and crannies! Try it on your wooden furniture. You’ll thank us later.
  5. Floss is great for sewing. Whether you’re out of thread or in need of something more durable, floss works well for sewing on buttons and patching up holes on the fly.
  6. Are your freshly-baked cookies stuck to the baking sheet? Floss ‘em! Dental floss can unstick your cookies without leaving anything behind.
  7. Dental floss can even help in the garden. If you’re training a vine to grow a certain direction, floss can help! Use it to attach the vine loosely to the structure you want the vine to climb.
  8. Floss makes for an easy DIY clothesline. If you’re camping, in a hotel, or simply don’t have room in the dryer, floss can be used to create your own clothesline. Yes, it’s that strong!

Let’s Be Honest, Floss Is Awesome

Whether you’re using floss to patch something up or slice your birthday cake, always remember to use it for what it was made for, to clean in between your teeth! Daily flossing protects your beautiful smile from periodontal disease, decay and tooth loss, so yeah, we’d say it’s pretty awesome!

Know some more flossing hacks? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page! We’d love to hear from you!

We have the best patients in the world!

Saliva: The Unsung Hero of Oral Health

May 18th, 2016

EVER THINK ABOUT HOW GREAT your saliva is? Probably not. We’d love to enlighten you! Saliva has an all-important role in your oral and digestive health.

Saliva Has Many Important Functions

Our bodies make two to four pints of saliva a day. That means that over a lifetime, a person will create enough saliva to fill two swimming pools! So, why is saliva important? Well, there’s more than one answer to that. Besides allowing us to give wet willies or make spit wads when we were kids, our saliva has many important functions.

First, saliva aids in digestion. It begins the process of breaking down food and helps us chew, taste and swallow. In fact, without our spit, we wouldn’t be able to taste at all!

Additionally, saliva is essential to maintaining our oral health. Our spit contains antimicrobial agents that protect teeth and defend against bacteria. It also contains minerals such as calcium and phosphate that remineralize our teeth, strengthening the enamel.

Your saliva plays an especially important role after eating and drinking. It washes away that extra food and debris left in your mouth that contributes to decay. It also helps neutralize the acids created by bacteria that break down enamel and cause cavities. Thank you, saliva!

Some People Do Not Create Enough Saliva
Some people have a condition called dry mouth, where they aren’t producing enough saliva. Certain illnesses and medications can cause dry mouth, and those who have it are more prone to tooth decay and gum disease as a result. For those with and without dry mouth, here are some tips to increase saliva production and protect your teeth:
•Chew sugar-free gum, especially after meals
•Suck on sugarless candy
•Drink plenty of water

In addition to these, there are products we have been giving out at our office to help as well.  Ask us about Xylimelts and Biotene products to help with saliva production.  Our patients have found them very helpful for dry mouth.

Saliva Works Around the Clock to Protect Our Smiles

Saliva may just be the unsung hero of our oral health. It is constantly strengthening and defending our teeth against bacteria, decay and dental disease. At the end of the day, all we can say is that our bodies are amazing and our spit is awesome!

Thank you to our wonderful patients and friends and as always, let us know if you need us to help you keep your "juices" flowing!

Chewing Sugar-Free Gum Boosts Your Oral Health

May 11th, 2016


GUM ISN’T ALL ABOUT freshening your breath. While it definitely helps after that garlic pasta you had for lunch, did you know chewing sugarless gum can also prevent cavities and improve your oral health?

Chewing Gum Increases Saliva Flow and Prevents Cavities

According to the American Dental Association, studies show that chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after a meal can prevent tooth decay. The act of chewing increases saliva flow in your mouth. The saliva then washes away food and neutralizes acids, cleaning and protecting your teeth from cavity-causing bacteria.

You’ll want to make sure your gum is sugar-free, however. While gum that contains sugar also increases saliva flow, the sugar actually feeds the bacteria in your mouth, putting you at greater risk of decay. We definitely don’t want that!

Quick tip: Sugarless gum sweetened with xylitol even reduces the amount of bacteria that stick to your teeth! Be sure to ask for a sample of Spry Gum at your next visit to Powell & Tiller Dental Care.

Chewing Gum Helps Strengthen Tooth Enamel

Saliva contains necessary calcium and phosphate that strengthens tooth enamel. After a meal, reinforcing your enamel can be especially beneficial in fighting off bacteria and decay.

Look for Sugarless Gum with the ADA Seal

The ADA seal indicates that the gum has been tested and proven to do at least one or all of these three things: reduce plaque acids and cavities, promote remineralization of tooth enamel, and reduce gingivitis. If you want a sugarless gum you can trust to boost your oral health, look for the ADA seal.

Don't Stop Brushing and Flossing

Even though chewing sugar-free gum can aid in keeping your mouth healthy, it should never serve as a substitute for regular brushing and flossing. Your best defense against decay and dental disease is to brush teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste as well as floss once daily!

Healthy Habits Make for a Healthy Mouth

Add chewing sugarless gum to your list of mouth-healthy habits! Along with daily brushing and flossing, chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help decrease your risk of cavities and strengthen tooth enamel. Of course, after that garlic pasta, fresher breath is an added bonus!

Our patients make our job worthwhile!

How Stress Can Affect Your Oral Health

May 4th, 2016


DID YOU KNOW THAT STRESS can have an effect on your oral health? As if you needed any more on your plate! Knowing how stress and oral health are connected can help you combat any problems that might arise.

Stress May Contribute to Teeth Grinding

Bruxism is the technical term for habitual teeth grinding and jaw clenching. For some people, clenching and grinding are harmful responses to stress and frustration. Teeth grinding, however, usually occurs during sleep, meaning that people are often unaware of the problem. Flatter tips of the teeth and a sore jaw are common signs of bruxism.

Stress Can Worsen Symptoms of TMD

TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder, affects the jaw joint and associated muscles used in moving the jaw and neck. Similar to bruxism, stress is thought to be a contributing factor in TMD, causing jaw clenching, joint pain, headaches and even popping and clicking of the jaw.

Your Immune System Is Weakened During Times of Stress

Stress can actually compromise your immune system, increasing your risk of oral infections. Some people experience dry mouth, putting them at a higher risk of developing cavities. Others contract canker sores when stressed. Stress can even increase your chances of experiencing gum disease.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene and Health, Even During Difficult Times

Keeping your oral health routine in tip-top shape, especially when you are stressed, is essential! Continue to practice good oral hygiene and you will protect your mouth from infection and decay.

For most people, it’s difficult to see the effects of stress on their bodies until something happens. That’s why it’s important to visit us at Powell & Tiller Dental Care regularly, as we can detect the telltale signs of stress in your mouth and help you to remedy any problems.

We Want To Make Life Easier For You

When you’re under a lot of pressure or life gets tough, the last thing you think about is your oral health. We want to make things easier for you by helping you to avoid any oral health issues not only when you’re stressed out, but all the time!

Learning to deal with the inevitable stresses of life in a positive way will boost your oral and overall health. However, if you do feel you are experiencing any symptoms of bruxism, TMD or other oral health problems, call us and schedule an appointment. We have solutions for you!

Keeping our patients happy and healthy is our priority!

Summer is Almost Here: Tips for a bright, white smile!

May 3rd, 2016

Summer is almost here, which means a season full of vacations, adventures and great memories is just around the corner for our patients at Powell & Tiller Dental Care.

Everyone wants a glowing and radiant white smile when the sun comes around and we have a few reminders to keep your pearly whites healthy and beautiful over the summer! Try to stay away from drinks that will stain your teeth like coffee, soft drinks, or dark colored juices. Not only will drinks like this weaken your enamel but they will also darken that fabulous smile you're working on! Another tip is to try and focus on brushing your teeth; everyone knows that when busy schedules start picking up, getting a good brushing session in tends to take the backseat! A good tip for keeping your mouth safe from staining and other possible pitfalls is to rinse your mouth with water after any meal you can’t fully brush your teeth after. Your teeth, inside and out, will benefit!

And remember, whether you are headed to a barbecue, a camping trip, or just having fun in the backyard this summer, we want to hear all about it! Make sure to let us know what you’re up to below or on our Facebook page! We also encourage you to post any photos from your adventures!

Are Sports and Energy Drinks Damaging Your Teeth?

April 27th, 2016


DRINKING ENERGY AND SPORTS DRINKS on a regular basis is becoming increasingly popular, especially among young people. But did you know that these drinks can be extremely damaging to your teeth?

Sports and Energy Drinks Are Highly Acidic

It’s important to remember the purposes of each of these drinks so as not to consume them more often than you should. Energy drinks may provide a pick-me-up during a long day at work, but drinking one or more energy drinks everyday can damage your teeth in the long run.

Sports drinks were made to keep your body hydrated and energized during bouts of intense exercise. While they may be beneficial during a good workout, these drinks should never take the place of water and should not be consumed casually or on a daily basis.

The reason for this is that both energy and sports drinks are highly acidic. Regularly consuming food or drink with high acidity levels wears away your tooth enamel. This makes teeth more susceptible to cavities, tooth discoloration, and sensitivity.

The Combination of Sugar and Acid Packs a Mean Punch

Energy and sports drinks launch a twofold attack on your teeth: while acid weakens the enamel, sugar feeds cavity-causing bacteria and contributes to decay. Not a good combo! While sugar-free options are available, the majority of these types of drinks are chock full of sugar. Unfortunately, even the sugar-free versions are still as acidic as their sweet counterparts.

Consume Acidic And Sugary Beverages Wisely

Here are some tips to protect your teeth if you are drinking energy and sports drinks: 1.Don't make it a daily habit. Drink sports drinks only during high intensity workouts, not on a regular basis, and minimize the amount of energy drinks you consume.
2.Drink it all at once instead of sipping throughout the day.
3.Rinse out your mouth or chew sugarless gum afterward. This will help increase saliva production and counteract acidity.

Know The Facts, Protect Your Smile

Believe it or not, the adverse effects these drinks have on teeth isn’t widely known. With 30 to 50 percent of U.S. teens consuming energy drinks, and as many as 62 percent consuming at least one sports drink per day, it’s important that people understand how damaging they can be to teeth.

If you have more questions about sports or energy drinks, call us or send us a Facebook message!

We’re always happy to hear from our patients.

Diabetes and Dental Care

April 26th, 2016

When most people think of complications of diabetes, they think of an increased risk of blindness, limb amputation, heart disease, and neuropathy. However, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team want you to know that emerging research is revealing a possible connection between uncontrolled diabetes and dental problems. Whether you have type 2 diabetes or type 1, uncontrolled high blood glucose level increases the risk of certain oral health conditions, including:

  • Cavities
  • Tooth decay
  • Gingivitis (early gum disease)
  • Periodontal disease (advanced gum disease)

Diabetes and proper dental care

If you have diabetes, it is more important than ever to take your dental care seriously and practice excellent oral hygiene. These recommendations will help:

  1. Manage your diabetes. First and foremost, it is vital to control your high blood sugar in accordance with your physician’s instructions — not only for the sake of your oral health, but your overall health. With properly controlled blood sugar, you reduce your risk of developing gingivitis and other oral health issues.
  2. Practice good at-home oral hygiene. This means brushing at least twice a day AND flossing. At a minimum, brush your teeth in the morning and at night, but after meals and snacks if you can. Use a soft toothbrush to avoid injuring your gums. Don’t neglect flossing, because it helps to remove plaque below the gumline and between teeth.
  3. Visit the dentist regularly. While it is important to see the dentist every six months even if you don’t have diabetes, it is even more crucial to have a professional teeth cleaning and dental exam if you have the disease. As dental professionals, our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care is able to detect early dental conditions before they develop into something more serious and costly.
  4. Tell your dentist that you have diabetes. If you were recently diagnosed with diabetes, be sure to let us know as soon as possible, and remind us at every appointment.
  5. Be conscientious about examining your own gums and teeth. By looking for early signs of gum disease, which can include bleeding gums, irritated gums, gums that are red (versus a healthy pink), or swelling, we can get started on treatment right away.

Managing diabetes takes effort, not only in watching your diet, exercising, monitoring your blood sugar levels, and taking your medication, but obtaining proper dental care.

To learn more about the link between diabetes and oral health, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, please give us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office!

How do I care for my infant's new teeth?

April 20th, 2016

DENTAL CARE IS IMPORTANT at all ages, even for babies! Here are some tips on how you can care for your child's mouth even before their first precious smile.

Good Oral Care Begins Before Teething

Even though your baby’s primary teeth won’t come in until they are around four to seven months old, caring for their gums before teeth come in is important. Even before tooth eruption bacteria can leave behind plaque that can damage teeth as they come in.

To prevent bacteria from adhering to your baby's gums, gently wipe them down with a soft, moistened washcloth. Do this at least twice a day, especially after feedings and before bedtime. This can also help your baby learn the routine of having mom or dad brush their teeth even before they have them.

Teething Can Be A Difficult Time For Your Baby

When your little one does finally start teething, it’s normal for them to be fussy and irritable. Common symptoms are difficulty sleeping, decrease in appetite and increased drooling. It’s also normal for their temperature to increase slightly when they’re teething, however, high-grade fevers are not normal. If your child seems overly cranky or has a high fever, call your physician.

You Can Keep Your Child Comfortable With These Tips

Your baby may seem inconsolable while teething but here are some things you can do to soothe and ease their pain: •Massage their gums. The counter pressure of your finger helps ease teething pain.
•Use teething rings or toys. Even a simple chilled washcloth will work. Chewing soothes the baby as counter pressure relieves pain. When chilling toys or rings, remember to refrigerate instead of freeze.
•Relieve pain. Talk to your child’s doctor about pain relief if your little one seems to be having a more difficult time. Appropriate dosage of acetaminophen may be beneficial during especially painful teething episodes. Avoid teething medications that contain the pain reliever benzocaine.

Once Teeth Appear, Take Proper Care Of Them

Your pediatrician will check and monitor your baby's oral health and will send you to us if he or she detects any issues. We recommend having their first checkup in our office (unless you or their doctor has any concerns sooner) sometime between their second and third birthday. Once teeth appear you can also begin brushing. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, start brushing your child’s teeth twice a day. Since very young children haven’t yet learned to not swallow toothpaste, use only a smear of fluoridated toothpaste or the size of a grain of rice. Ask us for an infant toothbrush next time you see us!

We’re Here To Help From The Very Beginning

Good oral care starts from the beginning of your child’s life. We’re here to help you every step of the way! If you have any questions concerning infant oral health care or teething, call or make an appointment with us today. Baby teeth may be small but they’re important!

Best Tips to Make Your Teeth Look Whiter

April 19th, 2016

Your teeth were once naturally white and bright. Wouldn't it be great to keep them that way all of your life? Unfortunately, everyday living can dim our smiles. Food, coffee, some juices, and soft drinks can stain your teeth. Poor brushing and flossing can also leave tooth stains. Injuries to teeth or gums can cause some yellowing as well, and in some cases, medicines can discolor teeth.

So, you may need some extra help to maintain or restore your teeth's natural beauty. Here are some of the best ways to whiten your teeth:

1. Reduce additional staining by drinking with a straw or cutting back on coffee and soft drinks.

2. Brush and floss every day.

3. Try a whitening toothpaste or mouthwash.

4. Visit our office for teeth cleaning and an exam every six months.

We can also help you whiten your teeth with in-office professional teeth whitening at our Austin, TX office. These whitening products are much more effective than whiteners you can buy at the store and are completely safe. Since they're stronger, application by a member of our team is essential to achieve the best results.

Some teeth can resist bleaching. If that's the case, we can try several techniques:

  • Deep bleaching that applies whitening agents over several visits.
  • Veneers and bonds that cover existing stains with a whiter, brighter surface.
  • Laser whitening that uses light to clean stubborn stains off teeth.

Take Care!

You may come across “bleaching stations” in shopping malls or at fairs. Avoid using these as the so-called whitening techniques can irritate your teeth and gums, leaving them highly sensitive to pain. Note too, that the operators of these whitening stands will make customers apply the bleach themselves, to avoid charges of practicing without a license. That should serve as a red flag and a caution to seek trained professionals, like Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, instead.

Best Ways to Prevent Bad Breath

April 12th, 2016

Nobody likes bad breath, and although it can sometimes be difficult to tell if you have it, it is always better to practice good oral health than risk having a smelly mouth. There are many ways to reduce or eliminate bad breath, some are definitely more effective and longer lasting than others. Check out ways to do so below.

Floss Regularly

As difficult as it can be to remember to floss regularly, when it comes to bad breath, flossing is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to freshen your mouth. See, flossing reduces the plaque and bacteria found in areas of your mouth that a toothbrush simply can't reach, and in turn, it rids your mouth of the smell associated with that bacteria. While flossing may not eliminate bad breath on its own, if you do it along with other health oral hygiene habits like brushing, then you may just develop a fresher smelling mouth.

Use Mouthwash

Using some sort of mouthwash can really freshen up your breath, especially if you find it still smells after brushing and flossing. There is a wide variety of mouthwash products on the market, however, you can also create your own by simply using baking soda mixed with water.

Always Brush after You Sleep

Whether after taking a nap, or having a full night of sleep, you will want to brush your teeth in order to reduce bad breath. The truth is, bacteria accumulates in your mouth while you are sleeping (even during a short nap) and that is ultimately the source of bad breath. So next time you wake from a good slumber, give your mouth some brushing and you will find it makes a big difference in the freshness of your breath.

There are many ways to freshen your breath beyond just using gum or mints, the above mentioned are just a few for you to try. Test them out and you will likely find your bad breath problem is solved, or at least considerably reduced. Of course, you can always ask Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller at your next visit to our Austin, TX office.

What is hyperdontia?

March 29th, 2016

When a child is born, he or she will have 20 primary teeth and 32 permanent teeth. But sometimes kids are born with additional teeth, and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care calls this oral condition "hyperdontia." Primary teeth are the first set of teeth that erupt in your child's mouth, typically by the time they are 36 months old, and are shed by the time your child reaches the age of 12. Permanent teeth then take the place of the primary teeth and are usually fully-erupted by the time your son or daughter reaches 21 years of age. Anyone who develops more than 20 primary teeth or more than 32 permanent teeth has hyperdontia, and the additional teeth are referred to as supernumerary teeth.

While the cause of hyperdontia is not entirely clear, it is believed that there may be a genetic factor. Oral professionals have found that patients with extra teeth often have syndromes like cleidocranial dysplasia, Ehler-Danlos syndrome, Gardner syndrome, or cleft lip and palate. The prevalence of hyperdontia affects between one and four percent of the population in the United States, and the majority of cases are limited to a single tooth.

So, what is the best way to deal with hyperdontia? It really depends on the case. The treatment plan your doctor suggests varies according to the potential problem posed by the supernumerary teeth, as well as their type. Orthodontic treatment may certainly may help, but extraction can also be a good option. We recommend that children receive an oral evaluation or checkup no later than the age of seven. In addition to hygiene evaluation, this helps ensure your child does not experience hyperdontia problems.

If you suspect you or your child may be suffering from hyperdontia, please give us a call to schedule an appointment at our convenient Austin, TX office to be evaluated.

Seven Foods that will Give You a Smashing Smile

March 15th, 2016

As the saying goes, you are what you eat. But did you know that what you eat also affects your smile? Chow down on these seven tasty treats, recommended by Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our staff, for a healthier mouth and a smashing smile!

Sesame Seeds

These tiny seeds that you find in some Chinese and Thai dishes (as well as on top of your hamburger bun) are packed with bone-building calcium. They help to preserve and protect the bone that supports your teeth and gums. As a bonus, they also help to build up your tooth enamel while sloughing away plaque.

Kiwi

This funny little fruit has the highest amount of Vitamin C of any fruit, including oranges! What does this mean for your chompers? Well, you need Vitamin C to keep your gum tissue healthy and strong. Without it, they are more susceptible to periodontal disease.

Sweet Potatoes

These are not just for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner! You should add sweet potatoes to your regular diet. These tasty spuds are rich in Vitamin A, which your body uses to form tooth enamel and heal gum tissue.

Onions

You know those strong vapors from onions that make you cry? Well, they come from the sulfur compounds in the vegetable, which gives them a superpower-packed antibacterial punch. Get ready, though: Onions are most effective for your smile when you eat them raw!

Cheese

If you love cheese, you will love this news! Munching on some cheese helps prevent gum disease and cavities. The reason is that cheese is very high in calcium and phosphate, which help to balance the pH levels in your mouth. This in turn helps to preserve your tooth enamel and kill harmful bacteria.

Green Tea

Sipping on some green tea can not only help prevent cavities and gum disease, it can also kill the bacteria that cause bad breath. Score! Green tea has catechins, which actually kill the bacteria that cause plaque. So drink up! Your smile depends on it!

Celery

Have some fun with that crunchy stuff because, guess what? It is great for your smile! When you chew celery you produce saliva. Your saliva neutralizes cavity-causing bacteria. As a little added bonus, while you are chewing, it is giving your gums a little massage and cleaning between your teeth.

So grab some of these healthy snacks and give your mouth something to smile about!

How long do dental implants last?

March 8th, 2016

The average dental implant can last a lifetime if taken care of properly. In fact, studies have shown that the success rate of implants after ten years is about 90%! Of course, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team know that the better you care for your implant, the longer it will last.

There are a few factors that must be taken into consideration, when you are considering dental implants. These factors all play a role in how long your dental implants will last.

  • Bone Structure – You must have enough bone in your mouth for the implants to be inserted. Over time, the bone can wear down and become too thin or to short. In cases, where you may have just enough bone for the implants, over the years, the bone will continue to become smaller and thinner and the implants will not last nearly as long as the suggested minimum of ten years.
  • Healthy Gums – Diseased gums will not support dental implants for very long. It is important to maintain regular dental visits to maintain your healthy gums.
  • Good Oral Hygiene – Just because your implants are not your “real” teeth, doesn’t mean you have to take care of them. That means brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleanings.

Bone structure, healthy gums, and good oral hygiene all play a crucial role in the length of time your dental implants will last. Whether you have full dental implants, partial implants, or a single tooth implant. The bottom line is you have to take care of them if you want them to last as long as possible.

For more tips on how to maintain the health of your dental implant, visit our Austin, TX office!

What can I expect during my implant procedure?

March 8th, 2016

Dental implants are a surgical procedure done by Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller right here at our Austin, TX office. Screw-like parts made of titanium are inserted into your jaw bone and act as the root of your tooth. An artificial tooth will be placed on top of the screw, usually made out of ceramic or layered porcelain. The dental implant will look and feel just like the natural tooth you lost.

How much time will the dental implant surgery take?

There are numerous factors that determine the length of time for the dental implant procedure:

  • If you’re having one tooth replaced or several
  • The teeth that are being replaced
  • If you need a tooth or teeth extracted before the implant placement
  • The amount of time it takes for your IV to be placed
  • Any last minute questions or concerns you may need addressed

All of the above factors will also govern the amount of visits to our Austin, TX office you will need to make throughout your dental implant treatment period. For example, a single tooth dental implant surgery typically takes one to two hours from the time you arrive until you awaken from the anesthesia. This also includes the amount of time it takes to put on your gown, hair cap, and other surgical dressing preparations before you are able to enter the sterile surgical environment.

Does getting an implant hurt?

With nearly any surgical procedure, you will feel some sort of discomfort. Whether it is the insertion of the IV for the anesthesia, or discomfort you may feel after the surgery. However, most patients report that their pain was tolerable after their dental implant surgery. In fact, the majority of patients said the discomfort was a lot less than they expected. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller will prescribe pain medications to help with any discomfort you may experience once you get home.

How will I feel after the dental implant treatment?

It is normal to have some bruising and swelling in the soft tissue and gum area. Usually the pain or discomfort does not require the use of anything more than an over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol or ibuprofen. In addition, you will have the prescription for a stronger pain medication if you need it. You should be able to work the following day.

My child has canker sores! How can I help?

February 23rd, 2016

According to the American Association of Pediatric Density, roughly one in five children suffers from canker sores. Canker sores are small sores that appear inside the cheeks, on the lips, on the surface of the gums, and under the tongue.

Even though, canker sores are not contagious, they do tend to run in families. There are several reasons your child may be suffering from canker sores including:

  • Children who have Vitamin B12, iron, and folic acid deficiencies tend to get canker sores more often than children who have normal levels of these vitamins and minerals.
  • Children who suffer from food allergies are also at a higher risk for developing canker sores. It’s difficult to determine what your child may be allergic to. If you feel strongly that the canker sores are related to an allergy, then a visit to an allergist is highly recommended.
  • Biting their lip or cheek can also result in a canker sore.
  • Any injury to mouth, where the skin breaks can cause a canker sore.
  • Brushing their teeth too hard can also be a problem.
  • Your child may be sensitive to an ingredient in their toothpaste. Try switching toothpastes and see if it makes a difference.
  • Emotional disturbances and stress are also factors to consider.

If your child has frequent canker sores a visit to our Austin, TX office will be beneficial. Canker sores are painful and usually last about 14 days. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller may recommend one or a few of the following treatment options:

  • Avoid food that is acidic, salty, and spicy.
  • A toothbrush with soft bristles may be helpful.
  • Avoid mouthwash and toothpaste that contain SLS.
  • Do not feed your child foods that they may be allergic to.

Canker Sore Remedies

  • Eating yogurt that contains Acidophilus will relieve the pain and help the canker sore heal faster.
  • Put one teaspoon of baking soda in an eight-ounce glass of lukewarm water. Have your child gargle and swish it around his or her mouth several times a day. Not only does this remedy relieve the pain, the canker sore could be gone in as little as 24 hours.
  • Place a wet tea bag on the sore and hold it there for a few minutes several times a day. This remedy will help with the pain and quickly heal the sore.
  • Camphor, Benzocaine, Lidocaine, and Orajel are over-the-counter medications that can help.

If you have questions about your child’s canker sore, contact Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller to schedule an appointment.

A Variety of Dentures to Meet Your Needs

February 16th, 2016

With advancements in prosthetic dentistry, patients are now able to wear dentures that are comfortable, natural looking, and long lasting. There are different options to choose from that will meet your individual needs, whether you have a few teeth missing or have lost all of your teeth. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller will be able to help you decide which denture option is best for you.

Partial Dentures

Patients who receive partial dentures have some of their original teeth still in place and therefore only need a partial to replace the missing teeth and keep their existing teeth from moving. It also makes sense that patients need them to be able to eat comfortably. All dentures are made from porcelain or plastic and are made with comfort in mind.

Complete Dentures

If you have suffered from complete tooth loss, you would typically receive complete dentures. Immediately after you have your teeth extracted you will leave the dentist office with a set of temporary dentures. These will be worn for a few months while your mouth heals. After this initial wait time, your conventional or permanent dentures will be ready to be fitted.

Implant-Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures involve a more invasive procedure, but are also permanent. A select number of implants are placed into the jaw. The denture is then attached to the implant posts. You will be able to chew normally and maintain normal dental hygiene, like brushing and flossing.

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller will be able to advise on which kind of denture would be the best based on your individual needs. Contact our Austin, TX office to schedule an appointment!

The Transformation of Valentine's Day

February 9th, 2016

Did you know the actions leading to the beginnings of Valentine's Day were actually centered on the avoidance of war? A Catholic priest named Valentine defied the orders of the Emperor Claudius II and secretly married young men and their brides after the emperor had declared it illegal because only single, young men could be sent to war. Rather than lose potential soldiers to fight his war, Claudius attempted to hoard them by proclaiming marriage illegal.

Valentine continued to marry young couples anyway and, eventually, was put to death for it in 270 AD. Before his death, he sent a letter to a secret love and signed it “From your Valentine”. Nearly 1,800 years later, people are still signing letters and cards in this manner. This year, carry on the tradition started long ago, while adding your own twist. Here are a few suggestions.

Simple and Creative Valentine's Day Ideas

  • Memorialize it with a Photo. Couples often have photos taken around Christmas, but Valentine's Day photos allow you to capitalize on romance. Famous couple Julia Child and her husband, Paul, had their picture taken together every Valentine's Day and included their sense of humor with silly props.
  • Return to Your First Date Location. Even if your first date together was at a local hotdog stand, its sentimental value can make it a fun part of your Valentine's Day agenda. Be creative and make a treasure hunt with clues that lead your partner to the original date location, where you can express your love with flowers or a gift.
  • “From Your Valentine” Messages. Deliver your message in a creative way to make this Valentine's Day stand out from the others. Bake your partner's favorite treat and write a message on it with a tube of icing, or draw a note on the steamed up mirror so it shows up when your partner takes a shower.

Although Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love, it doesn't have to be a special day only for couples. If you're single, use this special day to shower yourself with love, because you're worth it! After all, the priest Valentine believed so strongly in the sanctity of love that he was willing to risk his life for it. Whether you're in a relationship or single, young or old, romantic or not, Valentine's Day is for you. Happy Valentine’s Day from the dental office of Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller.

What is gum recession?

February 2nd, 2016

Gum (gingival) recession occurs when gums recede from the tops of the teeth enough to expose sensitive roots. People typically experience increased sensitivity to sugary or cold foods when gums no longer cover and protect teeth roots. In addition, untreated gum recession may lead to loosening of teeth and accelerated tooth decay, something Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller see all too often.

Causes of Gum Recession

  • Periodontal disease – a serious oral disease arising from poor oral habits
  • Gingivitis – gum disease characterized by bleeding and swollen gums
  • Aging
  • Overly aggressive brushing and/or flossing – brushing hard in a scrubbing fashion will erode gum tissue at the roots of teeth
  • Genetic predisposition to gingival recession – having inherited thin, insufficient gum tissue facilitates gum recession
  • Bruxism – a condition where someone regularly grinds their teeth, usually during sleep
  • Chewing tobacco/smoking – promotes chronically dry mouth and reduced gum health

Periodontal gingivitis may also cause causing drooping of the gums instead of gum recession. A gingivectomy removes excess gum tissue weakened by bacterial decay while a gingivoplasty can reshape gums around the teeth. If sagging or receding gums are left untreated, they may develop pockets (gaps) that provide hiding places for food particles, mucus and other mouth debris conducive to anaerobic bacteria growth. As the most destructive type of oral bacteria, anaerobic bacteria is responsible for tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and chronic halitosis.

Treatments for Gum Recession

Corrective actions need implemented as soon as possible to reverse gum recession by addressing the cause. For example, people who brush with hard-bristled toothbrushes should switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush more gently. If gum recession is the result of poor oral hygiene, improve oral hygiene habits by brushing after meals, flossing, rinsing with non-alcoholic mouthwash, and getting dental checkups and cleanings every six months. For severe cases of gum recession, soft tissue grafts can add gum tissue to exposed roots by removing tissue from the person's palate and attaching it to existing gums at the area of recession via laser surgery.

If you’re worried about gum recession, visit our Austin, TX office and talk to a member of our team.

Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

January 26th, 2016

When your wisdom teeth start to emerge it can definitely be painful, but it can be even worse if your wisdom teeth become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth are trying to erupt but are unable to do so because there is not sufficient room for them to emerge. This usually means that your wisdom teeth are painfully lodged in your jawbone.

While you may not see any real signs of the emerging wisdom teeth when they are impacted, what you can’t see can still definitely hurt you. Some of the indicators of impacted wisdom teeth are listed below.

  • Jaw Pain: Pain in the back of your jaw is a common indicator of impacted wisdom teeth. The pain often concentrates in the area around your gums.
  • Changes in the Mouth: You may notice some changes in your mouth when you have impacted wisdom teeth. Reddish gums, swelling in the jaw, bleeding gums, and bad breath can all be indicators that you are dealing with impacted wisdom teeth.
  • Headaches: If you suddenly start having headaches, especially at the same time as some of the other issues mentioned above, they may indicate impacted wisdom teeth.
  • Chewing Issues: Problems with chewing normally can indicate impacted wisdom teeth. If you are having trouble making the chewing motions because your mouth won’t quite open and close as easily as it used to, impacted wisdom teeth may be the culprit.

The Solution

If you are suffering from impacted wisdom teeth, the best solution is usually going to be removal. This is not a problem that will resolve naturally, and in fact, your pain and other symptoms may worsen as your wisdom teeth become increasingly impacted. At Powell & Tiller Dental Care, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller can review the details of wisdom teeth removal surgery with you and help you determine if this is the best solution for your situation.

I chipped a tooth. What can I do?

January 19th, 2016

You just crunched down on a piece of hard food when you suddenly realize there is something hard still in your mouth. Your nightmare is confirmed when you retrieve a piece of your tooth from your mouth. You chipped your tooth; now what?

Obviously, the first thing you need to do is call our Austin, TX office. While we make every effort to see emergent cases immediately, you may have to wait a day or so before you can see Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller. Luckily, it’s easy to take care of your chipped tooth while you wait.

How to Take Care of a Chipped

The last thing you want is for the tooth to become infected or break even more. Let’s look at a few things you can do:

  • If the chipped tooth is causing you pain take an over-the-counter pain medication, like Tylenol. Always follow the directions on the label.
  • You should also rinse your mouth with lukewarm saltwater, as this will help prevent an infection from setting in.
  • If your chipped tooth has a sharp edge, cover it up with a piece of wax to prevent it from cutting you cheek, tongue, or lip.
  • If you have to eat, make sure you eat soft foods and don’t bite down on the chipped or broken tooth.

Treatment Options for a Chipped Tooth

  • Dental Filling and Bonding – If you only have a small chip in your tooth, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller will probably fix it with a filling. If it is a front tooth, we may bond the tooth using a tooth-colored compound.
  • Dental Crown or Cap – If you broke a large piece of your tooth, we may grind the remaining part of your tooth and put a crown or cap on it.
  • Dental Veneers – If you chipped or broke your front tooth then choosing a dental veneer may be your best choice. It will make your tooth look completely normal.
  • Root Canal – If you cracked your tooth and the center (pulp) of the tooth is exposed and infected, you will need a root canal. If the center of your tooth is exposed, it becomes vulnerable to bacteria that will cause your tooth to abscess.

Chipping or breaking your tooth is never a good thing, and you should always call our Austin, TX office right away. The sooner you get your tooth repaired the less likely you are to have any problems with it.

Does getting a dental implant hurt?

January 12th, 2016

Getting a dental implant is a surgical procedure and everyone’s pain tolerance level is different. Therefore, what one person may perceive as pain is only a slight discomfort for another person. The general consensus about pain and dental implants is that the majority of people feel discomfort, not pain.

A dental implant is a complex procedure. Let’s take a look at what may cause discomfort:

  • Some people may find that having the IV put in is uncomfortable, especially if the healthcare worker has to try more than once. If you have a fear of needles or if you have anxiety about the procedure, we can prescribe a sedative, which you take before you arrive.
  • Of course, during the dental implant surgery, you will be asleep. Therefore, you will not feel any pain or discomfort at all.
  • When you awake from the surgery, your mouth should still be numb. In many cases, we can give you a “block” – it is basically a 24-hour pain medication, so you will not feel any pain or discomfort at all.
  • We will also provide you with a prescription for a strong pain killer, and you will most likely sleep while you are taking them. If you are still in pain, do not take more than is prescribed without calling us first. You will need someone to stay with you for 24 hours after the surgery, and they will be instructed on how to give you any prescription medication. The anesthesia tends to make people a bit loopy and forgetful the first 24 hours.
  • After the first 24 hours you may feel some discomfort. The most important thing you can do is take your pain medication regularly, whether you are taking the prescription medication or an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil.
  • You should not need pain medication for more than the first few days.

Most people do say there mouth is sore and they have to be careful what they eat, so it’s best to stick to soft foods. If you have any additional questions, please contact our Austin, TX office and speak with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller.

What are the benefits of visiting a dentist regularly?

January 5th, 2016

Your regularly scheduled dental checkups with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller are not just meant to make your smile prettier and healthier. Your mouth’s health has an important impact on your overall physical health as well!

While you may brush your teeth twice a day and even floss, we would like to remind you that dental checkups with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller every six months aren’t just about addressing problems and reacting, they are about cavity and gum disease prevention.

In addition to a twice yearly thorough teeth cleaning and polishing at Powell & Tiller Dental Care, these regular visits help us detect and prevent the onset of tooth decay and gum disease. During your visit, we’ll check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue. We’ll also check old fillings and restorations, as these can wear away over time from constant chewing, grinding, or clenching.

It’s important to know that the majority of dental problems do not become visible or painful until they are highly advanced. And, unfortunately, serious oral issues are painful and expensive to treat.

While Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team always strive to provide unmatched dental care for you and your family, we are also committed to your overall wellness as well! A deep cleaning twice a year is the best way to prevent any problems that may have gone unseen. If you are overdue for your next cleaning, please give us a call to schedule an appointment at our Austin, TX office!

New Year's Eve

December 29th, 2015

Watching the clock tick down the final seconds until midnight, many of us- Powell & Tiller Dental Care included- feel nostalgic about the passing year and hopeful about the new one to come. New Year’s Eve is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the world, with over-the-top celebrations taking place in dozens of countries. The Gregorian calendar, which is widely used in Western nations and around the world, was implemented in 1582. Since that time, December 31st has marked the final day of the year, with midnight heralding the beginning of a brand new year. In the United States, New Year’s Day is a public holiday; government offices, schools, public organizations, and many businesses are closed for the day. Ponder the following fun facts as you think about your plans for the holiday:

  • Approximately one billion people watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square, New York City. This televised event is one of the most iconic New Year’s celebrations in the world. For many years, watching the ball drop meant tuning in to Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, an iconic television special dear to the hearts of many viewers.
  • The idea for the New Year’s Eve ball came about because of a citywide ban on fireworks. Before 1907, when fireworks became illegal in New York City, celebrations included an elaborate fireworks show. The large, glittering, illuminated ball was developed as an alternative. Although the first ball was heavy at 700 pounds, the modern New Year’s Eve ball is made of Waterford crystal and tips the scale at six tons!
  • The top five New Year’s resolutions are: to lose weight, quit smoking, get a new job, return to school, or increase personal savings. However, approximately 88% of New Year’s resolutions fail. But don’t let that discourage you! Resolutions are most likely to succeed when they are clear, achievable goals. Setting out a concrete plan to achieve your resolution also boosts your chances of success.
  • Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is said to bring good fortune in the new year. Collard greens, cabbage, and ham hocks are also considered lucky foods to enjoy. Just steer clear of the chicken or turkey dinners; eating poultry is a bad omen for the year to come.

Whether you plan to stay in Austin, TX, or head out into the crowds to watch the ball drop in Times Square, New Year’s Eve is a time to enjoy friends and family. Send your loved ones well wishes for the New Year, and look for that special someone to share a midnight kiss with for good luck!

Quit Smoking to Save Your Smile

December 22nd, 2015

You’ve likely heard that smoking increases risk of lung cancer and emphysema. But did you realize that your cigarette habit also has an impact on your smile? Chronic smokers suffer from increased dental problems that make their smiles unsightly. Understanding how smoking affects your oral health may provide the momentum you need to kick the habit for good.

Cosmetic Changes Associated with Smoking

Cigarettes contain more than 600 ingredients that, when lit, create in excess of 4,000 chemicals. Of these chemicals, many are known carcinogens while others have been shown to have serious negative effects on health. The nicotine and tar in tobacco products are absorbed by the enamel of your teeth. The result is yellowed teeth that look unsightly; with heavy smoking, your teeth may eventually turn nearly brown in color.

The chemicals in cigarettes and cigars also cause your teeth to become less clean. Smoking is associated with a build-up of tartar and plaque on the surface of your teeth. Over time, this increases your risk of developing cavities and other oral health problems. Furthermore, pursing your lips while smoking leads to wrinkles around your mouth, which detracts from your smile.

More Serious Dental Conditions

In addition to having unsightly teeth, smoking can cause serious health conditions. Because of the carcinogens in cigarettes, smoking is associated with an increased risk of oral cancer, which can be deadly. Smokers are also more likely to develop gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss. You may experience an increased loss of bone within your jaw, which will cause significant problems later in life.

Treatment for Smoking-Related Oral Health Problems

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care will tell you that the best defense against smoking-related oral health problems is to ditch your nicotine habit. By decreasing the amount of nicotine and other chemicals you consume, you can decrease your risk of oral cancer and gum disease. Remember to mention your smoking habit when you’re at our Austin, TX office. We frequently treat smokers and can recommend smoking cessation programs to help you quit. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller can also advise you about whitening treatments and gum disease prevention activities that ensure you’ll have a beautiful smile for years to come.

I have fluoride toothpaste and fluoridated water; do I need a fluoride treatment?

December 15th, 2015

Fluoride is a naturally found ion with a history of greatly reducing the incidence of tooth decay in children. However, over the past decade, people have increasingly consumed bottled water, most of which does not contain fluoride, and children are no longer getting the recommended dosage of fluoride. In addition, many areas do not add the optimum amount of fluoride to the town drinking water.

Everyone’s dental needs are different. The amount of fluoride a person needs is determined by age (children), tooth sensitivity, risk for cavities, and medical conditions. When a patient needs additional fluoride it can be applied in a foam or varnish.

Children receive additional topical fluoride because teeth in the early development stages have a higher mineral uptake. The future strength of the enamel depends on this. When a tooth absorbs the fluoride ion, it creates hydroxyapatite, a harder mineral compound than enamel alone.

Those who have a dry mouth from medication also need extra fluoride. A daily fluoride rinse and a semi-annual fluoride varnish treatment are standard. If you are on medicine for high blood pressure, anxiety, diabetes, depression, or cholesterol, you may fit in this category.

Cancer treatments can also greatly impact your oral health. Fluoride varnish treatments prior to, during, and after radiation and chemotherapy can be beneficial. There are other mouth conditions which coincide with cancer treatments which make it difficult to brush and floss daily, and can contribute to an increased risk for decay. An infection during cancer treatment can be especially harmful, which is why preventive measures are important.

Fluoride treatments, administered topically, are highly beneficial in preventing decay. Feel free to call Powell & Tiller Dental Care to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions.

Are thumb sucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child’s teeth?

December 8th, 2015

Depending on how long the thumb sucking or constant pacifier use continues, and how aggressively the child sucks a thumb or the pacifier, it can indeed be an oral health issue. Generally speaking, most children outgrow these behaviors or are able to be weaned off them successfully sometime between ages two and four. When children wean off the behaviors in this age range, long-term damage is unlikely.

Why Kids Suck Their Thumb or Pacifier

Both of these habits are actually a form of self soothing that your child likely uses when he or she is very upset, or feeling stressed, confused, frustrated, or unable to properly express the emotions. If your son or daughters is a regular thumb sucker, or the child wants to use the pacifier almost constantly, it is best to try to taper off these habits at a young age.

If your child continues to suck a thumb or request a pacifier consistently after leaving toddler-hood, this could be a source of concern, and it should be addressed with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our staff. We will be able to evaluate your child's mouth to look for any signs of damage such as palate changes or teeth shifting.

Say Goodbye to Old Habits

In the event that your child is quite reluctant to give up a pacifier or thumb-sucking habit, there are a few things you can do to discourage these behaviors.

  • When you notice that your child is not using a pacifier or sucking a thumb, offer effusive praise. This type of positive reinforcement can be much more effective than scolding the child.
  • Consider instituting a reward system for giving up the habit. If the child goes a certain amount of time without this behavior, award him or her for being such a “big kid.”
  • Employ the help of older siblings or relatives that your child admires. When a child’s role model says that he or she stopped sucking thumbs at a certain age, your child is likely to try to emulate that.

When was your last dental checkup?

December 1st, 2015

While Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team tell you daily oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing, are essential to optimal oral health, regular dental checkups at Powell & Tiller Dental Care ensure your teeth are treated to a deeper level of cleaning.

We recommend for most of our patients to have a cleaning at our Austin, TX office at least every six months. In addition to a thorough cleaning and polishing of your teeth, visits with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller help us detect and prevent the onset of tooth decay and gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. During your visit, we will check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue for signs of any decay or disease. We will also check old fillings and restorations as these can wear away over time due to chewing, clenching, or grinding.

If you are predisposed to any oral diseases, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller may recommend checking in with us more often than every six months. We want your teeth to get the professional attention they deserve! If you are overdue for your next cleaning, give us a call at our Austin, TX office to schedule a checkup! See you soon!

Thanksgiving

November 24th, 2015

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care, we love to celebrate the holidays with vigor! Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller would love to share some unique ways of celebrating Thanksgiving from beyond the Austin, TX area to the national level!

When Americans sit down to dinner on the last Thursday of November, the day that Abraham Lincoln designated as the day on which Thanksgiving would be celebrated, they do so thinking that the first Thanksgiving feast was held at Plymouth in 1621. According to National Geographic, the Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez Coronado and his men celebrated a feast of Thanksgiving in Texas in 1541, giving Texas the distinction of being the first place where Thanksgiving was celebrated.

Different Types of Celebrations

Native Americans had rituals around which they celebrated in hopes of ensuring a bountiful harvest. The Cherokees had a Green Corn Dance that they did for this very purpose. The Pilgrims (not to be confused with the Puritans,) rejected any type of public religious display. They held a three-day long non-religious Thanksgiving feast. Although they said grace, the focus of their celebration was on feasting, drinking alcohol (they did have beer,) and playing games.

The Pilgrims at the Plymouth Plantation celebrated a different day of Thanksgiving in 1623. Plagued by a crop-destroying drought, the settlers prayed for relief. They even fasted. A few days later, they got the rain they so desperately needed. Soon thereafter, they received another blessing when Captain Miles Standish came with staples they couldn't otherwise get. He also told them that a Dutch supply ship was en route. In gratitude for the abundance of good fortune, the Plymouth settlers celebrated a day of prayer and Thanksgiving on June 30, 1623.

The Story of Squanto

No discussion of Thanksgiving is complete without a discussion of Squanto, or Tisquantum, as he was known among his people, the Patuxet Indians. It is believed that he was born sometime around 1580. As he returned to his village after a long journey, he and several other Native Americans were kidnapped by Jamestown colonist, Thomas Hunt. Hunt put them on a ship heading to Spain where they were to be sold into slavery.

As fate would have it, some local friars rescued him and many of the other kidnapped natives. Squanto was educated by the friars. Eventually, after asking for freedom so he could return to North America, he ended up in London where he spent time working as a ship builder. By 1619, he was finally able to get passage on a ship headed to New England with other Pilgrims.

Upon arriving at Plymouth Rock, he learned that his entire tribe was wiped out by diseases that accompanied earlier settlers from Europe. In gratitude for passage on their ship, he helped them set up a settlement on the very land where his people once lived. They called the settlement Plymouth. Since they knew nothing about how to survive, let alone how to find food, Squanto taught them everything, from how to plant corn and other crops, how to fertilize them, how and where to get fish and eels and much more.

After a devastating winter during which many settlers died, thanks to Squanto's teaching, they had an abundant harvest. After that harvest, they honored him with a feast. It is this feast of 1621 which was celebrated between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians that is widely considered the first Thanksgiving celebration.

About the Meal of the Plymouth Settlers

Surviving journals of Edward Winslow that are housed at Plymouth Plantation indicate that the first Thanksgiving feast was nothing like what Americans eat today. The meal consisted of venison, various types of wild fowl (including wild turkey,) and Indian corn. There were no cranberries, stuffing, pumpkin pie, potatoes, or any of the other “traditional” foods that appear on modern menus.

Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, the day that Abraham Lincoln designated as the holiday. It is still a day of feasting, and for some, a day of prayer and thanksgiving. For others, it is a celebration of gathering, especially for families. Still others may celebrate in entirely different ways, including watching college football bowl games, or by playing family games.

If you ever wonder why you're so tired after the Thanksgiving meal, it's because turkey contains an amino acid, tryptophan, and it sets off chemicals whose chain reaction combine to make people sleepy.

My teeth don't line up any more. Why?

November 17th, 2015

If your teeth don't line up like they used to any more, you may be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder, often called TMD. This is a term that can actually be applied to any condition that occurs because the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is inflamed.

The temporomandibular joint is essentially the hinge that holds your lower jaw to your skull, and when it is inflamed or damaged in any way, it can be extremely painful. You have two temporomandibular joint, one on each side of your jaw, and it is typical to experience TMD in both sides at the same time.

Shifting of the Teeth

The reason that your teeth may not line up as they once did is that the ball and socket joints are often out of alignment and, as mentioned above, often very inflamed as a result. In order to correct the problem, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller may prescribe dental orthotics such as a lower jaw splint.

Sometimes, the wisdom teeth can play a role in the shifting of the teeth as well. If shifting wisdom teeth is combined with TMD, it may be necessary to have your wisdom teeth removed. Dental splints may follow if your teeth don't shift back to their proper positions on their own.

TMD is certainly a difficult thing to deal with, so if you experience your teeth shifting, scheduling an appointment at our Austin, TX office is the smartest course. We want to help you get your smile back, so give us a call anytime.

Easing the Teething Blues

November 10th, 2015

Every moment of your baby’s first year of life is precious, since every day your child grows a little, develops new skills, and discovers new things. Most of it is wonderful, but parents don’t like to see their babies in pain. That’s why teething can be such a hard experience. However, you can take steps to make it easier for you and your baby.

What to Expect

Most babies begin teething around the age of six months, when the lower central incisors start to appear. Shortly after this time, the upper central incisors poke through, followed by the lateral incisors, first molars, canines, and second molars. Unfortunately, you’ll probably know that your baby is teething not because you see these teeth come in, but because your baby will be in discomfort. These are some of the signs to watch for when you’re expecting your baby to begin teething.

  • Tender and sore gums
  • More drooling than before
  • Being crankier than usual
  • Chewing on hard objects

What You Can Do

As a parent, you want to do everything you can to make your child more comfortable. These are some approaches that Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team recommend:

  • Take a clean moistened wash cloth or use your own washed finger to rub your baby’s gums and provide relief due to the pressure.
  • Provide a firm rubber teething ring for your baby to use, but don't use the type that is filled with liquid.
  • Use a bottle. A bottle filled with cold water can be soothing. Don’t give your baby formula, milk, or juice constantly because the sugar can cause tooth decay.
  • Medications can help for extreme crankiness. Infant Tylenol is an example, but it’s best to check with your pediatrician before giving your baby medications.

You might also want to take special care to dry the drool. It’s not just to keep yourself and your baby dry. Keeping your baby’s skin dry can help prevent irritation.

When to Visit Us

Once your child’s first tooth comes in, it’s time to start thinking your baby’s first trip to our Austin, TX office. The American Dental Association suggests that you bring your child to the dentist within six months of the appearance of the first tooth, or at about one year of age. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller can do a quick check for tooth decay, and we’ll make sure you know how to take care of your child’s new teeth.

Are dental implants painful? What You Need to Know

November 3rd, 2015

Whether it is the result of tooth decay, gum disease, or injury, millions of people suffer tooth loss. Dental implants provide a strong replacement tooth root for fixed replacement teeth that are designed to match your natural teeth. Of course, there is one question all patients have about dental implants: are they painful?

Dental implant placement is performed under local or general anesthesia and is not considered a painful procedure. However, if the surgery is more complicated and involves bone or tissue grafts, there may be slightly more discomfort and swelling. At the same time, every patient has a different threshold for pain, so what may bother one person may not bother another. If you experience any pain from dental implants, there are several things can do to relive it.

Relieving Pain from Dental Implants

1. The initial healing phase can last up to seven to ten days. Over-the-counter painkillers such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Motrin work well to alleviate any pain or discomfort you may experience. However, only take these if instructed to by Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller.

2. Once you leave our Austin, TX office, you can reduce inflammation and any swelling to your cheek or lip by holding an ice-pack on your face over the implant area.

3. Your gum will be tender for the first few days. We often recommended that you bathe your gums with warm salt water.

4. Steer clear of crusty or hard foods for the first day or two. Ice cream, yogurt, and other soft foods are ideal as your gums will be tender.

5. Dental implants are a relatively straightforward oral procedure. Many people take time off from work to have dental implant surgery, and then return to regular activities. However, if you are feeling any pain or discomfort, there is nothing wrong with taking the day off, relaxing, and putting your feet up.

There is typically no severe post-operative pain with dental implants. When most people return for a follow-up appointment about two weeks later, they often say that getting a dental implant was one of the least painful procedures they’ve experienced.

The Intriguing History of Halloween

October 27th, 2015

Halloween is fast approaching, and Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller wanted to be sure to wish our patients a happy day, no matter how you might celebrate this holiday. The Halloween that is familiar to most people today bears little resemblance to the original Halloween; back in the "old days" it wasn't even called Halloween!

Festival of the Dead

Halloween started out as a Celtic festival of the dead that honored departed loved ones and signified a change in the cycle of the seasons. The Celtic people viewed Halloween, then called "Samhain," as a very special day – almost like our New Years day in fact, as their new calendar year began on November 1st. Samhain was the last day of autumn, so it was the time to harvest the last of the season's crops, store food away for winter, and situate livestock comfortably for the upcoming cold weather. The Celts believed that during this day, the last day of winter, the veil between this world and the spirit world is the thinnest, and that the living could communicate with departed loved ones most effectively on Samhain due to this.

Modern Halloween

Halloween as we know it today started because Christian missionaries were working to convert the Celtic people to Christianity. The Celts believed in religious concepts that were not supported by the Christian church, and these practices, which stemmed from Druidism, were perceived by the Christian church as being "devil worship" and dangerous.

When Pope Gregory the First instructed his missionaries to work at converting the Pagan people, he told them to try to incorporate some of the Pagan practices into Christian practices in a limited way. This meant that November 1st became "All Saints Day," which allowed Pagan people to still celebrate a beloved holiday without violating Christian beliefs.

Today, Halloween has evolved into a day devoted purely to fun, candy, and kids. What a change from its origins! We encourage all of our patients to have fun during the holiday, but be safe with the treats. Consider giving apples or fruit roll-ups to the kids instead of candy that is potentially damaging to the teeth and gums.

Remind kids to limit their candy and brush after eating it! Sweets can cause major tooth decay and aggrivate gum disease, so to avoid extra visits to our Austin, TX office, make your Halloween a safe one!

Alleviate Tooth Sensitivity

October 20th, 2015

If a sip of ice water, spoonful of ice cream, or piping hot latte is enough to send shivers up your spine from tooth sensitivity, be assured you are not alone. It’s estimated that as many as one in eight adults suffers from tooth sensitivity.

What causes sensitive teeth?

Some of the causes of tooth sensitivity include brushing too hard, a cracked tooth, receding gums, periodontal disease, tooth bleaching, or other conditions that expose the sensitive roots of your teeth. For example, brushing too aggressively can injure your gums, and lead to exposed roots and tooth sensitivity.

When the enamel on the outside of the tooth or tissue located between the teeth breaks down or wears away, nerves inside the tooth trigger sensitive teeth that are particularly noticeable when you drink or eat anything hot or cold.

How to alleviate tooth sensitivity

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do, both at home and at the dental office, to reduce the discomfort of sensitive teeth. Brushing with desensitizing toothpaste is one of the ways to reduce tooth sensitivity: it works well for many patients, and is typically the first course of action.

  • Brush with toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth.
  • Change the way you brush by using a soft toothbrush and not brushing too aggressively.
  • Avoid brushing teeth after consuming acidic foods and beverages, like orange juice and pickles.
  • Drink water or milk after eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages.
  • Sip through a straw when you drink acidic beverages.
  • Wear a mouthguard at night to prevent teeth grinding that wears down teeth.
  • Ask Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller about fluoride dental treatments or plastic resin.

For moderate-to-serious cases of tooth sensitivity, more invasive professional dental treatments are available. These include a bonding agent designed to seal/cover the exposed root, obtaining new gum tissue through graft (for receding gums), fillings, crowns, inlays, or bonding. When tooth sensitivity is persistent and results in hypersensitivity, endodontic treatment in the form of root canal may be recommended.

To learn more about tooth sensitivity, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, please give us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office!

Osteoporosis and Oral Health

October 13th, 2015

Today, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care thought we would examine the relationship between osteoporosis and oral health, since 40 million Americans have osteoporosis or are at high risk. Osteoporosis entails less density in bones, so they become easier to fracture. Research suggests a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw, which supports and anchors the teeth. Tooth loss affects one third of adults 65 and older.

Bone density and dental concerns

  • Women with osteoporosis are three times more likely to experience tooth loss than those without it.
  • Low bone density results in other dental issues.
  • Osteoporosis is linked to less positive outcomes from oral surgery.

Ill-fitting dentures in post-menopausal women

Studies indicate that women over 50 with osteoporosis need new dentures up to three times more often than women who don’t have the disease. It can be so severe that it becomes impossible to fit dentures correctly, leading to nutritive losses.

Role of dental X-rays in osteoporosis

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) released research that suggest dental X-rays may be used as a screening tool for osteoporosis. Researchers found that dental X-rays could separate people with osteoporosis from those with normal bone density. As dental professionals, our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care are in a unique position to screen people and refer them to the appropriate doctor for specialized care.

Effects of osteoporosis medications on oral health

A recent study showed that a rare disease, osteonecrosis, is caused by biophosphenates, a drug taken by people for treatment of osteoporosis. In most cases, the cause was linked to those who take IV biophosphenates for treatment of cancer, but in six percent of cases, the cause was oral biophosphenates. If you are taking a biophosphenate drug, let Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller know.

Symptoms of osteonecrosis

Some symptoms you may see are pain, swelling, or infection of the gums or jaw. Additionally, injured or recently treated gums may not heal: teeth will be loose, jaws may feel heavy and numb, or there may be exposed bone. Some of the steps you can take for healthy bones are to eat a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, regular physical exercise with weight-bearing activities, no smoking and limited use of alcohol, and report problems with teeth to our office, such as teeth that are loose, receding gums or detached gums, and dentures that don’t fit properly.

For more information about the connection between osteoporosis and oral health, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, please give us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office!

Year-End Insurance Reminder

October 6th, 2015

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, as well as our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care, would like to give those patients with flex spend, health savings, or insurance benefits a friendly end of the year reminder that it’s high time to schedule your dental visits so you optimize your benefit.

Now is the time to reserve your appointment with us. Space is limited and we tend to get busy around the holidays, so don’t wait to give us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office!

What type of toothpaste is right for you?

September 29th, 2015

Toothpaste no longer comes in simple choices of fluoride and fresh breath. Paste is not even the only option! You can choose gel forms and even some with ribbons of color and flavor. With so many varieties available, it may be difficult to know which features or combinations of ingredients are best for your mouth. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team are here to help!

Fluoride

The majority of all dental patients should use toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel on your teeth; it makes them stronger and more resistant to cavities. Even if you live in an area that adds fluoride to your drinking water, the fluoride protection in toothpaste is necessary.

Some individuals can have an allergic reaction to fluoride. Fluorosis can occur in children or adults that swallow too much toothpaste while brushing. If swallowing cannot be prevented, fluoride use should be reduced. The American Dental Association has updated guidelines that recommend fluoride be used as soon as the first teeth erupt in children. However, the amount should be minimal and swallowing should be prevented.

Sensitivity Protection

If your teeth are sensitive to temperatures, toothpaste with sensitivity protection can work wonders for your discomfort. Ingredients in these pastes or gels work to block the pathways to the nerves that react to hot or cold. Do not give up on this type of toothpaste after a few days; the full results may take a few weeks.

Plaque, Tartar, and Gingivitis Protection

Everyone has bacteria in his or her mouth, and this bacteria is normal. Unfortunately, some bacteria also cause plaque. If the plaque remains on your teeth, it hardens into tartar or calculus. Tartar is an almost cement-like substance that cannot be removed by brushing alone. When bacteria and tartar are left behind, the deposits will form under the gum line. This leads to gingivitis and gum disease.

Since there is a wide variety of toothpastes and ingredients for preventing tartar and gingivitis, ask Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our staff what the best choice is for your teeth. We can help you select the right combination of ingredients.

Whitening

White teeth are desirable, and manufacturers are heavily marketing whitening toothpastes. Most brands do not contain bleaching ingredients; they use abrasives to polish stains away. Unfortunately, too much abrasive use can be damaging to your teeth. If you’re interested in teeth whitening, our Austin, TX team can recommend a number of safe and effective options.

Feel free to ask Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our staff at Powell & Tiller Dental Care about the best choice in toothpaste to meet your individual needs. Remember to look for the ADA approval seal on any toothpaste you are considering.

Fluoride Use in Adolescents

September 22nd, 2015

Fluoride is a mineral that plays an essential role in oral health. In fact, the significant reduction in American tooth decay in recent decades can be attributed to a greater availability of fluoride in public water supplies, toothpaste, and other resources. When it comes in contact with the teeth, fluoride helps protect the enamel from acid and plaque bacteria. In some cases, it can even reverse tooth decay in its earliest stages.

Despite the benefits of fluoride, tooth decay is still common, especially among teenagers. The Centers for Disease Control reports that cavities can be found in more than half of young teens and two-thirds of older teens over age 16. Many of those teens are deficient in fluoride, either due to a lack of public water fluoridation or the use of bottled water. So how can parents ensure their teens are getting the fluoride they need to facilitate strong, healthy teeth?

Monitor Fluoride Exposure

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care recommend you start by measuring your teen’s fluoride exposure. Make sure you purchase fluoridated toothpaste for your household, and find out if your tap water is fluoridated. If your teen primarily consumes bottled water, examine the bottle to determine whether fluoride has been added. The majority of bottled waters are not supplemented with fluoride, but those that are will be clearly labeled.

Fluoride Supplementation

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller may recommend topical fluoride treatments at routine dental exams. These treatments are painless for your teen and may help establish stronger enamel that is more resistant to plaque and tooth decay. If you have a public water supply that is non-fluoridated, we may recommend fluoride supplementation between visits. These can be administered as drops, tablets, or vitamins.

Keep in mind that fluoride is most important for children and teens under the age of 16. Be proactive about your teen’s oral health by speaking with us about your family’s fluoride needs at your next dental visit.

For more information about fluoride, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, please give us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office!

Do adults need fluoride treatments?

September 15th, 2015

Many dentists and hygienists recommend fluoride treatments for their adult patients. You might ask yourself, “Do I really need a fluoride treatment? I thought those were just for my kids.” After all, most insurance plans cover fluoride treatments only up to the age of 18.

What you need to know as a dental consumer is that studies have shown topical fluoride applications performed by a dental professional create a significant benefit for adults who have moderate to high risk for cavities.

There are several circumstances that warrant extra fluoride protection among adults. Many prescription medications reduce saliva flow or otherwise create dry mouth. A reduction in saliva increases cavity risk.

Adults often experience gum recession, which exposes part of the root surface of teeth. These areas are softer than the hard enamel at the top of the tooth, which makes them more susceptible to decay.

In addition, adults often get restorative work such as crowns or bridges. Fluoride can help protect the margins of these restorations, ultimately protecting your investment.

Today many people opt for orthodontic treatment (braces) as adults. Braces make it more challenging for patients to maintain good oral hygiene. Just ask your kids! Fluoride can keep the teeth strong and cavity-free even with the obstacle of orthodontic appliances.

Have you had a restoration done within the last year due to new decay? If you have, that puts you at a higher risk for cavities. Fluoride treatments are a great way to prevent more cavities in patients who are already prone to them.

How is that flossing coming along? You know you should floss daily, but do you? If your oral hygiene is not ideal, fluoride could be just the thing to keep your neglect from leading to cavities between your teeth.

Fluoride can also help with the growing problem of sensitive teeth. Diets high in acidic foods and beverages, general gum recession, and increased use of whitening products all tend to produce sensitive teeth. Fluoride treatments re-mineralize tooth enamel and reduce that sensitivity.

Patients who undergo radiation treatment for cancer also benefit from topical fluoride applications. Radiation damages saliva glands, thus greatly reducing the flow of saliva. Saliva acts as a buffer against the foods we eat and beverages we drink. Once again, less saliva greatly increases the risk of cavities.

If one or more of these conditions applies to you, consider requesting a topical fluoride treatment. Be sure to ask Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller at your next appointment whether you might benefit from a topical fluoride application.

What are dental sealants and how do they work?

September 8th, 2015

A dental sealant is a liquid that is applied to the teeth. The sealant hardens and provides a protective coating that is designed to reduce cavities and create a smoother tooth surface. Dental sealants are clear or white; they do not take away from the appearance of teeth. You can think about this treatment as being similar to varnish that protects a wood floor.

Sealants are not the same as fluoride treatments. The application is similar, but sealants are a semi-permanent protective coating. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our staff recommend that sealant applications for children begin soon after molars erupt, first molars around the age of six, and second molars around the age of 12.

Simple Application

Having sealants applied is not uncomfortable at all. First, your child's teeth will be cleaned and dried. A gel is applied, which helps the sealant adhere to the tooth, and then is rinsed away. Your child's teeth are dried again and the sealant is applied. A few seconds of exposure to a light source may be used to cure the sealant and make it semi-permanent. Sealants should last for a long time, normally between five and ten years.

Sealant Benefits

The coating on the surface of your child's teeth reduces the amount of acid contact. Normal acids in foods that are consumed can eat away at the surface of teeth. Bacteria also react to plaque formation and create more acid in the mouth. These small pits or weakened areas are prone to caries or cavity formation. Preventing cavities is a much better choice than drilling and filling damaged teeth.

A sealant also helps to smooth the chewing surfaces of your childn't teeth. The smoother surface is not as likely to retain small particles of food and bacteria. Your child's mouth stays cleaner and food is not left behind to form acids. The protective application can also be used on other teeth that have a rough surface, to protect the grooves or pits from decay.

After the sealant is applied, your child still needs to take proper care of his or her teeth. Regular brushing and flossing is required. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller may recommend fluoride treatments to strengthen and protect your child's teeth further.

If you have any concerns about sealants, please discuss them with during your child's next appointment at Powell & Tiller Dental Care. We want your little one's teeth to stay healthy for life.

Labor Day: Our favorite holiday to rest!

September 1st, 2015

Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday each September here in the United States, is a holiday devoted to the American working community. The purpose of the holiday is honoring the country's workers and their contributions to the strength of our country as a whole.

How Labor Day Started

There is actually some debate as to the origins of Labor Day. It is uncertain whether Peter McGuire, a cofounder for the American Federation of Labor, or Matthew Maguire, who was the secretary of Central Labor Union of New York, had the great idea. However, the Central Labor Union's plans were what launched the first Labor Day in America.

The First Labor Day

The very first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5th, 1882. The Central Labor Union then held annual celebrations on September 5th for what they called a working man's holiday. By the year 1885, the Labor Day celebration had spread to many different industrial areas, and after that it began spreading to all industries in the United States.

Labor Day Today

Labor Day today is a huge United States holiday during which we honor the country's workers with a day of rest and relaxation or a day of picnics and parades. This holiday is truly one to honor the many people who work hard to contribute to the economic well-being of our great country!

Our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care hopes all of our patients celebrate Labor Day, and every holiday, safely and happily. Whether you stay in the Austin, TX area, or travel out of town, have fun, and don't forget to brush!

The Secret to Keeping Your Teeth for Life

August 27th, 2015

The secret to keeping your teeth for life involves more than one secret. The first is that there is no secret; and in fact, there really is no difficulty involved. Follow this simple four-step process – brush, floss, rinse, and visit our Austin, TX office regularly – and you will have healthy teeth for life!

Brush

You should brush your teeth twice a day, preferably once in the morning and once at night. Three times a day will not hurt. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and light pressure; you do not want to scrub away your gums or tooth enamel.

Brush for a minimum of two minutes, and carefully clean all tooth surfaces. Three minutes is better. Use quality toothpaste; Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our staff can recommend the best type for your needs. Keep your toothbrush clean and replace it about every three months.

Floss

Make flossing part of your daily routine, at least once a day. Flossing is important for more than just removing food particles between your teeth. The process also helps to remove bacteria that you cannot see. Bacterial build-up turns into plaque, or calculus: a cement-like substance that cannot be removed by brushing alone.

Use floss gently; you do not want to cut your gums. There are many different types of flosses and flossing tools. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our staff will be happy to help you find the style that works best for you.

Rinse

Mouthwash does more than freshen your breath. Rinses help kill the bacteria that lead to plaque formation and gum disease. This extra step can go a long way toward having healthy teeth for life.

Keep your appointments

You should have a professional cleaning at Powell & Tiller Dental Care twice a year. Some patients benefit from more frequent cleanings. Your hygienist will remove any plaque build-up to prevent gingivitis, which left untreated becomes full-blown gum disease. Periodontitis leads to tooth loss.

You also need to see Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller twice a year for a teeth and mouth exam. We can find problems such as cavities, and treat them before the situation becomes critical. Ask our Austin, TX team any questions you have; together we can make your teeth last for life.

HPV and Oral Cancer

August 25th, 2015

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is best known as a sexually transmitted infection. In the United States, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease, with 79 million Americans currently infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to increasing risk for cervical cancer, HPV is a contributing factor in some cases of oral cancer. Each year an estimated 1,700 women and 6,700 men develop oropharyngeal cancer, which affects the tongue and throat.

Connection between HPV and oral cancer

There are more than 40 strains of HPV that live in the skin and mucosal areas. Some of these affect the genitalia, while others are found in the mouth and throat. Of the strains of oral HPV, only one, called HPV16, increases the risk of oral cancer, the Oral Cancer Foundation reports. A retrospective study conducted found that oral cancer developed an average of 15 years after exposure to HPV, making it a relatively slow-growing form of cancer.

In general, 80% of Americans will have an HPV infection at some point in their lifetimes, while 99% develop no ill effects. Getting oral HPV is associated with multiple sexual partners and engaging in oral sex; however, even some individuals who have been with only one partner may contract the infection. Although overall risk of oral cancer from HPV infection is low, it is essential to be proactive about oral health.

How to prevent HPV-related oral cancer

Scientists continue to study how HPV infections lead to oral cancer, so little is known about the progression of the disease. However, one recent study found that poor oral health, including gum disease and poor oral hygiene, is associated with oral cancer risk. Thus, being vigilant about brushing and flossing your teeth regularly may reduce HPV-related oral cancer. Getting the HPV vaccine also protects against the oral form of the virus.

Another key way to reduce mortality from oral cancer is to have regularly scheduled appointments with at Powell & Tiller Dental Care. Having Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller examine your mouth at least two times a year increases the likelihood that a sign of oral cancer, such as a sore or patch, will be detected. If you’re concerned about HPV-related oral cancer, please give us a call at our Austin, TX office for advice about oral hygiene and disease prevention.

Don’t procrastinate about dental work!

August 20th, 2015

When you have dental issues or just need routine care, you may try to put off making an appointment at Powell & Tiller Dental Care. Common reasons for procrastination are not having the time or fear of pain. Avoiding Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller is not a good idea, though. Putting off dental care can turn small problems into large ones. Short appointments turn into long ones with significantly more work and expense.

What happens when you wait?

The small cavity that could have been filled easily has turned into a large cavity. The larger the cavity, the more work required to fill it. However, this is only a minor problem compared to more advanced issues. The minor toothache you are trying to ignore could be a small fracture or an abscess. Small fractures can sometimes be repaired, but if you wait and the fracture increases, you may need to get a crown.

An abscess can be treated in the early stages. Ignoring an abscessed tooth may lead to root damage and the need for a root canal. Infection can spread to other teeth, which multiplies the damage. These treatments will require more of your time than you would have spent taking care of the problem early.

Perhaps you are just putting off a routine cleaning. Even if you brush, rinse, and floss the way you are supposed to, you need a professional cleaning at Powell & Tiller Dental Care. Plaque that is left behind hardens into calculus or tartar that you cannot remove by yourself. A build-up of calculus can also lead to gum disease.

Unfortunately, avoiding appointments due to a lack of time may mean that you have to give up substantially more time later on. You also can experience needless pain from tooth problems. It’s always best to visit Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller for regularly scheduled cleanings and exams to ensure your smile stays healthy and beautiful.

Stress and Your Oral Health

July 28th, 2015

Stress symptoms—which include high blood pressure, severe aches, and insomnia—may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is the culprit when in fact stress may actually be the reason. While stress can be good for us sometimes, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team know stress can be physically harmful. But what is often overlooked is that stress can also take a toll on your mouth. Here’s how:

Teeth Grinding

It’s not uncommon for people dealing with stress to develop teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. People who grind their teeth at night may do so unconsciously, but the condition requires treatment to prevent the development of headaches, TMJ, and tooth damage. If you’re a night-grinder, talk to Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller. We may recommend a night guard.

Mouth Sores

Research suggests stress and depression harm your immune system, making it easier for infections to develop and stick around. That can mean canker sores or a cold sore outbreak. If mouth sores are a recurring problem for you, give us a call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller.

Bad Habits

Stress can lead to bad oral health habits such as smoking, drinking, and neglecting your daily brushing and flossing routine. If you’ve been feeling under pressure lately, try to keep up with your oral health routine—it will serve you well when your stress levels return to normal.

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care know there’s not always an easy way to reduce your stress levels, but eating healthy, exercising regularly, and spending time with friends and family are all good places to start.

Don’t let a dental emergency ruin your summer vacation!

July 7th, 2015

For many of our patients at Powell & Tiller Dental Care, summer means a season of relaxation, vacation, and outdoor fun and activities. While you can’t take a vacation from dental emergencies, you can always be prepared for anything that can happen. Today, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team thought we would give our patients a few tips on handling a dental emergency when you’re far from home (and our office).

Throbbing Toothache – Try brushing and flossing to ease the pain; the issue could be simply that a piece of food is nestled in an uncomfortable spot between your teeth. If that is the case, try to gently remove the object with dental floss. If it still hurts, stick to soft foods, try an over-the-counter pain reliever, or dip a cotton ball in clove oil and insert it on the affected area until you can get to a local dentist.

Bitten Lip or Tongue – Clean the area gently with a cloth and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, go to a hospital emergency room immediately.

Lost Filling or Crown – Dental wax will work to keep the sharp edges of your tooth from bothering you. If you can, save the crown or filling, and if you happen to have denture adhesive handy, you can use it to temporarily reattach the crown until you can get to a local dentist.

Broken Tooth – Hold the tooth by the crown and rinse off the root of the tooth in water if it’s dirty. If possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If that isn’t possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk and get to a local dentist as quickly as possible.

Broken Jaw – Apply cold compresses to control swelling. Visit a hospital emergency room as soon as possible.

If you have a dental emergency after regular office hours and you happen to be in town, please give us a call. If you are calling us after hours, please follow the emergency prompts to contact Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller.

Happy Fourth of July!

June 30th, 2015

Happy Independence Day from Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and team! The Fourth of July celebrations in America may have changed a lot over the years, but there is no doubt that we Americans love to celebrate the anniversary of our country's independence! Today we're devoting the Powell & Tiller Dental Care blog to some fun facts about the Fourth!

  • My, how we have grown! This year the United States Census Bureau estimates that our country has 313.9 million residents celebrating the Fourth of July this year, but back in 1776 there were just 2.5 million members of the country.
  • Our country loves to show how proud that we are of our independence. Did you know that there are 31 United States places with the word “Liberty” in their names? The state of Iowa actually has four towns with the word Liberty in the name: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty, and West Liberty.
  • The United States loves Fourth of July food! It is expected that around 150 million hot dogs are eaten on the Fourth each year. One of the Fourth's most popular sides, potato salad, goes just perfectly with the hotdogs and hamburgers that are standard Fourth of July fare. Some people choose potato chips instead, but we wouldn't have such a plethora of potatoes if not for the prodigious production of the states of Idaho and Washington -- they provide about half of all the potatoes in the United States today!
  • Americans love celebrating the Fourth outdoors: About 74 million Americans fire up their BBQ grill every Fourth of July.
  • The Chinese contribution: Did you know that Americans have spent more than $211 million on fireworks that were imported from China?

No matter how your family chooses to celebrate the Fourth, stay safe, take precautions, and don't forget to brush after your fabulous Fourth feast!

Ten Fun Things to Do with Your Old Toothbrush

June 23rd, 2015

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our staff recommend that you replace your worn-out, germy toothbrush with a new one every three months. But most people either forget or resist getting rid of something that is still “working.”

Maybe if they had a few ideas for putting that old toothbrush to good use, more people would take our advice? To encourage good oral practices, we offer these ten fun things you can do with your used toothbrush:

1. Let your five-year-old budding Da Vinci create a masterpiece with some paint and your old toothbrush.

2. Scrub oily areas on your face with your toothbrush. The bristles are perfect for removing embedded dirt and oil that clogs pores.

3. Pamper your hamster by brushing his fur with an old toothbrush.

4. Dab a bit of Vaseline on the bristles and comb your eyelashes: instant glamour! Got dry, flaky lips? Slough away by using a toothbrush on your lips.

5. Remove the bristles: instant small plant stakes!

6. Old toothbrushes are great for spot-cleaning just about anything.

7. When nobody is around to scratch an unreachable itch on your back, turn that old toothbrush into your personal backscratcher.

8. Is your dog’s breath so bad that all your houseplants have died? Try brushing his teeth with your old toothbrush so that his kisses (and breath) are more tolerable.

9. Give your fish the cleanest tank in the neighborhood by scrubbing it with your old toothbrush.

10. Did you notice a few gray hairs sprouting from your hairline this morning? Old toothbrushes were made for touch-up dye jobs; works for dyeing your eyebrows, too!

Headaches: The Dental Connection

June 16th, 2015

Many people suffer through headaches for years without getting to the root cause of their problem. If you find yourself constantly popping painkillers to get through the day, it might be worth a trip to see a medical professional – but it may not be the person you think.

Talking to Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller can be a great start when dealing with chronic headaches, because dental issues frequently contribute to head pain. In fact, the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain estimates that 80% of headaches are caused by muscle tension, which often originates in the jaws.

What Do Tension Headaches Feel Like?

A tension headache can originate on one side of your head or can pervade your entire skull. Typically, tension headaches feel like a dull, throbbing ache inside your head. Some patients at our Austin, TX office report that they feel as though a metal band has been wrapped around their head and is causing significant pressure. Several common symptoms suggest that tension headaches may be caused by dental issues:

  1. Feeling as though your head or scalp is painful to the merest touch
  2. Experiencing a dull or throbbing pain behind the eyes
  3. Clicking or popping sounds in your jaw joints
  4. Grinding teeth or clenching the jaws, particularly in times of anxiety or during the night
  5. Feeling as though your jaw muscles are sore when you wake up from sleep

Dental Origins of Headaches

Several dozen muscles control your facial expressions, jaw movements, and motions such as swallowing. When these muscles are contracted for long periods of time, tension builds up within the muscle and can lead to headaches. This may happen if you clench or grind your teeth at night, your bite is misaligned, or you have muscle imbalances in the jaw or neck.

Dental Treatments for Tension Headaches

Fortunately, a trip to Powell & Tiller Dental Care can be a fruitful way to alleviate your headaches, including the following treatments:

  1. Bite. In many cases, correcting your bite through orthodontics releases the stress on your jaw and muscles, and reduces the frequency of headaches.
  2. Nightguard. A nightguard, which resembles a sports mouthguard, may also be helpful if you frequently grind your teeth or clench your jaws during sleep. Nightguards distribute the tension from your clenched jaws and reduce the possibility of dental damage.
  3. Physical therapy and relaxation. Correcting the posture of your shoulders, neck, and head may alleviate muscle tension associated with headaches.

Oral Health Problems: An indicator of overall health problems?

June 10th, 2015

If you are like many people, you might think of your oral health as separate from your overall health. After all, most dental coverage plans are distinct from health care coverage. However, your oral health goes far beyond being able to chew nutritious and enjoyable foods. Oral health problems may be an indicator of a variety of other health problems.

Links between Oral Health and Overall Health

In the late 1980s, researchers noticed a trend among patients who had recently suffered from heart attacks. As the Journal of the American Dental Association reported, they observed that these patients were more likely to have dental caries or cavities, periodontitis or inflammation around the tooth, and other forms of gum disease. Later studies found similar results, and dentists and doctors now recognize poor oral health as a risk factor for a variety of heart conditions, such as heart attacks, atherosclerosis, and coronary heart disease.

There are even more links between oral health problems and overall health problems. Some individuals do not find out that they have Type 2 diabetes until a dentist sees that they have periodontitis. If you have diabetes, worsening periodontitis can indicate that your diabetes is not under control.

Poor oral health is also associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, poor oral health puts you at higher risk for respiratory infections, such as pneumonia, because harmful pathogens can enter your body through your mouth.

Take Care of Your Teeth

Keeping your teeth healthy remains important, especially as you grow older. Older adults are more prone to dental caries and other oral health problems, as well as to chronic diseases. While taking care of your oral health might not prevent a specific disease, a healthy mouth is a significant factor in your overall health.

You can take care of your teeth by continuing to brush twice a day and floss every day. Avoid consuming too many sugary and starchy foods, and drink water after each meal or snack to rinse your teeth. See Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller for regular checkups, and contact Powell & Tiller Dental Care if you have any concerns about your teeth or gums.

Oral Health Problems: An indicator of overall health problems?

June 10th, 2015

If you are like many people, you might think of your oral health as separate from your overall health. After all, most dental coverage plans are distinct from health care coverage. However, your oral health goes far beyond being able to chew nutritious and enjoyable foods. Oral health problems may be an indicator of a variety of other health problems.

Links between Oral Health and Overall Health

In the late 1980s, researchers noticed a trend among patients who had recently suffered from heart attacks. As the Journal of the American Dental Association reported, they observed that these patients were more likely to have dental caries or cavities, periodontitis or inflammation around the tooth, and other forms of gum disease. Later studies found similar results, and dentists and doctors now recognize poor oral health as a risk factor for a variety of heart conditions, such as heart attacks, atherosclerosis, and coronary heart disease.

There are even more links between oral health problems and overall health problems. Some individuals do not find out that they have Type 2 diabetes until a dentist sees that they have periodontitis. If you have diabetes, worsening periodontitis can indicate that your diabetes is not under control.

Poor oral health is also associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, poor oral health puts you at higher risk for respiratory infections, such as pneumonia, because harmful pathogens can enter your body through your mouth.

Take Care of Your Teeth

Keeping your teeth healthy remains important, especially as you grow older. Older adults are more prone to dental caries and other oral health problems, as well as to chronic diseases. While taking care of your oral health might not prevent a specific disease, a healthy mouth is a significant factor in your overall health.

You can take care of your teeth by continuing to brush twice a day and floss every day. Avoid consuming too many sugary and starchy foods, and drink water after each meal or snack to rinse your teeth. See Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller for regular checkups, and contact Powell & Tiller Dental Care if you have any concerns about your teeth or gums.

June is National Smile Month: Show off your smile!

June 2nd, 2015

The community health awareness group Oral Health America has reported that 82 percent of adults are unaware of the role that infectious bacteria can play in tooth decay or cavities, and almost three out of five children aged 12 to 19 have tooth decay. Since June is National Smile Month, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care thought we’d remind our patients about the importance of good oral hygiene visits between office visits.

To keep your family’s smiles healthy and beautiful for years to come, be sure to:

  • Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss every day to clean between your teeth
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Visit Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller for scheduled appointments

If you want to know more about healthy home care habits, feel free to ask our team at your next appointment, or ask us on Facebook!

What are the five things I should do in between visits?

May 26th, 2015

When it comes to keeping your smile looking its best, good oral hygiene is a must! Good oral health habits should start early and continue throughout your lifetime. Here, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care suggest five habits worth adopting that will help keep your teeth healthy:

  • Brush and floss regularly. Brush gently at least twice a day, paying special attention to the gum line to rid your mouth of food and bacteria that may lurk in between your teeth. Floss at least once a day. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
  • Make regular visits to see Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller. Regular checkups (twice yearly) will help diagnose any dental problems early on when they can be more easily treated.
  • Stop smoking. Did you know smokers are four times as likely as nonsmokers to develop periodontal (gum) disease? Tobacco, whether in the form of cigarettes, pipes, cigars, or chewable tobacco, increases oral and throat cancer risks, and raises the risk for candidiasis, an oral fungal infection. Smokeless tobacco contains sugar, which furthers your risk for cavities.
  • Limit your alcohol intake. Heavy drinking dramatically increases the risk of developing mouth and throat cancers.
  • Eat healthy. Avoid snacking on foods that contain high levels of sugar or starch. We encourage you to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are known to help stimulate the flow of saliva to re-mineralize tooth surfaces and neutralize cavity-causing bacteria.

To learn more about the habits you should practice in between your visits to Powell & Tiller Dental Care, or to schedule an appointment, please give us a call today!

Memorial Day: Parades, remembrance, and the unofficial start of summer!

May 19th, 2015

“The purpose of all war is peace.” - Saint Augustine

Fire truck sirens, baton twirlers, marching bands covering patriotic tunes, colorful floats, costumes, and millions of red, white, and blue American flags being waved in the air on a beautiful day in late May, that is what Memorial Day is all about. It is a federal holiday celebrated with town parades, remembrance, and a sense of unity and community togetherness.

Our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care wants to take this time to wish you and your family a happy Memorial Day, as well as pause for a moment to reflect on what this holiday means and how it has changed over time. No, this is not a history lesson, but just a couple of thoughts and observances for you to take with you on your way to the next barbecue.

On the last Monday in May, America observes Memorial Day as a time to remember and celebrate the men and women who have lost their lives while serving our country in the Armed Forces. The holiday originated after the Civil War; at that time it was known as Decoration Day. While holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter remain the same from year to year, Memorial Day has changed over time, and in the 21st century we observe a far different holiday than what Americans did after the Civil War, or even the World Wars.

While many people place flags at cemeteries and visit national memorials in order to honor those who have passed away serving the country, Memorial Day is also a time for family barbecues, pool parties, trips to the beach, blockbuster movies, long weekend getaways, and fireworks. In America, Memorial Day has come to represent the unofficial start of the summer – a long, sunny, warm weekend devoted to family togetherness, outdoor events, and community.

It is time to load up the potato salad and the apple pie and head over to the neighbor’s house for their annual barbecue. And yes, contrary to popular belief, we do eat sweets, especially homemade apple pie! Everything in moderation, of course.

So whether you’re in the Austin, TX area or beyond, Happy Memorial Day to you and yours from Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller!

When should a filling be replaced?

May 12th, 2015

There is no substitution for a natural healthy tooth. Dental fillings are intended to replace tooth structure and restore a tooth damaged by decay (a cavity) back to its normal function and shape. Silver (amalgam) and tooth-colored (composite) fillings last a long time, though they can develop decay when the integrity is compromised by open margins, fracture, or recurrent decay. In this blog, we discuss the signs and symptoms that indicate your filling may need to be replaced in order to prevent further complications.

Amalgam fillings are made of an alloy (mixed metals) that expands and contracts. They have no bonding properties, and so to place an amalgam filling, the hole in the tooth may need to be larger. Because of these two factors, fractures frequently occur. There are three types of cracks that are commonly associated. Craze lines are superficial with no treatment needed. Fractures extend along other parts of the tooth and may require a filling replacement or crown. Cracks extend toward the root and can require a root canal and crown or, if too severe, extraction.

A filing needs to be sealed to the tooth. If the seal between the tooth and the filling breaks down, food debris and bacteria can seep down under the filling and cause recurrent decay. If the decay is treated early, replacing the filling is adequate. If not, a crown and even a root canal may be needed. The biggest mistake you can make is waiting to do something about a broken or unsealed filling until it is painful. Doing this will only make the treatment more involved and often times more expensive.

Regular dental exams and X-rays are used to evaluate dental fillings. You will not be able to tell on your own when your fillings start to fail. Just as a car mechanic will change the oil, correct your alignment, or change your tires, a dental checkup will help you identify small concerns to fix as you go in order to avoid a critical emergency.

Pay attention to any bite or temperature sensitivity in teeth that have fillings. This can be an indicator for some of the problems listed above. You know your teeth better than anyone. Your observations are most valuable when evaluating a filling for replacement. If replacement is needed, know you are doing what is best to prevent future dental calamities and make an appointment to see Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller.

May Marks National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

May 5th, 2015

The merry month of May also happens to be National Fitness and Sports Month, so take advantage of the warmer days to get outside and exercise! Bringing a friend, family member, or coworker with you when you go for a brisk walk during a lunch break can provide an opportunity to socialize as well as health benefits. If you need a little more motivation, here are some good reasons to stay active and fit.

Exercise provides:

  • Improved stamina and energy as well as toned muscles and bone strength and density
  • Improved circulation and breathing for a healthier heart and lungs
  • Reduced risk for Type 2 diabetes and certain forms of cancer
  • For older adults, regular exercise may help improve balance and reduce the risk of falls as well as improved cognitive abilities

Children and Teens

Children and teenagers spend long hours at their desks in school, on the computer, watching television, and involved in other sedentary activities that result in obesity and poor health later in life. Getting them engaged in school or community sports teams can help them form good life-long exercise habits. One important note: If they are participating in contact sports, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care recommend your kids wear an approved mouthguard to protect those valuable teeth from injury! Ask us for a proper fitting of your safety appliance during your next visit!

A gym membership is nice but not necessary to stay fit; try these easy ways to work some exercise into your daily routine.

At Home

  • Take a friend along for company on a walk through your neighborhood.
  • Pursue gardening or other yard work, including mowing or raking.
  • Take your kids on a bike ride or have them push a baby stroller around the block.

Couch potatoes take note: simply moving from the sofa to the floor for some sit-ups, leg-lifts, or push-ups while you’re watching television can help you get in better shape in no time.

At Work

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Take exercise breaks for walks around the building or parking lot.
  • Walk or ride a bike to work.

So what are you waiting for? Get moving!

For more information on exercise techniques, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, please give us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office!

Adults Can Get Cavities Too

April 28th, 2015

Sure, you brush your teeth and floss regularly, so you might think you’re off the hook when it comes to the dental chair. However, it’s just as important for adults to get regular dental exams as it is for kids. Cavities are common among adults, with 92% of people aged 18 to 64 having had cavities in their permanent teeth, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

How cavities form

Our mouths are teeming with hundreds of types of bacteria. Some are helpful and maintain good health, while others are harmful. Certain types of bacteria process the sugars in food and release acid in return. Although minor decay can be naturally reversed by your body, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care will tell you that eventually the acid wears away the enamel and creates small holes in the surface of teeth.

Cavity prevention for adults

Some people are naturally more prone to cavities than others. However, making a few lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce your likelihood of developing cavities.

  • Food choices. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables increases saliva production, and reduces cavity risk. It is also important to avoid foods that get stuck in the ridges of your teeth. Candy, cookies, and chips should be eaten sparingly.
  • Beverages. Most people know that drinking soda contributes to tooth decay. However, fruit juices and energy drinks also contain large amounts of sugar. Whenever possible, replace these sugary beverages with tea or water, which rinses your mouth and prevents decay.
  • Fluoridated water. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring chemical that facilitates enamel growth. Most municipal water supplies are fortified with fluoride, so drinking tap water is a great way to keep teeth healthy. People with well water may use fluoridated toothpaste or other supplemental forms of fluoride to decrease cavity risk.
  • Brush teeth and floss frequently. Gently brushing teeth several times a day removes the harmful bacteria that cause cavities to develop. If possible, brush your teeth after each meal or when drinking sugary beverages. Flossing regularly removes small particles that get trapped between teeth, which further decreases tooth decay.

One of the most important steps in cavity prevention is visiting your dentist at least twice a year. Consistent dental exams ensure that cavities are caught early, before they cause major damage to your teeth.

For more information about avoiding cavities, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, please give us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office!

Make Every Day Earth Day

April 21st, 2015

Earth Day began in 1970 as an event to raise awareness of our environment. What began as a single day in April is now recognized around the world to bring attention and education to global environmental issues. Conserving our natural resources, reducing water and air pollution, and developing green technologies are all ways in which we can improve the environment around us.

Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse

One of the easiest ways to participate in Earth Day is by simply reducing the amount of refuse that ends up in landfills. Many communities have recycling programs for paper, plastic, and metal refuse. By keeping recyclable items out of landfills, we reduce the need for new disposal space and the amount of energy needed for burning refuse. Recycling products also helps conserve the resources that are used in making new products.

You can save money by reducing your consumption of many everyday products. Single disposable water bottles can be recycled but they are costly. By using filtered faucet water, you can conserve your financial resources. Disposable paper towels can also be wasteful. Consider reusable cleaning rags for the majority of your chores.

Reusing items saves both the environment and your finances. A large number of products can be re-purposed to create a new item. Old furniture can be remade into a new piece. Old clothing can be used for craft items. If you are not able to find ways to reuse your old items, donate them to a charity. Remember to continue your positive environmental steps on a daily basis.

Other things you can do to improve the environment

Everyone, young or old, can find ways to participate in improving the environment. Some ideas include:

  • Planting trees
  • Picking up litter
  • Reducing energy consumption
  • Walking, bicycling, or carpooling to work or school
  • Disposing of hazardous waste properly
  • Using rain barrels to conserve water for plants

Earth Day is designed to appreciate and celebrate the health of the earth. Keeping the earth healthy is important, but keeping your mouth healthy is important, too. Healthy teeth and gums contribute to your overall health and well-being, so remember to call our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care to schedule an appointment. Have a happy and healthy Earth Day, from Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller!

Energy Drinks and Dental Health

April 14th, 2015

Are energy drinks bad for your teeth? Many of our patients at Powell & Tiller Dental Care ask us this question, so here’s the scoop.

Energy drinks have been on the rise, taking up more and more space on grocery store shelves. Drinks such as Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, Monster Assault, Rockstar, and the like promise to jump-start your day, give you more energy, and help you feel more alert. But they also do a lot more than that. Turns out, they do a pretty good job of stripping your teeth of enamel, which is a very bad thing.

Many of these energy drinks are loaded with a lot of citric acid. In addition, they are laden with preservatives (not to mention sugar), not only to enhance flavor, but extend shelf life. While enamel loss, tooth decay, teeth sensitivity, and cavities cannot be blamed entirely on energy drinks (improper oral hygiene at home and lack of professional dental care also play a role), they can wreak havoc on the health of your teeth and gums, especially when consumed in more than moderation. Over time, energy drinks can strip enamel, which is the outer layer that protects your teeth.

What can you do?

Although Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team aren't recommending you drink energy drinks at all, if you must drink one occasionally, there are a few things you can do to minimize the damage to your teeth.

  • Drink through a straw.
  • Don’t hold the drink in your mouth before swallowing.
  • Rinse your mouth with water immediately after drinking this kind of beverage. Water helps both to neutralize the acid and to increase the production of saliva.
  • Chew sugar-free gum immediately after, to increase saliva production.
  • Don’t brush your teeth right after drinking an energy drink. Wait at least an hour instead, because the combination of the acid and brushing will further damage tooth enamel.

The best advice is to refrain from drinking energy drinks altogether. One of the best hydrators is water. Water is a natural energy-booster and hydrator, and it doesn’t contain calories.

Give us a call today at our Austin, TX  office if you have any questions or concerns about energy drinks and dental health. We can provide additional tips and a treatment plan to help reduce enamel loss, eliminate tooth sensitivity, and repair cavities and tooth decay as a result of drinking energy drinks.

Dental Visits Are Not So Bad

April 7th, 2015

Many people dread going to the dentist. Dental visits have the reputation of being painful and uncomfortable, and it is common for people to compare unfortunate situations such as having a root canal or feeling the dentist’s drill. However, at Powell & Tiller Dental Care, dental visits are not that bad.

Your regular cleaning and checkup are noninvasive. They require no drilling, Novocain, or needles, and you go home with refreshingly clean teeth. When your hygienist cleans your teeth, you are literally receiving individualized care from a professional as you sit back and relax.

In the days before the use of Novocain or other anesthetics, dental work could be painful. Thankfully, those days are gone! Now you are unlikely to feel a thing, even during the most extensive procedures. In addition, most dental work such as fillings, root canals, and crowns can be performed in one to two visits, so you do not need to keep returning to Powell & Tiller Dental Care.

An incentive for getting over your fear and coming to the dentist is that getting your dental work done can dramatically improve your quality of life. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller can address tooth problems that have caused toothaches or prevented you from eating the foods you like. As a bonus, regular visits with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our staff allow us to identify conditions such as periodontal disease, which can indicate risk for seemingly unrelated health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

What exactly is tinnitus?

March 31st, 2015

It’s estimated that about one in every five people is affected by tinnitus, which is a ringing or noise in the ears. But tinnitus isn’t a condition in itself; it’s actually the symptom of an underlying condition. Some of these underlying conditions could be hearing loss, injury to the ear, or some sort of circulatory disorder.

Another common cause if tinnitus is a dental injury or dental issue, whether it involves the jaw or the temporomandibular joint, better known as the TMJ. “Somatic tinnitus” is the term given to the version that is attributable to injuries to the head or neck area. Symptoms of somatic tinnitus may include noticeable fluctuations in sound volume, intermittency, headaches, memory loss or increased forgetfulness, and an increased likelihood of being depressed or sad.

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller will tell you tinnitus usually isn’t serious and is more common in older populations. For that reason, many people won’t even seek an answer to what’s causing it. But people can also experience more severe cases of tinnitus that can affect a person’s ability to complete everyday activities, which has a larger impact on their lives. For people facing these more severe cases of tinnitus, treatment may be necessary to increase their quality of life. It’s also worth noting that tinnitus seems to worsen with age, so while symptoms might not be a problem one year, they may be more significant and distracting the next.

If you have tinnitus that is caused by the misalignment of the TMJ or an injury to the mouth, that’s a condition that can be corrected by Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care. We will work to relieve your symptoms by realigning the jaw or adjusting your bite with routine dental care. Sometimes we won’t even have to go this far, because an oral infection or gum infection may be causing your problem. We might also recommend other life changes, such as dietary adjustments and medication.

If you're experiencing tinnitus-like symptoms and have ruled out various other reasons for it, contact our Austin, TX office today. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team will carefully analyze your situation and put you on a treatment course so that you can kick the symptoms for good.

Toothache: A dentist or the emergency room?

March 24th, 2015

Emergency care dentists are equipped to handle any tooth emergency. Seeing us first takes less time than having to sit in a hospital emergency room, only to be told to see a dentist. When dental emergencies occur, seek emergency care with Powell & Tiller Dental Care as soon as possible. We are prepared and equipped for any type of dental emergency: day or night, seven days a week, we stand ready to advise and treat you with great dental care.

There are several types of dental emergencies, but only one or two should require a hospital emergency room visit. If you suspect you have a broken jaw or nose, emergency medical attention is required. For pain associated with teeth and gums or injury to a tooth, Powell & Tiller Dental Care is the better choice. Dental pain almost always becomes worse without treatment, and can create other serious health issues.

If a tooth has been traumatized or knocked out of your mouth, our team can treat the sensitive nerves and tissues that could be damaged. If you can replace the tooth quickly enough, chances are it can be saved. There are certain precautions to take during a dental emergency that could help preserve a tooth until you can see our professional dentists for emergency dental care.

Call our Austin, TX office at the first onset of pain. If you have lost a tooth, crown, or filling, try to keep the tooth or restoration moist. Teeth are strong, but they will crack and shift after an injury or the loss of a bridge or crown. If the crack extends to the root, or the loss of a tooth or crown leaves sensitive tissue or nerves exposed, the pain can be excruciating. Our emergency care dentists will always treat your pain immediately upon examination, and fix the problem or advise you of a plan to address the cause of the pain.

Make your appointment immediately if you have suffered an accident-causing tooth injury. If the pain is the result of decay or cavities, medication for infection may be necessary. Depending on the extent of the decay, a filling, extraction, or root canal may be recommended. These treatments are not available in a hospital emergency room, but can be completed quickly and comfortably at Powell & Tiller Dental Care .

Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day

March 17th, 2015

Millions of people, around Austin, TX and beyond, wear green on St. Patrick’s Day so they can show their spirit for the holiday and avoid getting pinched. While it may be easy for you to throw on a green shirt, sport a St. Patrick’s Day button, or wear a pair of emerald-hued shoes, if you’re an avid St. Patty’s Day enthusiast you may want to try something different this year. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller thought of a few ideas that will help you take your holiday spirit to the next level:

Visit Chicago’s Green River

If you happen to be near the Windy City during St. Patrick’s Day or you’re thinking of planning a trip, don’t miss out on going downtown to watch the large-scale celebration that kicks off when the city dyes the river bright green. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago has been celebrating the holiday with this tradition for more than 50 years, with tens of thousands of people gathering annually to witness the mysterious dying process and the stunning result.

Don Green Face Paint

Just like an avid sports fan on game day, you can use green face paints to showcase your enthusiasm for this holiday. Avoid breakouts or allergic reactions by only using paints that are specifically meant to be applied to the skin. A little bit of face paint can cover a large area, so feel free to get creative and decorate the whole family on St. Patrick’s Day.

Eat Green All Day

Not a fan of green eggs and ham? With the increasing popularity of green smoothies, there’s no better time to get in on this health craze. To create a green smoothie without the aid of food coloring, you can simply blend a generous amount of a leafy green vegetable, such as spinach or kale, with the ingredients that you would typically use to make a smoothie, like fruit, ice, milk, or juice. Keep the trend going throughout the day by using those same vegetables to create a green soup, egg salad, or a batch of bright green pastries. As an added bonus, you’ll get a healthy dose of vitamins without changing the taste of most of these foods.

If your old holiday routine has gotten stale, leave your green T-shirt in the drawer and try one or all of these tips. Don’t be surprised if you have so much fun that you decide to start a new, annual St. Patrick’s Day tradition! Have a happy St. Paddy’s day from Powell & Tiller Dental Care!

Germs living on my toothbrush? Say it ain’t so!

March 10th, 2015

You may have heard talk about the germs that can reside on your toothbrush and thought, “really?”

It’s true—there are several kinds of bacteria that can lurk on the bristles of your toothbrush, including streptococci, staphylococci, Herpes Simplex I, and the Influenza virus. To protect your toothbrush from bacteria, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team want you to consider the following three tips:

  • Wash your hands before and after brushing.
  • Allow the brush to air dry after each use, as harmful bacteria dies after being exposed to oxygen. It is best to disinfect your toothbrush weekly and allow it to dry in between use. Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or after being ill. Worn bristles are less effective in properly cleaning your teeth, and can actually be damaging to teeth if used too long!

We hope these tips help! Feel free to give us a call at our Austin, TX office or ask us on Facebook if you have any questions!

Are your teeth ready for the big day?

March 3rd, 2015

Capturing the Moment

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care we know that just about anyone who has taken on the challenge of planning her own wedding could tell you how important the little details can be. Things like having complementary colors, the right location, show-stopping flowers, and delicious food are all a big part of planning your spring wedding. Another little detail that has a big "I do" related role? Your smile.

Whether you’re the bride, or an attendant, looking your best when you tie the knot (or help someone tie the knot) is essential. If your teeth aren’t ready to make an entrance, turning to one of the many available teeth whitening solutions is a great option.

Reliable Solutions

Before the wedding day arrives, you should take your smile into consideration. If diet and daily wear-and-tear have caused your teeth to lose their original luster, our team can help! In-office procedures do cost more than kits you use at home, but with an in-office treatment, you benefit from a professional taking proper care of your teeth.

In addition, relying on our office to handle teeth whitening before the wedding can give you access to trustworthy advice on how to keep your teeth looking their best for a longer period of time. It’s common for someone experienced in assisting people with their oral health to suggest investing in an in-office whitening technique and then following up with a teeth-whitening kit at home.

This is a season of new beginnings and beauty. Take the time to bring out your most beautiful smile before the big day. Don’t let your smile hold you back on your wedding. With our in-office teeth whitening, you can be sure that you’ll be more confident and comfortable interacting with friends and family. So remember, when in need of some quality oral care in Austin, TX to think of Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller!

Drill-Free Dentistry with Air Abrasion

February 24th, 2015

Do you dread the dentist? Do you hate the sound of the drill, fear anesthesia or needles, and put off your regular checkups because you dread being told you will have to undergo dental procedures? Then drill-free air abrasion dentistry is for you. Air abrasion is a drill-free technique used by Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller to remove tooth decay, prepare teeth for bonding, and remove old fillings and stains. It is particularly appropriate for young children or people with dental anxiety, because it is sound- and vibration-free. It allows the creation of a relaxing atmosphere, requires less anesthesia in many cases, and involves much less noise.

How does drill-free dentistry work?

Air abrasion is like a mini sandblaster; it sprays away decay-causing tartar and plaque. Tartar and plaque is removed by a fine stream of particles, comprised of silica, aluminum oxide, or a baking soda mixture, which is sprayed toward the tooth by compressed air or a gas in a dental hand-piece. The debris is then suctioned away.

Advantages of air abrasion dentistry

  • Leaves more of the healthy tooth matter
  • Reduces the risk of chipping or fracturing the tooth
  • Generates no heat, sound, vibration, or pressure
  • Reduces the need for anesthesia
  • Is a relatively simple, quick procedure
  • Allows treatment of multiple teeth in one visit
  • Is a relatively dry procedure, which allows for easy placement of composite fillings

Drill-free dentistry can go a long way to easing your dental anxiety. To enter Powell & Tiller Dental Care and not hear the high-pitched squealing of the drill is, in itself, a big plus. Then to know you will have to receive little or no anesthesia to have a cavity filled with air abrasion, and that this method will be a quiet, relatively pain-free procedure … can you imagine it?

Contact Powell & Tiller Dental Care at our convenient Austin, TX office to see if air abrasion dentistry is right for you!

Valentine's Day History

February 10th, 2015

Valentine’s Day is best known as a celebration of love in all its forms. Pink hearts, red roses, and cute greeting cards adorn every surface you see. What many people don’t realize is that the modern Valentine’s Day celebration arose from a religious holiday.

St. Valentine’s Day was originally celebrated as a religious feast day in honor of early Christian martyrs. Three martyrs named Valentine were honored: a priest in Rome, the persecuted bishop of Interamna (a town in central Italy), and a saint martyred in Africa. This saint’s day was celebrated throughout Christendom, although it was removed from the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints in 1969.

The origin of Valentine’s Day as a holiday for lovers began with Geoffrey Chaucer in his 1382 poem “Parlement of Foules.” Chaucer wrote, “For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate,” and the modern romantic holiday was born. William Shakespeare and other writers mentioned Valentine’s Day as a day of love.

Valentine’s Day as we know it came about in the early 19th century. In Victorian England, printers began manufacturing small numbers of cards with romantic verses, lace, ribbons, and other frills. Anonymous Valentine’s Day card were a popular way for young lovers to exchange romantic sentiments in an otherwise prudish time. As the 19th century progressed, printers began mass manufacturing Valentine’s Day cards. People in the United States give an estimated 190 million valentines every year, and up to one billion if you count children exchanging cards at school! With the rise of the Internet, Valentine’s Day e-cards have become a popular mode of communication, with millions of e-cards sent each year.

The other items associated with Valentine’s Day include chocolate and flowers. The tradition of giving chocolates has been around for decades, and Richard Cadbury created the first box of Valentine’s Day chocolates nearly 150 years ago. Today, purchases of chocolate total over $1 billion in the United States alone, with 35 million heart-shaped boxes sold each year. Loved ones also exchange flowers, with red roses being associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. On Valentine’s Day itself, florists sell nearly 200 million stems of roses.

Although many people dismiss Valentine’s Day as a commercialized “Hallmark holiday,” it is beloved to couples and romantics across the United States and other countries. The team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care wants to remind all patients that no matter what your celebratory plans, February 14th can be a wonderful day to celebrate the loved ones in your life. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Choosing the Dental Filling Option that's Best for You

February 3rd, 2015

Did you know there are as many types of dental fillings as there are flavors of ice cream? Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. Still, when you visit the dentist with a cavity, there are many filling options. Most of us just sit in the chair, open our mouths, and let the dentist work his or her magic. But have you ever stopped to consider what the dentist is filling and restoring your decayed or broken tooth with?

Five types of dental fillings

There are five basic kinds of dental filing material. The dentist decides which type to use based on the degree of the decay, the cost of the material, and the type of dental insurance you have.

  1. Dental amalgam, or silver fillings, have been used to fill cavities for more than 150 years. Dental amalgam is the most common type of dental filling. It's strong, durable, and less expensive than other types.
  2. Composite fillings, or white fillings, are popular because the color matches the rest of your teeth. Composite fillings are a combination of resin and plastic. They are more aesthetically pleasing than silver fillings, but are also less durable.
  3. Ceramic fillings are durable and visually appealing (tooth-colored), but they are expensive. They are made of porcelain and have been shown to be resistant to staining.
  4. Glass ionomers are typically used on children whose teeth are still changing. Constructed from glass and acrylic, glass ionomers are designed to last fewer than five years. The benefit of these dental fillings is that they release fluoride, which protects the changing tooth from further decay.
  5. Unless you’re a rock or movie star, gold fillings aren’t common. While a gold filling is durable, non-corrosive, and can last more than 15 years, it not only takes more than one dental visit to place, but, as you can imagine, it is expensive.

For more information about fillings, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, please give us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office!

What are dental sealants, who should get them, and how long do they last?

January 27th, 2015

Dental sealants are an excellent way to protect children’s teeth from tooth decay by coating them with a thin plastic material. Their teeth look and feel like normal, but they are protected from plaque build-up and decay early on. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our staff recommend sealants as a preventive measure for children before any decay appears on their teeth.

Who should get dental sealants?

Dental sealants are intended for young children as soon as their first teeth come in. Decay is most common in the molars, so taking your child to Powell & Tiller Dental Care for sealants right when you see the molars grow in gives your child the best chance to fight tooth decay.

A child’s first set of permanent molars grow in between ages five and seven, while the second permanent molars come in between 11 and 14 years of age. Some teens and adults who don’t have tooth decay may get sealants as well, but it is less common.

How long do dental sealants last?

Once the sealant has been placed on the teeth, it lasts up to ten years. Expect to have Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller check the sealant at every visit to our Austin, TX office, which should be twice a year. We will look at the sealant and determine if it needs to be replaced.

What is the process of getting sealants?

Applying sealants is a simple, pain-free procedure that is done quickly at Powell & Tiller Dental Care. There is absolutely no effect on the tooth structure from sealants.

For starters, the teeth are cleaned carefully, then dried with an absorbent material. A mild acid solution is applied to them to roughen them slightly. This is done so the sealant can bond properly to the teeth. Then the teeth are rinsed and dried, and the sealant material is painted on and dried with a special light.

Molars are susceptible to decay early on, which is why sealants are an important treatment to get for your children’s first set of teeth.

How do I avoid bad breath?

January 20th, 2015

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care, we see a lot of patients who are concerned about their bad breath, also known as halitosis. So today we thought we would educate our patients about what you can do to keep your pearly whites clean and your breath minty fresh!

Naturally, good oral hygiene on your part is the first step. With proper brushing and flossing you can keep halitosis in check. Even though you may have done an excellent job of brushing and flossing your teeth, if you fail to brush your tongue, you may still have bad breath. Bad breath is caused by odor-producing bacteria that grow in your mouth. Certain foods, medications, smoking, sinus issues, or even gum disease can cause bad breath.

Besides proper brushing and flossing, bad breath can be prevented if you:

Stop smoking/chewing tobacco-based products: Ask Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team for tips on kicking the habit.

Keep your mouth hydrated: Because a dry mouth typically leads to bad breath, drinking water or eating oranges or celery may help.

Visit our Austin, TX office for regular dental checkups: By visiting Powell & Tiller Dental Care at least twice a year, you will keep bad breath at bay. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller will conduct an oral exam and will be able detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.

Radiation and the Safety of Dental X-Rays

January 13th, 2015

It is not uncommon to be concerned about your safety when you have dental X-rays performed. Putting on a heavy lead vest may make you apprehensive. The benefits of dental X-rays far outweigh the risks when safety procedures are followed and the number of X-rays is limited to the required number.

About Dental X-rays

Intraoral X-rays are the most common, and include bitewing X-rays. These allow Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care to detect caries (cavities) and check the health of your bone and root structure. Extraoral X-rays provide the information we need to monitor your jaw and temporomandibular joint (TMJ), as well as look for impacted teeth and tooth development.

X-ray Safety

A set of four bitewing X-rays exposes you to about 0.005 mSv (millisievert) of radiation, which is equal to the amount of radiation you receive in an average day from natural sources. A panoramic X-ray exposes you to about twice the amount of a bitewing. In both cases the risk is negligible and worth the diagnostic benefits.

Guidelines from the American Dental Association are offered for individuals who are not at high risk for cavities. Children in this group should have X-rays every one or two years. Teenagers should have X-rays every one-and-a-half to three years. Adults can go two to three years between X-rays. If you are at higher risk, yearly X-rays are not harmful and can save your teeth.

No matter what type of X-ray you are having, it is extremely important to tell Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller or one of our technicians if you are pregnant or may be pregnant. If you are concerned about the number of X-rays you are having done, or about any radiation you are exposed to, please give us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office and talk to us about your concerns.

When do children usually lose their baby teeth?

January 6th, 2015

Many parents worry that their children’s teeth are not falling out on time. A lot of concerned parents want to know: When will my child lose his or her first baby tooth? At what age should the last tooth fall out? Is there a specific order in which the teeth are lost?

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team explain that a child's 20 baby teeth (primary teeth) typically come in by age three and begin to loosen and fall out on their own to make room for permanent teeth, which usually appear by the time your child is six. It is important to know that timing may vary, and girls typically lose their baby teeth earlier than boys. The last baby teeth will likely fall out by the time your child is 13.

So, which teeth do children lose first? Baby teeth tend to fall out in the order in which they came, which means the lower center incisors are usually the first to go when your child is between six and seven years old. The next teeth your child will lose are his or her top center pair, also called the upper central incisors.

It’s important to note that if a child loses a baby tooth early as a result of decay or an unforeseen accident, his or her permanent tooth may erupt early and potentially come in crooked due to limited space. If your child suffers an injury or has tooth decay, we encourage you to give us a call to set up an appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller.

While we know some children couldn’t be more excited to lose their baby teeth, we know others are anxious about this childhood milestone. When your child starts to lose teeth, our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care encourages you to stress the importance of proper dental care on a daily basis.

Remember to:

  • Remind your child to brush his or her teeth at least twice a day. Supervise and offer assistance as needed.
  • Help your child floss his or her teeth at bedtime.
  • Limit eating and drinking between meals and at bedtime, especially sugary treats and drinks, such as candy and soda.
  • Schedule regular dental visits for your child every six months.
  • Ask about the use of fluoride treatments and dental sealants to help prevent tooth decay.

To learn more about baby teeth, or to schedule your child's next visit with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller at our Austin, TX office, please give us a call today!

It's a Wrap: Ending the year with a smile!

December 30th, 2014

People have been ushering in the New Year for centuries but it became an official holiday in 1582 when Pope George XIII declared January 1st to be the day on which everyone would celebrate the New Year. At midnight people would yell, holler, and blow horns to scare away the evil spirits of the previous year so the New Year would be joyous and filled with opportunity. Nearly 500 years later, we still greet the New Year by whooping and hollering, but in a celebratory manner instead. Whether you intend to ring in the New Year quietly at home in the Austin, TX area or have plans to join the countdown at a gala extravaganza, these tips can help you ring out the old and usher in the new with a smile.

Tips for a Happy New Year's Eve Celebration from Powell & Tiller Dental Care

  • Be Safe. There's no way to predict the behavior of others on New Year's Eve, but you can be responsible for your own behavior to keep yourself safe. If adult beverages will be part of your celebration, plan on spending the night wherever you are or line up a designated driver to bring you home after the party is over.
  • Enjoy Family and Friends. Spending time with the important people in your life is what makes the holidays enjoyable. Coordinate your schedules and choose New Year's Eve activities that everyone in the group will enjoy. You don't have to go to a party to ring in the New Year; some people like to go bowling, see a movie, or have a great meal at home.
  • Accessorize with a Smile. Whether you dress up or have a quiet dinner with family and friends, one of the best accessories you can add to your attire is a beautiful smile.

New Year's Eve is a time to gather with friends and family, reflect on the year that's coming to an end, and look forward to the new one with anticipation. Enjoy this transitional holiday in a way that's safe, healthy, and fun. After all, counting down until the clock strikes 12 marks the beginning of a full year of opportunity ahead of you. From Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, have a great new year!.

What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?

December 23rd, 2014

You might think babies don’t need to brush their teeth, especially when they don’t have any. But by starting good habits like brushing when your child is young, you can lay the foundation for them to continue those good habits into adulthood.

When do I start?

The best time to start brushing your baby’s teeth is before he or she has any. Develop the habit of wiping your baby’s gums with a wet, soft washcloth or gauze every day. There is no need to use toothpaste, just wrap the gauze or cloth around your finger, moisten it with a little water, and gently rub it over the gums.

This helps your little one get used to brushing while it eliminates bacteria in the mouth that can harm emerging teeth. You don’t need to apply a lot of pressure or even take very long: just a quick, gentle rub over the gums will do it.

What do I use?

When your child’s teeth begin to come in, you will need to switch from a cloth to a baby toothbrush. Find one that has a grip big enough for your hand, but a head that is small enough to maneuver easily in your infant’s mouth.

You don’t need to use any toothpaste until your son or daughter is about a year old. Even then, though, you’ll want to use just a tiny amount: about the size of a grain of rice. When your toddler is about two years old, you can use a pea-sized amount.

By around six years of age, your child will probably rinse and spit without your help. At that point, you may want to introduce a child-friendly fluoride mouthwash.

How do I do it?

Your child probably won’t be able to brush his or her teeth alone until about the age of five or six. This means that you will need to do it. To brush your child’s teeth, gently use the brush over all the teeth and gums, even areas where the teeth have not come in yet.

As your child grows and becomes more independent, you can allow him or her to hold the toothbrush while you guide your child’s progress. Make sure you talk to your child while you are brushing, and explain why you brush: what you are doing and how you are doing it.

In addition to regular visits with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, instilling good oral health habits in your child early on will ensure a lifetime of good dental health.

Timing Matters!

December 16th, 2014

Many patients at Powell & Tiller Dental Care are under the impression that harder brushing leads to cleaner teeth, but that is not true. Gentle brushing is just as effective, and less likely to cause damage. Other good brushing habits include brushing your teeth at least twice a day, replacing your toothbrush after a few months, and brushing for at least two minutes each time. It can be tough to keep track of the time when you are aiming for two minutes, but these tips can help.

Set a Timer

Setting a timer is a sure-fire way to hit your two-minute goal on the dot. Leave a kitchen timer in your bathroom so that it is easy to set each time you start brushing your teeth. Hit each surface of all of your top and bottom teeth, and keep brushing until the timer rings. Many electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer that you can use instead of a kitchen timer.

Entertain Yourself for Two Minutes

Time flies when you are having fun, and you can stay entertained as you brush your teeth for two minutes. These are some ideas.

  • Time your favorite song and sing it in your head as you brush your teeth.
  • Find a two-minute video on the Internet that you want to watch, and start it when you begin to brush your teeth.
  • Do squats in the bathroom as you brush. Go down for three slow counts, and up for three slow counts. By the time you get to 20 squats, your two minutes will be over.

Let Your Children Use Technology

Toothsavers is an app designed to inspire children to brush. The app was developed and released by the Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives. It includes:

  • A game to fight an evil sorceress who causes cavities
  • A two-player version that lets children interact with friends and parents
  • Real-life reminders to brush twice a day
  • A built-in timer that helps kids brush for two minutes

IV Sedation Dentistry: What is it, and how can it help?

December 9th, 2014

While Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care strive to offer a comfortable and unmatched experience for all our patients, we realize that fear or anxiety while visiting the dentist still affects some of our patients. For those of our patients who need extra comfort and relaxation during their visits, we are more than happy to offer IV sedation, a safe and effective option that provides a deeper and more complete relaxing state than most common oral medications.

Sedation dentistry at our Austin, TX office can turn a nerve-wracking and sweaty-palmed visit into a comfortable and pleasant one, and allows our patients to drift through their appointments, including complex dental work, feeling completely relaxed and without any discomfort or pain.

During sedation, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team will monitor your comfort, providing as much medication as necessary to keep you relaxed. We will also use the best tools we have at our disposal to monitor your vital signs so that you can have peace of mind before your procedure.

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team will be able to tell you if you are a candidate for sedation dentistry and will be more than happy to discuss any concerns, issues, or fears you may have before or during your visit. By talking with us about sedation dentistry, you can feel more comfortable and relaxed during your next visit to Powell & Tiller Dental Care. Give us a call today!

Xerostomia: What does that mean anyway?

December 2nd, 2014

Does your mouth always feel like it’s dry? If it does you may be suffering from xerostomia. Xerostomia is defined as dry mouth resulting from reduced or absent saliva flow. There are various medical conditions that can cause this type of dry mouth, which you can ask more questions next time you visit us at Powell & Tiller Dental Care.

Xerostomia can factor into both minor and more serious health problems. It can affect the ability to eat and enjoy food and it can jeopardize one’s dental health. Some of the more common symptoms can include sore throat, burning sensation in the oral cavity or tongue, and difficulty swallowing.

One of the more serious problems associated with dry mouth is an increased risk of tooth decay. Decrease in saliva causes more plaque to form and there is less saliva to act as a buffer to the things we eat and drink. Less saliva also means more food debris is retained in the mouth. These things can lead to an increase in tooth decay.

So, what causes xerostomia?

There are several things that may cause xerostomia. Among the biggest culprits are prescription medications. Some examples are antihistamines, antidepressants, anti-hypertensives, anti-anxiety agents, anti-diarrheals, bronchodilators, and muscle relaxers.

Certain diseases can also cause dry mouth. The more common ones include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes, hypertension, and thyroid disease. Xerostomia is also common in patients being treated for cancer. Head and neck radiation as well as certain chemotherapy drugs can cause severe dry mouth.

What should you do if you are experiencing dry mouth symptoms? First make sure to hydrate with plenty of water. If you are taking medications that cause xerostomia, make sure to drink water before taking the medication as well as a full glass of water with the medication. Be diligent with brushing and flossing and discuss your condition at your next appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller. We can recommend specific products to help moisten the oral cavity and reduce your symptoms such as saliva substitutes, xylitol products, and certain toothpastes. Another option may be a prescription home fluoride treatment to help prevent new cavities. You may want to try gum or candies to stimulate saliva flow but make sure they are sugar free! Avoid food and beverages that dehydrate such as caffeine and alcohol.

Xerostomia is a common problem that is currently on the rise. Our team can help you to reduce any symptoms and improve your comfort while living with a dry mouth. Contact our Austin, TX office today!

Thanksgiving in North America

November 25th, 2014

Thanksgiving marks the start to the holidays; a season filled with feasting, indulging, and spending time with family and friends are always special. Thanksgiving is a holiday meant for giving thanks, and while this may seem like such a natural celebration, the United States is only one of a handful of countries to officially celebrate with a holiday.

Unlike many holidays, Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, and it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States. In Canada, it is celebrated on the second Monday of October, which is, oddly enough, much closer to a time when harvests were likely gathered. In addition to the different dates, the origins of the celebration also share different roots.

Thanksgiving in the United States

Giving thanks for a bountiful harvest are not new, but the modern day holiday in the US can be traced to a celebration at Plymouth in Massachusetts in 1621. This feast of thanksgiving was inspired by a good harvest, and the tradition was simply continued on. At first, the colony at Plymouth didn't have enough food to feed everyone present, but the Native Americans helped by providing seeds and teaching them how to fish, and they soon began to be able to hold a feast worthy of the name. The tradition spread, and by the 1660s, most of New England was hosting a Thanksgiving feast in honor of the harvest.

Canadian Thanksgiving

An explorer of early Canada named Martin Frobisher is accredited for the first Canadian Thanksgiving. He survived the arduous journey from England through harsh weather conditions and rough terrain, and after his last voyage from Europe to present-day Nunavut, he held a formal ceremony to give thanks for his survival and good fortune. As time passed and more settlers arrived, a feast was added to what quickly became a yearly tradition. Another explorer, Samuel de Champlain, is linked to the first actual Thanksgiving celebration in honor of a successful harvest; settlers who arrived with him in New France celebrated the harvest with a bountiful feast.

A Modern Thanksgiving

Today, Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with the best of Americana. From feasts and football games to getting ready for the start of the Christmas shopping season, Thanksgiving means roasted turkey, pumpkin pie, and green bean casserole. No matter how you celebrate this momentous day, pause for a moment to give thanks for your friends, family, and all the bounties you’ve received. Happy Thanksgiving from Powell & Tiller Dental Care!

Tooth Worms? The History of Cavities and Tooth Fillings

November 18th, 2014

Scientists have discovered tooth decay in specimens that are more than 15,000 years old. The ancients once thought that cavities were caused by something called “tooth worms” … Eew! They didn’t exist, of course, but how else could humans explain the holes that cavities make in teeth?

The appearance of cavities on a widespread basis is often traced to the rise of farming. The new diet filled with grains and carbs made our mouths a haven for cavity-causing bacteria. As we added more sugar to our diets, our teeth got worse.

The “tooth worm” idea didn’t completely disappear until the 1700s when scientists finally began to understand the process of dental caries. Once that part of the puzzle was solved, they began focusing on filling existing cavities and preventing new ones.

Dental Fillings Come of Age

Many different materials, including beeswax, cork, aluminum, tin, and even asbestos, have been used to fill the holes caused by dental decay. Sometime in the mid-1800s, however, dentists began to use metal fillings such as gold, platinum, silver and lead amalgams.

The amalgam we use today is mixed from liquid mercury, silver, tin, copper, zinc, and other metals, but some patients still like the look of a gold filling. Newer options include composite-resin fillings, which are made from a tooth-colored mixture of plastic resin and finely ground glass-like or quartz particles that form a durable and discreet filling. Porcelain or ceramic fillings are natural in color, but more resistant to staining.

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller can help decide which filling is best for you, based on cost as well as your dental and lifestyle needs. You may not have “tooth worms,” but if you have cavities, contact our Austin, TX office so we can take the proper action to protect the health of your mouth.

I’ve lost a filling; now what?

November 11th, 2014

Dental fillings usually protect our teeth, but sometimes they need to be protected, too. If you lose a filling, contact our Austin, TX office immediately and let us advise you on the next steps to take.

Fillings serve an important function in oral health by preserving the structural integrity of your tooth. With the materials we use today, dental fillings usually last for many years, but they are subjected to the same stresses as your natural teeth are.

You can wear down, chip, crack, or break your fillings by eating, clenching, and grinding, and sometimes they can fall out completely. While you may not notice normal wear and tear, you should not ignore any fillings that loosen or fall out. Contact us as soon as possible so we can advise you about whether you need to be seen immediately.

If your fillings get damaged or fall out, a timely response can be important. There may be gaps or holes in your tooth which provide an easy access point for bacteria. Once bacteria begin working into your tooth structure, your tooth could become damaged even worse. Since cavities usually form in hard-to-reach places, it will be difficult for you to remove these bacteria through brushing alone.

When is a lost filling an emergency?

A lost or cracked filling is usually not an emergency unless you are in great pain or are bleeding excessively. In that case, contact our office immediately so we can schedule an emergency appointment. Otherwise we will schedule a regular appointment to evaluate and repair your filling. Before coming in for your appointment, try to avoid chewing on that side of your mouth, rinse with warm salt water, and be sure to brush and floss thoroughly after every meal.

Once you come to our office, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller will examine your tooth, assess the situation, and advise you of your options. We may be able to replace the filling and can discuss whether an amalgam or composite material would be the best for your teeth. If the filling was large, a root canal or a dental implant and crown may be necessary.

A lost or cracked filling may not always pose a dental emergency, but it’s always important to contact us so our team can help you take the proper action to preserve your oral health.

Care for Your Dentures

November 4th, 2014

Just like natural teeth, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller will tell you that dentures have a tendency to get coated with plaque, which is a sticky, transparent film that attracts food and bacteria. When you don’t take care of your dentures adequately and regularly, plaque can build up, harden, and become difficult to remove. More importantly, it can result in dental problems, including gum disease and infection. Proper care for your dentures also helps them maintain their shape, fit the way they are supposed to, and last longer.

Cleaning your dentures

Your dentures should be cleaned with the same diligence as you clean natural teeth.

  • Take out dentures and rinse them after eating. To remove food particles, run water over your dentures.
  • Clean your teeth after denture removal. Once dentures have been removed, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush existing teeth, gums, and tongue.
  • Scrub your dentures on a daily basis. At least once per day, gently scrub your dentures with a soft-bristled toothbrush and denture cleanser.
  • Soak dentures overnight. In order to keep their shape intact, many dentures must remain moist. Always use a mild denture solution recommended by our office. Never use hot water on your dentures, as they may warp their shape.
  • Rinse dentures prior to placing them back in your mouth. This is especially important if you soak your dentures in a denture solution.
  • Dentures are fragile and can break when dropped. It’s a good idea to hold them in a soft cloth or towel to keep them from falling and breaking.

Over time, even with diligent daily care, your dentures may form difficult-to-remove tartar. When this happens, our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care uses a powerful ultrasonic cleaner to remove stubborn, denture build-up.

Proper care for your dentures can help retain their shape, prevent oral issues, and increase their longevity. Visit Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller regularly at our convenient Austin, TX office to maintain your oral health and keep your dentures in tip-top shape.

Halloween: Candy, costumes, and more!

October 29th, 2014

All Hallows' Eve, more commonly known as Halloween, is a yearly event celebrated on October 31, and one that is anticipated by the young and young at heart all over the world. Some scholars claim that Halloween originated from Celtic festivals that honored the dead or that celebrated the harvest, while others doubt that there's any connection at all to Samhain (a Gaelic harvest festival.) Regardless of its origin, our team at the dental office of Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller hopes that Halloween is fun and enjoyed by all of our awesome patients!

Trick or treat?

In North America, Halloween is predominantly celebrated by children who dress up in costumes, which range from scary to cute, who then go around the neighborhood knocking on doors asking "trick or treat", and they are given candy in return. Trick-or-treating is a time honored tradition, and though many parents groan at the pounds and pounds of candy collected by youngsters and fear for the health of their teeth, there are a few things you can do to help their teeth stay in great shape until the candy is gone:

  • Limit the amount of candy they can consume each day
  • Have them brush their teeth after eating candy
  • Avoid hard, chewy candies as they can stick in hard to brush places
  • Keep candy out of sight to reduce temptation
  • Don't buy candy too far in advance to limit pre-Halloween consumption
  • Help or encourage your children to floss

Halloween Fun

Halloween isn't just about gorging on candy; there are other events associated with this festive day including carving jack-o'-lanterns, painting pumpkins, decorating sugar cookies, bobbing for apples, going to haunted houses, or just curling up on the couch with a bowl full of popcorn and watching some classic, scary movies.

Halloween Around the World

Some countries, like Australia, frown upon Halloween, claiming it is an American event and not based in Australian culture, while others like Italy have embraced the fun and celebrate much as Canadians and Americans do. Mexicans have been celebrating this fun day since around 1960, and it marks the beginning of the Day of the Dead festival. Some countries in Europe have come late to the party, but since the 1990s, countries like Sweden, Norway, and Germany have started celebrating Halloween as well, and finding children in costumes or having ghosts hanging in windows has become commonplace.

Halloween is about fun; stepping outside our normal lives and donning a costume or gathering with friends to knock on doors and ask for candy is as much a part of our culture as hot dogs and barbecue on Labor Day. Have a safe and happy Halloween from the team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care!

Powell & Tiller's Annual Halloween Candy Swap!

October 24th, 2014

It’s almost time for our Annual Halloween Candy Swap! Stop by the office on Monday, November 3 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m to swap our your child's Halloween candy for cash!

All kids 10 and under can bring in Halloween Candy and we will pay them $2 for each pound of candy they trade in! Halloween is a fun tradition and the candy is a great treat, but sometimes in all the fun, kids end up with way more than their teeth or tummies need!

All candy will be sent to the soldiers overseas through Operation Gratitude. It gives the men and women who are serving our country a little taste of home as both a thank you and as a reminder of why they do what they do.

Is your child a mouth breather?

October 22nd, 2014

Have you ever watched to see if your child is breathing through his or her mouth? Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose may lead to trouble for youngsters. Kids who typically breathe through their mouth—most often children who suffer from allergies—experience problems getting enough oxygen into their blood, a condition that affects their weight, size, sleep, and even their performance in the classroom and daily life.

Mouth breathing as a child can also lead to sleep apnea, behavior and learning problems, delayed speech, dental and facial abnormalities, and even breathing problems as your child grows. There are a multitude of reasons for an individual to mouth breathe, such as enlarged tonsils, adenoids, and deviated nasal septum, but the cause is usually allergies.

As bad as the condition sounds, we want you to know mouth breathing is a treatable condition. Doing so, though, requires early diagnosis and treatment. Since our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care sees our patients every six months, we may be in a position to identify the symptoms of mouth breathing.

If you suspect your child is a chronic mouth breather, please give us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller.

Relax with Sedation Dentistry

September 24th, 2014

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care understand that many of our patients have a fear of dentistry. You may be concerned about experiencing pain from sensitive teeth or routine procedures. General anxiety is also common. Do not put off visiting our Austin, TX office; we offer various types of sedation to take the pain and fear out of your dental procedure.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

For many patients, nitrous oxide, combined with local anesthetics, will both provide pain relief and reduce anxiety. Nitrous oxide is beneficial because the dosage can be regulated during treatment and patients are normally capable of driving shortly after the procedure is completed.

Oral or Injected Sedation

With oral sedation, you may be given a pill or liquid to consume several hours before your procedure. You will not be able to drive yourself to the appointment. An oral liquid is often given to children before any shots or intravenous anesthesia. An intramuscular injection may be given at the office that provides relaxation benefits for 20 to 30 minutes.

Nitrous Oxide with an Oral Sedative

If you experience higher levels of anxiety, an oral or injected sedative can be offered before nitrous oxide is started. This is also effective for reducing anxiety regarding the injection of local anesthetics. A liquid medication followed by nitrous oxide is beneficial for children. This combination can produce a deep sedation level.

General Anesthesia

This type of anesthesia can be offered as an inhaled gas or intravenous liquid. If no oral sedative is given before the general anesthesia is administered, you should wake up quickly after your procedure is complete. An injection, pill, or liquid medication can be offered to reduce anxiety before intravenous sedation begins. Intravenous sedation can also be used at moderate-to-deep sedation levels without complete loss of consciousness.

Do not hesitate to ask Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller about receiving sedation or pain prevention when you visit. We will be glad to explain the options we have available and answer all your questions to ensure that your exam is pleasant for you.

Telltale Signs that Your Tooth has a Cavity

September 17th, 2014

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care frequently get questions about cavity causes and prevention. You brush twice a day and floss regularly. You rinse with mouthwash, just like the dentist recommended. In fact, you can’t remember the last time you had a cavity, but you think it was when you were a little kid. In all seriousness, you thought only kids got cavities.

The Signs and Symptoms of a Cavity

It’s believed that roughly 90% of North Americans will get at least one cavity in their lifetime. Those other ten percent, it seems, can eat as much pie, cake, and sugary cereals and sweets as they want. That’s not really true; just a stab at dental humor, and it was as bad as the pain your cavity is probably giving you.

When a cavity is in its initial stages, you will often be symptom-free and experience no discomfort at all. It’s not until the tooth decay has reached a certain level that you will begin to notice the signs and symptoms. While a toothache and sensitivity to hot and cold foods and liquids are surefire signs that you have a cavity, there are lesser-known symptoms as well. If you’re experiencing any of these warning signs, you may want to consider making an appointment with our office as soon as possible:

  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • When you bite down, there is a sticky, tarry feeling
  • Puss or discharge around a tooth
  • A visible discoloring, usually black or brown
  • Small pits or holes in the tooth

Routine dental care is important. While good oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and regular cleanings will deter the formation of cavities, they do not constitute a foolproof practice. A cavity can occur at any time, no matter what your age. Bacteria causes tooth decay, and no amount of brushing, flossing, and rinsing will eradicate all the bacteria from your mouth. If you think you may have a cavity, please contact our office immediately.

Sleep Apnea: How we can help

September 10th, 2014

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care, we understand that getting high-quality sleep is vital to maintaining your overall health. Insufficient sleep can lead to an inability to concentrate, motor vehicle accidents, and difficulty performing at work. Since approximately 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, this poses a significant public health problem. If you think you may have sleep apnea, talk to Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team about devices that can help you get a good night’s rest.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a relatively common disorder in which breathing stops or becomes very shallow during the night. These bouts of paused breathing may last a few seconds or as long as several minutes. When 30 or more breathing interruptions occur per hour, sleep apnea leads to dramatic reductions in sleep quality. In many cases, this condition is caused by your airway becoming blocked or collapsed during sleep.

Anyone can get sleep apnea, but there are certain factors that increase your risk. Having small airways, being overweight, being male, or having a family history of sleep apnea increases the likelihood that you will develop the disorder. If you think you have sleep apnea, visit highly encourage you to visit our Austin, TX office for a thorough physical exam, comprehensive medical history, and a sleep study.

Treatment Options

Several treatment avenues are available for people with sleep apnea. One popular option is to wear an oral appliance. For example, a mandibular advancement device (MAD) looks like a sports mouthguard and slightly repositions your jaw, to keep your airway unobstructed. Another option is a tongue-retraining device (TRD), which holds your tongue in place to ensure that your airway stays open during the night.

For individuals with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea, dental devices are a smart option. Many patients enjoy improved sleep, reductions in snoring, and less fatigue during daytime hours. If you’re curious about getting an oral appliance to help with your sleep apnea, please consult our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care. After a consultation and examination, we can fit the type of device that works best for your condition.

What was your favorite part of summer?

September 3rd, 2014

It's the end of summer, and fall is just around the corner. Soon the temperatures will cool down, the leaves will start to change, and Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care are sure that you’ll soon be thinking about Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving plans in no time. But wait! First, we want to know about your favorite parts of the summer! Did you go on a wonderful family trip? Did you pick up a new hobby? Did you try to spend as much time outside and in the sun as possible?

Share your favorite memories, stories, or photos with us by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Happy Labor Day!

August 27th, 2014

Labor Day is upon us, and that means the non-official end to summer. Before the kids head back to school and temperatures start to cool down, this is your last chance to barbeque in the beautiful Austin, TX community, head to the lake, and wear your favorite pair of white pants.

About Labor Day

Each year, Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September. It is the one day of year Americans celebrate their achievements in work, which the US Department of Labor says has contributed to prosperity and well-being of America as a whole. Americans have been celebrating Labor Day since the 1880s, and today it is an official federal holiday.

Interesting Facts About Labor Day

  • Every year, more than 30 million Americans travel over Labor Day weekend.
  • Canada was the first to celebrate Labor Day, and the US soon followed.
  • President Cleveland made Labor Day and official US holiday in 1894.
  • Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and NCAA sports seasons for fans.
  • Labor Day marks the end of hot dog season, when Americans consume seven billion hot dogs.

Thanks for being a valued patient of our dental office. Our staff would like to wish you a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. Enjoy your time off!

How can veneers improve my smile?

August 20th, 2014

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care know your smile is an important part of your appearance; it can be a source of pride or embarrassment. Everyone deserves beautiful, straight teeth that complement their features, but few are born with natural dental perfection. Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry has come a long way in recent years, with veneers making it possible to make over your smile completely.

With dental veneers, the smile of your dreams can become a reality. These thin, wafer-like shells are crafted of porcelain and completely customized to fit your smile. Once your tooth size, shape, and color have been determined, veneers are adhered to the surface of your natural tooth, instantly transforming your appearance. What used to be a secret of the rich and famous is now highly accessible to dental patients around the world.

Benefits of dental veneers

Appearance

Dental veneers are very natural in appearance and virtually undetectable to other people. Their non-porous surfaces make them resistant to staining, which ensures they do not change color over time.

Improvements

Dental veneers can be used to improve the appearance of many kinds of imperfections. In fact, an entirely new smile can be crafted from veneers, to cover up chipped teeth, discoloration, and gaps between teeth.

Durability

Veneers are long-lasting cosmetic enhancements that can survive many years with appropriate care and maintenance. They are specially fabricated to be resistant to scratches and chipping, which makes them a practical solution for the average person.

Flexibility

Dental veneers are highly adaptable. You can opt for only a single veneer to repair a chipped or cracked tooth, or you can modify multiple teeth at once for a smile makeover.

Considerations

Keep in mind that cosmetic treatments like dental veneers are secondary to primary dental care. You must have healthy teeth and disease-free gums to be a candidate for cosmetic procedures. An initial consultation at our convenient Austin, TX office will reveal any underlying decay or other problems that must be addressed prior to getting veneers. Give us a call today!

What is a cavity?

August 13th, 2014

Cavities are the reason why most people fear going to the dentist. But they’re also the reason you should be visiting Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller on a regular basis.

Specifically, cavities are the breakdown of teeth caused by acid from food, bacteria, and plaque that inhabit the inside of the mouth. While many people simply think that cavities only form on top of a tooth, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care want you to know they can actually form on the sides along the gum line and between the teeth, too. This acid will eat away at the tooth, forming a soft hole.

Anybody, either children and adults, can get cavities. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S. alone about 16 percent of all children ages six to 19 have untreated cavities, and about 24 percent of adults 20 to 64 years old have them. This is detrimental to overall oral health, because cavities have a tendency to grow over time, potentially spreading to other teeth and causing increased oral pain, possibly even affecting the nerve.

That's why it's important to ensure that you're visiting Powell & Tiller Dental Care at least once every six months, so that cavities can be found and filled before they become too problematic and painful. Typically, they're found by doing a routine teeth cleaning, though X-rays or further examination may be necessary to determine the full extent of a cavity. Cavities are treated by removing the area of the tooth where decay has set in and rebuilding the tooth with a metal filling. If the cavity is too large, however, more extreme measures may be necessary, such as placing a crown or performing a root canal.

As we noted above, cavities are why people dread going to the dentist, but also the reason everyone should see the dentist every six months. Additionally, brushing twice daily, flossing, and cutting down on sugar-packed foods can reduce the risk of developing cavities.

For more information on how to best care for your teeth and why it's important to visit the dentist twice a year, please give us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office today!

Is there really a link between my mouth and heart?

August 6th, 2014

Yes, indeed! While brushing, flossing, and regular visits to Powell & Tiller Dental Care are all key to maintaining a healthy smile and mouth, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team want you to know the state of your oral health has a significant effect on your overall health.

Our mouths are full of bacteria—some good, and some harmful. Some types of bad bacteria can cause cavities, gingivitis and even periodontal (gum) disease. Without proper oral care and hygiene, these harmful types of bacteria are capable of entering your blood stream through inflamed gums, when inhaled through the mouth or through saliva.

Gum disease, in turn, has been linked to a number of health problems, researchers have found. These include:

  • Heart disease: Gum disease may increase the risk of heart disease. Gum disease also is believed to worsen existing heart disease.
  • Stroke: Gum disease may increase the risk of the type of stroke caused by blocked arteries.
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes and periodontal disease may be more likely to have trouble controlling their blood sugar than diabetics with healthy gums.
  • Premature birth: Women who suffer from gum disease during pregnancy may be more likely deliver their baby early, and it is likely her infant may be of low birth weight.

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care are experts in identifying and treating periodontal disease. Give us a call today at our convenient Austin, TX office to schedule an appointment to improve your oral health and your overall health, too!

It's been years since my last appointment; what should I expect?

July 30th, 2014

Feeling apprehensive or guilty for not visiting a dentist in over a year is common, but coming back to receive dental care is easier than you may think. Our dental team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care provides caring, non-judgmental, personalized service, and knowing this you can truly feel at ease making your first appointment back.

During your first appointment back, we will focus on three prominent dental issues including gum disease, cavities, and wear and tear by utilizing a full mouth series of X-rays, a hygiene appointment, and a comprehensive exam.

The full mouth series of X-rays are taken every three to five years, or as needed. A full mouth series may be a panoramic X-ray and bitewings (a set of four that checks for cavities) or a set of X-rays that views the entire anatomy of every tooth. The set of X-rays will depend on your individual needs.

Your hygiene appointment will begin with a review of your medical history, personal concerns and questions, and an evaluation checking for any infection. After any necessary diagnoses are made, the appropriate level of cleaning is proposed and completed if time allows.

A comprehensive exam serves as a review of what the hygienist has already covered. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller will again review your medical history and dental concerns, and confirm any periodontal diagnosis. An evaluation of any decay, breakdown or broken fillings, or areas that are at risk for future problems will also be reviewed.

After the appointment, a team member at Powell & Tiller Dental Care will review any recommended treatments, payment options, insurance coverage, and scheduling. The time spent at your first visit back is an important step in the right direction, and we are committed to making this visit as comfortable and easy as possible! Come see us in Austin, TX.

Hypersensitive Teeth

July 23rd, 2014

It is common to experience dentine hypersensitivity, with symptoms ranging from moderate to severe. Why does it happen and how do you know if this sensitivity is something to be concerned about? The first step is to determine the cause.

The most common cause of the sensitivity is exposure of the dentin. Dentin is the layer immediately surrounding the nerve of the tooth. It is alive and usually covered by the gum tissue. When gum recession is present hypersensitivity is common. Other contributors to temporary tooth hypersensitivity include teeth whitening and dental procedures such as fillings, periodontal treatment, and braces placement or adjustment. These are temporary and should be of no concern.

Permanent hypersensitivity, however, may require treatment. To understand the cause of sustained hypersensitivity, let us explain the structure of dentin and why it serves as a ‘hot spot’.

The dentin contains a large numbers of pores or tubes that run from the outside of the tooth to the nerve in the center. When dentin tubes are exposed, there is a direct connection between the mouth and dental pulp, which houses the nerve and blood supply of the tooth. External stimuli, such as mechanical pressure (tooth grinding or clenching - bruising the ligaments holding the teeth in place), temperature changes, as well as chemical stimuli (sweet–sour) are transmitted to the pain-sensitive dental pulp and activate nerve endings. A short and sharp pain is the result. These external stimuli cause fluid movement in the open tube that is transmitted as pain sensations. Something needs to be placed into the dentin tube to plug it and stop this fluid movement.

The first step in doing something about dental hypersensitivity is to determine the cause; our professional team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care can help you with this. Whether the sensitivity is due to exposed dentin or an underlying cause such as abscess or decay, corrective measures are needed. Contact us sooner rather than later so Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller can reduce the sensitivity, and provide you with some relief!

Good Oral Health Habits When You’re Pregnant

July 16th, 2014

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care will tell you that good oral health habits when you are pregnant are very important. A plaque or infectious buildup can affect the baby in gestation, and cause some unforeseen issues during birth. There are a few steps relating to oral health that can help prevent complications and other pregnancy issues. Here are a few things to consider about oral health when you are expecting.

Proper brushing

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is essential when you are pregnant. This will peel away any buildup that you have on your teeth, and help create a shield against future buildup. Swallowing large amounts of plaque or bacterial buildup can and will affect the gestation of the fetus, and can cause certain complications.

Floss

Flossing will also help remove a lot of the buildup in your teeth that can promote infection. Make sure you floss at least once a day. Bacterial infections fester on food buildup, and certain destructive viruses can also breed and grow on these remnants.

Morning sickness

The acidity of vomit can erode the enamel on your teeth, and create buildup of damaging particulates in your teeth. If you are experiencing regular morning sickness, rinse your teeth with a mixture of baking soda and water. This will remove buildup, and alleviate some of the acidity from the vomit.

Alcohol-free, antimicrobial mouthwash

Regardless of whether you are trying to or not, you will swallow small amounts of your mouthwash. Alcohol can affect your gestating baby. Use an antimicrobial, alcohol-free mouthwash.

Visit the dentist

If you have any dental issues, please give us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office away. We will be able to diagnose and treat any oral health issues immediately, and make sure they do not affect your developing child. Protecting your baby includes protecting your oral health.

Should I have TMD treated? Why?

July 9th, 2014

TMD occurs when your bite is not properly aligned. It can cause the jaw to experience unnatural stresses and prevent it from resting properly when your mouth is closed. If you have TMD, you may have noticed a clicking noise when you chew, speak, or yawn; you may even experience pain and discomfort during these actions. In some cases, your jaw may feel “locked” following a wide yawn.

TMD can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw as well as headaches that occur when the muscles that help the joints open and close become overtired. But beyond the pain and discomfort, TMD can also cause serious dental problems if left untreated.

Because TMD is associated with a poor bite or malocclusion (which literally translated means “bad closure”), your teeth do not meet properly. As a result, extra tension and stress may be placed on your teeth, resulting in chips and cracks that allow cavities to form and may even result in tooth loss. Over time, TMD can cause teeth to break, which requires cosmetic treatment to rebuild your healthy smile, and ensure the broken tooth and its neighbors are protected from decay.

While treating TMD used to mean expensive and invasive surgery to reposition or even rebuild the jaw joints, today’s approach at Powell & Tiller Dental Care is much more patient-friendly. By restoring broken, chipped, or cracked teeth, replacing missing teeth, and using braces or other dental devices, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team can help realign your jaw so it’s able to function properly, and eliminate pain and discomfort. And there’s more good news: By restoring damaged teeth and tooth surfaces and straightening crooked teeth, you’re also left with a more attractive smile once treatment is completed.

Every patient is different, and that means your course of treatment will be different too. After a thorough examination of your teeth and jaw, our experienced staff at Powell & Tiller Dental Care will work with you to develop a treatment plan that will have you feeling better – and looking better – sooner than you ever expected. Don’t let your untreated TMD cause more pain and problems; give us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office today to schedule a consultation.

Happy Fourth of July

July 2nd, 2014

Every year, Americans all over the world celebrate the birth of the country and its independence on the Fourth of July. There are countless ways that people celebrate and they range from community parades and large scale gatherings to concerts, fireworks displays, and smaller scale celebrations among family and friends. For some people, July 4th is synonymous with baseball, while for others it is all about the beach of barbecues. However you celebrate, you can be sure that red, white, and blue is visible everywhere throughout the area.

The Beginnings of Fourth of July Celebrations

Although it wasn't officially designated as a federal holiday until 1941, the actual tradition of celebrating Independence Day goes back to the time of the American Revolution (1775 – 1783). At the time of the American Revolution, representatives from the 13 colonies penned the resolution that ultimately declared their independence from Great Britain. The continental congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence on July 2nd of 1776. Two days later, Thomas Jefferson's famous document that is now known as the Declaration of Independence, was adopted by delegates representing the 13 colonies.

First States to Recognize the Fourth of July

In 1781, Massachusetts became the first state (or commonwealth) whose legislature resolved to designate July 4th as the date on which to celebrate the country's independence. Two years later, Boston became the first city to make an official designation to honor the country's birth with a holiday on July 4th. In that same year, North Carolina's governor, Alexander Martin, became the first governor to issue an official state order stipulating that July 4th was the day on which North Carolinians would celebrate the country's independence.

Fun Facts About the Fourth of July

  • The reason the stars on the original flag were arranged in a circle is because it was believed that would indicate that all of the colonies were equal.
  • Americans eat over 150 million hot dogs on July 4th.
  • Imports of fireworks each year totals over $211 million.
  • The first “official” Fourth of July party took place at the White House in 1801.
  • Benjamin Franklin didn't want the national bird to be the bald eagle. He believed that the turkey was better suited to the coveted distinction. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson disagreed with him, and he was outvoted, so the bald eagle became the official bird of the United States.

For many, the tradition is something entirely different. Along the coastal areas of the United States, people may haul out huge pots to have lobster or other types of seafood boils. Others may spend the day in the bleachers at a baseball game, or at a park, cooking a great traditional meal over an open fire. No matter how or where you celebrate, one thing is certain: all Americans celebrate July 4th as the birth and independence of our country.

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care wish you a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Is gingivitis preventable?

June 25th, 2014

The earliest sign of gum disease is called gingivitis (sometimes called periodontal disease), and is an inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to gum tissue loss, loss of bone that supports the teeth, and eventually tooth loss. The good news is that gingivitis is easily treatable at Powell & Tiller Dental Care. Better yet, gingivitis is nearly 100 percent preventable.

Gingivitis is usually caused when plaque and bacteria accumulate on the gums, generally due to poor oral hygiene. A patient with gingivitis will have red and puffy gums that will likely bleed when he or she brushes or flosses.

It is almost entirely within our patients’ power to prevent gingivitis by brushing and flossing on a daily basis. In addition to good oral health habits, regular visits to see Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller will also help with early detection. We can often detect minor inflammation and other signs of gingivitis before it causes any discomfort or issues.

If left untreated, gingivitis will eventually progress to periodontitis, a breakdown of the tissue and bone that support the teeth. Smokers, women who are pregnant or menopausal, people with heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy or HIV infection, and people who suffer from poor nutrition are more likely to have gum disease.

To learn more about gingivitis, or if you suspect you have gingivitis, we encourage you to give us a call at our Austin, TX office today!

Four Tips for Soothing a Toothache

June 18th, 2014

Whether it’s a dull and throbbing ache or a sharp pain, toothaches can come in many different forms. Chances are you’ve had the discomforting experience once or twice in your life. It’s the type of experience that nobody wants to have, because a toothache can be as annoying as fingernails scratching a chalkboard.

What’s a good way to describe a toothache? Let’s see … your mouth feels as if it’s being besieged by one of those Loony Tunes-style jackhammers. As fate would have it, toothaches always seem to occur over the weekend or after-office hours, leaving you to suffer and forcing you to cancel your reservation at that high-end restaurant you’ve been anticipating all week.

Not so fast!

While you’re probably going to want to skip the rib-eye steak, there are numerous tried-and-true home remedies you can use to ease the pain until you can make an appointment with our office. Here’s a look at four ways to soothe a toothache.

  1. Don’t underestimate the power of salt water. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water will both soothe your toothache and disinfect your mouth. However, make sure the water is warm; cold water can further exacerbate a sensitive tooth. Follow up the saltwater rinse by swishing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Clove oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, and vanilla extract are proven to be comforting elixirs. Dip a cotton swab in one of these mixtures and apply it to your tooth and gums. These substances, which you may even have in your kitchen cupboards, are known to have pain-relieving qualities. For the best results, repeat the application throughout the day.
  3. Eating yogurt is good for toothaches and mouth pain. Yogurt is filled with healthy bacteria that combat pain. Afterward, place a cold compress on your jaw.
  4. Try flossing. Your toothache might be throbbing and severe, but there’s always a chance the pain is caused by a piece of food awkwardly lodged in your teeth.

We hope that helps! Give Powell & Tiller Dental Care a call to learn more!

Are you a tooth grinder?

June 11th, 2014

Perhaps you had a particularly irritating commute home from work, and you realize at the end that your jaw was clenched tight the entire time. Or maybe you grind your teeth when you are nervous or anxious about an upcoming business meeting. Most people grind their teeth from time to time, but it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of chronic tooth grinding. Known as bruxism, this condition can lead to oral health problems and dental issues later.

Signs and symptoms of bruxism

  • Your partner might complain about the fact that you grind your teeth while you sleep. People who grind their teeth on a regular basis often do so during the night, and aren’t necessarily aware it is happening. However, your partner will more than likely notice if you develop this condition. If he or she mentions that it happens often, you might want to contact our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care.
  • You may experience a persistent and unexplained headache if you grind your teeth too often. You may not realize why you have this headache, because you are not aware of the fact that you have been grinding your teeth. Take note of any headaches you have, and if you cannot attribute them to another source, please give us a call to set up an appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller.
  • Your jaw will more than likely become sore if you suffer from bruxism. If you wake up in the morning and have any discomfort in your jaw, you might have spent the night grinding your teeth. Our team can give you tips and advice for managing bruxism.

While many people associate their teeth grinding with stress, it actually is caused more often by crooked teeth, an overbite, or an under bite. If left untreated, bruxism can lead to a variety of complications, including dental injuries, hearing loss, and the onset of TMD. If you think that you might be a chronic tooth grinder, it might be time to set up an appointment at our Austin, TX office in order to find out which treatment options are available to you.

Getting Ready for Summer Sports

June 4th, 2014

With the warmer and longer days here, we know many of our patients at Powell & Tiller Dental Care will be much more active in the summer. Though most of our patients are probably already ready to hit the field for some summer fun, we thought we would discuss a few precautions to take when it comes to keeping your teeth safe as you enjoy playing your favorite sports.

Use a Mouthguard

Are your kids participating in contact sports this summer? If the answer is yes, we strongly encourage you to have them fitted for a mouthguard at Powell & Tiller Dental Care before the season starts. Athletes can avoid serious mouth and jaw injuries by using a mouthguard.

Be Mindful of Sports Drinks

While sports drinks can be refreshing after a game, they unfortunately contain high levels of sugar and citric acid, which are known to erode the teeth and reduce the minerals in the outer tooth enamel. The simplest way to prevent sports drinks from damaging your teeth? Avoid them completely and drink water instead. Water is a great option to keep you hydrated before, during, or after a game.

Floss, Floss, Floss

While we always tell our patients about the importance of flossing, it is especially important on the day of the game. Athletes are likely to consume more sugar; from energy bars and chews to gum, you are not doing your teeth any favors. All that sugar may give you that extra bounce in your step when out on the field, but we want you to remember to floss when you get home, or else contend with an increased risk of cavities down the road.

If you have any questions about keeping your teeth and mouth healthy while participating in summer sports, please give us a call at our Austin, TX office! Have fun!

Fewer Adults are Visiting the Dentist

May 28th, 2014

Our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care recently learned that in the decade between 2000 and 2010, the amount of adults who regularly visited their dentist declined, according to research released by the American Dental Association's Health Policy Resources Center (HPRC). In fact, the HPRC found that the percentage of adults who had regular checkups every six months declined from 41 percent in 2003 to 37 percent in 2010. The largest decline in dental care occurred in the 35- to 49-year-old age group. That’s down from from 43 percent in 2003 to just 38 percent in 2010.

There is some good news, however. While adult visits may have decreased, children's visits were on the rise, particularly among low-income families. More low-income children are visiting the dentist now than they were ten years ago. And the HPRC notes that between 2000 and 2010, dental visits among low-income children increased in 47 states.

Have you ever wondered why the American Dental Association and Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller recommend that you come in for a dental checkup and cleaning every six months? While daily oral hygiene habits are essential to good oral health, professional dental cleanings at Powell & Tiller Dental Care ensure your and your child’s teeth are treated to a deeper level of cleaning. In addition to a thorough cleaning and teeth polishing, regular visits at our Austin, TX office help us detect and prevent the onset of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. During your visit, we’ll check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue for symptoms of any oral disease. We will also check old fillings and restorations, as these can wear away over time from constant chewing, clenching, or grinding at night.

If you are predisposed to oral diseases due to age, pregnancy, tobacco use, or medical conditions such as diabetes or dry mouth, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller may recommend you visit our office more often than every six months.

If you are overdue for your next checkup and cleaning, please give us a call to schedule an appointment!

Memorial Day and Getting Ready for Summer

May 21st, 2014

Memorial Day didn't become an official holiday until 1971, but Americans started gathering annually in the spring to remember those who lost their lives in war during the 1860s, right after the Civil War. Celebrated on the last Monday in May, people still decorate the grave sites of war veterans and hold memorial services, but Memorial Day has also evolved into a day that signifies the beginning of summer.

During the summer months, many people take road trips to visit family members. Some head off to the airport to enjoy a long-awaited vacation far away, while others look forward to spending time with friends and family at home. However you spend Memorial Day and the subsequent summer months, there are a few things you can take care of to ensure your summertime is enjoyable.

Checklist for an Enjoyable Summer

  • Have the AC Checked. During the hottest days of summer, many families find themselves sweating it out due to a broken air conditioning system. Be proactive so you can avoid waiting for hours or days because the HVAC repair person is booked solid. Have your air conditioning system checked before or around Memorial Day each year.
  • Ensure Security While You're Away. When you leave for vacation, the last thing you should have to worry about is the security of your home. Install a home security system, if possible, and put a timer on your lights so they go on and off at normal hours. You can also alert your local police department that you'll be gone, and ask them to drive by your house once in a while to make sure everything is okay.
  • Visit Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller Before Vacation. Many people put off exams until after summer vacation. Avoid the crowds and make sure your physical and oral health are in top shape prior to vacation time so there are no unpleasant surprises.

Our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care wants you to look forward to Memorial Day and the days of summer by preparing to spend the time safely and comfortably. As you plan ahead, take care of your health and secure your home, you can place your focus on creating memories with family members and friends while enjoying your favorite Memorial Day traditions.

The Importance of Regular Dental Checkups

May 14th, 2014

When was the last time you paid Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller a visit? If you're like many people, chances are it was more than six months ago. We hear the reasons why people neglect regular dental visits all the time: lack of money or quality dental insurance, busy schedules, and fear. However, your twice-yearly checkups are so important for your dental health and for your overall health as well.

You may brush your teeth twice a day and even floss, and your teeth may feel fine, but regular dental checkups with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller aren’t about addressing problems and reacting — they are about cavity prevention. No matter how much you brush and floss, there is still a chance that food or other debris can get lodged between your teeth, and there is also a chance that food and beverages can wear down your tooth enamel in between visits, making your teeth vulnerable to decay.

In addition to a thorough teeth cleaning and polishing, these regular visits help us detect and prevent the onset of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. During your visit, we’ll check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue. We’ll also check old fillings and restorations, as these can wear away over time from constant chewing, grinding, or clenching.

It's important to know that the majority of dental problems do not become visible or painful until they are highly advanced. And, unfortunately, serious oral issues are painful and expensive to treat. A deep cleaning twice a year by our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care is the best way to hit all the spots you may have missed with brushing and flossing and prevent any problems that may have gone unseen.

Make sure your teeth get the professional attention they deserve! If you’re overdue for your next cleaning, please give us a call to schedule an appointment at our convenient Austin, TX office!

Wishing all our moms a happy Mother’s Day!

May 7th, 2014

"Motherhood: All love begins and ends there." - Robert Browning

We would like to take this moment to thank all the great moms out there for being so great during their child’s visits to Powell & Tiller Dental Care. Whether it’s driving their kids to regularly scheduled appointments or for “being there” while their child is treatment, the moms who come to our office are all stellar individuals, so Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our entire staff would like you to know that we appreciate you all!

Happy Mother’s Day and enjoy your special day!

Should I use mouthwash?

April 30th, 2014

Mouthwashes are commonly used as a part of a daily oral care regimen. Not only do they freshen breath, but some are capable of improving dental health too. Using a mouthwash daily can rinse fine debris away and out of reach while brushing. It can also make the teeth and gums more resilient to decay and disease.

Types of Mouthwashes

There are several types of mouthwashes available today that Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care want you to be aware of. Some do little more than freshen breath and are known as cosmetic mouthwashes. These are ideal for quickly eliminating odors that linger after eating, drinking, or taking medication. Using a cosmetic mouthwash does not offer any health benefits.

Other mouthwashes offer more comprehensive benefits; they can potentially prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Mouthwashes that contain antimicrobial agents work by preventing the buildup of plaque that can lead to gingivitis and decay of the tooth enamel. However, it should be noted that the use of a mouthwash is never a substitute for regular brushing and flossing.

In some cases, prescription mouthwashes are necessary to treat patients with gum disease or who have undergone periodontal surgery. These specialty mouthwashes are designed specifically for the treatment of gum disease and should not be used outside of their intended use. The majority of mouthwashes require no prescription.

Tips for Choosing a Mouthwash

The choice to use a mouthwash and which one to use is between you and your dentist, depending on your individual oral health needs. If you determine that a mouthwash is right for you, look for one that contains fluoride, if possible. Fluoride provides an added layer of protection for your teeth, and helps them become more resistant to decay. As always, if you have any questions or concerns when choosing a mouthwash, please give our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care a call for assistance in selecting the rinse that is best for you. Or, we invite to ask us during your next visit to our Austin, TX office!

The Link Between HPV and Oral Cancer

April 23rd, 2014

Cancer has become a common word, and it seems like there is new research about it every day. We know antioxidants are important. We know some cancers are more treatable than others. We know some lifestyles and habits contribute to our cancer risk.

Smoking increases our risk of cancer, as does walking through a radioactive power plant. But there is a direct link to oral cancer that you many may not know about—the link between HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) and oral cancer.

This may come as a shock because it has been almost a taboo subject for some time. A person with HPV is at an extremely high risk of developing oral cancer. In fact, smoking is now second to HPV in causing oral cancer!

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, “The human papilloma virus, particularly version 16, has now been shown to be sexually transmitted between partners, and is conclusively implicated in the increasing incidence of young non-smoking oral cancer patients. This is the same virus that is the causative agent, along with other versions of the virus, in more than 90% of all cervical cancers. It is the foundation's belief, based on recent revelations in peer reviewed published data in the last few years, that in people under the age of 50, HPV16 may even be replacing tobacco as the primary causative agent in the initiation of the disease process.” [http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/]

There is a test and a vaccine for HPV; please discuss it with your physician.

There are some devices that help detect oral cancer in its earliest forms. We all know that the survival rate for someone with cancer depends greatly on what stage the cancer is diagnosed. Talk to Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller if you have any concerns.

Please be aware and remember that when it comes to your own health, knowledge is power. When you have the knowledge to make an informed decision, you can make positive changes in your life. The mouth is an entry point for your body. Care for your mouth and it will care for you!

Earth Day

April 16th, 2014

The idea for Earth Day was the brainchild of Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin. He envisioned an Earth Day that would be a kind of environmental teach-in. The first Earth Day celebration took place on April 22, 1970, and a surprising 20 million people participated on that day. Ultimately, it became the largest organized celebration in US history.

Earth Day Over the Years

Over the years, the recognition of the day, and the number of people celebrating it all over the world, turned Earth Day into an international celebration. Because it is celebrated throughout the world, it is not only the largest international environmental observation, but it is also more widely celebrated than any other environmental event in the world. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in 175 countries where over 500 million people participate in celebrations.

The Earth Day Movement

The Earth Day movement is credited with developing the idea that people should “think green”. It encouraged congress to enact laws, including one that resulted in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. It also inspired the passage of the Endangered Species Act.

The Five R's and Their Importance

  • Reduce – Reduce by avoiding unnecessary purchases. Reduce your use of materials that wind up in landfills. Reduce the use of chemicals around your house. Reduce your use of disposable bags, plates, cups, eating utensils, and batteries.
  • Reuse – Instead of using plastic bags for your groceries or purchases, bring your own reusable bags. When you go to buy coffee at Starbucks, take a travel mug so you don't have to get your coffee in a disposable paper cup. Instead of storing food in disposable refrigerator containers, buy containers that can be washed and reused. Don't use regular batteries. Whenever possible, opt for rechargeable batteries that you can reuse.
  • Recycle – Most cities offer a recycling program to collect used bottles, cans, and newspapers. Recycling includes collecting recyclable materials that would otherwise be considered waste, sorting and processing recyclables into raw materials such as fibers and manufacturing raw materials into new products.
  • Re-buy – Make an effort to purchase things that are made through recycling. When purchasing furniture, look for items that are made from reclaimed wood. When buying paper for kids school work, computer printer paper, holiday cards, or anything else, make a point of purchasing recycled paper products. Instead of buying clothing at full retail price, shop for second hand clothing. You will save a lot of money by doing so!
  • Rethink – Rethink the way you do things so that you do them in an eco-conscious way at all times. Instead of driving to work alone, consider taking the bus or going in a carpool. Walk or ride your bike when you're only going a short distance. Plan your shopping trips and errand runs so that you can do everything on one day, and do it in a way where you can save time and gas.

Other ways to "think green" include growing your own food, composting yard waste and food scraps, or by participating in local recycling programs. Join a group like Freecycle so you can share your unneeded and unwanted possessions with people who can use them. Likewise, you'll be able to get things you need or want for free.

Earth Day teaches people that the planet belongs to everyone, so everyone is equally responsible for protecting it. Although Earth Day is an environmental celebration, our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care wants to remind you that you don't have to wait until then to make changes that will allow you and your family to live a greener life.

Happy Earth Day from the team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care.

The Importance of Baby Teeth

April 9th, 2014

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team know it can be easy to underestimate the significance of baby teeth. At Powell & Tiller Dental Care, we sometimes meet parents who assume that since their child's baby teeth, also known as primary teeth, eventually fall out and are replaced, they are less important. But did you know baby teeth serve purposes other than biting, chewing, and digesting food properly?

Baby teeth are essential not only for your child’s language development, but they also serve other important functions, like contributing to the normal development of your child’s jaw bones and facial muscles. Baby teeth also reserve space for your child’s future permanent teeth.

So, when do baby teeth fall out?

A baby tooth is intended to remain in your child’s mouth until the permanent tooth underneath it is ready to take its place. Sometimes, either due to a tooth being knocked out accidentally or being removed because of tooth decay, kids lose baby teeth before the permanent teeth are ready to erupt. If a tooth is lost, the teeth on either side of the open space may possibly push into the open space. The result? There may not be enough room for the permanent tooth when it is finally ready to erupt.

If you have any questions about your toddler’s teeth, or if your child is experiencing issues that concern you, please give us a call to set up an appointment at our convenient Austin, TX office.

April is National Facial Protection Month

April 2nd, 2014

The Importance of Facial Protection

Americans from all walks of life should mark April as National Facial Protection Month on their calendars. The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, Academy for Sports Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have combined forces to sponsor this annual campaign, which aims to educate and remind us of the importance of protecting our face and teeth against impacts and injuries.

Wearing a helmet can save your life and prevent devastating physical damage in a variety of situations, from playing football to riding a bicycle. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, helmets reduce the risk of various head injuries by as much as 85 percent. Whether helmet laws apply in your area or not, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care want you to make sure you and your loved ones wear helmets with the appropriate safety ratings for specific activities. (A sticker on or inside the helmet will usually indicate this rating.) Helmets can also help save your teeth if they come with an attached faceguard, an essential addition for football players and others involved in contact sports.

Preventing Dental Injuries

A mouthguard can protect you against a variety of dental injuries, such as cracked, broken, or knocked-out teeth. The American Dental Association states that mouthguards play an essential role in preventing up to 200,000 dental injuries each year, and many states mandate their use for sports activities such as football and hockey. The Academy for Sports Dentistry warns, however, that these mouthguards must be custom-fitted as precisely as possible to prove effective. Have a professional-quality mouthguard molded and fitted by our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care for better protection than a generic store-bought or “boil-and-bite” variety can offer. These cheaper versions tend to wear out quickly, interfere with proper breathing, and provide uneven degrees of cushion against impacts. Always have a fresh mouthguard fitted for each new sports season.

Choose the right combination of helmet, faceguard, and mouthguard to protect your teeth and face this April, and tell your friends to do the same! To learn more about mouthguards, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, please give us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office!

The Advantage of Philips Zoom Whitening

March 26th, 2014

Today, we thought we’d talk a little about Philips Zoom whitening at Powell & Tiller Dental Care. Philips Zoom, a professional teeth whitening treatment, gets your teeth an average of eight shades whiter in just one hour at our convenient Austin, TX office. It is a great way to enhance the appearance of your smile.

With Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, Philips Zoom is safe, simple, and relaxing! Not only that, but Philips Zoom is championed by dentists and patients from coast-to-coast as a pain-free process.

After three 15-minute applications within one hour, your treatment is complete, leaving you with a brighter, whiter smile. It’s that easy!

Please give us a call to schedule an appointment for Philips Zoom whitening.

How do I handle my child’s dental emergency?

March 19th, 2014

With children undergoing developmental dental changes and engaging in rough-and-tumble activities, dental emergencies can sometimes arise. If your child knocks out a tooth or experiences any type of oral discomfort, call Powell & Tiller Dental Care right away so we can provide you with a quick assessment and pain-free treatment.

Before an emergency occurs, it’s a good idea to stay informed about the problems your child may encounter. Here are a few things you should keep in mind about teething pain, loose baby teeth, and other common dental issues.

Teething Pain

Typically occurring in babies that are between four months and two and a half years old, teething may cause excessive drooling, tender gums, and some irritability. Giving your baby a cold teething ring or gently rubbing her gums with wet gauze or your finger may also make her feel better.

Loose Baby Tooth

It is normal for a child’s first set of teeth to become loose and fall out. On the other hand, if your child’s baby tooth is knocked loose, schedule an appointment with our office so we can assess whether any damage has been done.

Issues with Permanent Teeth

Sometimes a child’s permanent teeth will grow in before the baby teeth have fallen out. Even if this condition isn’t causing any discomfort, you should schedule an appointment with our office so we can determine whether your child’s permanent teeth are growing in correctly.

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums can result from a number of factors, including periodontal disease, rough brushing, or an injury to the gum tissue. If your child’s gums are bleeding heavily, call our office right away so we can address the situation. If you have time before your appointment, wash your child’s mouth with salted water and gently put pressure on the affected area.

Regardless of the type of dental issue your child has, you can always consult Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller for further guidance. We make sure our emergency services are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, so you have ready access to convenient and professional dental care that will have your child feeling better in no time.

St. Patrick's Day

March 12th, 2014

On March 17, everyone has a little Irish in them. St. Patrick’s Day is a joyous celebration of Irish heritage. The holiday originated as a commemoration of Saint Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland. The saint arrived in Ireland in 432 and earned the reputation of a champion of Irish Christianity. March 17th, the day of St. Patrick’s death, has been commemorated by the Irish for over 1,000 years. St. Patrick’s Day is still observed as a religious feast day by several Christian denominations, but it is better known in the public imagination as a rich celebration of Irish culture.

St. Patrick’s Day has been an official public holiday in Ireland since 1903. Each year, the Irish celebrate with a several-day festival that includes theater performances, music, fireworks, and festive parades. The celebration is also a public holiday in Northern Ireland, Montserrat, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In other parts of the world with heavy Irish populations, it is an unofficial celebration of Irish heritage. Parts of Great Britain, Canada, Argentina, South Korea, Switzerland, New Zealand, the United States, and Australia commemorate the holiday each year. Typical celebrations in these countries include drinking green beer, wearing green, eating traditional Irish foods, parades, and shamrock decorations.

Many people, Irish and non-Irish alike, take part in the “wearing of the green” on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, the color originally associated with Saint Patrick was blue. His use of shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish made the green clover emblematic of the holiday, leading to the traditional green attire worn by thousands on St. Patrick’s Day. Other little-known facts about St. Patrick’s Day include the following:

  • Each year, the United States and Ireland face off in a rugby competition called the “St. Patrick’s Day Test.”
  • Montreal celebrates the holiday with an annual parade, which has been held each year since 1824. The Montreal city flag even features a shamrock in its corner, as a nod to its Irish heritage.
  • The Guinness World Records named St. Patrick’s Day the “Friendliest Day of the Year.”
  • Along with Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most widely celebrated saint’s day in the world.

No matter your cultural heritage, St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to let loose and celebrate your inner Irish-ness! Don your greenest attire and exclaim “Erin go Bragh!” (Ireland forever!) to everyone you meet. From Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller - have a great St. Paddy’s day!

March is National Nutrition Month!

March 5th, 2014

While you don’t have to wait to start eating right, March is the month the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics asks everyone to pay special attention to what goes into our bodies. The Academy has designated the month of March for focusing the public’s awareness on what they eat.

What Not to Eat

The academy points out that the foods you eat have a direct effect on the health of your teeth and specifically on tooth decay. Bacteria rely on carbohydrates to thrive. That is why Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care tell our patients to cut back on both candy and sweets. They consist of simple sugars that feed the bacteria in your mouth and enhance tooth decay.

It’s the hidden sugars that will cost you, though. Get in the habit of reading labels on food and looking for products with added sugar. This includes ingredients that end with the suffix “ose.” When it comes to nutrition, these foods offer little value beyond satisfying that sweet tooth.

What You Should Eat

Turn to foods that not only taste good but are good for your teeth too. Dairy products, for example, provide the body with nutritional items that support tooth enamel. Foods high in protein feature phosphorus, a nutrient critical to oral health.

You can’t really go wrong by adding color to your diet, either. Fruits and vegetables make for a colorful plate and a healthy meal. Use some caution with acidic fruits like oranges or even tomatoes, because the acid can erode tooth enamel. It is better to include these foods in a meal instead of eating them by themselves.

Remember, good nutrition is something you should worry about all year long, not just when celebrating National Nutrition Month. March just serves as a fun reminder that eating right is a proactive step in managing your dental health.

We encourage you to give us a call at our Austin, TX office to learn more!

Implants: Why it's important to replace missing teeth

February 26th, 2014

The average adult has 32 teeth, a combination of molars, canines, and incisors. By middle age, however, most adults are missing at least one tooth due to an injury, decay, or gum disease. Though many people choose to forgo tooth replacement, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care will tell you that every tooth is important. Each plays a vital role in the structure of the mouth and in relationship to the remaining teeth. Leaving the space where a tooth once stood can have serious consequences. There are many reasons why severely decayed or missing teeth should be replaced as quickly as possible.

  • Speech: A missing tooth can negatively affect the way you speak, depending on its location.
  • Bite changes: The loss of one or more teeth can cause the redistribution of bite pressure onto other teeth. Over time, this can cause the teeth to shift and move into the space the tooth once held.
  • Gum disease: Shifting teeth can make it easier for plaque to accumulate in hard-to-reach places. This can increase the risk of gum disease, which can lead to additional tooth loss.
  • Bone loss: The teeth are place-holders in the jaw. When one falls out and is not replaced, the bone that once surrounded it begins to deteriorate and wear down.
  • Aesthetics: A missing tooth leaves a visible gap between the teeth and can be a source of embarrassment and insecurity.

Advancements in modern dentistry have made it easy to replace missing teeth using natural-looking and functioning prosthetics. Dental implants are permanent solutions for replacing missing teeth with the use of special rods that are anchored in the jaw bone. These implants serve as artificial tooth roots that fuse with the jaw over time. When cared for properly, most dental implants can be fitted to last a lifetime.

To learn more about dental implants, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, please give us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office!

Fluoride toothpaste use in young children — updated recommendations

February 26th, 2014


Here's a great article that we received from the ADA, check it out!

To create consistent recommendations regarding fluoride toothpaste use in children younger than 6 years, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs conducted a systematic review of the evidence. The results of the study demonstrate that for children younger than 6 years, fluoride toothpaste use is effective in caries control. Based on the evidence, the Council recommends the following:
• For children younger than 3 years, caregivers should begin brushing children's teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice.
• For children 3 to 6 years of age, caregivers should dispense no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
The Council stated, "This regimen is intended to maximize the caries-preventive benefits of fluoride while further reducing the risk of developing fluorosis when compared to the previous recommendations." The complete systematic review is published in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

How Tooth-Colored Fillings Improve Your Smile

February 19th, 2014

Today’s crowns, veneers, and tooth colored fillings are very natural looking compared to early counterparts. There was a time when dentists placed silver fillings exclusively. This material is still used, however the most common material used today in fillings is composite, tooth-colored fillings. Composite fillings can be made to match any shade of tooth and even let light travel through them like natural enamel.

Composite fillings are great in many different scenarios. The most obvious reason is when a cavity is present. This is an excellent way to seemingly erase the imperfection that once was. It is almost as if the cavity was never there.

Placing composite fillings to reshape teeth can also minimize excessive spacing. In the case of a diastema, (a large space between the two front teeth) composite material is a non-invasive and cost-effective choice that provides instant results. It can be an alternative to braces.

Mottled enamel is a symptom of fluorosis, which causes discoloration and imperfections in the enamel. Composites are the material of choice for masking this condition.

Composite fillings are easy to place, easy on the eyes, and easily repaired. With skill and good composite material, a filling can be easily disguised. This look is desired most in our society today, where dental perfection is now standard.

In conclusion, your smile is in good hands with composite fillings. There are some great materials that give a near perfect match to the appearance of natural tooth enamel. Smile with confidence knowing no one ever has to know. Your secret is safe with us at Powell & Tiller Dental Care!

Choose Chocolate on Valentine's Day

February 12th, 2014

From a student handing out sweets for her classmates to an older married couple exchanging boxes of candy, Valentine’s Day is the time of year when people like to show affection by gifting sugary treats to their loved ones. Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of Valentine’s Day candy, you can celebrate the holiday in a healthier way by making dark chocolate your confection of choice.

Contribute to Your Health

According to the Cleveland Clinic, studies have shown that the cocoa beans used to make chocolate contain flavonoids, which can help protect the body against damage from various toxins. Flavonoids may also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the heart and the brain. Dark chocolates typically contain a higher amount of flavonoids than other types, making them a great choice for chocolate lovers. However, you should keep in mind that many companies produce chocolate that is so heavily processed that the flavonoids are largely eliminated. Your best bet is to look for high-quality dark chocolates and cocoa powders that have undergone minimal processing.

Protect Against Cavities

If you think there’s no way candy could ever be beneficial for your teeth, think again. The Texas A&M Health Science Center has reported that the tannins present in cocoa beans may actually help prevent cavities by interfering with bacteria’s harmful interaction with teeth. Just like with flavonoids, tannins have been found to be present more often in dark chocolates, rather than milk chocolates, giving you another great reason to choose the richer, sweet varieties.

Avoid a Sticky Situation

One more benefit of choosing chocolate over other candies is that it is less likely to get stuck in the crevices and spaces between teeth. Gooey sweets like taffy can stay lodged in the mouth for longer periods of time, putting you at a greater risk for developing cavities. When you choose your chocolate, be sure to avoid types that also contain sticky ingredients like caramel or marshmallow, and instead opt for the plain varieties.

Remember that the health benefits you can receive from dark chocolate are largely based on eating the candy in moderation. With that being said, it’s easy to make this delicious and health conscious switch when you’re out shopping for your sweetheart, friends, loved ones, and yourself. Have fun satisfying your sweet tooth this year and Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Powell & Tiller Dental Care!

Making the World and Your Smile a Little Brighter

February 6th, 2014


This month, we are kicking off a new program. Each month, we will highlight a non-profit organization that is special to us or one of our patients and donate $50 for every in-office or home whitening that is purchased that month. So when you choose to brighten your smile, you will make others smile a little brighter with your $50 contribution. If you have friends or family that care about the organization we are highlighting this month, that may be considering whitening their smile, let them know about what we are doing this month. You can re-post this to Facebook or just send them a note to encourage them to come in and see us. If you send over someone who is not a patient of ours, we will also give $25 of their new patient exam toward the charity as well, so could be a total of $75 if they whiten too.

You all know that charitable giving of our time, talent and income is important to us. We felt this was one more way we could mission in our work even at times that we are not in third world countries. There is need here too and we'd love to work together with our patients, old and new, to better our world.

This month's charity that we are sponsoring is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, www.nmss.org. We chose this as our first non-profit organization to highlight because, as many of you know, it is near and dear to Dr. Powell's heart. Her dear husband, Chuck, has battled the disease for 22 years now. He was diagnosed 3 months before they were married. He has fought hard against the disease, but as many of you know, it takes it's toll. We also have patients who struggle with MS and are so blessed to have quite a few patients who have cycled in the MS 150 to raise money for this cause. Dr. Powell and her husband, Dr. Powell, feel very blessed that advances are constantly being made in the area of MS. When he was first diagnosed, he was in the hospital undergoing multiple tests and the neurologist told Dr. Juli that it was either MS or cancer. The doctor said, "If it is cancer, we will fight it; radiation works very well in the spinal cord. If it's MS there is currently no treatment, we will just follow the slow progression of the disease." Dr. Juli remembers saying, "So what am I rooting for?" and the doctor said, "MS. While there is no treatment now, there are things on the horizon, with cancer we may win, but we may lose and even the biopsy could leave him paralyzed." So MS it was. The doctor was right, new treatments were right around the corner. The first ever treatment for MS, Betaseron, came out 3 years later. Chuck started on the new therapy immediately. Research has continued, and as one medicine stopped slowing the progress of his disease, another would come out. Thanks to MS research, funded by groups like the NMSS, new treatments continue to emerge.

If this is a cause that is special to you or someone you know, pass on our information, or tell us your own MS story.

Pregnancy: What should I know about my oral care?

January 29th, 2014

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care know this is an exciting time as you anticipate the arrival of your new little one. We want to take this opportunity to provide you with some important information pertaining to your oral health during pregnancy. Just as the rest of your body is changing, the amount of bacteria in your mouth also changes. Scientists don’t understand all the reasons why, but during pregnancy, your mouth is more susceptible to bacterial complications that could result in increased risk for gingivitis or periodontal disease. What researchers do know is the change in hormones creates a more favorable environment for gum infections and diseases when you are pregnant.

You may experience an increase in gingivitis, even while continuing with regular daily brushing and flossing, and routine semi-annual month cleanings. You will likely complain of increased bleeding of the gums with routine daily care and more tenderness in the mouth. This is due, in part, to the increased blood flow and volume that naturally occurs with pregnancy. There is a greater amount of blood flowing through your veins, which translates into slightly engorged gum tissues. If gingivitis prevails, you may also experience pain and tenderness. We can help you navigate through your specific needs.

Brushing your teeth two times a day may not be quite enough. Similarly, if you only floss on occasion, consider making this activity a daily habit. Mouthwash is also advised, or sometimes a mild saltwater rinse may feel better than a commercial brand. Consider other products with xylitol and a WaterPik for additional cleaning.

Finally, we now know that bacteria in the mouth circulate throughout the body. These harmful bacteria compromise your immune system and may increase your risk for respiratory illness and cause other strains on your immune system. Remember that nutrients as well as pathogens are shared with your baby. If you feel tired or tempted to slack on your home-care routine, remember the importance and implications of your daily decisions on how your care for your oral health.

Contact our convenient Austin, TX location if you have more specific questions. We’re here to help you!

Periodontal disease; I have what?!

January 22nd, 2014

Our team from Powell & Tiller Dental Care understands the diagnosis of periodontal disease can be scary and confusing, but the good news in most cases is that it is treatable and manageable with a little work on the part of the patient.

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum tissue, bone, and supporting structures for the teeth. In the past it was known as pyorrhea. Diagnosis is commonly made through a combination of dental X-rays, periodontal readings (called probe depths), and visual clinical findings.

The mouth is a gateway to the rest of the body and can provide clues to the patient’s overall health. In fact, the first signs of some chronic diseases appear in the oral cavity; they can be a hint for the dentist to refer the patient to a medical doctor for a thorough exam.

If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to premature tooth loss, sensitivity, and chronic or acute mouth pain. If you have diabetes, you are more prone to periodontal disease and can experience greater difficulty controlling your blood glucose levels. The body ends up spending so much energy fighting the infection in the mouth that it cannot achieve balance elsewhere. Studies have shown that once periodontal disease is treated, the glucose levels become more responsive to control as well.

Standard treatments can include scale and root planing, medicated mouth rinse, and in some cases antibiotic therapy or laser therapy to help control bacteria while promoting healing. Periodontal disease can range from a few localized pockets to extensive and severe infection that may require surgery.

The process of scale and root planing may entail two to four appointments for treatment, with follow-up maintenance exams every three to four months to help prevent the spread of disease. In most cases you will be numbed for comfort during the procedure. After treatment you may feel a little sore—but you are taking steps to improve your health!

Scheduling an appointment with the Austin, TX office of Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller will give you an accurate diagnosis and a range of treatment options. Periodontal disease is “silent,” which means you will not always experience pain as a signal of infection. When caught early and subjected to proper oral hygiene care on a daily basis, treatments are usually successful.

Are you nervous about seeing the dentist? You’re not alone!

January 15th, 2014

With advances in modern dentistry, a trip to Powell and Tiller Dental Care these days is pretty routine. But visiting a dentist still makes some patients anxious—so much so that they don’t go as often as they should and end up with costly complications down the road, such as tooth decay or gum disease.
When it comes to dental care, prevention is the best medicine. And that begins with regular checkups and dental cleanings at our convenient Austin, TX office. Today, we thought we would offer five tips for taking the worry out of a visit to see Drs Powell and Tiller:
1. First of all think about what bothers you about going to the dentist and discuss it with us. We start every new patient visit sitting face to face at a table in our consultation room, so that we can comfortably discuss your health history, past dental history and any other concerns you may have. If fear is what has been keeping you away from the dentist, let us know what particular area worries you. Write down your fears, one by one and talk about them during your visit. We will make sure we have addressed any of your worries before proceeding with any treatment.
2. Don’t wait. The more frequently you visit our office, the less likely it is that you will have advanced dental issues or multiple areas of decay or disease. This keeps treatment visits shorter and easier for you. Simply having your teeth cleaned professionally by Drs Powell and Tiller twice a year prevents many, if not most, problems down the road.
3. Enjoy a distraction. Your comfort is one of our highest priorities. We have TVs overhead in each room complete with wireless headphones to allow you to just hang out and watch a show while we take care of your oral health. We have music playing as well, but feel free to bring your own music and headphones, and get lost in the music.
4. Medications are available to help you relax. We have several options for anti-anxiety medications we may prescribe to help you relax during your appointment. Some are oral medications to be taken prior to your visit or we have Nitrous Oxide available (some people refer to as laughing gas). This is a nice option for many patients because it helps you relax during your appointment, but is able to be completely flushed from your system within just a few minutes after treatment so that you are safe to drive yourself home. We are happy to discuss which options are best for you.
5. Ask us. Before any given procedure, we encourage you to ask Drs Powell and Tiller or one of our assistants any questions you have about the process. Ask us what we’re doing, and how it benefits you.
Remember, you’re not alone. We understand that going to the dentist isn’t easy for everyone. In fact, the Journal of the American Dental Association estimates that as many as 12 percent of adults suffer from dental anxiety so bad that they avoid the dentist altogether. Many more suffer from varying degrees of dental anxiety, which often results in poor oral health.
If you suffer from dental anxiety, your fears don’t have to keep you from seeing Drs Powell and Tiller. Our patients at Powell & Tiller Dental Care are our most important asset, and we strive to create a comfortable experience, no matter how long it has been since your last visit. We hope to see you soon!

Are you at risk for sleep apnea?

January 8th, 2014

If you are one of the more than 12 million North Americans who suffers from sleep apnea, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team want you to know we can help. Sleep apnea, a disorder that causes frequent disruption to your body’s sleep patterns, is also potentially dangerous, as it causes abnormal pauses in breathing or very shallow breathing during the night.

For those who suffer from sleep apnea, it may seem impossible to wake up feeling rested and energized. You may, for example, sleep for eight hours, but your body might have only received three or four hours of quality sleep.

Besides losing a good night’s sleep, the risk of heart attack and stroke have been linked to sleep apnea. Other conditions associated with sleep apnea include depression, irritability, high blood pressure, memory loss, and sexual dysfunction.

Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax to the point of inhibiting natural breathing. The muscles used to support the soft palate relax and the airway closes, causing breathing to stop for anywhere from ten to 20 seconds, which is dangerous because it lowers the oxygen level in the brain.

Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, and CPAP devices (continuous positive airway pressure), among other treatments, are often prescribed for sleep apnea treatment. Another treatment option is an oral sleep apnea appliance, which positions your mouth in a way that brings your lower jaw forward and opens up your airway for unobstructed breathing.

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care, we truly care about the health and well-being of our patients. In fact, we regularly screen our patients for sleep disorders during their regular checkups, and we will refer you to a sleep apnea specialist if an issue is detected. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at our Austin, TX office if you think you have sleep apnea or if you have any questions or concerns!

New Year's Day Around the World

January 1st, 2014

New Year’s Day marks the beginning of the calendar year in most parts of the world. The holiday is celebrated on January 1st of each year. Customs and celebrations vary by country, religion, and even individual desires. Whether celebrated quietly or with gusto, the day brings the start of new opportunities for those that observe it.

United States and Canada

In both the US and Canada, celebrations begin on New Year’s Eve. At midnight on January 1st the New Year is welcomed with bells, horns, whistles, and other noisemakers. Fireworks are often part of the celebrations. In New York City, Times Square comes alive with revelers. In Toronto, there are large celebrations which may feature concerts, late-night partying, sporting events, and fireworks, with free public transit service during peak party times. Many individuals in North America greet the year by making resolutions for improvements in their lives.

China

In China, many people celebrate two forms of a new year. They may observe January 1st, but the traditional Chinese New Year is based on a lunar calendar. Parades with paper lanterns and dragons made from silk are a significant part of the festivities. Legends say that the dragon spends most of its time in hibernation so fireworks are used to keep the dragon awake.

Jewish Celebration

Jewish New Year’s observances begin with Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the New Year, and end with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This ten-day celebration is held in September or October, based on the Hebrew calendar. The New Year is not marked as much with loud celebrations as with personal insight to mend wrongs and resolve to better oneself.

Other countries and cultures also have different dates for New Year’s Day observances:

  • Vietnam observes the New Year in February
  • In Iran, the day is celebrated on March 21st
  • Islamic cultures often observe the tenth day of the month of Muharram
  • Russian Orthodox observers use the Julian calendar and celebrate on January 14th
  • Buddhist celebrations are held from April 13th through 15th

If you observe New Year’s Day by making healthy resolutions, include dental care in your plans with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller. The health of your teeth and gums contributes to your overall health. Caring for your mouth now can prevent many dental problems later in life. Powell & Tiller Dental Care wishes you a healthy, prosperous, and happy New Year!

What’s an intraoral camera?

December 19th, 2013

One of the greatest features our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care offers is the ability to see first-hand how we can help our patients. While X-rays help us detect any problems in your mouth and give us valuable information on what is bothering you, they often don’t give Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller a complete view of everything that is going on inside your mouth. With the use of an intraoral camera, we can see every aspect of your teeth and mouth with incredible detail, uncovering cracked or fractured teeth, excessive wear, carious lesions, cavities, or other issues that may be hidden. When we can discover oral problems early on, your treatment is much less invasive and often saves you money down the road.

An intraoral camera allows Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller to view clear, precise images of your mouth, teeth, and gums and allows us to make an accurate diagnosis.  With clear, defined, enlarged images, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team see details that standard mirror examinations may miss. It’s much easier to understand what is happening in your mouth if you can see the problem on a computer monitor, and it means faster diagnosis and less chair-time for our patients!

Intraoral cameras are small, about the size of a dental mirror, and emit a light onto the tooth. The tooth will emit a color that lets Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller determine if the tooth is healthy or diseased. Intraoral cameras also allow us to save your images on our office computer to provide a permanent record of treatments. These treatments can be printed for you, other specialists, and your lab or insurance companies.

For any questions about the intraoral camera, we encourage you to ask Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller or our team during your or your child’s next visit or by giving us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office.

Teeth Grinding

December 11th, 2013

If you are waking up with jaw pain, tension headaches, or facial pain, you may be suffering from a condition known as bruxism. This means you could be grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep. Some people aren’t even aware they are grinding or clenching their teeth at night, until a visit to us reveals significant tooth enamel loss. Fortunately, there is a non-invasive and effective solution for teeth grinding, and the tooth enamel damage it can cause, in custom-fabricated nightguards.

Causes of teeth grinding

Tension, stress, and anxiety experienced during the daytime can carry over to an individual’s sleep, and lead the person to grind his or her teeth together or clench the teeth unknowingly. Sleep apnea is another condition that can result in bruxism. Regardless of the cause, however, frequent clenching and teeth grinding wears down the chewing surfaces of the teeth, reduces tooth enamel, and can result in a cracked or chipped tooth, crown, or filling.

Nightguards for teeth grinding

Custom nightguards are fabricated to fit like a glove and protect your teeth from the adverse effects of bruxism. Nightguards are created through a non-invasive process that simply takes an impression of the bottom and top rows of teeth. The result is a nightguard that is flexible, comfortable, and personalized to your mouth.

Benefits of nightguards

Nightguards are helpful to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of dental damage incurred as a result of teeth grinding. They can reduce the discomfort associated with a sore jaw, headaches, tooth sensitivity, ear pain, and facial pain that many patients experience as a result of clenching or grinding of their teeth. In severe cases of bruxism, patients can develop loss of hearing, jawbone misalignment, and TMJ. Therefore, customized nightguards can help prevent the progression of teeth grinding into these more serious conditions.

At-home tips to reduce or prevent teeth grinding

Although it’s important to wear your nightguard faithfully if you grind your teeth at night, you can follow a few self-care tips to help to prevent your teeth grinding from worsening.

  • Reduce tension and stress. Whether you take a warm bath before bed, listen to soothing music, or exercise, practice stress-relieving activities to wash away the tensions of the day.
  • Avoid alcohol. In some patients, alcohol increases teeth grinding tendencies.
  • Avoid caffeine. In some individuals, caffeine increases the likelihood of teeth grinding.
  • Focus on relaxing jaw muscles. Make a conscious effort to keep your jaw relaxed. A warm washcloth against your cheek, sticking your tongue between your teeth, and avoiding chewing pencils, pens, and gum are all ways to train the muscles of your jaw to stay relaxed.

If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth at night, visit Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care for an evaluation at our convenient Austin, TX office.

Diet and Dental Health: What to eat and what to avoid

December 4th, 2013

You are probably aware that guzzling soda and drinking those sugary Starbucks Frappuccinos aren’t particularly good for your dental health. But how much thought do you give to the effects of your diet on your teeth? Practicing healthy eating habits isn’t just helpful for your waistline, it also ensures that your teeth stay strong and cavity-free.

How diet affects dental health

Our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care will tell you that your mouth is a complicated place on a microbiological level. Harmful bacteria form dental plaques which convert the sugars in food to acids that wear away at tooth enamel. Meanwhile, saliva washes away some of the detrimental acids, while minerals work to rebuild where teeth are damaged. The foods you eat are important for managing this balancing act between harmful bacteria and helpful rebuilding agents.

Rethinking your diet to prevent cavities

Carefully considering your dietary choices is a smart way to become mindful of the foods you eat and how they affect oral health.

Foods to eat

  • Calcium- and phosphorus-rich foods. We’ve all heard that milk builds strong bones, and your teeth are included in that. Milk, cheese, nuts, and chicken are strong sources of calcium and phosphorus. These minerals are used to repair damage to the teeth’s enamel.
  • Crunchy fruits and vegetables. Biting into an apple stimulates saliva flow, which washes harmful acids from the surface of your teeth. Turn to other crunchy fruits and vegetables, including carrots, celery, pears, and lettuce, to increase saliva production.
  • Sugar substitutes. If you have a sweet tooth but want to decrease tooth decay, sugar substitutes such as Stevia or Equal provide a sugary kick without harming your teeth.

Foods to avoid

  • Sugary snacks. Cookies, cakes, candies, and other sugary treats provide a feast for the acid-producing bacteria in your mouth. Furthermore, these foods often get stuck in the ridges of your teeth, and provide a breeding ground for new bacteria.
  • Acidic fruits and vegetables. Foods high in acidity, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, berries, peaches, and lemons, wear away the enamel of your teeth. Because these foods can be part of a healthy diet, remember to brush after eating them or swish with a mouth rinse to protect your teeth.

Eating well is an essential part of keeping your teeth healthy. Consult Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller about your diet for tips on food habits that keep your teeth strong and cavity-free. For more information about the link between your diet and your oral health, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, please give us a call at our convenient Austin, TX office!

Thanksgiving Trivia

November 27th, 2013

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care we love learning trivia and interesting facts about Thanksgiving! This year, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller wanted to share some trivia that might help you feel a bit smarter at the holiday dinner table and help create some great conversation with friends and family.

The Turkey

There is no historical evidence that turkey was eaten at the first Thanksgiving dinner. It was a three-day party shared by the Wamponoag Indians and the pilgrims in 1621. Historians say they likely ate venison and seafood.

According to National Geographic, the dinner at the Plymouth colony was in October and included about 50 English colonists and 90 American Indian men. The first Thanksgiving dinner could have included corn, geese, and pumpkin.

Today, turkey is the meat of choice. According to the National Turkey Association, about 690 million pounds of turkey are consumed during Thanksgiving, or about 46 million turkeys.

The Side Dishes

The green bean casserole became popular about 50 years ago. Created by the Campbell Soup Company, it remains a popular side dish. According to Campbell’s, it was developed when the company was creating an annual holiday cookbook. The company now sells about $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup each year, which is a major part of the recipe.

While there were likely plenty of cranberries for the pilgrims and Indians to enjoy, sugar was a luxury. What we know today as cranberry sauce was not around in those early Thanksgiving days. About 750 million pounds of cranberries are produced each year in the US, with about 30 percent consumed on Thanksgiving.

The Parade

Since Thanksgiving did not become a national holiday until Lincoln declared it in 1863, the annual parades were not yearly events until much later. The biggest parade that continues to draw crowds is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Beginning in 1924 with about 400 employees, they marched from Convent Avenue to 145th Street in New York City. Famous for the huge hot-air balloons today, it was actually live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo that were the stars of the show then.

However you choose to spend your Thanksgiving holiday, we wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday with those you love.

How do I know if I’m at risk for oral cancer?

November 20th, 2013

Every year, over 50,000 North Americans are diagnosed with oral or throat cancer, which has a higher death rate than many other common cancers, including cervical cancer, testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and thyroid or skin cancers. The high death rate results from the fact that most oral cancers go undiagnosed until the disease is well advanced and has spread to another part of the body, most often, the lymph nodes in the neck.

Because oral cancer is typically painless in its early stages and often goes undetected until it spreads, many patients aren’t diagnosed until they are already suffering from chronic pain or loss of function. However, if detected early, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care want you to know that early detection of oral cancer improves the survival rate to 80 percent or more.

If you visit our Austin, TX office regularly, you have probably received an oral cancer screening and didn’t even realize it. That’s because the exam is quick and painless; Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team check your neck and mouth for signs of oral cancer such as discolorations, lumps, or any changes to your tissue. Oral cancer is typically found on the tongue, lips, gums, the floor of the mouth, or tissues in back of the tongue.

Factors that may influence your risk for developing oral cancer include:

  • Use of tobacco products. Smoking cigarettes, cigars, a pipe, or chewing tobacco all elevate risk for developing oral cancer. Tobacco use especially is a serious risk factor because it contains substances called carcinogens, which are harmful to cells in your mouth.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol. Those who drink alcohol regularly have an elevated risk of getting oral cancer. Alcohol abuse (more than 21 drinks in one week) is the second largest risk factor for the development of oral cancer, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.
  • Excessive sun exposure. Those who spend lots of time outdoors and do not use proper amounts of sunscreen or lip balm have a greater risk for developing lip cancer. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight may also cause melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.
  • Your age. Oral cancer is typically a disease that affects older people, usually because of their longer exposure to other risk factors. Most patients diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 40.
  • Your gender. Oral cancer strikes men twice as often as it does women.
  • A history with viral infections, such as human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables.

In between your visits to our office, it is critical for you to be aware of the following signs and symptoms, and give us a call if these symptoms don’t go away after two weeks.

  • A sore or irritation that doesn’t disappear
  • Red or white patches
  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness in mouth or lips
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

During your next visit, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller will examine your mouth for signs of oral cancer. If you have been putting off a visit to our Austin, TX office for your regular checkup, now is an excellent time to schedule one. Regular visits can be the first line of defense against oral cancer because we can identify early warning signs of the disease. Give us a call today!

Three Valuable Dental Treatments

November 13th, 2013

In our office, we customize treatment for every patient. Amid all of the fillings, crowns, and veneers, we find there are three treatments that are most valuable when offering our patients options: dental implants, bite guards, and teeth whitening.

Dental implants are a great tool for those who have lost teeth from trauma, genetic predetermination, decay, or fracture. Technology and design have allowed these implants to look and function like a natural tooth. They are a great investment when maintaining bone structure and smile presentation.

In our fast-paced lives, people take their stress and tension out on their teeth. Clenching and grinding, or bruxism, is on the rise. This is traumatic to crowns, fillings, and natural teeth. Headaches are a symptom of bruxism and when not treated, jaw joint inflammation and pain are a result. Bite guards are often worn at night when most of the action occurs. Many are not even aware of this habit until presented with evidence of cracked teeth, broken crowns, and pain.

Last, but most definitely not least, is whitening. Tooth whitening is safe and effective. There are different types of tooth whitening: in-office, custom trays, and over-the-counter strips. Each is effective, though at different levels. First, and your best option, is done in the office. The gums are protected and a gel with high potency is applied to the teeth. Some methods have a light shining on teeth and some have timed intervals without the light. Next are custom trays, which require an impression of your bite. Trays are picked up at a later date. At that point, instructions are given and the gel and trays are delivered. A final option is whitening strips, which can be found in many local stores. They are effective, though the whitening process is slower and some areas may not whiten.

Each treatment has risks and rewards that should always be considered prior to any treatment. Implants must be well cared for. Bite guards must be an accurate fit and worn regularly. Comfort is most important. Whitening causes temporary sensitivity and some people’s teeth whiten better than others.

Consider what your needs are, and then customize your wants to fit into the equation. A little stability from implants, protection from a bite guard, and a brilliant smile may be just what the doctor ordered. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call our office, Powell & Tiller Dental Care.

How tooth-colored Fillings by Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller improve your smile

November 7th, 2013

Today’s crowns, veneers, and tooth colored fillings are very natural looking compared to early counterparts. There was a time when dentists placed silver fillings exclusively. This material is still used, however the most common material used today in fillings is composite, tooth-colored fillings. Composite fillings can be made to match any shade of tooth and even let light travel through them like natural enamel.

Composite fillings are great in many different scenarios. The most obvious reason is when a cavity is present. This is an excellent way to seemingly erase the imperfection that once was. It is almost as if the cavity was never there.

Placing composite fillings to reshape teeth can also minimize excessive spacing. In the case of a diastema, (a large space between the two front teeth) composite material is a non-invasive and cost-effective choice that provides instant results. It can be an alternative to braces.

Mottled enamel is a symptom of fluorosis, which causes discoloration and imperfections in the enamel. Composites are the material of choice for masking this condition.

Composite fillings are easy to place, easy on the eyes, and easily repaired. With skill and good composite material, a filling can be easily disguised. This look is desired most in our society today, where dental perfection is now standard.

In conclusion, your smile is in good hands with composite fillings. There are some great materials that give a near perfect match to the appearance of natural tooth enamel. Smile with confidence knowing no one ever has to know. Your secret is safe with us at Powell & Tiller Dental Care!

November Marks National Diabetes Awareness Month

November 6th, 2013

Diabetes is a chronic disease that increases the risk for many serious health problems, including severe gum disease. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and it’s a great time for us at Powell & Tiller Dental Care to remind our patients that the way you care for your teeth at home doesn’t just affect your oral health; keeping your mouth healthy is vital to your overall health, too.

Diabetes is the result of a deficiency, or lack of the hormone insulin to properly transport glucose (blood sugar) to the cells throughout the body. According to the American Diabetes Association, the most common types of diabetes are Type One (90-95 percent of cases), Type Two (five percent), and gestational or pregnancy diabetes. Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 35 to 60 percent chance of developing diabetes, mostly Type Two, in the ten to 20 years following their pregnancy.

In the past decade, researchers have found links between periodontal (gum) disease and diabetes. Not only are people with diabetes more vulnerable to gum disease, but diabetes may also have the potential to affect blood glucose control, as well as contribute to the advancement of diabetes.

Nearly 26 million Americans currently live with the disease, with an additional 79 million in the pre-diabetes stage. There is some good news we want you to know, however; you can protect your gums and teeth from the effects of diabetes by visiting our Austin, TX office for an exam. Patients who are living with diabetes may require more often visits to ensure their dental health remains in tip-top shape. Many insurance plans provide expanded benefits for diabetic patients, and Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller can tell you how often you need to come in for an appointment.

For more information on how we can help, please do not hesitate to give us a call at our Austin, TX office.

Halloween - Candy, Costumes, and More!

October 31st, 2013

All Hallows' Eve, more commonly known as Halloween, is a yearly event celebrated on October 31, and one that is anticipated by the young and young at heart all over the world. Some scholars claim that Halloween originated from Celtic festivals that honored the dead or that celebrated the harvest, while others doubt that there's any connection at all to Samhain (a Gaelic harvest festival.) Regardless of its origin, our team at the dental office of Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller hope that Halloween is fun and enjoyed by all of our awesome patients!

Trick or Treat?

In North America, Halloween is predominantly celebrated by children who dress up in costumes, which range from scary to cute, who then go around the neighborhood knocking on doors asking "trick or treat", and they are given candy in return. Trick-or-treating is a time honored tradition, and though many parents groan at the pounds and pounds of candy collected by youngsters and fear for the health of their teeth, there are a few things you can do to help their teeth stay in great shape until the candy is gone:

  • Limit the amount of candy they can consume each day
  • Have them brush their teeth after eating candy
  • Avoid hard, chewy candies as they can stick in hard to brush places
  • Keep candy out of sight to reduce temptation
  • Don't buy candy too far in advance to limit pre-Halloween consumption
  • Help or encourage your children to floss

Halloween Fun

Halloween isn't just about gorging on candy; there are other events associated with this festive day including carving jack-o'-lanterns, painting pumpkins, decorating sugar cookies, bobbing for apples, going to haunted houses, or just curling up on the couch with a bowl full of popcorn and watching some classic, scary movies.

Halloween Around the World

Some countries, like Australia, frown upon Halloween, claiming it is an American event and not based in Australian culture, while others like Italy have embraced the fun and celebrate much as Canadians and Americans do. Mexicans have been celebrating this fun day since around 1960, and it marks the beginning of the Day of the Dead festival. Some countries in Europe have come late to the party, but since the 1990s, countries like Sweden, Norway, and Germany have started celebrating Halloween as well, and finding children in costumes or having ghosts hanging in windows has become commonplace.

Halloween is about fun; stepping outside our normal lives and donning a costume or gathering with friends to knock on doors and ask for candy is as much a part of our culture as hot dogs and barbecue on Labor Day. Have a safe and happy Halloween from the team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care!

Common Emergency Care Visits: Toothaches or Abscesses

October 24th, 2013

Dental problems do not always wait for normal office hours. Broken fillings or damaged teeth are common reasons for emergency treatment. Toothaches and abscesses can also require prompt attention. Powell & Tiller Dental Care can provide you with the information and treatment you need to prevent the problem from becoming worse. Emergency dental care is only a phone call away, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Abscess

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, an abscess is a bacterial infection. An abscess will normally cause pain and swelling around the affected tooth and gum area. Antibiotics are not always necessary, but you should seek treatment quickly. Left untreated, an infection can spread and cause serious complications.

Toothache

There are many reasons that you may develop a sudden toothache. The cause of the pain may be a particle of food lodged between your tooth and gum line. One of the first steps you can take is to rinse your mouth with warm water. You may also try gently flossing the area to dislodge the particle. Do not continue flossing if bleeding occurs.

Toothaches can occur from a carie — a cavity in the tooth — or from a fracture. Sensitivity to heat or cold may also cause tooth pain. You should make an appointment to ensure that a minor problem does not become serious. We may recommend acetaminophen or another pain reliever to reduce the pain before your visit.

Additional tips and treatments:

  • If you have fractured a tooth, rinse the area with warm water to keep the surfaces clean. Apply a cold compress to the outside of your facial area to reduce swelling.
  • A tooth that has been knocked out should be kept moist, in a clean container, until you can receive treatment.
  • Do not apply aspirin directly on a damaged tooth or gum area as it can cause tissue irritation.
  • If you suspect that your jaw has been broken, go to an emergency room immediately.
  • If you have bitten or damaged your lips or tongue, rinse your mouth well with warm water. If bleeding continues, call us or seek other medical attention immediately.

Our team is ready to assist you when you have an emergency dental need. When you call, please provide us with as much information as possible so we can offer recommendations that will assist you until your appointment. Do not delay; emergency treatment is available and immediate treatment is the best course of action.

Is there a correlation between my dental and cardiovascular health? From Powell & Tiller Dental Care

October 17th, 2013

YES!  Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, underscoring the importance of good oral health care. Cardiovascular disease remains American’s leading killer, claiming more lives than the rest of major causes of death, according to our friends at the American Heart Association. In fact, an estimated 80 percent of American adults currently have some form of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, also known as periodontal disease.

Studies also suggest that patients, especially those with gum disease, are believed to have an elevated risk of heart attack and stroke. Since most patients are not regularly visiting a heart specialist, their regular visits to our $custom_city_33774 office can help detect early warning signs of heart issues, prevent gum disease or at the very least catch it at its early stage. We’d also like you to know your numbers: blood pressure (less than 120/80), cholesterol (less than 200) and BMI (less than 25).

There are many benefits to visiting Powell & Tiller Dental Care in addition to maintaining your dental health. If it has been more than six months since your last visit to Powell & Tiller Dental Care please give us a call!

Tooth Fairy's Halloween Candy Swap at Powell & Tiller Dental Care

October 10th, 2013


On Monday, November 4th, will be our Annual Tooth Fairy's Halloween Candy Swap at Powell & Tiller Dental Care! Each year we pay kids (10 and under) $2.00 for each pound of Halloween candy that they bring in to our office to trade. The candy is then shipped overseas via Operation Gratitude, where treats and supplies are shipped to our military personnel!

It’s a great way to send a treat to a soldier, and save our little one’s sweet teeth from too much of a yummy thing. A little is okay as long as they brush afterward! However, in all of the fun of going house to house, we often don’t realize how much candy they end up with! What a great way to share it!

See you all next November 4th!

October is National Dental Hygiene Month: A simple oral health routine for your busy lifestyle

October 3rd, 2013

Adults are no strangers to feeling like there is never enough time in the day to get everything done. Your alarm clock rings and within minutes you ping pong around trying to spread peanut butter on sandwiches, answer your cell phone, remove the dog hair from your clothes, and make sure your child has completed his or her science fair project. Brushing your teeth can easily fall to the wayside. That is why our office promotes a simple, daily oral health regimen that you can easily incorporate into your busy lifestyle.

The American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA), in partnership with the Wrigley Jr. Company, is celebrating National Dental Hygiene Month (NDHM) during October. The ADHA encourages people to "Brush. Floss. Rinse. Chew...Keep it Clean, Keep it Healthy!" and offers some great tips for a quick and effective home oral health routine, below:

Oral Health Routine at Home

  • Brushing your teeth twice daily is the most important thing you can do to diminish the accumulation of plaque and the potential for other oral problems such as cavities and gingivitis.
  • Flossing once daily removes plaque and food from beneath the gums and between teeth that brushing alone cannot remove. Tooth decay and gum disease often begin in these areas.
  • Rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial, non-alcohol based mouthwash kills plaque and gingivitis germs that brushing and flossing do not catch; teeth make up less than half of your mouth. We recommend using a mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
  • Chewing sugar-free gum helps produce saliva, which battles cavities. The gum also neutralizes plaque, strengthens enamel, and removes remaining food. It is especially important to chew gum after eating or drinking.

It's easy to put the toothbrush down in order to take care of matters you feel are more urgent, but remember, a good oral health routine at home is the best way to prevent periodontal disease. "Periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. An estimated 75 percent of Americans reportedly have some form of periodontal disease," said the ADHA. Periodontal disease also is linked to more serious illnesses such as diabetes and stroke.

Also, remember to keep regular visits with our office every six months or as scheduled. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller can remove tartar and plaque, detect periodontal disease early, and help you learn more about proper care for your teeth and gums.

Which Type of Mouthwash is Best? From Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller

September 26th, 2013

Taking care of your oral health involves a daily regimen of brushing, flossing, and rinsing to prevent tooth decay and bacterial infections. Though you may have asked us which toothbrush to use, few patients at Powell & Tiller Dental Care ask about mouthwash.

However, different mouthwashes you might choose will have varying effects on your oral health. So which type is best for you?

Gum Health

Antiseptic mouthwashes are designed to reduce the majority of bacteria on and near the gum line. Using an antiseptic mouthwash can help decrease your chances of developing gingivitis. If possible, look for a mouthwash with antibacterial or antimicrobial ingredients.

Fluoride

Fluoride is beneficial for oral health and can help prevent tooth decay. If you drink a lot of bottled water without fluoride, we may recommend that you purchase a rinse with fluoride in it.

Bad Breath

Although mouthwash is designed to prevent bacterial build-up within the mouth, many people use it to combat bad breath. Most mouthwashes will help eliminate the bacteria that cause bad breath, and some are specifically designed to do so.

However, if bad breath is a chronic problem that requires daily treatment with a mouth rinse, contact Powell & Tiller Dental Care to discuss your symptoms.

American Dental Association Approval

The ADA reviews mouth rinses for safety and effectiveness. A mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Approval will meet strict criteria, and will have scientific evidence or clinical studies that support the claims of the manufacturer. If possible, select a mouthwash that bears the ADA Seal of Approval to ensure you are using a quality rinse.

Considerations

If you are unsure as to which mouthwash is right for you, contact our Austin, TX office or ask Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller or dental hygienist at your next appointment. Also, be sure to keep mouthwash out of the reach of children, as it contains alcohol and other substances that could be harmful to them. Avoid letting children under age six use a mouth rinse, and discontinue use if you experience a burning sensation in the soft tissues of your mouth.

Navigating the World of Dental Insurance Terminology, from Powell & Tiller Dental Care

September 19th, 2013

Unless you work for an insurance company, you probably do not spend a lot of your time studying all the terminology that dental insurance companies use to describe the treatments and services they cover. If it seems pretty confusing, here are some of the most commonly used dental insurance terms and what they mean.

A Basic Glossary

Annual Maximum - The maximum amount your policy will pay per year for dental care at Powell & Tiller Dental Care. It is often divided into costs per individual, and (if you are on a family plan) per family

Co-payment- - An amount the patient pays at the time of service before receiving care, and before the insurance pays for any portion of the care

Covered Services - A list of all the treatments, services, and procedures the insurance policy will cover under your contract

Deductible - A dollar amount that you must pay out of pocket each year before the insurance company will pay for any treatments or procedures

Diagnostic/Preventive Services - A category of treatments or procedures that most insurance will cover before the deductible which may include services like routine check-ups with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, cleanings, X-rays, fluoride treatments, and evaluations

In-Network and Out-of-Network - A list of providers that are part of an insurance company’s “network”

  • If you visit in-network providers, the insurance company will typically cover a larger portion of the cost of the care you receive. If you visit someone who is not part of the network, known as an out-of-network provider, the insurance company may pay for a portion of the care, but you will pay a significantly larger share from your own pocket.

Lifetime Maximum– The maximum amount that a dental insurance plan will pay toward dental care for an individual or family (if you have an applicable family plan)

  • This is not a per-year maximum, but rather a maximum that can be paid over the entire life of the patient.

Limitations/Exclusions– A list of all the procedures a dental insurance policy does not cover

  • Coverage may limit the timing or frequency of a specific treatment or procedure (only covering a certain number within a calendar year), or may exclude some treatments entirely. Knowing the limitations and exclusions of a policy is very important.

Member/Insured/Covered Person/Beneficiary/Enrollee– Someone who is eligible to receive benefits under a dental insurance plan

Provider Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller or other oral health specialist who provides treatment

Waiting Period– A specified amount of time that the patient must be enrolled with an insurance plan before it will pay for certain treatments – waiting periods may be waived if you were previously enrolled in another dental insurance plan with a different carrier

There are many different insurance options available, so you need to find out exactly what your insurance covers. It’s important to review your plan with a qualified insurance specialist. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the policy so you can understand it fully and be confident that you know everything your policy covers the next time you come in for treatment at our Austin, TX office.

Energy and sports drinks eat away at teeth, study says

September 12th, 2013

Sports and energy drinks cause irreversible damage to the teeth of teens and young adults.  A study which was published in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry states that energy and sports drinks contain so much acid that they begin destroying teeth after only five days of consistent use.  According to the dentistry academy, an estimated 30 percent to 50 percent of U.S. teenagers consume energy drinks and as many as 62 percent consume at least one sports drink per day. The high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel and the result is irreversible damage.

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care encourage our patients to limit their intake of sports drinks. The enamel erosion ultimately makes teeth more susceptible to bacteria and that can lead to hypersensitivity, staining, and tooth decay. If you do consume an energy or sports drink, make sure to wait at least 45 minutes until you brush as consumption of acidic drinks causes tooth enamel to soften, making teeth more susceptible to more wear from the abrasives found in toothpaste.

Most children should visit our Austin, TX  office for a regular cleaning and check up every six months. Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, five times more common than asthma. It’s also preventable with proper care. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team can help identify early signs of erosion, the causes and offer solutions on how to prevent further damage and more serious problems from occurring.

Please give us a call to schedule your appointment!

Some Benefits to Giving Your Smile an Extra Boost, from Powell & Tiller Dental Care

September 5th, 2013

For many individuals, autumn brings with it a number of new beginnings. Fall is the time that many people return to school, get back to the daily grind after an enjoyable summer, and even get married. As the weather cools down, it’s easier to enjoy the outdoors. And regardless of what fall-related events are on your calendar, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care know you’ll want to look your best.

One of the very first things that people will notice about you is your smile. And if yours has become less dazzling over the years — as teeth tend to do — you know how disappointing it is not to have the beautiful, pearly white look you’re used to.

Benefits to Teeth Whitening

For school-bound students and autumn brides, their fall calendars are certainly filled. School and weddings call for large financial investments, loads of social interaction, and a large amount of personal dedication. So the last thing any bride or student wants to think about is a less-than radiant smile.

For many, there is a lack of confidence associated with their smile and investing in teeth-whitening techniques can be an effective solution. Studies suggest that not only can you experience a boost in your level of confidence, but also you may find that other advantages quickly fall into place.

A confident smile can affect:

  • Personal and work-related relationships
  • Job interviews and meetings
  • Success when dealing with customers and potential clients
  • Your personality and general happiness with your age
  • Overall outlook on daily interactions

A Real Affect on Daily Living

All of these benefits can relate directly to how you see yourself. When you are insecure with something as prominent as your smile, it can affect the way that you handle your life, everything from social gatherings to professional situations.

Now is the perfect opportunity to rejuvenate your smile. With the right teeth-whitening product and regular hygienic practices, walking down the aisle or starting the new semester with the utmost confidence has never been easier.

References:

Benefits of Teeth Whitening from: http://www.professionalteethwhitening.org/benefits-of-teeth-whitening.html.

Celebrate Labor Day by Getting Away

August 29th, 2013

Labor Day honors the contributions that workers have made to this country, and for many Americans, the holiday is a great time to relax at home with family and friends. But there are quite a few people who celebrate the holiday by getting out of town, with an estimated 33 million people traveling more than 50 miles over Labor Day weekend in 2012, according to CNN.com. If you’re dreaming of a great Labor Day escape but you’re not quite sure where to go, here are a few ideas from our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care to give you some travel inspiration.

Explore a National Park

On a national holiday like Labor Day, it’s only fitting to experience the beauty of America’s landscapes by heading to the nearest national park. If you’re confined to an office most days of the year, national parks can provide a relaxing and scenic escape, whether you’re by yourself, traveling with a group of friends, or bringing the whole family along. Depending on how close you live to the nearest park, you can stay for an afternoon or for longer than a week. With 58 parks located in 27 states, there are plenty of beautiful areas to choose from.

Chow Down in a BBQ Haven

Barbecuing is a popular Labor Day activity, but instead of sweating over your own grill or oven, try visiting one of the country’s BBQ capitals. U.S. News and World Report names Memphis as the top BBQ destination, with more than 80 BBQ restaurants in the city, most notably Corky’s BBQ and Central BBQ. Kansas City is also known for the sweet taste of its sauces, while central Texas is said to have perfected the technique of smoking tender and flavorful brisket.

Relax on the Beach

Many people think of Labor Day as the unofficial start of fall, which brings cooler temperatures, more rain, and for many people, an end to lazy days at the beach. End your beach days with a bang by taking a trip to one of the coasts or to a lakeside beach. For an added dose of festivity, find a city or town that celebrates the occasion with a fireworks display over the water.

Whether you’re looking to turn your getaway into a full week affair or you simply want to experience a quick escape, make the most of your holiday by changing your surrounding scenery. Happy Labor Day from the dental practice of Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller!

Nursing Home Care May Often Skimp on Teeth

August 23rd, 2013

Dr. Tiller and Dr. Powell wanted to share a link to an article in this week’s Statesman. We too have found that our patients who have limited dexterity and are in nursing homes or assisted living, often find their dental care is overlooked. If you are caring for a parent that is a patient in our office who needs assistance with daily oral hygiene from their care-giver, let us know. We have found that it will often help if we write a letter to the facility specifically asking for daily assistance with tooth brushing and flossing. We would be happy to provide this letter to make sure that our patients are getting the care they need.

View "Nursing home care may often skimp on teeth" article here.

Sleep Apnea and Snoring, from Powell & Tiller Dental Care

August 8th, 2013

Snoring may not be something you take seriously. You might even laugh or joke about it. But the fact is, anytime you or your partner snore to the point of waking, it could be a sign of serious health problems.

Sleep Apnea and Its Effects

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is potentially dangerous, and the most common symptom is loud snoring. Breathing repeatedly starts and stops throughout the night, and you wake up feeling tired. Other serious effects from sleep apnea could be potentially dangerous to your health if left unaddressed.

Besides losing a good night's sleep, you may experience difficulty concentrating. Depression, risk of heart attack, irritability, high blood pressure, memory loss, sexual dysfunction, and chances of stroke all increase when sleep apnea is not treated.

Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax to the point of inhibiting natural breathing. The muscles used to support the soft palate relax and the airway closes, causing breathing to stop for 10 to 20 seconds. This lowers the oxygen level in the brain. As the brain senses the inhibited oxygen levels it rouses the sleeper awake so the airway can reopen. Normally, the reawakening is so brief the person won't remember it.

If you think you may have sleep apnea, visit our Austin, TX office and let Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller determine what treatment is needed. Without it, you could risk losing more than a restful night's sleep.

Prevention and Treatment

Anyone can develop sleep apnea, but it is more common among middle-aged adults who are overweight. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller can help you determine the cause and suggest positive treatment.

A common treatment for apnea is the placement of oral devices that are designed to help keep the airway open. By bringing the jaw forward, the device opens the airway and thereby discourages snoring. Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller is experienced in sleep apnea appliances and can prescribe a fitted device and monitor its success with follow-up therapy.

A continuous positive airway pressure mask, known as a CPAP, is among the other treatment options. A mask is fitted over the mouth and forces oxygen through the throat while you sleep. The pressure holds the soft tissue and throat muscles open.

Our professionals at Powell & Tiller Dental Care can advise you of other ways to prevent sleep apnea, including weight loss, avoiding alcohol, or alternative sleeping positions. We can help you sleep return to easy sleep, knowing you are safer and healthier during your resting hours.

What Exactly is a Root Canal?

August 1st, 2013

Hearing that you need a root canal can be highly intimidating. What is a root canal? It is the removal of the nerve supply from the tooth. Here, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller will describe the parts of a tooth and explain the reasons for a root canal and how it is done when you visit us in Austin, TX.

Your tooth is made up of many layers. The outside layer is called enamel and is made of minerals. The middle layer is dentin, which is also a calcified tissue, but less dense. The center of the tooth is called the pulp, and that hosts the nerves and blood vessels. A root canal is the removal and replacement of this center with a sterile filling.

A root canal is needed when an infection spreads to the center of the tooth. This can be from trauma (recent or previous), a cavity, a severe crack, or other compromise that causes nerve damage. An X-ray and examination are required to see if a root canal is needed. Symptoms may include but are not limited to pain, swelling, change in tooth color, and over-reaction to temperature change or pressure.

When it is time to begin, you’ll receive local anesthesia (via injection) to make you most comfortable. A rubber dam is used to isolate the tooth, while other equipment determines the nerve location and maintains a sterile working environment. All of the infected area is removed including the nerve tissue and blood vessels. Then, medicines are used to sterilize and alleviate any pain. Next is the placement of a filling material in the spot where the nerve used to be.

When your nerve and blood supply are taken away, the tooth is non-vital, or dead, and can become weak and fragile. If your tooth is badly decayed, a large portion of it will have to be removed. It is recommended to place a crown on the tooth to keep the enamel from breaking or falling apart. If you do not get a crown, you could eventually lose the tooth to more decay or infection. The tooth could also break off completely and you would have to have an extraction. The crown fits over the top of the tooth and secures it from breaking down.

A root canal saves the life of a tooth that would otherwise succumb to further infection and eventually extraction. Infection is the cause of most-needed root canals. If you are ever unsure what is happening at your appointment, don’t be afraid to ask questions so you understand the procedure completely.

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller urges you not to brush after EVERY meal

July 25th, 2013

This may come as a surprise, but brushing your teeth right after a meal can be one of the worst things you can do for your healthy teeth. A toothbrush can be considered an assault weapon against your smile if used immediately after eating certain foods.

Enamel is like the tooth’s shield. It is a hard mineral exterior on each of your teeth. In reality, enamel is the hardest part of the human body—even stronger than bone! I like to regard it as a “super-structure.” But every superhero has a weakness, and enamel’s kryptonite is acid.

A healthy tooth lives in a mouth that has a proper pH balance. When that balance tips from alkaline to acidic, a harmful process called demineralization begins. Demineralization occurs when acids attack and soften the tooth surface. Pores and fissures form and harmful bacteria move in.

With each bite of food or drink, our mouth pH fluctuates. Highly acidic foods tip the balance of your mouth from a healthy alkaline to a dangerous acid. Here are some examples of those sources of acid: citrus fruits, soda, and sugary foods. There are certainly many others, but these are the most common.

So how does brushing your teeth immediately after a meal make this process even worse?

After eating highly acidic foods, your teeth are susceptible to damage. When you brush your teeth in this weakened state you are actually damaging your enamel. The abrasive bristles of the brush wear away the protective surface of the teeth. You should avoid brushing for at least an hour, or take other, simple preventive measures immediately following a meal.

First, rinse with or drink clear water. Then chew some sugarless gum. Both of these practices will produce saliva, restore a healthy pH level in your mouth, and coat your teeth with nourishing minerals. Out of all the sugarless gums available, the best of the best are those that list Xylitol as the first ingredient. Another option is to consume cheese, milk, or another non-acidic food or drink to conclude your meal.

After you have given your mouth time to return to a healthy pH, feel free to brush your teeth. Just keep in mind that any time you eat acidic foods, you weaken your teeth. Make sure not to worsen the problem by brushing immediately after dining and damaging your teeth even more. Questions? Call us at Powell & Tiller Dental Care.

“Can my child really avoid tooth decay?” Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller has the answer

July 18th, 2013

Great question—yes, in fact, tooth decay is preventable! Decay, which is caused by sugars left in your child’s mouth, can turn into an acid, which in turn can break down his or her teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents tend to be lax in their oral hygiene habits.

So, how can your child prevent tooth decay?

Start early. Brush your baby’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day as soon as you notice his or her teeth appear. And, if possible, clean between the teeth with dental floss at least once a day, preferably before they go to bed.

And remember to not allow your little ones to eat after cleaning teeth at bedtime as salivary flow decreases while they sleep and their teeth become vulnerable to dental cavities.

Do not allow your little ones to nibble food or sip drinks continuously and keep in mind that a low-sugar diet also helps keep tooth decay at bay. Allow time between eating occasions for saliva to neutralize acids and repair the teeth.

Drinking water frequently throughout the day can also reduce the possibility of new cavities forming. Dental sealants can also protect your children’s teeth from cavities. Sealants, which are applied to the chewing surfaces of molars, act as a shield between the tooth and harmful bacteria.

And finally, make sure your child visits Powell & Tiller Dental Care approximately every six months for a check-up and routine cleaning! Please give us a call if your child hasn't visited our Austin, TX office in the last six months!

Regular Cleanings Lead to Healthier Mouths and Bodies

July 11th, 2013

The American Dental Association and dentists everywhere, including our own Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller recommend that you schedule an appointment every six months for a cleaning and checkup. Despite this universal recommendation from the experts, some people believe regular cleanings and checkups are unnecessary unless there is something wrong with your teeth—for example, a cavity or a toothache. In fact, coming in for a six-month checkup and cleaning is one of the most important things you can do for your oral health, as well as your overall health.

Why It’s Important to Visit Regularly

Numerous studies have shown that oral health is closely tied to the overall health of your whole body. In fact, having a healthy mouth can help the rest of your body stay in balance. On the other hand, an unhealthy mouth can cause all kinds of problems for you down the road.

One of the most important things we do at Powell & Tiller Dental Care when you come in for cleanings is remove plaque that has collected on your teeth and around your gums. If left untreated, plaque build-up can cause inflammation and irritation around your gums, and lead to gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontal disease.

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, periodontal disease has been linked to increased risk for serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, inflammation, osteoporosis, and pregnancy complications.

Most oral health issues will begin with subtle changes before progressing into more serious conditions. If you visit us for regular checkups, we may be able to identify common indicators that could lead to larger issues down the road. If we only see you at our office every few years, it becomes more difficult to catch these conditions before they grow into bigger and more painful problems.

What Happens at a Dental Checkup?

When you come in for your regular checkup, there are several things our dentists and hygienists may do, including:

  • Take X-rays to determine the overall health of your teeth, jaw, bones, and the tissue surrounding your teeth, including a check for early signs of tooth decay, abnormal growths, cavities, and other damage that is not immediately visible
  • Perform a thorough cleaning of your mouth and teeth to remove any excess plaque and tartar, then polish and floss your teeth
  • Check for signs of gum disease or evidence of tooth decay
  • Examine your bite, and look for broken or damaged teeth
  • Identify any changes to your gums or teeth since your last visit
  • Examine your head and neck for signs of oral health problems

Waiting to visit Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller until you already have a problem such as a cavity is like waiting to put gasoline in your car until after you run out and your vehicle is stalled on the side of the road. Once you have a problem, the ripple effect can cause you a lot of pain, take considerably more time, and cost a lot more money to fix than if you had come in for preventive care and cleanings every six months.

References: American Academy of Periodontology (2012). Gum Disease Links to Heart Disease and Stroke. Retrieved from http://www.perio.org/consumer/mbc.heart.htm

Fun Facts for the Fourth

July 4th, 2013

The Fourth of July is a great time to get together with friends and family members for BBQ, games, fireworks, and other celebrations in honor of our country’s independence. While your fellow revelers eat hot dogs and wave flags, you can impress them by sharing these fascinating facts and historical tidbits about some of our country’s traditions and symbols from the team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care.

The Statue of Liberty

With a torch in one hand and a tablet in the other, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most iconic and recognizable symbols of our country. However, as recognizable as certain parts of the statue are, not many people know that broken shackles, which represent oppression and tyranny, are lying at Lady Liberty’s feet. According to the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the copper-plated lady weighs in at a whopping 450,000 tons and has been holding her torch up for more than 125 years, which must make for some impressive arm muscles.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Since 1916, people have been flocking to Coney Island on the Fourth of July to witness what some people call the “superbowl of competitive eating.” Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest challenges competitors to devour as many hot dogs as they can in just ten minutes, with the current record holder swallowing a whopping 68 hot dogs back in 2009! If you’d like to witness this bizarre and frenzied eating competition but you won’t be anywhere near Coney Island on the fourth, don’t worry. ESPN has been broadcasting this popular event for several years, so you can watch from the comfort of your couch while you eat a reasonably portioned meal.

The History Behind Fireworks

Viewing the nighttime fireworks display is exciting way to finish off the fourth. Many people know that these brilliant displays probably originated with the Chinese. However, according to History.com, many historians also believe that fireworks were stumbled upon when the Chinese roasted bamboo sticks over fires and watched them explode. After many years of roasting the sticks, a group of alchemists created an early form of gunpowder, which they stuffed into the bamboo sticks to create an even more powerful explosion, paving the way for the today’s modern fireworks.

Whether you’re planning on visiting the Statue of Liberty, watching fireworks in Austin, TX, or even participating in a hot dog eating contest, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team hope you have a safe and fun-filled holiday. Happy Fourth of July!

Snacks for Healthy Teeth from Powell & Tiller Dental Care

June 27th, 2013

Concerned parents often ask Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller about which kinds of snacks are best for a child's teeth. While most know that candy isn't always the best choice, many parents are confused about which kinds of after-school snacks can actually be beneficial for teeth. Left to their own devices, children might pick the sugary snack that comes in colorful packaging. There are, however, choices that are much better for your child's teeth.

Go Natural

The foods that are best for your children's teeth are also the best for their overall health. Choosing whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, is always the best option for snacks. Try sticks of celery and let your kids dip it into all-natural peanut butter, or a juicy and crunchy apple cut into wedges.

Lean Proteins

Lean protein, such as chicken breast, fish, turkey, and lean cuts of pork also make good snacking options. For the best overall health, avoid giving your child a lot of lunch meats, because such products are often higher in sodium. However, these proteins are also low in sugar, which is always a preferable choice when it comes to teeth.

Avoid Packaged Foods

Sugars are unhealthy partly because they stick more readily to the surface of the teeth. Even foods that appear to be healthy, such as many brands of granola bars, can in fact be loaded with hidden sugars. Sugar can also be found in higher concentrations in dried fruit, honey, and syrups. The rule is that if a foodstuff has been altered in any way from its original state then there are perhaps better choices.

Beverages

Drinks are another murky area. Parents often presume that fruit juices are an acceptable beverage when in reality many of them are loaded with excessive sugar as well. The best beverages for your child's teeth are water and low-fat milk. Milk has the added benefit of containing calcium, which is highly beneficial for the bone structure that supports the teeth.

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but it is also a great snack to keep teeth healthy. The next time your children are looking for an after-school snack, guide them toward healthier, low-sugar options that are beneficial to their overall health and their teeth.

I’m on a diet and getting MORE cavities

June 20th, 2013

Health gurus rave about replacing unhealthy food choices with healthy ones in your diet. If you want to maintain your beautiful smile as well as your waistline, choose foods that are good for your teeth and good for losing weight. This article will discuss some of the worst healthy foods for your teeth and what you can do to continue to enjoy them.

When watching your weight, snacks heavy in sugar and starch are the first target for elimination. You want to trade those empty calories for something with more nutritional value. A healthier snack is fruit and vegetables. When you are substituting empty calories with whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, consider a few implications for your dental health.

The most acidic fruits are grapes, grapefruit, and strawberries. Want to know the number-one worst healthy food for your tooth enamel? Apples! An apple a day may keep the doctor away but you may soon be calling your dentist.

Another healthy food often incorporated into dieting is salads. But consider what you put in those salads. Salad dressings are filled with vinegar and sweeteners. These make a salad very acidic and can change the pH of your mouth from alkaline, which is good for your teeth, to acidic, which puts your smile at risk for erosion and decay.

Last but not least is diet soda. You might be cutting down on the calories but you are still putting your teeth at risk for decay. Though calories are reduced, the acid is not.

You do not need to eliminate any of these foods from your diet. Simply alter what you do after eating these foods to decrease the amount of acid your teeth are exposed to.

During your next visit to Powell & Tiller Dental Care in Austin, TX we can discuss your diet. We may recommend using certain products to fortify your teeth or change the way you routinely care for your teeth.

Please enjoy the wonderful whole foods that are great for a healthy waistline. A healthy waistline and a healthy smile have a positive influence on your general health. A healthier you is a happier you. The happier you are, the more you smile. Keep your smile brilliant and beautiful with the care your teeth deserve at the practice of Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller.

I haven’t been to the dentist in years – what should I expect?

June 13th, 2013

Time flies when we are not at the dentist! Before you know it, years may have gone by. Let’s take a moment to explain what takes place when a patient comes back to receive care after an extended period of time.

After a period of time, small dental concerns or issues can grow into an unexpected journey of discovery and expense. Anxiety is common and expected. Let’s discover first of all, “What brings you here today?” It is a good place to start and once the initial concerns are addressed, a comprehensive plan to restore optimum dental health can be arranged. During the first appointment Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team want you to feel comfortable, and establish a confidence allowing you to be open with any questions.

Your visit will take approximately 90 minutes. First, a complete medical and dental history will be recorded and reviewed in one-on-one interview style. This is the time to voice any concern, anxiety issues, worries, etc. Then, X-rays are taken to provide additional information about what is happening beneath the surface of your teeth and gums. Finally, a series of screenings including those for oral cancer, home care evaluation, and periodontal disease are conducted to complete your oral health evaluation.

The hygienist has a great eye for other conditions such as broken fillings, cracked teeth, active decay, and other dental concerns. Then, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller will come in for a comprehensive exam and list and prioritize your dental needs. Our treatment coordinator will present scheduling options, insurance coverage, and payment plans.

Our team will coach you and help you gain control of your own dental destiny with good home care habits. You will receive a bag with a toothbrush, floss, appropriate toothpaste, and any other specialized tools for your needs. You will know how often you need to return for hygiene visits or other dental appointment needs.

Our patients at Powell & Tiller Dental Care are our most important asset, and we strive to create a comfortable experience, no matter how long it has been since your last visit at our Austin, TX office. From phone conversations to financial arrangements to clinical treatment, we want you to feel confident that our team will meet your needs.

How to Handle an Unexpected Dental Emergency

June 6th, 2013

Regardless of the type of dental emergency you experience, it is important that you visit Powell & Tiller Dental Care for emergency dental care as soon as possible. A chipped or cracked tooth requires professional attention, as bacteria may gather in these areas, potentially causing infection that could require a root canal. Remember, you may be capable of managing pain, bleeding, and swelling at home, but by visiting our office for immediate treatment, you can fight infections and minimize lasting damage to your mouth, teeth, and gums under the expert care of our emergency dentist.

24/7 Emergency Dental Care

Powell & Tiller Dental Care is proud to offer emergency dental care around the clock, seven days a week. Dental emergencies do not wait for regular business hours, and if you experience a serious dental emergency, you need immediate treatment. Whether you have a broken tooth or if you have bitten through your tongue, do not hesitate to visit us day or night. Until you arrive at our office, however, there are some helpful steps you can take if you encounter a serious dental dilemma.

Managing Your Dental Emergency

If a toothache is causing problems, you can probably keep the discomfort under control until our emergency dentist can treat you. Start by checking the gums that surround the affected tooth for inflammation, bleeding, or foreign objects. There may be food lodged in the gum that could be removed by flossing. You can control pain by placing a cold compress against your mouth, or by using an over-the-counter oral numbing agent.

More serious situations may be extremely time sensitive, and require immediate emergency attention. For example, if a tooth is completely knocked out, carefully clean it with water. Try to place the tooth back into its socket or briefly store it in a cup of milk if it will not fit back into the gum. Never pick up a tooth by the root or force it into the socket. Come straight to our office, as your tooth will need to be replaced within a short amount of time. Similarly, if you have bitten through your lip or tongue, the American Dental Association recommends carefully cleaning the area before coming as quickly as you can to our emergency dental office for treatment.

Remember, there is no reason you should live with discomfort. By visiting our Austin, TX office immediately in an emergency, you can take control of your oral health comfortably and safely.

The Link Between Dental Hygiene and Your Overall Health

May 30th, 2013

When patients of Powell & Tiller Dental Care hear any mention of oral or dental hygiene, they probably think of brushing and flossing their teeth. Although these are extremely important, the term dental hygiene encompasses much more than that. Your mouth’s health, including your teeth, has an important impact on your overall physical health. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research published the surgeon general's first ever report on dental health. It is called A National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health. In that report, the surgeon general states that the 1948 World Health Organization expanded its earlier definition of health to "a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, and not just the absence of infirmity."

The Importance of Oral Health to Total Overall Health

One of the most important themes that the dental health report stressed is that you cannot be healthy without oral health. It went on to explain that oral health and general health are inextricably linked, and therefore can't be seen as two separate things. Because oral health is so critical to overall health, it should be included in all community health programs. For individuals, this means that it is just as important to take care of your mouth, your teeth, and your overall oral health as it is to take care of the rest of your body. The two most prevalent dental diseases are caries (cavities), also known as tooth decay, and periodontal (gum) disease.

Ways that Oral Health Impacts Overall Health

One important way in which good oral health contributes to better overall health is seen in the findings of several studies in which the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients were significantly lowered when their periodontal (or gum disease) was successfully treated. Your mouth has roughly 500 different species of bacteria. Many are harmless, and some are even good bacteria that help maintain the balance of your intestinal flora. Harmful bacteria can infect your gums, causing gingivitis. Your body's immune system may try to fight off the alien invaders, but they attack your gums, causing inflammation and bleeding when you brush.

Now that you know how important good dental hygiene is, be sure to see to get your teeth cleaned every six months with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, have regular dental checkups, brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily, and replace your toothbrush at least every couple of months. Call us to schedule your next appointment at our convenient Austin, TX location.

Memorial Day

May 23rd, 2013

Memorial Day is not only a federal holiday in the United States, but it is a day of observance and remembrance of those who died in service. Originally known as Decoration Day, this solemn day has been marked on calendars since the end of the American Civil War as a day to commemorate both the Confederate and Union soldiers who fought and died in the war.

Marking the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers, wreaths, or other tokens has been practiced throughout history, but it wasn't until the mark of the end of the Civil War that a special day was decided upon as the one to spend in remembrance. By 1890, every state in the country was observing Decoration Day, but it wasn't until 1967 when the name formally changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day, in order to encompass all fallen American soldiers in all wars and conflicts, and in June of 1968, Congress moved the official date of Memorial Day to the last Monday in May in order to create a three day weekend.

Today, while there is certainly an air of remembrance on Memorial Day, it has become more a day of spending time with family, friends, and other loved ones. This day is also heralded as the start of summer, with many schools finishing for the year around this time. Though Powell & Tiller Dental Care remembers it as a day to take solace and remembered those lost.

Traditional observances of Memorial Day are still held, and they often involve raising the American Flag then lowering it to a half-staff position until noon, and then raising it once again to its full height afterwards. The flag is lowered to remember those who've lost their lives while in service to their country, and then it is raised to signify our willingness to not let their sacrifice be in vain.

From community parades in the Austin, TX area, backyard cook-outs, and fireworks to formal ceremonies, Memorial Day is commemorated in many different ways. No matter how you choose to spend this day, take a moment to remember those who've lost their lives in an effort to preserve our freedom.

You Broke Your Tooth – Now What?

May 16th, 2013

You may have bitten down on a hard food or object, or perhaps you had a cavity that weakened your tooth. Either way, your tooth is now broken, and the steps you take to care for it will determine whether you get to keep your natural tooth or not. Millions of people suffer from broken teeth every year, so you are not alone. However, that does not mean your newly cracked tooth does not need immediate attention.

What is a Broken Tooth?

A broken tooth is one that has been fractured, chipped, cracked, broken apart, or completely knocked out of the mouth. You may or may not feel your tooth break, depending on the extent of the break and whether your tooth was decaying prior to the break. It is usually very easy to diagnose a broken tooth, because the evidence will be visible. In the case of hairline cracks in the teeth, you may start to note a sensitivity to hot or cold in the neighborhood of the fracture.

The Right Way to Handle a Broken Tooth

As soon as you know your tooth is broken, chipped, or fractured, make an appointment to visit our emergency dental office. Even the tiniest fractures require attention: bacteria can infect the fractured area, which could cause you to lose the tooth altogether.

Until you are in our office, you can manage your pain using over-the-counter pain medication, such as Tylenol, or you can apply a cold compress to prevent swelling and inflammation. Be sure to rinse your mouth with warm salt water after every meal until you are able to visit us.

Keep in mind that while pain medication is an effective way to manage a broken tooth at home, it is only a temporary fix. Broken teeth should not be treated solely at home, and over-the-counter solutions are not substitutions for professional dental care. Failing to make an appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller after breaking or chipping a tooth can place your health at risk.

Treatment

Treating your broken tooth will depend on the type of break you have and how much of the tooth is affected. According to the American Dental Association, a minor chip or tiny fracture line may be repaired with bonding. On the other hand, a more serious break that exposes the tooth's pulp may require a root canal or extraction to prevent infection. Ultimately, our team here at Powell & Tiller Dental Care will explain to you the best treatment plan based upon our evaluation of the condition and extent of your break.

If you have broken, cracked, chipped, or fractured one or more of your teeth, don’t hesitate to contact our office immediately. We specialize in emergency dental care and are available to serve you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To Use or Not to Use Mouthwash . . . That is the Question

May 9th, 2013

A famous mouthwash company chose the marketing slogan, “Better than flossing.” As a consumer, would you believe a high-end commercial that essentially tells you to stop flossing? Just use this brand of mouthwash and the risk of gingivitis, cavities, etc., is gone. What a wonderful idea! Now for the reality: This is simply not true.

The company that made these claims received some negative feedback for making this false claim. Does this mean that all mouthwashes are ineffective? Absolutely not. It takes a little bit of research to know which mouthwashes are most effective and best suited for you. Here are some key points to remember when choosing a mouthwash.

First, think about why you want to use a mouthwash. If you are at high risk for cavities, you would benefit from a fluoride mouthwash. Check the labels to see which ones contain fluoride.

If you have active gingivitis, a mouthwash with some antibacterial properties would be preferable. Read the labels carefully. You do not want a mouthwash containing alcohol. If you have active periodontal disease, an antibacterial mouthwash is appropriate, though you may want to discuss which kind would be best for your individual needs.

Prescription mouthwashes are also an option. You should pay close attention to the directions, such as how much and how long to use them. There is one brand in particular whose effectiveness can steadily diminish if you use it continually. There can also be side effects you should discuss with our office and/or your pharmacist.

Some great mouthwashes for kids change the color of plaque on their teeth to help them see how they are doing with their brushing. This is a great learning tool for the child and the parent! Frankly, I think many adults could benefit from this too. Why not pick up a bottle for yourself next time you’re at the store and evaluate your own performance?

Beware of claims that a mouthwash can loosen plaque. This is not accurate. Beware of any mouthwash that has alcohol. This is worth mentioning twice. Take care of your taste buds. If you are using a strong mouthwash, it can reduce your sense of taste.

These tips should help you choose the right mouthwash for your needs. Please contact Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller your Austin, TX dental with any specific questions!

My gums are shrinking!

April 29th, 2013

Have you ever looked in the mirror and noticed that your teeth looked longer? Does it seem like your gums are shrinking? This condition is called recession—many adults have it. Let’s look at some of the causes and what you can do about it.

During your routine exams at Powell & Tiller Dental Care, the dental hygienist takes measurements to check for periodontal disease. Dental professionals take recession measurements to see how much attached gingiva is present. This is the kind of tissue that is most resilient to infection.

The more recession, the less attached gingiva. The less attached gingiva, the less bone support. The less bone support, the higher your chances of tooth loss. It is quite a domino effect.

Don’t lose hope. The effect can be halted once you know the cause of your recession.

Do you ever wake up with your jaw clenched, and/or a headache that originates just above your ears? Clenching or grinding your teeth can cause recession. When there is added stress on a tooth, it flexes at the gum line.

Over time this causes microscopic breaks in the enamel and then a notch appears. The gum line is forced to move away from its original position. If this is something you see in your mouth, we can discuss the possibility of an occlusal guard at your next visit.

How do you brush your teeth? Do you brush in a straight line or circles? What kind of bristles do you use? Are the bristles on your toothbrush frayed?

When you brush in a circle, you are sweeping all along the gum line, removing the plaque from most angles. When you brush in a straight line, you may often miss the concave portion of the gums. This leaves plaque behind and leads to gingivitis. Whenever gingivitis occurs, the body attacks supporting structures like bone while trying to get rid of the infection. This is periodontal disease, which can cause recession.

Recession may also result from an irritant on the gums, such as a bar from a partial denture or orthodontic appliance (braces).

Gums do not “grow back.” The most common treatment for advanced recession is a tissue graft. There are many different kinds of tissue grafts.

Other factors can cause recession. If you think recession is happening in your mouth, schedule an appointment with Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller to discuss your options, so you can make the appropriate treatment choice.

Common Emergency Visits: From Lost Fillings to Broken Dentures

April 22nd, 2013

You never know when you're going to experience a dental emergency, but if you do, it should give you peace of mind that know that emergency dental care is available at our office 24/7. Whether you chip your front tooth playing softball, or your child knocks out a couple of teeth in a playground fall, receiving the emergency dental treatment you need is accessible and convenient.

If you're experiencing a dental emergency, Powell & Tiller Dental Care is here to help you any time of the day or night. Dental emergencies should not be taken lightly, so don't delay. Contact our office as soon as possible. Common dental emergencies include the following:

Lost Fillings and Crowns

Fillings are used to repair cavities. Crowns, on the other hand, are used to cover broken or damaged teeth. Over time, it’s possible for both of these items to loosen and fall out. A lost filling or crown can be painful, because the exposed tissue may be sensitive. Hot and cold temperatures will cause discomfort. While a lost filling or crown might not be as severe a dental emergency as a broken or chipped tooth (most people respond quicker to pain than self-consciousness about their looks), you need to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Broken Dentures

If your dentures are broken, everyday tasks may become trying and arduous. If you can’t chew, swallow, or eat properly, the situation calls for emergency care. Depending on how damaged your dentures are, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller may need to send out a mold of your mouth in order to have the manufacturer make a new pair. On the other hand, if the dentures are not damaged too badly, then we may be able to fix them in-house. If you're having problems with your dentures, you should give us a call as soon as possible.

From chipped and cracked teeth to lost fillings and broken dentures, dental emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. Emergencies are unexpected, but we want you to know that treatment is available, day or night. When your dental health is at risk, we are here to help. In the case of a dental emergency, don't wait; contact our Austin, TX office at your earliest convenience.

Make Every Day Earth Day

April 15th, 2013

During the early days of the environmental awareness movement, those who demonstrated against pollution, toxic chemicals, and the general public health were known as hippies. The early 1970s were a time of change, and assertions that we needed to pay more attention to the Earth's atmosphere were generally dismissed. But within a couple decades, it had become clear that the previous generation was right...the citizens of the world needed to become more environmentally conscious.

Many people feel that they can't make a difference if they don't do something big. But caring for the environment doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing concept. In fact, the little things you do can add up to make a great impact, especially in our wonderful Austin, TX community. Here are a few ways you can help the environment on Earth Day, April 22nd and all year around.

Four Small Ways to be Environmentally Friendly

  • Recycle Your Textiles. Nearly 21 million tons of textiles are added to American landfills each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Donating your unwanted clothing to a secondhand store or an organization that repurposes fabric helps cut down on solid waste and conserves natural resources.
  • Reduce Usage of Disposables. Plastic bottles and bags, disposable diapers and other things we can use and toss out are convenient, but they're not necessary. Simply choosing to replace one of type of disposable with a reusable product can help you cut down on waste that has a large negative impact on our environment.
  • Conserve Water. If everyone in the United States turned off the water while brushing their teeth, more than 1.5 million gallons of water could be conserved. Turn the water on long enough to wet your toothbrush for brushing and rinsing, and then immediately turn the water off again.
  • Turn Off the Lights. Flip the light switch to "Off" if you're going to leave a particular room for 15 minutes or more. This will conserve energy on incandescent light bulbs and cut down on cooling costs.

It's not necessary to be an activist or install solar panels all over your home to help the environment. Although you can do these things, the little every day measures make a big difference in helping to conserve energy and the environment, while reducing your carbon footprint. The office of Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller wants to remind you to celebrate Earth Day by incorporating another small way to help the environment, knowing that it will benefit you and your children's generation.

Broken Tooth - Is It an Emergency or Not?

April 8th, 2013

Have you ever had that sinking feeling after biting into something soft and chewy and feeling something hard and crunchy instead? You’ve chipped or broken a tooth, but what should you do next? First try to assess the damage by determining whether it’s a chip or a whole tooth.

As Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller will tell you, a broken or chipped tooth is usually not a dental emergency unless you are experiencing a great deal of pain or bleeding, but you should contact us for an appointment shortly afterward. Be sure to mention that you have a broken tooth so we can fit you into our schedule quickly. After a thorough evaluation, we’ll recommend a course of action. If it is a small chip, we may simply smooth it out. For a larger break, the dentist may fill in the space with a composite material that matches your other teeth.

Emergency Dental Care

If you are in severe pain, are bleeding excessively, have a major break, or have lost a tooth, that is a dental emergency and you should contact us. As emergency dental specialists, we’ll be able to schedule an appointment immediately and advise you on the next steps to take.

You can rinse your mouth with warm water and apply pressure to stop the bleeding. An ice pack will help reduce any swelling. Do not take any aspirin as that could increase the amount of bleeding. Should your tooth be knocked out completely, rinse it under running water but do not scrub it. Hold the tooth only by the crown, or the part you normally see above the gum line, not by the root. If you can, put the tooth back into the socket while you travel to our office, or put it in a mild salt solution or milk. Don’t let the tooth become dry, because this can lead to damage. Once you get to our office, our dentist will determine whether the tooth can be saved or if it will need to be replaced.

A broken tooth may not always be an emergency, but it’s best to have it treated with us at Powell & Tiller Dental Care. While it may only be a cosmetic problem at first, if left too long without treatment, you may experience further damage to your tooth and mouth.

Why Visiting the Emergency Room for Your Dental Problem isn’t a Good Idea

March 25th, 2013

Emergency rooms are for emergencies, so before you head to the hospital because of a dental problem, you need to ask yourself this question: Is what you're experiencing really a medical emergency? While emergency room visits for dental related issues are on the rise across the United States , they’re not necessarily the best solution for every problem. Many people don't know about emergency dental care services, many of which are available 24/7, and so they go to the ER.

These types of statistics are common across the country. However, despite the numbers, not all dental problems are created equal. If you've experienced some type of injury to your mouth, jaw, or face, then an ER visit is a good idea, but if you're suffering from a toothache, cavity, or broken crown or veneer, then the ER is not the best place to handle the situation. If you're having a dental emergency, then seeking emergency dental care should be your course of action.

Seeking Long Term Solutions

The ER doesn't provide a long-term solution to your dental issue; it only gives you temporary relief. There’s a chance they will simply hand you a prescription for pain medication and tell you to call your dentist in the morning. In the end, you’re going to be saddled with two medical bills, and nobody wants that. Even if the ER outfits you with a temporary crown or filling, you're still going to have to make a follow-up appointment our office.

There are numerous homemade remedies that can sooth tooth and gum pain. However, if you're experiencing a dental emergency, the ER is not the place to go. The specialized emergency team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care is available to take care of every dental problem you may have. In the case of a dental emergency, don't wait any longer than necessary. Feel free to contact our office at any time, day or night.

Understanding Cavities

March 18th, 2013

Getting a cavity seems like delayed punishment for eating that special dessert every weekend or for the few days you forgot to floss. When you are doing everything right with minimal exception and a cavity is diagnosed, it is discouraging. Knowing how cavities form and what causes them is valuable in knowing how to prevent them. In this blog post, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller, your dental will help you understand cavaties!

A cavity is not a one-time event. It is actually a symptom of a disease called caries. Tooth decay is a result of an active infection and condition in the mouth. There are ingredients to this infection, which include bacteria, acid, your tooth, and a food source. The main bacterial culprit is S. Mutans. Bacteria live in a housing structure called biofilm. This offers them protection, food, and an ideal replicating environment.

Biofilm can be healthy if there is a balance of good bacteria. When you have caries, the numbers of “bad” bacteria increase and produce an environment where they thrive and therefore cause tooth decay. A main indicator of this is a pH measurement of your saliva.

Several factors can influence the biofilm pH. Foods and beverages all have different pH levels. The lower the number, the higher the acidity. Since acid promotes tooth decay, a beverage like soda will promote a cavity. Water, being neutral, is a good choice to promote healthy oral pH. Healthy eating can still cause cavities. Here is an example of a highly acidic, yet traditionally healthy meal:

Toast with store-bought strawberry jam, and a cup of cottage cheese topped with fresh cranberries.

Instead, here is a better choice, which involves mixing acidic healthy foods with alkaline (non-acidic) foods to reduce the overall pH:

Toast with almond butter, and Greek yogurt topped with fresh blueberries.

The first example will result in a very low pH in the mouth and even in the rest of the body. The second meal mixes highly acidic blueberries with an alkaline Greek yogurt. Dairy products from cows are highly acidic. Toast is acidic because of the yeast and almonds are alkaline.

A natural buffer is saliva. Whenever mouth breathing or medications compromise the saliva flow, the pH is going to drop and caries can go rampant. Getting a cavity is not just about the sweets or forgotten flossing sessions. It is about the pH levels and bacterial management.

St. Patrick's Day: Celtic Pride, Green Shamrocks and Lucky Charms

March 13th, 2013

“St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time -- a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic.” Adrienne Cook

Lucky green shamrocks, leprechauns, and pots of gold: It must be St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re not Irish, how do you go about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? It’s easy: You just put on one of those tall leprechauns hats, dress in green from head to toe, and wear one of those carefree pins that say “Kiss Me, I’m Irish”. On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish, and that is the universal beauty of the holiday. Celtic pride does not discriminate.

Wondering what Powell & Tiller Dental Care is doing to celebrate March 17th? Well, we’ve thought about doing everything from handing out lucky gold coins (you know, the fake ones that are made of chocolate) to shamrock stickers. Maybe we’ll even give away green toothbrushes and floss! You’ll never know unless you come in to see Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller !

All kidding aside, St. Patrick’s Day is an important cultural and religious holiday. There are lavish parades and church services across Ireland on March 17th. Over time, however, the holiday has developed into a day to observe Irish culture in general. In places like England and the United States, where there is a large Irish Diaspora, the holiday has greater significance than other countries. From the streets of Boston to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, it is a day of celebration, and many Americans of Irish descent will cook up a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage.

So, to all of you with Irish ancestry, and to all of you who have decided to be Irish for the day, our office wishes you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Good luck looking for a pot of leprechaun gold, which is said to exist at the end of the rainbow. However, keep away from those sugary Lucky Charms; sweet cereals might taste good, but your kids’ teeth might not be feeling too lucky if they eat it for breakfast every day. Have a great St. Paddy’s day and remember to call your favorite dental soon to keep your oral health in check!

Good Nutrition Leads to Healthy Mouths

March 7th, 2013

Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller knows the most common oral health diseases are tooth decay and periodontal disease (or gum disease), and both are among the easiest to prevent. One of the most common ways we recommend to boost your oral health is by improving your diet, because you (and your mouth) truly are what you eat. A healthy diet can lead to a healthy mouth and body, while an unhealthy diet can lead to the exact opposite.

The Role Nutrition Plays

While diet is not the only factor that leads to periodontal disease, studies suggest the disease may be more severe among patients whose diets lack essential nutrients. Poor diets will generally lead to a weaker immune system, leaving your body susceptible to all kinds of ailments, including periodontal disease.

A Well-Balanced Approach

There is no “magic” diet that we can recommend to improve your oral health, but the most important thing is to seek a well-balanced approach in your eating. While fad diets that emphasize one food group over another may help you lose weight in the short-term, they probably will not provide all the nutrients your body needs in the long run.

Meals should include a balance of lean meats or other healthy protein sources, colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats. Foods containing substantial amounts of sugar and salt should be consumed in moderation.

Soda and Sugar: A Dangerous Duo

Millions of gallons of soda are consumed every day in America, but sipping a cold soft drink can be very harmful to your teeth. Many of these beverages wear down the enamel that protects the teeth, which weakens and even destroys them over time. The American Beverage Association estimates that soft drinks account for almost 30 percent of all drink consumption in the U.S., averaging an annual total of about 50 gallons per person in 2004 (up from only 20 gallons in the 1970s). For healthy teeth and a healthy body overall, try to limit your soda intake.

Sugar is another ubiquitous treat in our daily lives. When we eat sugar, naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths convert it to acids that attack tooth enamel. Consuming too much sugar can swiftly lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum diseases like gingivitis. Most people do not even realize how much sugar they consume each day. It’s important to limit your daily sugar intake by reading the labels of all the food you eat, and sticking with natural food sources that are low in sugar, especially ones that minimize added sugar, such as fruits and vegetables.

If you have questions about your diet and how it may be affecting your oral health, talk to Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller about it. As your dental specialists, we are happy to provide information about which foods are most beneficial, and which may be harmful for your mouth and your overall health.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe? From Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller

February 28th, 2013

I speak for the public and for the dental profession in answering this question with a “YES”. X-rays have been used in dentistry for a long time, and the amount of radiation has significantly decreased with advances in technology. While there is risk in every health diagnosis procedure at Powell & Tiller Dental Care, the benefits must outweigh the risks. Dental X-rays do indeed fall into this category.

X-rays are exposed to a type of film to produce an image. The amount of X-rays required to produce this image differs with film speeds. Speed E or F is highly recommended, and digital X-rays require up to 50% less than speed E or F film. The digital X-ray software can adjust the exposure to produce a quality image. Digital X-rays are becoming a new standard and are most common.

Lead aprons have been used to reduce the amount of scatter radiation. All X-ray units have a cone to focus the X-ray beam so the exposure is highly localized. Lead aprons continue to be worn as a precaution for pregnant women, and a thyroid collar should also be worn. In most cases, this is sewn into the lead apron.

We get radiation exposure from environmental factors as well as healthcare diagnostic and treatment tools. To place this in perspective, in one year a person is expected to have 360mRem per year from the sun, air etc. By comparison, a single set of bitewing X-rays is 0.3mRem. Radiation can accumulate in our body over a lifetime, and additional exposure should be avoided whenever possible.

I am going to continue receiving my annual dental X-rays. I see the benefit and know the exposure is extremely small. I will focus my efforts in reducing my exposure to other more significant environmental sources as much as I can.

Patient Question: “How do I prevent Oral Cancer?”

February 21st, 2013

Visiting Powell & Tiller Dental Care on a regular basis will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy as well. The fact is, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, close to 40,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year, resulting in more than 8,000 deaths. Men face twice the risk of developing oral cancer as women, and men who are over age 50 face the greatest risk. . The American Cancer Society recommends an oral cancer screening exam every three years for people over the age of 20 and annually for those over age 40. Because early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment, be sure to ask Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller to conduct an oral exam during your next visit to our office.

The five-year survival rate is only 50 percent, and oral cancer, which is the sixth-most common diagnosed form of the disease, is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved. Today, Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller and our team would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our patients about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene to prevent the disease.

So, what can you do at home to take an active role in preventing oral cancer?

Visit our Austin, TX office on a regular schedule. The American Cancer Society recommends an oral cancer screening exam every three years for people over the age of 20 and annually for those over age 40. Because early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment, be sure to ask us to conduct an oral exam during your next visit to our office.

1. Conduct a self-exam regularly Using a bright light and a mirror, look at and feel your lips and gums. Try tilting your head back and look at and feel the roof of your mouth, as well as pulling your cheeks out to look inside of your mouth, the lining of your cheeks, as well as the back gums. Pull out your tongue and look at all surfaces and feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes in both sides of your neck and under your lower jaw. And please give us a call immediately if you notice any changes in the appearance of your mouth or any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above.

2. Don’t smoke or use any tobacco products and drink alcohol in moderation. (Refrain from binge drinking.)

3. Eat a well-balanced diet. This includes eating a wide variety of foods from the 5 primary food groups on a daily basis to meet the recommended amounts of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrate, protein and fat you need in a given day.

4. Limit your exposure to the sun. Repeated exposure increases the risk of cancer on the lips, especially the lower lip. When out in the sun, be sure to use UV-A/B-blocking sun protective lotions on your skin as well as your lips.

Please let us now if you have any questions about your oral health either during your next scheduled appointment, by giving us a call or asking us on Facebook.

February is Heart Health Month

February 20th, 2013

Good oral health is important for more than just your smile!  Many studies are currently exploring the link between gum disease and heart disease or stroke. While scientists haven't shown a direct cause and effect relationship, we know increases in one elevates your risk in the other. One theory suggests that oral bacteria may affect heart health when it enters the blood and attaches to the fatty plaque in the heart's blood vessels. This can cause the formation of blood clots. Another theory suggests the possibility that inflammation could be a contributing link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Gum disease increases inflammatory factors in the blood stream which may also contribute to the development of swollen or inflamed coronary arteries.

What is Coronary Artery Disease?

Coronary artery disease is caused in part by the buildup of fatty proteins on the walls of the coronary arteries. Blood clots cut off blood flow, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. Both blood clots and the buildup of fatty proteins on the walls of the coronary arteries may lead to a heart attack. Moreover, periodontal disease nearly doubles the likelihood that someone will suffer from coronary artery disease. Periodontal disease can also worsen existing heart conditions. The fact that more than 2,400 people die from heart disease each day makes it a major public health issue. It is also the leading killer of both men and women in the United States today.

 

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care, we want to help you keep your body and heart healthy.  Our charity of the month is the American Heart Association for Heart Health month.  Share this blog or tag us in a post on Facebook or Instagram on why you love our office this month and we will give $5 per tag to the AHA to help further research into heart health.  We <3 our patients!

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Valentine’s Day and your teeth

February 14th, 2013


Valentine’s Day is almost here and there is a lot of candy making the rounds this week. It’s once again time to remind all our patients to be extra careful when choosing those candies and treats!

All those sweet, sour and sticky candies may taste great, but these treats are known to damage teeth! Did you know sour candies can be acidic to your teeth, and actually wear down the enamel that protects them? This can cause tooth decay and cavities! Sour and fruity candy, such as Starburst and Skittles, are the worst for your teeth since these candies have a low pH value, which is known to ruin enamel.

We recommend softer treats, such as soft chocolate or peanut butter cups, or melt-in-your-mouth foods. Those who indulge should make sure they brush and floss between teeth, as well as at the gum line.

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us!

February is also American Heart Month!

February 4th, 2013

You may remember our post from last week, when we discussed February being National Dental Health Month and the benefits of visiting our office every six months (or as recommended). But did you know February also marks American Heart Month?

It’s a great time to take notice of the health of your heart, as cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the world, according to the American Heart Association.

Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, underscoring the importance of good oral health care. Visiting our office on a regular basis can help prevent gum disease or at least catch it in its early stages. In observance of Heart Month, it’s also important to know your numbers: blood pressure (less than 120/80), cholesterol (less than 200) and BMI (less than 25).

A healthy mouth begins with a visit to our office! If you have any questions about your heart health, or to schedule your next appointment, please give us a call today!

Committed to Health and Fitness

February 1st, 2013

At Powell and Tiller Dental Care, we are committed to supporting health and fitness, and we are so proud of our patients who participate in activities that promote health and fitness. This month, we are supporting one of our patients who is participating in the MS 150, a cycling race from Austin to Houston which benefits the National MS Society!

This is the second year that we will be donating a silent auction item to the Sacred Heart Free Medical Clinic Annual Gala in Round Rock. We will also be sponsoring the Balcones Sharks Swim Team for the 8th year!

Another donation we have made this month is to an organization named RBI which is a mentoring program for at risk Austin youth through baseball and softball. RBI Austin is an affiliate of Major League Baseball's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program (RBI) and serves youth ages 4 - 18 through free clinics, low-cost summer leagues and year-round mentoring.

Whatever it is you love to do, make sure you stay active and healthy!

What do you love about our office?

January 24th, 2013


From your very first visit to our office, we strive to provide superior treatment in a pleasant, friendly atmosphere. We are always updating our office with the most advanced and up-to-date dental technologies and methods and are here to get to know you personally and find out how we might make your dental visit a wonderful one!

We thought we’d ask you, our wonderful patients: Have you been especially impressed by our work? Did our team go out of their way to make your day? Are you in love with your smile?

Whether you’ve just come in for a one appointment or your family has been visiting our office for years, we’d love to hear your feedback below. Or, you can tell us by posting on our Facebook page!

The importance of wearing a mouthguards

January 18th, 2013

With winter sports underway, we wanted to remind our patients about the importance of wearing a mouthguard while you’re on the court or the field. Here are some frequent questions we hear from our patients about mouthguards.

Q: What are mouthguards?
A: Mouthguards are a flexible, removable device made of soft plastic, and they are adapted to fit comfortably with the shape of the upper teeth.

Q: Why are mouthguards so important?
A: Mouthguards protect not just the teeth, but the lips, cheeks, and tongue, and they also help protect athletes from head and neck injuries, as well as concussions and jaw fractures. Increasingly, organized sports are requiring mouthguards to prevent injury to their athletes, and research shows us that most oral injuries occur when athletes are not wearing mouth protection.

Q: When should I wear my mouthguard?
A: Whenever you are in an activity with a risk of falls or head contact with other players or equipment. This includes football, baseball, basketball, soccer, wrestling, hockey, and even gymnastics.

Q: How do I choose a mouthguard that is right for me?
A: We encourage you to choose a mouth guard that you can wear comfortably. You can select from several options in mouthguards. First, preformed or “boil-to-fit” mouthguards are found in sports stores. Otherwise, we can talk about your options for a custom mouthguard, which will be more comfortable to wear and more effective in preventing injuries this winter. Please give us a call if you have any other questions, or ask us on Facebook!

Foods for healthy gums and healthy hearts

January 10th, 2013


It’s that time of the year again, when we try to stick to our New Year’s Resolutions. If you look around, you’ll notice many ads are about fitness and exercise equipment. However, the best place to start is with smart nutrition.

A healthy diet is very important. If we all followed recommended guidelines for the proper daily intake of foods -- foods that include fruits, dairy, vegetables and meat -- we would see a huge decrease in deadly diseases such as heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure. We recommend you to try to add an extra piece of fruit or an extra vegetable to your diet each day until you achieve the correct number of daily servings.

Water is also a vital component to an overall healthy diet. If you make water your primary drink, you will ensure you are drinking a zero-calorie, no chemical drink instead of a high-calorie or high-chemical alternative like soda. Fruits such as berries are a great source of antioxidants, as well as other chemicals your body uses to repair and prevent some of the damage caused by aging. Like fruit, fish and nuts are healthy as they great sources of Omega 3s and improve your good cholesterol.

If you try to change one thing about your diet each week, you will begin to view these changes as habit over time, and start taking steps to a healthier lifestyle.

Do germs really live on my toothbrush?

January 4th, 2013


The dreaded cold and flu season is here again! After recovering from your cold, one of the most important steps you can take to avoid becoming reinfected is replacing your toothbrush!

Germs can linger on the bristles, and you risk prolonging your sickness by continuing to use the same toothbrush. Be smart - keep a spare, just in case! To protect your toothbrush from bacteria all year long, consider the following tips:

• Wash your hands before and after brushing
• Allow the brush to air dry after each use, harmful bacteria dies after being exposed to oxygen
• Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster
• Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Worn bristles are less effective in properly cleaning your teeth, and can actually be damaging to teeth if used too long!

Hope this tip helps! Feel free to give us a call or ask us on Facebook if you have any questions!

Happy New Year!

December 27th, 2012


The year is almost over, and as we reflect on the year that was, we’d like to ask all our patients: what was memorable about 2012 for you, and what are you looking forward to in 2013? Do you have a New Year’s resolution, or any exciting plans for the coming year?

We know that we are looking forward to serving our amazing patients with even more great care in 2013!

Have a safe and happy New Year from our family to yours!

Season's Greetings!

December 20th, 2012


In this season given to tidings of comfort and joy, and as we reflect on the year that was, we’d like to ask you, our wonderful patients: What do you love about the holidays this year? Being with your loved ones? Hitting the slopes? A clean slate for 2013? Opening presents by the fireplace? All the delicious food?

We’d love if you shared with us all the things you love about the holidays. Stay warm, and don’t forget to limit the amount of sweets you eat!

Our office will be closed from the December 24th through the 28th and will be back in the office on December 31st. We will close on New Years Day, but will resume our regular office hours on January 2nd.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Differences between at-home and in-office tooth whitening procedures

December 10th, 2012


Most people wish they had a brighter, whiter, and more appealing smile. And while teeth whitening treatments and teeth whitening products have certainly made getting a whiter smile much more attainable than in years past, many patients have asked us if there’s any difference between at-home and a professional in-office tooth whitening procedure at our office.

The answer? It depends, though professional teeth whitening solutions are more effective than using the at-home tooth whitening products you may have at your disposal. Even the most common of at-home methods out there—chewing gum, toothpastes, mints, tray systems and whitening strip systems—have a limited whitening ability. Toothpastes that claim to whiten will be more effective than chewing gums, but they won’t be nearly as effective as you’d imagine. While tray systems and whitening strips are the most effective at-home teeth whitening treatments out on the market, they are still not nearly as effective as getting your pearly whites even whiter at our office.

An in-office tooth whitening solution is more effective than at-home whitening due to the fact that the teeth whitening treatment we use in our office is professional grade and requires a dentist and a trained dental technician to be administered. We also use stronger bleaching agents that have been known to enhance a smile by several shades, and also make for dazzling smiles and happy patients.

If you would like more information about teeth whitening options, please give us a call to learn about treatments we offer, and which would be best for you. We look forward to meeting with you.

What’s the difference between a dental implant and a dental bridge?

December 4th, 2012

One of the most common questions we hear is, “is there a difference between a dental implant and a dental bridge?”

Both implants and bridges are permanent, non-removable replacements for your missing tooth, or teeth. The biggest difference between an implant and a bridge is how your new teeth are held in place. While a bridge may be used to literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth, help maintain the shape of your face, and alleviate stress in your bite, implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth.

Visually, there is little difference between the two, but they both have different advantages. Bridges, which can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials are bonded onto surrounding teeth for support. A bridge can help restore your smile, as well as your ability to properly chew and speak. They can also maintain the shape of your face and prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position. If you can replace a missing tooth or teeth with a bridge, the major advantage is that your solution is immediate because you do not need surgery to successfully complete this procedure.

There are many benefits to dental implants as well, but the biggest advantage of an implant is that you do not use the neighboring teeth to support the replacement of the missing tooth. Just like bridges, they provide improved appearance, self-esteem, comfort, speech and oral health, as well as the ability to eat all your favorite foods with confidence and without any pain. As for how long they last? Implants are extremely durable and with good care, can last a lifetime.

To learn more about dental implants and bridges, or to schedule an appointment to select the option that's right for you, we invite you to give us a call!

Sleep Apnea and Snoring

November 29th, 2012


Snoring may not be something you take seriously. You might even laugh or joke about it. But the fact is, anytime you or your partner snore to the point of waking, it could be a sign of serious health problems.

Sleep Apnea and Its Effects

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is potentially dangerous, and the most common symptom is loud snoring. Breathing repeatedly starts and stops throughout the night, and you wake up feeling tired. Other serious effects from sleep apnea could be potentially dangerous to your health if left unaddressed.

Besides losing a good night's sleep, you may experience difficulty concentrating. Depression, risk of heart attack, irritability, high blood pressure, memory loss, sexual dysfunction, and chances of stroke all increase when sleep apnea is not treated.

Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax to the point of inhibiting natural breathing. The muscles used to support the soft palate relax and the airway closes, causing breathing to stop for 10 to 20 seconds. This lowers the oxygen level in the brain. As the brain senses the inhibited oxygen levels it rouses the sleeper awake so the airway can reopen. Normally, the reawakening is so brief the person won't remember it.

If you think you may have sleep apnea, visit our office and let the doctor determine what treatment is needed. Without it, you could risk losing more than a restful night's sleep.

Prevention and Treatment

Anyone can develop sleep apnea, but it is more common among middle-aged adults who are overweight. Our dentist can help you determine the cause and suggest positive treatment.

A common treatment for apnea is the placement of oral devices that are designed to help keep the airway open. By bringing the jaw forward, the device opens the airway and thereby discourages snoring. Our dentist is experienced in sleep apnea appliances and can prescribe a fitted device and monitor its success with follow-up therapy.

A continuous positive airway pressure mask, known as a CPAP, is among the other treatment options. A mask is fitted over the mouth and forces oxygen through the throat while you sleep. The pressure holds the soft tissue and throat muscles open.

The professionals in our office can advise you of other ways to prevent sleep apnea, including weight loss, avoiding alcohol, or alternative sleeping positions. We can help you sleep return to easy sleep, knowing you are safer and healthier during your resting hours.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 19th, 2012

We would like to wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy a day filled of friends, family, and great Thanksgiving food.

We are very thankful for all of our patients and their families. We’d like to know, what are you most thankful for this year? Leave us a comment, or if you have any stories, photos or recipes to share with us, we encourage you to share them below or on our Facebook page!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Halloween Candy Buy Back Success!

November 12th, 2012


We hope everyone had a great Halloween! We have the final total for the Halloween Candy Buy Back. We collected 62 lbs. of candy from kids this year and gave them $2 per pound they brought in.

We shipped off the big load of candy to Operation Gratitude to distribute to our soldiers overseas as a sweet treat and memory of home.

We also donated a total of $310 to the Capital Area Food Bank ($5 for every lb of candy we collected) to help pay for the distribution of healthy foods to children and adults of Central Texas.

We love doing this every year. It is a win, win, win situation: our patients don’t eat quite so many sweets, our military get a treat and healthy food is distributed to neighbors in need.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Which Type of Mouthwash is Best?

November 5th, 2012

Taking care of your oral health involves a daily regimen of brushing, flossing, and rinsing to prevent tooth decay and bacterial infections. Though you may have asked us which toothbrush to use, few patients ask about mouthwash.

However, different mouthwashes you might choose will have varying effects on your oral health. So which type is best for you?

Gum Health

Antiseptic mouthwashes are designed to reduce the majority of bacteria on and near the gum line. Using an antiseptic mouthwash can help decrease your chances of developing gingivitis. If possible, look for a mouthwash with antibacterial or antimicrobial ingredients.

Fluoride

Fluoride is beneficial for oral health and can help prevent tooth decay. If you drink a lot of bottled water without fluoride, we may recommend that you purchase a rinse with fluoride in it.

Bad Breath

Although mouthwash is designed to prevent bacterial build-up within the mouth, many people use it to combat bad breath. Most mouthwashes will help eliminate the bacteria that cause bad breath, and some are specifically designed to do so.

However, if bad breath is a chronic problem that requires daily treatment with a mouth rinse, contact our office to discuss your symptoms.

American Dental Association Approval

The ADA reviews mouth rinses for safety and effectiveness. A mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Approval will meet strict criteria, and will have scientific evidence or clinical studies that support the claims of the manufacturer. If possible, select a mouthwash that bears the ADA Seal of Approval to ensure you are using a quality rinse.

Considerations

If you are unsure as to which mouthwash is right for you, contact our office or ask our dentist or dental hygienist at your next appointment. Also, be sure to keep mouthwash out of the reach of children, as it contains alcohol and other substances that could be harmful to them. Avoid letting children under age six use a mouth rinse, and discontinue use if you experience a burning sensation in the soft tissues of your mouth.

Best and Worst Candies for Halloween

October 31st, 2012


It’s that spooky time of year again! Whether you are going door-to-door trick or treating, attending a party dressed in a clever, silly or scary costume, or simply getting together with friends and family to watch scary movies, Drs. Powell & Tiller and our team want you to have a fun and safe holiday!

We also wanted to give you some Halloween tips for the Best and Worst candies that you could receive this year, courtesy of the Academy of General Dentistry:

"Worst:
Chewy/sticky sweets, such as gummy candies, taffy, and even dried fruit can be difficult for children and adults to resist, and even more difficult to remove from teeth.
Sour candies are highly acidic and can break down tooth enamel quickly. The good news: Saliva slowly helps to restore the natural balance of the acid in the mouth.
Sugary snacks, including candy corn, cookies, and cake, all contain high amounts of sugar, which can cause tooth decay.

Best:
Sugar-free lollipops and hard candies stimulate saliva, which can help prevent dry mouth.
Sugar-free gum can actually prevent cavities as it not only dislodges food particles from between the teeth but also increases saliva—which works to neutralize the acids of the mouth and prevent tooth decay.
Dark chocolate and its antioxidants, according to some studies, can be good for the heart and may even lower blood pressure."

Happy Halloween everyone!

Tooth Discoloration: Common Causes and What You Can Do To Stop It

October 16th, 2012


Looking back at childhood photos, you may notice picture after picture of yourself with a mouthful of shiny white teeth. When you look in the mirror today, you wonder what happened to that beautiful smile. Many adults struggle with tooth discoloration and find it embarrassing to show off their teeth in a smile. Once you identify the cause of your tooth discoloration, there are treatment options that can restore your teeth and your confidence.

What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

There are a host of factors that may cause your teeth to discolor. Some are directly under your control, and others may not be preventable. Here is a list of common reasons that teeth become discolored.

• Genetics: Much of your dental health is determined by genetic factors beyond your control. Some people naturally have thinner enamel or discolored teeth.
• Medications: Several medications lead to tooth discoloration as a side effect. If you received the common antibiotics doxycycline or tetracycline as a child, your teeth may have discolored as a consequence. Antihistamines, high blood pressure medications, and antipsychotic drugs can also discolor teeth. If you think a medication may be leading to tooth discoloration, talk to your dentist. Never discontinue the use of a medication without consulting your doctor, however.
• Medical Conditions: Genetic conditions such as amelogenesis or dentinogenesis cause improper development of the enamel, and can lead to yellowed, discolored teeth.
• Poor Dental Hygiene: Failing to brush your teeth at least twice a day or regularly floss may lead to tooth decay and discoloration.
• Foods and Tobacco: Consumption of certain foods, including coffee, tea, wine, soda, apples, or potatoes, can cause tooth discoloration. Tobacco use also causes teeth to turn yellow or brown.

Treatments for Tooth Discoloration

There are a variety of treatments available to individuals with discolored teeth. One of the easiest ways to reduce tooth discoloration is through prevention. Avoid drinking red wine, soda, or coffee and stop using tobacco products. If you drink beverages that tend to leave stains, brush your teeth immediately or swish with water to reduce staining.

After determining the cause of tooth discoloration, our dentist can suggest other treatment options. Over-the-counter whitening agents might help, but in-office whitening treatments provided at our office would be more effective. When whitening agents do not help, bondings or veneers are among the alternative solutions for tooth discoloration.

If you are worried about your teeth becoming yellow or brown, think carefully about your diet and medication use. Talk to your dentist to identify substances that may be causing the problem. After treatment for tooth discoloration, you will have a beautiful white smile you can be proud to show off.

Teeth Grinding: Not Just a Bad Habit, But a Dental Concern

October 8th, 2012


Perhaps you don't even know you grind your teeth. Maybe a spouse or loved one woke you up in the middle of the night and made you aware of what was happening.

For many people, teeth grinding is a habit and a mechanical reflex; when they’re awakened and informed they were grinding their teeth, they have no recollection of it at all. According to the American Dental Association, this is the nightly situation for roughly ten percent of Americans. From young children to the elderly, teeth grinding, known in the dental community as bruxism, is a serious concern.

Many people who grind their teeth in their sleep have no idea they're doing it. In fact, when they wake up in the morning they feel no jaw pain and their teeth are fine: if it hadn’t been for someone telling them about it, the teeth grinding would have gone unnoticed.

There are other people, however, who wake up with jaw pain, shoulder and neck pain, and headaches. Teeth grinding can cause a host of dental complications. From cracked teeth and receding gums to a misaligned jaw, teeth grinding is not something to take lightly.

Preventive measures are the key to combating bruxism, and our office can set you on the path to a healthy and safe night sleep.

The Reasons for Teeth Grinding

There are many reasons for teeth grinding. For some people, it’s a habit they acquired when they were a child and never grew out of. On the other hand, some research claims that the condition is related to stress, anxiety, or some other type of psychiatric issue.

Still other studies point to everything from poor muscle control or over-eating before bed to gastro-esophageal issues. However, the root cause of the teeth grinding is less important than identifying preventive measures against it.

Common solutions to teeth grinding include:

• Wearing a protective nightguard
• Stress management techniques
• Medications and muscle relaxers

When you make an appointment at our office, we will assess your situation and determine what the best course of action is. Teeth grinding is a dental concern that can cause serious health issues down the road, so be sure to take preventive measures today.

Smile! October is National Dental Hygiene Month!

October 4th, 2012


Did you know that October is National Dental Hygiene Month? For our staff that means only one thing: Reminding you that your teeth are an important part of your body, and keeping them clean helps keep your mouth and your body healthy. By taking care of your teeth, eating a balanced diet and visiting our office on a regular basis, you can have healthy teeth and an attractive smile throughout your entire life.

We encourage you to check out the American Dental Association website as well, which provides pointers on keeping your mouth clean and healthy. Remember to:

• Brush for 2 minutes, 2 times per day
• Floss daily
• Rinse with mouthwash
• Chew sugar-free gum after eating

Lastly, has it been six months since your last visit to our office? If the answer is yes, we encourage you to give us a call to set up an appointment! We look forward to seeing you!

Signs That Your Tooth Has A Cavity

September 25th, 2012

We have all experienced those times when we have a toothache and think..."Do I have a cavity?" You brush twice a day and floss regularly, so a cavity is unlikely. Right? Here is how you can tell if it's time to give us a call:

The Signs and Symptoms of a Cavity

It’s believed that roughly 90% of Americans will get at least one cavity in their lifetime. When a cavity is in its initial stages, you will often be symptom-free and experience no discomfort at all. It’s not until the tooth decay has reached a certain level that you will begin to notice the signs and symptoms. While a toothache and sensitivity to hot and cold foods and liquids are surefire signs that you have a cavity, there are lesser-known symptoms as well. If you’re experiencing any of these warning signs, you may want to consider making an appointment with our office as soon as possible:

• Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
• When you bite down, there is a sticky, tarry feeling
• Puss or discharge around a tooth
• A visible discoloring, usually black or brown
• Small pits or holes in the tooth

Routine dental care is important. While good oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and regular cleanings at the dentist will deter the formation of cavities, they do not constitute a foolproof practice. A cavity can occur at any time, no matter what your age. Bacteria causes tooth decay, and no amount of brushing, flossing, and rinsing will eradicate all the bacteria from your mouth. If you think you may have a cavity, please contact our office immediately.

Foods That Can Harm Enamel

September 21st, 2012


Many people who are careful about brushing and flossing their teeth wonder how they still end up with cavities or tooth decay. Several factors affect wear and tear on tooth enamel. Diet is a major factor, with certain foods increasing the likelihood that your enamel will become discolored or decayed. Pay close attention to the foods you eat to keep your pearly whites looking healthy and clean.

What Causes Enamel Damage?

Tooth enamel refers to the hard, semi-translucent, whitish part of the tooth that shows above your gums. The enamel is primarily composed of minerals that are strong but susceptible to highly acidic foods. When acid reacts with the minerals in enamel, tooth decay results. Strongly pigmented foods can also damage enamel by discoloring the surface of the tooth.

Foods that Harm Enamel

Acidic foods are the greatest source of enamel damage. To determine whether a food is acidic, look up its pH. Scientists use pH, on a one-to-seven scale, to define the relative acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Foods with low pH levels, between a one and three, are high in acidity and may damage your enamel. Foods with high pH levels, such as a six or seven, are far less likely to cause enamel harm.

So which foods should you avoid? Many fruits are high in acidity, including lemons, grapefruit, strawberries, grapes, and apples. The high sugar and acid content in soda makes it another huge contributor to enamel decay. Moderately acidic foods include pineapple, oranges, tomatoes, cottage cheese, maple syrup, yogurt, raisins, pickles, and honey. The foods that are least likely to cause enamel damage include milk, most cheeses, eggs, and water.

Beverages such as red wine and coffee also damage the enamel by discoloring it. Although stains do not necessarily undermine the integrity of your teeth, they can be unsightly.

What Can I Do to Prevent Enamel Damage?

Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to prevent your enamel from discoloring or decaying. The easiest way to avoid decay is to steer clear of high-acidity foods. This may not always be possible, but eliminating sugary fruit juices and soda from your diet is a good start. Brushing your teeth after each meal and flossing frequently also preserves your enamel. Another good idea is to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after eating to wash away high-acidity particles.

Although enamel damage is common, it does not have to be an inevitable occurrence. Knowing the foods that harm your teeth gives you the tools to prevent discoloration and decay. With some easy preventive measures, your teeth will stay strong and white for years to come.

When is the Best Time to Floss?

September 13th, 2012

At our dental office, we prefer our patients to practice good oral hygiene between office visits. Part of that process includes flossing, which is the process of cleaning between the teeth to remove food and debris from the areas that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. When food is allowed to remain between the teeth, it provides a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause periodontal disease.

Should You Floss Before or After Brushing?

According to the American Dental Association, you can floss either before or after brushing, according to your own preference. By flossing first, you can brush away dislodged food debris afterward. On the other hand, brushing first allows you to loosen plaque between the teeth, making it easier to floss more effectively.

Whichever you choose, the most important goal is to floss thoroughly. That means using a fresh strand of dental floss each day, and carefully pulling it back and forth between all of the teeth. Do not skip flossing because your teeth look or feel clean.

When to Floss

Unlike brushing, you need only floss between your teeth once per day. Although you may choose to do it in the morning or afternoon, many prefer to floss at night to prevent food and debris from remaining in the crevices of the teeth overnight. This could prevent the build-up of plaque too, which is a cause of tooth decay.

Help with Flossing

If you have questions about your flossing technique or what type of floss is best for your teeth, contact our office. The staff will be more than happy to assist you in perfecting your home hygiene regimen. In most cases, you can choose between interdental cleaning picks or flexible floss strands to perform your daily flossing routine. If you have permanent oral appliances or restorations, be sure to follow the flossing instructions provided to you, and contact our office with any questions.

The Truth Behind Six Popular Dental Myths

September 7th, 2012

Myths about dentistry and general dental care abound. These myths are passed on by word of mouth and are presented as being factual; although they are typically inaccurate. There are dangers associated with dental misconceptions. By believing in these dental myths, you are placing your oral health at risk and you may not be receiving proper dental care. Find the answers behind many popular dental myths.

Myth: It is not important for young children to care for their baby teeth.

Fact: Although baby teeth are not permanent, long-term problems with permanent teeth can develop if baby teeth are not properly cared for. The malpositioning of permanent teeth, misalignment issues, and early orthodontic treatment are just a few of the concerns related to losing baby teeth too early as a result of tooth decay. It is crucial that children learn the basics of proper oral hygiene at an early age. Doing so will help them form permanent habits that are essential for oral health.

Myth: If you are not having problems with your teeth, seeing a dentist is not necessary.

Fact: Most dental issues are not evident in the early stages. It is only when they have progressed further that you start to notice there is a problem. In most cases, only a dentist can detect when there is a problem. Scheduling an appointment in our office twice a year for regular cleanings and exams is a vital component to your dental health. In this way, dental problems can be treated early before they become a serious concern and require a more advanced form of treatment.

Myth: You should avoid brushing and flossing if your gums are bleeding.

Fact: If your gums are bleeding, it is usually a warning sign of gum disease or gingivitis. You should continue to brush and floss your teeth gently during this time since poor oral hygiene is a primary cause of bleeding gums. If the bleeding worsens or continues to be a problem, contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Myth: Chewing sugar-free gum is a good substitute for brushing your teeth.

Fact: Although chewing sugar-free gum offers the benefits of freshening your breath and minor teeth cleaning between meals, it should not be considered a substitute for brushing and flossing. Dental plaque and food particles can only be thoroughly removed by brushing and flossing.

Myth: Cavities are only a concern when you are a child.

Fact: Cavities can develop at any age. There are many situations and conditions that place both adults and elders at risk for the development of cavities. As an adult, you are more prone to developing receding gums, which can quickly result in tooth decay. Many adults and elders also take prescription medications that cause dry mouth. This can cause tooth decay as there is an insufficient amount of saliva within the mouth to wash away bacteria and neutralize acids.

Myth: Once you treat a decayed tooth, it will not become decayed again.

Fact: It is possible for other areas of the tooth to become decayed; although proper brushing and flossing will prevent the treated area of the tooth from becoming decayed again. If a filling gets old and begins to break down, there is a possibility that bacteria can become trapped inside and cause tooth decay.

How to Prevent Bad Breath

August 30th, 2012


We all experience bad breath every now and then. Usually it’s a minor inconvenience resolved with a thorough brushing. There are times, however, when bad breath becomes a recurring condition that can be a major source of embarrassment. Fortunately, mouth odor is preventable. By familiarizing yourself with the causes of bad breath, you’ll be able to take action and keep it in check.

Brushing and Flossing Habits: Proper care of your teeth and gums will go a long way toward maintaining fresh breath. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice each day with a fluoride toothpaste. Don’t forget to brush your tongue; bacteria can gather there as well. To remove odor-causing food particles from between your teeth, be sure to floss once per day.

Diet: The phrase “you are what you eat” is especially true when it comes to mouth odor. Researchers at New York University list strong-smelling foods such as pastrami, garlic, and onions as common culprits of bad breath. If you’re dieting, you may notice that your breath is worse between meals. Infrequent eating results in lower saliva production, which can cause bacteria buildup in the mouth. Eating meals at regular intervals can help reduce this accumulation.

Dry Mouth: The American Dental Association attributes a condition called xerostomia, better known as dry mouth, to bad breath. Dry mouth is exactly what it sounds like: a decreased amount of saliva resulting from continuous mouth breathing, salivary gland problems, or certain medications. The lack of beneficial saliva can lead to a buildup of odor-causing particles in the mouth. To combat dry mouth, be sure to stay hydrated or try sucking on a sugar-free candy.

Tobacco Use: Yet another entry on the long list of reasons to kick the habit, tobacco products can also contribute to bad breath. The experts at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center attribute tobacco use to a wide range of problems with the teeth and gums. In addition to mouth odor, potential problems include periodontal disease, loss of taste, gum irritation, and oral cancer.

Medical Conditions: Bad breath can be a warning sign or symptom of another underlying health issue. According to the Wexner Medical Center, mouth odor can indicate a respiratory infection, diabetes, a gastrointestinal disorder, or issues with the liver and kidneys. Symptoms vary from person to person, so if you suspect that your bad breath might be stemming from a larger problem, make an appointment with your doctor to address your concerns.

Additional Prevention: Scheduling regular dental checkups will help keep plaque buildup and gum disease from developing. Contact our office about any oral health issues you may be experiencing. We can provide professional recommendations tailored to your situation that will help keep your mouth as fresh and clean as it can be.

A Healthy Mouth Starts With What You Eat

August 23rd, 2012

Most people know that visiting the dentist is an essential part of caring for their teeth. Regular checkups and cleanings are, of course, very important. But what some people don't realize is that good dental hygiene starts long before you get to the dentist's office. You may be saying, "I know, it starts with my toothbrush and floss." But actually, oral health begins even before that. A healthy smile starts at your grocery store.

Dental checkups can detect problems early on and address them, but only good nutrition can give your teeth and gums the healthy foundation they need. If your diet is rich in tooth-friendly nutrients, you will be less prone to gum disease, tooth decay, and even jawbone loss.

So, which nutrients are the most important? Here are a few tooth-building superstars.

Calcium
We all know that calcium builds strong bones and teeth. Most expectant mothers are even aware that the calcium-rich foods they eat during pregnancy will ensure that their babies develop strong, healthy teeth later on. But did you know that calcium is important to your teeth long into adulthood?

On its "Milk Matters" page, the National Institutes of Health tells us that calcium can protect teeth against decay. Furthermore, a 2001 study published by the US National Library of Medicine found that elderly people who had adequate amounts of calcium in their diets were more likely to retain their teeth as they aged.

Good sources of calcium include yogurt, cheeses, milk, and leafy green vegetables. If you can't get an enough calcium from your diet alone, talk to your doctor about adding a calcium supplement.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is sometimes called the sunshine vitamin because your skin can synthesize it during exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D could also be called the healthy smile vitamin. It not only helps your teeth, but it also keeps your gums healthy. Another study published by the National Library of Medicine has shown a connection between low levels of dietary vitamin D and gingivitis. People in the study who had more of the vitamin in their diets had healthier gums.

While most of us get plenty of vitamin D from sun exposure, people who live farther from the equator may need to take a supplement during the winter months.

Vitamin C
Long ago, British sailors were called "Limeys" because their superiors made them eat limes on long ocean voyages. Why? Because limes are rich in vitamin C and without it, the sailors got scurvy and often lost their teeth. While there's little danger of developing scurvy today, a study in the year 2000 of people who ranged in age from 20 to 90, showed that vitamin C is still necessary for healthy gums. People in the study who had the lowest dietary intake of this essential vitamin were at the highest risk of gum disease.

Vitamin C is perhaps the easiest of vitamins to get from your diet. Rich sources include strawberries, apricots, oranges, lemons and, of course, limes. Red and yellow peppers also have lots of vitamin C, as do tomatoes and brussel sprouts.

Never put off regular dental checkups and cleanings, but in between appointments, watch your diet. Making sure these essential nutrients are a part of your daily intake will ensure that your teeth and gums are as healthy as they can be.

Sensitive Teeth? Try Changing Your Toothpaste

August 17th, 2012

If you have noticed that your teeth are starting to feel more sensitive than usual, you might initially avoid foods and drinks that seem to cause discomfort. For example, you feel some dental pain when you drink a hot cup of coffee in the morning or while chewing on a cold apple. While it’s a normal reaction to avoid foods or drinks that lead to pain or discomfort, it’s better to determine the cause of the problem and take steps to improve the health and quality of your teeth.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
- If only a single tooth is sensitive, it could be caused by a cavity. In other cases, the tooth might be cracked. These situations require care from a trained dental professional. You may need to get a filling, a new crown, or a root canal to reduce the tooth sensitivity.

- If many or all of your teeth are sensitive, you may have recently begun consuming increasingly larger amounts of foods or drinks that are high in acid. The acid dissolves the protective enamel of your teeth, exposing the dentin. The tooth’s dentin is sensitive to heat and cold, as well as sticky or acidic foods that can trigger pain.

- Teeth whitening treatments can also cause tooth sensitivity.

- Increased stress in your life also can indirectly lead to tooth sensitivity. High stress can cause you to grind your teeth while you sleep. If you suffer from teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, one treatment option may be a special night guard appliance to wear while you sleep.

- Weather changes are another factor to consider. If it starts getting cold suddenly, the cool air you breathe in may trigger tooth pain, especially when enamel has been eroded from your teeth.

Reducing Tooth Sensitivity
- Avoid consuming foods and drinks that are high in acid. For example, citrus fruits and their juices can wear down your teeth’s enamel over time. Taper down your consumption to minimize teeth erosion. Try using a straw when drinking acidic juices in order to minimize their contact with your teeth. Rinse your mouth with water after consuming acidic foods and drinks.

- Start brushing your teeth with the softest available toothbrush. Use gentle motions to brush your teeth in order to minimize abrading their surfaces.

- You may be interested in switching to a new toothpaste to help you with the discomfort. Select a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth. You can find a variety of brands at your local pharmacy or supermarket. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, particularly paying attention to how long you can use the product. If your teeth are still sensitive after using the special toothpaste, you should contact our office so we can rule out a more serious underlying problem.

Mission Trip pictures now on Facebook!

August 10th, 2012


Have you visited our Facebook page lately?

Recently Drs. Powell and Tiller went on a mission trip to Zambia, and they had an amazing experience. We encourage you to take a look at our Facebook page for all of their updates from the trip, and to see some great pictures!

Photos from our Mission Trip

August 3rd, 2012

Have you been watching our Facebook page? Drs. Powell and Tiller have been posting photos from Africa, and giving updates about their amazing mission trip! We encourage you to take a look!

[caption id="attachment_367" align="aligncenter" width="299" caption="We saw lots of giraffes. So cool!"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_368" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Working with my wonderful translator"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_370" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Lily entertaining some of the children while their parents were being treated in the clinic."][/caption]

Update from Zambia

July 27th, 2012

The first day of clinic was 5 days ago. We are in a different village each day. This day the chief of the Ila people loaned is 4 chairs from his palace. They were sling back cow hide chairs that could recline. Our trash bags fit perfectly over the top to protect them. We had to work on our knees though.

Day 1: Sterilization "room"

Day 2: We were at a school and used school desks. Wonderful people we are helping. They are so thankful. Many walked for hours to have treatment.

Day 3: We saw patients at this school. This area had a staggering 90% HIV + rate. We are thankful we had no injuries despite poor lighting, poor positioning, and none of our modern conveniences. Again, the people were so thankful to have us all.

Update from Drs. Powell and Tiller

July 20th, 2012

As many of you know, Drs. Powell and Tiller are on a mission trip in Zambia! They have been posting updates on Facebook, and we encourage you all to take a look and see what they are up to on their adventure. Here is the latest:

Packing supplies by day to take out to the field, so that we don't need to take all of it each day. We are in a nice main hall dining facility. Meals have been good and our cabins too are much nicer than expected.

How did you celebrate the 4th of July?

July 6th, 2012


It’s hard to believe, but July is already here and half of 2012 has already passed! July 4th was yesterday, and our team thought it would be fun to share some facts about our country’s independence day.


Fun Facts:
• Betsy Ross, according to legend, sewed the first American flag in May or June 1776, as commissioned by the Congressional Committee.
• The major objection to being ruled by Britain was taxation without representation. The colonists had no say in the decisions of English Parliament.
• The word ‘patriotism’ comes from the Latin patria, which means ‘homeland’ or ‘fatherland.’
• The first public Fourth of July event at the White House occurred in 1804.
• And what could be more fitting than spending the day in a place called “America”? There are five such places in the country, with the most populous being American Fork, Utah, with 21,941 residents. Check out American Fact Finder.

How did you celebrate Independence Day? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page. We hope you all had a fun and safe holiday!

4 out of 5 Dentists Recommend Sugarless Gum

June 26th, 2012


We aren't sure who that 5th dentist is, but sugarless gum is great, especially sugarless gum containing Xylitol. If you can't brush after a snack or meal, chewing sugarless gum is the next best thing. The sticky gum will help get bits of food out of the grooves of your teeth. It also increases saliva production which lowers the pH in your mouth. This helps neutralize the acids from your food or from the bacteria that causes plaque, streptococcus mutans.

Xylitol gum not only has those effects, but Xylitol itself has anti-microbial properties especially against strep mutans, the plaque bacteria. It also has properties that increase the amount of calcium present in saliva so it helps remineralize your teeth, actually repairing very early cavity formation.

Xylitol is a naturally occurring substance and can be extracted from the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, but is mainly extracted from hardwoods and corn. It is non-toxic in humans, but one word of caution, it is much, much more toxic than chocolate to dogs. Humans and cats metabolize Xylitol completely differently than dogs do, so while we'd love you to use Xylitol gum when you chew gum, make sure you keep it out of reach of your dogs.

Are dental implants right for you?

June 22nd, 2012

If you have missing teeth, it is crucial to replace them. Without all your teeth, chewing and eating can destabilize your bite and cause you discomfort. Dental implants are a great option for replacing missing or badly diseased teeth. A dental implant offers comfort, support, stability, and is as close to a natural tooth that a restoration can be.

There are many benefits to dental implants:

• Dental implants restore your ability to chew food properly.
• They fill out a face that may otherwise look sunken in because of missing teeth.
• They don’t need to be removed for overnight cleaning and soaking.
• No adhesives are needed.
• You’ll feel more confident to show off your smile to the world.
• Each implant is created to fit in perfectly with the look of the rest of your teeth.

Dental implants would be an appropriate treatment for you if you’re in good health, have healthy gums, and have enough bone structure to support an implant. A simple visit with our office will reveal if a dental implant is the best option to restore your smile to its absolute best.

Cleaning Your Baby’s Teeth

June 15th, 2012

With the arrival of your little one, it’s important to prepare for the arrival of their first tooth. Even before your child’s first tooth appears, his or her gums can benefit from your careful attention. After breast- or bottle-feeding, wrap your finger with a damp washcloth and gently rub across your baby’s gums. This will also reinforce the habit of brushing after eating as your baby grows up.

Your baby’s first tooth will make its grand entrance at about six months, and the rest of the primary teeth will come in during the next three years. When the first tooth erupts, it's time to upgrade to a baby toothbrush. There are usually two options: a long-handled toothbrush that you and your baby can hold at the same time, and a finger-puppet-like brush that fits over the tip of your pointer finger. In each case the bristles are soft and few. At this stage, toothpaste isn't necessary; just dip the brush in water before brushing.

When a few more teeth appear, you can start using toothpaste with your child's brush. However, for the first two years, be sure to choose toothpaste that does not contain fluoride, unless advised to do so otherwise. From the beginning, have your little one practice spitting the toothpaste out after brushing to prepare him or her for fluoride toothpaste, which should not be swallowed at any age.

Be sure to schedule an appointment within six months of when your child’s first tooth comes in, and no later than your child’s first birthday. Early dental visits are the foundation for a lifetime of good oral health. The earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental disease and helping your child build a cavity-free smile.

Healthy Diet, Healthy Smile

June 7th, 2012


Have you heard the saying, “You are what you eat." Recent studies have shown that what you eat can have both a positive and negative impact on your oral health. A few weeks ago we talked about the negative effects of energy drinks and sports drinks on the strength of your teeth. Today we will let you know about some foods to help you maintain a healthy smile. Some of these foods might surprise you. Shitake mushrooms are one example. A study by the Pediatric Caries Research Foundation found that these mushrooms contain a sugar called Lentinan which prevents mouth bacteria from growing. Raw onions and wasabi, a Japanese version of horseradish, also contain substances which stop bacterial growth. And it turns out broccoli isn't only good for your body, the iron in broccoli may also help form an acid-resistant film on your teeth. After drinking acid-based drinks like colas and sports drinks, enamel erodes half as quickly when exposed to broccoli.

Some other "super-smile" foods and their benefits are listed below:

Basil - a natural antibiotic that helps reduce bacteria in your mouth.
Carrots - full of vitamin A, which is absolutely necessary for the formation of tooth enamel. This and all crunchy vegetables cleanse and stimulate your gums, making them healthy.
Cheese - offers the benefit of lactic acid to help prevent tooth decay.
Ginger - an anti-inflammatory to support healthy oral tissues.
Green tea - contains an antioxidant called catechin which decreases bacterial growth that causes gingivitis.

Next time you are looking for a new recipe, make sure it contains some of these ingredients to help keep your smile looking great. Happy eating!

Bad Breath is No Good

June 1st, 2012

Bad breath, also called halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits. You may not even be aware of your own bad breath, so if you’re concerned you may be suffering from it, talk to Drs. Powell & Tiller and team. We can help identify the cause and, if it’s due to an oral condition, develop a treatment plan to treat it.

There are many reasons for bad breath:

• What you eat can also affect the way your breath smells. Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, can have a very strong and lasting odor.
• If you don't brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath, not to mention tooth decay and gingivitis.
• Bad breath can be caused by dry mouth (xerostomia), which occurs when the flow of saliva decreases. Saliva is necessary to cleanse the mouth and remove particles that may cause odor.
• Tobacco products cause bad breath. If you use tobacco, ask us for tips on kicking the habit.
• Bad breath may be the sign of a medical disorder, such as a local infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment. If this is the case, you may be referred to your family doctor or a specialist to determine the cause.

The good news is there are many ways to help eliminate bad breath from your life. Maintaining good oral health is essential to reducing bad breath, so schedule regular dental visits with Powell & Tiller Dental Care for a professional cleaning and checkup. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque, and don’t forget to brush your tongue, too!

Drs. Powell and Tiller are heading to Africa

May 25th, 2012


Many of you may have heard by now that Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller will be going on a medical mission trip to Zambia July 13-29. They have always felt called to serve through health care and will be providing much needed dental treatment in very rural areas of Southwestern Zambia during this time. Dental treatment is something we take for granted here in the U.S., but on the missions trips, the longest lines are for the dental clinics. People often walk for days to have an opportunity to live without pain that they may have suffered for months or years.

Some of you have asked how you can help, and we so appreciate the sentiment. We decided to send out our thoughts on how you can help us, and also how we can make sure you are taken care of during our absence.

1. The best way you can help us is by keeping your scheduled appointments over the next 6 weeks. We know many of you like to get yourself or your family in to our office during the summer, but we are trying to accommodate all of you in less time, so we don't want to waste the precious time we are here. If you do need to cancel your appointment, please, please, please give us as much notice as possible, but at least 48 hours so that we can allow someone else to use this time.

2. If you have outstanding dental treatment, please call us as soon as possible to schedule. We know as we get closer to leaving, appointments will be harder to come by. We also know that if you plan on waiting until we get back, that is exactly when that tooth will decide to flare up. So please, if you've been procrastinating, please call now to schedule. You know we always work with our patients to make treatment financially feasible, so if that's holding you back, don't let it!

3. If you have an emergency while we are gone, we will have staff answering our phones and can direct you to a covering dentist or specialist. In fact, even if it's not an emergency, feel free to call as our staff will be here, and we can get you in our schedule for when we return.

4. Like us on Facebook, so that you can follow along on our adventure. Like Powell & Tiller Dental Care on Facebook because we will try to post when we can on our trip.

We hope all of you have a wonderful summer and remember that we should all be thankful that dental care is only a phone call away!

May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month!

May 17th, 2012


The teenage years are such a vulnerable time in a person's life. Teenagers are struggling with the demands of responsibility, but also struggling with not having complete control over their lives. They are also working through their self-identity. Teens tend to care so much about how they are perceived by those around them. We as parents need to help them navigate through this difficult time.

We find that personal oral hygiene can be a struggle for many teens. They are busy and feel rather invincible, so the need to brush and floss is not high on their priority list! Parents may want to focus on the immediacy of bad breath and yellow teeth rather than the long term issues of possible decay or gum disease to motivate this age. They do tend to care more about their hair and clothing and their friends' opinions than long-term health, unfortunately, so changing the focus to how they will come across to others might be a parent's best shot at having their teen listen to them.

This is also a time at which teens become self-conscious of their smiles or lack of tooth alignment. This is a good time to have an orthodontic evaluation if your child has not already had one. If your child is already in braces, then good oral hygiene is even more important. It is so easy to end up with cavities or stains due to lack of proper brushing. It is so sad to finally get those braces off only to find multiple white or brown stains that can remain on teeth permanently unless treated with a tooth-colored filling.

We hope this gives you tools to work with as you are guiding your teen to self-sufficiency and self-confidence.

Reaching for that energy drink? Think again.

May 10th, 2012


With the temperatures heating up what do you reach for to quench your thirst? If you or your kids reach for a sports drink or an energy drink please think twice. A new study published in the May/June issue of General Dentistry shows that the consumption of these drinks is increasing at an alarming rate, especially among adolescents, and is causing irreversible damage to teeth. These drinks have very high acidity levels and cause significant erosion to the tooth enamel. Among these drinks, energy drinks were found to have higher acidity levels than sports drinks although both were found to cause damage. Gatorade Blue was found to have the highest acidity of all of the sports drinks tested, and it was significantly higher than that of Gatorade Rain. Among the energy drinks tested, Red Bull Sugar Free, Monster Assault, 5-Hour Energy, Von Dutch, and Rockstar had significantly higher acidity than Red Bull, Rip It, Full Throttle Fury, and MDX.m. You can find the link to the study below:

Academy of General Dentistry Study

As a result of this study, the AGD has secured an expansive amount of national media attention, with resulting articles appearing on: CBS National News, Health.com, The Huffington Post, and ABC National News.

Training for our Mission Trip to Zambia

May 3rd, 2012


The Powells and Tillers spent all day this past Saturday at training for our mission trip to Zambia. Both doctors, their husbands and all four of the kids are going on a medical mission trip to Zambia, July 13-29. We learned some interesting things about the culture and customs.

It is apparently disrespectful to look another person in the eye, especially for a woman to look a man in the eye. We doctors are going to have to work on that, as it feels odd for us to not look someone in the eye. We will be wearing wraps called techengas over our clothes, as is their native custom, and we want to be respectful to their customs. We will definitely post pictures!

We are not sure if we will be working outside, or if we will have part of a school or other structure to use. When we arrive, we will just have to see what we can work out. We are told that best case scenerio we may have some plastic outdoor chairs for our patients to sit in, but we may not. We will not have electricity or plumbing, so we will only be able to provide extractions for the Zambians. Apparently, they are very thankful for this, though. We are told that the line for the dental clinic is so long, that by 10 a.m. all the appointments that we can give for the day have been taken.

We will also be taking toothbrushes and toothpaste. Our daughters will be teaching how to brush teeth. They will also be teaching about how to prevent the spread of AIDS, which is absolutely pandemic in Zambia. Quite a big topic for young teenage girls, but many of the doctors pointed out that hearing this advice from someone their age may make a bigger impression on them. Certainly ought to make an impression on our girls!

We'll keep you posted on more details as they come as we prepare for our trip. Should be an adventure!

Laugh and the World Laughs With You…Snore and You Sleep Alone

April 25th, 2012


Everyone knows someone who snores or has sleep apnea. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 5 people suffer from some form of sleep disordered breathing. Sleep Disordered Breathing, SDB, can be a mild form of just noisy snoring with no loss of oxygen to your body, and while your partner may not sleep well, you wake rested. Some people have a little more airway closure “a sleepy snorer” and are not able to get good sleep due to the snoring. Or there is the much more dangerous SDB, sleep apnea, in which patients actually stop breathing during sleep.

Sleep disordered breathing occurs because when we are asleep, we lose the muscle tone in our throats (the pharynx) which in some patients allows it to collapse to the point of partial or total airway obstruction. During these episodes of throat closure, a patient's oxygen levels to their bodies and brains begins to decrease. These conditions can lead to daytime sleepiness and fatigue, headaches, moodiness and even mental impairment. People with obstructive sleep apnea have seven times the risk of auto and industrial accidents. It can also lead to other health problems, such as high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.

For patients who snore or those who have mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, a custom dental appliance can be made and incrementally adjusted to position the jaw forward and open the airway to allow for breathing. For severe sleep apnea the CPAP (a mask delivering forced oxygen) is still the best therapy. A sleep study should always be performed prior to any appliance therapy in order to determine the appropriate treatment.

If you or someone you know suffers from snoring or possible sleep apnea, let us know. That noise may just be irritating, but it could be something much more serious. Either way, Drs. Powell and Tiller would be happy to help you get started toward proper evaluation and treatment.

Happy with your smile? Let's keep it that way with retainers!

April 18th, 2012

When people ask us how long they should wear their retainers at night we always answer, "For as long as you want straight teeth!" Dentists used to think that at some point your teeth would stop shifting and many of us in our 30's and 40's stopped wearing retainers a long time ago, but are now experiencing shifting or crowding in our smiles. In fact, Drs. Powell and Tiller frequently have patients chose to do Invisalign because they had braces as a youth, but now have relapse due to not wearing their retainers and now want straight teeth again. Given that, if you have had orthodontics, you need to be wearing retainers to keep your teeth in line.

There are two main types of removable retainers. A Hawley is probably what you remember from your youth. The pink acrylic on the roof of your mouth or behind your lower teeth and a wire around the front. A newer option is the clear Essix type retainer which covers your teeth with a thin clear plastic material.

They each have their advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of the Hawley type retainer is that it is very dimensionally stable, so that you do not need to replace them for years and years. They should work well for 8-10 years as long as you are careful not to bend the wire or somehow manage to break the acrylic. The advantages of the clear retainers are that they are clear, thin, and most people won't even notice you are wearing them. This tends to make it easier to be compliant about wearing it, especially if you have just gotten out of braces and are still wearing the retainers day and night. We also like them because they completely cover the teeth allowing less rotation or tipping. Their main disadvantage is that because they are such a thin plastic, they give over time. Often patients don't even notice that slowly, but surely, they are getting slight malalignment of their teeth as the retainers give in to the forces of your teeth. Because of this, the clear retainers need to be replaced anywhere from every 3 months to once a year depending on the amount of pressure your teeth are putting on the plastic, and also depending on how long you have been in retention.

To address this need for replacement, Align Technology, the makers of Invisalign, came out with Vivera Retainers. Vivera are the clear type retainer, but are produced on a subscription type service. Each set of Vivera is ordered as 4 sets. The first is tried in at our office and then Align sends you a new set to your home every 3 months. They also keep your digital file of your teeth, so that when you order future sets, you do not need additional impressions, they use the 3D scan from your first set to make the additional retainers.

Preparing Your Child For Their Nitrous Oxide Appointment

April 12th, 2012


We want your child’s nitrous oxide appointment to be a positive experience. For this reason we have a few guidelines that we ask you to follow.

• Our nitrous oxide appointments are scheduled for first thing in the morning. We find children are at their best after a good night’s sleep.
• We ask that they not have anything to eat or drink the morning of their appointment, with the exception of some water.
• If your child has allergies or a stuffy nose, we ask that you give them their allergy medicine or a decongestant prior to their appointment. This is important as the nitrous oxide is inhaled and if their little noses are stuffy, they won’t be able to breath in the happy gas.
• If they are on any medications on a regular basis, their routine schedule should stay the same unless specified by one of the doctors.

In addition to following these guidelines, there are several things that you as parents can do to help your child’s appointment be a success. Children can sense if a parent is nervous about a procedure and will listen to any comments that are made about their appointment. Please try to be positive and reassuring with your child. Please avoid jokes about shots and drills. We don’t tell our little patients that they are getting a shot. We merely say we are using some sleepy gel to make the tooth go to sleep and they rarely even know that they have gotten a shot. We also ask that you not make this appointment feel like a punishment for getting a cavity. Rather, we ask that you help your child with their home care so that future cavities can be prevented.

With your help we know your child will do great during his/her nitrous appointment and together we can keep their visits to our office happy ones. We hope these tips help and encourage you to contact us if you ever have questions about your child’s care.

Orthodontics without Impressions!

April 5th, 2012


Finally, Invisalign has gone completely digital. We have been waiting for over a year for the implementation of iTero digital scanning for Invisalign models instead of the old goopy impressions. The day has finally arrived!

If the thought of impressions makes you gag, we can now use the iTero digital scanner, which up to now we've only been able to use for crowns.

Now the process of recording how your teeth look is as advanced as the process for correcting your alignment with Invisalign. We are really excited about this new advancement and hope it will make the record taking process better and easier for all of you.

If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call or ask us on Facebook!

Getting Married This Spring? Smile Bright!

March 30th, 2012

It’s spring. Tulips are blooming and world is awakening from its winter sleep. What a great time for a wedding! If you are gearing up for a wedding this spring, consider matching that white dress to a perfectly white smile!

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care we offer in-office tooth whitening for the bride, the groom, or the entire wedding party! You get the girls together to get their nails done, and now you can get them together to get their teeth done!

In-office whitening is the quickest, most effective way to achieve whiter teeth. Because we are dental professionals, we have the expertise to use higher percentages of whitening agents than the at-home systems allow. So you can get a brighter white, usually in just one visit!

Give us a ring and let us add some extra sparkle to your “I do”!

"What I love about Austin," from the team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care

March 22nd, 2012

This week we would like to share some of our favorite Austin area hangouts for those of you new to the area or those wanting to try something new. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Share some of your favorites with us - we are always looking for something new to do as well!

Dr. Powell’s pick: Flip Happy Crepes – the yummiest savory and sweet crepes in town served out of an airstream trailer (before that was even the cool thing to do). The place was challenged to a crepe throw-down by Food Network Star and Iron Chef, Bobby Flay and the ladies in the trailer won! There’s a great picnic area under big pecan trees where you can sit and enjoy them. We take the whole family including the dog. It is best to check the website to make sure they are open before you go. Also, you can check out the menu and order ahead so that your crepes are ready when you arrive.

My favorites:
Savory- Roasted chicken w/ carmelized onions, garlic aioli and goat cheese
Sweet- the lemon curd with blueberries.

Dr. Tiller’s pick: For all you movie goers, there is a new theater in Round Rock called Flix Brewhouse. It is similar to Alamo Drafthouse, only newer and cleaner. The prices are comparable to most theatres and the food is good. I had the Beef Avacado Wrap at my last visit and it was pretty yummy. There is also an in-house micro brewery for those of you who enjoy an occasional beer.

Lisa’s pick: Canoeing on Town Lake – it’s a fun thing to do on a weekend with your family. Just head to Zilker park and walk down by Barton Springs Pool (also two great places to go if you haven’t already). The cost is $10 dollars per canoe. You just hop in and go.

Jamie’s pick: Monument Café in Georgetown – They use locally grown organic produce and their Mounment Chocolate Pie is to die for.

Atesha’s pick: Amy’s Ice Cream – Their ice cream is awesome and they have some really fun and creative names like “Oreo Speedwagon.” The people that work there are great and make it an experience rather than just getting ice cream.

Kelli’s pick: Shady Grove – Our family loves Shady Grove! It’s totally Austin; family friendly and a great place to hangout with friends. They have live music in the summer, beautiful outdoor seating and the foods good to.

St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts!

March 16th, 2012


Our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care wants to know: Will you be wearing your green this Saturday? Whether Irish or not, millions of people around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with toasts, parades and “the wearing of the green.” Here are some fun facts about St. Patty’s Day we know you will enjoy:

• St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17th because that is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is also a worldwide celebration of Irish culture and history.
• The name “lephrechaun” has several origins. It could be from the Irish Gaelic word “leipreachan,” which means “a kind of aqueous sprite.” Or, it could be from “leath bhrogan,” which simply means “shoemaker.”
• Some American towns have Irish names. They include: Shamrock Lakes, Indiana; Shamrock, Oklahoma; Shamrock, Texas; Dublin, California and Dublin, Ohio and Mount Gay-Shamrock, West Virginia
• Despite what you may have heard, St. Patrick never banished snakes from Ireland. In fact, no snakes exist or ever existed in Ireland. Ireland is surrounded by icy ocean waters, much too cold to allow snakes to migrate from Britain or anywhere else.
• St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in America in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1737. Approximately 34 million Americans claim Irish ancestry. That’s almost nine times the population of Ireland, which has 4.1 million people.

If you have something special planned for St. Patrick’s Day, let us know by posting a comment on our Facebook page.

Putting our patients at ease, at Powell and Tiller Dental Care

March 7th, 2012

Putting our patients at ease is a main focus of our practice. The individual attention and gentle care we give our patients is why so many of them refer their friends, family, and co-workers. From the time you arrive to the time you leave our office, one of our primary goals is to make sure you are comfortable.

You will arrive to a smile and warm welcome from Sandy, our receptionist. Feel free to use our wireless internet or enjoy your choice of coffee, tea, water or even hot cocoa. Our Keurig beverage dispenser comes with many choices of individual k-cups, so there is a flavor for everyone.

At your first appointment, you will meet with the doctor face to face in our conference room to discuss your needs and desires. At all appointments, we make sure we take time to discuss everything with you, your needs, desires, or concerns so that we know you are getting the care that you need in a way that is comfortable for you.

We have neck pillows, knee pillows, and blankets to make sure you are comfortable during treatment. We also have TVs overhead and wireless headphones, so that you can think about something other than dental treatment while you are here. If we need models of your teeth, we use iTero digital images instead of putting goopy impressions in your mouth. Our patients love them because it is quick and not so gaggy, we love it because it is so accurate. We also have flavors of everything: from polishing paste flavors, to numbing gels, and even our gloves come in a choice of flavors. We figure if we have to put all this stuff in your mouth, it should at least taste good!

For our younger or particularly nervous patients, we offer nitrous oxide as a relaxant. Even the nitrous oxide masks come in a choice of scents.

Know that in everything we do, we always place your comfort first here at Powell & Tiller Dental Care!

Friday fun facts with Powell & Tiller Dental Care

March 2nd, 2012

Everyone loves fun facts and dental tips. Fun, fun, fun! Dr. Powell, Dr. Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care came across these dental fun facts recently and thought you might enjoy!

• The second most common disease in the United States is cavities. The first is the common cold.
• There are almost 9,000 accidental pockings and piercings with toothpicks per year.
• X-rays may be an effective tool in preventing strokes.
• A child will have 20 baby teeth by the time he or she is 2 years old. Through childhood, kids gradually lose baby teeth and grow 32 permanent teeth, including wisdom teeth.
• According to consumer reports, dentists are among the 5 most trusted professionals in the United States.
• Approximately $2 billion a year is spent on dental products like toothpastes, mouthwashes and dental floss.
• The average American spends about 38 days brushing teeth over his or her lifetime.
• Kids in North America spend half a billion dollars per year on chewing gum.
• Approximately 94 percent of Americans say they brush nightly while only 81 percent say they brush first thing in the morning.
• Grand Rapids, MI was the first American city to fluoridate its water.
• Earliest record of a toothbrush was found in Chinese literature about 1600 AD
• The natural bristles of early toothbrushes were taken from the necks and shoulders of swine, especially pigs living in colder climates like Siberia and China.

Preparing for our Mission Trip to Zambia

February 24th, 2012


As you may have heard, Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller and their families are going on a medical mission trip to Zambia in July. We will be providing much needed medical care to people in small villages in the Southwest Region.

One little non-dental tidbit we thought we might pass on is a cool international travel tip. We learned about and applied for the Trusted Traveler Program through U.S. Customs. With this program, you apply online and then go to Houston or one of several other locations across the U.S. for an interview, fingerprinting and background check. Once accepted to the Trusted Traveler Program, you get a fast pass through customs. You get to skip the long lines and go right up to the front. We figured between the exhausting mission and the 2 day travel, it will be great to get through Customs quickly. The pass lasts for 5 years, so can be used for future trips as well.

We know many of our patients are world travelers and probably already know about this, but we thought it might be helpful for some. By the way, any of you world travelers that have tips for us, let us know!

We'll keep you posted as our preparations continue!

Dental implants on the rise to replace missing teeth

February 17th, 2012

Our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care recently read a great article from The New York Times titled, A Dental Shift: Implants Instead of Bridges. More and more people are replacing missing teeth with dental implants rather than removable partial dentures and bridges. Dental implants are very similar to your natural teeth, and are long lasting. If you have been considering dental implants, we are here to help!

According to The New York Times article: " 'Bridges are not the standard of care anymore,' Dr. Lawrence J. Kessler, a periodontist and associate professor of surgery at the University of Miami School of Medicine, told me in an interview. 'For most people who lose teeth, implants are the treatment of choice.'

Implants do not decay, and adjacent healthy teeth do not require crowns to support them. And because it is easy to clean and floss between implants, the gum tissue and underlying bone are more likely to remain healthy."

If you have been considering dental implants, we encourage you to read this interesting article. Additionally, feel free to ask us about your dental implant options in the office. Drs. Powell and Tiller are here to answer your dental health questions!

From Powell & Tiller Dental Care: Straight talk about Invisalign

February 6th, 2012

Invisalign, which we happily provide at Powell & Tiller Dental Care, is a great alternative to traditional treatment if you are hesitant about the look and feel of metal braces. During your initial visit, the first thing we do is take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.

Invisalign treatment, which consists of a series of aligners that you switch out approximately every couple of weeks, can help patients with crowded teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites and more. Invisalign gradually shifts your teeth into place, creating the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted. During treatment, patients wear the aligners all day and night, except for meals, brushing, and flossing—when you can easily slip them out to make eating and cleaning a snap! Also, because they're clear, your teeth will be steadily straightening—and no one will know it but you!

To find out if you are the right candidate for Invisalign treatment, we invite you to give us a call to schedule a consultation with us. If you have questions, give us a call or find us on Facebook!

The importance of fluoride for your oral health

January 31st, 2012

Our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care know that as more families turn to bottled water and away from the traditional tap, they may be missing out on one important ingredient that most brands of bottled water fail to include: fluoride!

Bottled water, which remains one of the more popular drinks in the world, may not contain any fluoride, which is known to help prevent and even reverse the early stages of tooth decay. Take a look at this recent article from the New York Times to learn more about fluoridated water and its benefits.

Of course, simply drinking fluoridated water is not a magic ticket to perfect teeth. To keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape, it’s important to brush and floss daily and avoid sugary sweets, in addition to maintaining your fluoride intake and visiting our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care regularly.

Why do you choose Powell and Tiller Dental Care?

January 27th, 2012

Powell & Tiller Dental Care, serving Austin, TX and the surrounding areas, strives to provide exceptional treatment in an informative and friendly environment. Have you had a great experience at our office?

Share your story with the world!

Just select the "Review Us on Google Places" button above to write a review on our Google Place Page. We look forward to receiving your feedback!

Thank you,

The team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care

Drs. Powell and Tiller's Artist Showcase

January 20th, 2012

Powell & Tiller Dental Care recently received a lovely poster from Mateo about the exciting news of him losing that first tooth! We thought you'd like to see it too.  Our practice also received a note from Josh about his dental visit. We love hearing from you and we love new artwork. Drs. Powell and Tiller are always happy to post your dental artwork if you send it in!

P.S. Don't forget to put that tooth under your pillow, Mateo!

A Step By Step Guide To Logging Into Your Account On Our Website

January 11th, 2012


Did you know that you can have 24 hour access to your appointment schedule, financial account, photos and even your Invisalign ClinChecks? We know that our patients are busy during the day and sometimes wonder, “What time was that appointment?" or "I meant to call their office today..." Now accessing your account with our office is easier than ever with our Patient Login system! You can even receive appointment reminders through email or text messages.

Simply go to the Powell & Tiller Dental Care website and click Patient Login at the top, right corner. If you already signed up with us, enter your First and Last Name and Password. If you are new to our Patient Login system, click Sign up for an account & password, and you will be on your way! We will ask you a couple of quick questions and then you can access your account at your own convenience.

If you have any questions about our Patient Login system or your dental care, give us a call at the office or ask us on Facebook!

How important is your smile?

January 6th, 2012

Since 1994, it has been our pleasure to serve adults and children in the Austin area with state of the art technology, and exceptional attention to detail, all provided with the gentlest of care. The bottom line is, we know having a beautiful smile is important to you. It’s important to us, too.

And speaking of smiling, in a recent poll conducted by Glamour Magazine, people were asked, “If you had to pick between having perfect teeth, eyesight or hair, which would you choose?”

Well, 44 percent of folks out there chose teeth! In addition, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, or AACD, conducted a study and found that 99.7 percent of those polled believed a smile is an important social asset. Respondents said straightness, whiteness, cleanliness, as well as the sincerity and sparkle of one’s smile were all important factors not only socially, but career-wise as well.

Take the next step toward a healthier, brighter smile! Please contact our Austin, Texas dental office and schedule an appointment. See you soon!

Dental Safety During the Holidays

December 27th, 2011

In an effort to keep your holidays (and teeth) merry and bright, we just want to remind you of the importance of safety with those new toys. Many people know the importance of wearing a mouth guard when playing high contact sports, but they are also a good idea for activities where your teeth may end up with high contact with the pavement! Especially while learning a new activity.

If you or your child are new to in-line skates, scooters, skateboarding, or that new bike, that extra 10 minutes of preparation with a boil and bite over-the-counter mouth guard could save you from chipping or even loosing a front tooth.

One winter holiday break, Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller received six different pages due to dental injuries involving new toys. We felt so bad for the kids who had been so excited a few hours earlier to try out their new scooter or skates only to end up in the dental office. While we were certainly able fix those teeth and made them look as good as new, we'd much rather prevent the need to do so.

So this Holiday Season, as you enjoy your new adventure, remember proper protection to help keep it fun. Use helmets, knee and elbow pads and a mouth guard too. And may your season be merry and bright!

Share your winter break plans with us!

December 20th, 2011

Dr. Powell, Dr. Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care want to know: what do your winter plans look like? Do you have any plans for an exciting family vacation? Are you hanging out around town? Catching up on sleep? Spending time with friends? Let us know!

Please feel free to share your exciting winter plans and experiences with us here or on our Facebook page! We would like to wish all of our patients and their families a safe and fun holiday season!

Powell & Tiller Dental Care's Holiday Office Hours

December 19th, 2011

We hope you all are able to have a little rest and relaxation and enjoy the holidays with friends or family. We too will enjoy some time at home with our families.

Our office will be closed Wednesday, December 21st - Wednesday, December 28th. We will be back in our Austin, TX office on Thursday, December 29. While we are out, if any of our patients have a dental emergency we can be paged. Just call our regular office phone number and you will be directed how to reach the doctor on call.

Mission Trip to Zambia

December 16th, 2011

After much thought and research we have decided to go on a mission trip to Zambia. We will be going with a wonderful group of physicians, nurses, and non-medical team members from Covenant Presbyterian Church. Drs. Powell & Tiller will be providing much needed dental services to people in the Southwestern region of Zambia. Their husbands and children will help in the clinic as well as provide assistance and companionship to the villagers in any way they can.

We cannot overstate the need for medical care in these areas. The infant mortality rate is about 10%, with another 15% dying by age 5. The average life expectancy is to age 46. One in 38 women will die in childbirth. Over 14% of adults are living with HIV, and 11% of children. As of 2009, there were 690,000 AIDS orphans in Zambia and over a million children who were orphaned due to parental deaths of any cause.

People in these areas can live with dental pain for months to years due to lack of access to care. Untreated dental infections can become very serious if swelling compromises their airway space.

Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller know that we are blessed here to have access to good medical and dental care. This is a service they would like to provide to those who are not so fortunate to be able to just pick up the phone and call for an appointment.

We’ll keep you posted as we continue in our plans and preparations. It should be an exciting journey!

Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller discuss pediatric dental emergencies

December 9th, 2011

When your child needs urgent dental treatment, Dr. Powell, Dr. Tiller and our team at Powell & Tiller Dental Care stand ready to help. Here are some helpful answers to some recent patient questions.

Q: What should I do if my child’s baby tooth is knocked out?
A: Contact Powell & Tiller Dental Care as soon as possible.

Q: What should I do if my child’s permanent tooth is knocked out?
A: Find the tooth and rinse it gently in milk or saliva. (Do not scrub it or clean it with soap — use just water!) If possible, replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a wash cloth. If you can’t put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container with milk, saliva, or water. Get to our office immediately. The faster you act, the better your chances of saving the tooth.

Q: What if a tooth is chipped or fractured?
A: Contact Powell & Tiller Dental Care immediately. Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling. If you can find the broken tooth fragment, bring it with you when you visit Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller.

Q: What about a severe blow to the head or jaw fracture?
A: Go immediately to the emergency room of your local hospital. A blow to the head can be life threatening.

Q: What if my child has a toothache?
A: Call us and visit Powell & Tiller Dental Care promptly. To comfort your child, rinse the mouth with water. Apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth. Do not put heat or aspirin on the sore area.

Q: Can dental injuries be prevented?
A: Of course! First, reduce oral injury in sports by wearing mouth guards. Custom mouth guards provide the best protection. Second, always use a car seat for young children. Require seat belts for everyone else in the car. Third, child-proof your home to prevent falls, electrical injuries, and choking on small objects. Fourth, protect your child from unnecessary toothaches with regular dental visits to Powell & Tiller Dental Care.

Contact our Austin, TX dental office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller. We love what we do and enjoy every day watching our patients grow and smile as they visit our office.

We are looking for our next Dental Mission Trip!

December 1st, 2011

Giving services to those who would otherwise not have access to dental care is very important to Dr. Juli Powell and Dr. Ada Tiller. We have served in clinics which provide free care for people who need it, and we are always happy to work on the St. David's Theo Van which travels to high poverty elementary schools and provides free dental care to the students. We have also helped organize and staff the dental screenings at the annual Austin Women's Resource Fair that provides services for low-income women.

Drs. Powell and Tiller have also gone on mission trips to serve people who have no access to dental care. On international medical mission trips, the line for dental care is often the longest. People sometimes walk for 2 to 3 days in order to receive these services.

In summer 2012, Dr. Tiller and Dr. Powell plan to go on another international dental mission trip. We are planning to take our families this time, as we want our children to help and gain a worldly understanding of how blessed we are. We are prayerfully considering several locations and talking to several groups.

We gladly welcome input from all of you. If your church or any other group you know is planning a medical mission next summer, please post it and we would love to look into it. Plus, even if it's not the one we choose, one of our other patients may be interested in helping. Non-medical staff is always needed, even on a medical mission trip, for everything from giving patient instructions to holding flashlights for the doctors.

All of us at Powell & Tiller Dental Care look forward to hearing from you and we'll keep you posted as this mission develops!

Happy Thanksgiving from Powell & Tiller Dental Care!

November 21st, 2011

While we at Powell & Tiller Dental Care are thankful for our patients all year long, Thanksgiving is a good time of year to let you know how we feel.

We owe our success to you. We consider it such a compliment that you send so many of your friends, family and co-workers to our office. Many of you have sent people you don’t even know with your great reviews on our Google place page and Yelp. Thank you for your confidence in us and your kind words.

We hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving!

You get to go to the dentist today? Lucky!

November 17th, 2011

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care we can’t tell you how often our patients tell us how much their kids like coming to our office. They tell us how thankful they are that their kids are starting off with such a positive experience at the dentist. Some parents say that is was not the case when they were kids. At Powell & Tiller Dental Care our littlest patients usually can’t wait for their turn and run back, hop in the dental chair and are ready to lean back and watch their favorite show on the overhead TVs. We make them comfortable by explaining everything we are going to do, but usually after a visit or two, they would rather we be quiet and let them enjoy their show! If for some reason, their show isn’t over when we are done, they usually want to stay longer. Giving them their token to go choose a toy from the treasure tower, though, usually motivates them to get going.

At your child’s very first appointment, we ask our little patients to help us do a check-up on one of our toothy stuffed animals who are always model patients as they get to lean back and see the show first. The frog or tiger opens wide while your child and the dentist try on the flavored gloves and push the buttons to make the chair move and count his teeth. Now it’s their turn and while sometimes they are reluctant, most times they hop on and let us count their teeth (checking them thoroughly while we go).

We have flavors for everything and the kids like taking part in making those choices. They can pick a flavor of toothpaste (polishing paste), gloves, and fluoride (sometimes even choosing for some exciting mixes!).

If your child ends up having a cavity and needs to come back for a filling, we let them pick a scent for their happy nose (nitrous oxide mask). On this visit, they again lean back and watch a show while smelling some cherry air (or one of the other yummy choices). The nitrous oxide helps them relax, and makes the time go by much quicker for them, but they are still awake and are often engaging in responses to Dora the Explorer or another favorite show. The nitrous also allows us to anesthetize our patients without them feeling a thing or even realizing that they received an injection. We recently had a mom tell us that she heard her son and his friend in the backseat of their car discussing their experiences when they got fillings. Her son’s friend said that he had gotten a shot at the dentist. She said that her son replied, “Wow, I’m glad my dentist doesn’t use those.” She said she had to laugh and say, “Yeah, me too!”

We think the best testament to our success is that we often hear from our adult patients at their check-up that their kids were disappointed that it wasn’t their turn to come!

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

November 11th, 2011

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care, our team knows the way you care for your teeth at home doesn’t just affect your oral health – it can impact your overall health as well. In recent years, researchers have found clear links between the mouth and other parts of the body, and the evidence is especially impactful for people with diabetes.

November marks National Diabetes Awareness Month, and a great time to learn about how keeping your mouth healthy is vital to your overall health, too. If you are one of the nearly 26 million Americans currently living with diabetes, there is some good news: you can protect your gums and teeth from the effects of diabetes by visiting our Austin, TX dental office for regular check-ups and cleanings. Most people should have at least two dental appointments per year, but those folks living with diabetes may require additional visits to make sure their dental health remains in top shape. Many insurance plans provide expanded benefits for diabetic patients. Dr. Powell, Dr. Tiller and our experts can tell you how often you need to come in for your dental visits.

For more information on how we can help, please give us a call or ask us on Facebook!

Halloween Candy Swap at Powell and Tiller Dental Care

November 4th, 2011


Today was our Annual Halloween Candy Swap at Powell and Tiller Dental Care, and it was a huge success! Thanks to all of our wonderful patients, we collected nearly 100 pounds of candy. We paid children $2 for each pound of candy that they brought in, and for every pound we collected a donation of $5 was made to the Capital Area Food Bank.

Our patients always wonder what we do with all the candy we collect. This year our office decided to participate in a program called Operation Gratitude. It collects all the candy that was bought back by offices like ours and sends it over seas to our US military troops.

Thank you so much for your candy donations! We are already looking forward to next year's Candy Swap.

The 14th Annual Halloween Candy Swap!

October 27th, 2011

It's time for the 14th Annual Halloween Candy Swap at Powell & Tiller Dental Care! On Friday, November 4th, 2011 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, kids 10 and under can trade in Halloween candy for $2 per pound.

A $5 cash donation for each pound of candy we collect will also be given to the Capital Area Food Bank. The Food Bank uses these cash donations to pay for the distribution of donated food to the 248 agencies they serve in the 25 counties of Central TX.

We also wanted to share The Tooth Fairy's Great Halloween Swap story for you to share with your kids.  Click on the image below to enlarge and print the story at home.   Enjoy!

A friendly reminder about flexible spending from Powell & Tiller Dental Care

October 21st, 2011

Drs. Powell and Tiller and our dental team wanted to remind patients with flexible spending plans that we are fast approaching the end of 2011! With many flexible spending plans, it’s important to use your benefits before they expire, including your next dental visit. Remember, if you don't use your benefits, they will not carry over into 2012. You could use your visit to schedule your next cleaning, dental treatment or teeth whitening just in time for those holiday parties.

As we look towards 2012, you may want to begin planning for your next year of treatments using your flexible spending plan. Feel free to contact Powell & Tiller Dental Care with any questions about your general or cosmetic dental treatment and to schedule your next appointment. You can also find us on Facebook!

Thank you,

Dr. Tiller and Dr. Powell

From Powell & Tiller Dental Care: How to freshen bad breath

October 14th, 2011

Powell & Tiller Dental Care recognize that many of our patients are concerned about bad breath, or halitosis. While some cases of bad breath are persistent (chronic bad breath), generally bad breath is transient, and can be prevented.

We recently came across this helpful video about bad breath and thought it was worth sharing with our patients. The video explains what might cause bad breath and some ways that it can be avoided. In most instances, bad breath can be prevented by practicing common oral hygiene techniques that you have probably heard us emphasize during a visit to Powell & Tiller Dental Care, such as brushing and flossing daily. We encourage you to watch this video for additional tips on how to keep bad breath at bay. Enjoy!

Smile! October is National Dental Hygiene Month!

October 7th, 2011

Did you know that October is National Dental Hygiene Month? For our staff at Powell & Tiller Dental Care, that means only one thing: Reminding you that your teeth are an important part of your body, and keeping them clean helps keep your mouth and your body healthy. By taking care of your teeth, eating a balanced diet and visiting our convenient Austin, TX office on a regular basis, you can have healthy teeth and an attractive smile throughout your entire life.

We encourage you to check out the American Dental Association website as well, which provides pointers on keeping your mouth clean and healthy. Lastly, has it been six months since your last visit to Powell & Tiller Dental Care? If the answer is yes, we encourage you to give us a call to set up an appointment with Drs. Powell and Tiller.

A special message from Dr. Powell

September 29th, 2011

As we launched our new mobile website for Powell & Tiller Dental Care, I looked at the picture of my family and realized as much as I love that picture, it's time for an update. I've actually known for a while that it was time, but I just haven't wanted to let that sweet one go. I remember that day, posing for shot after shot, and someone would blink or turn as we were trying to get that perfect photo. Then Matthew, tired of the whole thing, just turned and laid into me with a big hug, almost knocking me over. Our great photographer "clicked" at just that moment and I loved it. Lily, sweetly, cooperatively smiling and Matthew, full of it, wrapping his sweet arms around me.

Alas, they are so big now, but just as fun and wonderful as ever. Where did the time go?

I'm so happy to have the opportunity to watch our patients grow up and to be able to grow older with their parents and grandparents. We love being a part of your lives and can hardly believe we've had the privilege of doing so for 17 years now. It still surprises me to see some of the kids, who I helped wiggle out their first tooth, come to the office now wearing a Dell badge! I'm thinking, "Doesn't your Mommy need that?" as I realize, of course, they are in their mid 20's now! Or those of you that I have seen since you were young professionals who are now married with kids of your own, and of course those of you who bring us those pictures of your grandchildren. We love keeping up with your lives and here's a quick snapshot into mine. We are at the beach again, my favorite place.

Happily your dentist,
Juli Powell, DDS

Your oral health and overall health

September 19th, 2011

Don’t put off your next visit to Powell & Tiller Dental Care any longer! Over the years, oral health issues have been increasingly linked to other health concerns, such as heart disease. Cardiovascular disease remains American’s number one killer, claiming more lives than any other cause of death, according to the American Heart Association. Believe it or not, an estimated 80 percent of American adults currently have some form of gum disease. Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, underscoring the importance of good oral health care, both at home and by visiting the dentist.

Studies are also beginning to suggest that patients, especially those with periodontal disease, are believed to have an elevated risk of heart attack and stroke. Since most patients are not regularly visiting a heart specialist, their regular visits to Powell & Tiller Dental Care can help detect early warning signs of heart issues, prevent gum disease or at least catch it in its early stages.

Additionally, if it’s been more than six months since your last visit to our Austin, TX office, please give us a call!

How has the internet changed our practice?

September 14th, 2011

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care, the internet has changed our practice in so many ways. Today we wanted to share the top eight ways that the internet has allowed us to stay in closer contact with our patients and provide more efficient care for them.

1. Our x-rays are now digital files, which allow us to send them to another doctor in an instant if you move, are out of town, or if we are referring you to a specialist.

2. If a patient ever needs to page the doctors for an after-hours emergency, we are able to use a secure internet connection to access his or her file, health history, and x-rays. This allows us to call the patient back and more efficiently take care of his or her needs.

3. Our iTero scanner takes 3D images instead of goopy impressions, which are more comfortable for the patient, and very accurate. It also allow us to send the images to the lab with the click of a button, rather than the old box up and send through the mail.

4. We are able to send our patient appointment reminders via email. It even has a box that allows them to add the appointment to their own calendars. How convenient is that?

5. Our patients can access their accounts through a secure patient log-in on our website. This allows them to quickly look up their appointments, view photos we've taken of their teeth, access their statements, and even pay their bill online.

6. We are able to share even more information with our patients through our website, weekly blog, and Facebook pages!

7. Patient's can contact us via email. This way, we can either email or call back the next day to get the ball rolling, rather than getting to the next night and remembering "Oh, I didn't call the dentist's office again today...I'll do it tomorrow."

8. Last, but certainly not least, so many of our wonderful patients have used the internet to refer friends and family. Others have been referred from the (much appreciated) glowing reviews on our Yelp page, Judy's Book, and Google Place Page!

Thanks for staying connected with us and we will continue to stay connected to you!

Drs. Powell & Tiller, Committed to Continuing Education

September 9th, 2011

Drs. Powell and Tiller are committed to staying current in the constantly advancing world of today's dentistry. So committed in fact, that they are members of the Academy of General Dentistry which holds its members to a higher continuing education standard of more than twice the number of CE than is required for licensure.

In August, we attended a lecture on the whole body effects of chronic inflammation in the mouth from either gum disease or tooth decay. More and more studies are showing a link between chronic inflammation of the mouth and heart disease, stroke, complications of diabetes, respiratory disease, as well as adverse pregnancy outcomes.

For too long, the mouth has been treated as if it is a separate entity from the rest of our bodies. In reality, having an infection, even a seemingly low grade one such as that in your tooth or gums, is no different from having an infection elsewhere in your body. You would never think of leaving an ear infection or a skin abscess untreated, however, all too often, people can ignore these infections in their mouths.

Studies are also showing that improving your oral health can help improve your overall health. Diabetics who had periodontal disease, but were treated for it, had better control of their blood sugar levels after treatment. While the exact pathway is still unclear, people with periodontal disease were several times more likely to suffer from stroke than those with healthy gums. Also, there is a much higher incidence of premature births in women with untreated periodontal disease. We often hear patients say they did not come in for dental care while they were pregnant, specifically because they were pregnant. While some studies have shown adverse pregnancy outcomes from untreated oral disease, there have been no studies to date showing adverse outcomes from appropriately treating gum disease during pregnancy.

Because we care about the overall health of our patients, we will continue to further our knowledge to serve you better. Thanks for the privilege of being part of your health care team.

Atesha's Five Year Anniversary at Powell & Tiller Dental Care

September 1st, 2011

We are happy to announce that yesterday marked Atesha's five year anniversary at Powell & Tiller Dental Care. She's the newest addition to our hygiene team and has certainly become one of the family.

We are glad to have such a good team of long-term employees, so that you always return to a familiar face. We know this helps provide better continuity of care because we know you and your needs well. We also love that it gives us all an opportunity to share in each other's lives. We are always excited to hear about that new grand baby, how the wedding went, or just hear if the kids got off to a good start for the school year.

On that note, we'd also like to thank our other longtime team members- Ann holds the record with 17 years at our office! She sure helped us get off to a good start and continues to be such an asset to our practice. Sandy comes in a close second with nearly 14 years smiling at our front desk, followed by our most seasoned hygienist, Kelli, who has been with us for over 11 years.

Having such a seasoned team helps us continue to better our practice every day. We are able to focus on improving our patient care, rather than training new staff. Just this week, a patient put it best when he stopped me in the hallway and said, "I just have to tell you, no medical experience that I have had comes within a factor of ten of what I receive here." Thanks, Keith!

The feeling is mutual. We so enjoy seeing all of our patients and helping you achieve your goals for your oral health. That's one of the biggest reasons that our team stays together.

Breaking bad habits

August 26th, 2011

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care, we know good dental health requires only a few minutes of your day. We thought we’d provide some practical advice on how to improve your or your child’s smile between your visits with Drs. Juli Powell and Ada Tiller.

Start by brushing your teeth twice a day. Proper brushing techniques are an essential part of maintaining good oral health, as well as preventing gum disease. Brushing daily helps remove decay-causing plaque from tooth surfaces. Please consult Drs. Powell and Tiller if you would like us to review brushing techniques with you or your child. Flossing daily will also prevent plaque to build up between the teeth and prevent stains between your teeth. Research has shown the bacteria of gum disease has been linked to coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes and memory loss. Lastly, we encourage you to throw away old toothbrushes and replace them every 2 or 3 months, or after an illness.

We hope this helps! If you have any further questions about any of these tips, please contact our office or ask us on Facebook!

Which toothbrush should my child use?

August 12th, 2011

Drs. Juli Powell and Ada Tiller will tell you that brushing your teeth is one of the easiest methods of cavity prevention. But which type of toothbrush should your child use? When choosing a toothbrush, look for round-ended (polished) bristles that clean while being gentle on the gums. Choose one that is specifically designed for children's smaller mouths and hands. Also, look for large handles that can help children control the toothbrush. Lastly, throw out a toothbrush after three months or sooner if the bristles are fraying. Frayed bristles can harm your gums, and are not as effective in cleaning teeth.

As far as which toothpaste is best? It doesn't matter as long as it has fluoride in it. However, for small children who tend to swallow toothpaste, do not use fluoridated toothpaste. Make sure to touch each tooth and every side of that tooth. Also, you do need to gently brush on your gums.

To learn more about choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste for your child, we encourage you to read this helpful article from Parenthood.com. Or, you may give us a call and we'll try to answer any question you may have about keeping your child's mouth as healthy as possible!

$1.50 for a Cavity

August 5th, 2011

Vending machines are a quick way to satisfy hunger. You put in $1.50 and you get back a candy bar, bag of chips or even a soda…but that’s not all! Drs. Juli Powell and Ada Tiller want to remind you that vending machines not only dispense sweet treats and caffeine bursts, but they also dispense cavities!

Every time you chow down on that chocolate bar the bacteria in your mouth have a party feasting on the sugar. The sugar quickly turns into acid; that’s right, ACID!!! The acid sits on your teeth and eats away at the tooth’s natural enamel (the stuff that protects your tooth from decay). When this enamel is eaten away by the acid on your tooth, you get a cavity! Brushing your teeth after eating a sugary treat can help prevent cavities; but before you indulge, remind yourself: “can’t brush? Hold the sugar!”

When choosing a snack, consider these nutritional options that will not only satisfy your hunger and that “sweet tooth,” but won’t cause acid build up resulting in cavities:

• Fresh Fruits (berries, oranges, melon, pears, etc)
• Raw Vegetables (broccoli, celery, carrots, etc)
• Bread
• Pretzels (low salt)
• Milk (low or non-fat)
• Cheese (low or non-fat)
• Nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc)
• Sliced meat

If you would like more advice about how you can prevent cavities, give Powell & Tiller Dental Care a call or ask Drs. Powell and Tiller during your next appointment.

Zoom! Whitening at Powell & Tiller

July 28th, 2011

A whiter smile is one just one dentist visit away! ZOOM!® Smile Whitening brightens and whitens your teeth in about 45 minutes. Once you have gone through the Zoom!® treatment we will send you home with an at-home whitening bleaching kit with custom made trays. Using the take home trays will allow you to maintain your desired level of whitening over several months.

While Zoom!® Smile Whitening is a great way to enhance the appearance of your smile, it's not always for everyone. Those with deep, dark stains that remain unaffected by whitening treatments and patients with regular tooth sensitivity may not be good candidates. Find out more about Zoom!® Smile Whitening at our web site; and when you are ready to have a whiter, brighter smile contact Powell & Tiller Dental Care for an evaluation!

Invisalign and your oral health

July 22nd, 2011

When considering treatment options, patients often ask us how Invisalign treatment is so different than traditional braces. Well, there are more reasons to smile about Invisalign with Powell & Tiller Dental Care than you may know. Invisalign is a series of removable aligners that are nearly invisible, and besides straightening your teeth, can improve your oral health. Here’s how:

Healthy Gums: Straight teeth allow a close fit for gums. This lessens the gum stress that is caused by crowded or widely spaced teeth, thus also reducing red and swollen gums.

Easy cleaning: Invisalign is removable, therefore brushing and flossing is easier and you are able to maintain a healthy mouth. These habits are vital to avoiding tooth decay, plaque and even gum disease.

Improved speech and chewing: Properly-aligned teeth don’t have the discomfort or compound speech impediments that can be caused by crowded teeth or a deteriorating jawbone.

If you have any questions about Invisalign, just ask Drs. Juli Powell and Ada Tiller the next time you’re in for an appointment. Or, you may post your question on our Facebook page! You can also read this article for more information on Invisalign and your oral health.

Powell & Tiller Dental Care, 24/7 access to your account

July 15th, 2011

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care, we embrace new technology, whether it is through the innovative treatments that we offer, our high-tech web site and social networks, or our modern office conveniently located in Austin, TX.

Did you know that patients at our office have access to their account 24 hours a day, seven days a week—all through our website? You can look up your appointments and all of your account details at your convenience, from the comfort of your own home! And, because we know folks sometimes forget, you can even receive appointment reminders through email or text messages!

You, too, can sign up for this convenient service on our website by clicking on the "Patient Login" button on our homepage. Please give us a call if you have any questions about getting started or ask us on Facebook!

Moooooove over gum disease!

July 8th, 2011

Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller want to know: Is dairy a major part of your diet? If not, it should be! A study from the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) found that regular consumption of dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, can actually lower your chances of contracting periodontal disease (also known as gum disease). Results of the study also showed that adults who consume at least 55 grams of lactic acid a day are less at risk for gum disease.

Cheese is one of the healthiest snacks for your child's teeth. In addition to providing large amounts of much-needed calcium, cheese also does its part to fight cavities. Cheddar, Swiss, Mozzarella, and Monterey Jack all stimulate the body's salivary glands to clear the mouth of debris and protect them from acids that weaken them, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. This means cheese disrupts the development of cavities, especially when eaten as a snack or at the end of a meal. Calcium and phosphorous found in cheese reduce or prevent decreases in the plaque's ph level and work to re-mineralize the enamel of your child's teeth.

Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection in the mouth that affects the gums and jaw. Gum disease results in a loss of teeth and bone, and has been connected to certain cases of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease and osteoporosis.

Eating dairy is not just healthy for building strong bones, but is essential for maintaining a strong, healthy mouth. Next time you reach for a quick snack, choose some cheese, or a glass of milk, and remember with each bite, and every sip you are preserving your teeth for a lifetime of smiles and good oral health!

For more information about which dairy foods are best for keeping your teeth healthy, please give us a call.

A Patient Review for Drs. Powell & Tiller

June 29th, 2011

Drs. Powell & Tiller and our team love getting patient reviews. And lately, Powell & Tiller Dental Care, serving Austin, Texas and the surrounding communities, has been getting some pretty great patient testimonials! We thought we'd share one with you today! Happy Wednesday!

I'm now a lifetime fan of Drs. Powell & Tiller thanks to the recommendations from co-workers and fellow yelpers. They have officially made trips to the dentist as pleasant as possible, and that's no small task.  

The waiting room is impressive with a children's area, wi-fi, industrial Keurig machine (single serving coffee maker), soothing music, lighting and even aromatherapy.  The staff had learned my name after one visit, and greets everyone through the door with a hearty welcome.

The individual seats also get the soft lighting and aroma treatment, and most of them face a large external window for natural light.  Their equipment is brand new, and they use an LCD on a telescoping arm to give you access to your electronic charts, x-rays and photos during consultation.  Plus, it's hooked to Dish Network so you can watch television during long procedures - including wireless headphones.  The T.V. would be nice for waits as well, but I've never had to wait at all - so far they've been amazingly efficient and timely.

Finally, since it's an individual practice they have a very caring and thorough practice manager who will sit with you to discuss treatment plans - including the best strategies for minimizing payment.  They even offered to provide my complete x-rays for free when it appeared my insurance wouldn't cover it.

I can't say enough good about this place, but I'll end it with this: my last visit was for a root canal.  They were very considerate during the whole process, and for the most part I just laid there and watched Law & Order.  I even started to doze off during the root canal.  I'll repeat: I started to DOZE OFF during a ROOT CANAL. Those of you who are a little afraid of the dentist should absolutely come check them out.

Just not too many of you - don't want the secret getting out.

Steven V.

Three Good Reasons for Regular Dental Checkups

June 23rd, 2011

Here at Powell & Tiller Dental Care, we encourage patients to visit our office regularly. Regular dental checkups (usually 6 months apart, or as recommended) are critical for prevention of oral health problems, such as tooth decay and periodontal disease. Oral health concerns have become an even bigger concern recently, as more studies have exposed the link between oral health and the overall health of your body. With this in mind, we wanted to share a few facts courtesy of AGD Impact, that should serve as good reasons for regular dental checkups:

  • 28 Percent of US toddlers and preschoolers have early childhood tooth decay.
  • 8,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States, killing roughly one person per hour.
  • You are 60 times more likely to have tooth damage when not wearing a mouthguard for sports than if you do.
  • $37 dollars are saved in dental costs for every $1 invested in water fluoridation, according to a 2010 report from the Center for Disease Control

When was your last dental checkup? If it has been more than 6 months, give us a call!

 

Flossing tips from Drs. Powell & Tiller

June 17th, 2011

For some reason almost nobody seems to want to floss. But as people are working so hard to eat well and exercise to become or stay healthy, they might be surprised to know that it just takes two minutes to improve their health with flossing. Gingivitis and periodontitis are chronic infections, and just like any other infection, affect your overall health, not just your oral health. So we'd like to address the most common reasons we hear for skipping flossing and give your our best answers:

I just don't have time:

We know you are thinking, "I know it's only 2 minutes, but first thing in the morning I'm in such a hurry and last thing at night, I'm just tired and want to go to bed."

Our solution: We don't care what time of day you floss, if there's another time that works better in your daily routine, do it then. It only takes 2 minutes once you are proficient (which with daily practice will only take a couple weeks), so try having it the car for that one traffic light that always takes 5 minutes on the way to work, or one of our favorite recommendations is the first commercial break of the first TV show you watch. It's 2 minutes you weren't using anyway and then it's done.

I can't get to my back teeth very well:

Our solution: Try the Reach Access Flosser. We like it better for back teeth than the little disposable one piece flossers because it has a toothbrush sized handle and the floss is held perpendicular to the handle so that you aren't trying to stretch out your cheek to get in sideways.

It's so tight between my teeth that I end up popping it through and hurting my gums:

Our solution: Try sawing the floss back and forth through the contact rather than just trying to force it down. Once it goes through the contact, you don't have to keep sawing on your gums, that's just to get it through the contact without so much force so it doesn't beat up your gums by popping through. Then just curve it like a C around the tooth in front and back to clean out that whole area.

My gums bleed when I floss:

Our solution: Healthy gums don't bleed. If they are bleeding it's because there is chronic inflammation in this area. Getting your appropriate dental cleanings and consistent flossing will prevent this.

Flossing will help prevent cavities between your teeth and protect against gum disease. And preventing gum disease will help you live a healthier life. And all this with no gym membership, no complicated recipes, no expensive equipment, just a low tech piece of string!

Understanding cavities

June 10th, 2011

One word nobody wants to hear when they visit the dentist is Cavity! That’s right, the dreaded cavity; but what exactly is a cavity and how do you get one? A cavity is a hole that develops in a tooth when the tooth begins to decay. It’s important to get a cavity filled as soon as it’s detected so that it does not grow bigger.

So, what causes a cavity? A cavity is caused by plaque, a sticky substance that forms on the tooth as a result of germ and bacteria build-up. Plaque is acidic and as it clings to your teeth the acids eat away the outside of the tooth (also called the enamel) and a hole is formed.

Yes, cavities can be repaired by your friends at Powell & Tiller Dental Care, but here are a few simple steps you can take to prevent cavities:

• Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily
• Gently brush your gums to keep them healthy (when choosing a toothbrush it is recommended to use soft bristles)
• Floss your teeth at least once a day to remove plaque and food that may be caught between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach
• Limit the amount of soda and sugary treats you eat/drink
• Be sure to visit us every six months for a teeth cleaning and check-up

Smile, and you might just live longer!

June 3rd, 2011

Folks with big smiles may actually live longer than those who don’t, according to a March 2010 study at Michigan’s Wayne State University. We have known for quite some time that positive emotion has been linked to both physical and mental health, but researchers at the university did something quite interesting: they looked at photos of 230 ball-players who began their careers in baseball prior to 1950 and studied their smile intensity (ranging from big smile, no smile or partial smile). The players' smile ratings were compared with data from deaths that occurred from 2006 through 2009. The researchers then took into account other factors that impact life longevity, including body mass index, career length and even college attendance.

The results? Researchers found that players who weren't smiling in the photos died at the average age of 72.9 years. Players with partial smiles lived to be 75. Those with big smiles, however, lived on average to be 79.9 years old.

The take-away from the new study? Smile now, smile often and you might just live longer! Have you been perfecting your smile by visiting us at Powell & Tiller Dental Care on a regular basis? If not, give us a call!

Staying Hydrated This Summer

May 26th, 2011

Summer is just around the corner, which for many people means vacations, baseball season, days spent at the beach, and fun in the sun! One question we hear from patients is "Are sports drinks bad for my teeth? What can I drink to stay hydrated and keep my teeth healthy?".

Staying hydrated is very important, especially during these hot Texas summers. One thing to definitely avoid when you're thirsty are carbonated soft drinks. These drinks not only contain sugar, but also have phosphoric acid which weakens your enamel as well as your bones. Most of these drinks also contain caffeine which will actually lead to more dehydration. It may quench your thirst, but in the long run, removes more water from your body.

Another option is the sports drink. You may think that sports drinks are the best way to stay hydrated, but what you may not realize is how much sugar many of these drinks contain, which can lead to tooth decay. Many sports drinks now come with a low or no sugar option and still contain the electrolytes and taste that people enjoy. Look for these sugar–free options if you are drinking sports drinks, but of course, the best option for the health of your teeth is good old fluoridated water. If you can fill your reusable water bottle with tap water, your body will stay hydrated, your teeth will get stronger from the fluoride, and you will not be adding another plastic bottle to our landfills. This will also save you some money to spend on other fun summer activities!

Hope these tips help- have a fun, safe, and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!

Giving Back to the Austin Community

May 20th, 2011

Here at Powell & Tiller Dental Care, we value the thriving Austin community that we live and work in. With summer just around the corner, swim teams are getting in the water and cyclists/runners are on the roads. If you look closely you might see the name Powell & Tiller as a sponsor. We feel strongly about supporting our community and promoting health. Some of the organizations you will see us supporting are the Balcones Sharks, MS 150, Capital Area Food bank, various organizations in the Round Rock and Austin school districts, and the Youth Hockey Foundation of Austin.

We love giving back to our community. Our patients are such wonderful people and we enjoy supporting them, their passions, interests and hobbies.

The Benefits of Digital Scanning

May 5th, 2011

We are excited to be using the iTero system in our Austin, TX dental office, a new, completely digital system for taking tooth impressions for restorative dental work. If you have ever had any restorative work done in the past, you may remember the conventional technique, which involves impression paste and trays. The old process takes longer, and is less precise than our new iTero system.

Digital impressions with our iTero system are taken using laser and optical scanning to capture a digital copy of the shape and contours of your teeth. With this information, we can then send the data to a laboratory for processing, and to fabricate a custom restoration. We can use the iTero system for many of our restorative procedures, and are now able incorporate the technology with the Invisalign clear aligner system too!

Invisalign is a convenient, discreet way for patients to straighten their smile without the need for metal braces, and now at Powell & Tiller Dental Care, there is no need for goopy impressions to be taken beforehand! iTero technology now allows us to collect digital scans of your teeth, instead of traditional impressions, in order to fabricate your customized aligners.

Ask us about this exciting technology at your next appointment, or give us a call!

Putting Patients at Ease in Austin, TX

April 29th, 2011

We know that the dental office is not everyone’s favorite place to be. This is why we at Powell & Tiller Dental Care go out of our way to make sure our patients are comfortable. We get to know our patients, explain their dental needs and let them know what to expect during each visit. We also offer many amenities, including blankets, extra pillows, sun glasses to protect your eyes, and even cable television with headphones so you can watch your favorite show during your appointment. If our patients are still feeling a little anxious, we have nitrous oxide which is a very safe inhaled sedative that can help patients with anxiety to relax during their treatment. We can also prescribe an oral sedative that can be taken in conjunction with the use of nitrous oxide. We have found that most of our anxious patients do very well with these options. We also find that once a patient has gotten to know us, they feel more comfortable in our practice and eventually many are able to complete their exams without any need for sedation.

We think one of our patients said it best when she described her transformation from a fearful patient to a trusting friend.

In the beginning it was not easy. They teased me that I MADE more appointments than anyone they knew. You see, I would panic days before and cancel them. But they were patient.

When I finally kept my appointment, I realized immediately that they were kind and caring professionals. They did whatever it took to make me feel at ease.

Over the years the doctors have fixed numerous dental issues for me and my smile has completely transformed into a straight, white smile I can be proud of. More importantly, the overall health of my teeth and gums has vastly improved because, you see, I'm not afraid of the dentist any more!

Now when I go to the dentist, I look forward to seeing my friends there and catching up on their lives.

April is the National Facial Protection Month

April 22nd, 2011

With spring here, many children, teens and adults in the Austin area will once again pick up the ball, bring the bat out of seasonal retirement, and lace up their cleats to hit the fields for the return of spring sports! April is National Facial Protection Month, and during this time, our doctors and team urge our young athletes to play it safe when out on the field. According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, children, high-school athletes and adults will have more than 5,000,000 teeth knocked out in sporting events this year.

Here at Powell & Tiller Dental Care, we make custom mouthguards for our patients, and recommend them to any of our teen and adult patients who are active in sports. We can even customize these to include your team colors and logo! For our younger patients, we recommend the use of boil and bite mouthguards, as they tend to fit better than the stock mouthguards. Younger patients are not candidates for custom mouthguards because their teeth and jaws are still growing and changing.

Please give us a call if you have any questions. In the meantime, please take a look at the official statement from the American Dental Association about use of mouthguards. Happy Friday!

The importance of continuing education

April 14th, 2011

Drs. Tiller & Powell, along with our entire staff, will be attending a continuing education course on Invisalign tomorrow, April 15th. With both Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller have completed their formal dental education, continuing education courses like these are crucial to staying current with the latest trends and technologies in the dental industry. Our focus has always been our patients- we pride ourselves in the state-of-the-art technology that we use, the exceptional attention we give each patient, and the gentle care our staff provides.

Technologies like Invisalign allow our patients to achieve a straighter, healthier smile, without a mouth full of metal bands and brackets. Since invisalign uses clear aligners, you can straighten your smile without anyone knowing! The aligners are also removable, making it easier to keep your teeth clean, without restricting you from eating your favorite foods. Head to our Invisalign page to learn more, or give our office a call! We are an Invisalign preferred provider in the Austin area, meaning that our doctors have additional training and experience in this exciting new technology!

State of the Art Technology and Patient Care

April 7th, 2011

At the dental practice of Drs. Powell and Tiller, we practice state-of-the-art dentistry, and focus on preventative dentistry for children, teens, and adults!

We like to take the time to get to know our patients and their needs, and ensure that they are informed about their treatment and comfortable with our office and team.

We embrace new technologies, and utilize digital imaging to maximize patient comfort. Digital technologies also allow for much more accurate x-rays and impressions to be made, and are ultimately better for the environment.

With Thanksgiving

November 11th, 2010

I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how thankful we are to be a part of each of your lives. I just saw a patient on Monday that I remember seeing as a 2 year old who is now entering college. How did she get so old, when I didn't?! So many of my littlest patients have grown and now have jobs or a spouse and some even have kids of their own! I don't take any moment for granted with my own children as I have seen yours grow up so quickly. By seeing them every 6 months instead of every day like you do, I feel like I have their lives on fast-forward and see how very quickly it goes.

I've also enjoyed growing with my adult patients. I've watched many of you get married and have children, or my older patients are able to update me on their latest grandchild. I have several families whom I am privileged to see four generations. Thank you for letting us share in the happy times and know that we are praying for you during the sad times. I don't know if any of you have seen the movie, Same Time Next Year, but this couple meets once a year for twenty or thirty years and each time they meet up, they hear about the trials and joys of the past year. I feel that way with so many of you. I feel like I have a bookmark in a thousand books and as each of you come in, I hear the next chapter.

When I went to dental school, I had no idea that this would be the best part of being a dentist. But it is. The relationship I have with each of you is special. And I know you guys have watched me grow up too. From opening this practice at age 25 (looking 15 at the time) and having the most common question be, "How old are you?" to our early 30's when for 4 straight years either Dr. Tiller or I was pregnant, to now as we both have (gasp) teenagers!

You have all been a blessing. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday and thank you so much for sharing your lives with us.

Halloween Candy Time Again!

October 20th, 2010

Well, it's almost Halloween, so that means it's almost time for our Annual Tooth Fairy Halloween Candy Swap. As always, the day after Halloween, the Tooth Fairy will pay kids 10 and under $2 per pound of Halloween candy that they are willing to part with. The Tooth Fairy is always happy to invest in tooth futures, so she asks Drs. Powell and Tiller to collect for her during the day because she is asleep (she works nights, you know).

For every pound of candy we receive, Drs. Powell and Tiller give $5 to the Capital Area Food Bank so that they can buy and deliver healthy food to kids of Central Texas. We actually usually collect over a hundred pounds of candy from children and in turn, donate over $500 to the Food Bank!

So this year, have your little one trade in that sugar for cash, and we can donate more money than ever to the Capital Area Food Bank. We would much rather fill tummies than teeth!

Hope to see you on November 1!

Oral Cancer Screenings

September 9th, 2010

If you have been a patient of ours for years, you know what to do when you see us pick up the gauze. You stick out your tongue, because we are about to check it for oral cancer. I laugh that I don't even have to say it now, you see the guaze and out goes the tongue. Every 6 months, we check your mouth and tongue for any suspicious lesions. As with all cancers, early detection results in the best outcomes. That's why that 1 minute check is probably the most important part of your routine care. Oral cancer is actually the sixth most common type of cancer and unfortunately can spread faster than most other types.

If we see an area of mild to moderate concern, we will take a brush biopsy. This is very easy and painless. We have a little brush that looks sort of like a pipe cleaner. We rub it on the area and then wipe it on a slide. This is sent off to a laboratory and checked for abnormal cells. From there we know if the area is healthy or if it needs further testing.

Oral Cancer Screenings are one more way that we make sure we are taking care of you, not just your teeth.

Back to School

August 18th, 2010

Like many of you, I'm sending my kids back to school next week. As I was shopping for school snacks, I thought it would be a good to give you a dentist's point of view on school snacks and lunches.

I love for my kids to have healthy snacks like fruit, veggies, nuts, cheese or yogurt when they are home, but when school starts that can be less than practical (and definitely not cool). Some snacks are better than others, however.

The bad list:
Fruit roll-ups and fruit chews - they may contain fruit, but are very sticky and sweet. Even the ones that are all fruit. Fruit is sweet for a reason even if it's natural it is still sugar and concentrating it into a sticky sheet is bad news for teeth.
Juice boxes, sports drinks, soft drinks - stick to water or milk. Juice is high in sugar and both the American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend no more than 8 oz. a day, so a glass with breakfast is plenty.
Candy - I know a sweet treat might bring a smile, but save it for when he gets home from school and can brush after, maybe try a cookie or pudding instead, so it's not straight sugar.

The good list:
Fluoridated water - either tap water in a water bottle or if you use disposables then look for Dannon Sport or Ozarka Jr. as they both contain fluoride.
Dipping lunch or snack - it's amazing how much more fun fruit is when you can dip it in peanut butter, Nutella, cream cheese, dressing or yogurt. Sort of a kid version of fondue. Just chop up a bunch of different things and provide a couple dips. Goes well for the elementary crowd.

Also, remember to send them to school with a retainer case if they have an appliance. Napkins are the number one killer of retainers!!

Hope everyone has a good first week of school!

An ounce of Prevention

June 25th, 2010

It's true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...even for teeth. Therefore our goal is to not only beautifully restore your smile when needed, but to work with you to find the underlying cause, so that we can prevent the need for future treatment. If you have short, worn, or fractured teeth, you may need a crown or veneers to restore your smile, but just as importantly, you may need a night guard if together we determine that these problems are due to grinding your teeth at night.

If you frequently have areas of decay, we will review your home care and perhaps add fluoride or a prescription mouth rinse to prevent the need for future fillings or crowns.

Even straightening your teeth with Invisalign or other methods can be preventative, if the misaligned teeth are making it difficult for you to keep them clean.

Probably the most important prevention, however, is regular dental care so that we can catch these problems as they are starting or when they are small. We feel if we are doing our job well, we should be able to report, "perfect check-up" for most of your visits. Our goal is not to just to make you healthy, but to keep you healthy.

Going Green

March 24th, 2010

Okay, when you think of teeth, green is not a color that pops into mind! Nor does dentistry seem like an area that can be particularly environmentally conscious. But here at Powell and Tiller Dental Care, keeping up with the latest in technology is helping our planet as well as our patients.

Digital X-rays not only provide excellent diagnostic value, they are also quite environmentally friendly. Developing X-rays required the use of chemicals which we had to dump and change daily. The films themselves eventually end up in landfills as did all the bottles that all our chemicals came in, not to mention the fuels used to get all the films and chemicals to our office. Now, we just scan in films and create virtually no waste. Not only that, if you need your X-rays transferred to a specialist or due to a move, we just email them. No materials for duplication and no fuels for shipping.

Another great technological advancement that has allowed us to be more green is our digital impressions. Most offices use thousands of plastic trays and pounds of impression material per year which all end up in landfills. Our 3-D digital impressions eliminate that waste. Our patients love them because they don't have to gag on a mouthful of goop, but instead just have a few pictures taken with a special scanner. We love them because they exceed the accuracy we could ever achieve with traditional impressions. Our planet loves them because we don't add all that waste to landfills and once again, to send them, we just hit "send" and no carbon emissions in cyberspace to get them to the lab.

We are committed to keeping up with technology. It turns out it provides more than just optimal dentistry. It can be one more way that we can go green!

Halloween Candy Swap

October 18th, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009, is the date of our Annual Halloween Candy Swap.

On the first working day after Halloween each year, kids 10 and under can bring in their candy to our office and trade it for cash! We will pay them $2 per pound of Halloween candy that they are willing to part with. We also give $5 per pound of candy received to the Capital Area Food Bank so that they can buy and deliver healthy food to kids of Central Texas. We actually usually collect over a hundred pounds of candy from children and in turn, donate over $600 to the Food Bank!

Every year at this time, our youngest patients receive a letter from the tooth fairy telling them that we handle this collection for her since she works nights and is not available during normal waking hours! She says she is always happy to invest in tooth futures.

So this year, have your little one trade in that sugar for cash, and we can donate more money than ever to the Capital Area Food Bank. We would much rather fill tummies than teeth!

Hope to see you on November 2!

Raise your hand if you like getting dental impressions taken!

September 9th, 2009

Seeing no hands up, let us tell you about the latest technological advancement we've added: Digital Impressions. No goop, no gagging, no dripping, or drooling, just a few clicks of the camera! The iTero scanner takes 3D images and gives us all the information we need to fabricate your crowns, bridges, onlays, or veneers.

It only takes a minute or two to take all of the images. It is more comfortable for our patients and it far exceeds the accuracy we were able to acheive with traditional impressions. It also gets your restoration back from the lab quicker as all we do is click "send" and iTero has received your information. No snail mail here!

Going Wireless!

June 19th, 2009

The free wireless internet we offer for our patients in our reception area is not the "wireless" most enjoyed by our patients. What is? Wireless braces!

Many of our patients are adult professionals who would like to have straight teeth or to close gaps between their teeth, but do not want to wear unsightly metal brackets, bands and wires. Invisalign clear braces are a great way to get the smile you always wanted while the only thing that shows in your smile is progress. You wear clear plastic aligners custom fit to your teeth which change out about every two weeks, each set of trays moving your teeth closer and closer to your final great smile. They are so thin and transparent that people won't even realize you are wearing them. Yet several months later you have the smile you always wanted.

If you've ever thought "I wish my teeth were straighter," come in and let us take a look and let you know if Invisalign can work for you.

New Patients

January 28th, 2009

I was just talking to one of my patients who has been coming to our office for over twelve years, and she asked if we were still accepting new patients. She mentioned that we seemed to have such a successful practice that she thought we might not be open for additional patients.

I told her that YES, we are always open to new patients. We are so successful precisely because we get our patients healthy and so they don't need much of the dentist's time. We still get to see these patients for their semi-annual check-ups and they keep our hygienists busy maintaining their oral health, but if we are doing our job right, they aren't receiving much dental treatment. We generally have about 25-30 new patients a month and we have more than two thousand existing patients, yet more than half of the dental treatment we provide each month is on this small number of new patients rather than our large number of current patients who we have gotten into dental health and are keeping healthy.

So, yes, we are happy to accept your friends and family into our practice and, as always, are honored by the compliment that you sent them over.

Welcome

January 16th, 2009

Welcome to the cosmetic dentistry blog for Powell & Tiller.

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