The Dr.G Blog

  Monday, February 15, 2016


MONDAY IS FAMILY DAY IN CANADA. BUT WHEREVER YOU LIVE, MAKE EVERY DAY, FAMILY DAY!

Countries around the world celebrate all kinds of holidays. Some are national holidays, some religious, and many holidays have been simply created “for the people, by the people.” Such is FAMILY DAY in many of Canada’s provinces. This year it’s the 3rd Monday of February. As an oral health care provider and a father of three grown children, it was important to me for my children to grow up with good oral health habits in addition to every positive value, life lesson and example I could come up with! I know that raising a family is important and a full time job.  That’s why I think that every day should be FAMILY DAY!
 
Being a part of a loving family is ideally the beginning of a healthy life experience. Children learn good habits from not only teaching moments, but by example. They pick up so much information from parents, siblings, and even grandparents and caregivers. What they learn from their immediate and extended family can last them a lifetime. So make that information valuable and positive!

From parents and caregivers, grandparents, friends and neighbors (a family can sometimes look like a village) children learn about eating a balanced diet of healthy and nutritional foods and snacks, and about good oral health care habits, like brushing their teeth at least twice a day, daily flossing and getting routine dental checkups and cleanings, twice a year. Parents can stress the importance of regular exercise and the joy of team sports, in addition to getting enough restful sleep every night, being a responsible student and getting good grades. As children blossom into adolescents and teenagers, a family must discourage engaging in dangerous behaviors that can lead to problems, today and in the future. When bad things happen to a family member, everyone in the family is affected. It takes a family to have, hold, teach, protect and enjoy, to live happily as a family unit.

So remember how important your family is. And that families come in all different configurations, shapes, sizes, and colors. The important message here is that families are important so try and make every day, FAMILY DAY.

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 1
0:20






  Monday, February 8, 2016


FEBRUARY IS NATIONAL HEART MONTH
Your Healthy Teeth Are Your Heart's Best Friend


February is National Heart Month. Your heart is a powerful engine that runs your body so it’s important to make than engine run efficiently and help you live a nice, long life! With healthy lifestyle choices, like a nutritional balanced diet, regular exercise, good oral health and getting rid of bad habits, that’s a good possibility. Studies from the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Heart Association recommend that one of the best ways to protect your heart is with healthy teeth and gums. Every year, one in four deaths is caused by heart disease, and heart disease is the Number 1 killer in the US. And, thirty percent of adults have serious gum disease today. Prevention starts with your mouth, and the good news is that heart disease can often be prevented when you make healthy choices.

Gum disease can affect your heart! Multiple studies have been conducted linking periodontal or gum disease, to overall heart and cardiovascular health. These problems can start in childhood where cavities present the biggest problem. Poor or neglectful nutrition, too many sugary snacks, carbs and drinks, and irregular or poor brushing can help lead to cavities. Studies show that poor dental health in childhood has a cumulative effect over the years, leading to adult periodontal or gum disease.
 
If you don’t visit your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and checkups, you could be setting yourself up for some serious health problems down the road. Here are the facts:

  


     
Researchers believe bacteria from untreated gum infections may migrate through your body, affecting your heart causing an infection, heart failure or death.


The ADA says 75% of Americans have untreated periodontal disease!



Plaque (the buildup on your teeth) can migrate to, and clog your arteries.




The inflammation from gum disease has been linked to serious diseases such as stroke, Diabetes, and even premature births.



Bacteria from gum disease could elevate sugar levels in diabetics, leading to kidney and cardiovascular problems.








Some researchers have found that gum inflammation can trigger a protective response by the body in the liver which can elevate white blood cell counts, further aggravating inflammation. And some recent European studies have found links between gum disease and chronic kidney disease, cognitive impairment, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, cancer and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).


Protect your heart with a healthy mouth! Healthy gums are light pink and firm. Signs of gum disease may include: bleeding after you brush or floss, receding gums, red or swollen gums, pain when you chew or bite, a sore or infection on the gums, or loose teeth.

Make control your goal. Make every month Heart Month! Follow the healthy heart and oral health rules AND talk to your doctor if you have high blood pressure. Get regular exercise, maintain a healthy diet, reduce your sugar and salt intake, and quit smoking.

Here’s to your healthy heart and a long life!

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 17:28






  Monday, February 1, 2016


FEBRUARY IS NATIONAL CHILDREN’S DENTAL HEALTH MONTH


As a parent of three and an oral health care professional, I think EVERY MONTH is Children’s Dental Health Month! Our children are tomorrow’s adults and good oral health care starts at Day One.

The American Dental Association (ADA) designates every February as National Children's Dental Health Month, and this year, the ADA’s message is, "Defeat Monster Mouth."

Taking care of our children’s oral health care is one very important thing we do as parents, and teaching children good oral health care habits at an early age is just as important. Tooth decay is the most common preventable chronic disease in children and is easily accomplished with good oral health care, fluoride toothpaste, and dental sealants. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day and scheduling regular dental visits every six months begins a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums, with benefits for a healthier body and maybe even a longer life!

NATIONAL CHILDREN’S DENTAL HEALTH MONTH brings together dedicated oral health care  professionals, health care providers and educators to promote the important and holistic benefits of good oral health to children or all ages, their parents and grandparents, caregivers, teachers, sports coaches and more. The ADA and dentists across the country also observe and celebrate Give Kids a Smile Day on February 6th, and provide FREE oral health care to children. Now that’s something to smile about!

The ADA’s campaign slogan this year, "Defeat Monster Mouth," is colorfully illustrated on posters that feature the McGrinn Twins, Flossy and Buck, characters called Den and Gen Smiley, and a dog named K-9. They’re fighting the enemy of plaque, Plaqster the Monster and “monster mouth”, emphasizing regular brushing, flossing, rinsing, good nutrition and eating healthy snacks.

Always ask your oral health provider any questions you have about your children’s oral health care and to access free online resources that help teach children about good oral health care, visit ADA.org; click on Public Programs, and National Children's Dental Health Month.

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 14:07







  Monday, January 25, 2016


FOODS THAT CAN DAMAGE YOUR TEETH


We eat to live, but some of us live to eat! Food is a very important part of our daily lives, but so are the teeth we use to eat that food! I like to tell my patients and dental students about two important words in my oral health preventive care Bible:
"DAMAGE CONTROL". In addition to eating a healthy diet and paying attention to good nutrition, as well as daily brushing and flossing, it’s important to keep your teeth healthy and educate yourself about foods that can damage your teeth.

Everyone knows sugar is bad for your teeth; you’ve been told since you were a kid. But do most people think of bread, dried fruit, popcorn, or the old standby of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as being bad for your teeth? They can be!

The two evil enemies in food that cause problems for your teeth are sugar and acid.

Everyone’s teeth are covered with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Following a snack or meal that is full of either sugar or simple carbohydrates, the bacteria feed on the bacteria, releasing acids that attack tooth enamel. Bad news!

Your tooth enamel is the thin, hard, outer coating of your teeth. It’s a fraction of a millimeter thick and doesn’t grow back if it’s chipped or eaten away by those bad acids. You need to protect your natural enamel as much as possible because it helps keep the tooth SAFE; it maintains the tooth’s structure and protects it from decay. You and your oral health care provider don’t want your natural tooth’s enamel to break down, eventually resulting in cavities. Some foods are naturally acidic. Bacteria isn’t even necessary for these foods to damage your teeth. The acid in these foods attack the enamel and can result in cavities.
 
Here is my list of foods to avoid so you can have healthy, cavity and disease-free, beautiful teeth.

Long lasting or sticky candies. Even cough drops. Opt for sugarless.   

Refined carbs
. Bread, especially soft white bread and rolls, crackers, potato chips, fries, pasta. They all break down into sugars, mix with bacteria and create an acid that erodes tooth enamel.  

Dried fruit
. Raisins, dried apricots and fruit roll ups are chewy and stick to your teeth.  

Citrus fruit
.  Although vitamin rich, citrus can be bad for your teeth. Rinse your mouth after eating, if possible, and stay away from lemonade loaded with sugar and acid.  

Carbonated soft drinks, sports and energy drinks and vitamin water
. Too much sugar and full of phosphoric and citric acid that can cause irreversible damage to teeth.  

Popcorn. Popcorn creates lactic acid in your mouth, so after the movies, rinse your mouth, and chew sugar-free gum and floss. And watch out for those un-popped kernels that can crack a tooth or filling, or fracture a crown.  

Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches
. Buy or make peanut butter with no added sugar, and that jelly is full of sugar and too sticky. How about some healthy protein instead, like a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread.

So, maintain damage control at all costs. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 14:20






  Monday, January 18, 2016


JANUARY 19th IS NATIONAL POPCORN DAY ~ ENJOY BUT WATCH YOUR TEETH!


January 19th is National Popcorn Day, so let’s celebrate!

Who doesn’t love popcorn? Plain popcorn is delicious and nutritious, providing whole grains, fiber and antioxidants. We love to eat popcorn at the movies, at home watching TV and it’s a convenient after school snack. But you have to be careful. Smothering this naturally healthy snack in salt, fat, sugar and flavorings turns natural goodness into junk food; not good for your teeth or nutrition. And you could bite down on an un-popped kernel and cause a problem; you don’t want to harm your beautiful teeth.

So here are some important nutritional and health popcorn facts, and a few warnings from your teeth’s best friend, your dentist!

Whole Grains, polyphenols and protein.
Popcorn is a healthy whole grain, which means it’s a good source of dietary fiber. “Grains are comparable in concentration of antioxidants to fruit and vegetables,” noted Joe Vinson, a professor of chemistry at The University of Scranton, in Pennsylvania. In his 2012 study, it was reported that popcorn’s antioxidants are nutrients called polyphenols, providing more nutrition than in whole fruit. The nutrient is found within the whole grain’s hull, or outer cover of the popping corn. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, polyphenols boast numerous health benefits including the prevention of degenerative diseases such osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and Diabetes, adding that “while berries and other colorful foods are high in anthocyanin antioxidants, grains are high in phenolic acid antioxidants, which may be easier for the body to absorb.” And guess what else? Popcorn has more protein and phosphorus than potato chips, and more iron that eggs and spinach.

Fiber. Dietary fiber is another major benefit of whole grains. Popcorn provides about four grams of dietary fiber for every four cups of popped corn. Eating enough fiber helps your body rid itself of body waste, lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease, reduces blood cholesterol and regulates blood sugar lowering the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

And it’s a perfect snack for the diet-conscious. Popcorn is a weight watchers dream snack ~ sugar-free, fat-free and low in calories. Just 31 calories for one cup of air-popped popcorn!

And the few popcorn warnings from your dentist. While plain, natural popcorn is full of health benefits, microwave popcorn is calorie-dense and packed with sugars, unhealthy oils and other additives. Kettle corn and caramel corn are even worse, loaded with sugar and very bad for your teeth. Sticky foods adhere to the surface of your teeth and can cause plaque, leading to serious dental problems. And be careful when eating popcorn. Crunching on those surprise un-popped, hard kernels can lead to a cracked tooth or filling, and even cause you to choke.

So, go and enjoy your popcorn on National Popcorn Day, or every day, and remember the benefits and the few warnings from your teeth’s best friend, your dentist.

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 13:30






  Monday, January 4, 2016


ORAL HEALTH NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS


It’s the beginning of a New Year again, and with that comes New Year’s resolutions that we promise, but sadly, don’t always live up to!  I’m not going to regale you with the old news resolutions like get to the gym more often, be nicer to your mother-in-law, eat less junk food or spend less money on retail therapy. But I WILL encourage you to sign on to the Dr. Gary Glassman Oral Health New Year’s Resolutions which can make a big difference in your healthy life, without compromising your lifestyle. I’ve talked about them on the radio, and here they are, now, for you to put on your phone and electronics, or tape to the refrigerator, as daily reminders!

1.    I will floss every day!  Only 25% of people floss their teeth every day, and if you don’t, then you’re missing cleaning 40% of every tooth’s surface in your mouth. This can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath.

2.    I will go to the dentist regularly! Recent statistics over the past five years show that less than 70% of adults and 80% of children go to the dentist, twice a year. Your dentist can decide how often you should have your teeth checked, but twice a year is protocol.

3.    I will replace my toothbrush every 3 months or sooner! Buy a new toothbrush or replace your electric brush head every three months, if the bristles show wear, or you’ve been sick. Germs on your toothbrush can lead to infection.

4.    I will brush my teeth two or three times a day!  It’s also important to make sure you’re using the right type of toothbrush, specifically for your mouth. Soft bristles are best, and manual or electric is personal preference. Remember, it’s not the toothbrush, it’s the brusher!

5.    I will cut my sugar intake! Eat less sugar and consume fewer sugary foods and drinks. This includes honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates. Minimize your cavity potential!

6.    I will cut down on teeth-staining foods! Tea, coffee, wine, berries, sauces and sports drinks are some foods that will stain your teeth and erode natural tooth enamel. If you’re going to consume these items, make sure to brush or swish water around your mouth immediately after.

7.     I will not “brush” off tooth pain! Pain is your body talking to you! If you have a toothache that lasts more than one or two days, notice swelling around a tooth, loose or broken brackets, soreness, or experience severe pain or fever, make an appointment to see your dentist immediately!

8.     I will start my year off fresh and not let my breath sour! There’re many different steps to prevent bad breath such as scraping your tongue and avoiding foods that are notorious for causing it. But if you brush and floss regularly, get regular check dental ups, rinse with non-alcohol mouthwashes, don’t smoke, increase saliva, your natural tooth cleaner, by drinking more water, and chew sugar-free gum, it helps!

9.    I will get rid of stress, once and for all! Stress can have a huge impact on your oral health. It can cause bruxism or grinding your teeth, so ask your dentist about getting fitted with a night guard. Stress can also lead to cold sores, dry mouth, burning mouth syndrome and even gum disease. Some ways to help alleviate stress are through exercise, yoga, meditation, social interactions, and liking what you do for work and play.

10.    I’m going to get moving and exercise at least 20 minutes a day! Your general health has a direct effect on oral health, and vice versa! Physical exercise is important, keeping all parts of your body healthy: it strengthens your bones and immune system, stimulates the brain’s “feel good” endorphins and even keeps your teeth healthy. Less inflammation in all body systems can mean a reduced risk of periodontal or gum disease, leading to a healthier heart and potentially longer life!

So here’s to a
HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR!

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 17:20 0 comments 






  Monday, December 21, 2015


HOW TO KEEP YOUR TEETH HAPPY DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON


Holiday selfies and family photos are just around the corner. How can you make your smile look and stay beautiful? Here are some easy tips!

Avoid candy and extra sugar in food and drinks. It's the most wonderful time of the year for cocktails, egg nog, and gift baskets of sweets and candy canes. But beware ~ this non-stop buffet of sweets can wreak havoc on your teeth. Eat something to fill your stomach before a party, and if possible, limit yourself to one cocktail or a non-sugary beverage, and take just a small “taste” of sweet treats.
 
Snack smart. Eat healthy snacks. Just say “no” to cracking open nuts with your teeth and avoid hard foods like candy coated apples that can crack a tooth, crown or veneer. But most of all, avoid sticky foods that can pull out fillings and cause plaque, which may lead to tooth decay.
 
Keep to your routine. Parties can play havoc on our normal schedules. Always make time to brush and floss your teeth, twice daily, but preferably after every meal. When there’s no school or work the next day because of a holiday, no falling asleep on the couch watching TV  late at night, then waking up to go to bed without brushing your teeth!!  And don’t miss your regularly scheduled dental check-ups.

It pays to carry. Keep a travel toothbrush and toothpaste in your pocketbook or briefcase and "freshen up" after meals. Plan to brush your teeth before drinking red wine. If brushing your teeth isn't an option, chew sugarless gum which produces more saliva in your mouth, helping flush out food debris, and freshens your breath.

Be prepared, and know who to call. Pack toothpaste, dental floss and over-the-counter pain relievers with your toiletries when you travel. Take your health and dental insurance cards with you. Most dental offices are closed on a holiday, but call the office anyway, as most office answering services provide an emergency number to call. But whatever you do, don’t delay treatment. With children in tow, know where the ice is! Childhood falls with teeth going through the lip may often require the application of an ice pack to reduce inflammation and prevent swelling. And make sure you check out those precious baby or new adult teeth for problems by a dentist ASAP!

Happy holidays to come!

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 14:21 0 comments 






  Monday, December 14, 2015


THE TWELVE DAYS OF ORAL HEALTH


It’s time for the annual Dr. Gary Glassman TWELVE DAYS OF ORAL HEALTH! Here’s some good advice to take along with you through this season of fun, festivities, eating and drinking, and traveling on vacation or to visit loved ones. You might even want to copy these important tips, share them with family and friends and keep a copy on your phone! So here we go…


Day 1: 
Protect your precious teeth! When it comes to your precious teeth, Cracked Tooth Syndrome is one of the most common problem people have over the holidays. Be careful biting down on hard candies like candy canes, and use a nutcracker to crack open shelled nuts. And never open packages of candy, bottles of beer, wine or champagne with your teeth!

Day 2:  Buy a new toothbrush! Buy yourself a gift of a new toothbrush or replace your electric toothbrush head, and brush your teeth at least twice a day during the holidays. ‘Tis the peak season for sugar overload creating a fertile breeding ground for bacteria in the mouth. Enjoy eating sweets, but remember to brush at least twice a day, and floss. It’s also Flu season; another good reason to replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head. You can also sterilize a toothbrush in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.

Day 3:  Visit your dentist before the holidays, or travel. A complete dental exam, cleaning and a check-up will make sure your teeth are in tip-top shape!  

Day 4:  Eat healthy and reduce your sugar intake!  Revamp a traditional eggnog recipe because one glass of eggnog, for example, can contain more than 220 calories! Replace cream with low-fat milk or soy milk, and replace the sugar with a natural sweetener, like Stevia.

Day 5:  Get a megawatt smile!  Ask your dentist about teeth bleaching. Remember that wine, berries and coffee are just a few foods that can affect a bleach compound.  So wash away potential stains by swishing your mouth with water immediately after drinking or eating.

Day 6:  Keep your pet’s teeth healthy! Did you know that your pet’s teeth are susceptible to oral health diseases, too?  Get your pet’s teeth checked at their annual vet check-up appointment. Studies show that being a pet owner can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and pets are a good excuse to get outside and get some fresh air and exercise.  Happier people who are healthy and less stressed, live longer!

Day 7:  Keep kissing under the Mistletoe!  Did you know that Mistletoe has holistic health benefits? Studies have shown that kissing and having love in your life can help keep you happy and healthy! Folk and holistic medicine has used Mistletoe as an ingredient in treating convulsive coughing and asthma, anxiety, dizziness, high blood pressure, cardiac issues, hiccups and cramps.

Day 8:  Your Diabetic Wake-Up call!  Diabetics are at higher risk, all year round, for periodontal (gum) disease, but especially during the holidays while enjoying sugary foods, desserts and drinks. Enjoy holiday food and drink, but everything in moderation. Controlling your sugar helps keep your mouth and body in optimum good health!

Day 9:  Alcohol in Moderation!  Did you know that alcohol is full of sugar? After drinking alcoholic beverages, freshen your mouth with a quick swish of water to increase your saliva, rinse away the sugars and acid, and rehydrate your mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum is another way to stimulate saliva, and wash away harmful sugar and bacteria.

Day 10:  Trim down!  A decade ago we learned that gaining weight (increased body mass index or BMI) was related to oral health conditions, especially periodontitis or gum disease. So this holiday season (and all year-round) maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and improve your oral health.

Day 11:  Foods with Phosphorous!  Your holiday turkey dinner can help build strong healthy teeth, because it’s loaded with phosphorous and fiber.  Eating phosphorous, fiber and protein-rich foods like turkey and lean meats, fish like wild salmon, seafood like scallops, edamame and tofu, and beans and lentils, can reduce the chance of developing plaque and tooth decay.

Day 12:  Good Stress and Bad Stress!  Excess stress around holiday activities and meals, may give you a headache, gastric distress or create a lot of anxiety.  Stress can lead to a cold sore outbreak, teeth grinding, poor eating, exercise and oral hygiene routines, leading to, or worsening, periodontal disease. Take some deep breaths, meditate or talk a walk around the block.

So my holiday advice to you, is have fun, but take good care of yourself and your health. And Happy New Year!

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 16:41 0 comments 








  Monday, December 7, 2015


THE GOODWILL ORAL HEALTH PROJECT AND UTECH GRADUATION


I founded THE GOODWILL ORAL HEALTH PROJECT organization over 15 years ago, after visiting Jamaica with my family in the 1990’s and witnessing the dire need for oral health care in UTech JamaicaJamaica's impoverished communities. Since the organization’s genesis, I’ve dedicated much of my time to furthering the philanthropic efforts and making a difference in the quality of life and overall oral health care to hundreds of thousands of Jamaican people.

Jamaica, the third largest island located in the Caribbean Sea, with a current population of almost 2.8 million and with 48,000 births this year, alone, boasts natural, tropical beauty with flora, fauna and beaches enjoyed by residents and tourists, alike. But looks can be deceiving. Jamaica experiences severe health challenges, especially in reducing the overall burden or diseases due to a lack of education and money leading to poor health and dental conditions. In fact, with approximately one dentist per 19,000+ people, the majority of Jamaicans will probably never see a dentist!    
 
It was this crisis situation that first compelled me to spearhead THE GOODWILL ORAL HEALTH PROJECT as a dental outreach initiative. With the overarching goal of improving Jamaica’s substandard oral health conditions, I generated a small group of colleagues to join me, travelling several times a year to clinics across Jamaica, donating free dental care to patients who otherwise might never benefit from much needed oral health examinations and care.
 
While I recognized, at the time, the importance of dental outreach in developing countries, I was convinced there had to be a more effective and long-lasting way for me to promote improved oral health in Jamaica. Since one of my greatest strengths is my ability to teach, I reached out to the local community to investigate if my services could be used for greater good, as a dental educator.

I’ve dedicated my philanthropic efforts to making a difference in oral health care in Jamaica and educating dental students (and dentists) at the University of Technology (UTech) College of Oral Health Sciences. UTech is one of the beneficiaries of my global effort promoting the best oral health care to developing countries in need. In partnering with UTech, I became Adjunct Professor of Dentistry and Director of Endodontic Programming for UTech School of Dentistry where I wrote the endodontic curriculum for the DMD (Doctor of Medical Dentistry) program and provided lectures, clinical instruction, teaching supplies and equipment.
 
The College of Oral Health Sciences, which is the largest provider of dental services for the people of Jamaica, has a strong public health focus and places special attention on providing quality care to Jamaican citizens unable to access or afford oral health care services. The UTech dental students also participated in voluntary outreach programs in clinics and health centers in the public health sector, as well as at community health fairs and events, where dental services are offered free of cost to the public.

I was recently a proud attendee in November at the graduation of the first graduating class of 22 dental surgeons at the university, and it felt great to see them receiving their degrees! The graduates, trained and certified by UTech, completed their five-year degree program in Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) and are the first ever dental surgeons to be certified by the university. All of the graduates will now intern in a Jamaican Government vocational training program, and be placed at health facilities throughout Jamaica to practice dental medicine.

According to the US-based Commission on Dental Competency Assessments which administers dental examinations, the UTech’s Class of 2015 DMD graduates have proven themselves to be “as qualified, as competent and as dedicated as any dental graduate from the United States and Canada.” This means that the citizens of Jamaica will receive the same fine dental care as patients would receive in Canada or the US, for example.
 
Giving back in society is very important. Helping an entire country of people in dire need of health and dental care, is one way I make a difference with my GOODWILL ORAL HEALTH PROJECT. I look forward to the next graduating class of UTech dentists, and to the newly minted dentists continuing to give back to their communities, making a difference in the healthcare of so many people.

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 18:02 0 comments 







  Monday, November 30, 2015


A FEW TIPS FROM THE TOOTH DOCTOR


As I travel in large circles and small, from country to country, teaching, or from across the room at a cocktail party, I’m frequently asked questions about oral health care and how to keep teeth and smiles, beautiful.
 
Here are some popular FAQs that might intrigue, inspire or put some factoids to rest.

1.  How can my teeth look whiter?
For women, I’ve heard, no red lipstick! For everyone else, brush and floss twice daily, get regular 6-month checkups with your oral health care provider and ask about in-office or at-home bleaching methods. Other tried and true methods include: Brush teeth before drinking red wine, brush after drinking coffee, use toothpastes that boast tooth whitening properties, test trendy Oil Pulling with organic coconut oil, or try the old-fashioned method of brushing with a paste of baking soda, lemon juice and water.

2.  Can I “catch” bad breath from kissing someone who has bad breath?
The answer is maybe! Kissing helps share both good and bad bacteria through saliva, which may or may not lead to bad breath. Some bad breath is caused by bacteria living in the gums and the oral cavity, but bad breath can also come from the foods we eat, or health problems. Maintaining good oral hygiene, overall good health, eating foods that cause less “back up” problems or maybe having a simple conversation, are the best take-charge solutions.

3.  Are dental problems hereditary?
They can be! Problems with your bite, or crooked, yellow or discolored teeth can all be hiding in your family DNA. But you and your mouth aren’t just in your DNA. Be proactive and prepare yourself to face a battle that may be won. Be vigilant with your oral health care: brush and floss twice daily, get regular check-ups, fix problems immediately after noticing them, wear a night guard if needed, and make good use of all modern technology.

Look for more tips to come!

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 16:20 0 comments 






  Monday, November 23, 2015


PUTTING THE COMMUNICATION INTO COMMUNICABLE


Here’s something we don’t like to talk about: anything communicable that ends up with a negative outcome like sickness, chronic infection or death. But we should talk about things that can go bump in the night, and as an oral health care professional I endorse the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Kissing and close physical contact, the sharing of food, eating utensils, water bottles and tooth brushes, and oral infections are just some ways communicable viruses and bacteria are spread. Our mouths and the oral cavity can be a veritable breeding factory and springboard for too much sharing of a bad kind.

You might not know this, but oral infections such as Periodontitis, for example, can help bacteria move systemically and metastatically, spreading infection through the whole body. Teeth are the only non-shedding surface in the body, but bacterial levels can be exponentially increased by dental plaque.

There’s a list of other communicable diseases that you can be exposed to that are worth mentioning. Certain shared risk factors could make some infections and diseases more serious, but don’t be scared ~ please become informed. Buckle up before reading and know that being well educated is the best medicine when it comes to proactive prevention. So what’s possible? Here goes:

Periodontitis. Bacterial Pneumonia. Oral Herpes and cold sores. Cardiovascular Disease. Coronary Heart Disease. Infectious Endocarditis. Stroke. Pericarditis. Diabetes Mellitus. Meningitis. Measles. Pertussis. Coxsackie virus. Rubella. Strep. Fifth Disease. Low birth weight.

So go forth and do not multiply! Ask questions, be vigilant and stay healthy.

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 18:52 0 comments 





  Monday, November 16, 2015


WHEN SUGAR’S NOT SO SWEET


Tooth decay and obesity have become international child health issues stemming from “healthy” kid’s drinks. Even 100% fruit juice given to a child in a cup or bottle may effectively bathe the teeth in corrosive sugar, leading to tooth decay, empty caloric weight gain and potential future health risks such as hypertension or high blood pressure.

Any risks for tooth decay should always be avoided, and the rising medical costs of obesity are responsible for almost 10 percent of healthcare expenses in most civilized countries, today.

Beverages such as sports drinks and soda advertised on TV, billboards and in magazines, spin the products to sound healthful, but they’re not. Sugar is sugar. A 2012 study in Pediatric Annals showed that sugar-sweetened drinks contributed more calories to the diet than any single food or other beverage, amounting to more than 1,200 empty calories a week. Children consuming these drinks are less likely to drink water or milk, and aren’t likely to eat as many whole fruits or vegetables because they’re not sweet enough, by comparison.

Over the decades, children’s consumption of soft drinks has increased over 250% with fruit drink calories increasing by 170%. And empty calories don’t register like real calories. Why? The child who drinks them doesn’t feel “full” so he or she drinks and eats more, hence the weight gain.

How much sugar is too much? A 20-ounce bottle of cranberry juice has 17 teaspoons of sugar! Your average sports drink boasts about 9 teaspoons of sugar. Table sugar and fructose, or corn syrup, are both detrimental and can affect young teeth and body weight. More than 60% of sugar-sweetened beverages come from the home, and the rest are from children consuming drinks at school, after school activities, and socially at parties and events. So do your part: reduce the sugar, offer more water, and keep kids’ teeth and bodies much healthier.

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 16:20 0 comments 





  Monday, November 9, 2015


NOVEMBER IS DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH



November is Diabetes Awareness Month in Canada and National Diabetes Month in the US. Anywhere Diabetes affects millions and millions of people, this is the month to take a look at how this disease affects lives and the quality of life.

As an oral health care specialist and provider, I’m sensitive to patients suffering from Diabetes as the disease can seriously impact oral health. Diabetics are more vulnerable to many oral health issues because of high blood sugars and a decrease in blood supply. These conditions may cause impairment of taste, lesions in the mouth, infections and delayed healing, infections of the gums and the underlying supporting bone, increase dry mouth and worsen existing gum disease, and because of a decrease in saliva, there can be an increase in fungal infections and bacteria causing plaque and tooth decay.

If you suffer from Diabetes, I recommend following this simple Checklist for promoting optimal oral health:

•   

Brush and floss your teeth, twice daily.

Have regular dental check-ups every six months.


Tell your dentist you have Diabetes and make him or her your partner in a comprehensive oral health care and maintenance program.

Do not smoke!

Maintain good glucose control and proper testing.

Maintain excellent nutrition and hydration.

Get regular exercise and enough sleep.

Reduce major stressors in your life, if possible.


It’s so important to pay consistent attention to your holistic and overall health when you suffer from Diabetes. In addition to oral health concerns, Diabetics are more at risk for serious health issues such as heart attack, stroke, kidney problems and dialysis, and limb amputations.

So from this November, on, please increase your Diabetes awareness and be vigilant about your oral and overall good health.

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 21:18 0 comments 








  Monday, November 2, 2015


SOMETHING TO CHEW ON: SUGAR FREE GUM


Why do we chew gum?

Our mouths are dry. We think it covers bad breath. We might be feeling nervous. For whatever reason you chew gum, it’s not a bad thing.

Chewing gum stimulates more saliva into the mouth, and since saliva is the mouth’s natural cleanser and helps wash away anything bad that can stick to your teeth and cause plaque, leading to cavities, gum disease or worse problems, let it be said ~ I’m for gum!

But if you’re chewing gum, PLEASE make is sugar-free! That goes without saying. Who needs more sugar in the mouth and on your precious teeth? Sugar-free gum is your only gum of choice.

One gum that’s gotten a lot of buzz is PÜR Gum, a brand of aspartame-free gum produced by Action Candy Company Ltd. and founded in 2010 by owner, Jay Klein of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. PÜR Gum is manufactured in Switzerland, distributed in Canada and sold in over 20 countries worldwide. PÜR Gum uses the slogan "Kick Aspartame" so I think a lot of gum chewers will like this product.
 
Founder, Jay Klein wanted to create a chewing gum that was vegan, gluten-, nut/soy-, dairy- and allergen-free, and his product, PÜR Gum, contains no additives or chemicals, is sweetened with Xylitol, and is GMO-free. Xylitol is a natural sweetener and a healthy choice for diabetics, pregnant women and any person seeking to avoid chemicals.

Most other sugar-free gum is sweetened with Aspartame, the most common, artificial, non-saccharide sweetener used as a sugar substitute in many foods and beverages. It was first sold under the brand name NutraSweet in 1965, and is now also sold under the name, Equal. Because it’s 200 times sweeter than sugar, much less is needed for a sweet taste and it lowers the calories consumed. The safety of aspartame has been the subject of some concern and controversies over the years but there has never been any concrete evidence of it causing cancer or other medical illness or conditions.

So chew away and pick your gum of choice… as long as it’s sugar-free!

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 14:28 0 comments 






  Monday, October 26, 2015


ON HALLOWEEN DON’T BE TRICKED BY TREATS. AND MORE SCARY THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR, STARTING WITH BOO!


Who doesn’t love Halloween? Fun costumes, Trick or Treat plans, looking for the BIGGEST bag for tons of candy, school costume processions and parties, and more. And with all that fun comes the collecting and bringing home of probably the largest amount of candy and sweets you’ll have (all year) under your one roof. So, as your oral health care conscience, you better BOO and BEWARE!

I’m going to tell you right now, forget talking any kid into not getting all the candy they can carry, and eating as much of it as fast as they can when they get home. What you can do is be a little sneaky and guide your children through this much loved holiday; you can’t keep their mouths shut but you can try and keep their mouths healthy. Here’s how.

Try and get your kids to eat dinner or a big snack before they go Trick or Treating. This will stave off the need for a quick sugar high as soon as they come back home and start going through their bags of goodies, and help get them to bed at a reasonable hour, rather than staying up late from a “sugar high.” Remove any hard candies that stay in the mouth longer and/or can cause choking hazards, as well as any sticky candy like licorice, chewy mini candy bars and gummy bears that can lead to increased tooth decay. Ask your kids if they’d like to donate a portion of their candy to kids less fortunate in an orphanage or kids who are sick in a hospital (a good way to teach them to share and to give back – but I’ll caution, “good luck with this!”)
 
Here are some other tips to help during Halloween craziness (that also work well year round): Drink lots of water because it washes the teeth and helps prevent tooth decay. Maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Avoid sugary soda, sports drinks and flavored water. Chew sugarless gum to help clean the teeth. Brush teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss and change your toothbrush every three-four months or after an illness. And twice a year, visit your dentist, your partner in good oral health care and maintaining teeth for a lifetime. We’re here to help keep your kids’ teeth as healthy as possible, and Boo-tiful!

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 17:06 0 comments 





  Monday, October 19, 2015


“YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS. A KISS IS JUST A KISS.”

YES or NO?

 

Ahhh. Who doesn’t like kissing? Kissing can be a hello, goodbye or goodnight; an apology; a seal of sympathy or support; a sign of affection and way to get to simply get to know each other. What most people don’t know are all of the other issues that can involve kissing ~ the good and not so good. But let’s start with the positives.

According to WorldDental.org and Heidi Hausauer, a dentist and spokeswoman for the academy, “Kissing is nature’s cleansing process. Saliva washes out the mouth and helps remove the cavity-causing food particles that accumulate after meals.” The authority continues that kissing may also transmit a small number of disease-causing bacteria and viruses through the oral cavity. Bacteria and viruses in the saliva or blood of one person can be spread to another person by kissing. Some diseases are more easily spread through kissing than others.”

And the popular international consumer magazine, Reader’s Digest, states that there are some definite “kissing positives.” Kissing boosts immunity! Kissing has long been thought to be a way to pass along bugs and strengthen the body’s defenses. It also burns calories, keeps facial muscles strong, naturally relaxes you, helps you pick the best mate and passionate kisses are good for your oral health! And according to Dental Health Magazine, "Deep kissing increases the flow of saliva, which helps to keep the mouth, teeth and gums healthy. The additional liquid helps get rid of food particles in your teeth, and in stimulating your immune system, you're aiding your body in the fight against infection.”
 
So what’s not to like about kissing?

HOWEVER. Kissing can be dangerous to your health, according to WebDental.com. “Be Careful Who You Kiss: Diseases From Kissing.” notes some viruses that can be transmitted by kissing: Upper respiratory tract infections like colds; Infectious Mononucleosis, also known as kissing disease (caused by Epstein Barr virus); Herpes Infection including varicella zoster (causes chicken pox) and herpes simplex (cold sores in mouth; fever blisters; Hepatitis-B; warts; and Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (Coxsackie virus.)

And if that’s not enough to think about and remember, certain bacteria are transmitted by kissing: Meningococcal Disease, a life threatening condition which includes meningitis, (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord) and septicemia. Studies show that deep kissing seems to be one of the risk factors. Add to that concerns about the transmission of bacteria causing tooth decay, Streptococcus mutans (Strep) and Periodontal or Gum Disease (The American Academy of Periodontology says more than 75% of adults over 35 have some form of gum disease.) And last but not least, research shows that kissing your beloved pet and then your babies, causes the sharing/transmission of bad bacteria. Don’t do it!
 
So don’t knock kissing, but just be conscious and conscientious to keep your mouth as healthy and germ free as possible, every day. Avoid kissing when you or the other person is sick. Avoid kissing anyone on the lips when you, or they, have an active cold sore, warts or ulcers around the lips or in the mouth. Maintain good oral hygiene. Cough and sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your arm if you have a cold. See your doctor about immunizations.

And while there are some risks in enjoying those wonderful kisses, don’t despair; it’s not all bad news. Remember that kissing can be good for you and have some fun while you’re at it!

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 19:21 0 comments 





  Monday, October 12, 2015


OIL PULLING…YOUR LEG? THE MYTHS AND FACTS (MAYBE)

 

My colleagues and friends will tell you that I’m basically a sucker for anything new. Studies, trends, advances with cures, the latest educational findings, travel destinations, and more. But here’s a trendy subject that’s new and old at the same time. Maybe you’ll tell me what you think about “oil pulling.”

If you haven’t heard about oil pulling, here are the facts. According to The Atlantic (March 19, 2014,)…” The Internet’s new quasi-health obsession is actually very old. Oil pulling—swishing oil  (coconut and sesame seem popular, preferably unrefined) around in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes—is an oral health practice that has been done in India for years and years. It’s mentioned in the Charaka Samhita, one of the key texts of the Indian traditional medicine known as Ayurveda.” The term "oil pulling" refers to the activity that "pulls" toxins from one's system and/or "pulls" them out through the teeth or mouth when the practitioner spits out the oil solution.
 
The many (and unbelievable) therapeutic claims of oil pulling are purely anecdotal, but promise to be the holistic solution for: cleaner and whiter teeth, strengthening gums, reducing bad breath, plaque induced gingivitis, jaw pain, hangovers, acne, insomnia, hormone imbalances, arthritis, allergies, thrombosis, diabetes, asthma, digestive issues, meningitis, low energy, heart and kidney disease, cancer, strep bacteria, "toxic bodily waste," PMS, leukemia, and even AIDS. What’s left? Help becoming pregnant?

I looked into Snopes.com, the global website that debunks just about every rumor, myth and factoid that raises everyday questions, and it takes the position that oil pulling “can’t hurt, but we don’t know if it helps.” As an oral health care professional I can state that in my years of experience, the only methods that successfully remove plaque from your teeth and keep your mouth healthy are physical brushing, chemical solutions like mouthwash and rinses, and by mechanical means, tooth scraping and cleaning in the dentist’s office. The other components to a healthy mouth and you, are good nutrition, regular brushing and flossing, staying away from sugar and sweets, good daily water hydration and regular dental checkups.

The American Dental Association (ADA) takes a position of “no comment” on oil pulling “because additional research is needed.” The ADA refers to it as “unconventional dentistry,” which reads in part: “The ADA supports those diagnostic and treatment approaches that allow both patient and dentist to make informed choices among safe and effective options. The provision of dental care should be based on sound scientific principles and demonstrated clinical safety and effectiveness.”

Basically, if you feel that shopping for organic coconut or another pure oil, and taking 20 minutes of out of your busy day, melting and swishing it around in your mouth is a proactive and beneficial good use of your time, than go ahead; it certainly can’t hurt you. But please, don’t use it as an alternative to brushing and flossing your teeth, and certainly don’t expect it to cure any real oral health or medical conditions. No matter what you hear or read about this latest and greatest holistic medical advance. Myth or fact? You be the judge!!

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 22:17 0 comments 






  Monday, October 5, 2015


MOUTH GUARDS: DO YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR?

 

There are a few reasons mouth guards come up in a conversation. Upon a routine dental examination, your dentist might notice that you’re grinding your teeth, and most probably in your sleep. Occasional teeth grinding, called Bruxism, can, over time, wear your teeth down and/or cause other oral health complications like a tooth fracture, loosening of a tooth or even tooth loss. Sometimes the damage can be great enough to require root canals, bridges or crowns, implants, or dentures. Teeth grinding can affect your jaws and cause TMJ and change the way you look, too.

Have I got your attention? Your oral health care provider will probably advise you to get a protective mouth guard that you’ll wear at night, called a night guard.

Why Do People Grind Their Teeth? Stress, anxiety, missing or crooked teeth causing an abnormal “bite”, a sleep disorder called sleep apnea, or illness can cause night or daytime teeth grinding. Some people get headaches or pain in their jaw from grinding (TMJ,) or someone might hear you grinding at night, but most are unaware that they grind their teeth until told and verified by their oral health provider.

What’s another reason for a mouth guard? Sports protection. Sports mouth guards have become ritual on the playing fields. No parent wants a child who enjoys sports, sporting a chipped tooth, or worse, losing a permanent tooth. Unsightly, expensive to fix and can damage tooth development or alignment. So mouth guards can and do play a significant role in protecting teeth.

Sports mouth guards are usually made of stiff plastic and aren’t very comfortable. Over-the- counter models can be boiled and molded to your teeth; the fit is hit or miss, and the material is tough, hard and uncomfortable to wear for long periods. This type of mouth guard is, by far, the cheapest option. I’ll add that they’re not very effective as night mouth guards as you’ll find they’re impossible to sleep in.

In many ways, sleeping, or night mouth guards, are similar to sports mouth guards, but the plastic is always much softer and more comfortable for nighttime use.
 
So what are my choices for my mouth guard? Inexpensive over-the-counter, or professional, custom-made. While over-the-counter night guards are a decent temporary fix to help with teeth grinding or sports protection, most individuals end up with a professional custom-made mouth guard from an oral health care provider because it’s the easiest and most comfortable option to protect your teeth, night or daytime, with long-lasting mouth support.

Within two visits, you’ll have your custom-made mouth guard. A mold is made of your teeth and sent to a lab; on your final visit you’re fitted and you take home your mouth guard.  It’s a good idea to bring your mouth guard with you for six-month check-up appointments so your oral health care provider can make sure it fits perfectly, protecting your teeth.

So you choose. Short term or long-term protection and comfort. Keep in mind that custom-made mouth guards aren’t covered by many dental insurance providers, which means you might be handling a large out-of-pocket cost. But I think it’s a sound investment, and remember, you come with only one set of permanent teeth in your lifetime!

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 18:47 0 comments 






  Monday, September 28, 2015


ARE SEASONAL ALLERGIES MAKING MY TEETH HURT?

 

More than 20% of the general population suffers from seasonal allergies, or Allergic Rhinitis, and are physically reactive to many or all outdoor living plants, trees and flowers which produce pollen, mainly in the fall and spring. We usually do what we’ve been told to alleviate symptoms: keep windows closed to keep the outside irritants out of our homes, take antihistamine allergy medications and shower our day away, before getting into bed to sleep at night.

Seasonal allergies can cause headaches, sneezing, coughing, post-nasal drip, dry mouth and bring on malaise and sleep issues, but what you might not know is they can also make your teeth ache and hurt. How? Your sinuses are connected to just about everything in your head including your nose, eyes, ears, throat, gums and teeth, and can be irritated by pollen and other outdoor airborne irritants. You might think you have a toothache from a cavity or other issue, but it could be a seasonal allergy! If in the fall or spring you notice swollen gums, some bleeding and have that deep achy pain in your upper or lower back molars, you might need some intervention. Itchy gums can be a problem, too. Sometimes caused by food allergies to certain vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes or spices, medical research has reported that itchy gums and food allergies are closely related to seasonal allergies. Who knew?

 
If you think you have a dental problem, please see your oral health care provider ASAP. Or, try some of the methods below and see if your symptoms lessen or are completely alleviated.
 
Nutrition: Consume a consistent daily diet of nutrient rich, leafy green salads, vegetables and other colorful vegetables and fruit to provide valuable phytochemicals, vitamins and antioxidants that soothe inflammation of the gums and teeth. Taking Vitamin C helps, too.

Hydrate: Hydrate and flush your body of foreign irritants by optimally drinking 8, 6-8 oz. glasses of water, a day. Water thins mucus secretions, and helps drain your sinuses. This can account for less post-nasal drip and coughing issues. Water also stimulates the production of more saliva, the mouth’s natural tooth and gum cleaner.
 
Clean: Dust and vacuum away dust and sneaky pollen that somehow gets indoors on carpets, floors, inside closets and in your car.
 
Come winter and the first frost, many seasonal allergies will diminish, so for this fall, stay proactive!!

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 21:37 0 comments 





  Monday, September 21, 2015


WHERE’S THE TOOTH FAIRY WHEN YOU NEED HER?

 

In the land of anti-aging, both women and men have concerns that are often focused on the face, which may include common problems like sagging muscles and skin, fine lines and wrinkles and skin discolorations. But, believe it or not, your mouth is one of the most vital anti-aging components you have that can help keep your face youthful. Each mouth is unique and full of beautiful, healthy, teeth~acts as an armature for your whole face. And even if you take great care of your skin, if you don’t take the same great care of your teeth in your mouth, you might look older than necessary, as you naturally age.

Over the years, certain factors affect the interior structure of the mouth. Chewing and clenching your teeth can cause your bite to change, and your teeth to shift or tilt inward or outward. The bone in your upper jaw which holds your teeth in place, can narrow causing you to look sad or angry with a pinched mouth. Your upper lip loses muscle tone and the gums encasing your upper teeth descend. My mother used to refer to someone looking “long in the tooth” and I knew that wasn’t a compliment!

 
We would all love the proverbial Tooth Fairy to sprinkle fairy dust over us and make our fantasy of a perfect smile come true. But keep in mind that your oral health care provider can create some magic of his or her own, for you, as well! Your dentist can actually change the structure of your face by changing the shape, size and position of your teeth. A few excellent options might involve using orthodontia or veneers to plump out the lower portion of your face, bringing it back to a more youthful appearance. A consultation could lead to looking years younger.
 
Staying current and looking your very best takes time, planning, and more than wishful thinking. You get to decide how to show your best face, and don’t forget your teeth!

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 15:20 0 comments 





  Monday, September 14, 2015


IT’S BACK TO SCHOOL TIME. HEALTHY SNACKS FOR YOUR HUNGRY KIDS

 

Back to school time is the time for parents to start singing that “No, No, No” song: Say goodbye to the sugary sweets of summer. Lazy, warm days often lead to quenching big thirsts ~ drinking more juices, sodas and sugary drinks, not to mention eating a lot of sugar loaded candy and hard-to-resist summer desserts of cake, cookies, donuts, pastries, water ice and ice cream.

Time for sugar Rehab! Bring on the healthy snacks for your kid’s teeth, body and overall good health. Here are the best choices for what’s delicious, nutritious, and easy to take for lunch, snacks, activities or anytime on the run.

 
Fruit: apples, pears, melons, berries, pineapple. Raw veggies: baby carrots, celery, cucumbers slices. Whole grain snacks like no added sugar granola and cereal, or crackers, pretzels, tortilla chips with a dip of hummus. Cold pasta. Nuts and seeds like sunflower and pumpkin. Protein like roll ups of turkey and Swiss cheese, low fat yogurt or cottage cheese.
 
Get rid of sticky, sugary snacks like raisins, fruit roll ups and granola. Anything that sugary or sticky remains on the teeth, longer, and can cause plaque build-up and cavities. But if your kids happen to eat this kind of snack, make sure they brush their teeth right afterwards. Remember, the less soda, juice, candy and sugary snacks your child consumes, the better his or her dental health will be, starting right now, and throughout the entire school year.

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 13:46 0 comments 




  Monday, September 7, 2015


YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE A SENIOR MOMENT?

 

Ok, you’re a Senior and you’re living in what is now called the Third Act of your life. In a Broadway play, the Third Act is where things that have been heating up or coming to a climax make for some interesting situations to accept, and become part of the conclusion. Oral health care for seniors is somewhat similar. There are oral health issues that come with the territory, but they don’t have to get you down. Dry mouth, diminished sense of taste, root decay, gum disease and tooth loss, ill-fitting dentures, a compromised immune system from medications or illness are some issues to deal with, but here are some sensible solutions!

See your oral health care provider twice a year for important checkups. You want to prevent infections, gum disease and tooth loss at all costs. Provide a list of medications for troubleshooting dry mouth and other irritating conditions. Make sure your dentures are checked regularly for a proper fit so your mouth is comfortable, you speak and enunciate clearly, your eating and nutrition isn’t compromised, and you remain infection free. Brush and floss, twice, daily. If compromised by arthritis, it may be easier for seniors to manipulate a battery powered or electric toothbrush instead of a manual toothbrush. And finally, make sure to drink a lot of water and non-sugary liquids to stay hydrated and produce more saliva, the mouth’s natural cleanser.

 
You’ve earned your stars getting to this stage of your life. Have a happy and healthy mouth, and keep smiling!

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 19:48 0 comments 



  Monday, August 24, 2015


Some Milk with Your Spot of Tea?

 

I’m crazy for all kinds of new cutting edge discoveries that comes from interesting research from my colleagues in oral health care. Recently, it was the release of proven test results from a new study with scientific merit. Drinking your favorite teas – tea for social graces, green tea for health, chamomile for sleep or Peppermint for an upset stomach, no longer has to be the reason for dreaded stained teeth. Your pearly whites can now be more picture perfect by just adding a splash of milk!

It’s hard to believe that adding just 5ml of milk will release the staining potential of drinking too much tea, but the study, published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene, and led by Dr. Ava Chow from the University of Alberta's School of Dentistry, said: "Tea is the second most consumed drink in the world, and the way it's processed affects how teeth are stained. The more the tea is processed or oxidized, the higher its staining properties are. But we've found that the addition of milk to tea reduces the tea's ability to stain teeth."

 
In short, tests were conducted using extracted human teeth and it was found that tannins, polyphenols that add bitterness to tea and are dark in color, are what causes stains. Casein, the main protein in milk, binds to the tannins, and is able to prevent staining.


Dr. Chow said, "The results we found showed that casein is the component of milk that is responsible for the reduction of tea-induced staining.” She added that adding milk to tea is a cultural habit, and is embraced in some parts of than world, more than others.

I see many patients who complain about staining and want solutions that range from toothpaste suggestions, to in office or at home bleaching methods. They can all work well but why not take this new information and be proactive and stop some types of stains before they start.

A beautiful smile and whiter teeth. I’ll drink to that!

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 16:38 0 comments 





  Monday, August 10, 2015


Paying it Forward - Good Habits Start at a Young Age and What my Father Taught Me

 

I grew up in a traditionally inspired home. I was fortunate to have two devoted parents, and without my permission, my life also came with two sisters. We had certain family “systems” in place growing up, and I was to know, respect and honor them. As children, we were taught to try and talk nicely to each other, not fight, do our homework, and to be kind and considerate, and think of others who were less fortunate that we were.

Kids are always busy and don’t have time for anything other than what’s in their immediate orbit. For me it was sports, science, girls and eating. I was a busy and happy, normal, boy growing up. Every day my father went to work in his business: he was the Sponge King. Any sponge used for cleaning, that was used in Canada before 1989, when my father sold his business, was from my father’s factory. When you think about it, in the 1970’s and 1980’s, much of everyday life’s furnishings were made of foam rubber. If you could make something out of foam rubber; pillows, mattresses, novelty items, those companies or individuals called my father. Summers, school breaks or on weekends, my father took me to work with him, and I worked in the factory alongside his longtime, loyal employees. These childhood experiences taught me a lot. I frequently would see my father working in the factory with his employees, for days on end. I asked him why, being the boss and owner, he worked so hard in the factory, when he paid employees to do these jobs. He answered “If they see the boss working hard, then they’ll work hard; if it’s good enough for me, then its good enough for them.” My father taught me about mutual respect; whether a person was a CEO, or a factory worker earning minimum wage. He often bought lunch for his employees, and he invited them to our home as dinner, party or holiday guests. It meant a lot that my father treated his employees with kindness and respect, and not just as “workers.” I have fond memories of this growing up, and my father’s behavior reminds me of the Golden Rule: “Treat others as you would have them treat you.”

“Paying it forward” means being proactive and providing others with what they may not be able to provide for themselves; it’s a quality that’s very important to me. Five years ago I created the Goodwill Oral Health Project in Jamaica, where I teach and train dental professionals and students at the University of Technology in Kingston.


I am proud that our first graduating class of students will receive their degrees this November, 2015. I’m also involved in two local Toronto charities: the Bridle Bash Foundation (bridlebash.org)  which focuses on volunteering and fundraising, helping many causes and initiatives, and L.O.V.E., or Leave Out Violence (www.leaveoutviolence.org). L.O.V.E. is one of the leading national youth violence prevention not-for profit organizations in Canada.  Since 1993, L.O.V.E. programs reduce violence in the lives of youth and in our communities by building a team of young leaders, the leaders of tomorrow, they will communicate a message of non-violence.
 
I am humbled and honored to have been brought up by two parents in a family with a social conscience where I was shown by example, that making a difference in our world is important and very meaningful. My parents curated my childhood and formative years to help create many of the good deeds I strive to accomplish, today. My father, as well as my mother, are alive and well; I thank them always and teach my own children to honor the same values. They are our legacy for tomorrow.


I am humbled and honored to have been brought up by two parents in a family with a social conscience where I was shown by example, that making a difference in our world is important and very meaningful. My parents curated my childhood and formative years to help create many of the good deeds I strive to accomplish, today. My father, as well as my mother, are alive and well; I thank them always and teach my own children to honor the same values. They are our legacy for tomorrow.

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 13:25 0 comments






  Monday, August 3, 2015


Manual versus Electric Toothbrushes - Your Oral Health Provider’s Skinny on the Pros and Cons

 

Medical professionals are very popular at social events. Friends and their spouses will meander over and ask for, what I enjoy calling, “free, but very necessary” advice. I love being the go-to Doc for questions such as, “Should my son (or daughter, or husband) be using a regular (manual) or an electric toothbrush?”

Here’s what I say: “Whatever works best and gets the job done!” They look at me and say, “That’s it? Really?” And my answer is a simple, “Yes.”

I’ll add that there have been studies that prove electric toothbrushes remove statistically significant more plaque compared to manual toothbrushes, therefore, reducing gum disease and other oral health care problems. But apart from the studies, you and your family can maintain good oral health as long as you consistently take care of your teeth and brush twice a day, regardless of what kind of toothbrush you use.
 

Here are some easy toothbrush type Pros and Cons to help make your decision “less painful”!!

Manual Toothbrush

Pros: Thoroughly clean teeth with proper brushing techniques - two minutes is all you need, 30 seconds per quadrant; Inexpensive - replace after 3 months or illness (toothbrushes harbor germs); Multiple toothbrush styles, bristles, heads and colors to choose from; Easy travel - all you need is a case; No charging or batteries.

Cons: More work; feels longer to brush properly.


Powered or Electric Toothbrush

Pros: Easy to use - place the toothbrush at a 45° angle and let the toothbrush do the work; Less work for better results - studies show that electric toothbrushes do a better job of cleaning your mouth and removing plaque and gingivitis; More fun for kids and easier to use; Built in timer.

Cons: Charging - you have to charge or replace batteries. Cost - electric toothbrushes cost more than a manual toothbrush; Not as easy to travel with- you need an outlet to charge or extra batteries if needed ; Easy to break - dropping can damage the toothbrush.

So, the toothbrush choice is yours! Just remember to brush and floss your teeth twice a day, and see your oral health care professional twice a year for a complete checkup. And smile!


 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 14:34 0 comments








  Monday, July 27, 2015


Masterclass 2015 London, England

 

My last teaching gig for the summer was an amazing experience!  I had the opportunity and great honour to speak alongside three world renowned educators in endodontics: Dr. Julian Webber, Professor James Prichard and Professor Francesco Mannocci.

I was invited by Dr. Julian Webber to this most prestigious event, The Endodontics Masterclass, which was held at Twickenham Stadium, a very well-known rugby venue, located just outside of London, England.

The format was quite unique in that all four endodontic speakers would utilize and advocate a different ‘system’ for performing endodontic treatments. Each endodontist had 1 ½ hours to give his presentation, and at the completion, we had a scheduled debate based on the presented scientific literature, discussing why each individual believed his system offered the best option.
 

What happened in the process, to the end, was very interesting. Although we presented different systems which had comparative advantages and disadvantages, we were in agreement that having identical objectives, but utilizing different means, we still ended up with the same end-game results. We did not debate, rather, we reinforced the objectives of endodontics and the objectives of dentistry: to retain the natural dentition, hopefully for a patient’s lifetime.

The afternoon session was unique as well, in that the attendees had the opportunity to choose one of four hands-on workshops being held by each of the presenters.

Hands-on workshops are practical, while also being fun. Attendees put into practice the instructed concepts and techniques, gaining and reinforcing experience, utilizing extracted or acrylic replica teeth. A win-win for all involved!

I returned to Toronto the next day, having had a very special, and educational experience in London, England.  I look forward to returning soon, so I can once again exchange ideas and cutting edge technology with my esteemed colleagues, across the pond. Cheerio!


 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 08:24 0 comments









  Monday, July 20, 2015


Everybody's Fear ~ Bad Breath

 

If there’s something most people worry about, it’s bad breath. People think most bad breath, also known as halitosis, starts in your mouth. But there are so many reasons that can cause bad breath that you haven’t thought about. Yes, we eat certain foods that once digested, travel into our blood stream, then our lungs and when we then exhale, result in bad breath. But bad breath can be a little more complicated to figure out. Here’s a list of common causes, and some you may not have known about:

Food. Smoking and tobacco products. Poor dental hygiene. Dry mouth. Poorly fitting and improperly cleaned dentures. Bacterial mouth infections, surgical wounds, tooth removal. Tooth decay and periodontal disease. Chronic inflammation of the nose, sinuses, throat and postnasal drip. Medications. Lung infections and bowel disorders. Liver or kidney problems. Yeast infections. Diseases such as cancer, and diabetes. Eating and metabolic disorders, and reflux. Even kissing.

Whew! That is a big list. It’s no wonder bad breath effects so many people and is such a global concern. But know it by any given name ~ halitosis, morning breath, foul breath or dragon breath, there are steps you can take that can make a difference in your breath and quality of your life (and those around you, too!)

 
 
Visit your oral health care provider every six months for a complete checkup and exam.
 -
 
 
Stay healthy! If you have any health issues or concerns, visit and consult with your medical doctors and specialists on a regular, and as needed basis. 
 -
 
Brush your teeth and floss twice, daily. Brush or scrape your tongue and rinse with water or mouthwash. 
 -
Do not smoke. 
 -
 
Avoid certain foods like garlic, onions, cabbage, certain spices and coffee. 
 -
 
To keep saliva lubricating the mouth, sip water all day, and chew or enjoy sugar free gum or mints.
 -
Chew fresh mint.
 -
Sleep on your side with your mouth closed.

 

Armed with some facts, bad breath doesn’t have to be the invisible elephant in the room. Here’s to sweet breath!

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 18:30 0 comments






  Monday, July 13, 2015


The World Lecture Series, or Why I Enjoy Teaching

 

It’s been said that I’m not a simple man. I work hard, I teach, I travel a lot, and I have hobbies I really enjoy. But work is my life blood. During a typical work week, I see patients in my office a few days, and then give lectures and seminars at the end of most weeks. I have a four day Endodontic Solutions programme that I present to oral health care professionals, which includes lectures, live demonstrations and hands-on training. I also offer one and two day courses. Then there’s my writing, as I’m frequently humbled, being asked to write chapters for text books and clinical articles going to print. My philanthropic work in Jamaica, where I created the Goodwill Oral Health Project at the University of Technology in Kingston, keeps me engaged in giving back. I teach dental students the latest advances in technique and technology so that they may care for the Jamaican population, as well as teach them good health care habits. No matter how you look at it, I’m always teaching!

I’ve just returned from London, England, where I was proud to present alongside other endodontic opinion leaders. My presentation was very well received, and enjoyable.

To give you an idea of just how much I love teaching and sharing my decades of experience, continued education and the latest in oral health care techniques and trends, from now until the end of 2015 here’s where I’ll be on my world teaching tour: Halifax, Nova Scotia; Uniondale, NY; Phoenix, AZ; Columbus Ohio Dental Society; Calgary, Alberta; Toronto; Greater NY Dental Meeting and Edmonton, Alberta.

This doesn’t include a trip to Jamaica in November, where the UTech First Graduating Class will take place from my efforts creating the Goodwill Oral Health Project. I’ve been teaching oral health care to the general dentists in Jamaica for years now in addition to training dental students to care for the general Jamaican population, where oral health care is either non-existent or lacking. Approximately 20 newly minted dentists will graduate this coming November and add to the much needed oral health care in this wonderful country.

 

Some people travel the world for relaxation, to visit new places and cultures and for personal gratification. My world tour, is about teaching. I’m lucky that I figured out years ago how to teach, give back, and travel. It’s not a bad job, and I think I’ll keep it!

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 22:19 0 comments







  Monday, June 29, 2015


Sardinia: The Italian Dental Association

 

As some of my regular Blog followers know, I love to teach and share what I know and learn about, with my colleagues around the world. So I was looking forward to my trip to Sardinia, Italy, where I would teach my one day programme, reconnect with my colleagues and friends, and enjoy the country’s beauty.

The overnight flight from Toronto to Milan was timed perfectly, as I had just finished a long day treating patients and once the flight took off, I reclined my seat and fell into a deep sleep.

Arriving in the morning, I had a chance to acclimatize myself to the time difference very quickly, a quality that only a frequent flyer, such as myself, can acquire.

Decompressing is not my forte, as I’m a busy and active individual, but not having any plans upon arrival, was welcome. I relaxed as I walked around the city, shopped and was able to take in some of the Expo that was lighting up the city.

 

Then, an early morning flight to Cagliari only took one hour and I was then met with friendly faces at the airport, and whisked from the airport to the Chia Laguna Resort via a bumpy one hour drive.

A welcome party allowed me to catch up with my European colleagues, and to collaborate for my full day programme that I was giving the next day.

I shared my programme with my host, Dr. Elisabetta Cotti, who I have known for over 10 years. We first met at the annual Pulp Fiction conference in Krakow in 2004, where we were both presenting on the latest and greatest in endodontic technique and technology.

My morning lecture was standing room only, which is always nice to see ~ as I perform best with a large audience. When I travel abroad, the language barrier can be a challenge. Many times I present in English where the attending docs can understand enough of the information presented, as long as I speak slowly. Often translation services are provided; simultaneous translation works best. Often two translators, hopefully with dental background, translate from English to Italian as the attending docs wear headsets. With this type of translation, I can present about 90% of my material, as I have to speak more slowly than normal, allowing for a 10-15 second delay in the translation. Alternate translation is less desirable as I’m on the podium with the translator beside me. After I say a phrase or present a concept, I have to stop talking while the translator presents what I’ve just said, in Italian. Although I can present only 60% of material, this type of translation does allow me to collect my thoughts before proceeding.

The Europeans do relish their coffee breaks and relaxed socializing, and we enjoyed the requisite, two, during the morning session. I had two sold-out, hands-on afternoon session workshops, finishing around 7 pm. Course feedback was great, as all the docs learned a lot and we all had fun at the same time!

I had the next two days, off, so I explored the beaches and the local cuisine. Wine, cheese and cured meats are very popular, so “When in Rome…” Oops, I should say “When in Sardinia!”

I spent my last day touring Cagliari (check out the history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cagliari) and had a wonderful evening at Dr. Cotti’s home, in the heart of the city, cooking pasta and drinking the excellent local wine. Parting would be such sweet sorrow.

Fino alla prossima volta...


Focus on Dentistry "Dentistry Beyond Borders" PDF

 


Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 14:45 0 comments






  Monday, June 15, 2015


Is There a Dentist in the House?

 

Has anything like this ever happened to you or anyone in your family?

Someone bites down on something hard like a popcorn kernel or a candy apple, and they crack a crown. A small child running, falls, and chips a front tooth. Out of nowhere, a molar in the back of your mouth is throbbing, and your gums are red and swollen. Or your teenager is playing their soccer game of the season and is suddenly tackled by a bigger player, accidentally kicked in the mouth, and when they lift their head, all you see is a bloody mouth.

 

Guess what all of the events have in common? THEY ARE ALL HAPPENING ON A WEEKEND, A HOLIDAY OR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT! Dental problems don’t always happen between 9am and 5pm, although we as dentists certainly wish they did. For your sake and ours!

So what do we tell our patients to do in dental emergencies that happen after hours or on holidays?

First, stay calm and assess the severity of the dental emergency. A hospital emergency room is not your first choice to treat dental emergencies unless they’re life threatening, such as severe swelling causing difficulty in breathing, or a high fever indicating an infection. The best choice is to call your family dentist or oral health care professional, ASAP. Keep their business card and contact information in your wallet, or on a phone APP! Many dental offices will provide an emergency service number that you can call for immediate assistance. Some problems can be helped by warm salt water, cold compresses, and over the counter pain medication until you can be seen by your dentist.

In the meantime, know that in life, accidents and emergencies can happen, but many dental emergencies can be avoided with good oral health care habits. Regular checkups with your dentist or dental professional can help stave off many tooth and gum problems that can lead to pain, infection and tooth loss. So regular visits and proper oral health care are a must.

I always say that an ounce of prevention is a good place to start from an early age. What does that mean, exactly?  If you focus on prevention, some weekend and holiday emergencies can be avoided. My advice is to brush and floss your teeth twice a day, and see your dentist twice a year to avoid dental issues that could be quietly brewing ~ like the trauma of potential tooth loss resulting from neglect, periodontal or gum disease or from other dental and health concerns.

So, I’ll end with these words of dental wisdom: be careful when biting down on anything hard, learn to duck, and maybe a mouth guard is looking like a good investment. You come with one mouth in your lifetime, so protect and take good care of it!
 




Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to DrG@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 11:34 0 comments






  Monday, June 8, 2015


Do My Teeth Look Old in this (Mouth)?

 

In the culture we live in, everybody wants to feel good, look good and present their best façade to the outside world. Some of the time this even translates to looking young. Even when someone doesn’t admit it, people really want to not only be and feel healthy, but they want to look as youthful as possible. For some, it’s about looking physically fit. For others, it’s enjoying smooth skin and glossy hair. But for mostly everyone, good looking teeth really matter.
 

The world we face every day speaks to our reflection. We come into this world with one mouth, and two sets of teeth. Our baby teeth come in and fall out to peels of parental joy and into the hands of the tooth fairy. We then grow up with our permanent adult teeth. Now, that’s the key word, here. Permanent. They’re only permanent if take good care of them, and for the most part, your teeth should then last a lifetime. In the old days of George Washington, they didn’t. Nobody today would put up with wooden false teeth! Regular brushing, flossing and twice a year dental visits are the answer to good oral care maintenance. But you know the drill (pun intended!)

Sometimes you’re not born with those pearly whites and to keep your teeth looking as youthful as you are or feel, you need to work it. And, all teeth are not created equal, by the way. Some of us have naturally straight teeth, some have white teeth, and some have inherited some crooked teeth and some teeth that have a little natural yellow tinge to them. Then add to all of that, this thing called life. We get wobbly teeth, some teeth need to have the root removed and receive a crown, and some teeth need to be replaced with a bridge. But no worry. That’s why we add to dentist all the other important “ists.” Dental specialists who help further serve the needs of the tooth-challenged minions. They’re the all-important orthodontists, endodontists~ like myself, prosthodontists, and periodontists.

And all of them want you to keep your teeth, from babyhood though maturity, or as some folks say, old age. So, do your teeth look old? Keep them looking as young as possible, be happy you have your teeth, and enjoy smiling, eating and living it up!




Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to drg@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 13:14 0 comments






  Monday, June 1, 2015


A Beautiful Smile Opens Many Doors

 

My patients and students understand why I advocate good oral health care and beautiful smiles; they are the most important steps to proactive dental maintenance for healthy teeth and gums, an attractive appearance, and even a long life.
 

A beautiful smile is the status symbol of healthy teeth and gums, but a smile can be so much more.

A smile is the easiest and most contagious way to say “Hello.” When you smile at someone, it produces “happy” endorphins in the brain and the immediate feeling of well-being.  A smile can be the lasting impression of how you’re received and remembered in that important interview to snag your dream job ~ whether you’re right out of college, or reinventing yourself at age 60. Your smile can be the beginning of the most important and meaningful love relationship that will change your life ~ you meet, you score! And research has proven that people who smile a lot show more confidence, seem happier, earn more money in their jobs and careers, have lower blood pressure and even live longer!

What’s there NOT to smile about!

So, you’ve got that beautiful smile and you want your teeth to last you a lifetime, right? I’m here to tell you that your lifetime of a radiant smile that includes healthy teeth and gums, starts with important oral health care and preventative maintenance for taking charge of your life. That means scheduled 6 month dental checkups with your oral health care provider, brushing your teeth and flossing at least twice a day, a well-balanced and nutritional diet, limited sugar intake in food and beverages, and no smoking.

Want your teeth to stay tight, bright and white? Your regular dental checkups will help prevent gum recession and disease, fend off tooth erosion, help get rid of the dreaded coffee and red wine stains, and also help keep your heart healthier as you gracefully age.


So healthy and long life aside, late night, talk show host, Jimmy Fallon (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon) sums it up best: “Everyone looks so much better when they smile.”
 
So here’s to your smile!
 



Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to drg@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 13:14 0 comments





  Monday, 18 May 2015


Goodwill Oral Health Project to Celebrate First Graduating Class

 
 

When you are a dental educator, you are driven to share your passion for the profession with your students. You hope to pass on your skills and knowledge, of course, but more than that - you hope to instill in them a sense of social responsibility and an appreciation for the power of this profession to change lives.
 

This fall, an exceptional group of my students are set to graduate from the University of Kingston, Jamaica. This graduating class will be the first to have received specialized training from The Goodwill Oral Health Project, a philanthropic organization that brings advanced training in endodontic and general dentistry to students in developing countries.

I wanted to take a moment to reflect on these students' accomplishments, and to share my thoughts on dental philanthropy, and what this particular graduating class means to the future of dentistry in Jamaica.

Dental Outreach in Impoverished Communities

For the past 15 years, I’ve dedicated much of my time to furthering the philanthropic efforts of The Goodwill Oral Health Project. I founded this organization after visiting Jamaica with my family in the 1990s, and witnessing the dire need for oral health care in Jamaica's impoverished communities.
 
Jamaica experiences severe challenges in reducing the overall burden of diseases due to dental conditions. In fact, with approximately one dentist per 17,000 people, the majority of Jamaicans will never see a dentist.
 
It was this crisis situation that first compelled me to spearhead The Good Will Oral Health Project as a dental outreach initiative. With the overarching goal of improving Jamaica’s substandard oral health conditions, my colleagues and I would travel several times a year to clinics across Jamaica, donating free dental care to patients who otherwise might never receive it.
 
While I recognized, at the time, the importance of dental outreach in developing countries, I was convinced there had to be a more effective way for me to promote oral health in Jamaica. I understood that one of my greatest strengths was my ability to teach, and decided to reach out the local community to see if my services could be used more effectively as a dental educator.


Improving Local Patient Care through Continuing Education

Wanting to take a more collaborative approach to Jamaica's oral health care crisis, I contacted the Jamaican Dental Association to determine how best to assist with their continuing education efforts. The Head of Continuing Education for the Jamaican Dental Association, Dr. Irv Mackenzie, responded enthusiastically, asking me to give a presentation to local dentists. I expected a small group of attendees and a quick visit, but when I walked into a room full of 75 dentists, eagerly waiting to learn, I knew this was going to be something bigger.

In October, 2012, I partnered with the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) to help put its dental students on a path to a brighter future. This November, 28 of those students will make history as the first graduating class to have benefited from the specialized training provided by The Goodwill Oral Health Project.


A Lesson in Intrinsic Motivation

With only 150 dentists on an island of 2.6 million people, the need for continuing education in Jamaica is considerable. Given their lack of access to teachers, resources, and technology, these students face an uphill battle. By providing specialized training in endodontics, I was giving a new generation of dentists the skills and tools they need to help alleviate the country's oral health care crisis.

The collaboration between UTech and The Goodwill Oral Health Project has been an overwhelming success. By partnering with UTech, I was able to help its dental students not just succeed, but excel.
 
The training provided by the Goodwill Oral Health Project has made it possible for UTech students to not only gain world-class skills, but to feel, first hand, the rewards of giving back to their communities - and to learn to do it collaboratively and effectively.

Beyond training my students in new and emerging technologies, I hoped to pass on a powerful lesson in intrinsic motivation. By lending my expertise to training these students, I wanted not only to give them access to the latest knowledge and techniques, but to inspire in them a profound desire to give back to their communities to help alleviate Jamaica's oral health care crisis. I sought to show my students that oral health disparities are preventable, and that they could be part of a community-based solution to reducing these disparities.


A Collaborative Approach to Dental Philanthropy


The decision to partner with UTech enabled my organization to expand its efforts to improve local patient care beyond anything I imagined. What started out as a dental outreach program quickly transformed into a robust, far-reaching organization that was helping to educate a new generation of Jamaican dentists.
 
I believe there is great potential in collaborative efforts between local communities and philanthropic organizations like The Goodwill Oral Health Project. While such organizations are generally aware of the challenges they will face in procuring necessary equipment and materials, they are often underprepared for how difficult it can be to find skilled professionals willing to volunteer their time. As such, alliances like these must focus on fostering not only donations in money and equipment, but in recruiting skilled professionals.
 
Jamaica, for me, is only the beginning. I envision a world where oral health care is seen not as a luxury for a select few, but as an essential necessity for everyone. The Goodwill Oral Health Project continues to benefit the Jamaican people by providing UTech's dental students with advanced training in endodontics and general dentistry.
 
I am extremely proud of my UTech students, and excited about their ability to redefine how dentistry is practiced in Jamaica. It is my profound hope that they will use their world-class skills to take a leadership role in promoting oral health and bringing a new level of care to Jamaican patients.

 



Do you have a question about oral health care? We’ll answer it in a future post. Send your question to drg@drgaryglassman.com


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 13:14 0 comments






Monday, 11 May 2015

 


Can drinking red wine be good for your teeth?

 

 

My mood during the return flight to Argentina this year was celebratory, to say the least. Not only was I about to see my Argentinian friends and colleagues again, but I was about to witness, first hand, how my vineyard was progressing.
 
In October, 2014, I became the joint-owner of a 3.9 hectare vineyard in the Lujan de Cujo valley, just outside Perdriel, Argentina. It was on this picturesque, fertile land that my colleagues and I decided to take on the challenge of growing 1.3 hectares of Chardonnay, and 2.6 hectares of Malbec grape vines. A year later, the grapes had finally matured, and it was time to put them through the barreling process. I was enroute to see precisely how the aging process works, and to learn more about wine making in general - a subject that has interested me for many years.

After inspecting and exploring the estate for several hours, I was pleased to discover that the vineyard had progressed extremely well during my year away. Both the Chardonnay and the Malbec had returned a bumper crop, and we were on the verge of bottling the Malbec and corking the sparkling Chardonnay. For wine enthusiasts like myself, this was all very exciting stuff!

Many people - even those who aren’t wine enthusiasts - are aware of the studies touting the heart-healthy benefits of red wine. Recently, however, several studies have emerged (Medical News Today, Huffington Post, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry) asserting that moderate consumption of red wine may also have oral health benefits. According to these studies, chemicals found in red wine, called proanthocyanidins, contain antioxidant properties that may prevent the bacteria that causes tooth decay from sticking to saliva and teeth. Interestingly, these phytonutrients are also found in foods like grapes, apples and chocolate - good news for non-wine drinkers, I'd say!

As an oral health care expert, I'm often asked about the impact of these studies on oral health and oral hygiene. For years, we've been warned that not only does red wine stain our teeth but, because of its high sugar content, it may contribute to tooth decay. Now we're being told that red wine may actually be good for our teeth.

What do these findings mean? Do the oral health benefits of drinking red wine outweigh the risk of stained teeth and cavities?

While the results of these studies are interesting and exciting, I think the most impactful part of their findings is that they may lead to the development of dental products that contain the cavity fighting properties inherent in red wine. The news is promising, yes, but it certainly does not give anyone license to ignore the risks of stained teeth, tooth decay, and eroded enamel. Statistics show that cavities, gum disease and tooth loss affect an estimated 60 to 90 per cent of the global population. It is crucial, therefore, that you continue to take simple precautions to protect your teeth when drinking red wine.

So how do I enjoy a glass of wine without worrying about my teeth?

One of the biggest concerns people have with red wine is its teeth staining qualities. An effective way to reduce this risk is to brush your teeth "before" drinking the wine. Brushing in advance removes the plaque that builds up on the surface of the teeth. This plaque, if not removed, becomes an ideal surface on which the purple juice can stick. Remember, you want to avoid brushing immediately after drinking because the acidity from the wine is still fresh in your mouth and on your teeth. Brushing too soon can strip away some of the teeth’s useful enamel.  It’s far better to wait a few minutes, drink a glass or two of water, and then brush.
 
So - bottoms up! Take a few simple precautionary steps, and then go ahead and enjoy that glass of wine. Here's to your excellent oral health!

Other useful tips to avoid teeth stains include drinking lots of water, eating cheese, and staying away from wines that are high in acidity. What methods do you use to protect your teeth when drinking red wine? 


Posted by

Dr. Gary Glassman at 13:14 0 comments




Thursday, 11 December 2014


Don't let the Holidays get the best of you: Frugal Ways to De-Stress and Relax


If you look back to 50 years ago, one thing that will be notice was the simplicity of life that people were living. No one had cell phones or tablets, and computers weren’t a household device. Dinners were eaten as a family and life just seemed much simpler. With the evolution of technology, things took a turn. Today, you can't walk a block without seeing at least a handful of people on their cell phones. People are living lives that are way too busy, failing to realize that all we are doing is harming our minds and wellbeing. We are always too busy to engage with family and friends, but find the time to text and make daily social media statuses. Let’s be clear, I’m not saying that this lifestyle is wrong, but what I want to get across is that sometimes, once in a while it’s okay to unwind and relax from the bustling world we live in. It’s a good thing to disconnect from technology and just live in the moment, only then will we appreciate our surroundings and lives that much more.


Personally, my regular schedule doesn’t allow for much free time. My days are packed with seeing patients, travelling to host seminars around the world and attending my kids’ activities. I don’t mind the "on the go lifestyle", but sometimes it’s good to unwind and just step back from the hectic life we live. I try to give myself a day out of the month to just dedicate to myself, whether that means doing something I enjoy or something as simple as not taking too much on.


Time to relax doesn’t have to be a luxurious vacations, there are plenty of simple things you can do to clear your mind. One of my favourite ones is to turn off my phone, inconceivable to some I know, but sometimes it’s necessary!! This may seem "trivial" but believe me when I say there is a sense of freedom in turning off your phone and knowing that in that moment you are disconnected from the world. Of course this isn’t something I always do but once in a while I like to be unreachable.


I also enjoy taking long walks and hikes on my own and clearing my mind. There is something to be said about taking strolls through nature’s trail and taking in the fresh air and calming serenity. Nature truly is a beautiful thing and I highly recommend taking some time out of your day to just breathe in the fresh air and just be in your own headspace. You can take this time to reflect and really open your eyes to enjoy your surroundings.


Some other ways to just free your mind of the all the burden in your life can include: meditation, exercise, sleep, looking at old photo albums, write in a journal or even for those with the time, booking last minute travel deals and just visiting somewhere new and exotic. It’s all about what works for you.


We are, and for the most part, always will be busy. It’s inevitable. What isn’t, is finding the time to loosen up and put your feet up both literal and metaphorically and just enjoy the fruits of your labor. Everyone has a few minutes throughout the day to just sit back and relax; you’ll be doing your mind, body and soul a favor by just, for one moment today, breathing and taking it easy.


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 13:14 0 comments

 





Thursday, 16 October 2014


Dr. G Travels: Santiago


Thank goodness my flight to Santiago, Chile was for all purposes straight down south with no time difference. This time around, I got to sleep! This frequent flyer has no problem sleeping, especially after flying from the other side of the world the same day!

  



So you may be wondering why I travelled to Mendoza, Argentina?  Well, I just recently became the proud owner, with three other “strategic” partners, in a planted vineyard of 1.3 Hectares of Chardonnay and 2.6 Hectares of Malbec. Our vineyard is located smack dab in the middle of a multitude of well-known Mendoza vineyards, in the valley of Lujan de Cujo, in the town of Perdriel. The soil is so rich and so fertile that if you throw a watermelon seed into the vineyard, I’d bet my bottom dollar we would have watermelons within a very short time.

Our vineyard is called Vinedo Los Flaneurs and our Malbec will be called El Flaneurs, while our sparkling will be called Elisabeth, with an "S". It was a timely visit as our Chardonnay now a Champenois was maturing beautifully in a contracted out Champanera into an amazing sparkling wine! We had a tasting of our sparkling and even without adding the necessary sugar, it tasted amazing! After it has matured for six months in the bottle the borras sediment will be removed and we will end up with over 3000 bottles, which should yield around 350 cases. Sparking anyone?


  


My flight to Buenos Aires from Mendoza was anything but uneventful. On approach to the runway, about 30 feet from the ground, wheels up and the terminal a short distance away, the engines roared to life and the plane took off at what appeared to be a 90-degree angle straight up. The passengers along with myself started to panic. Countless scenarios ran through my head as we gained altitude back to 32,000 feet. After about 20 minutes, the captain came on over the PA system and explained in Spanish what had occurred. Have you ever had your life flash in front of your eyes?  Well mine did! However, we arrived safe, a little shook up, but safe.



I attended the COSAE Endodontic Conference, which hosts endodontists from all over Latin America and provides an opportunity for exceptional networking and learning from the most intelligent minds in our profession.
 
My half-day, fast paced presentation went smoothly and the ballroom filled with over 600 docs from around all over Latin America, resonated with appreciation for what I had to offer them with the latest and greatest in technique and technology. The next day, I gave a hands on workshop and then participated in a debate with three other world renowned endodontists on the merits of the technique that we each advocate.
All in all, the COSAE Endodontic conference was very successful and I look forward to returning to this world-class city real soon. Thanks to Steve Jones, VP of Sales and Marketing for SybronEndo and one of my strategic partners in the Vineyard.
 
Back up at 32,000 feet and heading back home. Ill arrive in Toronto at 5:30 am in the morning, just enough time to go home, unpack, throw a load of laundry in the machine then go pick up my son Cory and take him to London, Ontario to help him get settled in for his four years at the University of Western, Ontario where he got accepted into the Ivey Business School.

Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 09:39 0 comments





Dr. G Travels: Hong Kong




It alt started Thursday August 21, 2014 with my usual "Thursday Rush" to Pearson International Airport in Toronto. I was on my way to Hong Kong, where I went for a full 48 hours to speak at the HKIDEAS Dental Conference. One of my "retreats from the real world" is when the plane door closes, my smart phone goes into Airplane Mode and I am disconnected from civilization, as I know it. I relish these moments when I have 15 hours of "undistracted time" to catch up on unread emails, fine tune and polish my presentations, and work on an article or two that I am planning to publish in one of the many journals worldwide that I have previously been published in. Simultaneous to this, I get to watch several "first run" movies and enjoy a few nice meals served to me in my "pod" in business class.  

Fifteen hours later, having slept maybe a couple of hours, we touch down very smoothly at Hong Kong International Airport. In true "lifestyles of the rich and famous" fashion, an all too professional limo driver who had an electronic placard with my name on it met me. Whisked into the limo, equipped with wireless, it was only a 30-minute drive to the Grand Hyatt hotel. At this point in my travelling life, as long as the room is clean, quiet and bedbug free, I’m ok with simplicity however; the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong on Harbour Road was anything but plain and simple. It boasted a gorgeous view of Hong Kong Harbour and had all the amenities one would need. You could essentially live in your room for at least one month! Always being offered to be wined and dine in the most exclusive restaurants by the powers that be of the local dental society, I opted for a light dinner in the hotel with my SybronEndo host, Steve Shepherd and my good friend, Hong Kong endodontist, Alex Chan.

I was up early for my daily morning workout and a breakfast buffet that is so typical of fine Asian Hotels. On the menu were fresh fruit just picked at the market an hour before, dim sum galore and made to order omelets. It was hard to resist eating all morning long but duty called, as my full day presentation would begin in 30 minutes.

In the lecture theatre, the crowd of dentists slowly filled the soon to be SRO (Standing Room Only) 400 doctor capacity, as I worked feverishly with the video technician to get my Mac computer to sync with the high-resolution projector. I had visions of one of my very first presentation I had given years ago to EndoBaja in Ensenada, Mexico. At that presentation, my brand new laptop was incompatible with the projector provided. This was a nightmare as smoke billowed from my computer as the doctors in attendance looked on in horror! Thankfully, it all worked out fine in Hong Kong and the presentation went without a hitch.


That Sunday morning couldn’t have come sooner as it offered me the opportunity to work out and chill until I had to catch my afternoon flight back to Toronto. One of my favourite things to do when I have the time is to read as many newspapers as I can while sipping lattes or cappuccinos. I had the time so I did just that.

It was now time to say goodbye to Hong Kong as my time here had now come to an end. This flight was long, which was to be expected but I made it home safe and sound. However, my travels weren’t over just yet. I arrived at 6:30 p.m. Sunday night, went home, unpacked, repacked and headed back to the airport to catch my 11:00 pm flight to Santiago, Chile. Some would venture to say INSANE but I love the action, I love the travel and I love the experiences gained from both. These are the reasons what drive me and define me. Next stop…Chile!
 



Sunday, 17 August 2014

Dr. G on a Mission!

 


I want to share a most special and eventful visit that took place just last month!  I traveled to Jamaica with a team and was able to get the message across of the link between oral health care and an individual’s overall health via lectures and dialogue with the media.  Myself and fellow dentist Dr. Boksman went on a Goodwill Mission and were able to oversee our students providing services for people living in under-served communities.  It was undoubtedly a fulfilling experience.  Over 300 people were treated on one day along with an additional group on the following day.  All of these services were provided free of charge and we were told that the services amounted to over 2.3 million JMD! Its great that we were able to be of assistance and reach out to those under-served areas.


    (Students perform tooth extractions…)

    (Dr. Boksman and I #GetToTheRootOfIt)

Another highlight was the local media’s interest in the University of Technologies School of Oral Health Sciences and their initiatives and overall influence surrounding oral health on island.  Stories were published by the main media houses there and it was a great way to get oral health information out to the public as it’s a known issue that there generally isn’t enough emphasis placed on dental care on the island. (Below are links to some of the articles that were also posted online!)






In any event, it was amazing returning to the School of Oral Health Sciences and seeing how much it has grown in terms of its infrastructure, and student population in such a short period of time.  It only continues to grow and we are all grateful for the assistance of the donors that contributed for our goodwill mission and beyond because without them none of this would be possible. 

I look forward to 2015 when the first batch of Dental Students will be graduating!  That will be a GREAT moment and I am sure they will have many more to come. 


Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 22:50 1 comments





Monday, 4 August 2014


On Tuesday morning I administered the final exam to the second year dental students. I am happy and proud to report that they all passed with flying colors. I am looking forward to maintaining ongoing communication with the students and faculty to make sure the learning continues in the most efficient way. I will be returning in the fall when this class enters 3rd year dentistry and they start working with live patients. I will be able to supervise them along with the other faculty members. I can not stress enough how special of an experience this has been for me and how good it feels to be a part of helping Jamaica improve its dental care for those in need.

Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 15:39 0 comments





Dr. G In the Media


I returned to Jamaica at the beginning of April to continue with the didactic portion of the course that I had started in February. Luckily this time I was able to bring with me all the technological equipment that customs had not let through before. It was such a relief that it went smoothly this time around so that we could complete the laboratory section of this course. The first day, Sunday, I spent the majority of the time doing a review of cleaning and shaping the root canal system, as well as obturation using warm vertical condensation of gutta percha. The students were not able to afford to purchase nickel titanium files that are necessary to create the necessary shapes of the root canals, so customs allowed me to bring down a generous, personal supply of the files from my own office in Toronto. The students spent the day doing the laboratory exercises and becoming familiar with all the various techniques that were taught. Everyone passed the laboratory component with flying colors. On Monday Dr. Brynne Reece, who is a visiting dentist enrolled in the endodontic program at the University of Maryland, came down for an externship program at U Tech. I spent one full day “up close and personal” giving her a crash course on how to do endodontics predictably and painlessly. The day wrapped up by performing a live patient demonstration to reinforce the concepts and techniques taught in the morning.

 


 

Happy New Year everyone!!! I've been EXTREMELY busy over the past few months, working at my practice, as well as doing a lot of traveling for lectures and conferences. Along with many really great experiences that I'm proud of, it has also come to my attention how much lack of awareness there is about the importance of oral health and its direct relation to general health. Recently, I have taken it upon myself to try and get this message across. Thru both social media and traditional media outlets, I have made myself available for interviews, discussions and educational information, thru my own personal interviews, regarding this matter. Please join/follow me for my daily tips and researched information and help spread the word:

Here are some links so you can follow me:
                         Twitter: @doctorg007
                         Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drgaryglassmantoronto?fref=ts
                         Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/DrGaryGlassman?feature=watch









Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 10:07 3 comments



Sunday, 21 April 2013


The Return of Dr. G: 1 Year later and the Future of Jamaica is Shining Brighter


This past February, 2013, I returned to Jamaica to teach endodontics to the 2nd year class at UTech in Kingston. This will be the graduating class of 2016. It was great to temporarily escape this year's harsh winter in Toronto and be back in Kingston where I was greeted by both new and familiar faces. I was also pleased that there were very no technical issues this year and everything was smooth sailing. Here is a picture of the class of 2016 and myself. They are a warm, energetic and highly motivated group of students. Their eagerness and good nature justify why this is all worthwhile for me.




On my last day in Kingston, I was fortunate enough to attend a conference for the launch of the Diabetes and Oral Health program. This is organized by the University Diabetes Outreach Programme (UDOP) in collaboration with The University of West Indies and University of Technology Jamaica.  At the last minute I was also asked to speak at the conference and give my insights on this topic. Since I did not have a lot of time to prepare, I quickly gathered any background knowledge I already had, mixed with some internet research. I ended up giving a lecture on the relationship between diabetes and oral care and vice versa. During my talk, I also made reference to the incredible things Dr. McKenzie has done and how the UTech dental school has set their sights on adopting the best standards for dental education in the world. I made it clear that it is also my own personal goal to contribute to that same objective.


Below you will see a picture of myself in between the Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson and Dr. Irving MacKenzie, Dean of the UTech School of Dentistry and Jamaica's Chief Dental Officer.  Below that,  one of myself with the President of The University of Technology, Jamaica, Professor the Honourable Errol Morrison. Fig. 2








I look forward to returning to returning next month, in May, to not only continue with the second year grogramme but also to attend and speak at the Jamaica Dental Association Annual meeting in Montego Bay.



Dear Readers: Dr. G can now be found on Twitter. Look for his daily tweets of interesting facts, funny jokes and lots of inspiration. follow @doctorg007 ..... license to drill!

Posted by Dr. Gary Glassman at 22:11 7 comments











As an endodontic specialist and oral health expert, Dr.G continually receives invitations to share his knowledge and experience at universities, seminars and lectures around the world. Click the link below to learn more. See all of the latest coverage and interviews in the media.

   - PIE Magazine -  August 2014
 
 
 
 
Make sure to check out Dr.G on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to receive the latest news and trends in the oral health field and tips on keeping your smile shining. Leave a comment, status or a post with the #TheRootOfIt and be a part of the conversation.








To health, happiness and

opening wide
















Marcy Cornblum
Special to QMI Agency
 

It is not unusual for dentist Dr. Gary Glassman (www.rootcanals.ca/www.drgaryglassman.com) to speak at the Society of Aesthetic Dentistry in Romania, or run a course called Train the Trainer in Prague. He is also involved as a professor in the new dental school in Kingston, Jamaica.