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Maintaining good dental hygiene is important for keeping a healthy smile. Keeping good habits is essential for this but keeping bad habits can ruin your hard work. Below are the top 5 bad habits destroying your smile.

Top 5 Bad Dental Habits

  1. Not Flossing Regularly. Flossing at least once a day is critical to overall dental health. In fact, it is recommended to floss after every meal if at all possible for optimal dental health. Flossing regularly removes the food particles and cavity causing bacteria that build up in and around our teeth. Some patients may notice slight bleeding upon flossing this is a sign of periodontal disease. In its earliest form, called gingivitis, this is reversible. Speak to your dentist if this bleeding upon flossing persists as this is a sign of periodontal disease. In its earliest form, called gingivitis, this is reversible. Once it progresses, there will be damage to your oral health.
  2. Not Changing Tooth Brush Regularly. It is recommended that you replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months and definitely no more than every 6 months. Your toothbrush will wear down over time and not be as effective. It will also have harmful bacteria build up over time that can wreak havoc on your dental health. Another tip is to change toothbrush after being sick (for example the flu or a common cold).
  3. Crunching and Sucking On Ice Cubes. Some people have the bad habit of chewing the ice after finishing their drink. This can be very harmful to your teeth due to the brittleness and cold temperatures of the ice cubes. This can cause microfractures in the enamel of your teeth. Over time this can lead to big problems, like fractures of teeth and tooth decay.
  4. Grinding Your Teeth. This is also called Bruxism. It is quite common and is usually brought on by stress. Many do this at night and are not even aware of the damage they are causing to their smile. Over time, the cusps of your teeth will wear down causing bite issues, fractured teeth, and tooth decay. In severe cases, it can also cause temperomandibular joint (TMJ) issues. A simple fix for this is a night guard to wear during sleep to protect your teeth and keep them healthy.
  5. Using The Wrong Tooth Brush And Technique. A hard bristled toothbrush along with an aggressive brushing technique can cause irreversible damage to your teeth and gums. It is recommended that you use a soft bristled toothbrush and gently brush your teeth in a circular motion at a 45-degree angle. Using a sawing, back and forth motion can cause the gums to recede, and can expose the root of the tooth. If the underlying material of your teeth (Dentin) is exposed it will make your teeth extremely sensitive. This can be quite painful.

Bad Dental Habits Conclusion

Maintaining good dental habits is all about routine. Once we get into a routine it is easy to keep our smiles healthy for a life time. It is important to discuss these issues with your dentist and correct them as soon as possible to avoid long term damage.

Liver cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the cells of your liver. Our liver is an organ that is about the size of a football. Your liver is located in the upper right portion of your abdomen. Your liver sits just beneath your diaphragm and above your stomach. Liver cancer is actually fairly rare with less than 200,000 cases in US each year.

Cancer that spreads to the liver is more common than cancer beginning in the liver cells. Cancer that begins in another area of the body (breast, lung or colon) and then spreads to the liver is called metastatic cancer rather than liver cancer. This type of cancer is named after the organ in which it began. For example if it begins in the colon it is referred to as metastatic colon cancer.

Signs And Symptoms Of Liver Cancer

Many people do not show any signs or symptoms in the initial stages of primary liver cancer. Signs and symptoms to be on the look out for include:

  • Loss of weight without dieting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • General weakness and fatigue
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Yellow discoloration of your skin and the whites of your eyes (also called jaundice)
  • White, chalky stools
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Good Dental Health Can Equal Good Overall Health

Liver Cancer Risk Factors

Factors that increase the risk of primary liver cancer include:

  • Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C Infection. Long term infection with the hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus has been known to increase your risk of liver cancer.
  • Cirrhosis Of The Liver. Cirrhosis is a progressive and irreversible condition causes scar tissue to form in your liver. The presence of this scarring increases your chances of developing primary liver cancer.
  • Genetics. These diseases include hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease.
  • Diabetes. Statistically those with diabetes have a higher chance of developing liver cancer than those who are not diabetic.
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. An accumulation of fat in the liver increases the risk of liver cancer.
  • Exposure to aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are poisons produced by molds that grow on crops that are stored poorly. Crops, such as grains and nuts, can become contaminated with aflatoxins, which can end up in foods made of these products.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption. Over consumption of alcohol over many years can lead to irreversible liver damage and increase your risk of liver cancer.

Dental Health Link To Liver Cancer

A recent scientific study completed at Queen’s University in Belfast found a substantial link between poor oral health and liver cancers. The study included 469,628 people and investigated an oral health link with liver, colon, rectum, and pancreatic cancer. There were no significant links for colon, rectum , and pancreatic cancer but there was a link with liver cancer.

Of the 469,628 participants, 4,069 developed gastrointestinal cancer during the 6 year follow up. In 13% of these cases, patients were in poor oral health. Participants with poor oral health were more likely to be younger, female, living in deprived socioeconomic areas and consumed less than two portions of fruit and vegetables per day.

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Eat A Healthy Diet Including Fruits And Vegetables

The biological mechanisms by which poor oral health may be more strongly associated with liver cancer, rather than other digestive cancers, was not determined by this study. Researchers believe one possible explanation may be the potential role of the oral and gut microbiome in development of disease. One of the functions of the liver is to help with the elimination of bacteria from the human body. When the liver is damaged by diseases (this can include hepatitis, cirrhosis or cancer), liver function will decline and bacteria will survive for longer and therefore have the potential to cause more harm. One such bacteria, Fusobacterium nucleatum, originates in the oral cavity but its role in liver cancer is unclear. It is obvious further studies will be needed but this leads scientists down a path to possibly deciphering this type of cancer development.

Another theory in explaining the higher cancer risk due to poor oral health suggests that participants with poor oral health (including missing teeth) may change their diet, consuming softer and potentially less nutritious foods, which in turn influence the risk of liver cancer.

Liver Cancer And Oral Health Conclusion

The overall survival rate for liver cancer is about 18%. There are many factors that go into the survival rate but that number is quite sobering. Dental health has been linked to other systemic diseases (alzheimer’s disease and heart disease) recently as well. Evidence is mounting that dental health is vital to maintaining good overall health. See your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings to stay healthy for a lifetime of smiles!



As we are in the middle of the Holiday season there are lots of tempting treats to pick on. Most are okay in moderation but some are likely to create problems for your dental health. Issues that could be created include tooth decay and even fractured teeth. Below are a listing of some to be careful of:

Popcorn. An old holiday favorite usually eaten at the movies but around holiday time regular old popcorn isn’t good enough We now add coated caramel on top. Under normal circumstances popcorn presents dental challenges for our teeth due to biting on popcorn kernels and popcorn husks getting lodged between teeth. Those pesky popcorn kernels have been known to cause broken teeth and fracture fillings. Add the caramel and it is a recipe for disaster as the caramel masks the kernels and sticks in and around your teeth. This can break a tooth, or create an environment with increased risk for development of tooth decay. So think twice and beware if indulging in this holiday favorite.

Dried Fruit. Seems like this would be a healthy snack but the sugars in the dried fruit are concentrated and their dry texture makes them stick longer to teeth. This allows acid producing bacteria in your mouth to have a chance to work on your tooth enamel. Be smart, and floss after or chose fresh fruit instead.

White Flour Crackers. We love these crackers with cheese spreads as a pre holiday meal snack. Did you know the bleached white flour turns almost immediately into sugar, which is food for the bacteria in your mouth to create an acid filled environment for tooth decay. Choose whole grain versions of these favorite crackers for better dental health as well as general health.

Candy Canes. A traditional favorite that can also cause fractures to teeth if you choose to bite into them. Sucking on hard candy makes the sugar acids linger longer in your mouth. Break off a small piece, and drink water after.

Christmas cookies and fudge.These are hard to pass up, especially at a party! Remember that very high sugar content, white flour and the stickiness are the contributors to tooth decay. Try eating some carrots or celery directly after you partake in these sweet treats.

Peanut brittle. Some peanut brittle is harder or stickier than others. You can pull out a crown or filling or break a tooth. Try moistening a small piece in your mouth to soften it before chewing. You will certainly need to floss after this snack!

Dental Hygiene Tips for Holidays

Drink Water. Plenty of it to swish and rinse your mouth.This will reduce the acid producing sugars and food debris from holiday snacking.

Crunch on raw veggies. They will help clear the stickiness and stimulate salivary flow.

Brush and Floss After Snacking. Brushing and flossing after snacking will neutralize the acid build up and not allow the tooth enamel to be broken down.

Enjoy the Holidays, just use your judgement to make good choices. You can still eat the special foods you love, just do it wisely. Remember, smiles are contagious, spread some holiday cheer with your beautiful smile!



Holiday season is a time of great joy bringing families and loved ones together from all points around the globe. It is also a time of over indulging on holiday sweets and treats. The consumption of these cookies and candies have the potential to create some real damage to your dental health. So what about stuffing your loved one’s stockings with gifts that can help them through this time. These can include electric tooth brushes, travel toothbrush kits, flossers, and sugar free gum.

Eating foods that are high in sugar, without proper oral care, can result in tooth decay and cavities. What better way to counteract the extra sugars and starches we often eat during the holidays than, to give your friends and family great gifts to care for their teeth.

If not removed by brushing or other means, sugars in the mouth can contribute to tooth decay. Naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth, form a colorless, sticky film called plaque. Cavity-causing organisms within plaque feed on sugar and turn it into acid, which attacks tooth enamel and leads to tooth decay.

Dental Health Stocking Stuffers

-Electric Toothbrush. This could be a great gift for loved ones . An electric toothbrush works far better to remove plaque than a manual brush. Most of us enjoy brushing more with a rotary brush, and brush longer! Electric brushes are great for anyone, but especially for youngsters and elderly. Dexterity,  ability to see, and, boredom make manual brushing difficult to do properly.Electric toothbrushes do most of the work for you making it easier to maintain dental hygiene.

-Sugar Free Gum. Chewing gum is a great way to keep your teeth clean especially since it increases saliva in the mouth to counteract the food debris, plaque, and wash away the acids produced by bacteria. Try filling a jar with different flavors of gum and adding a pretty bow!

Waterpik. Water flossing is faster, easier and almost as effective to traditional flossing. A great way to keep your teeth and gums healthy into the new year.

Travel kits. Many of us travel for the holidays or work. A nice colorful zipper bag with new oral hygiene items, and perhaps a little note inside reminding them you’ll miss them while they are away.

Flossers. There are many different types of flossers available, most of us don’t have more than one. Your gift would be great to keep in the office or car.

Teeth Whitening strips, gel, pen. Most of us dream of having a whiter smile, but tend not to spend the extra money to whiten. They will think of you everytime they flash their bright smile.

-Gift Certificate for Dental Services. This has been available for quite some time but generally reserved for teeth whitening or other cosmetic dentistry services. Why not use it for preventive treatment as well. Have a special someone who has not been to the dentist in awhile? This could be the perfect gift to get them back on track of their dental health.

Happy Holidays to Everyone!

While Dental gifts may not be as popular as video games or ipods they do show you care! It is  important to get on track to good dental health, and overall health. Your loved ones know how special you are, and always want the best for you. What shows that better, than thoughtful gifts that keep them healthy? Enjoy the holidays, and spread joy with your smile!