November 22nd, 2017
Your opinions matter to Dr. Don Connolly and Dr. Stanley Sokolow and our team! Our blog is meant to be an educational channel, but we always want to know what things you’re interested in learning more about. After all, our blog is here for you to enjoy!
We’d like to encourage you to send us any ideas about what you want to see more of. No idea is too small! Whether it involves a specific treatment or advice on what kind of toothpaste you should use, we’d love to hear from you about it.
To share your thoughts with us, simply leave your comments below or on our Facebook page! You can also fill out a comment card the next time you visit our Santa Cruz, Aptos, or Watsonville, CA office!
November 15th, 2017
Some people choose bottled water over tap because they think it’s cleaner. Some do it out of convenience: It’s easy to grab a bottle of water to take with you for the day as you run out the door or hop in your car.
Whatever the reason, bottled water has been coming in ahead of tap water for the last couple of years. What many people may not know is that choosing bottled water over tap can actually be detrimental to your dental health.
Most brands of bottled water fail to include a vital ingredient: fluoride. Fluoride plays an important role in helping maintain good oral health because it helps strengthen our teeth. Stronger teeth mean a lower chance of tooth decay, and who doesn’t want that?
When we choose bottled water over tap water, we deprive our pearly whites of something they might very well need.
The good news is that the American Dental Association has endorsed both community water fluoridation and products that contain fluoride as a safe way to prevent tooth decay. If bottled water happens to be the preference for you or your family, you don’t necessarily have to force everyone to start drinking tap water.
Just check the label and make sure the brand you purchase contains fluoride.
It’s essential to remember that switching up the water you drink isn’t going to put you on the fast track to perfect teeth, though. Flossing and brushing three times a day is vital!
If you have any questions about fluoride or your dental health, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Don Connolly and Dr. Stanley Sokolow at our Santa Cruz, Aptos, or Watsonville, CA office!
November 8th, 2017
If you’ve visited Donald P. Connolly, DDS, then there’s a good chance you’re looking to perfect your smile by straightening your teeth with braces. At some point during your treatment, you may need to use elastics, otherwise known as rubber bands, for a certain period. These are used to apply additional pressure that will move your teeth in the right direction.
Placement of the elastics is specific to each patient’s teeth. These small rubber bands stretch over the tiny loops on both the top and bottom brackets. At first, Dr. Don Connolly and Dr. Stanley Sokolow may recommend you wear the elastics both day and night for an extended time.
You may be told to switch only to nighttime wear once the teeth are set in the correct position. By consistently wearing the elastics, you can shorten the overall time your braces will have to be on.
The elastics are made from medical-grade latex. If you have an allergy to latex, make sure to let Dr. Don Connolly and Dr. Stanley Sokolow know, so you can be given an alternate material. We will show you how to take elastics on and off when they’re given to you at your appointment.
You should remove them when you eat so they don’t become overstretched or break. It’s important not to overstretch the bands, and always to replace them if they break. Eventually it will become a familiar habit to carry the bands around with you for times when this might happen.
The Do’s and the Don’ts
- DO … always wash your hands before removing or replacing the rubber bands.
- DO … call us if you run out of elastics.
- DO … get in the habit of carrying around extra rubber bands as replacements.
- DON’T … double up on elastics because this can exert too much pressure on your teeth and could actually harm the roots.
- DON’T … overstretch the rubber bands or they will lose strength and become ineffective.
If you were recently given elastics as well as your braces, feel free to ask any questions during your appointment, or call our Santa Cruz, Aptos, or Watsonville, CA office any time. Using elastics correctly is one more step in your journey to a perfect smile!
November 1st, 2017
Halloween is a time to enjoy delicious candies you might avoid the rest of the year. Youngsters who get to dress up and ask for sweet treats out trick-or-treating cherish this holiday.
If you have braces on, Dr. Don Connolly and Dr. Stanley Sokolow would like you still to have fun and celebrate Halloween this year!
It’s easy to get carried away on Halloween by eating too much candy at once. Most parents try to prevent the all-too-common sugar high their kids experience on Halloween night. While there are certain candies that should be avoided, not all candy will cause problems for kids with braces. After trick-or-treating, you could trade unsafe candies with siblings and/or friends so they don’t miss out on the sugar buzz.
Dr. Don Connolly and Dr. Stanley Sokolow and our team have come up with a list of teeth-friendly treats that should keep you from worrying about breaking your braces. We also came up with a list of candies to avoid, so as to save you a trip to our Santa Cruz, Aptos, or Watsonville, CA office. Remember to be extra careful when you indulge this Halloween!
- Solid chocolate: Milk, white, or dark
- Nougat-filled candy bars: Three Musketeers
- Powdery candy: Sweet Tarts, Pixie Stix
- Mint-flavored candy
- Malted milk balls
- Soft cookies
- Peanut butter crackers
Avoid These Treats
- Sticky candy: Starbursts, toffee, Tootsie Rolls
- Hard candy: Suckers, Jolly Ranchers
- Fruit chews
- Caramel apples
When in doubt, ask Dr. Don Connolly and Dr. Stanley Sokolow if a particular candy is safe to eat when you have braces. We hope you enjoy your Halloween sweets, and look forward to seeing you at your next appointment! Happy Halloween!