Posted by: Transform Limiting Beliefs | December 12, 2013

Dental Floss: Top 10 Handy Uses for the Holidays!

Everyone knows that flossing your teeth is an essential part of the daily oral wellness routine.  But did you know that floss has a plethora of other uses, especially around the house this holiday season?  Here are our favorites:

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  1. Ornament String: Yep, use it to hang Mary-Lou’s homemade Santa right on the tree.
  2. Thread:  The holidays mean craft projects, so think of dental floss as the perfect heavy weight thread for buttons and bows.
  3. Tree-trimming Garland String: Pop some popcorn and start decorating with style.
  4. Shoelace Replacement: Winter means wet boots and floss makes a great emergency shoelace.
  5. Beading String:  If you’re into making homemade beaded necklaces, earrings or bracelets for gifts, try floss as your base.
  6. Cake Cutter:  Floss does a beautiful job making clean, smooth slices of cake for your holiday parties.  Just be sure to use a piece that exceeds the width of the cake you’re cutting.
  7. Clothesline: Holiday visitors often need a place to dry personal items and dental floss makes a simple temporary clothesline.
  8. Cookie Remover:  Want an easy way to slide warm cookies off a tray? Try floss.
  9. Preservation of Old Photos:  Removing old photos from degraded albums can be risky, but slide floss between the picture and the page it’s glued to, and Great-Grandma’s photo will stay intact.
  10. Plant Support: If the Poinsettia is getting droopy, tie the droopy stems together with floss.

Do you have other favorite uses for dental floss?  Share!  And remember to choose eco-friendly floss brands like Radius, Toms of Maine, and Eco-Dent  and to have enough on hand so that the whole family stays in the happy habit of flossing every day.

Posted by: Transform Limiting Beliefs | December 5, 2013

Protect Your Smile with a BPA-free Mouth Guard

If you’re planning on hitting the slopes this winter, or are into contact sports, be sure you protect your teeth with a custom-fabricated mouth guard.  But before you run out to a drug store, be aware that most sold there contain Bisphenol-A, or BPA, a chemical of increasing concern.


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Why?  BPA’s are known to be estrogenic, and can easily travel through cell membranes binding to and stimulating estrogen receptors.  While our bodies naturally produce estrogen, an excess of it has been linked to a range of health problems, including some cancers.  We should all seek to protect ourselves from further exposure to BPAs, as the material has long been used in the liners of canned food and in water bottles.  BPAs are even present in as many as 80% of cash register receipts.

Green dentists are particularly conscious about materials choices and many offer lab fabricated mouth guards which are free from BPAs.  Dentist-made mouth guards provide the best protection against injury to your teeth, and are also typically more comfortable as they are designed just for you. One BPA-free material used for mouth guards is Eastman’s Tritan copolyester, the same material used in newer versions of Camel Back products and Nalgene water bottles.  Also, Invisalign® retainers do not contain Bisphenol-A.

Make it a point to talk to your dentist or hygienist about whether a mouth guard is the protection you need this winter sports season.  Get one that’s BPA-free and you’ll give your whole body something to smile about.

Posted by: Transform Limiting Beliefs | November 26, 2013

Green Tips to Lighten Your Footprint this Thanksgiving

As many of us turn our thoughts to gatherings of family and friends to celebrate the season, now is a great time to make sure your celebration is as light on the planet as possible.  Here are our favorite tips:

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  • Take stock.   Literally.  Before you run out to the grocery store with your list in hand, shop in your own cupboards first.  There are often treasures hidden on the shelves in our homes. It’s a good time to make Grandma’s cranberry sauce recipe with that extra bag of cranberries you froze last year.  In addition to helping the planet, you’ll save money too.
  • Local rules.  The original Thanksgiving was literally a celebration of local bounty: beautiful corn harvested nearby, wild turkeys from local fields.  Check out these delicious and creative Thanksgiving menus for multiple regions in North America that feature ingredients all sourced within 100 miles.
  • Offset it.  Whether you’re driving an hour to Aunt Millie’s or crossing an ocean to be with loved ones, you can offset the carbon your travel generates.  Terrapass has a simple calculator  you can use to find out just how many pounds of CO2 your trip contributes to the atmosphere.  Once armed with this data, you can purchase offsets that support verified renewable energy and forestry projects.
  • Get Creative.  If you’re planning a big dinner, consider centerpieces, name tags or placemats that are hand-made.  Real pumpkins, gourds and leaves from the yard make a festive centerpiece that will biodegrade, not contribute to overflowing landfills.  Involve kids in creating nametags for your holiday table that are trimmed with acorns, twigs or fabric scraps.
  • Remember gratitude.  Before the commercialism of the “holidays” moves into full swing, Thanksgiving is a perfect time to reflect on what really matters in your life.  Maybe you are grateful for your health, the support of a dear friend, or the work you are able to do.  Whatever fills your heart your gratitude, be sure to take some time this season to really acknowledge how blessed you are in this life.

Posted by: Transform Limiting Beliefs | October 9, 2013

Green is Cool

Smart phone communication - Stock ImageWhat if 9 out of 10 patients loved your green office so much they were evangelists for your practice, using social media to tell their friends to come and see you?   What if those same patients were willing to pay more for services in your green dental office?  Music to your ears, right?

A brand new international study of 21,000+ consumers concludes that there is a burgeoning world-wide market of 2.5 billion consumers like that, and they all have teeth!

Blowing the lid off traditional assumptions about how best to market sustainable offerings, this study shows that consumers seek green options not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is the cool thing to do.  These consumers, called Aspirationalists, are materialists who define themselves in part by the brands they love, yet believe they have a responsibility to choose products and services that have a positive planetary impact.

These Aspirational consumers will be excited about CAD-CAM restorations because they like seeing their restoration take shape before their eyes in a matter of minutes.  Tell them you’re saving the planet by eschewing impression materials and the carbon associated with a second visit and they’ll like that too.  But the cool factor of restorations in an hour will be what sends them to their smart phones to post a picture of their new tooth.

Check out the study and let us know how you’ll tweak your practice marketing.  This could be a game changer.

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This is guest post brought to you by DentRx, the flexible, BPA-free nightguard specialists.

With the kids back in school and busy fall schedules upon us, many of us express our stress by grinding our teeth when we sleep.  Luckily, there are planet-friendly solutions available to help.

Teeth-grinding is no joking matter if it’s ever affected you or someone you love. It can have serious consequences including flaking of tooth enamel, which requires costly veneer replacement. Damage to the joints of the jaw is another persistent concern, as well as earaches, headaches and face pain.

Happily for almost all patients, a remedy exists that requires neither surgery nor medication — the night guard. Custom made to the individuals mouth and bite, a night guard protects and cushions, preventing damage to tooth enamel and joint stress. Some patients who wear night guards even find that the grinding reflex tails off or vanishes over time. Also, the device is usually covered by many dental plans.

There’s one concern for green dentists and their patients, however – night guards are made of plastic. And plastic still means BPA. Bisphenol A is a synthetic compound, a monomer of polycarbonate used in plastic manufacturing. It is an endocrine-mimicking chemical linked to a long, long list of health concerns, from cancer to thyroid trouble, even when present in vanishingly small amounts. It’s banned from use in baby bottles in the European Union and Canada. Here in the U.S., consumers have forced it out of infant formula packaging, and some food companies have removed it from their containers. It’s not something you want leaking into your body all night long.

“Our night guards have always been BPA-free,” says DentRx Dental Lab owner Hank Owen, “but now patients are actively seeking out a BPA-free alternative to the night guards most dentists provide.” DentRx’s flexible Talon® Nightguard is entirely BPA-free, and it’s made from semi-hard thermoplastic that softens after only 20 seconds of exposure to warm water. Sleep is all the more precious when you don’t have the added stress of wondering whether preventing one health problem might contribute to another. Insisting on a BPA-free night guard is also one more way to exert pressure on the marketplace to clean up its act and get rid of these troubling and unnecessary chemicals.

Posted by: Transform Limiting Beliefs | September 25, 2013

Yoga Flow for the Dental Pro

This post is brought to you by Dr. David Hennington, certified yoga instructor and owner of Trade Winds Dental

The daily physical, mental and emotional challenges of the dental profession can take a serious toll on our bodies and minds. A regular yoga routine helps alleviate these stressors and brings numerous benefits to the practitioner.  These include:

  • An improved ability to deal with difficult situations with a greater sense of calm;
  • Increased strength and flexibility of both body and mind
  • Mitigation of the musculoskeletal concerns commonly associated with the dental profession.

Because of my personal experience with the benefits of yoga as a dentist, I decided to share its benefits with my colleagues by developing a yoga sequence specifically designed to address many of the physical/mental/emotional issues that are commonly experienced by dental team members.

Never been to a yoga class? No problem! This sequence is friendly for the beginner and seasoned yogi alike, and is a great introduction if this is your first yoga experience.

Practicing portions of this sequence can be done in as little as 15 minutes a day. The set can also be extended partially or to full length for a greater overall effect. It’s a great way to start or end the day and prepare your mind and body for doing the kind of dentistry you love to do!

Posted by: Transform Limiting Beliefs | September 12, 2013

The Problem with Plastic

ImageRemember that scene in the movie The Graduate, where a young Dustin Hoffman is advised that plastics are the wave of the future?  Well fast forward 40 years and we now know that plastics, while convenient, have created a massive trash problem for the world, particularly our oceans.

Take the ubiquitous plastic water bottle.  In America alone, we use 37 billion water bottles a year.  That’s more 100 single use bottles per man, woman and child, per year.  Worse, more than 85% of those plastic bottles are not recycled.  Many end up in the sea, where they become part of one of the floating masses of trash that are imperiling our oceans.

The longest studied mass of sea trash is called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which was first discovered in 2009. This garbage patch is estimated to be more than 260,000 square miles, about the size of the great state of Texas, which represents almost 10% of the land mass of the US. Life giving plankton is down by 30% in the areas around the patch, and it contains more than 3.5 million tons of our garbage, floating out there, at sea.  This is a mass of trash equivalent to almost 80,000 humpback whales!

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch contains all manner of trash, from plastic water bottles, to kids’ toys that were abandoned on the beach, to toothbrushes which humans carelessly forgot to recycle.

There is no “away” on this one, small blue planet.  Please do your part to keep plastic trash out of our oceans by choosing reusable items wherever possible, and by always properly disposing your plastic waste.

Posted by: Transform Limiting Beliefs | August 20, 2013

Good for the Practice & the Environment: Recycling Used X-Ray Systems

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Guest post from Bryan Delano,  Renew Digital 

Whether you’re ready to upgrade your x-ray or cone beam system or dispose of a system that no longer serves your practice needs, there’s a solution that’s a “win” for you and the environment.  Instead of trashing your old system, or buying new, consider purchasing a pre-owned digital X-ray or cone beam unit, and recycling your old one. In so doing, you’ll be doing your part to keep equipment that still has a useful life out of our already overcrowded landfills, while you realize significant savings.

Purchasing pre-owned digital X-ray equipment makes it easier for practitioners still using film to make the move to digital technology while also eliminating the dangerous chemicals and waste associated with traditional imaging. In addition, used dental equipment is a more economical and ecologically-friendly way to equip a second practice location or to upgrade to cone beam technology. Since some pre-owned X-ray companies provide a “new purchase experience” with every sale, dentists can save up to 50% the price off of new imaging equipment, without sacrificing quality or service. These savings, combined with Section 179 tax incentives, make this an easy and environmentally-responsible decision.

Practitioners that choose to sell or trade their existing X-ray can often apply the purchase price to the down payment of their new imaging system, further reducing their initial capital investment. The fair market value of used dental X-ray and cone beam equipment, like that of used vehicles, depends on several factors such as the unit’s make and model, age, condition, and exposure count. Included hardware and components such as cephalometric capabilities and number of sensors can affect the system’s trade-in value as well.

There are many ways in which forward-thinking dental practices can benefit from either buying or selling their pre-owned imaging technologies. Implementing these strategies helps protect our environment while improving your bottom line.

About the author

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Bryan Delano

Co-Founder, Renew Digital

Bryan Delano is a co-founder of Renew Digital, the leading provider of certified pre-owned dental X-ray systems. Renew Digital is the leading provider of certified pre-owned panoramic X-ray and cone beam 3D systems to dentists and dental specialists throughout the U.S. Visit www.renewdigital.com or call 888.246.5611 to learn more.

Posted by: Transform Limiting Beliefs | August 15, 2013

Make it a Healthy, Green Back to School!

Kids with BackpacksCross walks are being repainted, new jeans are being bought and kids are squeezing in as many late nights as possible.  It’s almost time for school to start again and we know you green living parents want to set your kids off on the right path.

So we’ve put together our favorite tips and links to make sure this school year is healthful for your children and the planet!

  1. Green their lunchbox. Gone are the days of the brown paper bag, but what to use instead?  Luckily, there are options that are functional, fun, and eco-friendly.  Two of our favorites come from Laptop Lunches and Planet Box.  Both are BPA and PVC free, and Laptop Lunches’ offerings are super colorful and even made of recycled materials.
  2. Offer reusable utensilsTo-Go-Ware makes fun, bamboo utensil sets that come in their own handy sleeves.  Bamboo is a great sustainable alternative to petroleum based plastics and To-Go-Ware’s utensils fit easily into small hands.  Plus you’ll be supporting a company with a strong social responsibility focus.
  3. Ditch the “Lunchables”.  Busy parents need quick, healthy alternatives to processed lunch meats and canned products loaded with sugar.  Check out Rachel Ray’s fun assortment of kid-friendly lunch ideas for a delicious change from the standard PB&J.  Shop your local farmers’ market for seasonal goodies, and try adding cut-up fresh fruit instead of sugary desserts.
  4. New shoes for every kid.  It’s a ritual: kids destroy their shoes over the summer and parents take them shopping for new ones as the first day of school approaches.  How about ensuring that a child less fortunate than yours also gets a new pair of shoes this year?  Tom’s brand shoes makes it easy for you to help a child: they donate a pair for every pair you buy. So check out their engaging colors and comfortable styles.
  5. Start fresh with new oral care products.  You know the toothbrush that came back from camp looks like it was used for craft projects, so have your kids pick out a new toothbrush as part of their back to school shopping trip.  Preserve makes toothbrushes with handles constructed from 100% recycled plastic, and when it’s ready to be changed out in 3 months, kids can mail it back to be recycled.  While you’re at it, let your child pick a toothpaste flavor they like: if they choose it, they’ll be more likely to brush.  Tom’s of Maine has options that are fluoride-free and other non-toxic options substitute natural cavity fighting xylitol for fluoride.

Here’s to healthful and wonderful school year for your kids and the Earth!

Posted by: Transform Limiting Beliefs | August 8, 2013

The Secret to a Painless Injection

Guest post by EDA Co-Founder Dr. Fred Pockrass

painless injectionAsk any patient what causes them sweaty palms in anticipation of a dental appointment and most will tell you it is fear of “the shot.”  Let’s face it: no-one wants to get “a shot.”  But as dental professionals we know that numbing is essential to many procedures.

To address this common fear, I’ve developed a numbing technique that my patients tell me is close to painless.  Here’s what I do.

First, I apply a blended topical anesthetic comprised of Lidocaine, Prilocaine and Tetracaine to the tissue at the site of the injection, placing a small amount of the material on a Q-Tip and holding it in place with a cotton roll.  I engage in pleasant banter with my patient for about 90 seconds, giving the topical a chance to sink in.  I also ask the patient to place their hands on their belly, and to begin slowly taking deep breaths through their nose.  Our massage therapist is often in the room at this time, gently placing her hands on the patient’s feet to help them feel grounded and secure.

Then, outside the patient’s field of vision, I load the syringe with a numbing agent appropriate to the procedure.  When I’m ready to administer the injection, I ask the patient to close their eyes, and I position the needle at the injection site.  Then I ask them to open their eyes, to continue their slow deep breathing, and to look straight into my eyes.  I administer the anesthetic very slowly, generally taking between 20 and 30 seconds.  During this time I’m continuing to talk reassuringly to the patient, telling them they are doing a great job and telling them that they should start to feel the area getting numb.  I also remind them to keep slowly, and deeply breathing.

When the carpule of anesthetic is done, I very slowly remove the needle, making sure that the patient never sees it.  Then, I say something like: “There, all done!”  Or: “Great job!” And we’re off to the races with a numb clinical field, and a patient who is relaxed and ready to receive treatment.

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