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November 20, 2017
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Dr. Kyle Meek is a native of Central Arkansas and a graduate of Greenbrier High School. He attended the University of Central Arkansas and received a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He obtained his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in Memphis, TN.  After graduating, Dr. Meek practiced dentistry in Clarinda, Iowa while his wife, Dr. Stefanie Meek, attended pediatric dental residency at Children’s hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. 

 

Drs. Kyle and Stefanie Meek are high school sweethearts and were married in 2011. In November 2016 they had their first child, a beautiful healthy baby girl Caroline Marie. In his free time, Dr. Meek is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys hunting, fishing, and outdoor activities with his family. Both he and his wife are thrilled to be back home and practicing dentistry in Central Arkansas. He is committed to a career of learning and staying up to date in the latest advances in dentistry in order to provide the best care possible to his patients. Dr. Meek looks forward to the opportunity to meet and care for you and your family.

September 20, 2017
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BAD BREATH

 

 

 

 

So, lets just say you have this friend.  And this friend has been told before that he has really bad breath.  But you know this friend brushes his teeth.  I mean, you brush your teeth, excuse me, he brushes his teeth like really good.  So what could be going on?

First off, I want to applaud you for reading this blog for your friend.  You are such a good friend.  Secondly, you should know that there are several reasons that your friend could be struggling with bad breath and this post will discuss those as well as solutions to the problem. 

Although the most common causes of bad breath are harmless, it can be indicative of a deeper medical issue.

The most common cause of bad breath is bacteria.  This bad bacteria is present typically because of:

  • Unresolved Dental Issues: Cavities and deeper pockets from gum disease give bad breath bacteria extra places to hide in your mouth that are difficult to clear out when you’re brushing or cleaning between your teeth.

    Or

  • Mouth, Nose and Throat Infections: According to the Mayo Clinic, nose, sinus and throat issues that can lead to postnasal drip may also contribute to bad breath. Bacteria feeds on mucus your body produces when it’s battling something like a sinus infection, leaving you sniffly and stinky.

Dry mouth is another major cause of bad breath: Saliva goes a long way for your dental health – and your breath. It rinses and removes unwanted leftovers from your mouth, helps break down food when you eat and provides disease-fighting substances to help prevent cavities and infections. If you don’t make enough saliva, one sign may be halitosis. Dry mouth can be caused by medications, certain medical conditions, alcohol use, tobacco use or excessive caffeine.

Lifestyle choices can play a role as well.  Tobacco and cigarette users create an environment in the mouth for bad breath bacteria to thrive.  If you order your sandwich with extra onions or that pasta with extra garlic, your friends will keep their distance.

SYSTEMIC CAUSE
While halitosis is most often linked to something happening in your mouth, it may also be a sign of a more chronic systemic issue like gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease

 

SOLUTIONS

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If you notice your breath has been less than fresh lately, start by following a healthy daily dental routine – brush twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth once a day. Other things, like drinking plenty of water, chewing sugarless gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance and cutting back on caffeine may also help get your saliva flowing and boost the freshness of your breath.

If you notice your bad breath persists, check in with us at Lenderman Dental. Together, we can track down what the cause may be. With a proper cleaning and exam, Dr. Lenderman can help rule out any oral health problems and advise you on next steps, including what types of dental products to use, treatment plans to take care of cavities or gum disease or refer you to a medical provider to follow up.
 

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The Perfect Shade of White

Have you ever tried to pick out the perfect shade of white for a home improvement project? My wife and I recently decided to repaint our bathroom, and to make things simple, we were just going to paint it white. After about 10 minutes in the sample section at Sherwin Williams, I realized how foolish that thinking was. Seriously, there are like 100 different whites, and I was going cross-eyed in no time flat (or satin or semi-gloss – whatever your preference). To make a long story short, we finally picked the perfect white, and then repainted it a different perfect white about a month later.

This perfect shade of white is also something so many of us try to achieve with our teeth. The market is saturated with products that promise they can whiten your teeth. In fact, just try and buy a brand of toothpaste that doesn’t promise to whiten your teeth. It’s harder to find than you think. So why is our culture so obsessed with whiter teeth? It’s simple: We are very aware of how important a healthy smile is in making a good first impression. Whether you’re a salesman, teacher, job applicant, or if you’re going on a first date, your smile is commonly the first thing someone notices. And often enough, a whiter smile appears straighter and healthier.

With so many different products out there promising results, I wanted to share with you what I would recommend based on my experience. As a dentist, I’m concerned not only about results, but also the healthiest way to get those results. I believe the best whitening methods have the following characteristics:

  • Cause no irreversible damage to the teeth and gums

  • Work efficiently with minimal waste

  • Are predictable in whitening teeth

Right off the bat, this eliminates toothpastes and mouthwashes to me. Both products are not very predictable, and you typically have to use them a long time to see minimal results. But more importantly, you have to look at the long-term health effects of these products for your teeth. Most of them whiten by a chemical additive or an extra abrasive additive, and I have seen many patients over the years who have developed a sensitivity to this chemical additive resulting in gum tissue irritations. The negative to the toothpastes that have the abrasive additive is that it is like sandpaper for your teeth. Sure, it can whiten teeth – but at the cost of sanding enamel away. Enamel is our friend; the more the better.

Over-the-counter white strips, like Crest White Strips, are also common, and I do like these for certain situations. They cause no irreversible damage to your teeth and gums and can often be quite effective and predictable. My only concern with this product is that it’s a one-size-fits-all item. If you don’t fit in the average mold, there can be either a lot of material wasted (not efficient), and/or your gum tissue can be temporarily irritated. 

At Lenderman Dental, we have selected 3 different ways our patients can safely whiten and get the perfect white smile they desire: 

  1. Image result for whitening traysCustom Whitening Trays: With this option, you can whiten at home just like with the “white strips,” however, you have much less waste and irritation.  Also, these trays can be used over and over again for several years.

  2. Image result for zoom whitening  “Zoom” In-Office Whitening: This option allows you to whiten your teeth with a special LED light under our supervision in about 2 hours with the same results that would take you several days to achieve with the trays. This is perfect for those that need a quick result for an event or just know that they won’t be consistent with the trays. At Lenderman Dental, we also provide our patients with custom trays for touchups later.

     

  3. Image result for Kor whitening    Deep Whitening: This process includes both at-home and in-office whitening.  We typically reserve this option for patients who have very deep staining, like tetracycline staining. The product we use for these cases has proven to be more successful than anything else I’ve seen. Here’s a good before-and-after example:

Whitening your teeth is one of the safest and most cost-effective ways to enhance your smile. At Lenderman Dental, we would love to help you choose the best way to achieve the results you want.  Give us a call today!

 

Oh, Teeth, How Do I Love Thee!

 

It’s February. The month of love. So I thought it fitting to share with my readers why I love teeth so much. You might be thinking that this will be a short read. It’s teeth, right?  But I’m already thinking that this will be at least a two-part series.  

It’s the science, the anatomy, the beauty, and the functionality that are so amazing to me. So to try and get you as close to as excited about this part of the body as I am, let me lay down some facts about teeth you may not know. Or, in another words, let me count the ways:

1) Did you know that our teeth endure over a million chews every year?

2) They function at forces of over 200 lbs of pressure!

3) They tolerate extreme environments of cold and hot. Ice cream is usually served at 7 degrees, while coffee can sometimes be 160 degrees. That’s a 153-degree range – amazing!  

* They survive in salt water, fresh water, acidic and basic solutions. We pour coffee, tea, wine, Cokes and whatever else over them, and they keep their color (more or less). And if you fall on the “less” side of that argument, we have some awesome whitening options for you!

* They are our body’s Swiss army knife. They could have their own infomercial: They CUT, SHEAR, CHEW and CRUSH!  

Most importantly, healthy teeth help us make a great first impression. When we show them off in a smile, we get a smile in return because smiles are contagious. Your teeth are an incredible creation. And if you take care of them, they will take care of you. At Lenderman Dental, we are passionate about teeth, and we’re here to help you in any way we can. Give us a call today!

 

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WAIT!!!

Before you finalize your New Year’s Resolutions, before you post them to Facebook, and before you share them with your spouse (who will then suggest a couple more for you to add) I would like to ask that you leave space on the list for at least one more.  

So yes, I am going to suggest a dental-related one.   But I think if you pick at least one of the following three that I suggest then your 2017 will be much brighter and healthier.  If you pick all three then tell me next time you’re in and you can get a prize from the treasure chest.

1:  For Type A personalities: “I will floss every day this year.”  For everyone else: “I will floss 4x a week this year.                                                                                                                                               

                You knew I was going to start with this.  It’s the obvious one.  If you haven’t heard that you need to floss more regularly, then it has been a while since you have seen a dentist.  (Insert shameless plug here).  Give us a call!  We are always accepting new patients at Lenderman Dental 501-327-3800.  I could write for days about the benefits of flossing.  About how not doing it can lead to more painful cleanings, cavities, bad breath, heart disease, tooth loss….etc.  But the bottom line is that we all need to floss at least 4x a week for a healthier, more beautiful smile!

2:  I will brush for 2 minutes every time I brush.

                I go to a couple preschools and/or elementary schools in Conway every year during dental health month (February--mark it) and talk about dental health to our kiddos.  The main thing that I try to hammer into their heads is that they need to brush for at least 2 minutes.  If it’s the one thing they walk away from our talks and remember, then I did my job.  I could argue that it takes more time than two minutes to do a perfect job (Type A personalities, here you go, go for 3 minutes) but if you keep that toothbrush moving around in your mouth for two minutes, it is hard to neglect areas that are often neglected.  To do this you must get a feel for what brushing for 2 minutes feels like.  Use a clock.  Use your phone.  Use something.  I can almost guarantee that if you do this for a couple weeks, 2 minutes will begin to not feel long enough.

3:  I will buy a quality power toothbrush.

                 I generally recommend the brands Sonicare (#1 choice) and Oral B.  You will pay more for these brands vs the Colgate and Crest cheaper brands, but this is one thing in life where “you get what you pay for”.   I would say 9 out of 10 of our patients at Lenderman Dental who switch to a power toothbrush will comment at their following cleaning appointment about how much better their mouth feels and how easier the cleaning was after using a Sonicare for the past few months.   Easier and less uncomfortable cleanings--awesome right?!  Plus, they help keep your teeth whiter.  Plus, most have a built in timer that tells you when you have been brushing for two minutes (see point #2 about how important brushing for 2 minutes is).  Plus, there is now actually a Sonicare and Oral-B that have GPS that shows how long you have been brushing each tooth.  Plus, they can link up the report from the GPS and send it to your dentist via an app on your phone.  (They took this too far in my opinion.  I will not be reviewing my patient’s brushing stats).  That’s a lot of plusses.  Bottom line, they work!

So, you don’t have to pick all three of these, but think about adding at least one of the above suggestions to your New Year’s Resolution list.  You won’t regret it.  Happy New Year’s from everyone at Lenderman Dental!!