Jan 27, 2010



Cucumbers for a better smile! Really, you ask. Well why not! According to some information that I read recently in a news letter, the power of the cucumber as a beauty aid is well known. It has recently been elevated to the status of a super food. Cucumbers are loaded with vitamins and anti-oxidants and all of the good carbohydrates that a body needs. You are probably wondering if you have any of these beauty and tooth aides in your refrigerator at the present time. Before you say that they can't possibly good for my teeth, yet me tell you all the things and ways that they can be used.

They originated in India and have been cultivated for thousands of years. People have used them in salads, eaten them raw and have turned them into pickles. They have been used for a variety of things besides just eating. So, did you know that:

1. Cucumbers contain many of the vitamins and minerals that you need each day, including B1, B2, B5, B6, C, Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Cucumbers provide a quick pick me up and nutritious snack with all of their vitamin B and good Carbohydrates.

3. Cucumbers slices can be used to give your bathroom a spa-like fragrance and it can eliminate the fog on bathroom mirrors when rubbed on them.

4. Cucumber slices have phytochemicals that cause the skin to tighten. They can be rubbed along some wrinkles to help give an instant lift to your skin, although the effect is not long term.

5. Many people use cucumber slices over their eyes to help enhance the beauty of their eyes.

6. A few cucumber slices eaten before going to bed should allow you to wake up refreshed.

7. Boiled cucumbers can make a pleasant steam spa because the nutrients in the steam are soothing and relieve mild stress.

8. Cucumbers when eaten can freshen the breath and kill some oral bacteria.

Upon reading this in the news letter, I thought if the last item is true that cucumbers when eaten can freshen the breath and kill some oral bacteria, then they most likely have some beneficial effect upon your teeth. If that is the case then they probably are able to help enhance a person's smile. I found this interesting information so I thought I would pass it along.

Jan 19, 2010



Bellevue Cosmetic Dentists have been a big fan and follower of Susan Gunelius' Web blogs on About.com, so when she offered to let people post about their Blogger.com blogs on an About.com Blogger Design Bragging Board, we jumped at the opportunity. What a fantastic way to get exposure for our new Bellevue Cosmetic Dentistry Blog that we started this last year on such a high class blog. In our post at the About.com Bragging Board, we were able to discuss why we choose to construct our relatively new Cosmetic Dentistry Blog the way we had done it.


One of the major reasons that we, as Bellevue Cosmetic Dentists, choose the Blogger Design that we did was to be able to use a dark black background, which really helps to highlight and exhibit the features of the Cosmetic Dentistry that is done in our Brookside Dental Office in Bellevue, WA. This black background is especially good when we are showing close up before and after photos of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures, such as porcelain veneers. A wide variety of other before and after Bellevue Cosmetic Dental Procedures photographs also can be demonstrated extremely well against this black background. Among these cosmetic dental items that change ordinary smiles into beautiful smiles are cosmetic tooth adjustments, laser gum surgery, tooth-colored composite fillings, tooth whitening, dental crowns, and beautiful extreme smile makeovers. With these procedures we are able to construct and create beautiful new smiles. These new smile creations can be obtained when teeth are stained, chipped, cracked, broken, or even missing. In some cases a single technique will change the smile, such as a series of new porcelain veneers. However, in other cases several techniques must be combined to obtain the desired beautiful new smile creation, such as tooth whitening, dental implants with crowns, and gum surgery. Although we concentrate our overall efforts on these cosmetic dentistry procedures, we believe in taking care of the total oral health of our patients. Therefore, we are dedicated to good oral hygiene and family dentistry. However, there are several procedures that we refer out to dental specialists. For example, we refer out all extractions and endodontic (root canal) work. That way our patients know that as Bellevue Dentists we are devoted to delivering the highest quality Cosmetic Dentistry available.

Jan 13, 2010



Bellevue Cosmetic Dentists at Brookside Dental in Bellevue, WA, recommend the purchase and use of a night guard in some instances when we place new front porcelain veneers to protect them and preserve the new smile. What is the reason or reasons that a night guard should be used? The night guard, or bite guard, is a custom fit plastic shield that can protect your teeth in several ways.

Generally, nightguards are recommended by by your Bellevue Dentist for a variety of dentistry problems. Bruxism, which can be grinding or clenching of the teeth, is a destructive habit that can cause damage either to the teeth, their supporting bone or the jaw joint. Bruxism can wear the teeth down, cause pain in the jaw joints or loosen the teeth by destroying the supporting bone. The night guard helps to control these problems related to bruxism by distributing the biting forces more evenly around the mouth. Additionally, the night guard acts as a physical barrier to any potential direct friction between upper and lower teeth.

The bite guard can help stabilize loose teeth to some extent. It places the teeth at rest by distributing the forces evenly on the bite, rather than on individual teeth. This can allow any loose teeth to stabilize because they are not be moved on a continuous basis by adjacent teeth.
Bite adjustment may have to be made to allow the teeth to function harmoniously. The night guard can aid in the process of bite adjustment and help in the maintenance of the final achieved bite position and arrangement.

As mentioned above, we recommend the use of a bite guard appliance in some instances when we place new anterior veneers to protect them and preserve the appearance of the new beautiful smile. Also, adjustments may be needed to an existing night guard when the patient has any major dentistry performed such as the placement of new crowns or tooth contouring. Generally, these adjustments are fairly minor and are easily made.

When first beginning to use a night guard, the patient may notice more saliva in their saliva, their speech may be temporarily slurred and it may take a little longer to fall asleep. These annoyances will pass quickly. In fact, the patient may notice that their jaw muscles will begin to feel more relaxed which will help them rest and sleep more easily. After adjusting to the night guard, many of our patients say, "I can't sleep without my night guard."


You should inspect your night guard on a regular basis for flaws or cracks. After wearing the night guard for some period of time, shiny spots or wear grooves on the biting surface may appear. Usually, these are just normal wear marks. However, they should be evaluated regularly at the time of your regular dental appointments to prevent any potential problems such as a broken night guard. In some situations, a new appliance will have to be made for the patient, but in other situations the night guard can be repaired.

The night guard can be cleaned on a regular basis each morning after wearing by brushing it with your toothbrush and toothpaste. It does not have to be stored in any special solution. However, storage of the night guard in the special box that it comes in will help protect it from accidental breakage as well as from their small children and pets. Yes, you wouldn't believe how many people tell us that their dog ate their night guards or broke them. In the office, we can clean the night guard ultrasonically to remove any tartar that has accumulated and inspect it thoroughly to determine if it needs any adjustments.

Jan 6, 2010


Stem Cells: How Baby Teeth Can Save Your Life

The following article is reproduced without any alterations from the Woman Dentist Journal 2009. The author of the original article is Joanne Oppenheim, DDS, a pediatric dentist in Illinois. As Bellevue Dentists we do not normally print other peoples' articles, but this discussion of stem cells harvested from baby teeth is something of very high interest for later health of an individual. As the article points out, stem cells may be taken from baby teeth and preserved for many years for potential use to cure a disease as children age and grow older.

January 10, 2009

My interest in stem cell preservation and research began about 12 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter. I remember reading an article about saving the cells from the umbilical cord after the birth of the child for research. A week before my due date, I picked up the kit from a hospital and told my doctor about my wishes to preserve the umbilical cord stem cells for my daughter. To my surprise, my obstetrician had never done this procedure before. I quickly realized that this would be a learning experience for all! While still in the delivery room just after my daughter was born, I explained to the doctor what to do with the cord blood.

Since that time, much has changed. I would venture to guess that almost anyone who is pregnant or has had a baby recently has heard about cord blood banking. And since the birth of my daughter, my nieces and nephews have had their cord blood saved as an insurance policy for their future.

In the spring of 2008, I read an article about preserving the stem cells from baby teeth. My first thought was that it was a waste having all of my children's teeth sent to the tooth fairy instead of to StemSave. During the annual American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry meeting in May, I spoke with the people at the StemSave table. They were doing the same thing with baby teeth as the people 12 years ago were doing with the cord blood.

The value of stem cells in the curing of so many of the deadliest diseases is much better understood today. If we can save the stem cells from baby teeth, it is like receiving another opportunity for the people who did not save their babies' cord blood.

The more I've come to learn about stem cells, the more I realize the potential benefits to people. I like to think that since we've learned that very powerful stem cells exist in teeth, we dentists are on the frontlines of this emerging medicine. When I think of the potential of thousands of teeth that are discarded as medical waste, I realize that patients and parents of patients should be given the opportunity to decide if they want to hang on to those stem cells.

All of the parents of our patients who will soon be losing teeth — whether naturally or for orthodontic reasons — receive the pamphlet on StemSave. The parents decide if this is something they would be interested in. It's a very personal decision, and I like to offer families all of the facts so they can make an informed decision. I recommend going to the Web site, but if they have any questions, they are welcome to call me.

Once parents choose to save their child's baby teeth, we explain to the child that we will give them a special tooth box and the tooth fairy will still come to their house. There is so much emotion and nostalgia associated with losing baby teeth. While parents may want to take the traditional under-the-pillow route with the first tooth, we try to create a new sense of excitement with sending the tooth off to StemSave. We encourage the child to draw a picture or write a note to let the tooth fairy know where the tooth is and that we only need the stuff on the inside and she can take the stuff on the outside!

When a child comes in for the extraction of a tooth, nothing is different for me. It's the parents' responsibility to preregister with StemSave. They handle the transaction directly with StemSave so I don't have any additional paperwork. When the child sits in the chair for the extraction, the parents have already set up their account with StemSave. Prior to the appointment, StemSave will send a personalized transport kit for the child to my office. The transport kit is ingeniously simple to use. After I extract the tooth, I just drop it into a vial which is marked for that patient. The vial has nutrients that keep the tooth intact. It is placed in the kit, which is designed to induce hypothermia in the tooth without the use of frozen gel packs, so the stem cells are protected during transport to StemSave's lab. After recovering and securing the tooth in the kit, we notify StemSave and they arrange for UPS pickup, and the kit is delivered to their lab for processing.

Our hopes are that these teeth are never needed. Unfortunately, we cannot know who will have medical problems in the future and will need their stem cells for a cure. Whoever would have thought that your baby teeth could save your life?

Sources of Dental Stem Cells

In a child, the most accessible stem cells are from the oral cavity. For deciduous teeth, the best candidates are moderately resorbed canine and incisors with the presence of healthy pulp. In children, other sources of easily accessible stem cells are supernumerary teeth, mesodens, over-retained deciduous teeth associated with congenitally missing permanent teeth, and prophylactically removed deciduous molars for orthodontic indications.

Conceptually, dental stem cells have the potential to differentiate into neural cell lineages. Recently, investigators have discovered a unique type of stem cell in the dental pulp of deciduous teeth. Stem cells from deciduous teeth, which are formed during the sixth week of human development, behave differently than other adult stem cells. These immature stem cells are capable of extensive proliferation and differentiation, which make them an important resource of stem cells for the regeneration and repair of craniofacial defects, tooth loss, and bone regeneration. However, a number of recent studies show that stem cells from teeth may be manipulated to grow into cell types of a completely different tissue. This ability is called transdifferentiation or plasticity, and different types of adult stem cells have varying degrees of plasticity. Given their ability to produce and secrete neurotrophic factors, dental stem cells may also be beneficial for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and the repair of motoneurons following injury. Indeed, dental stem cells from deciduous teeth have been induced to express neural markers such as nestin. The expression of neural markers in dental stem cells stimulates the imagination for their potential use in neural regeneration such as in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. The potential of dental stem cells in both dental and non-dental regeneration continues to be further explored by researchers. Dental stem cells that have been isolated to date, either from deciduous teeth or permanent teeth, are considered non-embryonic or adult stem cells.

Courtesy of Dr. Mao

Stem cells recovered from dental pulp can differentiate into bone, cartilage, and adipose cells in vitro (outside the body).

Courtesy of Dr. Mao

A unique property of stem cells is that they are able to proliferate in vitro in a cell culture medium.

For more information on StemSave and details on how to join StemSave's nationwide network of dentists, log onto www.StemSave.com.