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The Greenest Dental Office You will Ever See

Trade Winds Dental – The Green Zonegreen plants

Going green. From big businesses to tiny neighborhoods. People all over seem to be thinking about that color. How did green get to be the color of anything sustainable, biodegradable, or otherwise earth friendly? Plants! Plants are one of the most important resources we have next to water. Not only do plants shade us, feed us, make us happier, and clothe us… they also clean our air.

NASA Clean Air Study

About 30 years ago, NASA did a little study. They wanted to discover which plants could best filter the air of the space station. Plants to filter a space station? It is true! Not only do plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, they also absorb contaminants – dangerous contaminants like formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia and many more chemicals that have been linked to negative health effects. They can also filter out bacteria and mold by producing negative ions that attract and purify the air. And to add to that the list of benefits, plants work as air moisturizers, adding beneficial humidity to the environment.

Of course, now you want to know which plants made it to the top of NASA’s list. Here they are:

  • Dwarf Date and Broadleaf Lady Palms
  • Boston and Kimberly Queen Ferns
  • Spider Plants
  • Chinese Evergreens
  • Bamboo Palm
  • Weeping Fig
  • Devils Ivy
  • Flamingo and Peace Lilies
  • Lilyturf
  • English Ivy
  • Red Edged Dracaena
  • Snake Plant
  • Barberton Daisies and Chrysanthemums

Not all of them eliminate the same toxins, but all of these are fairly easy to grow and make an attractive addition to any room. Want to learn more? Get your hands on Dr. B. C. Wolverton’s book, How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 houseplants that purify your home or office.

We Took NASA’s Advice

Here at Trade Winds Dental we put this wonderful information to use in and around our dental office. Outside we have landscaped with native, drought-tolerant plants that require less water, creating a green zone for our patients to enjoy and our planet to benefit from. Inside, almost every room contains live plants, many of them the plants on the list above, and some that have since been discovered to clean the air just as well. These plants are a major component of our interior design because they add such a fresh and homey touch. Patients love them and some scientists suggest that looking at plants can make us heal faster. But what they are really there for is to improve air quality and provide you with a clean, soothing environment.

To find out all the other ways we are going green, check out our Greendoc Gold Certification by the Eco Dental Association. It’s not just our plants that give us that color rating!

Clean Water is Everyone’s Right: Why Trade Winds Dental Uses an Amalgam Separator

amalgamHere at Trade Winds Dental we are doing a number of things to protect water, reduce the amount we use, and encourage our patients to take part in the Save 90-A-Day Cause to save, you got it, 90 glasses of water a day by turning off the faucet while you brush.

Another way we protect the earth’s water – and our community’s health – is by using an amalgam separator every time we remove a mercury filling. Attached directly to the vacuum system, our amalgam separator is extremely effective – certified to remove 99% of amalgam  – at keeping amalgam, or silver fillings containing mercury, from entering our wastewater supply and sewer system.

The Benefits of an Amalgam Separator

Many patients come to us to have their fillings restored or requesting that their amalgam fillings be removed and replaced with tooth-colored fillings. During the procedure, bits of the metal filling are washed into our water system. Without an amalgam separator, those bits of fillings would enter the public wastewater system. That’s important because one large amalgam filling contains as much mercury as in those old-fashioned thermometers we all used to use. That’s enough mercury to contaminate a 10-square-mile lake and cause restricted fishing. Six years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized that dental offices are the largest source of mercury discharged to publicly-owned treatment works. We just do not want to be part of that problem!

Why Keep Amalgams Out of the Water

We rarely think about water here in the US where we just turn a tap to be delivered a stream of pure, clean water. We turn on the tap all day long, even when we brush our teeth, and let it run and run. People may talk about limited water supplies, but the earth is made up of mostly water, isn’t it? Just look around; It seems as if there is water everywhere, so why is letting it run “a waste?” The truth is, fresh water is a commodity. More than 97% of the earth’s water is salt water. How much fresh water does that leave? Not much. But there is more. Of that 2.5% of fresh water, 68.7% is frozen – and not as bags of ice at the handy mart. That doesn’t leave very much water for people on the planet to use and drink, does it? Worse yet, in the last century, global demand for water has increased six fold.  

Water is also becoming increasingly polluted. Just take a look at America’s great rivers– about 40% of them are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or for aquatic life to survive in. As the demand for water increases, it becomes more important than ever to make sure the water we use is properly treated and cleaned before it is disposed of. Proper cleaning of water ensures that we may use water again and again. But some things just shouldn’t go in the water in the first place…and that includes the mercury contained in amalgam fillings.

To find out more about what we are doing to protect the earth – and you – visit http://www.tradewindsdental.com/greendoc-gold-certified today!

Antioxidant-Infused Oral Care

perioscienceHelping Saliva Work as Your Mouth’s Best Friend

You may not think much about spit… unless you see your kid doing it! But did you know that spit is there to keep your mouth healthy? It is true! Saliva is your mouth’s natural defense system. It acts as a natural antioxidant.  So why are we telling you this?

Historically, dentists have focused on controlling the growth of bacteria in your mouth. But that might not be quite enough. As part of our work to offer our patients excellent dentistry while remaining natural and earth friendly, Trade Winds Dental is offering a brand-new approach to oral care – PerioScience antioxidant-infused products.

The Benefits of Antioxidants in Dentistry

Cavities continue to be a problem for both adults and children in the United States. We have discovered a way to up our cavity-fighting game – with antioxidants. PerioScience products counter oxidation, reduce inflammation, and work in tandem with our hygiene protocol to help your mouth feel better and be healthier than ever before. Their products are:

  • Natural. They contain powerful antioxidants, phloretin and ferulic, along with polyphenols from Green Tea plus herbs and essential oils are uniquely formulated to promote a healthy oral environment, fresh breath, and naturally moist oral tissues. They contain no alcohol, no fluoride, no sodium lauryl sulfate, and no artificial sweeteners or preservatives.
  • Hydrating. PerioScience hydrating products are formulated with proven moisturizers and a special selection of targeted ingredients that work together to promote moist-feeling oral tissues, healthy teeth, and fresh breath while creating a pH environment that is hostile to damage causing bacteria.
  • Gentle. PerioScience sensitivity products address tooth sensitivity to heat and cold with a potassium nitrate toothpaste. Sensitive products will freshen breath and soothe the mouth.

And they all promote healing and boost your own saliva’s healing power!

Can I Trust PerioScience?

We always carefully vet any products we offer in our office for reliability, effectiveness, and sustainability. That’s why we trust PerioScience products.

You may have heard of using antioxidants to control inflammation caused by UV light. Well, the scientist who conducted research on that topic for more than a decade now leads the PerioScience research laboratory. They conduct research and testing in major universities – a way to remain unbiased and be subjected to their rigorous standards of investigation – and their research studies on topical antioxidants have been published in peer-reviewed journals.

To learn more or to find out if PerioScience products can benefit you – and your spit – give our Georgetown dental office a call. We’d love to tell you more about all of the innovative ways we keep Texas healthier, greener, and smiling from ear to ear.

Our Amazing GreenDOC™ Gold Certification

Green DocWhat it Means and How we Stay Committed

By now you have probably heard about the fact that Trade Winds Dental has been awarded the GreenDOC™ Gold certification by the by the Eco-Dentistry Association (EDA) for our commitment to being green. We believe this is an essential step, not only for the present but for the future of our children. After all, without earth, there would be no smiling would there?

Trade Winds Dental is the first office in Georgetown and Williamson County and one of four dental offices in Texas to achieve GreenDOC™ Gold certification. And get this: Trade Winds Dental is one of the first 100 dental practices in the world to achieve this honor!

So how does this affect you? In the best ways possible!

The Benefits of Having a Green Dentist

Are the benefits something only future generations will reap when the world isn’t drowning in mercury fillings and plastic impression trays. Not at all! There are definitely benefits for our patients to enjoy right now, such as:

  • Healthier, low allergen office space
  • More stable fees over time
  • Incredible technology – such as goop-free digital impressions – for better accuracy and less waste
  • Electronic charts for less paper and more convenience
  • Digital X-rays for reduced radiation exposure, elimination of harsh processing chemicals and clearer images
  • Nicer, homier touches such as soft towels to dry your hands on instead of scratchy paper
  • Steam sterilization of instruments for a super deep clean
  • Lip balms are petroleum-free and made with vegan, organic ingredients
  • Lots of living, indoor plants are a major part of our interior design for improved air quality and a clean, soothing environment

Plus, we put your hygiene visit supplies in a reusable, environmentally-conscious shopping bag made of 100% post-consumer and post-industrial fibers. There are so many more benefits, but you would start getting bored before very long and stop reading! Visit us or give us a call. We’d be happy to show you around.

How Green Can We Go?

While we have always tried to be environmentally friendly, our commitment to green dentistry began in earnest during our move in 2011. First, Dr. Hennington chose an already-existing dental office and refurbished it to meet our exacting standards. That meant there were none of the environmental impacts  associated with new office construction. We also saved and refurbished our existing flooring, window treatments, phone systems, and light fixtures to reduce waste as much as possible while creating our new office space. We also made sure to paint and stain the new interior using only low VOC paints and stains for significant air quality improvement. When it was time for the actual move, we chose a moving service that provided plastic, reusable boxes for moving instead of using traditional, cardboard boxes. Of course, we updated much of our old office equipment with more innovative technology, but instead of sending the old equipment to the landfill, we donated it for reuse in areas that don’t have access to more modern dental equipment or either entered it into a recycling program.

That was just the beginning. Now we continue our efforts by:

  • Updating our equipment to greener solutions whenever we can,
  • Recycling everything
  • Using energy saver appliances to washing our own uniforms, towels, and sterilization covers with eco-friendly products to reduce the use of harsh chemicals from commercial laundries
  • Using supplies that can be sterilized and re-used instead of disposables that are thrown away and added to landfills
  • Using  an amalgam separator to keep silver fillings containing mercury (removed from patient’s mouths) from entering the community water supply

To learn more or to make suggestions about other ways we could be green, call our Georgetown TX, dental office. We are here for every smile – now and in the future!

Trios 3 – Greener, Gag-Free Impressions

Trios 3As part of our dedication to going green, Trade Winds Dental has invested in the award-winning TRIOS 3 digital impression system. It is so much better for the environment, and our patients love it!

Impressions Make Me Gag!

Dental impressions. No one likes them. They don’t taste great, they are so very gooey and they often make people gag. That’s a real problem to have during the traditional impression process. Why? Every movement changes the impression slightly. And when accuracy is key, such as for fixed partials, we want the most precise impressions, possible. Not easy with that chunky, gooey mouthful! In fact, The Harvard School of Dental Medicine Study, says that 89% of traditional FPD impressions have at least one detectable error!

Impressions are Bad for the Environment!

In addition to the discomfort is the fact that traditional impressions aren’t exactly environmentally sound. Let’s take a look at that:

  • Most dental practices take an average of one impression a day according to a Dental Economics article, more if they offer orthodontics.
  • The plastic tray used to hold impression material always ends up in the landfill. Plastic takes approximately 450 years to break down!
  • Impression putty is made of either Polyvinyl siloxane (PVS) or Polyether. They are exceedingly long lasting and in the landfill, that’s not a good thing.
  • Impressions must be shipped to the laboratory. That means cardboard for the box, protective materials, and, of course, fuel used by the airplane or truck.
  • The gypsum models must be stored for future reference, either by the patient or by the dentist.

Who wants to do that?

Enter the Revolutionary Precision of TRIOS 3!

Our new award-winning TRIOS 3, lets us take impressions digitally. That means:

  • No mess
  • No goop
  • No gagging
  • No discomfort
  • No trays
  • No packaging
  • No mail

Instead, TRIOS 3 uses a hand-held wand to capture over 3000 2D images per second! Plus, it can work as an intra-oral camera and allow us to measure the shade of your own teeth for more precise restoration matching. The benefits are unparalleled and include:

  • Secure internet delivery to the lab – no mail to get lost, and a far smaller carbon footprint.
  • Digital impressions in color – this improves diagnostics and makes them easier for you to understand.
  • Real-time occlusion capture – lets us check your bite as we restore.
  • Digital models  – nothing to go in the landfill but great records to store digitally.

Our Investment in You…and the Earth

Because we don’t want to compromise on your care or in the way we care for the environment, we chose the TRIOS 3. TRIOS won the Pride Institute “Best of Class” Technology Award for innovation and leadership in intra-oral scanners three years in a row and is the most accurate digital impression system on the market.

To learn more about how the TRIOS 3 can keep you more comfortable while keeping the environment safer for the future, please give us a call. We are proud of what we do for patients in Georgetown and how we are working to change the face of dentistry globally.

Are you nervous about seeing the dentist? You’re not alone!

wpid-dental-nervous-about-dentist

With advances in modern dentistry, a trip to Trade Winds Dental these days is pretty routine. But visiting Dr. David Hennington and our team still makes some patients anxious—so much so that they don’t go as often as they should and end up with costly complications down the road, such as tooth decay or gum disease.

When it comes to dental care, prevention is the best medicine. And that begins with regular checkups and dental cleanings at our convenient Georgetown, TX office. Today, we thought we would offer five tips for taking the pain out of a visit to see Dr. David Hennington:

1. Ask yourself: What are you most afraid of? Is it the sound of the drill? Do you have needle phobia? Have you been traumatized by previous dental visits? Write down your fears, one by one and talk about them during your visit.

2. Don’t wait. The more frequently your visit our office, the less work will need to be done at any given visit. Simply having your teeth cleaned professionally by Dr. David Hennington twice a year prevents many, if not most, problems down the road.

3. Bring a distraction such as music to your appointment. Just plug in those earphones, close your eyes, and get lost in the music. Listening to tunes can also be a pain killer.

4. Unwind. Inhaling slowly and counting to five helps. Try holding your breath for ten seconds, then exhale slowly to the count of eight, and repeat as needed.

5. Ask us. Before any given procedure, we encourage you to ask Dr. David Hennington or one of our assistants why we’re using the tools we’re using. Ask us what we’re doing, what the tool is used for, and how it benefits you. Also, please ask about anti-anxiety medications we may prescribe to help you relax during your appointment.

If you suffer from dental anxiety, a visit to Trade Winds Dental might seem like a daunting prospect. Perhaps you had a bad experience in the past, but whatever the reason, please know that at our Georgetown, TX office, there is nothing to be afraid of.

Remember, you’re not alone. We understand that going to the dentist isn’t easy for everyone. In fact, the Journal of the American Dental Association estimates that as many as 12 percent of adults suffer from dental anxiety so bad that they avoid the dentist altogether. Many more suffer from varying degrees of dental anxiety, which often results in poor oral health.

If you suffer from dental anxiety, your fears don’t have to keep you from seeing Dr. David Hennington. Our patients at Trade Winds Dental are our most important asset, and we strive to create a comfortable experience, no matter how long it has been since your last visit at our Georgetown, TX office. We hope to see you soon!

Surprising Ways to Prevent Cavities

wpid-surprising-ways-to-prevent-cavities_45394003

There are numerous ways to prevent cavities. Some, like brushing your teeth regularly and visiting our Georgetown, TX office, are more obvious than others. Beyond the standard methods of preventing cavities there are a number of different ways to keep your mouth healthy that you might also find surprising.

1. Reduce your consumption of carbs and sugar.

The consumption of sugar is ultimately the biggest catalyst for cavities. By limiting the sugar you consume both at meals and while snacking you will in turn be preventing cavities. But this goes for all carbs, not just sugar. See, even more complex, lower glycemic, carbs can lead to cavities in your mouth, so the best way to prevent them is to limit your carbohydrate intake. This is not to say that you have to cut out carbs all together, but by reducing your intake, you will prevent cavities and it can also lead to a healthier body overall.

2. Rinse your mouth with food-grade hydrogen peroxide.

For some people this may seem a little odd, but washing your mouth out with a food-grade hydrogen peroxide is an excellent way to prevent cavities. Doing so will kill harmful bacteria that accumulates in your mouth much in the same way applying the anti-septic to a cut does. That said, when you rinse your mouth out similar to how you would use a mouth wash, you want to make sure you don’t swallow the hydrogen peroxide, spit it out instead.

3. Use a straw.

If you are someone that drinks a lot of sugary beverages a great way to prevent cavities is to use a straw. This way the sugar in the beverage does not come into contact with your teeth as much as it would if you were to drink straight from a glass, can, cup, or bottle.

4. Chew gum.

Chewing gum is another viable way of preventing cavities. You, of course, will need to chew a sugarless gum flavored with a substitute like Xylitol, and preferably with a cavity fighting ingredient in it.

5. Eat cheese.

Plain and simple cheese has a protein called casein which helps build calcium in your teeth which is vital to the integrity of your mouth and preventing cavities.

Choosing the Dental Filling Option that’s Best for You

A woman with a green top and a big smile.

Did you know there are as many types of dental fillings as there are flavors of ice cream? Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. Still, when you visit the dentist with a cavity, there are many filling options. Most of us just sit in the chair, open our mouths, and let the dentist work his or her magic. But have you ever stopped to consider what the dentist is filling and restoring your decayed or broken tooth with?

Five types of dental fillings

There are five basic kinds of dental filing material. The dentist decides which type to use based on the degree of the decay, the cost of the material, and the type of dental insurance you have.

  1. Dental amalgam, or silver fillings, have been used to fill cavities for more than 150 years. Dental amalgam is the most common type of dental filling. It’s strong, durable, and less expensive than other types.
  2. Composite fillings, or white fillings, are popular because the color matches the rest of your teeth. Composite fillings are a combination of resin and plastic. They are more aesthetically pleasing than silver fillings, but are also less durable.
  3. Ceramic fillings are durable and visually appealing (tooth-colored), but they are expensive. They are made of porcelain and have been shown to be resistant to staining.
  4. Glass ionomers are typically used on children whose teeth are still changing. Constructed from glass and acrylic, glass ionomers are designed to last fewer than five years. The benefit of these dental fillings is that they release fluoride, which protects the changing tooth from further decay.
  5. Unless you’re a rock or movie star, gold fillings aren’t common. While a gold filling is durable, non-corrosive, and can last more than 15 years, it not only takes more than one dental visit to place, but, as you can imagine, it is expensive.

For more information about fillings, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. David Hennington, please give us a call at our convenient Georgetown, TX office!

Healthy Summer Foods

wpid-summer-foods

It’s summer—that wonderful time of year when fresh and delicious produce abounds. Dr. David Hennington will tell you that your teeth, gums, and tissues all rely on an appropriate mix of vitamins and minerals to maintain good oral health no matter what time of year. In previous studies, nutrients in fruits and vegetables such as dietary fiber, potassium, and antioxidants have all been associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and cancers, including oral cancer.

Here are four foods we want you to enjoy this summer to ensure a healthy mouth:

Watermelons and Strawberries

Watermelons have high water content, which dilutes the affects of the sugars they contain and stimulates the flow of saliva. In addition, research shows that eating foods full of water (watermelon is 92 percent water) helps keep you satiated on fewer calories. Finally, in addition to containing skin-protecting lycopene, eating watermelon can help you stay hydrated during the summer months, which not only keeps your memory sharp and your mood stable, but also helps keep your body cool.

Strawberries are juicy and delicious, and they’re also considered a superfood. Nutrient-rich and packed with antioxidants (such as vitamin C, which can help with cancer prevention), strawberries also promote eye health, help fight bad cholesterol, and regulate blood pressure.

Apples

Did you know consuming apples can help you attain whiter, healthier teeth? It’s true. Biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, and in the process, lowers the levels of bacteria and other harmful acids, leading to a lower likelihood of tooth decay. Apple consumption can also boost your immune system, reducing cholesterol and helping you avoid Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Finally, eating an apple a day has been linked to heart health, including a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a delicious and healthy snack and can help you ward off cancer. The yummy red fruit contains lycopene, which helps protect your skin from sunburn. Tomatoes can also help you fight heart disease due to the niacin, folate, and vitamin B6 nutrients they contain. They’re high in crucial antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin A, which work to prevent DNA damage.

Proper Brushing Techniques

Brushing your teeth properly removes the food particles and bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. However, you do not want to scrub your teeth or gums heavily. A heavy hand can lead to tooth and gum erosion, as Dr. David Hennington and our staff see all too often.

You should also use a soft bristle toothbrush to avoid damaging the surface of your teeth. Make sure the head of the brush fits in your mouth, because if it is too large you will not be able to reach all tooth surfaces. Follow these steps to ensure you are brushing properly.

  1. Use a small amount of toothpaste on your brush. The recommendation is a pea-sized amount or thin strip on the bristles.
  2. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the surface of your teeth, angling towards your gums. Use a circular motion on all exterior tooth surfaces, and avoid back-and-forth “scrub” brushing.
  3. Once you have cleaned the outer surfaces, hold the brush vertically and clean the inner teeth surfaces — the side of your teeth that face your tongue. Do not forget the inner surfaces of your front teeth.
  4. Finally, finish by cleaning all the chewing surfaces of your teeth. You need to maintain a gentle touch, but make sure you get into the full depth of your molars. The entire process should take about two minutes.

Dr. David Hennington and our staff recommend changing your toothbrush every three to four months for best results. Do not forget to clean your tongue, which helps remove excess bacteria from your mouth. Special brushes are available just for cleaning your tongue, and they are easy to use.

Proper care of your teeth also requires flossing on a regular basis. Flossing can be performed before or after you brush. Following up with a quality mouthwash will provide you with even more protection. Do not be afraid to ask the Trade Winds Dental team for tips on proper brushing and flossing.