Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sterilizing your Oral Appliances

Dr. Okun has a warning to all patients wearing removable oral appliances. Orthodontic Retainers, Occlusal Guards (for TMJ- facial pain), Athletic Mouth Guards, Invisalign and Clear Correct Aligners, and Dental Sleep- Appliances are all made of plastics which melt in high temperatures. They will distort if placed in boiling water or left on the car’s dashboard on a sunny day. If you wish to sterilize your retainer which fell in the dirt, or to Kasher your oral appliance for Passover, DO NOT BOIL IT! Instead soak it in warm water with a tablet of retainer cleaner like Retainer-Brite, or in a denture cleaner made for Partial Dentures. It will be sterilized in 10 minutes, but can be left soaking as long as 12 hours without damaging the appliance. Remember to wash off your retainers in running water before placing them back in your mouth!

Children’s Dental Health Month Raises Awareness of Oral Health

Once again, Dr. Judy Okun participated in the judging of the dental health posters submitted by students from Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Orange and Putnam counties of New York State as part of National Children’s Dental Health Month. The theme this year was “Sugar, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!” The goal was to have students learn the negative impact of sugar and the positive impact of nutritious foods, and to have them submit it in a visually convincing poster. The posters were judged in age categories and the first and second place (and tied second place) winners received monetary rewards for their efforts. Congratulations to this year’s winners: Kayla P. and Briigid B. (Kindergarten), Marisa L., Ella M., and Kevin D. (first and second grade winners), Uriel Matias K., Tamaiah D., and Veronica W. (third and fourth grade winners), Dejvy N., and Kaylamarie B. (fifth and sixth grade winners), Lauren W. (seventh and eight grade winner), Gabrielle G., and Hawhon G. (ninth and tenth grade winners), and Christopher M. (eleventh and twelfth grade winner). This years winners came from St. Augustine School of Ossining, Geo Grant Mason School of Tuxedo, Paideia School 15 of Yonkers, Solomon Schechter School of White Plains, Casimir Pulaski School of Scarsdale, St Anthony School of Nanuet, Solomon Schechter High School of Hartsdale, Hendrick Hudson High School of Montrose, and Walter Panas High School of Cortlandt Manor.

Friday, March 2, 2012

My Dental Drill has Cruise Control and Daytime Running Lights

Did you ever notice how much easier it is to maintain your speed on the empty highway when you have cruise control? How about how much easier it is to see (and be seen) in dreary weather and dark tunnels when you have daytime running lights? These modern additions to driving are what electric contra-angle hand pieces have done to the dental drill. My Bien-Air electric hand piece is a “step up” from my compressed-air driven drills. With preset speeds and torque maintenance I can easily cut through the wires of my palatal expanders, but can also polish off the residual glue after removing orthodontic brackets. I don’t have to worry about “backing off” to maintain torque, nor do I have to worry about spinning too fast and destroying my polishing burs. My electric hand piece also has a light that shines exactly where I am working; now I can see in the back of a tiny mouth even when the patient is not facing the overhead light. I am certainly enjoying my new technology!