We know no one enjoys filling out paperwork, but in any medical environment, all those questions about your medications and medical history are incredibly important. Most people acknowledge that they need to fill out paperwork at places like their GP or orthopedic, but at dental offices, paperwork is often left ignored and unfinished. Because people typically come to the dentist twice a year, it can feel more routine than going to other medical offices. This translates to people not feeling the need to mention things like new medications or recent surgeries. Your teeth don’t have much to do with the rest of your body, right? In reality, your overall health has a strong impact on the health of your teeth and gums. Even small changes to your medical history can impact how we approach your dental treatment options.
Almost all medications — even over-the-counter drugs — come with long lists of side effects. Most decongestants and many antihistamines can severely reduce saliva production. Saliva helps keep your teeth “clean” in-between brushing by washing away harmful bacteria. If we know that you’re on a medication that affects saliva production, we can take some proactive measures to ensure your teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible.
Some other medications that may affect your saliva production include painkillers, diuretics, and antidepressants. If you’re taking any kind of medication regularly, make sure your dentist knows — even if you don’t think it’s affecting your teeth or mouth directly. With anything medical, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Your mouth is a gateway for harmful bacteria, allowing them to easily move from your teeth and gums to affect the rest of your body. Poor oral health can exacerbate, and even cause, certain conditions, including endocarditis and cardiovascular disease. Letting your dentist know about your health conditions — including your family’s health history — is vital. If endocarditis runs in your family, your dentist may recommend coming in for three or four cleanings a year instead of two, just to make sure there are no bacteria that can wind up near your heart.
Your oral health can also impact pregnancy. Recent studies link periodontal disease to low birth weights and premature births. We typically recommend that pregnant women come in for cleanings every three months instead of every six months if they’re struggling with their gum health.
Other conditions that relate to your oral health include diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and osteoporosis. These illnesses can make the mouth more susceptible to gum disease, mucosal lesions, and tooth loss respectively. The best way to keep yourself healthy is to tell your dentist exactly what sort of conditions you have so they can create a treatment plan that works for you.
Surgeries and injuries — on any part of the body — can affect oral surgeries and treatments. At our office, we approach every case with individual, personalized care. If we don’t know your medical history, we could make a mistake. Keep us in the loop on any and all changes by filling out all requested paperwork and talking to your dentist while you’re in the office. We want every visit to our office to be beneficial and worthwhile to you but for that to be possible, we need your help.
Every year, Cary Magazine recognizes some of the top businesses in the Triangle area with the prestigious Maggy Awards. The awards honor all kinds of businesses and business owners with categories like “Best Real-Estate Agent,” “Best Bakery,” and, of course, “Best Dentist.” Dr. Bobbi Stanley has won Best Dentist numerous years in a row and we hope to grab that esteemed title again in 2021! To do so, we need your help.
To vote for Dr. Bobbi Stanley, just click on this link, go to the third page of nominations, and go down to “Best Dentist.” It’s that simple! Make sure to write in nominations for some of your other favorite Triangle businesses. Voting for awards and writing Google reviews are great and easy ways to help small businesses. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but a few awards and five-star reviews can make a huge difference for an office like ours.
At Stanley Dentistry, we pride ourselves on being one of the oldest family-owned dental offices in the Triangle. Dr. Bobbi Stanley opened the practice back in 1995 so we’ve been operating for twenty-five years. During those twenty-five years, Dr. Bobbi’s husband, Dr. Robert Stanley, decided to go to dental school as well and joined the practice as our surgeon and dental implantologist. Today, we also have Dr. David Baronowski along with two hygienists, a talented lineup of dental assistants, front desk staff, and a marketing team.
We’ve overcome everything from the 2008 recession to this year’s catastrophic COVID-19 shutdown and we always come back stronger than before. How do we do that? It’s all about our team and our patients. Everyone who works in our office, from the assistants to the doctors, is incredibly passionate about helping as many people as possible obtain healthy, beautiful smiles. We truly love helping people find their “smile confidence”. When you have that sort of pure passion, people tend to notice, which is how we’ve managed to create such an amazing patient base. Many of our patients have been with us since 1995 because they know the care we provide is unparalleled.
A lot of businesses use the saying “When you’re here, you’re family,” but at Stanley Dentistry, it’s more than just a saying. Our office is a solidified part of a Cary community. For us, this is home and the patients who come into our office every six months are our family. We’ve been lucky enough to be able to stay here and serve the Triangle for over two decades and we hope to continue to serve for as long as our team is able. Help our small business stick around by voting for Dr. Bobbi Stanley in the Maggy Awards! Just one vote goes a long way.
“Dentistry is essential health care because of its role in evaluating, diagnosing, preventing or treating oral diseases, which can affect systemic health.”
“We know that these past few weeks have been the most challenging that many of us have seen in our lifetime. In our twenty-five year history, we’ve seen a lot of changes but the uncertainty and complexity facing us now seem bigger than ever. But even during these challenging times, we never lost sight of what was most important: our patients.
Now more than ever, we want to say thank you. Thank you for letting Stanley Dentistry be a part of your healthcare team and a part of your lives. Thank you for continuing to show up for us even in the midst of these trials. Thank you for being a part of our family. And a part of being family means no matter how difficult this is, we will continue showing up for you and that’s our promise. To protect you, to care for you, and to keep you healthy. We’ll show up for you and we won’t stop. While you’ve been away, we’ve been implementing new and innovative ways to keep you and your loved ones safe. We’re eager to serve you and your family. We’re here and we’re ready to help you find your smile.”
Making sure you and your family feel safe when coming into Stanley Dentistry is our team’s number one concern. We know these are scary, uncertain times which is why we’re going the extra mile to create a safe space where you can get the dental treatment you need. A few of our new COVID-19 prevention methods include:
We are reopening our office for elective procedures (including cleanings) on May 11th! While we’re very excited to see and help our patients again, we first wanted to quickly go over the precautions that we will be taking to keep you and your family as safe and healthy as possible.
At Stanley Dentistry, our responsibility to our patients is to provide the highest standards of dental office infection control. We consider protecting the health of our patients and our team our top priority.
It is important to us that our patients feel safe and well-cared for during their appointments. We have always maintained a high standard of cleanliness but we are now taking it a step further to curb the spread of COVID-19. In order to follow the infection control guidelines recommended by the ADA & NCDS, we are implementing some new protocols. When you come in for your appointment post-May 11th, you can rest assured that your overall health and well-being is our major concern. Below are our new sanitation guidelines.
We always tell our patients to brush their teeth twice a day — or, even better, after every meal. While brushing your teeth isn’t a difficult task, it does take time away from your daily schedule so we understand why frequent brushing may be a little annoying. However, the tried-and-true rule of brushing right after waking up and right before bed is non-negotiable if you want to keep tooth decay and periodontal disease at bay. Here’s why:
Brushing your teeth after waking up in the morning doesn’t just knock out morning breath — it also disturbs any plaque that managed to begin growing overnight. Plaque is a sticky white film that forms over your teeth. It’s made out of harmful bacteria that, when left alone for long enough, can produce acid that can then break down tooth enamel, causing cavities. During the day, drinking water and eating foods that contain a lot of water (like cucumbers, lettuce, and spinach) can somewhat slow the growth of plaque. At night, plaque is able to grow uninhibited for an extended period of time. This is why skipping a morning brush can be dangerous. If you don’t get rid of that plaque in the morning, after the bacteria had the chance to multiply, you increase your risk of the plaque becoming strong enough to break down your tooth enamel.
Do you have trouble remembering to brush in the morning? As with a lot of things, brushing your teeth has to become a habit. If you wake up and take a shower first thing in the morning, try brushing your teeth first, right before hopping in the shower. Make sure your toothbrush and toothpaste are sitting out on the counter, ready to go. You can also try writing a little sticky-note and putting it on your mirror as a daily reminder. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you’re brushing in the morning. It could very well mean the difference between needing a filling at your next appointment and not.
So, if you brush your teeth in the morning (and do a good job), why do you have to brush again before you go to sleep for the night? If you don’t brush your teeth after every meal, brushing your teeth before bed is necessary to remove any leftover food particles that can encourage the growth of bacteria (and thus plaque). Neglecting to brush your teeth at night is just like if you went for a run, came back to your house all sweaty, and didn’t take a shower. Your teeth need to be cleaned after encountering sugary and acidic foods and drinks throughout the day.
If you’re having trouble remembering to brush at night, remember that it needs to become part of your routine. If you put on face lotion before bed, brush your teeth first. Get into the habit of brushing before bed and before you know it, you’ll be doing it on autopilot.
If you are prone to cavities or you want to take your oral and dental health to the next level, try brushing your teeth after every meal with a soft bristle brush. This will remove any dangerous sugars or acids from your teeth’s many jagged surfaces before they have the chance to become plaque. If you eat or drink something acidic, drink some water and wait at least half an hour before brushing. Immediately brushing after ingesting acids can actually hurt your dental enamel instead of helping it.
We encourage you to use a soft bristle brush because excess use of a harder bristle brush can wear down enamel over time. Brushing too often and too vigorously can be just as bad for your teeth as rarely brushing.
The question every parent dreads to ask: will my child need braces? In the United States, the answer will probably be “yes”. The vast majority of pediatric patients in our office undergo some kind of orthodontics in order to create straighter, more symmetrical smiles. A straighter smile isn’t just cosmetic though — dental misalignment frequently equates to more cavities and more worries down the road. If you’ve noticed some misalignment in the way your child’s adult teeth are coming in, your dentist will most likely recommend that they get braces in a few years. Braces will definitely straighten a smile but, if your child is below the age of ten, there is another option that will help them achieve a straighter smile (for less money). It’s called HealthyStart.
HealthyStart is a relatively new pediatric orthodontic device but thousands of dental offices across the country have found a lot of success with it. The device works by correcting dental misalignment as it’s happening instead of after the fact. Braces are (sometimes) bulky, uncomfortable, and must be worn for so long because they’re fixing something that is already faulty. HealthyStart, on the other hand, keeps dental misalignment from ever happening by guiding developing teeth into the correct position over time.
HealthyStart was invented not as a way to help kids bypass braces but as a solution to the dreaded Sleep Disordered Breathing (SLB) diagnosis. Your child may have SLB (also known as a blocked pediatric airway) if they are:
SLB is essentially sleep apnea for kids. At night, their airway is becoming blocked — either by something (frequently enlarged tonsils) or by the natural way their mouth is developing. When the airway becomes blocked, the body attempts to wake up. Even if your child doesn’t remember waking up numerous times throughout the night, his or her body does. Constantly waking up inhibits the body from getting through a full sleep cycle. As adults, that isn’t especially dangerous. For kids, it can be.
Kids need sleep in order to grow and develop correctly. Without it, your child can suffer from cognitive and physical development deficiencies. So, how do you fix SLB? First, visit an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor. They will examine your child and see if they need to have their tonsils removed. If the ENT decides the tonsils don’t need to be removed (or if the tonsils are removed and the symptoms continue) it’s time to head to the dentist.
Not all dentists offer HealthyStart or have any idea what SDB is. The vast majority of dentists will say that your child will outgrow the snoring and teeth-grinding (which they will after the effects have already been felt). They’ll tell you to come back in a few years for braces. At our office, we’ll offer you a free HealthyStart consultation.
The actual HealthyStart device is made of a soft, comfortable plastic that’s easy to wear. Kids only have to put it in at night and for one or two hours during the day so it’s not like braces in that it can easily be removed (similar to an Invisalign tray). The device helps position the mouth and jaw at the correct angle so the child can breathe better at night. As the child’s teeth begin to grow in, the device guides them and keeps them straight. At our office, we do regular check-ups on HealthyStart patients to make sure everything is developing as it should. As the child grows, we take new scans and have new, custom HealthyStart devices made (also similar to the Invisalign system).
From start to finish, HealthyStart does take a while to complete. Your child may be wearing the nighttime device till they are twelve or thirteen. After that, they made need a retainer to keep the teeth as straight as possible. In severe misalignment cases, a year or two of braces may be required. Without HealthyStart, those kids would need 5+ years in traditional orthodontics.
The best way to know if HealthyStart will help your child is to bring them in for an exam. There are a lot of obvious symptoms of SDB but there is no way to firmly diagnose it just from reading an article and looking at your child’s teeth. Schedule an appointment (virtual or in-person) at Stanley Dentistry to find out how HealthyStart can change your child’s life.
In response to the spread of COVID-19 in North Carolina, our office has decided to postpone all elective treatment until May 11th. Your health and wellness is always our number one priority. Elective treatment includes cleanings and new patient consultations. As always, we will still be open for emergencies and for major procedures that could not be rescheduled. We will also be conducting virtual consultations for people who would like to start their dental treatment while in the safety and comfort of their homes. Simply go to our Make an Appointment page and let us know that you’re interested in setting up virtual consultation. We will call you shortly to schedule.
Like our in-person consultations, our virtual consultations are 100% free. They offer patients some time with the doctors to ask questions about different procedures. The doctor may ask you to take some pictures of your smile so they can start putting together a customized treatment plan. Once our office opens back up, you can come in and immediately get started with whatever procedures the doctor has recommended.
Unless you are experiencing an emergency, we recommend scheduling a virtual consultation at this time. We may not be able to give a diagnosis, but we will be able to answer some of your questions and begin your journey to a healthier, brighter smile. So many of our patients go into their first consultation thinking they need one thing and, after talking to the doctor, leave knowing they need something completely different. This virtual consultation is a time to clear the air and get both the patient and the doctor on the same page.
We understand that this is a challenging time for everyone. We’re more than willing to work with you when it comes to choosing a good platform for your virtual consultation. If you have an iPhone, we recommend using FaceTime. If that doesn’t work, we are open to using other platforms including Zoom and Skype.
We are also offering virtual consults that do not need to be scheduled. For these, you can simply send in a description of your smile along with a few pictures. One of our doctors will create a short video for you explaining a good course of treatment. If this style of consult interests you, please click here.
This is the easy part! To schedule a virtual consultation with one of our doctors, you can either call 919-371-4454 or you can go to our Make an Appointment page and request one. We’ll handle it from there!
Have you heard a strange clenching noise coming from your son or daughter’s bedroom at night? Chances are, they’re grinding their teeth at night — which sounds a lot scarier than it actually is. Pediatric tooth-grinding (aka bruxism) is actually a pretty common occurrence among kids below the age of seven.
Years ago, doctors and dentists frequently misdiagnosed the cause of pediatric bruxism. They wrote it off as stress-induced purely because that’s a common cause in adult cases of bruxism. Anxiety can lead to teeth grinding in people who have things to be anxious about. Chances are, your five year old probably isn’t grinding their teeth at night because of a looming deadline at work.
So, how can you tell what’s causing your child’s teeth grinding? Little ones grind or clench their teeth predominantly because:
If you suspect your child may have chronic ear infections, take them to the pediatrician right away. Untreated ear infections can cause serious problems.
If your child doesn’t have an ear infection, a trip to the dentist may be in order. Your dentist can tell if the grinding is coming from painful erupting teeth or from misalignment issues. Many dentists will tell you that your child will grow out of bruxism in a few years which is true — partially. When misalignment causes bruxism, there are frequently pediatric sleep apnea problems as well.
We know what you’re thinking: “sleep apnea…in kids?” It’s actually a lot more common than people think. Because children’s jaws, mouths, and necks haven’t finished developing, it’s easy for their airways to become blocked by soft tissues while sleeping. In a lot of cases, severe misalignment of kids’ developing teeth causes their jaws to develop poorly as well, which leads to airway issues.
Why should you care if your child has an airway issue? Even if your dentist says your child will grow out of their blocked airway, there are a host of problems that can appear as symptoms including:
Pediatric airway issues can cause lifelong problems that traditional orthodontics can’t always fix. This is why an orthodontist created the orthodontic/orthopedic device known as HealthyStart. Over the course of around five to six years, the overnight retainer helps gently guide the developing teeth and jaw into the right position to ensure a straight smile and healthy breathing. Children only have to wear the soft plastic retainer at night so it’s significantly less invasive than traditional braces. It’s also half as expensive as traditional ortho.
The best way to see if HealthyStart is right for your child is to bring them in for a consultation at a HealthyStart provider. A doctor will take a look at your child’s mouth, ask about their habits, and explain the HealthyStart process. The device works best if you start early so kids older than eight or nine probably won’t see much success. This is why we encourage parents to bring their kids to the dentist as early as possible so the doctor can check for any abnormalities before they become a bigger problem later on.
It’s the question thousands of parents have begun asking themselves: is fluoride safe for kids? In the modern era, where natural is synonymous with better, a lot of parents are turning away from traditional means of oral hygiene (aka fluoride) in favor of more “organic” methods and products.
With such a large demand for natural dental products, the past five years have seen serious improvements in organic toothpaste with brands hello and The Natural Family Co. leading the movement. These brands often use the absence of fluoride as a selling-point since so many families are looking for fluoride alternatives. These organic products may be better than they were ten or fifteen years ago but are they really better than the naturally-occurring fluoride? And should parents try to steer their kids away from consuming fluoridated water or foods that contain high levels of fluoride?
The discovery of fluoride as an anti-cavity agent wasn’t an overnight occurrence. It actually took over twenty years for scientists and dentists to realize the revolutionary power fluoride could have on the general population — when used in the correct dosage.
The long road to discovery began in 1901 with a fresh dental school grad named Frederick McKay. The newly minted dentist moved to Colorado Springs to open a dental practice. During his first few years there, he noticed many of the residents had dark brown staining on their teeth. These brown teeth were healthy and more cavity-resistant than their unstained counterparts.
McKay and a famous dentist known as Dr. G.V. Black worked together for years, trying to uncover the cause of “teeth mottling” (or fluorosis) as they called it. They found that a large percentage of the children in Colorado Springs had mottled teeth but they were unable to obtain a cause or a treatment for mottled teeth.
McKay later traveled to Oakley, Idaho where a large number of the town’s population had mottled teeth. It was there that McKay was able to start connecting some dots thanks to a larger study. That decade of research yielded surprising results: the recently-built communal water pipeline had extremely elevated levels of fluoride. When the town stopped drinking from the pipeline, the prevalence of mottled teeth decreased exponentially. The connection between mottled teeth and fluoride was finally forged.
In the years that followed, more scientists and dentists did tests of their own. They were able to find out the exact levels one must ingest in order to see the symptoms of fluorosis. They found that, in small doses, fluoride was more helpful than hurtful. The naturally occurring fluoride could fight tooth decay better than any lab-generated chemical compound. Eventually, town officials across the U.S. began fluoridating water supplies in an effort to curb tooth decay in children. The effects were immediate: tooth decay numbers dropped faster than anyone thought possible. Since fluoridating water is inexpensive (it costs about $1 a year per person), many local governments continue the practice today.
We know, from those who suffered from severe fluorosis in the early 1900s, that there are some serious consequences to ingesting too much (or too little) fluoride as a child. When you’re young, your teeth are willing to absorb as much fluoride as you give them. Too much, and staining occurs. Not enough, and you are at a higher risk of tooth decay later in life.
If you’re worried about your child ingesting too much fluoride, here are a few simple steps to follow:
If you do not want your child to brush with fluoride, there are some toothpaste products on the market that do not contain fluoride. However, the American Dental Association does not recommend brushing with non-fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is the only naturally occurring ingredient on the planet that is guaranteed to protect against tooth decay. If your child doesn’t brush with fluoride toothpaste and doesn’t get fluoride treatments at the dentist’s office every six months, they will be at risk of having significant tooth decay and potential tooth loss later in life.
Compared to 1901, we’ve come a long way in the field of dental science. Very rarely does anyone get fluorosis anymore. We know how to keep the levels of fluoride in toothpaste, water supplies, and in-office fluoride treatments well below the danger point. If you’re worried about your child’s fluoride ingestion, talk to your dentist about what qualifies as a healthy level of fluoride. Chances are, you’ll find that your child is ingesting the recommended amount of fluoride.
In the United States, local governments have been putting fluorinating drinking water for almost one hundred years and there have been no negative side effects. Fluoride is naturally occurring and very safe when ingested in small doses. It’s actually a lot more dangerous for children to be cut off of fluoride at a young age because that means a significantly higher chance of severe decay later on. Protect your child’s smile by bringing them in for regular fluoride treatments and using an ADA certified fluoride toothpaste.