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Dr. Lata in Sandusky Register; OSU Award

October 21st, 2019

If you missed the Sandusky Register, we wanted to share the exciting news!

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/story/201910160019

A local dentist known for her charitable work was recently honored by her Alma mater.

Dr. Lata Stefano, of Stefano Dental, was presented with the Ohio State University College of Dentistry’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award.

“This award was truly a surprise I’m so deeply humbled and grateful to be joined by family and colleagues in accepting the honor,” Stefano said.

Among the more than 20 nominees from across the country, Stefano stood out as an inspiration to others due to her tremendous community work.

“It’s so rewarding to know that something as simple as giving can be so inspiring to others,” Stefano said.

The college of dentistry’s board of directors has handed out the award for 50 years.

“I went into dentistry to help make healthy smiles, improve oral health, but later in my career I realized I could make smiles from the heart too, and that has been priceless,” Stefano said.

Stefano, who has been practicing dentistry for 20 years, has initiated a number of charitable events through her practice.

“I started the charitable works with Stefano Dental, with the simple philosophy of ‘give when you can, how you can, where you can.’ I believe we are all connected and I feel accountable and grateful to do my part in helping others in need,” Stefano said.

Some of her more recent initiatives include donating $7,000 to Care and Share, collecting school supplies to donate to children and the Toothbrush Trot 5K at Osborn Park in August.

The Toothbrush Trot raised $7,000 to build a handicap-accessible playground for children in Toledo. Her grassroots philanthropy has helped inspire other businesses to give back.

“I never saw myself as a role model,” Stefano said. “But then I saw the response and feedback from local businesses, schools, neighbors, asking how they can help with our charitable events — I realized that I could be starting a ‘chain of giving’ and although many think I’m inspiring them, it’s the community, patients and strangers that have joined our charitable missions that inspire me.”

Nov. 11 - Free Cleanings for Veterans

October 16th, 2019

It's that time again, coming very soon to thank  our military veterans! That's right. We're giving back to those who provide service to our country.

We're HONORING THOSE WHO SERVED…For Make A Vet Smile Day, Monday, November 11th, 2019.

Check in begins at 7:30 am with services until 2 pm on a First Come, First Served Basis. No appointments are necessary!

We will be performing all aspects of dentistry from X-rays, Exams, Cleanings, Fillings, Root Canals, and Extractions at NO COST to the patient. Remember, all Veterans are welcome – please provide proof of eligibility in order to receive services.
In order to serve as many as possible, only the most emergent teeth in patients will be addressed – not comprehensive dental treatment. Follow-up care may be needed with your regular dentist. And don't forget to please bring current list of medications and allergies.

We're hoping to serve as many veterans as possible. Please be patient and kind as you wait your turn. Our entire staff will be on hand during this federal holiday to provide as much care to as many patients as possible.

We hope you can help us spread the word and help us give back to those veterans who have given so much.

Again, there's no need to make an appointment, just show up at 7:30 AM to get your name in the check in list. We have a comfortable waiting room for you to relax in before your appointment, or take the time to socialize with your fellow veterans.

Thank you for your service! A big shout out to our own Dr. Klassen for her service in the US Navy, pictured above!

The Ohio State University Awards Dr. Lata the Distinguished Alumni Award

October 9th, 2019

Dr. Lata Stefano of Stefano Dental in Sandusky, Ohio received the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award by The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Dentistry, selected from more than 20 nominees throughout the United States for her tremendous community work, and inspiration to others. For more information, please go to www.stefanodental.com.

This is the 50th year that the OSU College of Dentistry’s board of directors has nominated and selected alumni for awards based on the alumnus’ career achievements, service to community and national/international distinction. The Distinguished Alumni Award candidates must show participation, service and leadership in the advancement of dentistry at a local, state or national level; show participation in public service at the local, state and national levels; must be of good moral character; and have made outstanding contributions to one of the following: art, science, literature, organized dentistry or public service.

“This award was truly a surprise, from the nomination to the award, I’m so deeply humbled and grateful to be joined by family and colleagues in accepting the honor,” said Lata Stefano, DDS, owner of Stefano Dental of Sandusky, Ohio. “It’s so rewarding to know that something as simple as giving can be so inspiring to others,” said Dr. Stefano.

We're so thrilled to have Dr. Stefano earn this award. She has inspired others to give and has made a difference in so many lives around our community. From students in school, to Care and Share and military veterans and kids in a need of a playground.

Dr. Stefano has used Stefano Dental as extension of her love and gratitude.

Together we can!

Sweet Cases for Sweet Foster Care Kids

October 2nd, 2019

Sweet cases for sweet foster care kids! We're so thrilled we were to able to come together for these amazing children. Team building with intention is so much a part our mission at Stefano Dental.

We learn to work together, but we also learn to give back and inspire each other.

This month, we assembled 40 sweet cases, ordered from Together We Rise, to provide a duffle bag filled with some tender, love and care, as well as some essentials for foster care kids.

Many of these kids use trash bags to move from home to home. As foster care kids, having something you can call your own is always important as they journey through different foster care situations.

Stefano Dental employees stuffed the duffle bags with a blanket, a Teddy bear, a coloring book, crayons, a toothbrush, a toothbrush case, a toothbrush timer and a luggage tag with the child’s name on bag.

We were able to give these cases to the Erie County Job and Family Services, Foster Care Division, who then distributed them.

We had so much fun stuffing the bags, and the bonus of knowing that very special kids would be receiving the bags made the effort and team building activity that much more engaging and inspiring for our team.

If you're looking for ways to give back or thinking of a company team building project, check into Together We Rise to find out how you or your company can pay it forward.

There are so many ways to say you care!

Voting Day: Sandusky Makes National Headlines

September 24th, 2019

Have you read the news? Sandusky is making headlines, as we move away from having Columbus Day off to having Voting Day off from work for some organizations.

And why is this making news? Do we make time to vote, do we vote? It's something to consider. Although Christopher Columbus made the history books, the relevance to this historical moment, seems more irrelevant to our population.

If you haven't registered to vote, consider the value of having an opinion and a voice in your community or country.

Being part of a change, or being able to vote was something that was fought for, and denied. Take your opportunity to be counted. Regardless of the outcome of a vote, your vote can count and sometimes be the change you were looking for.

We're thrilled to live in a community that is part of a change. We're part of city that is getting noticed nationally for going above and beyond and not just going with the status quo.

When your community changes, sometimes you need to change with it.

If you're looking for the full story. Check out the New York Times link below.  Teach your kids the value of voting, and why we vote. It doesn't take a lot of time and it doesn't have to interrupt your day.  Read about your candidates, read about the issues. Make a difference and vote. We all can make a change by voting. We can all be heard by voting. One vote at a time, can be the difference. Don't forget to vote!

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/11/us/columbus-day-election-day.html

Star Camp for 6th Graders

September 16th, 2019

Dr. Lata Stefano loves Star Camp. This month she was talking to 6th graders. Talking about gratitude, leadership and compassion!

Dr. Stefano loves giving back to the younger generations. As she's raising two high school daughters right now, she loves to talk to the younger kids about giving back.

The Star Camps are awesome opportunities for kids to learn from community leaders about leading, being part of their community, and finding ways to give back.

Gratitude is a big part of Star Camps. Dr. Stefano leads her staff with gratitude. Being thankful for what you have, when you have it, and for those around you, is a first step in being a leader.

Dr. Stefano has been in dentistry for more than two decades. And in that time, she's loved being part of team that cares!

Not only is she with a team that cares, she loves being part of the small community in Erie County, Ohio that loves to give back.

Whether it's small ways or big ways, Dr. Stefano believes that everyone can give back with donations, time, or random acts of kindness.

Being able to show, talk and remind young children that they have the power to change their world, lives, schools, communities through giving back and kindness is a step toward being a vital part of their communities and neighborhoods.

If you get to be a part of a Star Camp in the Erie County area, take the time to talk to students about ways you've been a leader, and remember, all of us have the ability to inspire others.

Give back!

Toothbrush Trot Raises $7000 for Capable Kids Playground

September 12th, 2019

You helped us do it! Stefano Dental Toothbrush Trot 5K Relay Race raised $7000 for Capable Kids Playground a special Relay Race for a  Toledo playground that helps special needs kids.

Stefano Dental of Sandusky, Ohio created its first annual 5K Toothbrush Trot Relay to support the Capable Kids Playground, a handicap-accessible playground in Toledo, Ohio. With 120 runners, 40 teams, 12 dental office sponsors and 11 and company sponsors 24 volunteers, the event raised $7000. For more information, please go to www.stefanodental.com.

The 5K-Relay Race consisted of teams of three people, each running or walking 1.04 miles while passing a toothbrush as a baton.

“This event is special for me, as a mother of two, young special-needs kids, we appreciate handicap accessible playgrounds so much,” said Alexis Klassen, DDS, associate dentist at Stefano Dental of Sandusky, Ohio. “I’m grateful for the support of Dr. Stefano and our team to help us build the Capable Kids Playground Project, near my home in Woodville,” said Dr. Klassen.

About Capable Kids and the Capable Kids Playground: Capable Kids is working with a group of motivated parents to purchase and install high quality, handicap accessible, creative and inclusive playground equipment at Capable Kids’ current location in Toledo, Ohio. The students at Capable Kids have a broad spectrum of impairments ranging from being in wheelchairs, wearing leg braces, having difficulty with their balance, and being unaware of safety norms, along with a collection of medical diagnoses. Go to http://capablekidstoledo.com/about/.

Thank you for helping us give back and make a difference. We always say, together we can!

 

Kathy Celebrates 5 Years at Stefano Dental!

September 5th, 2019

Congratulations to Kathy on five years as our hygiene coordinator! We couldn't do it without you!

She has been in the dental field for 22 years. Twelve years were spent in an orthodontic office. She's happy to be back at this office working with an incredible team that creates beautiful smiles every day.

She's been married to her husband, Mark for 28 years. They  have three children and three grandchildren. They love to travel and spoil their grandchildren too!

Kathy keeps all our hygiene schedules on time and organized. Her attention to detail and commitment to a job well done have made her an instrumental part of the Stefano Dental team.

She's always willing to go the extra mile and has a smile on her face when she does it. Kathy is great at pitching in when others on the team need extra help.

She's fantastic at being able to juggle many things at once, a master at multi-tasking and our patients love her because she's great at fitting in appointments to accommodate the patient's needs.

Needless to say, she's been a great asset to the Stefano Dental team. Cleanings are sometimes scheduled six months in advance, so Kathy is able to keep up with a demanding task of making sure she updates changed appointments, and allows for the proper time for additional dental services that a patient might need.

Drs. Stefano and Klassen are very grateful for Kathy's expertise and can-do attitude. Her cheerfulness is a joy to our team.

Thank you Kathy for your continued dedication to Stefano Dental!

$7000 Donated to Care and Share: Making Brighter Smiles Together!

August 28th, 2019

Did you hear the news? You all helped us raise $7000 for families in need in our community and neighborhood. This is what teamwork looks like. This is what compassion looks like. This is what kindness looks like. Thank you for getting whiter teeth to help others. A brighter smile for you, and an even brighter smile for all those parents and kids who can sleep and eat better because of your generosity! Thank you!

Stefano Dental offered teeth whitening services with 100 percent of the fees going to support Sandusky, Ohio’s Care and Share, a local food pantry/shelter to help families in need, and raised $7000 to donate to the local food pantry. For more information, go to www.stefanodental.com.

“Our teeth whitening campaign is really a community effort, as our patients helped make this donation possible, we’re so grateful for the support” said Dr. Lata Stefano, of Lata Stefano, DDS, Sandusky, Ohio. “It’s a way to give back to the community and help brighten someone’s smile too,” said Dr. Stefano.

Stefano Dental has been involved in the teeth whitening campaign for a cause for several years. Patients received whitening services at discounted fees and Stefano Dental donates 100 percent of its costs to the charity of choice; this year it was Care and Share of Sandusky, Ohio.
About Care and Share of Sandusky, Ohio: Its mission is to serve qualifying residents of Erie County, Ohio fairly and with dignity in providing emergency and supplemental food, clothing, linens and housewares as available. Go to https://www.facebook.com/pg/eriecountycareandshare/about/?ref=page_internal for more information.

Employees of the Month - Erin and Paula

August 20th, 2019

In July and August, we're celebrating our employees of the month. Erin and Paula!

Erin's enjoyed being a dental hygienist since 2005. In 2007, she joined the Stefano Dental team where she provides gentle and thorough cleanings. What she loves about this office is our passion to give each and every patient an incredible experience. She takes pride in helping our dental family get quality preventative care. Along with building new relationships with great people!

Her husband and she have been married since 2006. They are proud parents of two beautiful girls. They keep them on their toes with sports, outdoor activities, and 4H Club. She also enjoys cooking for her family and The Ohio State University Football games! Go Bucks!!!

Erin is a joy to be around. And puts a lot of interest in her patients. She always has a smile on her face and is great with children as well.

Paula is a great team member too. She is eager to help out and always willing to go the extra mile. She jumps in whenever we need extra help, and her can-do attitude is why we love her so much.

Both Erin and Paula are instrumental in the success of Stefano Dental.

We're thrilled they were awarded employees of the month (s). If you get a chance to have either of them work with you, please make a point to thank them.

We're thankful for their professionalism, dedication and commitment to their patients, their fellow staff and to the community.

Thank you Erin and Paula for a job well done!

Happy Birthday Lee!

August 14th, 2019

Happy Birthday Lee! As one of our certified dental assistants, she assists our doctors at chair side, helps out with lab duties, and makes sure she's doing what she can so that our patients achieve their dental health goals!

She's been in the dental field since 1976, and just loves clinical assisting, creating new smiles, and keeping up a friendly environment. "Stefano Dental doctors are very progressive, and they really appreciate all the hard work that we do," said Lee.

Lee is an avid boater and loves living near Lake Erie, where she's lived most her life, and raised her two son, now adults.

She's always got a smile for patients and likes to go the extra mile (smile) to make sure patients are getting the care they need.

Lee loves to listen to patients and hear about their families and stories. She shares herself and loves to have others share with her.

She also loves to mentor other dental assistants, as she's a veteran in the dental industry.

Lee has been a legend at Stefano Dental, and actually was there before Dr. Stefano moved to Huron, and bought the dental practice.

She has watched Dr. Stefano grow from an associate dentist, to an owner, and a leader and mentor for her staff.

We appreciate all of Lee's diligence and commitment to her industry and to our company. We are thrilled to celebrate her gracious attitude and her life-long dedication to her patients and our staff.

She helps Stefano Dental be a better place, and is always ready to pitch in.

Happy Birthday Lee!

Back to School Dentist Appointments

August 6th, 2019

It's hard to believe that it's back to school in a couple of weeks.

Here are some things to think about for your kids' back to school dental visit.

Do you need sealants, do you need a mouth guard, is it time to think about orthodontic treatment?

Is your child using the right type of toothbrush, floss? And do you have concerns about their oral hygiene?

Many kids use fluoride rinse as well. It's good to ask your dentist what the best options are for fluoride rinse. Many include alcohol. It's always good to look for alcohol-free options.

No two children are alike. Getting your child used to the dentist and the cleanings are an important part of their overall self-care.

Being comfortable with procedures and cleanings, is a way to support life-long dental hygiene for your child and they grow to teens and adults.

You can also get information about x-rays, and when your kids is old enough to get a xray?

Being in communication with your dentist, is a great way to get in touch with your child's dental needs.

It's also a good time to find the right dentist for your child. There are many different insurance plans. Find the best dentist and plan that works for you.

Stefano Dental can help with orthodontics and general dentistry for all ages. Please call our office to ask about our services. Whether its cosmetic, orthodontic or general dentistry we have something for you. Give our office a call.

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/babies-and-kids/questions-for-school-dental-exam?utm_source=mouthhealthyorg&utm_medium=mhtopstories&utm_content=backtoschool

To Brush Before Or After Breakfast?

July 31st, 2019

To brush before breakfast or to brush after breakfast. That's the question.

Most of us brush our teeth at least once a day, although we should brush twice a day. But did you know that studies suggest that brushing your teeth before you eat breakfast is better, than brushing after breakfast?

Why is this? Many people brush more thoroughly before breakfast, while others who wait until after breakfast brush quickly and miss many spots. Many people don't immediately brush their teeth after breakfast, and the process of decay sets in. If you brush immediately when you wake up, you get a fluoride-coating before you start eating.

It's also advantageous to brush before you go to bed, so as to cleanse the mouth and teeth before bedtime.

Don't forget to get your teeth checked twice a year by a dentist to make sure your gums and teeth are getting checked for tooth decay and gum disease.

Being proactive with proper brushing, tongue scraping and flossing can help avoid decay.

So if you brush before breakfast, you can help avoid plaque and bacteria from setting in your breakfast.

Those who brush after breakfast, have a better chance of plaque and bacteria to mix with their pancakes, waffles, cereal, milk, coffee and orange juice.

So think about grabbing your toothbrush before you grab your cup of coffee in the morning. You might be able to see a difference at your next dental check-up.

Always ask your dentist for their advice and consult with her/him on the best ways to improve your oral health!

Firelands Symphony Orchestra; Local Performances That Dazzle

July 23rd, 2019

Have you heard about our local Firelands Symphony Orchestra (FSO)? Dr. Stefano is a regular in the audience and an avid supporter of the symphony.

How'd it get started? If you haven't seen their website, here's more information about Firelands Symphony. 36 years ago, a small group of musicians gathered to present a concert to a group of their friends in a downtown Sandusky church. Encouraged by the support from the community, the group flourished and after years of performances and community engagement, developed into the professional orchestra you see today.

The orchestra, first known as The Fine Arts Chamber Orchestra, began under the direction of Timothy Claughbaugh who has served as the organist for St. Mary’s Church in Sandusky since 1982. It was at this time that the organization changed its name to The Firelands Symphony Orchestra and was established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. Under the direction of Santos Perez the orchestra grew, however it was not until May of 2008 when Carl Topilow was engaged to lead the FSO.

Since Maestro Topilow’s appointment as music director and conductor, the Firelands Symphony Orchestra has expanded to include not only local musicians and instructors, but students from both the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

If you haven't attended a performance yet, it's not too late. Check out their schedule, and bring the whole family.

It's a local show, supporting the local community. And you get to see the amazing talent that's in our area.

 

 

Toothbrush Trot 5K Relay Builds Handicap-Accessible Playground

July 17th, 2019

We're having a 5K Toothbrush Trot Relay Race to kick-off on Sat. Aug 10 at Osborn MetroPark in Huron, Ohio from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The relay will support the Capable Kids Playground Project, a handicap-accessible playground in Toledo, Ohio. The public is invited to register for the relay at www.iamathlete.com.

The 5K Relay Race will consist of teams of three people, each running or walking 1.04 miles while passing a toothbrush as a baton. A Capable Kids Playground Project costs approximately $90,000 to build.

The Capable Kids organization, based in Toledo, Ohio helps children with impairments ranging from being in wheelchairs, wearing leg braces, having difficulty with their balance, and being unaware of safety norms, along with a collection of medical diagnoses. Currently, Capable Kids has an adjacent lot next to their building, but no playground equipment for their students.

“This event is special for me, as a mother of two, young special-needs kids, we appreciate handicap accessible playgrounds so much,” said Alexa Klassen, DDS, associate dentist at Stefano Dental of Sandusky, Ohio. “I’m grateful for the support of Dr. Stefano and our team to help us build the Capable Kids Playground Project, near my home in Woodson, Ohio,” said Dr. Klassen.

Stefano Dentals has already gained the support of 20 additional dental offices and businesses to sponsor the race.  In addition to the race, there will be a Dental Health Fair where participants can get information about oral health.

Please help us help these kids! If you're a company or organization that wants to be part of the relay, please don't hesitate to call us or sign-up online!

Thank you!

 

Happy July 4th

July 8th, 2019

From our Stefano Dental family to yours, we wanted to wish you a fabulous July 4th holiday.

Taking a time out, a pause, from our daily routine is always a great way to refresh, renew, and restart.

July 4th is a great time to reconnect with family and friends with food, celebration and fireworks, and a time to remember all the military families that have sacrificed so much for our independence.

Whether you celebrate in your own backyard or do something spectacular like enjoy the fireworks in New York City or the lawn of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., find a way to take time out this holiday week.

For those in the 24/7 service business, like police, fire and medical personnel, thank you for you service on these holidays.

Dr. Stefano enjoys fireworks on Lake Erie, with her husband and daughters. It's a time to enjoy local friends and visit with neighbors.

However you enjoy the holiday, make sure you practice fireworks safety, and beat the heat by using sunblock and staying hydrated.

Remember it's easy to get dehydrated especially if you're enjoying adult beverages. So fill up on the water bottles.

And if the heat is not your cup of tea, there are several wonderful firework shows that are previewed on TV, like the PBS Capitol Fourth.

Whether you choose sun or shade, take some time to re-calibrate this July 4th. Independence Day comes once a year---many take time out to vacation, travel and take a break.

We wish you a wonderful, safe July 4th holiday!

Raising $7K for Sandusky Care and Share

July 3rd, 2019

We did it! You did it! You whitened your teeth, and we made brighter smiles not only with patients but with our Sandusky Care and Share! That's right. The local Care and Share helps those in need of food and necessities in our local Sandusky area.

And we're giving $7,000 back. It all started with offering whitening, but so many of you went above and beyond to help those in need.

Giving is infectious and when you get started, it's hard to stop. What a great way to help others become independent, on Independence Day.

Children and families all over our community will be able to rest easier having the supplies they need to take care of their families.

Whether you gave a little or a lot, it all counted. It all mattered. We're thrilled to be able to make difference in our own backyard.

We love to give for some many reasons, but one is that we get to show others how easy it is to give, how easy it is to create a 'wave' of giving---that once someone starts giving, others follow and help the cause.

So if you have a great idea, or want to start giving to a particular cause---find a way to begin  and then spread the news. No matter who are, you can make difference in helping others.

Thank you to our patients, with extra sparkling teeth this summer, for donating to our local Care and Share. Your smile might be brighter, but so are so many lives too.

Thank you!

July Birthday Celebration!

June 25th, 2019

And Happy Birthday to Wendy, our expanded function dental assistant! She's a July birthday, full of smiles and fireworks!

She assists our doctors' in giving our patients the most awesome experience they can if you need restoration of your smile.

She says her title promotes the question "Huh...what do you do?" I complete our amazing doctors preparations. In brief terms, she's your smile artist! She reconstructs your teeth with man-made materials so when you leave our office your smile is confident and beautiful. She has been in the dental industry since 2002. My specialties are fillings, crowns and veneers, tooth replacement options, dentures, implants and Invisalign. Her goal, along side our amazing team, is to make sure your smile gives you confidence!

Outside of the dental world, she's married with 3 children. Her husband Dale is her best friend and she says traveling through life is such a pleasure with him. She continues to love the art of baking, cooking, remodeling houses and interior design. She relaxes with her family on the beach, in a kayak, a campfire with country music or watching Cleveland Indians baseball.

Next time you see Wendy, please give her a big smile and wish her a very happy birthday. We're so happy to have her be a part of our Stefano Dental team.

She's committed to the excellence in patient care and loves to help others. Dr. Stefano and Dr. Klassen couldn't do their jobs without her attention to details and professionalism.

Thank you Wendy and Happy Birthday!

June Birthday Celebrations!

June 18th, 2019

Special shout out to our June birthdays at Team Stefano Dental! Brittany and Amy!

Brittany is our patient relations administrator (dental assistant). She's here to make sure you have a great experience at Stefano Dental! As a native of Huron, she loves working here. She graduated from the Toledo Dental Academy and joined the team in October of 2009. She enjoys volunteering in our community with Stefano Dental, being the new patient coordinator and helping patients overcome their fears and to enjoy their smiles! She loves being surrounded by doctors and staff who are amazing role models. Outside the office, she loves spending time with her husband Ben, their daughter Emma, and son Calvin. They also enjoy time spent with family and friends out on the lake boating, camping, food of course and scrap-booking memories.

Amy is our financial administrator. She helps our patients achieve their dental needs and goals. Once, you have seen Dr. Stefano or Dr. Klassen, she helps you find a way to obtain your dental care. She works closely, with the doctors to help provide you with affordable dentistry. She loves interacting with her patients and getting to know you better. She enjoys being a part of the Stefano team of fun, caring professionals. Her vision is to partner with our patients as a dedicated, highly skilled team. Her free time is spent with husband Tim, children Michelle and Aaron and their families. She has six wonderful grandchildren too. She enjoys spending time with family, friends, boating, and traveling.

 

Say hello to Brittany and Amy this month! Happy Birthday!

Sleep Apnea 101 -- Do you have it and what can you do?

June 11th, 2019

If you snore, you know it can be an annoying disruption during an otherwise good night’s sleep.

Is It snoring or sleep apnea? Both snoring and sleep apnea result from obstructions in your airway as you breathe during sleep. Soft tissues relax in the throat area, partially blocking the airway, and vibrate with the passage of air. This vibration causes that distinctive snoring sound. But sleep apnea is more than just noise caused by vibrating tissue.

What are some of the consequences of sleep apnea? You’re probably well aware of the nighttime miseries of sleep apnea. But this condition can also impair your health and quality of life during the day. Sleep apnea sufferers often experience:

  • Constant drowsiness
  • Falling asleep at work or while driving
  • Morning headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Dry mouth (which can lead to gum and dental problems)
  • Memory and attention problems
  • Moodiness or depression
  • Decreased libido

As if these reasons weren’t cause enough to find a solution to your sleeping disorder, the longer term results of sleep apnea can be devastating. Many serious conditions and consequences have been linked to sleep apnea, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Dangerous reactions to medication
  • Problems with general anesthesia
  • A higher risk of accidents

What treatments are available? Many treatments, ranging from behavior modification to surgery, have proven successful in providing patients with a better night’s sleep.

  • Behavior Modification: Losing weight, abstaining from alcohol, even changing your sleep position can be effective in mild cases.
  • Oral Appliances: These specially fitted devices, which resemble mouthguards, can advance the jaw or hold the tongue forward to maximize airway space as you sleep.
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): For those with moderate to severe sleep apnea, CPAP machines, which provide pressurized air through a tube attached to a mask, deliver a gentle flow of air to keep airways open.

Now that you’re up on the basics of Sleep Apnea 101, if you suspect that you might be suffering from sleep apnea, make an appointment with our office today. It’s time to graduate to a restful, healthy night’s sleep!

Dentists and Dairy

June 5th, 2019

June is National Dairy Month, and with that many of us think of the value of milk. Calcium and Vitamin D come to mind.

Calcium and Vitamin D are essentials for strong bones and teeth. Get the recommended calcium and Vitamin D daily as part of your overall health.

There are many ways to get calcium in so many different dairy products. Milk, cheeses, cream cheese, ice cream and yogurts are all delicious ways to get your much needed calcium and Vitamin D.

And if you're dairy intolerant. Don't forget almonds and green leafy vegetables which are also a good source of vitamins and calcium, especially greens like spinach and kale. There are also a variety of plant-based milks, like almond, coconut and rice milks.

You can also get a good dose of Vitamin D from spending some time in the sun. Albeit be cautious of sun over-exposure, the sun provides natural Vitamin D. Take a walk or read a good book outdoors. Natural sunlight is an excellent way to get your 'D'!

Make sure you get your regular dental check-ups in, floss and use a fluoride toothpaste for strong teeth. But don't forget to take in the necessary Vitamin D and calcium to get your bones and teeth strong.

This proper nutrition will help prevent tooth loss as we age. Strengthening our teeth now when we can, will help us have healthier smiles in the future.

For more information on how to keep your teeth healthy and strong, check out this WebMd link.

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/news/20000927/keep-that-smile-calcium-vitamin-d-prevent-tooth-loss#1

Don't forget to grab a glass of milk today!

Stuff the Bus is Here: School Supplies for those in Need

May 29th, 2019

We're getting ready to stuff the bus again this year! We need your help to make it another success for kids in need.

Stefano Dental, DDS, Inc. of Sandusky, Ohio is helping to support Stuff the Bus from June through Aug. 2 by collecting school supplies for local children in need. Stefano Dental is joined by United Way of Erie County, Ohio and Vacation Land Federal Credit Union in the school supply fundraiser. The goal is to provide a minimum of 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies for grades kindergarten through fifth grade for the 2019-2020 school year.  For more information, call 419.626.2205.

“Kids who are prepared for school---do well in school, and we want to ensure a successful start to the school year for as many kids as we can,” said Lata Stefano, DDS, owner of Lata Stefano, DDS., Inc of Sandusky, Ohio.

Each school year, an estimated 2,800 children in Erie County, Ohio will lack the supplies needed to enter the classroom ready to learn. School supplies needed include: backpacks (drawstrings acceptable, no wheels); Crayola Crayons (16 or 24 box); Crayola Watercolor Markers (one set of 8); one ruler (with standard and metric systems); glue sticks; bottled glue; folders (2 pockets, solid colors); wide-ruled paper; Fiskars scissors; pink erasers; and pencil boxes.

Tax deductible monetary donations will also be accepted for backpacks and school supplies. Please make checks payable to United Way of Erie County and write “school supplies” on the memo line.

Help us give back. No donation is too small. Let's get as many backpacks filled as we can!

May is National Dental Health Month; Let's Smile

May 21st, 2019

With all the special holiday months --- we just got another one named in 2019---May was also designated as National Dental Health Month. It's also National Strawberry Month, National Mental Health Month and National Military Appreciation Month. All things we love to talk about. Have you tried any local strawberries yet?

Of course, our favorite topic is National Dental Health Month! At Stefano Dental, your oral health is what keeps us going and educated on the latest procedures and technologies.

Many people ask me why I got into dentistry? I always knew I wanted to be a physician of some kind. And toward the end of my undergraduate program which was in zoology...yes, zoology! I love animals too, have you met my two dogs, Josie and Maggie?

Toward the end of that program, I was leaning toward dental school...and got accepted into the THE Ohio State University Dental School. Go Bucks!

What I didn't realize then, was that smiles would be why I love dentistry! Who knew the power of a healthy smile back in my 20s. As I age, I see how a healthy smile can create confidence, self-esteem and positive feelings in a patient.

Could you say a healthy smile helps with your emotional well-being? I think so. Smiling helps no matter what, but when you smile AND feel good about yourself, you're creating a whole other dynamic.

So maybe it's a perfect pair to join National Dental Health Month and National Mental Health Month. Smiles are contagious and smiles help us spread positive vibes inside and out.

I'm grateful to be a part of that chemistry!

Keep on smiling!

Whiter Smiles-Brighter Futures

May 13th, 2019

Why do we whiten smiles for charity? Every year we take time to help a local shelter or organization in need. Our office provides all the services for free, the only thing the patient gives is $99 --- which goes directly to the charity. Stefano Dental receives no fees or compensation for the whitening.

This year we chose the local Care & Share. The Sandusky Care and Share supports families in need with food and necessities for living.

They rely on the generous donations of the community to provide for these families in need.

If you're planning to whiten  your teeth, please think about stopping by, because whitening your smile can bring a smile to other's faces.

Something as simple as dental procedure could provide necessary food and care to a family that's struggling with everyday needs.

And if you decide you don't want to whiten, please consider donating a grocery store gift card. Any amount can help.

Stefano Dental has been whitening teeth for charity for several years, and we're committed to giving back through our dental services.

If you have suggestions on organizations that need support, we'd love to hear from you.

Together we can make a difference and there are so many ways to help.

Our whitening procedures are simple and effective and can go a long way for a brighter smile. A brighter smile can help someone have a brighter future.

We're offering our whitening service for charity through June 30. So please consider what you can do to make a difference.

Whiter smiles can offer brighter futures!

Military Appreciation Month in May

May 10th, 2019

We like to give a big shout out to our Dr. Klassen! A long-time military reservist, serving in the US Navy.

Dr. K is an important part of our Dr. Stefano staff. Her critical thinking, superior clinical care and passionate patient care are what makes her an excellent part of our team.

When Dr. K isn't making beautiful smiles, she's spending time with her husband and two sons. She received her doctorate of dental surgery from Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry. Upon completion of dental school, she spent the following year studying and gaining experience in the fields of general dentistry, oral surgery, endodontics, and acute care during a credentialing tour with the United States Navy.

She was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and lived in nearby Brighton and attended Bowling Green State University to earn her bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry. She has always had a strong desire to live a life of service to others and thus decided to join the United States Navy as a dental officer upon the completion of schooling. While in the Navy, she lived in Rhode Island, South Carolina, Mississippi, Illinois, and Okinawa, Japan.

Upon the resignation of her active-duty position, she moved with her husband and two sons to Woodville, Ohio, to be close to her family and friends. As a family, they are frequent visitors to the parks in the area, and love bike rides, basketball games, bonfires, and trips to their cabin in Northern Michigan where cell phones and the Internet still do not exist.

Help us thank Dr. K for her service in the military.

May is National Mental Health Month

May 6th, 2019

May is National Mental Health Month! Many people either know someone suffering with mental illness or suffer from a mental illness themselves.

There are many organizations that can help you with treatment, support and guidance in dealing with mental illness. One of the largest mental health advocacy groups is NAMI. The National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Here is some information from the National Alliance on Mental Illness that you can use to help get the resources you need.

  • 1 in 5 people live with a mental health condition.
  • Out of the 2 million people living in the Northern Virginia, 400,000 will experience a mental health condition in any given year.   And many more are family members and friend of someone who lives with a mental health condition
  • Mental health conditions include: bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and many other diagnoses.
  • There is typically 10 years between the emergence of symptoms and treatment!
  • We can all reduce stigma and provide a safe space for people to reach out for help by better understanding mental health and remembering that having an illness or disorder does not define who a person is.
  • With support and effective treatment—which is unique to each individual—there is hope!  Everyone can move towards wellness.
  • FNAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers support groups, classes, educational presentations, a Help Line and much more for both individuals living with a mental health condition and family members--at no cost to the participants.
  • These programs are a great way to learn more and to connect with other people who really “get it.”  And . . . you discover that you are not alone and there is hope!
  • NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) has a thousand affiliates across the country.
  • You can find your local affiliate by going to NAMI.org and searching under “Find My NAMI.”

Don't wait --- get help now.

Making the Top 5 Dentists - Sandusky Register Readers Choice Awards

May 1st, 2019

You may have heard...we're so grateful to have made the top 5 dentists in the Sandusky Register's Readers' Choice Awards. We are so thankful for our patients and community to provide us with the opportunity to be named top dentist in Sandusky, Ohio.

Now thru May 14, you can vote once a day for your favorite dentist. Go to www.sanduskyregister.com and you can see the choices.

One of the things we strive for, is to not only give great dentistry, but be a part of our community. Not only are we responsible to our patients, but we're responsible to our neighbors and community to give back and do better.

Making a difference and giving support to those in need is part of our mission at Stefano Dental. We're so proud of our team that works hard inside and outside of our office to help give superior service.

Our community is what makes it possible for us to give back over and over and over again. When we show up, our community shows up with us.

Sometimes it only takes one person to start the momentum of giving back. So don't be shy. If you have an idea or goal to help someone else, or create positive change, start talking to your friends, loved ones and neighbors. Build your own community of change right in your own back yard.

We're always so appreciative of the kindness and generosity of patients. Thank you for putting us in the top dentists of the Sandusky, Ohio area.

We see you, we noticed...and we're thrilled to be a part of Sandusky, Ohio.

Spring Cleaning - Clean Up and Clean Out

April 16th, 2019

Spring cleaning is underway for many of us. We decide to clean out our closets and deep clean our homes. But at Stefano Dental---we like to think of spring cleaning for ourselves and growth.

Is there a new project, activity or hobby that you've wanted to start and just haven't. Are you using your talents to their fullest?

Can you help others in some small way that you haven't?

Do you regularly tell yourself that you'll start or begin something later---and then don't. And you can't find the time?

Spring cleaning can be about re-growth and renewal.

You can plant a tree, start composting--find ways to give back to the Earth.

You can begin new friendships, or remove yourself from relationships that no longer serve your higher self, or maybe realize they never did serve you.

Clearing out cobwebs from your house---can also be a way of cleaning out cobwebs from our own well being.

Spring cleaning is fabulous time to get out and get on with it. If you've felt stuck or felt like you can't---spring cleaning is a time to remind you that you can.

At Stefano Dental --- we encourage and support our employees to be able to achieve their continuing education goals and provide leadership coaching to all of our staff---so we can lead and be a part of a team in the most effective way.

Next time you get your mop and duster out for spring cleaning, remember that spring cleaning can start with you.

Because You Can!

National Child Abuse Prevention Month - Help a Child

April 9th, 2019


National Child Abuse Prevention Month reminds us of the ongoing problem of how much the most innocent part of our population are in need of awareness and support---to prevent child abuse.

Make a difference where you can and how you can. Any adult who's paying attention can help a child who's facing abuse. Whether it's a doctor, dentist, teacher, parent of a friend, minister---stay aware of your surroundings and listen to the signs of child abuse.

There are many ways to provide comfort to a child. Whether it's comforting words, support or intervention, continue efforts to intervene with abuse. Abuse can come in forms of physical, mental and emotional.

At Stefano Dental--we like to advocate for children--whether it's for Kids in Crisis who need stuffed animals during critical times---when fire or police are called to their homes. We also support kids in need at our local Erie County Health Department for free dental care.

Our local Care and Share also helps many families in need.

There are many organizations that you can get involved with that help children experiencing child abuse. CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocates for children is a great organization that supports children's well being. There are many children that have experienced some form of abuse that are part of CASA.

National Child Abuse Prevention Month is a way for our communities to not only be aware, but to investigate ways that we can actively make a difference and reduce child abuse incidents in our neighborhoods and communities.

Know better, do better.

 

Oral Cancer Awareness Month - April

April 3rd, 2019

April is a time to do a lot spring cleaning. It's important to do check ups too, that you might not have considered otherwise.

Oral Cancer Awareness Month is in April. Talk to your doctor or dentist to discuss this simple screening. At Stefano Dental we provide this screening, and can offer it to you during your regular dental check ups.

If you have a history of tobacco use--chewing or smoking ---your risk for oral cancer could be higher.

Prevention is key with oral cancer ---so don't wait until you feel symptoms to get checked. Oral cancer can affect all areas of the mouth, tongue, etc. Throat and esophageal cancer can also be affected by oral cancers.

We use the Introducing the VELscope® Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment System, which centers on a wireless, handheld scope that uses natural tissue fluorescence to enhance the way clinicians visualize oral mucosal abnormalities that might not be apparent or even visible to the naked eye. https://ledapteryx.com/velscope/

Stefano Dental tries to ensure we have the latest technologies and screenings to give our patients the best service and clinical advice.

The more you know, the more choices you'll have. Oral cancer screenings can be done once a year, depending your family history and personal health history.

The key is prevention. And National Oral Cancer Awareness Month is about making the public more aware of oral cancer.

Work with your dentist and ask questions. We're here to help and keep you healthy.

Next time you're at Stefano Dental, ask about the VELscope.

Voting-Your Voice Makes a Difference

March 27th, 2019

It's voting time at the Sandusky Register! That means choosing the 'Best Of' in your area.

We strive to offer the best dental practice, best patient care, best random acts of kindness. Being the best of, reminds us of being the best of ourselves.

Putting our best forward. Do we give the best of ourselves at home, work and with our communities?

If we don't, what are some ways we can start showing our 'best of?'

Although we love and appreciate nominations for best dental practice---we know the real practice of 'best of' is our everyday patient care.

Did we show concern? Did we treat our patients with the best clinical care, knowledge and best practices? Did we smile? Did we show passion in our care?

Did we show that we love what we do? Did we listen and did we respond with clarity and compassion?

That's our measure of 'best of.' So yes, vote on. Vote for Stefano Dental. But we hope our 'real' vote comes through successfully treating our patients, getting a patient referral or just hearing a thank you, because a patient is finally comfortable smiling, when they weren't before because of misshapen or diseased teeth.

One of the reasons we encourage continuing education with our staff is that we want to stay current with our best dental practices. It's important that we educate and offer our patients with the latest technological advances and equipment to better serve their needs.

Thank you for voting. We're voting for all of us to be the 'best' we can be!

http://promotions.sanduskyregister.com/SR-RCA-2019/gallery?group=313358

Sleep Apnea; Ask Your Dentist

March 20th, 2019

Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder that happens when your regular breathing is interrupted during sleep. Snoring is common among patients with sleep apnea, but not all snorers have sleep apnea.

Stefano Dental can help with sleep apnea. It's important to get a proper diagnosis.

Here are some risk factors of sleep apnea:

  • over 40
  • overweight
  • with large tonsils, large tongue or small jaw
  • with a family history of sleep apnea
  • with a nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies or sinus problems.

With proper intervention, you can treat sleep apnea by adjusting your sleep or not sleeping on your back; trying different oral devices that help your airways, or check with your doctor about air pressure device that will help improve air flow.

If none of these provide relief--some patients seek out surgery to help eliminate an obstruction. Sometimes tonsils might have to be removed.

Be sure to talk to your physician or dentist about how to evaluate and treat your sleep apnea.

Many people suffer from poor sleep or interrupted sleep with sleep apnea. Many don't realize that their sleep is getting compromised daily from untreated sleep apnea.

When you go in for your bi-yearly dental cleanings, ask your doctor about sleep apnea. Not all snorers have sleep apnea--but if it's something that's affecting your life--be sure to check it out.

It can be a simple procedure or device that can alleviate symptoms--and you'll feel more rested as well.

Giving Back More Stuffed Animals - Kids in Crisis Get Comfort

March 12th, 2019

We love helping kids. We appreciate all the help from our patients who helped us collect 100 stuffed animals for kids in crisis!

These are kids who are in emergency situations, that Sandusky Police and Fire meet with everyday. These stuffed animals are a bit of comfort for these children.

When children are met with something comforting, familiar and fun, like a stuffed animal, it can help self-soothe them in an otherwise chaotic environment.

We're deeply grateful to our community of patients who went out of their way to drop off a stuffed animal. Even the youngest patients helped out.

We had a 3-year old who decided to collect stuffed animals at his birthday party instead of getting presents. He and his brother dropped off several stuffed animals for our kids in crisis donation.

Giving is contagious, and when you can show children how to give back, you're teaching a new generation how to help their community and the world.

We are also grateful to our local police and fire departments who inspired us to collect the stuffed animals. They go the extra mile everyday to help kids in crisis. We were thrilled to be able to support their efforts.

Everyone can help kids in crisis. Kids in crisis don't have to be kids in crisis for long. By having people surrounding them with support, love and guidance, these kids can find structure, balance and comfort again.

These stuffed animals are just part of the equation of helping kids!

Thank you for your continued support!

Floss 101 at Local Elementary Schools

March 4th, 2019

Dr. Stefano loves talking teeth, especially with children. She spent the day visiting Shawnee Elementary school teaching kids how to brush their teeth properly and how to floss properly.

She even had kids line up, just like teeth, and weave string in between them...to show them how important it is to get in between the tight spots of our teeth.

This demonstration was the highlight of the demonstration, full of smiles and giggles. Kids also learned how to brush correctly.

Brushing for a full two minutes is one of the keys to good brushing. It's also important to use fluoride and brush all the teeth completely. Children especially have a tendency to stay stuck in one area of their mouth. It's good to remind them to brush top and bottom and to touch on each tooth.

For even more oral hygiene, try brushing your tongue. Or better yet, use a tongue scraper to get the excess bacteria off your tongue. Dr. Stefano recommends the Tongue Tool.

Many kids also use a fluoride rinse after brushing. Fluoride rinses like ACT are a good choice. Try to find a rinse that's alcohol free. There are many flavors, so pick something that works best for your child.

There are also many different types of floss. Waxed, unwaxed, flavored, hand-held, string, floss picks and floss brushes. For children, there are many fun hand-held flossers that might make it easier for children to manually floss their own teeth.

The key to good flossing is to make sure you do it once a day. Regular flossing keeps your gums healthy!

 

Cyndi - Our Employee of the Month

February 26th, 2019

We've all heard about concierges at hotels. It's the go-to person that seems to have an answer for everything or directs you to exactly what you need or where you need to be.

Well, at Stefano Dental...we have a Patient Concierge. And that's our Cyndi! Cyndi is our employee of the month, and we're thrilled to have her a part of the team!

She's always eager to help and will always be able to find an answer for our patients...and if she doesn't have an answer, she can usually find someone who does have an answer!

She helps out at the front desk by welcoming and checking in patients, answering phones, filing, and handling patient correspondence. She joined the dental field in 1977 and has loved being with this practice since 1995. Patient interaction and working with such a great group of people are her favorite parts of her job.

At home, she's married to an incredible man. And enjoys her outside kittens too. She likes to cook, sew, bicycle, and travel on their motorcycle. She and her husband are avid National Drag Racing fans as well.

Cyndi was thrilled to be named employee of the month---and always brings a smile to the office and to her patients.

She always has a good ear to listen, as patients like to share stories with her about their lives and families.

Cyndi is a veteran in our office and has been great at mentoring our new staff too. We're so grateful to showcase Cyndi this  month!

Thank you Cyndi!

Links Between Gum Disease and Alzheimer's?

February 19th, 2019


Some researches are looking at the possibility of the connection between gum disease and Alzheimer's Disease.

Interesting data has been collected causing many scientists to ask whether oral health might be connected to the brain tissue.

This article in the BBC gives an overview of the research and the publications that have outlined the studies.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-46986709

Regardless of whether gum disease is tied to Alzheimer's, periodontal care and regular flossing is essential to overall oral health, especially as you age.

The health of teeth is also connected to the health of gums. It's imperative that through regular cleanings and dental check-ups, a dentist can exam the gum tissue and tooth health.

Remember, no matter what your age...prevention is the key to the best oral health. Eating healthy foods, avoiding tobacco products and regular brushing can make a huge difference in overall health.

Physicians are now linking oral health symptoms to physical conditions, as a warning sign to alert patients to possible medical issues that were not initially recognized without the dental exam.

Be sure to ask your dentist about your gum health and if you have periodontal issues, ask him/her the best way to prevent more serious issues. For more critical periodontal issues, your dentist can refer you to a periodontist, a doctor who specifically specializes in the treatment of the gums.

So don't delay. Pay attention to your gums and keep flossing. Flossing once a day is all it takes. There are many choices of floss out there, find the best floss that works for you.

Here's to healthy gums!

Leadership and Mentoring in Schools

February 11th, 2019

Dr. Stefano loved being part of Mr. Seller's Leadership Class at McCormick Junior High School to to talk about service, gratitude, and the power of the handwritten thank you note!

Whenever you have a chance to be a part of the next generation, take the opportunity! Dr. Stefano recently visited our local junior high school to talk about giving back and being responsible to their community and their planet.

When you can mentor a child or inspire a child to lead by example, you're grooming the next generation of leaders and fostering a generation to empathize and care about others.

Leaders aren't about bulldozing forward for themselves, rather leaders can only lead when they have others to lead. So moving forward as a team and group is really what good leadership is about.

Dr. Stefano talked about including and unifying people, rather than separating people by differences. By seeking to understand others point of view and other's life experiences, we gain a greater understanding of ourselves, our neighbors and our world.

But to understand, we need to listen. And effective communication starts by listening, patiently and intently. Listening to understand is much different than just hearing someone speak.

Dr. Stefano talked about her office's random acts of kindness, and shared how students could do very simple gestures to show kindness---maybe it's smiling at someone new, sharing something or just saying hello.

The key to being a leader is to realize that you're helping others become leaders too. Give back, and lead.

Stuffed Animals for Kids in Crisis; Children's Dental Health Month

February 6th, 2019

Lata Stefano, D.D.S of Stefano Dental of Sandusky, Ohio kicks off National Children’s Dental Health Month by collecting stuffed animals for kids in crisis through March 1, 2019. The stuffed animals will be donated to the local Sandusky Police and Fire Departments to pass out to children going through crisis. Participants will be entered into a raffle to win a children’s Sonicare toothbrush; one raffle ticket is given per stuffed animal. To donate stuffed animals, stop by Stefano Dental at 1617 W. Bogart Road in Sandusky, Ohio.

This fundraiser was so successful last year, that Dr. Stefano knew she had to do it again this year! There's no better way to give a child a smile, than to give them a cuddly stuffed animal, especially in a time of uncertainty or crisis.

Many children experience trauma and stress during a fire or emergency, and these stuffed animals are exactly what some of these kids need to offer them comfort and assurance during this conflicted time.

Whether you have one stuffed animal to donate or many---any donation can make a difference with one child.

Children's Dental Health Month is a great time to focus not just on kids' dental health, but kids overall emotional health.

One toy, one stuffed animal can make the difference for a child feeling scared and a child feeling protected and safe.

You don't have to be a patient of Stefano Dental to donate. Just stop by our offices in Perkins Township, Ohio during office hours, and drop off your stuffed animals.

Together, we make a difference.

 

The Oral Effects of Vaping

January 30th, 2019

We all remember the stigma of yellow teeth and tobacco cigarettes. Now that vaping has become the latest trend and on the rise, many don't attribute the same oral risks to vaping as they would to tobacco cigarettes. Studies are showing that vaping can be equally dangerous to your oral health---just as bad if not worse than smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes.

People assume vaping is safe option, but that's just not the case. The chemicals used in vaping can be very damaging to teeth. Vaping might taste good with all the different flavors, but it's certainly not good for you.

Vaping can cause cavities, damage to oral tissue, enamel issues, and even lesions.  Dry mouth is another symptom from vaping...and constant dry mouth can lead to other oral issues.

Vaping can also lead to tooth loss and more superficially lead to yellowing teeth.

There are many articles that you can find on the oral side effects of vaping. Most importantly, talk to you children about the damaging side effects and become educated on the risk factors.

Knowledge is power. Although vaping seems like the new trend without the same risks as tobacco cigarettes, adults and teens would be wise to research the chemicals in vaping and the long-term consequences of regular vaping.

Check in with your dentist and ask her/him about the vaping risks and effects. Vaping might seem benign, but the more we learn about this new trend, the more we learn that the best option with vaping, is not to vape at all.

For more information on the effects of vaping on oral health. Check out--https://www.perioimplantadvisory.com/articles/2019/01/vaping-and-oral-health-it-s-worse-than-you-think.html

Montie Joins the 50s Club!

January 24th, 2019

Happy Birthday to Montie! Montie is our Expanded Function Dental Assistant, and has been with us for years! We're happy to welcome her to the 50s Club!

She assists our doctors with whatever they ask of her while maintaining all office procedures. She joined the dental field in 1987 and has been with this practice since 1990. She absolutely loves helping people, and this job is such a rewarding way to go about doing that! Her goal is to give patients nothing but the best each and every day.

She loves spending time with her family and has been married for more than 25 years. She has three children and enjoys the outdoors and wide open spaces. They are active in sports, and they love spending downtime by their pool or Lake Erie.

Montie has been instrumental in the success of Stefano Dental. She's been a veteran dental assistant and has mentored other staff in dental assistant skills.

Patients love to see Montie and share their stories with. She's built great relationships with our patients and our community. Many times she is the dentist's 'right hand woman'.

Stefano Dental is thrilled to have Montie as part of the team and we hope that her 50th birthday is filled with celebration and many new chapters for her and her family.

Please take some time to wish Montie a happy birthday, whether in person, on Facebook or Instagram, or send us an email.

Thank you Montie for your decades of service to Stefano Dental and the Sandusky, Ohio community.

35 Year Anniversary; Congratulations to Lee!

January 15th, 2019

Lee has been one of our certified dental assistants for 35 years! She assists our doctors at chairside, helps out with lab duties, and makes sure she's doing what she can so that our patients achieve their dental health goals!

She's been in the dental field since 1976, and just loves clinical assisting, creating new smiles, and keeping up a friendly environment. She says our doctors are very progressive, and they really appreciate all the hard work that we do.

Lee is an avid boater and has lived in the Lake Erie area most of her life. She's always able to help out and and has dedicated her life to helping her patients have the best dental care.

After raising two boys, she's been able to spend a lot of time in the dental care field, watching so many of her patients grow up and move on to creating their own families.

She loves seeing different generations of families come through Stefano Dental's office. Grandparents, parents, children---who she has treated throughout the years.

Lee is now working on a part time basis, but patients still love to see her smiling face as she makes her way through the different patient rooms.

She's been instrumental to our Stefano Dental team. And has helped mentor many new employees throughout the years.

Next time you see Lee, please congratulate her on this major milestone of 35 years of service to dentistry.

Thank you Lee! We're grateful for your time and dedication to patient care!

Dr. Lata Stefano Day in Cleveland, Ohio; Jan. 5

January 9th, 2019

We're so honored to announce that the Mayor of Cleveland named Jan. 5 as Lata Stefano Day. As a Cleveland native, Dr. Stefano's 50th birthday was noted in the Mayor's proclamation as well as her service to her community, friends and family.

Our office has been mentored by Dr. Stefano's inspiration to give back and be a better version of ourselves.

She does her best to live by example and to put her money where her mouth is, as they say.

As she gathered with some of her favorite local friends in Huron and Sandusky at Cleveland's Marble Room, Dr. Stefano was reminded of the good fortune and blessings that she's been granted.

Along with her husband, she toasted the support of others, because one of life's great lessons at 50 is that no one achieves their goals completely alone.

Along the journey of life, friends, family and colleagues, join us on the journey to be our best and to remind us of all the blessings that we are surrounded by daily.

We're thrilled to join the Mayor in celebrating Dr. Lata Stefano on Jan. 5.  Her own light shines the light on others, and continues to showcase the Huron/Sandusky community to encourage and rally others to give back.

So, when Jan. 5, 2020 rolls around next year, if you happen to think about Dr. Lata Stefano, remember a way to give back and inspire someone else to as well.

Clean Out, Refresh, Rejuvenate

January 5th, 2019

As we move into the new year, many of us think about cleaning out, renewing, re-doing, revisiting old projects that need cleaned out.

The act of cleaning out or cleansing is really a practice we all use daily for our well being. Whether it's brushing our teeth, bathing, skin regimens, nail care or hair styling, we all look for ways to refresh ourselves.

Providing yourself an environment--whether at home, vacation or work that provides you a feeling of being refreshed, is an important step in getting yourself on a path of rejuvenation.

Getting rid of the old, and bringing in the new is also a way to get centered and re-focused on things that matter to you.

And you don't have to wait until January to start over or refresh.

Maybe you change how much sleep you get or what you eat for breakfast or spending less time on social media.

Whatever ways you find that will refresh yourself and your environment--don't wait for a holiday or vacation or summer to begin.

Our best intentions can be lived out whenever we decide to do so.

Sometimes it's fun to include your family on ways to refresh or renew. By including your family, you can help hold each other accountable with gentle reminders and support to keep on the new path of rejuvenation.

Our teeth need refreshed daily, twice a day if you're listening to your dentist; our minds and spirit also need refreshed too.

Make an effort to make one small change this year!

Raffle Winners; Cleaner Smiles

January 4th, 2019

Congratulations to our Sonicare raffle winner! We hold a raffle every year with our toy donation.

We were thrilled to see one of our patients won the Sonicare kit. Just another way for us to give back and make smiles.

We're so grateful to all our patients for making our toy drive so successful. We succeeded in making a generous donation to our local toy drive filled with various toys and gift cards.

Not only do kids need to be remembered during the holidays; but don't forget about seniors who are in senior care centers.

We also have had drives for seniors in need. We've collected personal hygiene and other gifts that our elderly need or desire.

And if you don't have gifts, sometimes a visit or hello is a perfect way to give back to our senior community. So make a new friend and make some time to give back.

Local senior centers and homeless shelters are open year round for those of you looking for ways to give back beyond the holiday time.

Homeless are in need of coats, hats, gloves and scarves. Many of us tend to forget about giving when the giving season is over. But we have plenty of winter days left and warm clothing is always in need for all sizes through the cold, long months. In the Cleveland area, we all know our winter sometimes carries right into spring.

We are always looking for new ways to give. If you have a suggestion, please make a recommendation to our front office. We love to include the community in our random acts of kindness!

 

Joyous Giving

January 3rd, 2019

We hope you had a fantastic holiday! Now that wrapping paper is picked up and everyone is back to school and work---we hope you're taking a breath.

We were able to donate so many gifts to our toy drive and we're so thrilled we could. It was our generous patients that made our donation so great this year! Thank you!

We hope you were able to experience 'joyous giving' this year. Giving because you have to, or feel forced to isn't joyous giving.

Giving because you can, giving because it's your heart's desire, giving because you know it's helping someone--gives back to the giver too.

How many of us gave to someone else, and watched that person enjoy the gift? It probably felt better than opening up and receiving your own gift.

Joyous giving isn't something you have to wait for once a year in December. You can give year around.

When you're making a new year's resolution, thinking about the commitment to giving. Maybe it's giving to a cause, giving of your time, maybe it's giving more self-care to YOURSELF.

Taking care of our minds, bodies and spirits allows us the space in ourselves to feel joy and gives us the capacity to give back to others.

No matter how you give-make time for yourself. Give yourself quiet time, reading time, time with your family, time in the gym, time to breathe.

Giving allows us the capacity to give more. It's why giving is the best multiplier. You never feel less for giving.

Happy 2019!

December Birthdays

December 11th, 2018

December is a time when many make travel plans, shop for gifts and get ready to celebrate one of the major holidays of the year. Stefano Dental is doing their own celebrating right in their office.

Dental hygienist Deb celebrated a birthday. As one of the team of hygienists, she helps keep our family of patients’ teeth sparkling clean. She like's working for Stefano Dental because it gives her a change of pace and a stream of new faces, and keeps her on her toes. She LOVEs dentistry for the diversity of people, which means a diversity in teeth: not one mouth is the same. She love challenges, and when patients return for preventive maintenance, their teeth are in better health from their work at Stefano Dental.

She's happily married to her husband Corey since 2007, and she has two beautiful children. She likes to garden, run, work out, and be outdoors.

Dr. Stefano is celebrating a big milestone. Her 50th birthday. After working in dentistry for more than 20 years, she's so excited to be able to share this birthday with her great staff. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters who are both volleyball players. When they're not at volleyball games, they're on Lake Erie boating or relaxing at home with their two dogs.

December birthdays are sometimes lost in the height of the holiday season. Next time you get a chance to see Dr. S or Deb, please wish them a happy birthday!

Congrats to Melissa; Dental Assistant Certification

December 4th, 2018


We're always looking to expand our knowledge at Stefano Dental. We're thrilled to have Melissa earn her Ohio certification for dental assistant.

Dr. Klassen and I not only take regular continuing education classes, but we encourage our staff to do the same.

By staying current in our field and expertise, we're able to offer the best clinical services to our patients.

You can be assured we're always looking to be on the cutting edge of our knowledge and dental services.

There are always new technologies coming out, and our office usually offers the latest technologies to better diagnosis, advise and treat our patients.

Additional training also allows us to cross train our employees who are looking to learn different roles and/or expand their education in the dental industry.

We're thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to our staff and in turn to our patients.

Not only do we have continuing education classes for our team, but we also love to provide team building exercises for the entire staff.

Team building exercises help encourage teamwork, strategy, compromise, communication skills and understanding. All qualities that help us work better as a cohesive organization.

Regular team building exercises and off-site meetings, allow our team the opportunity to learn new things about ourselves and our team. We learn to work better together, communicate better together and find new ways to do things that will help improve our staff's work environment and improve our patients's customer service experience.

Thank you Melissa for going the extra mile in training! Do more, be more, give more!

 

Holiday Giving; Making Smiles

November 26th, 2018

As everyone's started the rush to shop, shop, shop. Let's not forget about toy drives around the area to help those in need.

We're helping the Huron and Erie County Family Services Department by collecting toys for children through December 8.

We usually think about toys for the younger crowd. But don't forget about teenagers who look forward to getting that special jacket, gift card or headphones.

Even food gift cards are great for a favorite restaurant or even movie gift cards.

Think outside the box for this year. And small gifts go along way. Even our seniors in assisted living homes would appreciate extra visits or small gifts. Note cards, stationery and plants are always special gifts that can enjoyed beyond the holiday season.

Families in our Sandusky, Ohio local community are depending on the Erie and Huron County Departments of Job and Family Services for toy donations this holiday season.

You can help by dropping off unwrapped, new toys or monetary donations to any VLFCU Branch or Stefano Dental by December 8th.

Remember no gift is too small or too insignificant. Consider volunteering your time or doing crafts with those who are in a hospital.

So while you're out shopping or perusing online, don't forget to think of those strangers that you might never get to meet. Share some of your holiday spirit with those in need, and give the gift of a smile.

Imagine their surprise when you make their Christmas wish come true. We all have the ability to share some Christmas magic this holiday season.

Give back when you can, where you can, how you can!

Happy Smiles; Happy Vets

November 23rd, 2018

Thank you to all the veterans who came out to join us for Make a Vet Smile Day. Our staff was outstanding, as we treated patients from 7 AM to 2 PM non-stop.

We were able treat more than 40 patients. Whether it was crowns, dental screenings, cavities or repairing broken teeth, we hope we made a difference in a veteran's smiles.

Why is this our annual commitment? Maybe it's the responses we get. When one veteran commented to us that it's the first time he's been able to smile without being embarrassed, that made all the difference to us.

We're so honored that we're able to help so many veterans improve their smile. So many veterans sacrifice so much daily, even after they come home from their service.

We will continue to close down our office every Veteran's Day to service 'just veterans', and we're thrilled to have a staff that is equally committed to giving back.

If you have a chance to thank a veteran over the holiday season, do so. Many veterans skip holidays and special events in their families' lives, because they can't make it home.

Military don't get the holidays off every year, so make sure to think of them when you're trimming your tree and sitting around the holiday dinner table.

We're grateful to have the ability and resources to provide our local veterans a chance to have a healthy smile. And so excited to have had our local NBC 24 Toledo join us this year to get a peak at our veterans day operation!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey Time: Giving Time

November 19th, 2018

If you haven't had a chance to find a way to give back this Thanksgiving season, think about Care and Share! We had the opportunity to hold a November Food Drive for local families visiting Sandusky Ohio's Care and Share!

We hosted a drop off basket for non-perishable items and even were able to collect turkeys, hams and whole chickens.

To show our appreciation for our patients appreciation, for each item donated we entered patients for a chance to win a $50 Meijers gift card.

We had so many donations!

The fabulous Barb won the $50 grocery gift card and she  donated the gift card back to us to purchase more food for Care and Share.

What is so great about Care and Share is they allow families to visit there once a month to help fill their kitchen with what has been donated by the state, local grocery stores, and local people in our communities. It is not income - based so if a family experiences a difficult financial time in their life and are in need of food; they can get food from there, with showing proof of local address. They are always accepting food, gently used clothing,  toys, and always in need of sheets and bedding all year round!

 

 

Employee of the Month; Montie!

November 8th, 2018

meet the team

This month we're highlighting Montie, our expanded function dental assistant.  She always does a fantastic job with connecting with our patients and giving quality service! We're thrilled to have her as employee of the month! Montie is one of our veteran staff members, with almost 20 years of employment.

She assists our doctors with whatever they ask, while maintaining all office procedures. She joined the dental field in 1987 and has been with this practice since 1990. She absolutely loves helping people, and this job is such a rewarding way to go about doing that! Her goal is to give our patients nothing but the best each and every day.

She loves her family, and has been married for more than 25 years. They have three children. Their family enjoys the outdoors and wide open spaces. They are active in sports, and they love spending downtime by the pool or Lake Erie.

Montie always greets her patients with a big smile and has a such a great repertoire with patients too. As a veteran staff member, she often can be seen mentoring fellow staff members or coaching other dental assistants with various tasks.

Montie is a doer. She volunteers to help out when other's are in a bind, and doesn't shy away from hard work.

When you see her next, please give her a warm, big shout out for employee of the month!

We're thrilled to have Montie as part of our team!

Thank you Montie for all you do!

Give Vets a Smile Day

November 4th, 2018


Veterans Day is coming up! And what better way for a dentist to thank our veterans than to offer them free services for a day! We're doing just that on Mon., Nov. 12!

Stefano Dental of Sandusky, Ohio wants to help serve those who have served our country. On Mon. Nov. 12, Veterans’ Day, Stefano Dental will be closed to the public, but opened for one day only as "Make-A-Vet-Smile-Day" from 7:30 AM to 2 PM. All veterans are welcome. Valid veteran military identification is required for services. Stefano Dental will be performing FREE dentistry for veterans, including dental x-rays, exams, cleanings, fillings, root canals, and extractions. Services are provided on a first come, first basis.

“The U.S. military and their families serve us year-round, this is our day to give back to them,” said Lata Stefano, DDS, owner of Stefano Dental of Sandusky, Ohio. “Please take time to thank them today, including our own, Dr. Klassen, who proudly serves in the U.S. Navy,” said Dr. Stefano.

With only a limited amount of time, only the most acutely affected teeth will be addressed, while a comprehensive treatment plan is not included. Follow-up dental care may be needed with your regular dentist. Please bring a current list of medications and allergies.

We're super excited to have our own Dr. Klassen, active duty reservist, serving with the US Navy, as part of our dental team! Not only does she treat patients 4 days a week at our office, but she's raising two small sons too. She serves a cross country at her nearby high school, as she's an avid runner.

Don't forget to thank Dr. Klassen the next time you see her!

Giving back to Smiles for Life and Junior Achievement; $5200

November 1st, 2018

Stefano Dental of Sandusky, Ohio raised $5200 as part of the Smiles for Life Campaign by offering teeth whitening for half price, including donation of time and materials.  One hundred percent of the proceeds went to charity, including $2600 to to Junior Achievement in Sandusky. The rest went to Smiles for Life.

The Smiles for Life Foundation distributes donations to worthy and approved children’s charities across the U.S., Canada and worldwide. Participating children’s charities include Children’s Miracle Network, Children of Romania, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, CURE (in Cambodia), Smiles for Hope, and the Kids Cancer Care Foundation.

Since 1998, Smiles for Life has raised over $36 million, benefiting hundreds of children’s charities. Fifty percent of the donations are earmarked for each dental practice’s local charity partner, and the balance goes to the Smiles For Life Foundation to be distributed to worthy and approved children’s charities across the U.S., Canada and worldwide. Participating children’s charities include Children’s Miracle Network, Children of Romania, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, CURE (in Cambodia), Smiles For Hope, and the Kids Cancer Care Foundation.

We are thrilled that our whitening services were so popular this year, and that we were able to give back $5200 from the generosity of our patients. Their fees went directly to Smiles for Life.

There are many ways to give back in our daily lives. We hope you find ways in your daily routines to give back.

As the holidays approach, tuck away a canned good or non-perishable for the many food drives around your area.

Giving costs nothing.

 

Employee of the Month - Julie!

October 19th, 2018

Congratulations to our employee of the month--Julie! Julie is our registered dental hygienist.

She received my degree as a Registered Dental Hygienist in 2000. She completed my state boards, received state licensure and is excited to be a part of this our practice since June of 2000. Julie says,"words can't express how amazing our team is and how well we all work together." She enjoys new patients every day. She looks forward to meeting each and every one of you and partnering with you and all of your dental needs.

She has three very fun and outgoing children, Justin, Drew, and Abby. She loves spending as much time with them as possible. Also, she's happily married to the love of her life Phil, AKA "Fill". They have a cute story, feel free to ask her about it sometime! Her "me time" is very important to her as well. Her favorite activities are cooking, working out, watching movies, reading a good book and traveling with her family.

We think Julie is an amazing dental hygienist...we hope you do to. We support her continuing education in improving and maintaining her skills to better serve our patients.

Please make sure to say hi to Julie and congratulate her on her employee of the month win!

Thank you for all your hard work Julie! Our team is what makes Stefano Dental provide a great experience for our patients.

Three cheers for Julie!

Meet Janet; Taking Away the Blues of Billing

October 12th, 2018

Janet is our billing manager, featured in this quarter's Stefano Dental newsletter. She goes above and beyond to make sure our patients can comfortably afford their treatments and dental care. She also does her best to ensure that our patients receive the most out of their insurance benefits.

Janet relocated to South Florida in 2012 but continues to do a fantastic job supporting Stefano Dental remotely.  Outside of the office, she and her boyfriend Doug enjoy spending time outdoors, relaxing by the pool, boating, traveling and best of all spoiling their two Australian Shepherds: Beanie and Boomer.

As part of our quarterly newsletter tradition, we always like feature our staff's favorite recipes. Janet chose Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken. Try it this weekend!

lna Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken

INGREDIENTS:
1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 spriggs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.
3. Roast the chicken for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

Enjoy!

October; Pink Reminders

October 6th, 2018

You don't have to look far to be reminded that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The pink ribbons, pink t-shirts, pink races---all remind us of the importance of breast cancer research.

It not only reminds us of supporting breast cancer awareness, but we're reminded of all the breast cancer survivors and those who passed away too from breast cancer.

We remember everyone who's been affected by breast cancer. The survivors. And also the friends, family and caregivers of those who are suffering from or have had breast cancer.

There are many small ways for a company to 'go pink.' Pick a day, like a Friday, and have your staff where pink. Join a breast cancer awareness race, or volunteer your time with the many breast cancer awareness organization.

And don't forget to get your annual mammogram if you're older than 40. Prevention goes a long way. And monthly self-checks, are equally important.

If you're younger than 40, get in the habit of doing self breast examinations now. The more you're aware, the more you'll be able to know when something seems abnormal.

Breast cancer research has made great strides in the past decade, but we still have a ways to go.

Remind your wife, friend, mother, sister, partner, daughter to get a check-up and encourage them to be aware of their own bodies.

Together, we make a difference.

Botox with a Smile

September 28th, 2018

Have you ever heard you smile with your eyes? We specialize in making your mouth sparkle, but your eyes are what really say it all...right?

Dr. Stefano at Stefano Dental also offers Botox. Sometimes Botox can be medically necessary, and sometimes it's something to help enhance your face and smile.

Those small lines that creep up on you as you age. Those small laugh lines and creases, that show up on our foreheads when we laugh, smile or frown are common to almost everyone.

Although not always medically necessary, 'ironing' out those wrinkle lines, give some people a cosmetic boost.

Botox, used in a limited way, can change how  a person looks for the better. Of course, all of us have seen that person who's had too many Botox treatments, and they've all together lost their original appearance.

We look at Botox as an enhancement of what you already have, an illumination of your natural beauty.

Botox isn't permanent and you don't have to continue treatments after you've had your initial treatment.

As we age, we change. All of us change. All parts of our body will change. Sometimes we like the changes and sometimes we don't.

The most important part about making a choice about Botox, is to remember that your true self-value and importance isn't measured by the number of small lines and wrinkles.

Your reflection of yourself won't be improved by Botox treatments. But it can help remove small and lines and wrinkles.

Talk to your doctor or dentist about what would work best for you.

 

Building Bikes; Building Community

September 20th, 2018

https://nbc24.com/news/local/stefano-dental-moves-from-teeth-to-bicycles-for-a-day-giving-them-to-foster-kids

Team building.  Companies spend a lot of money, time and different ways working on team building. Here's our tip on team building. Find a team building exercise that helps others.

Stefano Dental made more than 10 bikes for Erie County, Ohio foster care kids. It was a way to work on our own communication, but it was a great way make an impact for kids in need.

Our team started from the nuts and bolts of bike building and worked our way up to a completed bike for kids in need.

You don't need to have all the answers, all of the time. You can start something new, try something new, and end with a great accomplishment. Success is not measured by the amount of attempts.

I don't think any of us were experts at bike assembly. For many of us, it was our first time. But we did it. Together.

One of the greatest things we like about our jobs, is making smiles. And the best smiles are sometimes the ones we make outside of the dental chair.

Several foster care kids of all ages will get a new bike. So many of these kids go with out something to own, and these bikes will be theirs. This bike will be a way for them to socialize, get exercise, and have independence. It will give them smiles.

We're honored and grateful to have this experience. And grateful we can be part of these foster care kids 'smiles.'

Give back, when you can, how you can, where you can. Make smiles...last!

Colleen--Employee of the Month!

September 14th, 2018

Congratulations to our employee of the month, Colleen! Colleen has been a certified dental assistant for us for many years, and we're thrilled to have her as part of our Stefano Dental team!

Colleen stays busy each day by assisting our hygienists and doctors with whatever they need. She often x-rays, handles dental charting and assists our practice in whatever way is needed. She loves interacting with and catching up with our patients; they are all so interesting. And patients love to visit with Colleen too. She makes their dental experience that much more enjoyable.

In her spare time, she enjoys relaxing with her husband and daughter on their boat, loves taking trips to the Lake Erie islands, and also spending time in the gym.

Colleen considers herself a true foodie, and always has great recipes to share. She enjoys the local restaurants and experiencing new flavors and dishes. But she loves to cook and share her cooking with others.

If you stop by Stefano Dental this month -- make sure to congratulate Colleen on earning employee of the month status!

We're so proud of her and appreciate all that she does for our office. Whenever, however, wherever, Colleen is always willing to pitch in and help the team. She's a valued member of our team and we all applaud her this month for always going the extra mile.

Not only does she go the extra mile, but she always has a smile on her face when she does it.

We specialize in smiles, and Colleen is a great example of that! Thank you Colleen!

The Link Between Dental Hygiene and Your Overall Health

September 6th, 2018

When patients of Stefano Dental hear any mention of oral or dental hygiene, they probably think of brushing and flossing their teeth. Although these are extremely important, the term dental hygiene encompasses much more than that. Your mouth’s health, including your teeth, has an important impact on your overall physical health. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research published the surgeon general's first ever report on dental health. It is called A National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health. In that report, the Surgeon General states that the 1948 World Health Organization expanded its earlier definition of health to "a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being, and not just the absence of infirmity."

The Importance of Oral Health to Total Overall Health

One of the most important themes that the dental health report stressed is that you cannot be healthy without oral health. It went on to explain that oral health and general health are inextricably linked, and therefore can't be seen as two separate things. Because oral health is so critical to overall health, it should be included in all community health programs. For individuals, this means that it is just as important to take care of your mouth, your teeth, and your overall oral health as it is to take care of the rest of your body. The two most prevalent dental diseases are caries (cavities), also known as tooth decay, and periodontal (gum) disease.

Ways that Oral Health Impacts Overall Health

One important way in which good oral health contributes to better overall health is seen in the findings of several studies in which the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients were significantly lowered when their periodontal (or gum disease) was successfully treated. Your mouth has roughly 500 different species of bacteria. Many are harmless, and some are even good bacteria that help maintain the balance of your intestinal flora. Harmful bacteria can infect your gums, causing gingivitis. Your body's immune system may try to fight off the alien invaders, but they attack your gums, causing inflammation and bleeding when you brush.

Now that you know how important good dental hygiene is, be sure to see to get your teeth cleaned every six months, have regular dental checkups, brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily, and replace your toothbrush at least every couple of months. Call us to schedule your next appointment at our convenient Sandusky, OH location.

You Did It Again; Because Giving is Limitless

September 5th, 2018

Here's the news headline:

Stefano Dental Donates 200 Household Goods to Support Norwalk Immigrant Kids - Sandusky Dental Office Collects Groceries for St. Paul Catholic Church Fundraiser

Lata Stefano, D.D.S of Stefano Dental of Sandusky, Ohio collected more than 200 household goods for the Norwalk, Ohio immigrant children, as part of St. Paul’s Catholic Church fundraiser to support the immigrant children. For more information on Stefano Dental, visit www.stefanodental.com.

Items collected, include:  four cases of diapers, seven sets of shampoo/conditioner, two cases of baby wipes, five mops with bucket and cleaning supplies, 10 bottles of bleach, 10 boxes of cereal, 10 dish soaps, 50 canned goods, 15 bottles of laundry detergent, 15 boxes of tissue, five packs of toilet paper, a case of toothbrushes and toothpastes, and chocolate syrup.

But this isn't about us. It's about you. How many of our patients and community members came forward to give and make a difference!

No matter the cause or the need - you show up. And we very much appreciate your effort and commitment to make a difference in our community.

How we show up makes all the difference with someone else. So, thank you you so much for giving back! We're honored to be a part of this community!

We know the immigrant children of Norwalk, Ohio will appreciate the effort and this will certainly make a difference for their families.

We Salute You: Nov. 12 - Free Dental Services for Veterans

August 29th, 2018

Make-A-Vet Smile Day is coming up Mon., Nov. 12. Save the date!

We'll be providing dental services for veterans at NO COST from 7:30 AM to 2:30 PM-- that day only!

Make sure to spread the word. National Veteran's Day is a time to thank our military veterans. So whether you need a check-up or x-ray, Stefano Dental is happy to offer these services for FREE.

Our own Dr. Klassen, has been serving in the United States Navy for many years, and is dedicated to her reservist military service.

Please bring some veteran I.D. when you arrive for your appointment. We'll be taking veterans on a first-come, first-serve basis on Mon., Nov. 12, so be sure to make time to come on by.

There are so many ways to thank our local veterans. A simple thank you, a smile or buying them a coffee can make a big difference.

Most military serve not because they seek appreciation, but because it's truly their calling and ambition to give back and support their country.

We applaud this dedication and commitment from all the men and women who serve in the military. And while you're thanking the veteran, make sure to thank their families too!

Husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, and children, all sacrifice when their loved one serves in the military.

Small gestures go a long way. Be mindful of our veterans and armed forces, not just today, but everyday.

We'll see you on Mon., Nov. 12!

We salute you!

The Power of Giving

August 23rd, 2018

In our last blog, we talked about supporting immigrant children in Norwalk, Ohio. We're collecting groceries and toiletries through August for them.

Why do we give, why do we always look for a group in need that we can support? Here's the thing about the power of giving. It can be infectious, contagious and inspiring.

It only takes one person to give--to show others how they can help too.

We've been spreading the news about helping the immigrant children of the Norwalk, Ohio as part of St. Paul's Catholic Church fundraiser drive. To our delight, a hair stylist from Norwalk heard about our mission on the radio, and thought she wanted to be a part of this giving chain too.

So what did she do? She's offering FREE haircuts to all the immigrant children supported by St. Paul's Catholic Church fundraiser. That's more than 40 children getting FREE haircuts.

That's what giving can do. It causes other people to give to...in big ways and little ways, but in all ways that matter.

Whether you're buying diapers or milk, paying for gas cards or giving free haircuts...you're leaving an impression on not just those receiving your gifts, but you're impressing on others the practice of giving.

Quite frankly, once you start giving, you realize it's a responsibility of being in a community. Give because you can. Give when you can. Give how you can.

Give.

Back to School; Seasons Change

August 13th, 2018

For many of us...summer is winding down. Kids will be returning to school soon, and with that sports schedules and academic schedules will be in full swing.

As we say good bye to our 2018 summer vacations and savor our memories with friends and families, we ready ourselves for new opportunities and new possibilities of what this new school year will bring.

Maybe you dropped off your child at college for the first time, maybe someone is starting kindergarten, maybe you're a new empty-nester.

Maybe you'r starting a new job or committing to new habits. Or maybe you're looking forward to the change of seasons with all the leaves changing colors.

Change might not be something we look forward to, but it's really the only way we grow and move forward.

Change of season and change of schedules can give us new perspectives and a chance to meet new people. It's a chance to think outside the box and experience new situations.

It's a chance to move differently, feel differently, and maybe learn differently.

Although most of us love to hold onto the relaxation and sunshine of summer, we realize what lies ahead isn't something to resist, rather something to embrace. The next steps of life move us closer to our goals and life plan.

As your buying your school supplies and preparing for the early morning rush to get kids out the door, remember that this too is part of the journey to growing and evolving and changing.

We hope everyone has a great new school year!

Immigrant Kids in Need

August 7th, 2018

Sometimes our outreach is local...and sometimes it reaches beyond our local borders. Right in nearby Norwalk, Ohio, St. Paul's Church is hosting a Migrant Family Outreach to support the immigrant kids in need.

We're collecting diapers, Pull-ups, liquid laundry detergent, bar soap for the face and body, baby wipes, shampoo, Kleenex, toilet paper, gift cards from Aldi's and/or Walmart for families to purchase food staples, like bread, milk and fruit. Monetary donations can also be made to help defray the families rent, medical and gas expenses.

Stefano Dental is collecting these items now through Aug. 31 to help St. Paul's Church fundraising drive for these immigrants making a home in Norwalk.

While politics are still up in the air, a child's welfare, no matter their circumstance, is always something to support.

Many of the children in Norwalk have been reunited with their parents, but political circumstances jeopardize the welfare and care of the children now. No matter where these children land or ultimately make their home; there's urgent need for children's care now.

No matter if you're a patient or living nearby our Bogart Road office in Sandusky, Ohio, please stop by with some diapers or groceries. Any little donation is a big donation.

Stefano Dental is always looking to give back, be aware of those in need, and bring a smile whenever we can. It's not how much you give, but why you give that counts.

Do your part; make a smile, whenever and wherever you can.

Sharing Ice Cream with Road Crews; Making Smiles

July 31st, 2018

Giving back is so easy when you think of the small ways that you can show some one gratitude.

It was National Ice Cream Month this month...and we decided to thank our road construction crew (that's been working outside our office for the past few months) appreciation by sharing some ice cream treats with them.

Thanks to Kona Ice Cream...we spent an extended lunch break outside our office, sharing ice cream with the road construction crews.

Our staff also enjoyed a picnic lunch, eating ice cream too!

Traffic detours and road closures have become a regular scene at the intersection of Bogart and Campbell Roads. The new roundabout is putting a little stress on everyone's drive.

We decided to make lemonade out of lemons. Instead of complaining about the construction, we decided to to embrace it and acknowledge and appreciate the workers that are doing their job, as we try to do ours as well.

We always say we're in the business of making smiles, and that doesn't just mean in the dental chair.

There are so many ways you can help give smiles too! Whether it's helping a neighbor, supporting a food pantry, doing someone a favor without being asked, or just smiling at someone as you walk by them, any small, kind gesture can have big returns and create even bigger smiles.

Next time you have the opportunity to give a smile, think about paying it forward with some kindness. And remember, random acts of kindness can cost absolutely nothing!

Smile!

Cross Country Coach DDS; Our Dr. Klassen Giving Back

July 20th, 2018

There are so many ways to give back! Our Dr. Alexis Klassen is an amazing cross-country coach for her local high school.

Dr. Klassen is an avid runner and a US Navy reservist. The mother of two, still finds time to fix teeth and give back to young athletes.

We love her passion for community...and you can see that clearly on her cross-country team's t-shirts. Go Team Stefano Dental!

She has a remarkable ability to energize and inspire others to do their best and to keep going. These characteristics are perfect for a high school coach and a good dentist.

Look around your community, and see how you can give back. It can be monetary donations, volunteer time, advisory roles or even coaching your favorite sport that can make a difference in you area.

Some of the best ways to give back are giving back to the next generation. Dr. Klassen is a great example of that.

And we won't hold it against her that she's a native of Michigan (smile!). At Stefano Dental, it's  Go Bucks!

Next time you see Dr. Klassen, ask her about her cross-country team. You might even get Dr. Klassen to talk about her many marathons and races that she's competed in throughout the years.

Dr. Klassen is committed to a fit mouth, and a fit body!

Remember, it's never too late to see what you can do to make a difference! No matter how big or how small, everyone can contribute to their community.

Stuff the Bus; School Supplies for Kids in Need

July 15th, 2018

We're in the middle of summer, and school seems like a long way off. In the middle of vacationing and enjoying long, sunny days at the swimming pool, many of us don't think about buying school supplies.

Stuff the Bus is a program that starts in July and goes through Aug. 4. Stefano Dental is joining Stuff the Bus to help donate school supplies for local Erie County kids in need.

School supplies add up quickly. Stefano Dental is helping to collect backpacks, pencils, notebooks, binders, markers, colored pencils, glue sticks, composition books, pencil pouches, scissors, crayons, pens and more.

By ordering schools supplies now, the Stuff the Bus teams have time to get school supply kits assembled and arranged in time for school starting in August. Many schools start the 3rd week of August.

Many parents report spending an average of $100 on just school supplies.--that doesn't include new school clothing either. A good backpack can cost close to $40 or $50.

While you're planning your next trip to the dentist, don't forget to drop off some pencils or paper or glue sticks. Even the smallest donation can make difference.

Stefano Dental has been supporting Stuff the Bus for the past couple of years. If you want more information on where you can support Stuff the Bus, check out, http://www.sanduskyregister.com/story/201707110044#!. There are so many locations that are taking Stuff the Bus donations in the Sandusky community area.

Help us give back to kids and prepare every child for a successful start to the 2018-2019 school year.

 

Braces or Invisalign?

July 5th, 2018

Not only does Stefano Dental offer general dentistry services, but Dr. Stefano was also trained in Invisalign and braces.

Some studies suggest a great smile boosts self-esteem and can help people feel better overall.

Many patients aren't sure if Invisalign or braces is the way to go for their dental needs. Both will correct teeth rotations, both require patients to wear them for a lengthy amount of time.

For more serious dental or bite corrections, many dentists choose braces over Invisalign. Although braces can be more cumbersome and aren't invisible to the eye as its counterpart, braces.

Braces can take more effort in cleaning your teeth. You have to be able to floss with a threader and a brush and get in between the braces. The Invisalign allows you to pop the Invisalign retainer in and out making it easier to brush your teeth.

Invisalign tends to be a bit more expensive than braces, but prices can vary depending on a case-by-case basis.

Sometimes the question of Invisalign versus braces comes down to a cosmetic one. How do you feel about wearing braces over a period of time? Are you concerned about how you would look in braces? Nowadays, there are many band-color choices for braces, which many people enjoy, especially children and teenagers.

You also don't have to worry about losing braces. Many children and/or teenager have a hard time remembering where they put their Invisalign retainers once they take them out, as they must be removed in order to eat. Braces might restrict one from eating certain food, but you don't have to worry about removing them.

Braces versus Invisalign comes down a personal choice. The end result is similar though.

Brighter smiles and happy patients!

Roundabouts; Road Detours; Re-Direction

June 26th, 2018

If you've visited Stefano Dental in the last few months, you've noticed the new roundabout in progress. How could you miss it?

It's caused some havoc. Roads are closed. People are having to leave earlier to make appointments, and delays are caused by the many road detours.

The roundabout is going to take a few more months before it's complete. We'll all have to get accustomeed to the new way of getting to our destinations.

Let's face it though. Road closures always feel like an inconvenience. We look forward to returning to 'normal.'

We'll be lightening the mood in July with the roundabout construction crew...bringing ice cream to everyone! Who doesn't love ice cream? When patients, staff and road crews can share a dish of ice cream together, we remember that we're all just people doing our jobs, going about our days, trying to get places.

Road closures and road detours are sometimes like life. Things happen and get in our way. People interrupt us. Kids cause us to change our plans. Bosses make us do something different than we had initially planned. We find the path we had planned for the day went completely different than what we had thought.

Maybe we meet new people along that new way, that new path. Maybe we learned to do something a new way, maybe we needed a new view or to be reminded of what's important.

Detours can sometimes be inconveient, but sometimes they're exactly what we need.

Drive safely and don't miss the view!

What Makes a Cavity?

June 21st, 2018

Sugar isn't the only thing to think about when you want to prevent cavities. Many people don't consider that genetics, bacteria, saliva, diet, and the basic Ph balance of your mouth can contribute to cavities.

Many people think that by avoiding sugary drinks and foods, you will avoid cavities. But many times our genetics and/or saliva will contribute to the cavities. Sugar is what contributes to bacteria. Bacteria is something that is a key culprit to cavities.

With too much bacteria, plaque is formed. Plaque can be removed during dental cleanings, and by brushing regularly with a fluoride toothpaste.

Flossing and using a flouride rinse daily can also help with bacteria build-up and prevent cavities.

The lower the Ph of your mouth, the more your mouth becomes more acidic, creating more bacteria.

Try to eat lots of greens and healthy fruits and vegetables along with rinsing your mouth with water.

And don't forget to visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning.

 

Dentistry to Leadership; Training Up the Next Generation

June 17th, 2018

Dr. Lata Stefano recently went to McCormick Middle School to talk about leadership with 7th and 8th graders in the STAR Camp, a free leadership program for young teens.

Taking the time to share leadership skills with the next generation is part of Stefano Dental's mission to give back to the community.

STAR is a summer camp program designed for students who show leadership qualities in school. Students are selected at school via teachers, staff and counselors. Nominations for STAR camp primarily come from evidence of their positive social interaction, character, values and activities in and outside the classroom throughout the school year.

The STAR program is free and funded in part by levey funds from the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties.

The four-day leadership program combines activities and games in group settings. Large and small groups center on getting to know individual strengths as as share and accept the values and individulaties of others.

Many students from the STAR program build relationships that go beyond the leadership program.

The STAR program is always looking for community leaders to speak to the students how community engagement, giving back and energizing the next generation is an important part of leadership.

Be an advocate for your local youth and find out how you can make a difference in your community.

Dr. Lata Stefano of Stefano Dental actively seeks out ways to make a difference in the Erie County community, and you can too!

Whether you're a dentist, accountant, police officer or any other type of job, you have an opportunity to share your leadership with others!

Calcium: The Cornerstone of Healthy Teeth and Bones

June 7th, 2018

It's National Dairy Month! No better time to talk about the benefits of drinking milk! Nowadays there are so many different types of milk. From skim to whole milk, and even almond, soy and coconut milk; you have many options to take in the rich calcium found in milk. Calcium is essential in the building of strong teeth and bones.

Calcium from dairy can be found in cheese, yogurts, sour cream and whipping creams, and even ice cream.

Not only are children encouraged to get enough calcium, but its benefits are clear for older adults who are susceptible to osteoporosis.

Milk has important proteins and potassium too, as well as the all important Vitamin D.

And if you have a dairy allergy or an aversion to milk, yogurts or cheese, there are so many foods that are calcium rich too! Try chia seeds or sesame seeds, oranges, legumes, bok choy, kale, almonds, oatmeal, seaweed, tofu and even eggs! Many green leafy vegetables, like spinach, are rich in calcium too!

It's important to include a calcium-rich diet in your lifestyle. As we age, our bones become more brittle and the calcium provides the reinforcement that our joints and skeletal system needs to maintain and fortify our bones and teeth through old age.

So whether you're dairy-free, vegan or just don't like milk, there are so many ways to get your daily calcium intake and enjoy a delicious snack or meal.

Enjoy National Dairy Month and grab an ice cream cone!

Healthy Teeth; Healthy Body

May 31st, 2018

May is National Physical Fitness Month, and we at Stefano Dental encourage all of our patients to not just maintain a healthy mouth, but try to get out there an workout or enjoy your favorite sport.

Dr. Klassen is an avid runner, joining many marathons. And Dr. Stefano workouts at a local gym at least five times a week, including running, yoga, walking and strength training. Even if you can't make a commitment for a long workout, try going on a walk during your lunchtime. Even 20 minutes of exercise, most days a week, can make a tremendous difference if you physical, mental and emotional well being.

Having a hard time getting started with an exercise program? Ask a friend or a neighbor to join you on a walk, or attend an exercise class together.

There are many classes to attend. Yoga, Pilates, strength building, walking, running, elliptical machines, step classes and stair climbing can a great way to rev up your cardiovascular system.

As you get older, you want to also incorporate muscle strengthening to your routine. Light weights or swimming are a great way to help build muscle toning.

Summer is upon us. Don't forget that our nearby lake and swimming pools provide an excellent option to get exercise over the summer vacation. Even a few laps can make a difference in your overall health.

So after you brush your teeth in the morning, think about taking a brisk walk, taking a splash in the pool, or joining an exercise class.

Stay healthy!

Military Appreciation Month! Hats off to Dr. Alexis Klassen, Navy Reservist

May 22nd, 2018

May is Military Appreciation Month. Take a moment to thank all those who serve in the armed services. We are grateful to have Dr. Alexis Klassen as part of our team. Dr. Klassen has served with the US Navy Reserves for many years.

She's committed to serving her country, her community and her patients!

She received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery from Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry. Upon completion of dental school, she spent the following year studying and gaining experience in the fields of general dentistry, oral surgery, endodontics, and acute care during a credentialing tour with the United States Navy.

She's always had a strong desire to live a life of service to others and thus decided to join the United States Navy as a dental officer upon the completion of her schooling. While in the Navy, she lived in Rhode Island, South Carolina, Mississippi, Illinois and Okinawa, Japan.

Upon the resignation of her active-duty position, she started her service in the Navy Reserves and moved to Ohio with her husband and two sons, to be closer to family and friends. They are frequent visitors to the local Ohio parks; and love bike rides, basketball games, bonfires, and trips to their Northern Michigan cabin where cell phones and the Internet still do not exist!

Please help us thank Dr. Klassen for her military service!

Food for Thought: Alcohol and Coffee and Your Teeth!

May 15th, 2018

We all love happy hour, the specials, the snacks, the drinks. Keep in mind that all alcoholic beverages pose a serious threat to your oral health. Alcohol causes dehydration and dry mouth. This reduces saliva flow which can cause serious problems over time such as tooth decay and gum disease. Sipping on sugary cocktails has the added danger of bathing your teeth in sugar for a long time.

Wine deserves special mention as we know it stains your teeth. There are other concerns as well. Being an alcohol, wine dries the mouth and can also make teeth sticky, promoting stain formation. In addition, both red and white wines are very acidic which we already know may be harmful to your teeth. Keep in mind that while red wine can stain your teeth, white wines are more acidic, so they might be even more dangerous to your enamel.

When it comes to coffee, its common knowledge how bad coffee stains your teeth, and coffee stains are among the worst for your teeth as they are very stubborn. In addition, just like with wine, coffee makes teeth sticky and also dries out your mouth. It gets even worse if you add sugar to sweeten your coffee as there are few things worse for your teeth than sugar. If that’s not enough, coffee is also acidic, which we know wears down enamel. Of course, we don’t expect you to stop drinking your favorite beverage, but to minimize the damage please drink plenty of water afterwards and try to avoid additives like sugar.

Brushing after a meal/beverage is of course always a great option, remember to wait 20 minutes if you’ve consumed highly acidic foods/beverages that have weakened your enamel. If possible, always rinse your mouth with water after a meal and drink lots of water throughout the day as well. Try using a straw when drinking highly acidic beverages to minimize their contact with your teeth.

 

Mother's Day! Whiten Mom's Smile; Help a Child

May 11th, 2018

Happy Mother's Day! It's time to take a moment to cherish, remember, spend time with your mom. Whether it's a mentor or step-mom, grandmother or friend; whomever gave and gives you that motherly love, take time to say thank you to her this weekend!

Nothing better than to see your mom's smile. You can whiten her smile now through June and 100% of those whitening services will go directly to Smiles for Life charities. Give back to children and make mom's smile even more spectacular!

We have many moms in our Stefano Dental office, including Dr. Stefano and Dr. Klassen, but we want to acknowledge one our Stefano Dental moms, because she's also our Employee of the Quarter!

Every quarter we like to give a shout out to one of our employees! This quarter we're honoring Colleen, one of our amazing certified dental assistants.

Colleen assists our hygienists and dentists with whatever they need. Whether its taking X-rays or handling charts. She loves interacting with and catching up with our patients; they are all so interesting! When she's not at Stefano Dental making smiles, she enjoys relaxing with her husband and daughter on their boat. Her favorite boating trip is a trip to the local Lake Erie islands, and also spending time in the gym. She loves different types of food and is a self-proclaimed foodie! You can see Colleen's favorite recipe on Stefano Dental's newsletter, posted on its website.

Happy Mother's Day! Give a brighter smile and give back!

Great Reasons to Whiten Your Smile!

May 4th, 2018

Smiles for Life is upon us and we're looking to whiten people's smiles for Junior Achievement! Teeth whitening products can be confusing to sort through. Here's an overview of what to look for. The ADA distinguishes between whitening and bleaching products that contain peroxide.

Some of these whitening products can be done at a dental office, or dentists can give patients the product to use at home, or the products can be purchased over-the-counter (OTC).

Tooth sensitivity can occur with bleaching treatment. Talk to your dentist about what's best for you.

 

There are many whitening toothpastes to choose from with the ADA Seal of Acceptance program.  These toothpastes remove surface stains for a brighter smiles. There are many over the counter options.

Make sure you consult with your dentist to see what option works for you!

The best part of whitening your teeth with Stefano Dental is that all our whitening services are given back to Junior Achievement now through June 30, 2018. We raised almost $3000 last year for charity and we want to increase our donation for 2018. With the support of our patients, we know we can do it!

Give yourself a whiter smile this summer! Make a difference in a young person's life!

 

Take Your Son/Daughter to Work Day!

April 26th, 2018

'Take your son and daughter to work day' is today It's a great way to show your kids not only what you do all day at work, but inspires them to learn about the possibilities beyond school.

Our #Smiles for Life program is about giving back to kids and supporting them with the tools to become sufficient and successful in the workplace. Junior Achievement is an organization that helps students realize that the education they are getting today will help them have a bright future tomorrow and beyond.

Junior Achievement's unique, volunteer delivered programs, show them all of the possibilities that lay before them. They realize they can choose different paths like college, a specific trade, or starting their own business.

Why is Junior Achievement important for kids now? Because:

20% of U.S. students will not complete high school on time and earn a diploma.

49% of U.S. employers recognize that talent shortages impact their ability to serve clients and customers

36% of Americans say that they have at some point in their lives felt their financial situation was out of control.

91% of millennials wish they had greater access to entrepreneurial education programs.

Every time your whiten your smile at Stefano Dental, now through June 30...you help donate to Junior Achievement. Supporting the next generation of professionals is good business for our kids and good business for the world.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month; Why You Should be Screened

April 17th, 2018

 


Oral cancer can affect the mouth, tongue, throat, lips and esophagus. And with the HPV virus on the rise, dental examinations are more important than ever in detecting oral cancers. Most dentists provide a manual examination of your mouth at your regular dental cleanings. Some might offer the opportunity for a screening too with a screening tool, like the  Veloscope. www.veloscope.com. It's a simple, short procedure, and commonly provided at nominal fees.

If you haven't heard of a oral cancer screening, ask your dentist at your next visit.

Who's most susceptible to oral cancer?  Well, it’s estimated that approximately 50,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer and cancers of the throat, tonsils and back of the tongue in 2018. Gender, diet, age, tobacco and alcohol use, and the HPV virus can be higher risk factors for oral cancer, and even working outside can lend itself to lip cancers.

Educate yourself on screening options and talk to your dentist. Many people have attributed smoking and chewing tobacco to oral cancer, but we now know that there are other factors that can be equally high risk factors.

Make sure you eat healthy, wear lip sunscreen and avoid nicotine products. Just going to your regular dental cleanings is a great way to be screened and checked by a doctor. The key to treating oral cancer is detecting it early.

Happy National Pet: Brush Your Dogs Teeth!

April 10th, 2018

April is National Pet Month. It’s a great time to remember that dogs need dental care too. What they eat can help with oral care too. Crunchy, chewy treats can go a long way in a pet’s oral hygiene. The Veterinary Oral Health Council sets standards for pet oral care products, so be sure to look for their seal of approval on your pet oral care products. Brushing your pets’ teeth is very important, just as it is for you, so make sure you invest in some dental care products for your pet, like toothbrushes, toothpaste or dog dental pads. Most of these products are available at pet stores.

Toothbrushes - Dog toothbrushes are particular to a dogs mouth and a finger attachment is included to make it easier for the pet owner.
Canine toothpaste: You’ll need to pick a toothpaste that is safe to swallow, as dogs don’t usually spit. They also have assorted flavors that are keen to dogs senses, like beef, seafood, poultry, etc.
Dental pads: If you don’t have the products above, a simple wiping of your dog’s teeth can be effective. There are even dental pads available at pet stores.

Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly will help him/her become accustomed to the habit and routine. Have fun with it, and use this time to bond with your pet. Remember, the tastier the toothpaste, the more agreeable your pet will be to participating in the brushing.

Happy National Pet Month!

 

 

Support Junior Achievement Kids; Get a Whiter Smile Too!

April 4th, 2018

Stefano Dental is always looking for ways to give back! Don't forget from now through June we're supporting Junior Achievement of Northwest Ohio. How are we helping? Just by having your teeth whitened, we're giving away 50% of whitening services. Sound easy? That’s because it is.  It's all a part of the Smiles For Life Campaign begins, which means dental patients nationwide can brighten a child’s future just by visiting local Crown Council dentists, like Dr. Lata Stefano.

Since its creation, the Crown Council’s Smiles For Life Campaign has raised over $31 million for seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged kids. Donations from last year alone totaled $1,303,605.39. Smiles For Life anticipates breaking the $32 million mark for total collections during this year’s drive.

Half of the donations raised by us are given to Junior Achievement of Northwestern Ohio,  a local  charity, with the balance going to the Smiles for Life Foundation for distribution among approved charities throughout the world. Stay tuned to see how much Smiles For Life is able to raise this year. For more information on the campaign, please visit: http://smilesforlife.org/.

Get a whiter smile and find a great way to give back to the young children of your community.  Junior Achievement helps foster financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and career development skills in children and provides hands-on learning to inspire young people to DREAM BIG and reach their boundless potential.

Spring Cleaning? Give back to Safe Harbour Domestic Violence Shelter!

March 26th, 2018

Victims fleeing domestic abuse many times leave their homes very quickly without packing! All they take with them are their children and the clothes on their backs. A great way to assist would be to donate. Let's all come together as a community and help out. Now through June 30th, we're a drop off location for items to be donated to The Safe Harbour Domestic Violence Shelter. We will collecting new items listed below to help those women and children in crisis get the things they  need. Please bring in unopened and unused toiletries for women and children. Here's a  suggested shopping list:

Women's socks and underwear
Hand soap and body soap
Deoderant
Full-size shampoo and conditioner
Hairbrushes and hair accessories
Children's underwear and pajamas
Toilet paper, Kleenex, Paper towels
Cleaning supplies, dish soap
Garbage bags
Laundry detergent
Laundry baskets
Bath towel sets
Foil/Plastic wrap
Plastic Ziploc bags

We also love to donate superstore gift cards. For those shelter residents seeking employment, gift cards can help them get professional work attire or put gas in their car to get to their job interviews.  Gift cards also help those ready to leave the shelter to help them set up a new home and independent life.

When you start your spring cleaning, think of ways you can give back and donate! Your abundance is someone else's chance at a new start! Learn how you can help the Safe Harbour Domestic Shelter at http://safeharbourshelter.org/

 

To Root Canal or Not?

March 21st, 2018

The idea of a root canal can cause a lot of stress and worry, but it's important to remember that root canals can actually less painful than a pulling a tooth that can no longer be saved. But there's a reason there are so many horror stories around the 'dreaded' root canal. Here are two myths that we hope to bust.

1. The idea that root canals are painful.

This isn't exactly false. Many years ago, without proper anesthesia, root canals could be extremely painful. With advanced technology and pain management procedures in place nowadays, the experience can be comfortable and manageable.

2. Why can't we just pull a tooth?

Well you can pull a tooth, but it's much better to save your original tooth. Long term treatment options for maintaining artificial teeth repairs, outweigh the maintenance of a root canal. It's a short-term convenience for a long-term gain.

Once you realize that root canals are routine procedures that help maintain your smile and oral health, you'll be more apt to get that painful tooth looked at. The sooner you check in with your dentist when an issue arises, the better chance you can save your teeth and avoid more invasive procedures.

Take away the sting from the words root canal, and be in the know of what a root canal really entails. The more you know, the more options you have, the better decisions you can make about your oral health.

Get Your Teeth Whitened to Help Kids; 2018 Smiles For Life Campaign Supports Junior Achievement of NW Ohio – Mar. to June 30

March 14th, 2018

You can help improve a child’s life by having your teeth whitened! Sound easy? That’s because it is.  The 18th annual Smiles For Life Campaign begins, which means dental patients nationwide can brighten a child’s future just by visiting local Crown Council dentists, like us! The campaign runs from March through June and 100 percent of the proceeds from teeth whitening procedures done are donated to worthy children’s charities, both locally and around the world. As an additional incentive, each tooth whitening patient enjoys their smile brightening procedure at a discounted rate. Patients love the unique opportunity to improve the lives of children in need while also enhancing their own smile. Half of the donations raised by Stefano Dental are given to Junior Achievement of Northwestern Ohio.

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: entrepreneurship, financial literacy and career development.

Since its creation, the Crown Council’s Smiles For Life Campaign has raised over $31 million for seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged kids. Donations from last year alone totaled $1,303,605.39. Smiles For Life anticipates breaking the $32 million mark for total collections during this year’s drive.

Help us, help kids!

Stay tuned to see how much Smiles For Life is able to raise this year. For more information on the campaign, please visit: http://smilesforlife.org

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Random Acts of Kindness Make a Difference

March 5th, 2018

We are thrilled to announce that we exceeded our goal to donate more than 100 stuffed animals for kids in crisis this month, to our local police and fire. Thanks to local Sandusky, Ohio resident, Henry Coffey, 72, a native of Sandusky, Ohio, who won more than 60 stuffed animals for our drive.

Random acts of kindness come can show up in the most surprising ways. Coffey, a claw-machine gamer for almost 15 years, has won several hundred stuffed animals over the years, donating his winnings to children and local organizations. He retired from Carmelo Ruta, Inc. of Sandusky, Ohio after working for two decades in security, delivery and pool maintenance. He also worked with the Cedar Point Police in Ohio. He turned to the claw-machine game as a way to relieve stress, and became efficient in his gaming skills as a member of Gamers Green, an organization for skilled gamers.

Coffey plays the stuffed animal claw machine, three days a week, for 15 minutes each day. An expert gamer, Coffey only spends approximately one dollar to win one animal.

His accuracy is astonishing, his kindness is amazing. If you don't think you can make a difference in someone's life, think of Mr. Coffey. Small gestures can create big smiles.

We specialize in helping make healthy smiles, but Mr. Coffey taught us how you can make amazing smiles.

We are so grateful for Mr. Coffey with his boxes of stuffed animals, he truly is an example of random acts of kindness.

Bravo Mr. Coffey!

Tongue Scraping and Why Everyone Should Have a Tongue Tool

February 26th, 2018

Meet the Tongue Tool. A simple, inexpensive way to help avoid bad breath.  We tell our patients that brushing and flossing are key to removing bacteria and plaque from your mouth, and that good oral hygiene is important to give us fresh breath too.

But the tongue never gets enough attention. We talk about brushing our tongues, and that moves some of the bacteria around, but to truly get some of that smelly bacteria out of our mouth, a good tongue scraper is an excellent option!

There are several different tongue scrapers to choose from. We like to recommend the Tongue Tool. It's stainless steel, easily cleaned in your dishwasher, inexpensive and easy to use.

The key is to use the Tongue Tool everyday, twice a day is optimal. After your first try with the Tongue Tool, you'll see the build up you're actually removing from your tongue.

Dr. Stefano first started a tongue scraper when she was very young, and has kept up with the habit since then. Once you know what it feels like to have a clean tongue, it's hard to go without tongue scraping.

Tongue tools are also easy and safe to travel with. And if you lose it, don't worry. They're priced so competitively that you'll probably want to have few, one in each color.

You can start tongue scraping as toddlers, as long as an adult is there to show them how to use it properly.

So remember, brush, floss AND tongue scrape. Because your tongue is part of your oral hygiene, just as much as your teeth and gums. So get scraping!

Let's Talk Teeth Power and How They Get Their Strength!

February 22nd, 2018

https://youtu.be/wrPEjEqURJg

We love this video about teeth! Did you know the strength of your teeth? You'd be surprised how calcium, enamel and dentin create these super hard structures!

The foods we eat help shape our teeth! Crunchy foods like carrots, apples, celery are great ways to help give your teeth a good workout. Be sure to use a low abrasive tooth brush and toothpaste too, it's not about how hard you brush your teeth, just how thoroughly you brush them.

Watch and learn why we have the teeth formation we do!

 

Don't Skip the Chocolate on Valentine's Day

February 14th, 2018

We love chocolate! And eating chocolate is one of the most popular ways to celebrate one of our favorite holidays, Valentine's Day! Not only is it delicious, but did you know that dark chocolate has some benefits to your dental health too?

There are all types of chocolate. But it's the cocoa bean that contains the tannins, polyphenols and flavonoids that help fight off bacteria in your mouth! The darker the chocolate, the more benefits to your teeth, gums and breath!

Chocolates that are 60 percent cocoa or more tend to offer the most benefit. So avoid the sugars, sodas and sports drinks, but you don't need to skimp on the chocolate for the holiday!

Just be sure to always rinse your mouth with water after eating. Don't forget to brush twice a day and floss once a day. You can have a healthy mouth and enjoy some yummy dessert too!

You'll find most chocolate options available at your local grocery stores.

https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/dark-chocolate-good-for-teeth.htm

 

 

Talking Children's Dental Health on Cleveland/Toledo NBC TV Stations; Giving Back

February 9th, 2018

What an exciting week it's been! Thank you to our local Toledo and Cleveland NBC TV stations for helping us get the word out about Children's Dental Health Month! We're collecting new stuffed animals for our local Sandusky, Ohio police and fire departments to give to children in emergency situations, now through Feb. 28, 2018. Help us, help kids in crisis! It's a great way to include your family in a community event and give back!

Children's Dental Health Month is a perfect time to remind everyone about good oral hygiene tips. The top three mistakes most kids make when brushing their teeth are:
1- Brushing too hard. You can get a good cleaning just by gently brushing your teeth. Try to find toothbrushes with soft bristles.
2 - Not cleaning their tongue. Some skip right over cleaning their tongue, others might brush their tongue. But to truly get rid of the bacteria on your tongue, a good tongue scraper is the best tool. We recommend Tongue Tool.
3 - Many kids miss the backside of their teeth, and only focus on the outside surfaces. Don't forget to go behind those teeth and give them a good brushing too. Don't forget to brush for approximately two minutes, twice a day.
And don't forget to FLOSS once a day. Hug the floss around each tooth and gently move the floss up and down between each tooth.

Healthy smiles are brighter, happier smiles too!

Our Monthly Employee Spotlight: Meet Amy

January 31st, 2018

Amy’s position as a financial administrator is to help each of our patients achieve their dental needs and goals.  She works closely with both Dr. Stefano and Dr. Klassen to help provide you with affordable dentistry.  She loves interacting with our patients and getting to know them all better.  She looks forward to each and every day because there is always something new to learn.  Her objective if the make sure every one of our patients have and incredible and rewarding experience.  Outside of the office, she enjoys spending time with her husband Tim, children Michelle and Aaron and the spouses.  They are blessed with six beautiful grandchildren, who keep her active.  She enjoys boating, traveling and shopping.

Vermont Chicken
2 Cups    Fresh bread crumbs
½ Cup     Fresh chopped parsley
½ Tsp.     Garlic powder
¾ Cup     Fresh finely grated parmesan cheese
¼ Cup     Melted butter
8-10        Boneless chicken breasts
Salt & Pepper to taste

Sauce:
½ Cup   Melted butter
2 Lemons Juice of the 2 lemons
2 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
½ Tsp  Lemon pepper marinade
Mix all ingredients for sauce together. Mix parsley, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese together in a bowl or quart size zip lock bag. Set to the side. Dip chicken breasts in melted butter, then dip in bowl or shake breasts in bread crumbs and lay on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 mins. Flip half way through. Dribble sauce over top of cooked chicken and enjoy!

Stefano Dental Collects Stuffed Animals for National Children’s Dental Health Month in February

January 24th, 2018

We are commemorating National Children’s Dental Health Month in Februrary by collecting new stuffed animals to give to the local Sandusky, Ohio police and fire crews for children in emergency situations. New stuffed animals can be donated from now through Feb. 28, 2018 at Stefano Dental offices, located at 1617 W. Bogart Road in Sandusky, Ohio.  A raffle ticket will be earned for each stuffed animal donated, and entered to win a children’s Sonicare toothbrush. For more information, go to www.stefanodental.com or call 419.626.2205.

 “February is one of our favorite times of the year, because it’s a great time to remind our patients about the importance of children’s dental health and give back to kids in need,” said Lata Stefano, D.D.S, owner of Stefano Dental of Sandusky, Ohio. “We encourage our community to help support kids in need by dropping off a stuffed animal for our local police and fire departments,” said Dr. Stefano.

Giving back to your community is one of Stefano Dental's missions and no better way to give back than helping children. Whether you're a patient of ours or not, please stop by our Sandusky office and drop off a stuffed animal for kids in need.

Give Kids a Smile Day is Fri., Feb. 2; Free Dental Care for Kids in Need

January 18th, 2018

Lata Stefano, D.D.S of Stefano Dental of Sandusky, Ohio will join the Erie County, Ohio Health Department Dental Clinic for the 15th Annual Give Kids a Smile Program of the Ohio Dental Association on Fri., Feb. 2 from 8 AM to 12 PM. Free exams, cleanings and x-rays and other dental services will be offered at the Erie County Health Department at 420 Superior St., Sandusky, Ohio for children in need. Dr. Stefano will be volunteering alongside the Erie County, Ohio health department dentists. For more information, contact the Erie Co. Health Dept. at 419-626-5623, ext 218, or go to www.stefanodental.com.

Children, ages 1 to 18, in need of dental care, will be seen on a first-come, first-serve basis. The volunteer services are offered to children whose families meet the following criteria: they have no private dental insurance, nor the means to afford dental care; are living on a limited income; are experiencing financial difficulty (could be due to divorce, illness, death, loss of job, etc.); child is in apparent need of dental examination and may need care; and the child is not a current patient at another dental office.

ABOUT GIVE KIDS a SMILE (GKAS) PROGRAM of the Ohio Dental Association:   The 15th annual Give Kids a Smile program of the Ohio Dental Association brings local dentists and other volunteers in Ohio together to educate, examine and/or treat children who do not have access to dental care.  Many children getting the free dental care have never been to a dentist before. GKAS Day was started by the American Dental Association in 2003 and has grown to “more than just a day” in many areas of Ohio. For more information, go to https://oda.org/community-involvement/give-kids-a-smile/.

Do I lose my wisdom if I lose my wisdom teeth?

November 24th, 2017

The third molars have long been known as your “wisdom teeth,” because they are the last teeth to erupt from the gums – usually sometime during the late teens to early twenties. This is a time in life that many consider an “age of wisdom”; hence the term, “wisdom teeth.”

Extracting the third molars does not have any effect on your actual wisdom … and Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our staff are sorry to say that holding on to them can’t make you smarter, either. So if you somehow feel that you became wiser and smarter when your wisdom teeth appeared, chalk it up to age rather than teeth.

In fact, you may just be showing how smart you are by having your wisdom teeth removed. Mankind once relied on the wisdom teeth to replace teeth that were damaged or missing, thanks to a poor diet. But dietary changes and advances in modern dentistry make it possible for many people to hold on to their teeth for many decades, which eliminated the need for third molars.

For many people, wisdom teeth cause nothing but problems: becoming impacted, irritating surrounding gum tissue, or even causing other teeth to become crooked or overlap. By removing them, patients often enjoy a lower risk of decay, infection, and aesthetic complications.

So rest assured that extracting your wisdom teeth will have no effect on your immediate or long-term intelligence.

Thanksgiving Trivia

November 17th, 2017

At Stefano Dental we love learning trivia and interesting facts about Thanksgiving! This year, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen wanted to share some trivia that might help you feel a bit smarter at the holiday dinner table and help create some great conversation with friends and family.

The Turkey

There is no historical evidence that turkey was eaten at the first Thanksgiving dinner. It was a three-day party shared by the Wamponoag Indians and the pilgrims in 1621. Historians say they likely ate venison and seafood.

According to National Geographic, the dinner at the Plymouth colony was in October and included about 50 English colonists and 90 American Indian men. The first Thanksgiving dinner could have included corn, geese, and pumpkin.

Today, turkey is the meat of choice. According to the National Turkey Association, about 690 million pounds of turkey are consumed during Thanksgiving, or about 46 million turkeys.

The Side Dishes

The green bean casserole became popular about 50 years ago. Created by the Campbell Soup Company, it remains a popular side dish. According to Campbell’s, it was developed when the company was creating an annual holiday cookbook. The company now sells about $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup each year, which is a major part of the recipe.

While there were likely plenty of cranberries for the pilgrims and Indians to enjoy, sugar was a luxury. What we know today as cranberry sauce was not around in those early Thanksgiving days. About 750 million pounds of cranberries are produced each year in the US, with about 30 percent consumed on Thanksgiving.

The Parade

Since Thanksgiving did not become a national holiday until Lincoln declared it in 1863, the annual parades were not yearly events until much later. The biggest parade that continues to draw crowds is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Beginning in 1924 with about 400 employees, they marched from Convent Avenue to 145th Street in New York City. Famous for the huge hot-air balloons today, it was actually live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo that were the stars of the show then.

However you choose to spend your Thanksgiving holiday, we wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday with those you love.

‘Tis the Season to Give Back!

November 8th, 2017

This November, we’re focusing on gratitude more than usual. We’re looking forward to gathering with family and friends for the holiday, and are feeling especially grateful for our Stefano Dental team, health, family, and furry friends!

As we’ve done in previous years, we will be hosting a food drive because we’re here to support each other and the community we all live in. If you bring in a non-perishable food item between now and November 21st, we will make sure your item(s) get to where they need to be. You’ll even be entered to win a Meijer gift card as a thank you for helping!

We will also be participating in Make a Vet Smile Day on November 11th to provide veterans with free dental care. This is our second year participating in Make a Vet Smile Day and we could not be more excited to give back to the brave people who have served our country!

At Stefano Dental, giving back is part of who we are. We’re so passionate about community service and truly see it as a win-win. You might even say we do it for selfish reasons because it just makes us feel so good on the inside. It’s always so empowering seeing how our efforts can help others, and we feel so blessed to have the opportunity to pitch in.

Just like we love to give back, we also love to continue learning ways in which we can be better for our patients. We recently attended Pride Institute’s team training at The Ritz Carlton to further our knowledge about customer service so you can rest assured that you’ll always get the best treatment in our office!

We encourage everyone to participate in our food drive and spread the word about Make a Vet Smile Day! We hope you are all enjoying the season and as always, please don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions.

 

What are mini implants used for?

November 3rd, 2017

The use of mini dental implants (MDIs) is on the rise. MDIs are about the diameter of a toothpick (1.8 to 2.9 millimeters with lengths between ten to 18 millimeters) and are primarily used to secure loose upper or lower dentures or partial dentures.

MDIs are particularly useful for patients who suffer from osteoporosis or otherwise aren't well enough to get the bone grafts sometimes required by traditional dental implants. Their diminutive size also allows them to replace smaller teeth where the placement of a dental implant isn't feasible or called for.

Some of the benefits of MDIs include:

  • The procedure is quicker and less invasive – Since MDIs don’t require the cutting of gum tissue or sutures, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen can place the implant quickly, resulting in a shorter healing process. MDIs go directly through the gum tissue and into the jawbone.
  • Lower cost – MDIs run in the range of $500 to $1500, whereas traditional dental implants can cost around $4,000.
  • Less risk of surgical error – Since MDIs don't go as deep into the tissue or jawbone, there is less risk of surgical error, like hitting a nerve or sinus cavity.
  • Can be used in thinner areas of the jawbone – Since MDIs don't require as much gum tissue or jawbone, they can be used in thinner areas of the jawbone, where a traditional dental implant would require a bone graft.

Although there are many advantages to MDIs, they aren't for everyone or every situation. There are some drawbacks, especially when it comes to their durability and stability. MDIs also haven't been studied nearly as much as dental implants.

Whatever your situation, it's best to speak with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen about your options, and whether an MDI or a dental implant would work best for your specific case. Schedule an appointment at our Sandusky, OH office to learn more.

Protecting Your Smile with Mouthguards

October 27th, 2017

If you participate in sports or other physical activities, it’s wise to consider getting a mouthguard. Also known as mouth protectors, mouthguards are a device worn over the teeth to lessen the impact of a blow to the face.

This reduces the chance that you might lose teeth or sustain other serious oral injuries. We recommend that all patients involved in a contact sport such as wrestling, football, or hockey wear a mouthguard because of the high risk of such injuries.

However, anyone involved in a physically demanding sport or activity should wear a mouthguard as well.

Can you imagine what it would be like to lose a few of your front teeth? The way you talk, eat, and smile would all change. Potential injuries when you don’t wear a mouthguard include chipped and broken teeth, fractured jaws, root damage, damage to crowns and bridgework, concussions, and/or injury to the lips, cheeks, or gums.

Types of Mouthguards

There are three different types of mouthguards — typically made of a soft plastic material or laminate. You can decide which works best for you in terms of budget, fit, and comfort.

  • Stock mouthguards are prefabricated to a standard size. They offer adequate protection, but you need to make sure you find one that fits properly and comfortably. Stock mouthguards are readily available at department stores, sporting goods stores, and online.
  • Boil-and-bite mouthguards are placed in boiling water to soften them, then into the mouth so they can conform to the shape of the teeth. Boil-and-bite mouthguards are more expensive, but offer a more customized fit than stock ones. You can find these in department stores, pharmacies, sporting goods stores, and online.
  • Custom-made mouthguards are created just for you by Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen. These offer the best fit and comfort of all the options, but they are also the most expensive. Ask a member of our Sandusky, OH team for more information.

The American Dental Association says a good mouthguard should be easy to clean, fit properly, be comfortable, and resist tearing or damage. It shouldn’t restrict speech or breathing.

Still not sure if you need a mouthguard or which kind is right for you? Ask Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen or one of our staff members for more information.

Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen®

October 20th, 2017

There are so many adults and teens in our Sandusky, OH office who would love to have their teeth straightened but that are unwilling to go through the long and unsightly process of traditional metal braces. Well, that's where Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® come to the rescue; the most advanced clear aligner systems in the world!

There are several reasons why, if you're considering getting braces, you should consider Invisalign too. Here are some of them:

  • You can eat whatever food you'd like, without worrying about it getting caught in wires or breaking brackets.
  • Most people won't even know you're wearing them!
  • If you need to, you can remove your aligners at any time.
  • The removable aligners let you brush and floss as you normally would, making for better overall oral health.
  • Since they are made of a smooth BPA-free plastic, Invisalign aligners are simply more comfortable to wear than traditional braces. No metal means no more roughed up gums or irritated tongue!
  • You'll need to visit our Sandusky, OH office less often — only once every six weeks or so.
  • With Invisalign Teen, you’ll receive up to six replacements for lost or broken aligners.

Before you get started with treatment, you’ll have a consultation with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen to see if Invisalign or Invisalign Teen is right for you. If your case is a good fit, then you’ll have X-rays, pictures, and impressions of your teeth taken. That information will be used to make the 3D models of your teeth that let Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen see how they will move throughout the entire treatment and approximately how long it will take.

After that, you’ll receive your aligners based on the treatment plan we recommend. You’ll get a new set of aligners every two weeks. Then all you need to do is wear your aligners 22 hours a day and you’ll be on your way to a straighter healthier smile. Don’t hesitate to a member of our Sandusky, OH team for more information about Invisalign!

Diet Soda vs. Regular Soda: Which is better for teeth?

October 13th, 2017

When most patients ask Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen this question, they're thinking strictly about sugar content — cut out the bacteria-feeding sugar that's present in regular soda by opting for a diet soda and it will be better for your teeth. That seems logical, right? Well, there's a bit more to it than that. Let's take a closer look at how any kind of soda can affect your dental health.

Diet Soda – Why it can also lead to tooth decay

The main culprit in these drinks that leads to decay is the acid content. Diet sodas and other sugar-free drinks are usually highly acidic, which weakens the enamel on your teeth and makes them more susceptible to cavities and dental erosion. The level of phosphoric acid, citric acid, and/or tartaric acid is usually high in sugar-free drinks so it's best to avoid them.

Some patients also enjoy drinking orange juice or other citrus juices. These drinks are high in citric acid and have the same effect on the enamel of your teeth.

So what about regular soda?

We know the acidity of diet sodas and sugar-free drinks contributes to tooth decay, so what about regular soda? Like we alluded to earlier, regular soda is high in sugar — a 12 ounce can contains roughly ten teaspoons of sugar — and sugar feeds the decay-causing bacteria in the mouth. This also includes sports drinks and energy drinks, which are highly acidic and loaded with sugar too. So these drinks are a double-whammy of sugar and acidity your teeth and body simply don't need.

The problems caused by both diet and regular soda is exacerbated when you sip on them throughout the day. If you drink it all in one sitting, you won't be washing sugar and/or acids over your teeth all day long and your saliva will have a chance to neutralize the pH in your mouth.

The best beverages to drink and how to drink them

Drinking beverages that are lower in acid is a good step to take to keep your enamel strong. According to a study conducted by Matthew M. Rodgers and J. Anthony von Fraunhofer at the University of Michigan, your best bets are plain water, black tea or coffee, and if you opt for a soda, root beer. These drinks dissolved the least amount of enamel when measured 14 days after consumption of the beverage.

If you still choose to drink soda, diet soda, sugar-free drinks, or juices here are some other tips to lessen tooth decay:

  • Drink your soda or acidic beverages through a straw to minimize contact with teeth
  • Rinse with water immediately after consumption of the beverage
  • Avoid brushing your teeth between 30 minutes to an hour after drinking the beverage as this has been shown to spread the acids before your saliva can bring your mouth back to a neutral pH
  • Avoid drinks that have acids listed on the ingredients label

Still have questions about soda, sugar, and acid? Give our Sandusky, OH office a call and we’d be happy to help!

Year-End Insurance Reminder

October 6th, 2017

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, as well as our team at Stefano Dental, would like to give those patients with flex spend, health savings, or insurance benefits a friendly end of the year reminder that it’s high time to schedule your dental visits so you optimize your benefit.

Now is the time to reserve your appointment with us. Space is limited and we tend to get busy around the holidays, so don’t wait to give us a call at our convenient Sandusky, OH office!

Zirconia Dental Implants

September 29th, 2017

Since dental implants first started being implemented in the 1980s, they have been primarily made of titanium. Recent advances in implant technology have allowed dental implant manufacturers to shift from all-metal implants, to part-metal and part-ceramic implants, to the newer all-ceramic or zirconia implants.

Zirconia implants are made of high-impact resistant ceramic called tetragonal zirconia polycrystal (ZrO2+Y2O3). They remedy many of the issues and complaints doctors and patients have with traditional metal implants and have several advantages—let’s take a look at some of them.

Advantages of Zirconia Implants

  • Do not cause allergic reactions – Although titanium is considered non-toxic, some people still have allergic reactions to titanium. Zirconia implants are inert, non-corrosive, and hypoallergenic.
  • Have been used for decades in medical applications – Millions of patients have had zirconia used safely and effectively as the base material for their hip replacements. The zirconia used for medical applications also undergoes strict radiation monitoring to ensure its safety for use within the body.
  • They are incredibly strong – Unlike titanium implants, zirconia offers a much higher degree of resistance to scratching, corrosion, and fracture. The aerospace industry even uses zirconia (ZrO2) due to its high resistance to heat and fracture. This all means a safer and more aesthetically pleasing result for the patient.
  • One-piece design is more hygienic – Zirconia implants are a one-piece design, meaning there is nowhere for bacteria to build up or liquids to penetrate like with titanium implants. They are highly biocompatible (how a material reacts with the human body) which leads to healthier gums and no risk of corrosion.
  • Implant margin is at gum not bone level – With titanium implants the margin (or gap between the implant and the tooth) is at bone level, which can lead to bacterial buildup since you can’t brush there. The zirconia implant margin, which is at gum level, allows you to brush and clean your implant and restoration regularly.

If you are in need of a restorative dental implant, it would be wise to consider zirconia due to its many advantages. It might not work in every situation, but feel free to discuss your options with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen or one of our Sandusky, OH staff members.

Welcoming Two New Dental Assistants to Stefano Dental!

September 25th, 2017

We are so excited to welcome Cierra & Aimee to the Stefano Dental family! Both Cierra and Aimee are joining us as dental assistants. Cierra is now officially our Lab Director, and Aimee is actually returning to our practice after having moved out of the area for a while. We’re so happy to have her back! Both ladies have radiographer licenses and are the best at what they do.

Outside of work, Cierra loves to spend time with her daughter outdoors. She likes to stay active by swimming, going on walks, and indulging in the occasional shopping trip. Aimee also enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves a good bonfire, keeping up with high school and college sports, and boating.

We’re lucky to have these ladies on board and can’t wait for you to get to know them! If you see them around the office next time you’re in, feel free to give them a warm welcome!

Nitrous Oxide

September 22nd, 2017

Nitrous oxide is a gaseous sedative that’s inhaled through a small mask placed over the nose. Often referred to as laughing gas — because of the euphoric effects it produces — nitrous is used in our Sandusky, OH office for its anesthetic/analgesic properties.

It will make it so you don’t feel the pain of dental treatment or have an experience that some patients may find traumatic.

Nitrous oxide’s use in the dental field dates back to about the mid-1800s, but when it was introduced, practitioners didn't understand the need to add oxygen. These days all nitrous oxide is administered with at least 30% oxygen for safety (so it forms the compound N2O-O2).

If you need any form of dental treatment, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen may find it necessary to administer nitrous oxide. Some of the effects you may experience while you’re sedated include:

  • Lightheadedness, tingling in the arms and legs, followed by a warm or comforting sensation
  • A euphoric feeling or feeling like you are floating
  • Inability to keep your eyes open, so it seems as if you’re asleep

If at any time you feel uncomfortable, irritated, or sick, let Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen know, so the percentage of nitrous oxide being used can be adjusted. The effects dissipate quickly once you return to breathing regular air.

It’s best to be informed about all aspects of your dental treatment before you arrive. There are alternatives to nitrous oxide, so if you’re at all concerned, please don’t hesitate to ask questions about other options for sedation.

Analgesic (numbing) injections can often be used locally at the surgical site. We’ll find what works best for your particular case.

Dental Fear in Children: Brought on by parents?

September 15th, 2017

Two studies – one conducted in Washington State, and whose findings were published in the Journal of Pediatric Dentistry in 2004, and another conducted in Madrid, Spain, and whose findings were reported in 2012 in Science Daily, reinforce earlier findings that show a direct relationship between parental dental fear and that of their children.

The Washington study looked at dental fear among 421 children whose ages ranged from 0.8 to 12.8 years. The children were all patients at 21 different private pediatric dental practices in Western Washington State. The Spanish study looked at 183 children between the ages of seven and 12, and their parents in Madrid.

The Washington study used the Dental Sub-scale of the Child Fear Survey Schedule. The survey responses came from either parents, or other parties charged with taking care of the children. The people responsible for each child filled out the survey, which consisted of 15 questions to which answers were given based on the child’s level of fear. The scale used was one to five, with one meaning the child wasn’t afraid at all, and five indicating the child was terrified. The maximum possible points (based on the greatest fear) was 75.

Spanish researchers found that like past studies, there is a direct connection between parental dental fear levels and those of their kids. The most important new discovery from the study conducted in Madrid, was that the more anxiety and fear a father has of going to the dentist, the higher the fear levels among the other family members.

Parents, but especially fathers, who suffer from fear of going to the dentist and fear of dental procedures in general pass those fears on to every member of the family. While parents may not feel like they have control over those fears, the best way to help your child understand the importance of going to the dentist is by not expressing your fears in front of them – or around the rest of the family.

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team understand that some patients are more fearful than others when it comes to visitingour Sandusky, OH office. We work hard to make our practice as comfortable for our patients, both children and adults.

Anatomy of a Smile Makeover

September 8th, 2017

A smile makeover is usually a combination of one or more cosmetic dental procedures. To achieve your desired result, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen may perform or suggest a variety of options. The entire process is designed specifically for your unique cosmetic needs, and Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen will make sure all your concerns regarding your smile are addressed.

Here are some of the most common procedures in cosmetic dentistry and how they work:

  • Tooth whitening – Whiter teeth are achieved through a bleaching process typically using hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Yellower teeth usually respond well to this procedure, while brown-colored teeth stained by fluorosis or taking tetracycline do not respond as well to whitening. Tooth whitening is not for everyone; if you have sensitive teeth, gum disease, or poor enamel, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen may recommend against tooth-whitening services.
  • Orthodontics – Braces are one of the tried-and-true ways of achieving a healthier smile. Braces are typically worn between 12 and 24 months to reposition the teeth in a straighter and safer alignment. Since your bite is also corrected during this process, it helps ensure you won't have any trouble down the line. There are several different types of braces available these days including: traditional metal braces, clear ceramic braces, lingual braces, and clear aligners.
  • Veneers – Veneers are thin, tooth-colored material (porcelain or resin) designed to be placed on the front surface of teeth to improve their overall appearance. They can be used in cases where the color, shape, size, or length is not as desired. Veneers are usually used in cases where teeth are discolored, chipped, worn down, misaligned, irregular, or have gaps.
  • Implants/bridges – Dental implants and bridges are used to replace missing or broken teeth. Nowadays, both implants and bridges are commonly performed procedures. Implants integrate directly with the jawbone, while bridges are placed over the adjacent teeth to the missing tooth. Implant technology has advanced a great deal in recent years and highly biocompatible ceramic materials are becoming more commonplace.

Getting your perfect smile will take time and patience, but the end result will be well worth it! Please schedule an appointment at our Sandusky, OH office about the cosmetic dental services we offer, and achieve the smile you've always wanted!

Happy Labor Day!

September 1st, 2017

Labor Day is upon us, and that means the non-official end to summer. Before the kids head back to school and temperatures start to cool down, this is your last chance to barbeque in the beautiful Sandusky, OH community, head to the lake, and wear your favorite pair of white pants.

About Labor Day

Each year, Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September. It is the one day of year Americans celebrate their achievements in work, which the US Department of Labor says has contributed to prosperity and well-being of America as a whole. Americans have been celebrating Labor Day since the 1880s, and today it is an official federal holiday.

Interesting Facts About Labor Day

  • Every year, more than 30 million Americans travel over Labor Day weekend.
  • Canada was the first to celebrate Labor Day, and the US soon followed.
  • President Cleveland made Labor Day and official US holiday in 1894.
  • Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and NCAA sports seasons for fans.
  • Labor Day marks the end of hot dog season, when Americans consume seven billion hot dogs.

Thanks for being a valued patient of our General and Cosmetic Dentistry, Invisalign office. Our staff would like to wish you a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. Enjoy your time off!

The Consequences of Sports and Energy Drinks

August 25th, 2017

They’re refreshing and tasty. They’re easy to find and pretty cheap. They help us get through a long day or a long workout. They’re everywhere.

We know it’s hard to say no to an energy or sports drink. That’s why Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team want to make sure you know the effects that energy and sports drinks can have on your smile and overall oral health. You might just think twice next time you crave one.

There’s a common misconception that sports and energy drinks are somehow healthier than soda beverages. None is particularly good for you, but because sports and energy drinks have higher acidity levels, they put you on a fast track to enamel erosion, which can lead to cavities over time. However, studies show that energy drinks may be the worst of the bunch.

In a study published in General Dentistry, the energy drinks that showed the highest acidity levels were 5-hour Energy, Monster, Rockstar, and Red Bull Sugar free. These drinks almost doubled in acidity when compared to sports drinks. The sports drinks that came in second as far as acidity levels go were Powerade, Gatorade, and Propel.

You may be thinking, “What's the big deal; lots of other drinks damage your teeth, too,” and you’re right. Even all-natural beverages like orange juice and other fruit juices, which are advertised as full of vitamins, contain acid that damages tooth enamel. The point here is that moderation is key.

We certainly encourage you to choose a glass of orange juice over an energy drink, but if you feel like you just can’t give up your sports and energy drink habit, then please consider the following tips:

  • Limit yourself to a certain number of said beverages a week and stick to it.
  • Rinse with water after consuming an energy or sports drink.
  • Brush your teeth after an hour of downing the drink, so your mouth has time to return to its normal pH level.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call at our Sandusky, OH office. Shoot us a message on Facebook, or let us know on your next visit!

How do I know if my gums are receding?

August 18th, 2017

Gum recession, a common result of gum disease, occurs when the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away or pulls back, forming pockets between the gumline and exposing more of the tooth. Gum recession occurs gradually, so you might not know that you have it. Left untreated, gum recession can result in tooth loss. In addition, there are several studies that suggest that gum disease is associated with modest increases in coronary heart disease. Here are five ways to know if your gums are receding.

1. Healthy gums are firm, light pink, and very elastic. If your gums don’t fit that description, then it’s time to visit our Sandusky, OH office. Red, swollen gums are a common symptom of gum disease, and may lead to gum recession.

2. Do your gums bleed easily when you brush or floss? If you have gum recession, even if you brush gently and with toothpaste specifically designed for sensitivity, it may still result in bleeding.

3. When you look in the mirror, do you see more of a tooth than you used to? This is one of the easiest ways to tell if you have gum recession. When gums recede, more of the tooth is visibly exposed. Look for lines or notches along the bottom of the teeth, as this typically indicates areas where the gums have receded.

4. One of the first signs of gum recession is tooth sensitivity. Does it hurt when you bite down or chew? The more gums recede, the more painful it is going to be. However, before you experience tooth sensitivity or pain, you may notice awkwardness when you bit down. When gum recession occurs, teeth can shift slightly, making it feel as if they are not properly aligned.

5. Loose teeth are a symptom of advanced gum recession and periodontal disease. In other words, the supporting bone structure of the teeth has already begun to deteriorate. If left untreated, it will result in tooth loss.

From deep cleaning (scaling) to gingival tissue grafting surgery, there are several ways to combat gum recession and periodontal disease. How gum recession is treated depends on how far advanced it is. Talk to Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen about what options are best for you.

How safe are dental X-rays?

August 11th, 2017

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our staff rely on digital X-rays to help us diagnose oral conditions and process images at incredibly high speeds. You can also view digital X-rays in real time while we examine your mouth with an intraoral camera and upload the images to a software program. A chairside computer monitor lets you see these images as we refine areas of concern to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

But are dental X-rays safe?

Yes! They emit 80 percent less radiation than exposure-type X-rays and provide detailed images to improve diagnosis and treatment. We can now detect dental problems in their earliest stages without subjecting you to unnecessary radiation. The amount of radiation released by digital X-rays is “negligible,” which means the amount is so small, that it can be safely disregarded.

Safe enough for children and pregnant women, digital X-rays detect microscopic pitting in tooth enamel and other abnormalities in the oral tissues that might have remained undetected with traditional X-rays. When Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our staff discover dental caries in their earliest stages, we can initiate treatment measures that will effectively prevent cavity development, tooth decay, and potential tooth loss.

Patient appointment lengths are shortened with digital X-rays as well, because images are immediately viewable and do not require the exposure time associated with old-style X-rays.

How Digital X-Rays Differ from Traditional X-Rays

Instead of using cardboard-contained film, we insert a small sensing device about the size of a pen in your mouth and engage the digital X-ray machine by manually manipulating control buttons. Within seconds, images appear on the monitor that can later be stored in your file or sent to another doctor for further examination.

The increased resolution afforded by digital X-rays means that patients are able to understand the seriousness of their dental issues better, and are more inclined to follow through with procedures recommended by Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen.

Safer, Better and Faster

For detection of cancerous tumors in their early states, digital X-ray technology offers vast improvements over film X-rays because of its cutting-edge image processing capability. Early detection of oral cancer and dental caries is the best way to prevent any type of oral health problem from exceeding the treatable stage.

Germs living on my toothbrush? Say it ain’t so!

August 4th, 2017

You may have heard talk about the germs that can reside on your toothbrush and thought, “really?”

It’s true—there are several kinds of bacteria that can lurk on the bristles of your toothbrush, including streptococci, staphylococci, Herpes Simplex I, and the Influenza virus. To protect your toothbrush from bacteria, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team want you to consider the following three tips:

  • Wash your hands before and after brushing.
  • Allow the brush to air dry after each use, as harmful bacteria dies after being exposed to oxygen. It is best to disinfect your toothbrush weekly and allow it to dry in between use. Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or after being ill. Worn bristles are less effective in properly cleaning your teeth, and can actually be damaging to teeth if used too long!

We hope these tips help! Feel free to give us a call at our Sandusky, OH office or ask us on Facebook if you have any questions!

August Staff Spotlight: Meet Julie

August 2nd, 2017

We're so happy to announce this month's Staff Spotlight is on one of our favorite dental hygienists, Julie!

Julie has been part of the Stefano Dental family for seventeen years! We are so happy to have her and we're glad she feels the same."Words cannot express how amazing our team is and how well we all work together," Julie says. "I look forward to meeting each and every one of you and partnering with you and all of your dental needs."

Outside of work, Julie enjoys spending as much time possible with her three outgoing children, Justin, Drew, and Abby. She doesn't shy away from talking about how much she loves her family including the love of her life, Phil (often called "Fill").  "We have a cute story, feel free to ask me about it sometime!" she says.

When it comes to "me time", Julie enjoys cooking, working out, watching movies, or reading a good book to help her unwind.

Next time you see Julie in the office, feel free to give her a warm hello!

-Stefano Dental Team

How Smoking Increases the Risk of Oral Cancer

July 28th, 2017

Cigarette smoke contains more than 6,000 chemicals, and at least 200 of those chemicals are known to be harmful to your health. When smoke is inhaled, moist oral tissues are saturated with excessive amounts of carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and a host of other known carcinogens. Most oral cancers originate in abnormal squamous cell activity, which are cells found on the lips, inside the mouth, and in the throat.

How Oral Cancer Begins

Cells exposed to consistently high levels of cigarette smoke may eventually suffer abnormal mutations within their DNA. Since deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is responsible for providing cells with instructions about growth, reproduction, and death, these instructions become distorted, which causes the cells to reproduce uncontrollably.

Essentially, that is what cancer is: rapid, unchecked growth of genetically mutated cells that encourages the development of malignant tumors. Unfortunately, the chemicals in cigarette smoke are strongly associated with oral cancer.

Signs of Oral Cancer

Early-stage oral cancer is often asymptomatic, which means symptoms appear only after the cancer intensifies and spreads. Possible signs of oral cancer include:

  • Ulcers inside the mouth or on the lips that do not heal
  • White or dark red patches inside the mouth
  • Lumps inside or around the mouth (a lump could appear on your neck)
  • Bleeding, numbness, and soreness in the mouth
  • Chronic halitosis
  • Loose teeth in the absence of tooth decay

Diagnosis and Treatment of Oral Cancer

Squamous cell oral cancer is the most common type diagnosed in smokers. Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our staff often discover squamous cell carcinoma lesions during dental examinations or cancer screenings. Depending on the stage of the oral cancer, treatment may begin with a biopsy or an exfoliative cytology procedure that involves collecting cells from the oral cavity using a scraper.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, oral cancer patients may need surgery, radiation therapy, a combination of surgery and radiation therapy, or chemotherapy to eradicate oral cancer.

Smoking, Cancer, and Tooth Decay

Not only is smoking the number-one cause of cancer but it is also detrimental to the overall health of your teeth and gums. Yellow teeth, bad breath, dry mouth, and expedited tooth decay are all caused by smoking, not to mention the damage smoke does to the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

In other words, don’t smoke!

Should I use mouthwash?

July 21st, 2017

Mouthwashes are commonly used as a part of a daily oral care regimen. Not only do they freshen breath, but some are capable of improving dental health too. Using a mouthwash daily can rinse fine debris away and out of reach while brushing. It can also make the teeth and gums more resilient to decay and disease.

Types of Mouthwashes

There are several types of mouthwashes available today that Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental want you to be aware of. Some do little more than freshen breath and are known as cosmetic mouthwashes. These are ideal for quickly eliminating odors that linger after eating, drinking, or taking medication. Using a cosmetic mouthwash does not offer any health benefits.

Other mouthwashes offer more comprehensive benefits; they can potentially prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Mouthwashes that contain antimicrobial agents work by preventing the buildup of plaque that can lead to gingivitis and decay of the tooth enamel. However, it should be noted that the use of a mouthwash is never a substitute for regular brushing and flossing.

In some cases, prescription mouthwashes are necessary to treat patients with gum disease or who have undergone periodontal surgery. These specialty mouthwashes are designed specifically for the treatment of gum disease and should not be used outside of their intended use. The majority of mouthwashes require no prescription.

Tips for Choosing a Mouthwash

The choice to use a mouthwash and which one to use is between you and your dentist, depending on your individual oral health needs. If you determine that a mouthwash is right for you, look for one that contains fluoride, if possible. Fluoride provides an added layer of protection for your teeth, and helps them become more resistant to decay. As always, if you have any questions or concerns when choosing a mouthwash, please give our team at Stefano Dental a call for assistance in selecting the rinse that is best for you. Or, we invite to ask us during your next visit to our Sandusky, OH office!

What do I do if I fall and loosen my teeth?

July 14th, 2017

Although teeth are strong enough to tear through food, they are also fragile. An accident such as a fall may loosen teeth or knock a tooth out entirely. When a child loses a baby tooth in this manner, no permanent damage is usually done. However, adults who loosen permanent teeth may need to visit our Sandusky, OH office.

The Anatomy of a Loose Tooth

The hard external layer of teeth covers a more vulnerable interior. The center of a tooth consists of the pulp, which contains blood vessels and nerves. The entire tooth extends below the surface of the gums into the jaw. Special tissue called cementum and the periodontal ligament hold teeth in place, preventing them from moving.

When a fall or blow to the face loosens a tooth, the tissues anchoring a tooth to the jaw may be damaged. This results in a loosened tooth that wiggles in place. There may be inflammation or bleeding of the gums, which signals dental damage.

Dental Treatments for a Loose Tooth

The range of dental treatments for loose teeth varies by the severity of the problem. If your teeth are just slightly loose following a fall, it may be fine to wait a few days. Teeth often retighten on their own. Simply avoid chewing with that tooth and enjoy softer foods for a few days.

If a tooth is very loose or nearly falling out, call Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen immediately. Immediate placement of the tooth back into the socket is needed to ensure its survival. In general, a tooth must return to its socket within two hours or it may be lost.

In some cases, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen may recommend splinting, in which teeth are joined together to strengthen them and reduce strain on an individual tooth. Tightening or straightening the tooth can restore your ability to chew regularly without stressing the loosened tooth.

Regardless of the extent of the problem, it is essential to keep the tooth clean to prevent decay. Brush carefully with a soft-bristled brush, and use mouthwash regularly to kill bacteria.

Don’t let a dental emergency ruin your summer vacation!

July 7th, 2017

For many of our patients at Stefano Dental, summer means a season of relaxation, vacation, and outdoor fun and activities. While you can’t take a vacation from dental emergencies, you can always be prepared for anything that can happen. Today, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team thought we would give our patients a few tips on handling a dental emergency when you’re far from home (and our office).

Throbbing Toothache – Try brushing and flossing to ease the pain; the issue could be simply that a piece of food is nestled in an uncomfortable spot between your teeth. If that is the case, try to gently remove the object with dental floss. If it still hurts, stick to soft foods, try an over-the-counter pain reliever, or dip a cotton ball in clove oil and insert it on the affected area until you can get to a local dentist.

Bitten Lip or Tongue – Clean the area gently with a cloth and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, go to a hospital emergency room immediately.

Lost Filling or Crown – Dental wax will work to keep the sharp edges of your tooth from bothering you. If you can, save the crown or filling, and if you happen to have denture adhesive handy, you can use it to temporarily reattach the crown until you can get to a local dentist.

Broken Tooth – Hold the tooth by the crown and rinse off the root of the tooth in water if it’s dirty. If possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If that isn’t possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk and get to a local dentist as quickly as possible.

Broken Jaw – Apply cold compresses to control swelling. Visit a hospital emergency room as soon as possible.

If you have a dental emergency after regular office hours and you happen to be in town, please give us a call. If you are calling us after hours, please follow the emergency prompts to contact Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen.

Meet Montie!

July 5th, 2017

This week we’re spotlighting our staff member, Montie, who does Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary (EFDA) for our practice. This means she assists Dr. Stefano with restoring teeth, and helps each patient get the proper care they deserve.

Montie has been working with us at Stefano Dental since August of 1990. Her favorite thing about her job is being able to change someone’s life for the better, and also help each patient leave with a smile on their face! She loves how rewarding her job is every single day.

Outside of the office, Montie enjoys being with her family whether it’s through playing sports or hanging outside by the water. She’s been married for over 25 years and has three wonderful children whom she loves spending time with. We really appreciate having Montie as a part of our staff, so be sure to say hello to her the next time you’re in the office!

Happy Fourth of July!

June 30th, 2017

Happy Independence Day from Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and team! The Fourth of July celebrations in America may have changed a lot over the years, but there is no doubt that we Americans love to celebrate the anniversary of our country's independence! Today we're devoting the Stefano Dental blog to some fun facts about the Fourth!

  • My, how we have grown! This year the United States Census Bureau estimates that our country has 313.9 million residents celebrating the Fourth of July this year, but back in 1776 there were just 2.5 million members of the country.
  • Our country loves to show how proud that we are of our independence. Did you know that there are 31 United States places with the word “Liberty” in their names? The state of Iowa actually has four towns with the word Liberty in the name: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty, and West Liberty.
  • The United States loves Fourth of July food! It is expected that around 150 million hot dogs are eaten on the Fourth each year. One of the Fourth's most popular sides, potato salad, goes just perfectly with the hotdogs and hamburgers that are standard Fourth of July fare. Some people choose potato chips instead, but we wouldn't have such a plethora of potatoes if not for the prodigious production of the states of Idaho and Washington -- they provide about half of all the potatoes in the United States today!
  • Americans love celebrating the Fourth outdoors: About 74 million Americans fire up their BBQ grill every Fourth of July.
  • The Chinese contribution: Did you know that Americans have spent more than $211 million on fireworks that were imported from China?

No matter how your family chooses to celebrate the Fourth, stay safe, take precautions, and don't forget to brush after your fabulous Fourth feast!

Canker sores, cold sores, and mouth sores: What's the difference?

June 23rd, 2017

At Stefano Dental, we know many people have experienced some form of mouth sores or irritation. Some mouth sores are harmless and go away on their own after a few days, while others are more serious and should not be ignored. Mouth sores occur for many different reasons, but bacterial infections, viruses, or funguses often trigger them. The best way to tell the difference between a canker sore and a cold sore is that canker sores occur inside the mouth while cold sores occur on the outside the mouth.

The most common mouth sores are:

Canker sores: A non-contagious, small, grayish ulcer with a red border, canker sores appear inside the mouth. While outside factors such as stress, fatigue, or allergies may increase the chances of developing a canker sore, most health experts believe they stem from bacteria or a virus that attacks the immune system. Canker sores typically heal within a week or two.

Cold sores: Also called fever blisters, cold sores are contagious groups of fluid-filled blisters that often erupt around the lips and sometimes under the nose or around the chin. Cold sores are the result of the herpes simplex virus, and once infected, the virus remains in the person’s blood stream.

Leukoplakia: A potential warning sign of oral cancer, leukoplakia is a premalignant lesion that appears as a white patch on the inside of the mouth, tongue, or gums. The lesions, which are caused by excessive cell growth, usually afflict those who smoke tobacco. Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen may choose to have the lesion biopsied if the outbreak appears severe.

Oral candidiasis: Also called oral thrush or moniliasis, this condition is caused by the overgrowth of a type of yeast called candida. Common symptoms of oral candidiasis include white spots inside the mouth and on the tongue, redness or discomfort in the mouth area, sore throat,difficulty swallowing, and cracking at the corners of the mouth. It is important to visit Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen if you have oral candidiasis. If left untreated, it may infect your bloodstream, which can be very dangerous. Healthy adults do not usually get thrush, and the condition is most often seen in infants, the elderly, patients undergoing chemotherapy, or people with AIDS or other diseases that are known to weaken the immune system.

Should you have a mouth sore that lasts a week or longer, we encourage you to give us a call and schedule an examination at our Sandusky, OH office.

The Secret to Lifelong Teeth Whitening

June 16th, 2017

Have you ever noticed your attention being instantly drawn to peoples’ teeth when they smile at you? Some people have dull and yellowing teeth, while others have teeth that appear bright white. Everyone’s teeth naturally dull over time because of aging and the contact your teeth have with staining foods, such as chocolate and coffee. However, teeth-whitening treatments can help you keep your teeth white for life.

Get Regular Treatments

The effects of teeth whitening or bleaching treatments are only temporary, so regular treatments at Stefano Dental are necessary to keep your teeth white for life. Bleaching too frequently, though, can wear away your tooth enamel. The effects of in-office bleaching can last for several months to a year, while you may need to repeat your use of at-home bleaching kits every few months to maintain your white teeth. Whitening toothpastes do not contain bleach, so you can use them daily. The American Dental Association suggests asking your dentist for advice on which treatment is best for you.

Have Realistic Expectations

Not everyone’s teeth can be turned bright white, according to the American Dental Association. Your teeth may naturally be a light yellowish color that lends itself well to teeth-whitening procedures, but bleach is not likely to be effective for grayish teeth. Brownish teeth fall somewhere in between.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Your teeth whitening efforts will not be as effective if your teeth are in poor health. Visible fillings, implants, or bridges that are metallic stand out against the white color you want to achieve. You can help prevent tooth decay and reduce your risk of needing these unsightly treatments by maintaining a good oral hygiene routine. In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day to remove dirt and potential staining agents, the actions below can promote a healthy mouth.

  • Floss every day
  • Visit Stefano Dental regularly
  • Rinse your mouth with water after each meal and snack
  • Limit sugary and starchy foods and beverages, especially between meals

How do OTC whitening treatments compare to in-office whitening?

June 9th, 2017

If you are unhappy with the color of your teeth, teeth whitening may be an excellent choice for you. Many patients of Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen suffer from darkened teeth due to the natural aging process, regular consumption of coffee or tea, or nicotine staining from cigarettes.

Some people may have darkened teeth due to long-term use of medication. Certain medication-related stains on the teeth cannot be lightened, but virtually every other type of teeth stains can be effectively lightened using either professional dental whitening or at-home whitening.

While both types of whitening have benefits, at-home kits are less expensive and less effective overall. Professional teeth whitening is a highly effective option, but it requires a bit more of an investment. Here is the basic info on each type of whitening.

At-Home Whitening

At-home whitening is done in a number of different ways today. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Whitening strips that are applied to teeth and then removed after a specified period. These will typically be used once a day for at least a week.
  • Whitening gels or pastes that are placed in a one-size-fits-all plastic tray. These trays are worn, retainer style, for a set period of time once a day.
  • Whitening toothpaste, which is used daily, and whitening mouthwashes are also available today. These products require constant use to realize results.

In-Office Whitening

In-office whitening is the fastest way to achieve whiter teeth. If you want an almost immediate difference in the color of your teeth and their overall appearance, this is probably the option for you.

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen will typically apply the whitening formula directly to your teeth. Following the application, we will have you relax in our office between half an hour and an hour.

Some office-whitening formulas are strengthened with the use of heat, specialized lighting, or laser application. Patients will usually notice whitening results after only one application, but it usually takes at least a few appointments at Stefano Dental to notice a truly dramatic change in tooth color.

Meet Melanie Dix

June 7th, 2017

This week we’re spotlighting our lovely Insurance Coordinator, Melanie Dix. She’s been with us since 2006 and we could not be luckier to have her on our team.

Melanie’s favorite part of working at Stefano Dental is being able to work with a group of people who strive to constantly exceed patient expectations, and change the negative stigma that can be associated with going to the dentist.

When she’s not at working helping the office run smoothly, she likes to spend time with her family, playing dominoes and reading.
The next time you see Melanie in the office, be sure to give her a warm hello!

June is National Smile Month: Show off your smile!

June 2nd, 2017

The community health awareness group Oral Health America has reported that 82 percent of adults are unaware of the role that infectious bacteria can play in tooth decay or cavities, and almost three out of five children aged 12 to 19 have tooth decay. Since June is National Smile Month, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental thought we’d remind our patients about the importance of good oral hygiene visits between office visits.

To keep your family’s smiles healthy and beautiful for years to come, be sure to:

  • Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss every day to clean between your teeth
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Visit Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen for scheduled appointments

If you want to know more about healthy home care habits, feel free to ask our team at your next appointment, or ask us on Facebook!

Memorial Day: Parades, remembrance, and the unofficial start of summer!

May 26th, 2017

“The purpose of all war is peace.” - Saint Augustine

Fire truck sirens, baton twirlers, marching bands covering patriotic tunes, colorful floats, costumes, and millions of red, white, and blue American flags being waved in the air on a beautiful day in late May, that is what Memorial Day is all about. It is a federal holiday celebrated with town parades, remembrance, and a sense of unity and community togetherness.

Our team at Stefano Dental wants to take this time to wish you and your family a happy Memorial Day, as well as pause for a moment to reflect on what this holiday means and how it has changed over time. No, this is not a history lesson, but just a couple of thoughts and observances for you to take with you on your way to the next barbecue.

On the last Monday in May, America observes Memorial Day as a time to remember and celebrate the men and women who have lost their lives while serving our country in the Armed Forces. The holiday originated after the Civil War; at that time it was known as Decoration Day. While holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter remain the same from year to year, Memorial Day has changed over time, and in the 21st century we observe a far different holiday than what Americans did after the Civil War, or even the World Wars.

While many people place flags at cemeteries and visit national memorials in order to honor those who have passed away serving the country, Memorial Day is also a time for family barbecues, pool parties, trips to the beach, blockbuster movies, long weekend getaways, and fireworks. In America, Memorial Day has come to represent the unofficial start of the summer – a long, sunny, warm weekend devoted to family togetherness, outdoor events, and community.

It is time to load up the potato salad and the apple pie and head over to the neighbor’s house for their annual barbecue. And yes, contrary to popular belief, we do eat sweets, especially homemade apple pie! Everything in moderation, of course.

So whether you’re in the Sandusky, OH area or beyond, Happy Memorial Day to you and yours from Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen!

Four Tips for Soothing a Toothache

May 19th, 2017

Whether it’s a dull and throbbing ache or a sharp pain, toothaches can come in many different forms. Chances are you’ve had the discomforting experience once or twice in your life. It’s the type of experience that nobody wants to have, because a toothache can be as annoying as fingernails scratching a chalkboard.

What’s a good way to describe a toothache? Let’s see … your mouth feels as if it’s being besieged by one of those Loony Tunes-style jackhammers. As fate would have it, toothaches always seem to occur over the weekend or after-office hours, leaving you to suffer and forcing you to cancel your reservation at that high-end restaurant you’ve been anticipating all week.

Not so fast!

While you’re probably going to want to skip the rib-eye steak, there are numerous tried-and-true home remedies you can use to ease the pain until you can make an appointment with our office. Here’s a look at four ways to soothe a toothache.

  1. Don’t underestimate the power of salt water. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water will both soothe your toothache and disinfect your mouth. However, make sure the water is warm; cold water can further exacerbate a sensitive tooth. Follow up the saltwater rinse by swishing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Clove oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, and vanilla extract are proven to be comforting elixirs. Dip a cotton swab in one of these mixtures and apply it to your tooth and gums. These substances, which you may even have in your kitchen cupboards, are known to have pain-relieving qualities. For the best results, repeat the application throughout the day.
  3. Eating yogurt is good for toothaches and mouth pain. Yogurt is filled with healthy bacteria that combat pain. Afterward, place a cold compress on your jaw.
  4. Try flossing. Your toothache might be throbbing and severe, but there’s always a chance the pain is caused by a piece of food awkwardly lodged in your teeth.

We hope that helps! Give Stefano Dental a call to learn more!

Does the placement of implants hurt?

May 12th, 2017

If you're scheduled to get a dental implant, it's only natural to have questions about it. The pain involved is usually on the mind of most patients. Of course, some discomfort is possible, as with any major dental procedure. Having a well-defined plan ahead of time, which is carried out by Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, reduces the risk of complications or side effects post-surgery.

During the procedure you won't feel a thing, since it is performed under general or local anesthesia that totally numbs your mouth. It's more likely that you will feel some pain or discomfort after the anesthesia has worn off.

There are usually three things that will affect the length and intensity of any discomfort:

  • The complexity of your surgery (for example if you need a bone graft or sinus lift beforehand)
  • How well-trained the dental team which works on your case is (it may be multiple people, including a periodontist, oral surgeon, and/or general dentist)
  • How quickly your body is able to heal itself post-surgery

The pain experienced from an untreated case will usually far outweigh that experienced from a dental implant. Good oral hygiene after your surgery is important to avoid infection. Salt water rinses are generally recommended 24 hours after your surgery. Brush your teeth gently around the implant.

It's also a good idea not to eat any food that is too hot, cold, or hard. Soft or pureed foods will help you to avoid chewing for the first few days after surgery and will help your mouth to heal faster. You'll typically be prescribed pain medication, but some patients find that ibuprofen or acetaminophen work well enough. Just remember, the most severe discomfort is usually experienced within the six hours after your anesthesia wears off.

Getting a dental implant is a big decision, and we want to make sure you get through it easily. Our Sandusky, OH team is here to help if you have any questions about the procedure or post-surgery care.

Telltale Signs that Your Tooth has a Cavity

May 5th, 2017

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental frequently get questions about cavity causes and prevention. You brush twice a day and floss regularly. You rinse with mouthwash, just like the dentist recommended. In fact, you can’t remember the last time you had a cavity, but you think it was when you were a little kid. In all seriousness, you thought only kids got cavities.

The Signs and Symptoms of a Cavity

It’s believed that roughly 90% of North Americans will get at least one cavity in their lifetime. Those other ten percent, it seems, can eat as much pie, cake, and sugary cereals and sweets as they want. That’s not really true; just a stab at dental humor, and it was as bad as the pain your cavity is probably giving you.

When a cavity is in its initial stages, you will often be symptom-free and experience no discomfort at all. It’s not until the tooth decay has reached a certain level that you will begin to notice the signs and symptoms. While a toothache and sensitivity to hot and cold foods and liquids are surefire signs that you have a cavity, there are lesser-known symptoms as well. If you’re experiencing any of these warning signs, you may want to consider making an appointment with our office as soon as possible:

  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • When you bite down, there is a sticky, tarry feeling
  • Puss or discharge around a tooth
  • A visible discoloring, usually black or brown
  • Small pits or holes in the tooth

Routine dental care is important. While good oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and regular cleanings will deter the formation of cavities, they do not constitute a foolproof practice. A cavity can occur at any time, no matter what your age. Bacteria causes tooth decay, and no amount of brushing, flossing, and rinsing will eradicate all the bacteria from your mouth. If you think you may have a cavity, please contact our office immediately.

Why Visiting the Emergency Room for Your Dental Problem isn’t a Good Idea

April 28th, 2017

Emergency rooms are for emergencies, so before you head to the hospital because of a dental problem, you need to ask yourself this question: Is what you're experiencing really a medical emergency? While emergency room visits for dental related issues are on the rise across the United States , they’re not necessarily the best solution for every problem. Many people don't know about emergency dental care services, many of which are available 24/7, and so they go to the ER.

These types of statistics are common across the country. However, despite the numbers, not all dental problems are created equal. If you've experienced some type of injury to your mouth, jaw, or face, then an ER visit is a good idea, but if you're suffering from a toothache, cavity, or broken crown or veneer, then the ER is not the best place to handle the situation. If you're having a dental emergency, then seeking emergency dental care should be your course of action.

Seeking Long-Term Solutions

The ER doesn't provide a long-term solution to your dental issue; it only gives you temporary relief. There’s a chance they will simply hand you a prescription for pain medication and tell you to call your dentist in the morning. In the end, you’re going to be saddled with two medical bills, and nobody wants that. Even if the ER outfits you with a temporary crown or filling, you're still going to have to make a follow-up appointment our office.

There are numerous homemade remedies that can sooth tooth and gum pain. However, if you're experiencing a dental emergency, the ER is not the place to go. The specialized emergency team at Stefano Dental is available to take care of every dental problem you may have. In the case of a dental emergency, don't wait any longer than necessary. Feel free to contact our Sandusky, OH office at any time, day or night.

Every Day is Earth Day

April 21st, 2017

During the early days of the environmental awareness movement, those who demonstrated against pollution, toxic chemicals, and the general public health were known as hippies. The early 1970s were a time of change, and assertions that we needed to pay more attention to the Earth's atmosphere were generally dismissed. But within a couple decades, it had become clear that the previous generation was right; the citizens of the world needed to become more environmentally conscious.

Many people feel that they can't make a difference if they don't do something big. But caring for the environment doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing concept. In fact, the little things you do can add up to make a great impact, especially in our community. Here are a few ways you can help the environment on Earth Day, April 22nd and all year around.

Four Small Ways to be Environmentally Friendly

  • Recycle Your Textiles. Nearly 21 million tons of textiles are added to American landfills each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Donating your unwanted clothing to a secondhand store or an organization that repurposes fabric helps cut down on solid waste and conserves natural resources.
  • Reduce Usage of Disposables. Plastic bottles and bags, disposable diapers and other things we can use and toss out are convenient, but they're not necessary. Simply choosing to replace one of type of disposable with a reusable product can help you cut down on waste that has a large negative impact on our environment.
  • Conserve Water. If everyone in the United States turned off the water while brushing their teeth, more than 1.5 million gallons of water could be conserved. Turn the water on long enough to wet your toothbrush for brushing and rinsing, and then immediately turn the water off again.
  • Turn Off the Lights. Flip the light switch to "Off" if you're going to leave a particular room for 15 minutes or more. This will conserve energy on incandescent light bulbs and cut down on cooling costs.

It's not necessary to be an activist or install solar panels all over your home to help the environment. Although you can do these things, the little everyday measures make a big difference in helping to conserve energy and the environment, while reducing your carbon footprint. Our team at Stefano Dental wants to remind you to celebrate Earth Day and help the environment, knowing that it will benefit your and your children's generation.

Five Tips for Taking Tots to the Dentist

April 14th, 2017

Toddlers are notoriously balky about strangers. But their first dental visit should not be cause for fear and tears. Nor should you assume that getting your toddler to Stefano Dental is going to involve a full-blown tantrum or Mafia-style bribery. “Honey, don’t worry. We’ll go get ice cream after…” sort of defeats the purpose of making that first dental appointment.

These five tips will make your toddler’s trip to see Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen as fun as a stop at an amusement park.

1. Before you make a dental appointment for your child, take him or her on a ride-along to one of your dental appointments. Let your son or daughter experience the office and get the lay of the land. Toddlers don’t like surprises. But if your little one is already familiar with the big chair that goes up and down, the next time he or she will have no problem taking a seat.

2. About the big dental chair … well, it’s really an amusement park ride. See how it goes up and down? Toddlers love games, and turning the trip to the dentist into a game is among the oldest (and most successful) tricks in the parent playbook.

3. Positive reinforcement is a good thing. That's why Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our staff hand out cool toothbrushes or stickers to children after their appointment. A fun-colored toothbrush with a suction bottom is a good incentive to come back for another cleaning.

4. Timing is everything. Don’t take your child to the dentist an hour before the daily nap. Make the appointment with your child’s schedule in mind. This increases the chances of success.

5. A few days before the scheduled appointment, start reading your toddler bedtimes stories about what happens at the dentist. Dora the Explorer’s Show Me Your Smile, written by Christine Ricci, is a popular dental story that your child might relate to.

Staff Spotlight: Brittany Staples

April 13th, 2017

We're pleased to share this month's Staff Spotlight, Brittany Staples!

Brittany is our Patient Relations Administrator/ Dental Assistant. She's a multitasker who ensures that all of our patients have a great experience at Stefano Dental. She does everything from coordinating new patient info and greeting patients as they come in, to managing the phones and schedules. She also supports other team members whenever they need help.

Brittany's favorite part of her job is helping patients overcome their fears and seeing them enjoy their smiles. She also enjoys the keeping up to date with technological advances that help  make dental appointments more comfortable for patients.

Outside of work, you'll find her spending time with her husband, Ben, her daughter, Emma and her son, Calvin. She loves to cook and spend time with friends and family over a delicious meal. She likes to go camping or boating on the lake. In addition to that, she's a fan of scrapbooking and cleaning.

This October will be Brittany's 8 year anniversary at Stefano Dental and we could not be happier to have her as part of our team!

How do I overcome my dental anxiety?

April 7th, 2017

Do you feel anxious before every dentist appointment? If the answer is yes, you are not alone—more than 75 percent of Americans feel anxious when visiting their dentist. Today, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team thought we would provide some tips to reduce your stress about visiting our Sandusky, OH office.

The first thing we want you to do is plan ahead. If at all possible, book an appointment at a time when you know you won’t be in a rush to get somewhere else, such as picking up your children from school or an important meeting at the office. We also recommend you avoid caffeine and sugar prior to your visit as too much of either can make you feel even more anxious, not to mention jittery.

Once you’re here at our office, take some slow, deep breaths to relax. Then, try to relax your muscles by sitting back comfortably. If you are still feeling anxious, let Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen or someone on our team know. We deal with nervous patients all the time and may have additional relaxation techniques for you to try. If you’d like, we also encourage you to bring headphones and listen to music of your choice to distract yourself while we work on your teeth.

If you have additional questions about relaxation techniques, or would like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call!

More Adults Are Opting for Invisalign®

March 31st, 2017

These days it's becoming more and more common to see adults at our Sandusky, OH office getting their teeth straightened with Invisalign clear aligners — that is, if you can see them! Treatment with Invisalign is effective and aesthetically pleasing for all ages, but adults have certainly taken to them.

For some it may be to overcome the stigma that "braces are just for kids," but for others it may be the displeasing appearance and discomfort of traditional braces. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, from 1994 to 2010 the number of adults 18 and older getting braces increased by 58 percent, from 680,000 to 1.1 million annually. Many of these adults opt for Invisalign because of how discreet they are and since they don't need to avoid any foods or make dietary changes like you do with traditional braces.

The benefits of getting your teeth into proper alignment are many, and so are the advantages of Invisalign. By following your individual course of Invisalign treatment, you can expect to enjoy the following benefits over traditional braces:

  • The total treatment time is more precise with Invisalign since your treatment is modeled by a computer, as compared to traditional braces where it is really just an estimate.
  • You'll need to make fewer trips to our Sandusky, OH office since you can change your trays on your own every few weeks or as prescribed.
  • There's less risk to the health of your tooth enamel since there is no need to place brackets on your teeth.
  • Invisalign aligners are clear and practically invisible, so most people won't even know you're wearing them!

If you're interested in Invisalign treatment, please let Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen know. We'd be happy to help you on your journey to a straighter, healthier smile!

Common Emergency Visits: From lost fillings to broken dentures

March 24th, 2017

You never know when you're going to experience a dental emergency, but if you do, it should give you peace of mind to know that emergency dental care is available at our office 24/7. Whether you chip your front tooth playing softball, or your child knocks out a couple of teeth in a playground fall, receiving the emergency dental treatment you need is accessible and convenient.

If you're experiencing a dental emergency, our team at Stefano Dental is here to help you any time of the day or night. Dental emergencies should not be taken lightly, so don't delay. Contact our office as soon as possible. Common dental emergencies include the following:

Lost Fillings and Crowns

Fillings are used to repair cavities. Crowns, on the other hand, are used to cover broken or damaged teeth. Over time, it’s possible for both of these items to loosen and fall out. A lost filling or crown can be painful, because the exposed tissue may be sensitive. Hot and cold temperatures will cause discomfort. While a lost filling or crown might not be as severe a dental emergency as a broken or chipped tooth (most people respond quicker to pain than self-consciousness about their looks), you need to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Broken Dentures

If your dentures are broken, everyday tasks may become trying and arduous. If you can’t chew, swallow, or eat properly, the situation calls for emergency care. Depending on how damaged your dentures are, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen may need to send out a mold of your mouth in order to have the manufacturer make a new pair. On the other hand, if the dentures are not damaged too badly, then we may be able to fix them in-house. If you're having problems with your dentures, you should give us a call as soon as possible.

From chipped and cracked teeth to lost fillings and broken dentures, dental emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. Emergencies are unexpected, but we want you to know that treatment is available, day or night. When your dental health is at risk, we are here to help. In the case of a dental emergency, don't wait; contact our Sandusky, OH office at your earliest convenience.

Smiles For Life

March 20th, 2017

MARCH through JUNE our practice is raising donations for children’s charities through the Smiles For Life program. We are really excited to be participating for the fifth year in a row! 100 percent of the donations we raise go to the Smiles For Life Foundation to benefit children in need, with 50 percent benefiting a local charity of our choice—helping kids in OUR community.

Giving back to the community is something we at Stefano Dental feel very strongly about. It's part of our mission and who we are. We will be donating to Crossroads, a Homeless Shelter in Sandusky where families in need can stay for up to two years. It's run by Volunteers of America. Last year we helped fulfill holiday wish lists of all the kids staying there. This year we thought, let's support Crossroads with SMILES FOR LIFE! Food and shelter is something many take for granted and we want to help those who need it the most.

Make Your Contribution Today
It’s easy to be a part of it!
1. Make a whitening appointment with us today.
2. Spread the word!
3. Whether you choose to have your own smile whitened or not, you can make a HUGE difference by simply sharing this opportunity on your social media accounts, such as Facebook!

If you’d like to join us in this fantastic campaign, give us a call today!

Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day

March 17th, 2017

Millions of people, around Sandusky, OH and beyond, wear green on St. Patrick’s Day so they can show their spirit for the holiday and avoid getting pinched. While it may be easy for you to throw on a green shirt, sport a St. Patrick’s Day button, or wear a pair of emerald-hued shoes, if you’re an avid St. Patty’s Day enthusiast you may want to try something different this year. Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen thought of a few ideas that will help you take your holiday spirit to the next level:

Visit Chicago’s Green River

If you happen to be near the Windy City during St. Patrick’s Day or you’re thinking of planning a trip, don’t miss out on going downtown to watch the large-scale celebration that kicks off when the city dyes the river bright green. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago has been celebrating the holiday with this tradition for more than 50 years, with tens of thousands of people gathering annually to witness the mysterious dying process and the stunning result.

Don Green Face Paint

Just like an avid sports fan on game day, you can use green face paints to showcase your enthusiasm for this holiday. Avoid breakouts or allergic reactions by only using paints that are specifically meant to be applied to the skin. A little bit of face paint can cover a large area, so feel free to get creative and decorate the whole family on St. Patrick’s Day.

Eat Green All Day

Not a fan of green eggs and ham? With the increasing popularity of green smoothies, there’s no better time to get in on this health craze. To create a green smoothie without the aid of food coloring, you can simply blend a generous amount of a leafy green vegetable, such as spinach or kale, with the ingredients that you would typically use to make a smoothie, like fruit, ice, milk, or juice. Keep the trend going throughout the day by using those same vegetables to create a green soup, egg salad, or a batch of bright green pastries. As an added bonus, you’ll get a healthy dose of vitamins without changing the taste of most of these foods.

If your old holiday routine has gotten stale, leave your green T-shirt in the drawer and try one or all of these tips. Don’t be surprised if you have so much fun that you decide to start a new, annual St. Patrick’s Day tradition! Have a happy St. Paddy’s day from Stefano Dental!

My child has autism. What should we expect at your office?

March 10th, 2017

At Stefano Dental, we know that as many as one in 88 children today have some form of autism, a complex brain disorder that affects a child's ability to communicate or form relationships, and makes a child appear distant, aloof, or detached from other people or surroundings. Autism varies widely in symptoms and severity, and some people have coexisting conditions such as intellectual disability or even epilepsy.

That is why Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team are specially trained to provide dental care to the entire special needs community, including autistic children. We know that a visit to the dentist with an autistic child can be difficult. In addition to the common fears associated with strangers, there are also unfamiliar sounds, sensations, bright lights, and tastes with which your child may not be comfortable. We work with parents to make sure visiting the dentist is not so traumatic for our autistic patients.

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team also know that patients with autism may be more interested in equipment and instruments than in us. We show our patients every piece of equipment we are going to use in a way that they can understand. We also allow a patient to sit in a parent's lap in the open bay if he or she is not feeling at ease. We want your child to enjoy getting to know us and to be comfortable while under our care.

A pleasant, comfortable visit at our Sandusky, OH office builds trust and helps put your child at ease for future appointments. Before a visit, we ask parents or guardians to bring their child's favorite toy, comfort item, music, or other coping device their child requires. We have a caring and compassionate team and know how to help autistic children acclimate themselves to a dental environment. We may not get everything done at the first visit, but we are able to schedule several appointments so that your child can get used to our office, the dentist, instruments, and our staff.

Children, especially those afflicted with autism, are not born with a fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. Our team at Stefano Dental genuinely cares for our patients beyond their teeth, and are more than happy to discuss any concerns you may have, as well as answer questions about your child's ongoing dental treatment. Please give us a call to learn more or schedule an appointment with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen.

March is National Nutrition Month!

March 3rd, 2017

While you don’t have to wait to start eating right, March is the month the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics asks everyone to pay special attention to what goes into our bodies. The Academy has designated the month of March for focusing the public’s awareness on what they eat.

What Not to Eat

The academy points out that the foods you eat have a direct effect on the health of your teeth and specifically on tooth decay. Bacteria rely on carbohydrates to thrive. That is why Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental tell our patients to cut back on both candy and sweets. They consist of simple sugars that feed the bacteria in your mouth and enhance tooth decay.

It’s the hidden sugars that will cost you, though. Get in the habit of reading labels on food and looking for products with added sugar. This includes ingredients that end with the suffix “ose.” When it comes to nutrition, these foods offer little value beyond satisfying that sweet tooth.

What You Should Eat

Turn to foods that not only taste good but are good for your teeth too. Dairy products, for example, provide the body with nutritional items that support tooth enamel. Foods high in protein feature phosphorus, a nutrient critical to oral health.

You can’t really go wrong by adding color to your diet, either. Fruits and vegetables make for a colorful plate and a healthy meal. Use some caution with acidic fruits like oranges or even tomatoes, because the acid can erode tooth enamel. It is better to include these foods in a meal instead of eating them by themselves.

Remember, good nutrition is something you should worry about all year long, not just when celebrating National Nutrition Month. March just serves as a fun reminder that eating right is a proactive step in managing your dental health.

We encourage you to give us a call at our Sandusky, OH office to learn more!

Ten Fun Things to Do with Your Old Toothbrush

February 24th, 2017

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our staff recommend that you replace your worn-out, germy toothbrush with a new one every three months. But most people either forget or resist getting rid of something that is still “working.”

Maybe if they had a few ideas for putting that old toothbrush to good use, more people would take our advice? To encourage good oral practices, we offer these ten fun things you can do with your used toothbrush:

1. Let your five-year-old budding Da Vinci create a masterpiece with some paint and your old toothbrush.

2. Scrub oily areas on your face with your toothbrush. The bristles are perfect for removing embedded dirt and oil that clogs pores.

3. Pamper your hamster by brushing his fur with an old toothbrush.

4. Dab a bit of Vaseline on the bristles and comb your eyelashes: instant glamour! Got dry, flaky lips? Slough away by using a toothbrush on your lips.

5. Remove the bristles: instant small plant stakes!

6. Old toothbrushes are great for spot-cleaning just about anything.

7. When nobody is around to scratch an unreachable itch on your back, turn that old toothbrush into your personal backscratcher.

8. Is your dog’s breath so bad that all your houseplants have died? Try brushing his teeth with your old toothbrush so that his kisses (and breath) are more tolerable.

9. Give your fish the cleanest tank in the neighborhood by scrubbing it with your old toothbrush.

10. Did you notice a few gray hairs sprouting from your hairline this morning? Old toothbrushes were made for touch-up dye jobs; works for dyeing your eyebrows, too!

How to Handle a Dental Emergency

February 17th, 2017

Whether it’s a broken tooth or injured gums, a dental emergency can interfere with eating, speaking, or other day-to-day activities. According to the American Dental Association , you can sometimes prevent dental emergencies like these by avoiding the use of your teeth as tools or by giving up hard foods and candies.

Even if you take excellent care of your mouth, however, unexpected dental problems can still arise. Our team at Stefano Dental is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assess and resolve your individual situation. When an emergency arises, you should immediately make an appointment with our office so we can put you at ease, give you the best possible care, and help you return quickly to your regular routine.

Damaged Teeth

For tooth damage in particular, don’t hesitate to call and schedule an emergency dental appointment. You should come in as soon as possible. However, if you have some time before your appointment there are a few things you can do to avoid further injury. If you break your tooth, clean the area well by rinsing it with warm water. To ease any discomfort, put a cold compress against your skin near the area with the affected tooth.

A dislodged tooth should be handled carefully in order to keep it in the best possible condition. Gently rinse off the tooth without scrubbing it and try to place it back into the socket of your gums. If it won’t stay in your mouth, put the tooth in a container of milk and bring it along to your dental appointment.

Injured Soft Tissues

For other problems, such as bleeding gums or an injured tongue, cheek, or lip, the Cleveland Clinic recommends gently rinsing your mouth with salt water and applying pressure to the site with a moist strip of gauze or a tea bag. If you’re also experiencing some discomfort, you can put a cold compress on your cheek near the area of the bleeding. If the bleeding continues, don’t hesitate to contact our office so you can receive further help.

A dental emergency may catch you off guard, but Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen can provide fast, pain-free treatment. Follow the advice above and set up an appointment with us as soon as possible so you can put your teeth and mouth on the road to recovery.

The Transformation of Valentine's Day

February 10th, 2017

Did you know the actions leading to the beginnings of Valentine's Day were actually centered on the avoidance of war? A Catholic priest named Valentine defied the orders of the Emperor Claudius II and secretly married young men and their brides after the emperor had declared it illegal because only single, young men could be sent to war. Rather than lose potential soldiers to fight his war, Claudius attempted to hoard them by proclaiming marriage illegal.

Valentine continued to marry young couples anyway and, eventually, was put to death for it in 270 AD. Before his death, he sent a letter to a secret love and signed it “From your Valentine”. Nearly 1,800 years later, people are still signing letters and cards in this manner. This year, carry on the tradition started long ago, while adding your own twist. Here are a few suggestions.

Simple and Creative Valentine's Day Ideas

  • Memorialize it with a Photo. Couples often have photos taken around Christmas, but Valentine's Day photos allow you to capitalize on romance. Famous couple Julia Child and her husband, Paul, had their picture taken together every Valentine's Day and included their sense of humor with silly props.
  • Return to Your First Date Location. Even if your first date together was at a local hotdog stand, its sentimental value can make it a fun part of your Valentine's Day agenda. Be creative and make a treasure hunt with clues that lead your partner to the original date location, where you can express your love with flowers or a gift.
  • “From Your Valentine” Messages. Deliver your message in a creative way to make this Valentine's Day stand out from the others. Bake your partner's favorite treat and write a message on it with a tube of icing, or draw a note on the steamed up mirror so it shows up when your partner takes a shower.

Although Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love, it doesn't have to be a special day only for couples. If you're single, use this special day to shower yourself with love, because you're worth it! After all, the priest Valentine believed so strongly in the sanctity of love that he was willing to risk his life for it. Whether you're in a relationship or single, young or old, romantic or not, Valentine's Day is for you. Happy Valentine’s Day from the General and Cosmetic Dentistry, Invisalign office of Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen.

What are the five things I should do in between visits?

February 3rd, 2017

When it comes to keeping your smile looking its best, good oral hygiene is a must! Good oral health habits should start early and continue throughout your lifetime. Here, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental suggest five habits worth adopting that will help keep your teeth healthy:

  • Brush and floss regularly. Brush gently at least twice a day, paying special attention to the gum line to rid your mouth of food and bacteria that may lurk in between your teeth. Floss at least once a day. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
  • Make regular visits to see Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen. Regular checkups (twice yearly) will help diagnose any dental problems early on when they can be more easily treated.
  • Stop smoking. Did you know smokers are four times as likely as nonsmokers to develop periodontal (gum) disease? Tobacco, whether in the form of cigarettes, pipes, cigars, or chewable tobacco, increases oral and throat cancer risks, and raises the risk for candidiasis, an oral fungal infection. Smokeless tobacco contains sugar, which furthers your risk for cavities.
  • Limit your alcohol intake. Heavy drinking dramatically increases the risk of developing mouth and throat cancers.
  • Eat healthy. Avoid snacking on foods that contain high levels of sugar or starch. We encourage you to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are known to help stimulate the flow of saliva to re-mineralize tooth surfaces and neutralize cavity-causing bacteria.

To learn more about the habits you should practice in between your visits to Stefano Dental, or to schedule an appointment, please give us a call today!

When should a filling be replaced?

January 27th, 2017

There is no substitution for a natural healthy tooth. Dental fillings are intended to replace tooth structure and restore a tooth damaged by decay (a cavity) back to its normal function and shape. Silver (amalgam) and tooth-colored (composite) fillings last a long time, though they can develop decay when the integrity is compromised by open margins, fracture, or recurrent decay. In this blog, we discuss the signs and symptoms that indicate your filling may need to be replaced in order to prevent further complications.

Amalgam fillings are made of an alloy (mixed metals) that expands and contracts. They have no bonding properties, and so to place an amalgam filling, the hole in the tooth may need to be larger. Because of these two factors, fractures frequently occur. There are three types of cracks that are commonly associated. Craze lines are superficial with no treatment needed. Fractures extend along other parts of the tooth and may require a filling replacement or crown. Cracks extend toward the root and can require a root canal and crown or, if too severe, extraction.

A filing needs to be sealed to the tooth. If the seal between the tooth and the filling breaks down, food debris and bacteria can seep down under the filling and cause recurrent decay. If the decay is treated early, replacing the filling is adequate. If not, a crown and even a root canal may be needed. The biggest mistake you can make is waiting to do something about a broken or unsealed filling until it is painful. Doing this will only make the treatment more involved and often times more expensive.

Regular dental exams and X-rays are used to evaluate dental fillings. You will not be able to tell on your own when your fillings start to fail. Just as a car mechanic will change the oil, correct your alignment, or change your tires, a dental checkup will help you identify small concerns to fix as you go in order to avoid a critical emergency.

Pay attention to any bite or temperature sensitivity in teeth that have fillings. This can be an indicator for some of the problems listed above. You know your teeth better than anyone. Your observations are most valuable when evaluating a filling for replacement. If replacement is needed, know you are doing what is best to prevent future dental calamities and make an appointment to see Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen.

Tooth Worms? The History of Cavities and Tooth Fillings

January 20th, 2017

Scientists have discovered tooth decay in specimens that are more than 15,000 years old. The ancients once thought that cavities were caused by something called “tooth worms” … Eew! They didn’t exist, of course, but how else could humans explain the holes that cavities make in teeth?

The appearance of cavities on a widespread basis is often traced to the rise of farming. The new diet filled with grains and carbs made our mouths a haven for cavity-causing bacteria. As we added more sugar to our diets, our teeth got worse.

The “tooth worm” idea didn’t completely disappear until the 1700s when scientists finally began to understand the process of dental caries. Once that part of the puzzle was solved, they began focusing on filling existing cavities and preventing new ones.

Dental Fillings Come of Age

Many different materials, including beeswax, cork, aluminum, tin, and even asbestos, have been used to fill the holes caused by dental decay. Sometime in the mid-1800s, however, dentists began to use metal fillings such as gold, platinum, silver and lead amalgams.

The amalgam we use today is mixed from liquid mercury, silver, tin, copper, zinc, and other metals, but some patients still like the look of a gold filling. Newer options include composite-resin fillings, which are made from a tooth-colored mixture of plastic resin and finely ground glass-like or quartz particles that form a durable and discreet filling. Porcelain or ceramic fillings are natural in color, but more resistant to staining.

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen can help decide which filling is best for you, based on cost as well as your dental and lifestyle needs. You may not have “tooth worms,” but if you have cavities, contact our Sandusky, OH office so we can take the proper action to protect the health of your mouth.

I drink a lot of coffee. Could it be hurting my smile?

January 6th, 2017

At Stefano Dental, we know most of our patients enjoy a cup of coffee or two throughout the day. But what many of you don’t know is that coffee can be especially tough on your teeth because tannic acid (the substance that makes the dark color) etches into the pits and grooves of tooth enamel, staining your pearly whites and being generally detrimental to your smile.

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, with more than 50 percent of people drinking a cup daily. Other foods and drinks such as wine, chocolate-flavored beverages, and soft drinks can all cause tooth enamel discolorations. A hot cup of Joe, however, goes one step farther: extreme temperature changes in your mouth can cause teeth to expand and contract. This allows stains to penetrate deep into the micro-cracks of your tooth enamel.

Additionally, caffeine is considered a diuretic, which means it causes the body to lose fluids. So when you enjoy coffee or any kind of caffeinated beverage, it slows the production of saliva and causes dry mouth, which can potentially lead to bad breath and even tooth decay.

If you just can't make it through the day without a cup of java, we encourage you to consider these tips to help make sure your teeth stay in tip-top shape:

    • Drink a glass of water with your coffee or rinse with a glass of water after every cup. Not only does it help neutralize and rinse away the acid left behind from the coffee, but it also helps replenish fluids drawn out of your body by caffeine.
    • Chew gum after you drink coffee. Chewing gum will help keep your saliva production up and prevent dry mouth.
    • Enjoy your beverage with a straw so that tannins don’t make contact with your front upper and lower teeth.
    • Switch to decaf. Each cup of regular coffee you drink has an average of 110 milligrams of caffeine. Decaf has the same great taste with only two to 12 milligrams of caffeine.

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team also invite you to visit our convenient Sandusky, OH office for whitening options. We can help bleach your teeth with proven and professional products. To learn more about whitening options available at Stefano Dental, please give us a call!

New Year's Day Around the World

December 30th, 2016

New Year’s Day marks the beginning of the calendar year in most parts of the world. The holiday is celebrated on January 1st of each year. Customs and celebrations vary by country, religion, and even individual desires. Whether celebrated quietly or with gusto, the day brings the start of new opportunities for those that observe it.

United States and Canada

In both the US and Canada, celebrations begin on New Year’s Eve. At midnight on January 1st the New Year is welcomed with bells, horns, whistles, and other noisemakers. Fireworks are often part of the celebrations. In New York City, Times Square comes alive with revelers. In Toronto, there are large celebrations which may feature concerts, late-night partying, sporting events, and fireworks, with free public transit service during peak party times. Many individuals in North America greet the year by making resolutions for improvements in their lives.

China

In China, many people celebrate two forms of a new year. They may observe January 1st, but the traditional Chinese New Year is based on a lunar calendar. Parades with paper lanterns and dragons made from silk are a significant part of the festivities. Legends say that the dragon spends most of its time in hibernation so fireworks are used to keep the dragon awake.

Jewish Celebration

Jewish New Year’s observances begin with Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the New Year, and end with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This ten-day celebration is held in September or October, based on the Hebrew calendar. The New Year is not marked as much with loud celebrations as with personal insight to mend wrongs and resolve to better oneself.

Other countries and cultures also have different dates for New Year’s Day observances:

  • Vietnam observes the New Year in February
  • In Iran, the day is celebrated on March 21st
  • Islamic cultures often observe the tenth day of the month of Muharram
  • Russian Orthodox observers use the Julian calendar and celebrate on January 14th
  • Buddhist celebrations are held from April 13th through 15th

If you observe New Year’s Day by making healthy resolutions, include dental care in your plans with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen. The health of your teeth and gums contributes to your overall health. Caring for your mouth now can prevent many dental problems later in life. Stefano Dental wishes you a healthy, prosperous, and happy New Year!

Thanks to Invisalign®, you can have a perfect smile without metal wires or brackets!

December 23rd, 2016

When it comes to straightening your smile, our team at Stefano Dental knows that having a mouth full of metal braces may not be your idea of fun. Luckily for you, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen can offer a cosmetic alternative: Invisalign!

Using a series of clear, comfortable, and completely customized aligners, you can get the smile you’ve always wanted without traditional braces.

Since Invisalign aligners are discreet, they’re hardly noticeable when you speak and smile, and because they’re removable, you can eat and drink whatever you want. Just remember to brush and floss before putting your aligners back in! Treatment with Invisalign is just as effective as with metal braces, and the results are just as amazing!

If you want to know more about Invisalign, contact our Sandusky, OH office to schedule an appointment.

Top Reasons People Choose Veneers

December 9th, 2016

Dental veneers are a way to correct and transform your smile by using “contact lens”-thin shells of porcelain or ceramic material and bonding them to the front of your teeth. They are strong and durable, look and feel like natural teeth, and improve your smile immediately. Here are some of the top reasons to consider getting dental veneers.

They Correct Multiple Cosmetic Issues

Dental veneers can help with cosmetic and dental health issues, and treat multiple problems at once. Some common reasons that individuals choose veneers is to close gaps and spaces between the teeth, fix alignment issues, change the overall shape and appearance of a tooth, whiten a smile by covering stained or discolored teeth, and cover chipped or cracked teeth.

If you have teeth that are already worn down and weakened, veneers help prevent further damage by covering them with a thin, tooth-colored shell.

Durability

Dental veneers are also extremely durable. They last several years longer than traditional composite fillings. You’ll have peace of mind when you choose veneers, knowing that you’ll have your new smile for many years. On average, dental veneers last about ten to 15 years. Just like your natural teeth, when you take good care of your veneers, they last longer.

Easy to Clean and Maintain

Keeping your veneers healthy and white is easy: You simply brush and floss them the way you do all of your teeth. Shortly after having your veneers installed, you’ll begin to think of them as your natural teeth because the thin shells lie right on top of your existing teeth. This makes it easy to floss and brush the way you normally would and keep them as clean as possible.

The Process is Simple

Getting dental veneers is a quick and easy process. You have a few short visits at Stefano Dental and see results. On average, it only takes about four weeks from your first appointment to your last to complete the veneer process.

If you are considering getting dental veneers, schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen to find out exactly how they can benefit you.

What are the benefits of Invisalign®?

December 2nd, 2016

A popular option for straightening teeth at Stefano Dental, Invisalign can be a great method for improving your smile, and can help patients with crowded teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites, and more.

Invisalign, which is different from traditional braces, works by applying a series of clear, retainer-like aligners in order to eventually move your teeth into their ideal positions. Patients typically swap aligners approximately every couple of weeks.

At Stefano Dental, we have lots of experience using this technology to give our patients the beautiful and healthy smile they’ve always wanted. During your initial visit at our Sandusky, OH office, the first thing we do is take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.

Not only are the aligners invisible, they are also removable, so you can eat and drink what you want, and brushing and flossing are easier. Invisalign’s aligners are also comfortable, with no metal to cause mouth abrasions during your treatment. And, no metal and wires usually means you spend less time at our office getting adjustments. With Invisalign, you can view your own virtual treatment plan when you start, so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete!

Depending on the severity of the problem, Invisalign treatment may take anywhere from three to 18 months to complete. You should be aware that Invisalign is not as effective as traditional braces in treating bite problems, teeth that are lower or higher than others, or severely overcrowded teeth. Both teens and adults are now great candidates for Invisalign, so we invite you to contact our Sandusky, OH office to set up an initial consultation and learn more on how Invisalign can give you the smile you’ve always wanted!

When do children usually lose their baby teeth?

November 25th, 2016

Many parents worry that their children’s teeth are not falling out on time. A lot of concerned parents want to know: When will my child lose his or her first baby tooth? At what age should the last tooth fall out? Is there a specific order in which the teeth are lost?

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team explain that a child's 20 baby teeth (primary teeth) typically come in by age three and begin to loosen and fall out on their own to make room for permanent teeth, which usually appear by the time your child is six. It is important to know that timing may vary, and girls typically lose their baby teeth earlier than boys. The last baby teeth will likely fall out by the time your child is 13.

So, which teeth do children lose first? Baby teeth tend to fall out in the order in which they came, which means the lower center incisors are usually the first to go when your child is between six and seven years old. The next teeth your child will lose are his or her top center pair, also called the upper central incisors.

It’s important to note that if a child loses a baby tooth early as a result of decay or an unforeseen accident, his or her permanent tooth may erupt early and potentially come in crooked due to limited space. If your child suffers an injury or has tooth decay, we encourage you to give us a call to set up an appointment with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen.

While we know some children couldn’t be more excited to lose their baby teeth, we know others are anxious about this childhood milestone. When your child starts to lose teeth, our team at Stefano Dental encourages you to stress the importance of proper dental care on a daily basis.

Remember to:

  • Remind your child to brush his or her teeth at least twice a day. Supervise and offer assistance as needed.
  • Help your child floss his or her teeth at bedtime.
  • Limit eating and drinking between meals and at bedtime, especially sugary treats and drinks, such as candy and soda.
  • Schedule regular dental visits for your child every six months.
  • Ask about the use of fluoride treatments and dental sealants to help prevent tooth decay.

To learn more about baby teeth, or to schedule your child's next visit with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen at our Sandusky, OH office, please give us a call today!

Thanksgiving in North America

November 18th, 2016

Thanksgiving marks the start to the holidays; a season filled with feasting, indulging, and spending time with family and friends are always special. Thanksgiving is a holiday meant for giving thanks, and while this may seem like such a natural celebration, the United States is only one of a handful of countries to officially celebrate with a holiday.

Unlike many holidays, Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, and it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States. In Canada, it is celebrated on the second Monday of October, which is, oddly enough, much closer to a time when harvests were likely gathered. In addition to the different dates, the origins of the celebration also share different roots.

Thanksgiving in the United States

Giving thanks for a bountiful harvest are not new, but the modern day holiday in the US can be traced to a celebration at Plymouth in Massachusetts in 1621. This feast of thanksgiving was inspired by a good harvest, and the tradition was simply continued on. At first, the colony at Plymouth didn't have enough food to feed everyone present, but the Native Americans helped by providing seeds and teaching them how to fish, and they soon began to be able to hold a feast worthy of the name. The tradition spread, and by the 1660s, most of New England was hosting a Thanksgiving feast in honor of the harvest.

Canadian Thanksgiving

An explorer of early Canada named Martin Frobisher is accredited for the first Canadian Thanksgiving. He survived the arduous journey from England through harsh weather conditions and rough terrain, and after his last voyage from Europe to present-day Nunavut, he held a formal ceremony to give thanks for his survival and good fortune. As time passed and more settlers arrived, a feast was added to what quickly became a yearly tradition. Another explorer, Samuel de Champlain, is linked to the first actual Thanksgiving celebration in honor of a successful harvest; settlers who arrived with him in New France celebrated the harvest with a bountiful feast.

A Modern Thanksgiving

Today, Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with the best of Americana. From feasts and football games to getting ready for the start of the Christmas shopping season, Thanksgiving means roasted turkey, pumpkin pie, and green bean casserole. No matter how you celebrate this momentous day, pause for a moment to give thanks for your friends, family, and all the bounties you’ve received. Happy Thanksgiving from Stefano Dental!

Sleep Apnea: How we can help

November 11th, 2016

At Stefano Dental, we understand that getting high-quality sleep is vital to maintaining your overall health. Insufficient sleep can lead to an inability to concentrate, motor vehicle accidents, and difficulty performing at work. Since approximately 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, this poses a significant public health problem. If you think you may have sleep apnea, talk to Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team about devices that can help you get a good night’s rest.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a relatively common disorder in which breathing stops or becomes very shallow during the night. These bouts of paused breathing may last a few seconds or as long as several minutes. When 30 or more breathing interruptions occur per hour, sleep apnea leads to dramatic reductions in sleep quality. In many cases, this condition is caused by your airway becoming blocked or collapsed during sleep.

Anyone can get sleep apnea, but there are certain factors that increase your risk. Having small airways, being overweight, being male, or having a family history of sleep apnea increases the likelihood that you will develop the disorder. If you think you have sleep apnea, visit highly encourage you to visit our Sandusky, OH office for a thorough physical exam, comprehensive medical history, and a sleep study.

Treatment Options

Several treatment avenues are available for people with sleep apnea. One popular option is to wear an oral appliance. For example, a mandibular advancement device (MAD) looks like a sports mouthguard and slightly repositions your jaw, to keep your airway unobstructed. Another option is a tongue-retraining device (TRD), which holds your tongue in place to ensure that your airway stays open during the night.

For individuals with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea, dental devices are a smart option. Many patients enjoy improved sleep, reductions in snoring, and less fatigue during daytime hours. If you’re curious about getting an oral appliance to help with your sleep apnea, please consult our team at Stefano Dental. After a consultation and examination, we can fit the type of device that works best for your condition.

Oral Health for the Young Adult

November 4th, 2016

Young adults often have the reputation of not taking good care of themselves. You may feel invincible, and not realize how much your behaviors now can affect your health later in life. Oral health is one area that is easy to neglect now, but that can lead to serious financial and quality of life consequences later.

Follow a Good Oral Care Regimen

If you don’t already do so, it’s time to brush, floss, and rinse as Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen taught you. Brush at least twice a day or after meals, and floss your teeth every day. If recommended, use mouthwash to kill germs in your mouth. If you are not able to brush your teeth after eating, swish water around in your mouth to remove the food from your teeth. Leaving carbohydrates in your mouth allows bacteria to ferment it and produce acid, which can destroy your tooth enamel and put you at risk for decay.

Visit Our Office Regularly

Young adulthood can be a challenging time when it comes to medical care. Your parents are no longer paying for your health insurance or taking you to your appointments. You may not worry much about getting regular cleanings and exams, especially if you’re paying for them yourself.

However, young adults have a lot to gain from visiting our Sandusky, OH office regularly. We can check for signs of problems and fix them early, which can save thousands of dollars and, ultimately, your teeth. These are some examples of what Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our hygiene team can do for you.

  • Get rid of plaque so it does not develop into tartar and cause periodontitis.
  • Identify and fill small areas of tooth decay to prevent it from progressing.
  • Examine your gums for signs of gingivitis, or early gum disease.

Consume a Tooth-Healthy Diet

A nutritious diet is not just for preventing heart disease and diabetes later in life. It also supports your teeth. Make sure to get plenty of calcium, such as from dairy products, canned fish, and leafy green vegetables to allow for strong teeth. Also, limit sticky foods and sugary sweets.

Halloween: Candy, costumes, and more!

October 28th, 2016

All Hallows' Eve, more commonly known as Halloween, is a yearly event celebrated on October 31, and one that is anticipated by the young and young at heart all over the world. Some scholars claim that Halloween originated from Celtic festivals that honored the dead or that celebrated the harvest, while others doubt that there's any connection at all to Samhain (a Gaelic harvest festival.) Regardless of its origin, our team at the General and Cosmetic Dentistry, Invisalign office of Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen hopes that Halloween is fun and enjoyed by all of our awesome patients!

Trick or treat?

In North America, Halloween is predominantly celebrated by children who dress up in costumes, which range from scary to cute, who then go around the neighborhood knocking on doors asking "trick or treat", and they are given candy in return. Trick-or-treating is a time honored tradition, and though many parents groan at the pounds and pounds of candy collected by youngsters and fear for the health of their teeth, there are a few things you can do to help their teeth stay in great shape until the candy is gone:

  • Limit the amount of candy they can consume each day
  • Have them brush their teeth after eating candy
  • Avoid hard, chewy candies as they can stick in hard to brush places
  • Keep candy out of sight to reduce temptation
  • Don't buy candy too far in advance to limit pre-Halloween consumption
  • Help or encourage your children to floss

Halloween Fun

Halloween isn't just about gorging on candy; there are other events associated with this festive day including carving jack-o'-lanterns, painting pumpkins, decorating sugar cookies, bobbing for apples, going to haunted houses, or just curling up on the couch with a bowl full of popcorn and watching some classic, scary movies.

Halloween Around the World

Some countries, like Australia, frown upon Halloween, claiming it is an American event and not based in Australian culture, while others like Italy have embraced the fun and celebrate much as Canadians and Americans do. Mexicans have been celebrating this fun day since around 1960, and it marks the beginning of the Day of the Dead festival. Some countries in Europe have come late to the party, but since the 1990s, countries like Sweden, Norway, and Germany have started celebrating Halloween as well, and finding children in costumes or having ghosts hanging in windows has become commonplace.

Halloween is about fun; stepping outside our normal lives and donning a costume or gathering with friends to knock on doors and ask for candy is as much a part of our culture as hot dogs and barbecue on Labor Day. Have a safe and happy Halloween from the team at Stefano Dental!

Pregnancy: What should I know about my oral care?

October 21st, 2016

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental know this is an exciting time as you anticipate the arrival of your new little one. We want to take this opportunity to provide you with some important information pertaining to your oral health during pregnancy. Just as the rest of your body is changing, the amount of bacteria in your mouth also changes. Scientists don’t understand all the reasons why, but during pregnancy, your mouth is more susceptible to bacterial complications that could result in increased risk for gingivitis or periodontal disease. What researchers do know is the change in hormones creates a more favorable environment for gum infections and diseases when you are pregnant.

You may experience an increase in gingivitis, even while continuing with regular daily brushing and flossing, and routine semi-annual month cleanings. You will likely complain of increased bleeding of the gums with routine daily care and more tenderness in the mouth. This is due, in part, to the increased blood flow and volume that naturally occurs with pregnancy. There is a greater amount of blood flowing through your veins, which translates into slightly engorged gum tissues. If gingivitis prevails, you may also experience pain and tenderness. We can help you navigate through your specific needs.

Brushing your teeth two times a day may not be quite enough. Similarly, if you only floss on occasion, consider making this activity a daily habit. Mouthwash is also advised, or sometimes a mild saltwater rinse may feel better than a commercial brand. Consider other products with xylitol and a WaterPik for additional cleaning.

Finally, we now know that bacteria in the mouth circulate throughout the body. These harmful bacteria compromise your immune system and may increase your risk for respiratory illness and cause other strains on your immune system. Remember that nutrients as well as pathogens are shared with your baby. If you feel tired or tempted to slack on your home-care routine, remember the importance and implications of your daily decisions on how your care for your oral health.

Contact our convenient Sandusky, OH location if you have more specific questions. We’re here to help you!

Oral Cancer Facts and Figures

October 14th, 2016

Oral cancer is largely viewed as a disease that affects those over the age of 40, but it can affect all ages, even non-tobacco and alcohol users. Oral cancer can occur on the lips, gums, tongue, inside lining of the cheeks, roof of the mouth, and the floor of the mouth. Our team at Stefano Dental recently put together some facts and figures to illustrate the importance of visiting our Sandusky, OH office.

Our friends at the American Cancer Society recommend an oral cancer screening exam every three years for people over the age of 20 and annually for those over age 40. Because early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment, be sure to ask Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team to conduct an oral exam during your next visit to our Sandusky, OH office.

  • Symptoms of oral cancer may include a sore in the throat or mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal, a red or white patch that persists, a lump or thickening, ear pain, a neck mass, or coughing up blood. Difficulties in chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaws are often late symptoms.
  • The primary risk factors for oral cancer in American men and women are tobacco (including smokeless tobacco) and alcohol use. Risk rises dramatically (30%) for people who both smoke and consume alcohol regularly.
  • Oral cancers are part of a group of cancers commonly referred to as head and neck cancers, and of all head and neck cancers they comprise about 85% of that category.
  • Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer among men.
  • Oral cancer is more likely to affect people over 40 years of age, though an increasing number of young people are developing the condition.
  • Death rates have been decreasing over the past three decades; from 2004 to 2008, rates decreased by 1.2% per year in men and by 2.2% per year in women, according to the American Cancer Society.
  • About 75% to 80% of people with oral cavity and pharynx cancer consume alcohol.
  • The risk of developing oral cavity and pharynx cancers increases both with the amount as well as the length of time tobacco and alcohol products are used.
  • For all stages combined, about 84% of people with oral cancer survive one year after diagnosis. The five- and ten-year relative survival rates are 61% and 50%, respectively.
  • It is estimated that approximately $3.2 billion is spent in the United States annually on treatment of head and neck cancers.

Cancer can affect any part of the oral cavity, including the lip, tongue, mouth, and throat. Through visual inspection, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental can often detect premalignant abnormalities and cancer at an early stage, when treatment is both less extensive and more successful.

Please let us now if you have any questions about your oral health either during your next scheduled appointment, by giving us a call or asking us on Facebook.

What's on your fall reading list?

October 7th, 2016

How better to spend the fall months than inside by the fireplace with a warm cup of cider and a book in hand? Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental encourage you to warm up your mind this fall season with a few great books. Sure it may be easy to put off reading when balancing a hectic schedule, but reading is vital to brain development. Besides, reading is always a blast!

This week, we thought we’d ask what you or your child are reading this fall. Do you have any suggestions for must-read books this year? Out of ideas for great fall reads? Ask us for suggestions, and we would be happy to provide a few. You may also ask a local librarian here in Sandusky, OH for some ideas.

Happy reading! Be sure to share with us your fall picks or your all-time favorites below or on our Facebook page!

I have fluoride toothpaste and fluoridated water; do I need a fluoride treatment?

September 30th, 2016

Fluoride is a naturally found ion with a history of greatly reducing the incidence of tooth decay in children. However, over the past decade, people have increasingly consumed bottled water, most of which does not contain fluoride, and children are no longer getting the recommended dosage of fluoride. In addition, many areas do not add the optimum amount of fluoride to the town drinking water.

Everyone’s dental needs are different. The amount of fluoride a person needs is determined by age (children), tooth sensitivity, risk for cavities, and medical conditions. When a patient needs additional fluoride it can be applied in a foam or varnish.

Children receive additional topical fluoride because teeth in the early development stages have a higher mineral uptake. The future strength of the enamel depends on this. When a tooth absorbs the fluoride ion, it creates hydroxyapatite, a harder mineral compound than enamel alone.

Those who have a dry mouth from medication also need extra fluoride. A daily fluoride rinse and a semi-annual fluoride varnish treatment are standard. If you are on medicine for high blood pressure, anxiety, diabetes, depression, or cholesterol, you may fit in this category.

Cancer treatments can also greatly impact your oral health. Fluoride varnish treatments prior to, during, and after radiation and chemotherapy can be beneficial. There are other mouth conditions which coincide with cancer treatments which make it difficult to brush and floss daily, and can contribute to an increased risk for decay. An infection during cancer treatment can be especially harmful, which is why preventive measures are important.

Fluoride treatments, administered topically, are highly beneficial in preventing decay. Feel free to call Stefano Dental to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions.

Broken Tooth: Is It an emergency or not?

September 23rd, 2016

Have you ever had that sinking feeling after biting into something soft and chewy and feeling something hard and crunchy instead? You’ve chipped or broken a tooth, but what should you do next? First try to assess the damage by determining whether it’s a chip or a whole tooth.

As Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen will tell you, a broken or chipped tooth is usually not a dental emergency unless you are experiencing a great deal of pain or bleeding, but you should contact us for an appointment shortly afterward. Be sure to mention that you have a broken tooth so we can fit you into our schedule quickly. After a thorough evaluation, we’ll recommend a course of action. If it is a small chip, we may simply smooth it out. For a larger break, the dentist may fill in the space with a composite material that matches your other teeth.

Emergency Dental Care

If you are in severe pain, are bleeding excessively, have a major break, or have lost a tooth, that is a dental emergency and you should contact us. As emergency dental specialists, we’ll be able to schedule an appointment immediately and advise you on the next steps to take.

You can rinse your mouth with warm water and apply pressure to stop the bleeding. An ice pack will help reduce any swelling. Do not take any aspirin as that could increase the amount of bleeding. Should your tooth be knocked out completely, rinse it under running water but do not scrub it. Hold the tooth only by the crown, or the part you normally see above the gum line, not by the root. If you can, put the tooth back into the socket while you travel to our office, or put it in a mild salt solution or milk. Don’t let the tooth become dry, because this can lead to damage. Once you get to our office, our dentist will determine whether the tooth can be saved or if it will need to be replaced.

A broken tooth may not always be an emergency, but it’s best to have it treated with us at Stefano Dental. While it may only be a cosmetic problem at first, if left too long without treatment, you may experience further damage to your tooth and mouth.

The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

September 16th, 2016

In our continuing efforts to provide the most advanced technology and highest quality care available to our patients at Stefano Dental, we proudly screen our patients for oral cancer. The fact is, every hour of every day in North America, someone dies of oral cancer, which is the sixth most common diagnosed form of the disease. The five-year survival rate is only 50 percent, and oral cancer is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved.

Oral cancer can occur on the lips, gums, tongue, inside lining of the cheeks, roof of the mouth, and the floor of the mouth. Symptoms of oral cancer may include a sore in the throat or mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal, a red or white patch that persists, a lump or thickening, ear pain, a neck mass, or coughing up blood. Difficulties in chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaws are often late symptoms. While there is no way to predict exactly which individuals will get oral cancer, there are some potential causes we want you to know about. In some cases, it is possible to minimize these risk factors.

  • Age (most patients diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 40)
  • Tobacco use, either from cigarettes or smokeless chewing tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Persistent viral infections, such as HPV16
  • A diet lacking or low in fruits and vegetables

Finding out you have oral cancer can be devastating news. If you are concerned that you might be at risk for developing oral cancer, talk to us about screenings and other things you can do to reduce your risk. Through a routine visual inspection, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental can often detect premalignant abnormalities and cancer at an early stage, when treatment is both less expensive and more successful, and can potentially save your life. Ask Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental about a screening at your next appointment!

Are you at risk for oral cancer?

September 9th, 2016

Nearly 40,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer annually in the United States, with more than 8,000 dying every year from the disease. Oral cancer has a higher death rate than many other common cancers, including cervical cancer, testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and thyroid or skin cancers. The high death rate results from the fact that most oral cancers go undiagnosed until the disease is well advanced and has spread to another part of the body, most often, the lymph nodes in the neck.

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team want you to know that cancers of the mouth and throat, which account for about three percent of all cancers in the United States, are largely preventable. However, we want you to know about certain risk factors that affect the likelihood of developing the disease.

  • Use of tobacco products including smoking cigarettes, cigars or a pipe, or chewing tobacco all elevate risk for developing oral cancer. Tobacco use especially, is a serious risk factor because it contains substances called carcinogens, which harm cells in your mouth.
  • Consumption of alcohol in excess can also increase your risk. If you drink alcohol regularly, you have an elevated risk of getting oral cancer. Alcohol abuse (more than 21 drinks in one week) is the second largest risk factor for the development of oral cancer, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.
  • Excessive sun exposure. People who spend lots of time outdoors and do not use proper amounts of sunscreen or lip balm have a greater risk for developing lip cancer. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight may also cause melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.

If you notice unusual lumps, bumps, or red or white patches in your mouth that don’t go away, sores that won’t seem to heal, persistent soreness, or pain or difficulty swallowing please consult Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team immediately.

Other factors that may influence your risk for developing oral cancer include:

  • Age: Oral cancer is typically a disease that affects older people, usually because of their longer exposure to other risk factors. Most patients diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 40.
  • Gender: Oral cancer strikes men twice as often as it does women.
  • A history with viral infections, such as human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables

During your next visit, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen will examine your mouth for signs of oral cancer. If you have been putting off a visit to our Sandusky, OH office for your regular checkup, now is an excellent time to schedule one. Regular visits can be the first line of defense against oral cancer because we can identify early warning signs of the disease. Give us a call today!

Celebrate Labor Day by Getting Away

September 2nd, 2016

Labor Day honors the contributions that workers have made to this country, and for many Americans, the holiday is a great time to relax at home with family and friends. But there are quite a few people who celebrate the holiday by getting out of town, with an estimated 33 million people traveling more than 50 miles over Labor Day weekend each year. If you’re dreaming of a great Labor Day escape but you’re not quite sure where to go, here are a few ideas from our team at Stefano Dental to give you some travel inspiration.

Explore a National Park

On a national holiday like Labor Day, it’s only fitting to experience the beauty of America’s landscapes by heading to the nearest national park. If you’re confined to an office most days of the year, national parks can provide a relaxing and scenic escape, whether you’re by yourself, traveling with a group of friends, or bringing the whole family along. Depending on how close you live to the nearest park, you can stay for an afternoon or for longer than a week. With 58 parks located in 27 states, there are plenty of beautiful areas to choose from.

Chow Down in a BBQ Haven

Barbecuing is a popular Labor Day activity, but instead of sweating over your own grill or oven, try visiting one of the country’s BBQ capitals. U.S. News and World Report names Memphis as the top BBQ destination, with more than 80 BBQ restaurants in the city, most notably Corky’s BBQ and Central BBQ. Kansas City is also known for the sweet taste of its sauces, while central Texas is said to have perfected the technique of smoking tender and flavorful brisket.

Relax on the Beach

Many people think of Labor Day as the unofficial start of fall, which brings cooler temperatures, more rain, and for many people, an end to lazy days at the beach. End your beach days with a bang by taking a trip to one of the coasts or to a lakeside beach. For an added dose of festivity, find a city or town that celebrates the occasion with a fireworks display over the water.

Whether you’re looking to turn your getaway into a full week affair or you simply want to experience a quick escape, make the most of your holiday by changing your surrounding scenery. Happy Labor Day from the General and Cosmetic Dentistry, Invisalign practice of Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen!

I haven’t been to the dentist in years; what should I expect?

August 26th, 2016

Time flies when we are not at the dentist! Before you know it, years may have gone by. Let’s take a moment to explain what takes place when a patient comes back to receive care after an extended period of time.

After a while, small dental concerns or issues can grow into an unexpected journey of discovery and expense. Anxiety is common and expected. Let’s discover first of all, “What brings you here today?” It is a good place to start and once the initial concerns are addressed, a comprehensive plan to restore optimum dental health can be arranged. During the first appointment Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team want you to feel comfortable, and establish a confidence allowing you to be open with any questions.

Your visit will take approximately 90 minutes. First, a complete medical and dental history will be recorded and reviewed in one-on-one interview style. This is the time to voice any concern, anxiety issues, worries, etc. Then, X-rays are taken to provide additional information about what is happening beneath the surface of your teeth and gums. Finally, a series of screenings including those for oral cancer, home care evaluation, and periodontal disease are conducted to complete your oral health evaluation.

The hygienist has a great eye for other conditions such as broken fillings, cracked teeth, active decay, and other dental concerns. Then, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen will come in for a comprehensive exam and list and prioritize your dental needs. Our treatment coordinator will present scheduling options, insurance coverage, and payment plans.

Our team will coach you and help you gain control of your own dental destiny with good home care habits. You will receive a bag with a toothbrush, floss, appropriate toothpaste, and any other specialized tools for your needs. You will know how often you need to return for hygiene visits or other dental appointments.

Our patients at Stefano 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 Sandusky, OH office. From phone conversations to financial arrangements to clinical treatment, we want you to feel confident that our team will meet your needs.

Best Ways to Prevent Bad Breath

August 19th, 2016

Nobody likes bad breath, and although it can sometimes be difficult to tell if you have it, it is always better to practice good oral health than risk having a smelly mouth. There are many ways to reduce or eliminate bad breath, some are definitely more effective and longer lasting than others. Check out ways to do so below.

Floss Regularly

As difficult as it can be to remember to floss regularly, when it comes to bad breath, flossing is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to freshen your mouth. See, flossing reduces the plaque and bacteria found in areas of your mouth that a toothbrush simply can't reach, and in turn, it rids your mouth of the smell associated with that bacteria. While flossing may not eliminate bad breath on its own, if you do it along with other health oral hygiene habits like brushing, then you may just develop a fresher smelling mouth.

Use Mouthwash

Using some sort of mouthwash can really freshen up your breath, especially if you find it still smells after brushing and flossing. There is a wide variety of mouthwash products on the market, however, you can also create your own by simply using baking soda mixed with water.

Always Brush after You Sleep

Whether after taking a nap, or having a full night of sleep, you will want to brush your teeth in order to reduce bad breath. The truth is, bacteria accumulates in your mouth while you are sleeping (even during a short nap) and that is ultimately the source of bad breath. So next time you wake from a good slumber, give your mouth some brushing and you will find it makes a big difference in the freshness of your breath.

There are many ways to freshen your breath beyond just using gum or mints, the above mentioned are just a few for you to try. Test them out and you will likely find your bad breath problem is solved, or at least considerably reduced. Of course, you can always ask Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen at your next visit to our Sandusky, OH office.

Alleviate Tooth Sensitivity

August 12th, 2016

If a sip of ice water, spoonful of ice cream, or piping hot latte is enough to send shivers up your spine from tooth sensitivity, be assured you are not alone. It’s estimated that as many as one in eight adults suffers from tooth sensitivity.

What causes sensitive teeth?

Some of the causes of tooth sensitivity include brushing too hard, a cracked tooth, receding gums, periodontal disease, tooth bleaching, or other conditions that expose the sensitive roots of your teeth. For example, brushing too aggressively can injure your gums, and lead to exposed roots and tooth sensitivity.

When the enamel on the outside of the tooth or tissue located between the teeth breaks down or wears away, nerves inside the tooth trigger sensitive teeth that are particularly noticeable when you drink or eat anything hot or cold.

How to alleviate tooth sensitivity

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do, both at home and at the dental office, to reduce the discomfort of sensitive teeth. Brushing with desensitizing toothpaste is one of the ways to reduce tooth sensitivity: it works well for many patients, and is typically the first course of action.

  • Brush with toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth.
  • Change the way you brush by using a soft toothbrush and not brushing too aggressively.
  • Avoid brushing teeth after consuming acidic foods and beverages, like orange juice and pickles.
  • Drink water or milk after eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages.
  • Sip through a straw when you drink acidic beverages.
  • Wear a mouthguard at night to prevent teeth grinding that wears down teeth.
  • Ask Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen about fluoride dental treatments or plastic resin.

For moderate-to-serious cases of tooth sensitivity, more invasive professional dental treatments are available. These include a bonding agent designed to seal/cover the exposed root, obtaining new gum tissue through graft (for receding gums), fillings, crowns, inlays, or bonding. When tooth sensitivity is persistent and results in hypersensitivity, endodontic treatment in the form of root canal may be recommended.

To learn more about tooth sensitivity, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, please give us a call at our convenient Sandusky, OH office!

What is gingivitis, and how can I treat it?

August 5th, 2016

Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease that results when bacteria in your mouth cause inflammation in your gums. This is a common condition, and you can treat it effectively if you are aggressive. Otherwise, it could develop into more advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, and you could lose one or more teeth.

Watch for symptoms of gingivitis so you can ask Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen for help as soon as you need it. Strategies for treating gingivitis include thoroughly cleaning your teeth and assessing the scope of your gingivitis and how serious the problem is.

Gingivitis: Early Gum Disease

Your mouth contains many bacteria that form plaque, which is a sticky substance. You can get rid of plaque by brushing well, but if you don’t, it can build up on your teeth and form tartar. Bacteria can make your gums inflamed and cause pain and bleeding, or gingivitis. Other symptoms include loose teeth, bad breath, receding gums, and sensitive teeth. You’re at higher risk for gingivitis if you’re a smoker, if you have a weakened immune system, or if you have diabetes.

Assessment and Diagnosis

If you think you recognize the symptoms of gingivitis, contact our Sandusky, OH office to make an appointment. We will ask you about your risk factors for gingivitis and examine your teeth and mouth for signs of red and swollen gums. We may also measure the pockets around your teeth. If they are larger than usual, your gingivitis may be more advanced. Finally, will take some X-rays to get a picture of the bone structure of your jaw.

Deep Cleaning

You can’t get rid of the tartar on your teeth just by brushing at home. Instead, you need a deep cleaning consisting of scaling and root planing. Scaling involves scraping the plaque off of your teeth, both below and above the line of your gum. In root planing, the rough surfaces of your teeth where tartar is more likely to build up are smoothed. A laser may be used to make the procedure more effective, more accurate, and more comfortable.

How do I prevent oral cancer?

July 29th, 2016

The fact is, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, close to 40,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year, resulting in more than 8,000 deaths. Men face twice the risk of developing oral cancer as women, and men who are over age 50 face the greatest risk. The American Cancer Society recommends an oral cancer screening exam every three years for people over the age of 20 and annually for those over age 40. The five-year survival rate is only 50 percent, and oral cancer, which is the sixth-most common diagnosed form of the disease, is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved. Today, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our patients about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene to prevent the disease.

So, what can you do at home to take an active role in preventing oral cancer?

The American Cancer Society recommends an oral cancer screening exam every three years for people over the age of 20 and annually for those over age 40. In addition, we encourage you to:

  1. Conduct a self-exam regularly. Using a bright light and a mirror, look at and feel your lips and gums. Try tilting your head back to look at and feel the roof of your mouth, and pull your cheeks out to look inside of your mouth, the lining of your cheeks, and your back gums. Pull out your tongue and look at all surfaces. Feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes in both sides of your neck and under your lower jaw. Please give us a call immediately if you notice any changes in the appearance of your mouth or any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above.
  2. Don’t smoke or use any tobacco products and drink alcohol in moderation.
  3. Eat a well-balanced diet. This includes eating a wide variety of foods from the five primary food groups on a daily basis to meet the recommended amounts of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats you need in a given day.
  4. Limit your exposure to the sun. Repeated exposure increases the risk of cancer on the lips, especially the lower lip. When out in the sun, be sure to use UV-A/B-blocking sun protective lotions on your skin as well as your lips.

Please let us know if you have any questions about your oral health, either during your next scheduled visit, by giving us a call, or asking us on Facebook.

HPV and Oral Cancer

July 22nd, 2016

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is best known as a sexually transmitted infection. In the United States, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease, with 79 million Americans currently infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to increasing risk for cervical cancer, HPV is a contributing factor in some cases of oral cancer. Each year an estimated 1,700 women and 6,700 men develop oropharyngeal cancer, which affects the tongue and throat.

Connection between HPV and oral cancer

There are more than 40 strains of HPV that live in the skin and mucosal areas. Some of these affect the genitalia, while others are found in the mouth and throat. Of the strains of oral HPV, only one, called HPV16, increases the risk of oral cancer, the Oral Cancer Foundation reports. A retrospective study conducted found that oral cancer developed an average of 15 years after exposure to HPV, making it a relatively slow-growing form of cancer.

In general, 80% of Americans will have an HPV infection at some point in their lifetimes, while 99% develop no ill effects. Getting oral HPV is associated with multiple sexual partners and engaging in oral sex; however, even some individuals who have been with only one partner may contract the infection. Although overall risk of oral cancer from HPV infection is low, it is essential to be proactive about oral health.

How to prevent HPV-related oral cancer

Scientists continue to study how HPV infections lead to oral cancer, so little is known about the progression of the disease. However, one recent study found that poor oral health, including gum disease and poor oral hygiene, is associated with oral cancer risk. Thus, being vigilant about brushing and flossing your teeth regularly may reduce HPV-related oral cancer. Getting the HPV vaccine also protects against the oral form of the virus.

Another key way to reduce mortality from oral cancer is to have regularly scheduled appointments with at Stefano Dental. Having Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen examine your mouth at least two times a year increases the likelihood that a sign of oral cancer, such as a sore or patch, will be detected. If you’re concerned about HPV-related oral cancer, please give us a call at our Sandusky, OH office for advice about oral hygiene and disease prevention.

What are dental crowns?

July 15th, 2016

A dental crown is often called a “cap.” A dental crown covers all of the visible parts of the tooth and has many functions and reasons for placement.

There are several different types of crowns available at Stefano Dental. They vary in their material, appearance, and functionality. A PFM, or porcelain fused to high-noble metal, is the most common. A full cast, high noble metal crown is a gold crown, and a stainless-steel crown is meant to be temporary. The most natural-looking crown is one that is all porcelain. These are often used for front teeth.

Getting a crown typically requires two appointments. The first is a preparation with impressions, shaping, and placing a temporary. The impressions are either sent to a dental lab, where the process generally takes two weeks, or done in-office with a machine that can make a crown without needing a second appointment. These crowns are made from a high-quality solid block of porcelain. The shape of the tooth is constructed from a digital 3D image of your tooth.

To accurately determine which type of crown is best, you must first know why you need the crown and in what area of your mouth is it needed, which can be answered when you visit us at Stefano Dental. For instance, if you have a gold crown on the lower right and need a new crown directly above on the upper right, the best durability and long-lasting relationship is another gold crown.

If you need a crown on a front tooth, a gold crown may not be the best choice. A PFM has strength but is not ideal, as a dark line will appear at the gum line. A full porcelain crown is going to look as close to a natural tooth as possible, but will have less strength than a gold crown.

There are two types of porcelain crowns, depending on how they are made. A dental lab makes a full porcelain crown by baking layer upon layer to make the porcelain look like natural enamel. A full porcelain crown made in-office out of a solid piece of porcelain will have increased strength. However, the natural layered appearance is extremely difficult to achieve.

A crown is placed on a tooth when added strength is needed. Cracks, large broken-down fillings, or previous root canal treatment are all conditions where a crown is the standard care. The type of crown that is most appropriate depends greatly on location.

Dangers of Alcohol and Oral Health

July 8th, 2016

We often have patients who ask, “Can drinking alcohol affect my oral health?” There are, in fact, a few reasons why that martini may not be good for your pearly whites.

In addition to creating an overly acidic environment in your mouth, alcohol severely dehydrates oral tissues because of its desiccant and diuretic properties. Because alcohol saps oral tissues of their moisture so readily, saliva glands can't keep enough saliva in the mouth to prevent dry mouth. In addition, saliva contains antibacterial properties that inhibits growth of anaerobic bacteria, a destructive type of oral bacterial responsible for tooth decay, gingivitis, chronic bad breath, and periodontitis.

What are anaerobic bacteria?

When there is a lack of saliva flow in the mouth and the mouth cannot naturally cleanse itself of oral debris (food particles, dead skin cell, mucous), conditions develop that promote activity of anaerobic bacteria, or bacteria that thrive in dry, airless places. These anaerobes also flourish when an unending supply of proteins (food debris) are available to consume, creating rapidly multiplying layers of plaque that stick to teeth and demineralizes tooth enamel unless removed by brushing and professional dental cleanings.

Oral Cancer and Alcohol

Acetaldehyde is a chemical compound leftover after the liver has metabolized alcohol. Capable of causing genetic mutations, acetaldehyde is also a known carcinogen that contributes to the ill feelings of hangovers. Although most metabolism of alcohol is done in the liver, evidence shows that metabolism also occurs outside the liver and that enzymes in the mouth could encourage accumulation of acetaldehyde in oral tissues.

When combined with poor oral health, smoking, and other detrimental lifestyle factors, alcohol may be considered a primary contributory factor in the development of oral cancer.

Even if you don't drink or drink only occasionally, remaining aware of symptoms that may indicate oral cancer will improve your chances of recovering successfully when you start treatment in the early stages of oral cancer. Signs include red or while speckled patches in the mouth, unexplained bleeding, lumps/swellings, chronic ear or throat pain, and areas of numbness in the mouth or on the face.

If you have any questions about alcohol and its connection to oral health, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen at your next visit to our Sandusky, OH office.

Fun Facts for the Fourth

July 1st, 2016

The Fourth of July is a great time to get together with friends and family members for BBQ, games, fireworks, and other celebrations in honor of our country’s independence. While your fellow revelers eat hot dogs and wave flags, you can impress them by sharing these fascinating facts and historical tidbits about some of our country’s traditions and symbols from the team at Stefano Dental.

The Statue of Liberty

With a torch in one hand and a tablet in the other, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most iconic and recognizable symbols of our country. However, as recognizable as certain parts of the statue are, not many people know that broken shackles, which represent oppression and tyranny, are lying at Lady Liberty’s feet. According to the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the copper-plated lady weighs in at a whopping 450,000 tons and has been holding her torch up for more than 125 years, which must make for some impressive arm muscles.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Since 1916, people have been flocking to Coney Island on the Fourth of July to witness what some people call the “superbowl of competitive eating.” Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest challenges competitors to devour as many hot dogs as they can in just ten minutes, with the current record holder swallowing a whopping 68 hot dogs! If you’d like to witness this bizarre and frenzied eating competition but you won’t be anywhere near Coney Island on the fourth, don’t worry. ESPN has been broadcasting this popular event for several years, so you can watch from the comfort of your couch while you eat a reasonably portioned meal.

The History Behind Fireworks

Viewing the nighttime fireworks display is exciting way to finish off the fourth. Many people know that these brilliant displays probably originated with the Chinese. However, many historians also believe that fireworks were stumbled upon when the Chinese roasted bamboo sticks over fires and watched them explode. After many years of roasting the sticks, a group of alchemists created an early form of gunpowder, which they stuffed into the bamboo sticks to create an even more powerful explosion, paving the way for the today’s modern fireworks.

Whether you’re planning on visiting the Statue of Liberty, watching fireworks in Sandusky, OH, or even participating in a hot dog eating contest, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team hope you have a safe and fun-filled holiday. Happy Fourth of July!

Help Us Stuff The Bus!

June 29th, 2016

Wednesday June 29th 2016 Friday July 29th

Each school year, over 2,800 children in Erie County will lack the supplies needed to enter the classroom ready to learn. United Way of Erie County, The Volunteer Center, Stefano Dental and other local businesses are partnering together for our community. Our goal is to provide full backpacks to low-income children entering grades K-5 for the upcoming 2016/2017 school year.

School Supplies List for Grades K-5

  • Backpacks (drawstrings acceptable, no wheels)
  • Crayola Crayons (16-24 count)
  • Crayola Watercolor Markers (basic 8)
  • Ruler (with standard & metric systems)
  • Glue Sticks
  • Bottled Glue
  • Folders (2 pocket, solid colors)
  • Wide-Ruled Paper
  • Fiskars Scissors
  • Pink Erasers
  • Pencil Boxes

Tax deductible monetary donations will also be accepted for backpacks and school supplies. Please make checks payable to United Way of Erie County

(Write “school supplies” on the memo line.)

Mail checks to: United Way of Erie County, 416 Columbus Ave., Sandusky, OH 44870

THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!!

What to Look for when Choosing a Mouthwash

June 24th, 2016

Mouthwash is important for more than just keeping your breath fresh and smelling great. Combined with other forms of dental hygiene, it can help prevent plaque, cavities, gingivitis, and other gum diseases. But it may be difficult for you to choose the right mouthwash off the shelf. Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental wanted to share a few things to look for when choosing a mouthwash.

Fluoride mouthwashes

Fluoride has been the subject of many debates in the oral health community. If you live in the United States, the tap water already contains small amounts of fluoride to promote dental health. You may not need to use a fluoride mouthwash if this is the case. However, if you are cavity-prone, fluoride creates a protective film over the teeth that protects against these buildups. It also helps strengthen the enamel over the teeth, maintain good dental hygiene, and keep your teeth strong for the rest of your life.

Alcohol mouthwashes

Alcohol in mouthwash works as an antiseptic: it clears the mouth of germs and some viral infections. However, if you have issues relating to dry mouth, alcohol can exacerbate the problem. If this is the case, consider using an alcohol-free mouthwash. This will free your mouth from the drying effects of the alcohol base. Also, if you have children, you will want to get an alcohol-free children’s mouthwash, because kids are prone to swallowing the substance, and this can lead to toxic side effects. Even if you are an adult using the mouthwash, if it contains alcohol, you should avoid swallowing it.

Antibacterial mouthwashes

Antibacterial mouthwashes have chemicals to help fight gum disease and other infections. Most mouthwash products contain at least trace amounts of these antibacterials; however, some mouthwashes are made specifically to fight bacterial infections. Remember that mouthwash is prevention, not a cure, so if you are presently suffering from a bacterial infection, you should visit our Sandusky, OH office right away. Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen may be able to recommend a more powerful antibacterial mouthwash that can help you reduce your pain and other symptoms.

Top Ten Ways to Improve Heart Health

June 17th, 2016

The human heart truly appreciates it when we eat healthy foods, don’t smoke, and exercise regularly. But there’s something else that can improve your heart’s longevity and you may not know about: keeping your teeth and gums in tip-top shape.

Bacteria responsible for periodontal disease have been found in the heart area of subjects who suffer from artery inflammation, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Physicians and dentists, like Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, think that it is not difficult for oral bacteria to enter the bloodstream through diseased, bleeding gums, and abscesses that reach from the gums into veins and capillaries that carry blood to and from the heart.

In addition to practicing good oral hygiene and visiting Stefano Dental every six months, here are ten other ways you can make your heart love you for the rest of your life:

  1. Avoid eating foods that contain saturated fat (fatty meats, processed meats, pastries, butter).
  2. Craving a crunchy snack? Grab a handful of tree nuts: pecans, almonds, walnuts. They’re rich in monounsaturated fats (the “good” kind of fat) as well as vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium.
  3. Eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast nourishes your heart with a soluble fiber called beta-glucan that can reduce cholesterol and help prevent atherosclerosis.
  4. Think “fish” the next time you shop for groceries, especially sardines, salmon, fresh tuna, and mackerel. These fish provide omega-3 fatty acids that lower triglycerides and blood pressure, and may help prevent blood clots from forming.
  5. Opt for whole grains over processed white breads and cereals.
  6. Put that remote control (or computer mouse) down right now and get moving! Walk, swim, ride a bike, plant flowers; your heart likes to pump, so make it pump.
  7. Refresh your brain and improve your heart health with at least eight hours of sleep every night.
  8. De-stress your life as much as possible: relax, stay optimistic, and don’t sweat the petty stuff!
  9. Watch your weight and get regular health examinations, especially if you have a family history of heart disease.
  10. And don’t forget to brush, floss, and rinse twice a day!

Sealants: What are they and how do they help?

June 10th, 2016

Molars are made up of canyons, caves, pits, and seemingly endless caverns that are a breeding ground for decay. The protective solution is a sealant. When done correctly, a sealant from Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen of Stefano Dental can be most effective in preventing cavities.

A sealant is made up of composite (a plastic-like) material that contains bonding agents to seal to the edge of the tooth. Sealants placed on the chewing surfaces of back teeth block food from being trapped. The process in which a sealant is placed is quite precise and painless.

First the tooth is cleaned with a sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) spray. Then an acid etch is applied to “roughen up” the surface. No saliva is to touch the tooth. This will re-mineralize the area, then a repeat etching is needed. An alcohol-based liquid then dries out the area and it must remain completely dry. The sealant is placed and guided through all the caverns, pits, fissures, and grooves. It is then cured with a special light, which makes it a hard, plastic-like material.

Sealants can last for several years. It is wise to have them examined on a semi-annual basis. If there is a break in the sealant, a high risk for decay is common. If a sealant is damaged, repair is simple, painless, and quick to complete.

Who can benefit from sealants? Anyone! Children often receive sealants as routine preventive care. Adults with deep canyons with stained grooves on their teeth can also benefit from a sealant. The process is quick, painless, and does not require any anesthesia. It is an effective way to lower dental restorative costs.

An investment in dental sealants can reap great benefits as properly cared for teeth will remain cavity free. Our Sandusky, OH location is available to answer your questions so give us a call today!

Getting Ready for Summer Sports

June 3rd, 2016

With the warmer and longer days here, we know many of our patients at Stefano Dental will be much more active in the summer. Though most of our patients are probably already ready to hit the field for some summer fun, we thought we would discuss a few precautions to take when it comes to keeping your teeth safe as you enjoy playing your favorite sports.

Use a Mouthguard

Are your kids participating in contact sports this summer? If the answer is yes, we strongly encourage you to have them fitted for a mouthguard at Stefano Dental before the season starts. Athletes can avoid serious mouth and jaw injuries by using a mouthguard.

Be Mindful of Sports Drinks

While sports drinks can be refreshing after a game, they unfortunately contain high levels of sugar and citric acid, which are known to erode the teeth and reduce the minerals in the outer tooth enamel. The simplest way to prevent sports drinks from damaging your teeth? Avoid them completely and drink water instead. Water is a great option to keep you hydrated before, during, or after a game.

Floss, Floss, Floss

While we always tell our patients about the importance of flossing, it is especially important on the day of the game. Athletes are likely to consume more sugar; from energy bars and chews to gum, you are not doing your teeth any favors. All that sugar may give you that extra bounce in your step when out on the field, but we want you to remember to floss when you get home, or else contend with an increased risk of cavities down the road.

If you have any questions about keeping your teeth and mouth healthy while participating in summer sports, please give us a call at our Sandusky, OH office! Have fun!

Memorial Day

May 27th, 2016

Memorial Day is not only a federal holiday in the United States, but it is a day of observance and remembrance of those who died in service. Originally known as Decoration Day, this solemn day has been marked on calendars since the end of the American Civil War as a day to commemorate both the Confederate and Union soldiers who fought and died in the war.

Marking the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers, wreaths, or other tokens has been practiced throughout history, but it wasn't until the mark of the end of the Civil War that a special day was decided upon as the one to spend in remembrance. By 1890, every state in the country was observing Decoration Day. It wasn't until 1967 when the name formally changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day, in order to encompass all fallen American soldiers in all wars and conflicts. In June of 1968, Congress moved the official date of Memorial Day to the last Monday in May in order to create a three day weekend.

Today, while there is certainly an air of remembrance on Memorial Day, it has become more a day of spending time with family, friends, and other loved ones. This day is also heralded as the start of summer, with many schools finishing for the year around this time. Our team at Stefano Dental remembers it as a day to take solace and remembered those lost.

Traditional observances of Memorial Day are still held, and they often involve raising the American Flag then lowering it to a half-staff position until noon, and then raising it once again to its full height afterwards. The flag is lowered to remember those who've lost their lives while in service to their country, and then it is raised to signify our willingness to not let their sacrifice be in vain.

From community parades in the Sandusky, OH area, backyard cook-outs, and fireworks to formal ceremonies, Memorial Day is commemorated in many different ways. No matter how you choose to spend this day, take a moment to remember those who've lost their lives in an effort to preserve our freedom.

DIY Cures for Bad Breath

May 20th, 2016

Are you afraid to open your mouth because you have bad breath? You’re not alone bad breath or Halitosis happens to everyone, at one time or another. If you have chronic bad breath there could be a number of reasons, including:

  • Gum disease
  • Sinus problems
  • Bacterial infection in your mouth
  • Stress
  • Strong odor from something you ate
  • Dry mouth

The good news is, none of the causes of bad breath are serious, and they can all be treated. There is a long list of DIY home remedies that have proven effective. Before you try any of them you should be evaluated by Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen to make sure you do not have a serious oral infection. Of course, you should also always practice good oral hygiene. If you go a week without brushing your teeth, your bad breath is going to be horrible!

1. Cinnamon Mouthwash

Cinnamon is known to help prevent bacteria in your mouth, and lemon has strong citrus properties that will eliminate your bad breath problem.

Preparation

  • Put a half teaspoon of cinnamon in a jar or bottle that has tight fitting lid.
  • Next add the juice from two lemons freshly squeezed lemons.
  • Combine all of the ingredients in a cup of lukewarm water and pour into your jar.
  • Shake the jar well and set it aside for two to three hours.
  • Before using the mouthwash always shake it well.
  • Gargle and swish one to two tablespoons of the mouthwash for about a minute

2. Tea

Black and green tea are beneficial in prevent bad breath. Black tea aids in controlling plaque and bacteria that can cause bad breath. Green tea contains antibacterial properties that fight off the natural occurring germs in your mouth, keeping your breath fresh. Both black and green tea contains polyphenol, a property that can prevent the formation of the foul odor caused by bacterial growth.

Preparation

  • Steep a black of green tea bag in one cup of hot water and drink one to two cups a day to keep your bad breath away.

3. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil contains natural antiseptic and anti-fungal properties that help kill bacteria and fungi in your mouth, caused by particles of food left behind.

Preparation

  • You will need one teaspoon of tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and lemon oil.
  • Combine all three in eight ounces of lukewarm water and stir well. Use daily as a mouthwash to get rid of your bad breath.

Is gingivitis preventable?

May 13th, 2016

The earliest sign of gum disease is called gingivitis (sometimes called periodontal disease), and is an inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to gum tissue loss, loss of bone that supports the teeth, and eventually tooth loss. The good news is that gingivitis is easily treatable at Stefano Dental. Better yet, gingivitis is nearly 100 percent preventable.

Gingivitis is usually caused when plaque and bacteria accumulate on the gums, generally due to poor oral hygiene. A patient with gingivitis will have red and puffy gums that will likely bleed when he or she brushes or flosses.

It is almost entirely within our patients’ power to prevent gingivitis by brushing and flossing on a daily basis. In addition to good oral health habits, regular visits to see Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen will also help with early detection. We can often detect minor inflammation and other signs of gingivitis before it causes any discomfort or issues.

If left untreated, gingivitis will eventually progress to periodontitis, a breakdown of the tissue and bone that support the teeth. Smokers, women who are pregnant or menopausal, people with heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy or HIV infection, and people who suffer from poor nutrition are more likely to have gum disease.

To learn more about gingivitis, or if you suspect you have gingivitis, we encourage you to give us a call at our Sandusky, OH office today!

Summer is Almost Here: Tips for a bright, white smile!

May 6th, 2016

Summer is almost here, which means a season full of vacations, adventures and great memories is just around the corner for our patients at Stefano Dental.

Everyone wants a glowing and radiant white smile when the sun comes around and we have a few reminders to keep your pearly whites healthy and beautiful over the summer! Try to stay away from drinks that will stain your teeth like coffee, soft drinks, or dark colored juices. Not only will drinks like this weaken your enamel but they will also darken that fabulous smile you're working on! Another tip is to try and focus on brushing your teeth; everyone knows that when busy schedules start picking up, getting a good brushing session in tends to take the backseat! A good tip for keeping your mouth safe from staining and other possible pitfalls is to rinse your mouth with water after any meal you can’t fully brush your teeth after. Your teeth, inside and out, will benefit!

And remember, whether you are headed to a barbecue, a camping trip, or just having fun in the backyard this summer, we want to hear all about it! Make sure to let us know what you’re up to below or on our Facebook page! We also encourage you to post any photos from your adventures!

Teeth Grinding

April 29th, 2016

If you are waking up with jaw pain, tension headaches, or facial pain, you may be suffering from a condition known as bruxism. This means you could be grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep. Some people aren’t even aware they are grinding or clenching their teeth at night, until a visit to us reveals significant tooth enamel loss. Fortunately, there is a non-invasive and effective solution for teeth grinding, and the tooth enamel damage it can cause, in custom-fabricated nightguards.

Causes of teeth grinding

Tension, stress, and anxiety experienced during the daytime can carry over to an individual’s sleep, and lead the person to grind his or her teeth together or clench the teeth unknowingly. Sleep apnea is another condition that can result in bruxism. Regardless of the cause, however, frequent clenching and teeth grinding wears down the chewing surfaces of the teeth, reduces tooth enamel, and can result in a cracked or chipped tooth, crown, or filling.

Nightguards for teeth grinding

Custom nightguards are fabricated to fit like a glove and protect your teeth from the adverse effects of bruxism. Nightguards are created through a non-invasive process that simply takes an impression of the bottom and top rows of teeth. The result is a nightguard that is flexible, comfortable, and personalized to your mouth.

Benefits of nightguards

Nightguards are helpful to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of dental damage incurred as a result of teeth grinding. They can reduce the discomfort associated with a sore jaw, headaches, tooth sensitivity, ear pain, and facial pain that many patients experience as a result of clenching or grinding of their teeth. In severe cases of bruxism, patients can develop loss of hearing, jawbone misalignment, and TMJ. Therefore, customized nightguards can help prevent the progression of teeth grinding into these more serious conditions.

At-home tips to reduce or prevent teeth grinding

Although it’s important to wear your nightguard faithfully if you grind your teeth at night, you can follow a few self-care tips to help to prevent your teeth grinding from worsening.

  • Reduce tension and stress. Whether you take a warm bath before bed, listen to soothing music, or exercise, practice stress-relieving activities to wash away the tensions of the day.
  • Avoid alcohol. In some patients, alcohol increases teeth grinding tendencies.
  • Avoid caffeine. In some individuals, caffeine increases the likelihood of teeth grinding.
  • Focus on relaxing jaw muscles. Make a conscious effort to keep your jaw relaxed. A warm washcloth against your cheek, sticking your tongue between your teeth, and avoiding chewing pencils, pens, and gum are all ways to train the muscles of your jaw to stay relaxed.

If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth at night, visit Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental for an evaluation at our convenient Sandusky, OH office.

Earth Day

April 22nd, 2016

The idea for Earth Day was the brainchild of Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin. He envisioned an Earth Day that would be a kind of environmental teach-in. The first Earth Day celebration took place on April 22, 1970, and a surprising 20 million people participated on that day. Ultimately, it became the largest organized celebration in US history.

Earth Day Over the Years

Over the years, the recognition of the day, and the number of people celebrating it all over the world, turned Earth Day into an international celebration. Because it is celebrated throughout the world, it is not only the largest international environmental observation, but it is also more widely celebrated than any other environmental event in the world. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in 175 countries where over 500 million people participate in celebrations.

The Earth Day Movement

The Earth Day movement is credited with developing the idea that people should “think green”. It encouraged congress to enact laws, including one that resulted in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. It also inspired the passage of the Endangered Species Act.

The Five R's and Their Importance

  • Reduce – Reduce by avoiding unnecessary purchases. Reduce your use of materials that wind up in landfills. Reduce the use of chemicals around your house. Reduce your use of disposable bags, plates, cups, eating utensils, and batteries.
  • Reuse – Instead of using plastic bags for your groceries or purchases, bring your own reusable bags. When you go to buy coffee at Starbucks, take a travel mug so you don't have to get your coffee in a disposable paper cup. Instead of storing food in disposable refrigerator containers, buy containers that can be washed and reused. Don't use regular batteries. Whenever possible, opt for rechargeable batteries that you can reuse.
  • Recycle – Most cities offer a recycling program to collect used bottles, cans, and newspapers. Recycling includes collecting recyclable materials that would otherwise be considered waste, sorting and processing recyclables into raw materials such as fibers and manufacturing raw materials into new products.
  • Re-buy – Make an effort to purchase things that are made through recycling. When purchasing furniture, look for items that are made from reclaimed wood. When buying paper for kids school work, computer printer paper, holiday cards, or anything else, make a point of purchasing recycled paper products. Instead of buying clothing at full retail price, shop for second hand clothing. You will save a lot of money by doing so!
  • Rethink – Rethink the way you do things so that you do them in an eco-conscious way at all times. Instead of driving to work alone, consider taking the bus or going in a carpool. Walk or ride your bike when you're only going a short distance. Plan your shopping trips and errand runs so that you can do everything on one day, and do it in a way where you can save time and gas.

Other ways to "think green" include growing your own food, composting yard waste and food scraps, or by participating in local recycling programs. Join a group like Freecycle so you can share your unneeded and unwanted possessions with people who can use them. Likewise, you'll be able to get things you need or want for free.

Earth Day teaches people that the planet belongs to everyone, so everyone is equally responsible for protecting it. Although Earth Day is an environmental celebration, our team at Stefano Dental wants to remind you that you don't have to wait until then to make changes that will allow you and your family to live a greener life.

Happy Earth Day from the team at Stefano Dental.

Aging and Dental Health

April 15th, 2016

As you grow older, your mind may be preoccupied with the health of your bones, heart, or brain. However, our team at Stefano Dental will tell you that keeping your teeth healthy is an equally important part of the aging process. Older adults are at increased risk for a variety of oral health conditions, which makes it essential for you to speak with your dentist to create a prevention plan that’s best for you.

Oral health conditions associated with aging

Just as the rest of your body continues to change as you age, your mouth changes, too. Certain conditions become more likely to develop as you reach older adulthood, including:

  • Dry mouth. Although your salivary glands continue to produce saliva as you get older, medications and chronic health problems often cause dry mouth.
  • Root decay. Your teeth have lasted you a lifetime, but improper nutrition or cleaning may lead to decay at the roots of your teeth.
  • Diminished sense of taste. Your eyesight and hearing aren’t the only senses affected by aging. The ability to taste naturally diminishes over the course of older adulthood.
  • Tissue inflammation. Are your gums tender, bleeding, or inflamed? Tissue inflammation may indicate gum disease or may be a consequence of wearing dentures that don’t fit well.
  • Oral cancer. Risk for most cancers increases with age, and oral cancer is no exception. Older adults are at increased risk for oral cancer compared to younger individuals.

Ways you can prevent dental problems

Fortunately, many age-related oral health problems are preventable. Begin by improving your diet to include plenty of fruits and vegetables. Choosing water over coffee or soda will keep your teeth whiter and cavity-free. Also remember to practice good brushing habits to prevent cavities and gum disease.

Visiting the dentist at least twice a year is vitally important when you reach older adulthood. Your dentist is familiar with your oral health and may be the first person to notice a sore, discolored patch, inflammation, or other abnormality that indicates oral cancer or gum disease.

If you’re experiencing any problems with dental health, let your dentist know immediately. Together, you can troubleshoot solutions and create a plan that keeps your mouth and gums healthy.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, please give us a call at our convenient Sandusky, OH office!

Care for Your Dentures

April 8th, 2016

Just like natural teeth, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen will tell you that dentures have a tendency to get coated with plaque, which is a sticky, transparent film that attracts food and bacteria. When you don’t take care of your dentures adequately and regularly, plaque can build up, harden, and become difficult to remove. More importantly, it can result in dental problems, including gum disease and infection. Proper care for your dentures also helps them maintain their shape, fit the way they are supposed to, and last longer.

Cleaning your dentures

Your dentures should be cleaned with the same diligence as you clean natural teeth.

  • Take out dentures and rinse them after eating. To remove food particles, run water over your dentures.
  • Clean your teeth after denture removal. Once dentures have been removed, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush existing teeth, gums, and tongue.
  • Scrub your dentures on a daily basis. At least once per day, gently scrub your dentures with a soft-bristled toothbrush and denture cleanser.
  • Soak dentures overnight. In order to keep their shape intact, many dentures must remain moist. Always use a mild denture solution recommended by our office. Never use hot water on your dentures, as they may warp their shape.
  • Rinse dentures prior to placing them back in your mouth. This is especially important if you soak your dentures in a denture solution.
  • Dentures are fragile and can break when dropped. It’s a good idea to hold them in a soft cloth or towel to keep them from falling and breaking.

Over time, even with diligent daily care, your dentures may form difficult-to-remove tartar. When this happens, our team at Stefano Dental uses a powerful ultrasonic cleaner to remove stubborn, denture build-up.

Proper care for your dentures can help retain their shape, prevent oral issues, and increase their longevity. Visit Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen regularly at our convenient Sandusky, OH office to maintain your oral health and keep your dentures in tip-top shape.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April 1st, 2016

What is oral cancer?

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. If you have been putting off a visit to our Sandusky, OH office, now is an excellent time to schedule one. Regular visits to Stefano Dental can be the first line of defense against oral cancer, by identifying early warning signs of the disease, or helping you with preventive care tips to lower your chances of developing it.

Oral Cancer Rates in America

Nearly 40,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and more than 8,000 die every year from this disease. It is a devastating illness: most people who are diagnosed with it do not live more than five years beyond their diagnosis. Oral cancer has a higher death rate than many other common cancers, including cervical cancer, testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and thyroid or skin cancers. The high death rate results from the fact that most oral cancers go undiagnosed until the disease is well advanced and has spread to another part of the body—most often, the lymph nodes in the neck.

What causes oral cancer?

While there is no way to predict exactly which individuals will get oral cancer, there are some potential causes you should know about—because in some cases, you can minimize these risk factors.

  • Age (most patients diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 40)
  • Tobacco use, either from cigarettes or smokeless chewing tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol consumption (especially in combination with tobacco use)
  • Persistent viral infections, such as HPV16
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables

In addition, oral cancer tends to occur at a rate six times greater in men than in women, and more often for African Americans than other ethnic groups. No genetic links have been identified to explain the higher incidence in these populations, so lifestyle choices remain the likeliest cause.

Oral Cancer Treatments

Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment of oral cancer usually involves a multi-disciplinary team that includes surgeons, oncologists, dentists, nutritionists, and rehabilitation and restorative specialists. Our team will decide on the best approach for each patient, depending on the risk factors and how far the cancer has progressed. The strategy will be different in every case. Some of the most common methods include chemotherapy, radiation, and potential surgery.

Finding out you have cancer can be devastating news. If you are concerned that you might be at risk for developing oral cancer, talk to us about screenings and other things you can do to reduce your risk.

How do I handle my child’s dental emergency?

March 25th, 2016

With children undergoing developmental dental changes and engaging in rough-and-tumble activities, dental emergencies can sometimes arise. If your child knocks out a tooth or experiences any type of oral discomfort, call Stefano Dental right away so we can provide you with a quick assessment and pain-free treatment.

Before an emergency occurs, it’s a good idea to stay informed about the problems your child may encounter. Here are a few things you should keep in mind about teething pain, loose baby teeth, and other common dental issues.

Teething Pain

Typically occurring in babies that are between four months and two and a half years old, teething may cause excessive drooling, tender gums, and some irritability. Giving your baby a cold teething ring or gently rubbing her gums with wet gauze or your finger may also make her feel better.

Loose Baby Tooth

It is normal for a child’s first set of teeth to become loose and fall out. On the other hand, if your child’s baby tooth is knocked loose, schedule an appointment with our office so we can assess whether any damage has been done.

Issues with Permanent Teeth

Sometimes a child’s permanent teeth will grow in before the baby teeth have fallen out. Even if this condition isn’t causing any discomfort, you should schedule an appointment with our office so we can determine whether your child’s permanent teeth are growing in correctly.

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums can result from a number of factors, including periodontal disease, rough brushing, or an injury to the gum tissue. If your child’s gums are bleeding heavily, call our office right away so we can address the situation. If you have time before your appointment, wash your child’s mouth with salted water and gently put pressure on the affected area.

Regardless of the type of dental issue your child has, you can always consult Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen for further guidance. We make sure our emergency services are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, so you have ready access to convenient and professional dental care that will have your child feeling better in no time.

Antibiotic Prophylaxis or Pre-Medication

March 18th, 2016

At Stefano Dental, we know the human mouth contains a lot of bacteria. A bacterium can travel through your body with routine activities that are a normal part of daily living. You spread bacteria when you brush or floss your teeth, when you chew, and when you swallow.

For most people, bacteria don’t cause any problem. For some people, however, especially those who have chronic medical conditions, specific cardiac conditions, or whose immune systems are compromised, bacteria that spreads throughout the bloodstream can lead to much more serious bacterial infections.

The goal of pre-medication or antibiotic prophylaxis, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen will tell you, is to prevent bacterial endocarditis, a serious infection of the endothelial heart surfaces or the heart valves. The condition is also called infective endocarditis. A small population of people with certain health problems has a high risk for contracting this potentially deadly bacterium.

The American Heart Association states that people at greatest risk for contracting bacterial or infective endocarditis are:

  • Patients who underwent cardiac valve surgery in the past
  • Those who have suffered past incidents of infective endocarditis
  • Patients who have mitral valve prolapse, resulting in or causing valve leakage
  • People who have had rheumatic fever or any degenerative cardiac condition that produces abnormalities in cardiac valves
  • Patients who suffer from certain congenital heart diseases

For these patients, any dental procedure may cause bleeding, and prophylactic antibiotic administration is recommended as a preventive measure.

Other patients who require prophylactic antibiotics

The American Association of Endodontists extends recommendations to patients who have undergone joint replacement surgery within the past two years, suffer from type 1 diabetes, or have immune deficiencies from diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or HIV; cancer patients whose immune systems are suppressed because of radiation or chemotherapy; people who have had organ transplants; and hemophiliacs.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry also includes people who suffer from sickle cell anemia, as well as patients who suffer from conditions that require chronic steroid therapy.

Typical endodontic procedures for which antibiotic prophylaxis is recommended include root canal therapy (when it involves going deeper than the root apex), surgical tooth extractions, and any other dental, endodontic, or periodontal procedure during which the doctor anticipates bleeding.

Although different medical societies and organizations offer these guidelines as a way of identifying patients for whom prophylactic pre-medication is essential prior to dental procedures, dentists will take each patient's medical history and personal risk factors into consideration. Some doctors may choose to administer antibiotics following a procedure, especially for patients who have previously suffered from oral infections either as a result of dental procedures or that necessitated oral surgery.

For more information about antibiotic prophylaxis, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, please give us a call at our convenient Sandusky, OH office!

Our Smiles For Life Campaign Helps Children’s Charities

March 17th, 2016

MARCH THRU JUNE our practice is raising donations for children’s charities through the Smiles For Life program. We’re honored and excited to participate in such a worthy cause! 100 percent of the donations we raise go to the Smiles For Life Foundation to benefit children in need, with 50 percent benefiting a local charity of our choice—helping kids in OUR community.

Here’s How Smiles For Life Works

  1. You schedule an appointment to get your teeth professionally whitened between March 1 and June 30.
  2. Ultradent donates the whitening materials to our practice.
  3. Our practice donates our time to professionally whiten your teeth.
  4. 100 percent of the proceeds goes to the Smiles For Life Foundation, benefiting children’s charities locally and around the world.

If you’d like to join us in this fantastic campaign, give us a call today (419) 871-0732!

Thanks For Helping Us Support This Great Cause!

St. Patrick's Day: Celtic pride, green shamrocks, and lucky charms!

March 11th, 2016

“St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time -- a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic.” Adrienne Cook

Lucky green shamrocks, leprechauns, and pots of gold – it must be St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re not Irish, how do you go about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? It’s easy: You just put on one of those tall leprechauns hats, dress in green from head to toe, and wear one of those carefree pins that say “Kiss Me, I’m Irish”. On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish, and that is the universal beauty of the holiday. Celtic pride does not discriminate.

Wondering what our team at Stefano Dental is doing to celebrate March 17th? Well, we’ve thought about doing everything from handing out lucky gold coins (you know, the fake ones that are made of chocolate) to shamrock stickers. Maybe we’ll even give away green toothbrushes and floss! You’ll never know unless you come in to see Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen !

All kidding aside, St. Patrick’s Day is an important cultural and religious holiday. There are lavish parades and church services across Ireland on March 17th. Over time, however, the holiday has developed into a day to observe Irish culture in general. In places like England and the United States, where there is a large Irish Diaspora, the holiday has greater significance than other countries. From the streets of Boston to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, it is a day of celebration, and many Americans of Irish descent will cook up a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage.

So, to all of you with Irish ancestry, and to all of you who have decided to be Irish for the day, our office wishes you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Good luck looking for a pot of leprechaun gold, which is said to exist at the end of the rainbow. However, keep away from those sugary Lucky Charms; sweet cereals might taste good, but your kids’ teeth might not be feeling too lucky if they eat it for breakfast every day. Have a great St. Paddy’s Day!

Are your teeth ready for the big day?

March 9th, 2016

Capturing the Moment

At Stefano Dental we know that just about anyone who has taken on the challenge of planning her own wedding could tell you how important the little details can be. Things like having complementary colors, the right location, show-stopping flowers, and delicious food are all a big part of planning your spring wedding. Another little detail that has a big "I do" related role? Your smile.

Whether you’re the bride, or an attendant, looking your best when you tie the knot (or help someone tie the knot) is essential. If your teeth aren’t ready to make an entrance, turning to one of the many available teeth whitening solutions is a great option.

Reliable Solutions

Before the wedding day arrives, you should take your smile into consideration. If diet and daily wear-and-tear have caused your teeth to lose their original luster, our team can help! In-office procedures do cost more than kits you use at home, but with an in-office treatment, you benefit from a professional taking proper care of your teeth.

In addition, relying on our office to handle teeth whitening before the wedding can give you access to trustworthy advice on how to keep your teeth looking their best for a longer period of time. It’s common for someone experienced in assisting people with their oral health to suggest investing in an in-office whitening technique and then following up with a teeth-whitening kit at home.

This is a season of new beginnings and beauty. Take the time to bring out your most beautiful smile before the big day. Don’t let your smile hold you back on your wedding. With our in-office teeth whitening, you can be sure that you’ll be more confident and comfortable interacting with friends and family. So remember, when in need of some quality oral care in Sandusky, OH to think of Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen!

Caring for Your Smile While Wearing Invisalign®

March 8th, 2016

Getting your braces off is exciting. You’ve been working on your new smile for months or years, and it’s time for the trips to our Sandusky, OH office to pay off. Can you imagine how bad it would be to discover that your teeth are straight, but that there’s decay?

Caring for your smile while wearing Invisalign goes beyond just waiting for your teeth to get straighter. It involves cleaning your teeth regularly and thoroughly to prevent tooth decay. That way, your smile will be more beautiful than ever when you’re done with your Invisalign treatment.

Take Your Trays Out

The first difference you may notice between Invisalign and traditional metal braces is that Invisalign aligners are invisible, but there’s another important distinction as well. Invisalign braces are removable. You can take the trays out, and you should. Remove the trays while you’re eating so you don’t get food stuck in them. Also, remove them while you’re cleaning your teeth so that you can have full access to all the nooks and crannies in your mouth.

Brush Normally

The guidelines for brushing your teeth with Invisalign don’t change compared to braces. Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste, being sure to get all surfaces of your teeth. If possible, brush after each meal.

If you can’t, be sure to drink some water and swish it around in your mouth when you’re done eating to get rid of the extra food on your teeth. Leaving carbohydrates, such as sugar and starch, on your teeth opens the door to tooth decay.

Floss and Wash

Flossing your teeth gets out the bits and pieces stuck between them. It’s a time-consuming task when you need to navigate the wires of traditional metal braces, but thanks to Invisalign’s removable design, flossing is no problem. Rinsing your mouth with a fluoride antibacterial mouthwash also helps clean your teeth because it gets into all of the spaces. Floss and rinse one or two times daily.

Cleaning Your Trays

Cleaning your Invisalign trays keeps them from getting riddled with bacteria, and it helps keep your teeth free from excess food. You can use the Invisalign cleaning system, which involves placing the trays in a tub with cleaning crystals. The plastic trays are clean after 15 minutes. You can also ask Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen for other ways to clean your trays.

How do I care for my dental implant?

February 19th, 2016

Dental implants are designed to be strong and durable, able to withstand the everyday rigors of chewing and biting, but to keep them functioning the way they should and looking their best, you need to care for them properly. Luckily, dental implant care is fairly straightforward; in fact, your implants can be cared for the same way you care for your natural teeth, with regular brushing and flossing performed correctly, as well as regular visits with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen to ensure your implants, the neighboring teeth, and your gums are as healthy as possible.

Before the actual replacement tooth is attached to the implant post, you may want to avoid harshly abrasive toothpastes, such as those with baking soda or those designed to get rid of significant staining. These abrasives may damage the threads of the posts or irritate the gum and soft tissue surrounding the posts, causing inflammation or bleeding.

As the implant heals and “settles in,” a special kind of protective tissue called “keratinized” tissue will form where the implant meet the gum. This natural development in healing helps ensure the implant post and the soft tissue beneath the gum line are protected from bacteria.

As you care for your implants, always look for signs of infection, like swollen, tender, or bleeding gums – just as you would with your normal teeth. If you're nervous about caring for your implants or you feel you may be reluctant to floss around them, ask our team to provide you with care tips and walk you through the process of flossing.

Your implants represent a considerable investment both in time and money, so it's only natural you'd want to be sure you're doing all you can to keep them in top shape. Remember: dental implants are designed to replace your natural teeth, and they're also designed to be cared for in much the same way as you care for your natural teeth. Although you may be a little nervous at first, you'll soon become as used to your new implants as you are to your natural teeth, and caring for them will become second nature.

More questions? Simply as at your next visit to our Sandusky, OH office!

Valentine's Day History

February 12th, 2016

Valentine’s Day is best known as a celebration of love in all its forms. Pink hearts, red roses, and cute greeting cards adorn every surface you see. What many people don’t realize is that the modern Valentine’s Day celebration arose from a religious holiday.

St. Valentine’s Day was originally celebrated as a religious feast day in honor of early Christian martyrs. Three martyrs named Valentine were honored: a priest in Rome, the persecuted bishop of Interamna (a town in central Italy), and a saint martyred in Africa. This saint’s day was celebrated throughout Christendom, although it was removed from the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints in 1969.

The origin of Valentine’s Day as a holiday for lovers began with Geoffrey Chaucer in his 1382 poem “Parlement of Foules.” Chaucer wrote, “For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate,” and the modern romantic holiday was born. William Shakespeare and other writers mentioned Valentine’s Day as a day of love.

Valentine’s Day as we know it came about in the early 19th century. In Victorian England, printers began manufacturing small numbers of cards with romantic verses, lace, ribbons, and other frills. Anonymous Valentine’s Day card were a popular way for young lovers to exchange romantic sentiments in an otherwise prudish time. As the 19th century progressed, printers began mass manufacturing Valentine’s Day cards. People in the United States give an estimated 190 million valentines every year, and up to one billion if you count children exchanging cards at school! With the rise of the Internet, Valentine’s Day e-cards have become a popular mode of communication, with millions of e-cards sent each year.

The other items associated with Valentine’s Day include chocolate and flowers. The tradition of giving chocolates has been around for decades, and Richard Cadbury created the first box of Valentine’s Day chocolates nearly 150 years ago. Today, purchases of chocolate total over $1 billion in the United States alone, with 35 million heart-shaped boxes sold each year. Loved ones also exchange flowers, with red roses being associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. On Valentine’s Day itself, florists sell nearly 200 million stems of roses.

Although many people dismiss Valentine’s Day as a commercialized “Hallmark holiday,” it is beloved to couples and romantics across the United States and other countries. The team at Stefano Dental wants to remind all patients that no matter what your celebratory plans, February 14th can be a wonderful day to celebrate the loved ones in your life. Happy Valentine’s Day!

February is Heart Month

February 5th, 2016

The American Academy of Periodontology stresses the importance of good oral health since gum disease may be linked to heart disease and stroke. Thus far, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established, but there are multiple theories to explain the link between heart disease and periodontal disease. One theory suggests that oral bacteria may affect heart health when it enters the blood and attaches to the fatty plaque in the heart's blood vessels. This can cause the formation of blood clots. Another theory suggests the possibility that inflammation could be a contributing link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Gum disease increases plaque buildup, and inflamed gums may also contribute to the development of swollen or inflamed coronary arteries.

What is coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease is caused in part by the buildup of fatty proteins on the walls of the coronary arteries. Blood clots cut off blood flow, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. Both blood clots and the buildup of fatty proteins (also called plaque) on the walls of the coronary arteries may lead to a heart attack. Moreover, periodontal disease nearly doubles the likelihood that someone will suffer from coronary artery disease. Periodontal disease can also worsen existing heart conditions, so many patients who suffer from heart disease need to take antibiotics before any dental procedures. This is especially true of patients who are at greatest risk for contracting infective endocarditis (inflammation of the inner layer of the heart). The fact that more than 2,400 people die from heart disease each day makes it a major public health issue. It is also the leading killer of both men and women in the United States today.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the bone and gum tissues around the teeth, reducing or potentially eradicating the system that supports your teeth. It affects roughly 75 percent of Americans, and is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. People who suffer from periodontal disease may notice that their gums swell and/or bleed when they brush their teeth.

Although there is no definitive proof to support the theory that oral bacteria affects the heart, it is widely acknowledged better oral health contributes to overall better health. When people take good care of their teeth, get thorough exams, and a professional cleaning twice a year, the buildup of plaque on the teeth is lessened. A healthy, well-balanced diet will also contribute to better oral and heart health. There is a lot of truth to the saying "you are what you eat." If you have any questions about you periodontal disease and your overall health, give our Sandusky, OH office a call!

Oh no, not the dentist!

January 29th, 2016

If you or your children suffer from dental anxiety, you aren’t alone. According to the Cleveland Clinic, between nine and 15 percent of Americans admit to feeling sufficiently afraid of going to the dentist to avoid making an appointment. The potential consequences of dental anxiety extend beyond poor oral health. Lack of dental care can cause serious but easily preventable medical conditions.

Dental Anxiety versus Dental Phobia

Dental anxiety provokes a sense of fear in people, typically before they arrive at Stefano Dental. Those fears or worries are often exaggerated. Dental phobia shares many of the symptoms that characterize dental anxiety. It is a much more serious manifestation of that anxiety, and may provoke a sense of panic or terror in people. While people who suffer from dental phobias know that their feelings are irrational, they are unable to control, stop, or change those thoughts.

People who have dental phobias often avoid going to the dentist, and they come up with every possible excuse to justify not going. The only time a person who suffers from a dental phobia will go to the dentist is when he or she is forced to do so, or because of intense tooth pain. People who have dental anxiety don’t go to such extremes to avoid going to the dentist; anxiety usually begins in anticipation of the appointment.

What We Do to Ease Patient Anxiety

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our staff have many techniques we can use to help patients feel more comfortable at their appointments. Dental Fear Central gives some simple suggestions to help children and adults who are apprehensive about going to the dentist, even if they suffer from the more severe form of anxiety: full-blown dental phobia.

  • The Tell-Show-Do Approach: We help our patients relax by making sure they understand what is involved in the exam and any procedure they may undergo. We tell patients about the procedure, show them the tools and equipment we intend to use, and answer questions before actually performing the procedure. This is helpful for patients who don’t know what to expect.
  • Distraction: We offer personal music players and a collection of CDs that patients can listen to. The relaxing qualities of music may help distract a patient enough to make the process less stressful. In-office televisions allow you to watch TV while waiting for your appointment.

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our staff know that some patients are anxious about dental treatment, and we go to great lengths to make you feel more comfortable. Good oral health is very important, and when your mouth isn’t healthy, you can suffer from many other easily preventable medical problems.

Who benefits from Invisalign®?

January 22nd, 2016

One problem with trying to answer the question as to who benefits from Invisalign is that the simple answer is “almost everyone.” The see-through, almost invisible aligners for straightening teeth are specifically molded to fit each individual’s mouth. Unlike conventional braces, they can be removed when eating and when cleaning the teeth. Because they use less force in straightening teeth than metal braces, the risk of harm to teeth is lessened.

Benefits to adults

Traditional braces are associated with children and teenagers. Many adults want to have their teeth straightened but cannot decide which is worse: having crooked teeth or wearing metal braces. They also worry about having to change their diet by not being able to eat the foods they normally enjoy.

If you are an adult considering braces, our team at Stefano Dental will tell you Invisalign aligners will give you the best of all worlds. Your teeth will be straightened with virtually invisible braces. You can remove your aligners when you eat so you can enjoy any food you normally would consume. You do not have to worry about embarrassing yourself by getting food stuck in your braces. You simply clean your teeth normally after eating and replace your aligners. If there is a special occasion during which you do not want to have any braces at all, you can remove the aligners for a few hours without causing any damage.

Benefits to teenagers

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team know that teenagers are often involved in contact sports or gymnastics. Others find that having metal in their mouth interferes with their ability to play a musical instrument. Traditional metal braces contain wires and brackets that can cause damage to the mouth and gums; this is not a risk with Invisalign aligners.

For sports that require players to wear mouthguards, the expense of specially constructed mouthguards to fit over braces is avoided. The aligners can be removed during sports activity, and a normal mouthguard is worn. Teenagers who play musical instruments simply remove the aligners when practicing or playing in the band or orchestra.

Teenagers often feel they are too busy to spend time and trouble flossing teeth between the wires and brackets of traditional braces. Since the Invisalign aligners are removable, brushing and flossing are simpler and more likely to be performed.

For more information about Invisalign or Invisalign Teen, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, please give us a call at our convenient Sandusky, OH office!

What is gum recession?

January 15th, 2016

Gum (gingival) recession occurs when gums recede from the tops of the teeth enough to expose sensitive roots. People typically experience increased sensitivity to sugary or cold foods when gums no longer cover and protect teeth roots. In addition, untreated gum recession may lead to loosening of teeth and accelerated tooth decay, something Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen see all too often.

Causes of Gum Recession

  • Periodontal disease – a serious oral disease arising from poor oral habits
  • Gingivitis – gum disease characterized by bleeding and swollen gums
  • Aging
  • Overly aggressive brushing and/or flossing – brushing hard in a scrubbing fashion will erode gum tissue at the roots of teeth
  • Genetic predisposition to gingival recession – having inherited thin, insufficient gum tissue facilitates gum recession
  • Bruxism – a condition where someone regularly grinds their teeth, usually during sleep
  • Chewing tobacco/smoking – promotes chronically dry mouth and reduced gum health

Periodontal gingivitis may also cause causing drooping of the gums instead of gum recession. A gingivectomy removes excess gum tissue weakened by bacterial decay while a gingivoplasty can reshape gums around the teeth. If sagging or receding gums are left untreated, they may develop pockets (gaps) that provide hiding places for food particles, mucus and other mouth debris conducive to anaerobic bacteria growth. As the most destructive type of oral bacteria, anaerobic bacteria is responsible for tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and chronic halitosis.

Treatments for Gum Recession

Corrective actions need implemented as soon as possible to reverse gum recession by addressing the cause. For example, people who brush with hard-bristled toothbrushes should switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush more gently. If gum recession is the result of poor oral hygiene, improve oral hygiene habits by brushing after meals, flossing, rinsing with non-alcoholic mouthwash, and getting dental checkups and cleanings every six months. For severe cases of gum recession, soft tissue grafts can add gum tissue to exposed roots by removing tissue from the person's palate and attaching it to existing gums at the area of recession via laser surgery.

If you’re worried about gum recession, visit our Sandusky, OH office and talk to a member of our team.

What is a cavity?

January 8th, 2016

Cavities are the reason why most people fear going to the dentist. But they’re also the reason you should be visiting Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen on a regular basis.

Specifically, cavities are the breakdown of teeth caused by acid from food, bacteria, and plaque that inhabit the inside of the mouth. While many people simply think that cavities only form on top of a tooth, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental want you to know they can actually form on the sides along the gum line and between the teeth, too. This acid will eat away at the tooth, forming a soft hole.

Anybody, either children and adults, can get cavities. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S. alone about 16 percent of all children ages six to 19 have untreated cavities, and about 24 percent of adults 20 to 64 years old have them. This is detrimental to overall oral health, because cavities have a tendency to grow over time, potentially spreading to other teeth and causing increased oral pain, possibly even affecting the nerve.

That's why it's important to ensure that you're visiting Stefano Dental at least once every six months, so that cavities can be found and filled before they become too problematic and painful. Typically, they're found by doing a routine teeth cleaning, though X-rays or further examination may be necessary to determine the full extent of a cavity. Cavities are treated by removing the area of the tooth where decay has set in and rebuilding the tooth with a metal filling. If the cavity is too large, however, more extreme measures may be necessary, such as placing a crown or performing a root canal.

As we noted above, cavities are why people dread going to the dentist, but also the reason everyone should see the dentist every six months. Additionally, brushing twice daily, flossing, and cutting down on sugar-packed foods can reduce the risk of developing cavities.

For more information on how to best care for your teeth and why it's important to visit the dentist twice a year, please give us a call at our convenient Sandusky, OH office today!

It's a Wrap: Ending the year with a smile!

January 1st, 2016

People have been ushering in the New Year for centuries but it became an official holiday in 1582 when Pope George XIII declared January 1st to be the day on which everyone would celebrate the New Year. At midnight people would yell, holler, and blow horns to scare away the evil spirits of the previous year so the New Year would be joyous and filled with opportunity. Nearly 500 years later, we still greet the New Year by whooping and hollering, but in a celebratory manner instead. Whether you intend to ring in the New Year quietly at home in the Sandusky, OH area or have plans to join the countdown at a gala extravaganza, these tips can help you ring out the old and usher in the new with a smile.

Tips for a Happy New Year's Eve Celebration from Stefano Dental

  • Be Safe. There's no way to predict the behavior of others on New Year's Eve, but you can be responsible for your own behavior to keep yourself safe. If adult beverages will be part of your celebration, plan on spending the night wherever you are or line up a designated driver to bring you home after the party is over.
  • Enjoy Family and Friends. Spending time with the important people in your life is what makes the holidays enjoyable. Coordinate your schedules and choose New Year's Eve activities that everyone in the group will enjoy. You don't have to go to a party to ring in the New Year; some people like to go bowling, see a movie, or have a great meal at home.
  • Accessorize with a Smile. Whether you dress up or have a quiet dinner with family and friends, one of the best accessories you can add to your attire is a beautiful smile.

New Year's Eve is a time to gather with friends and family, reflect on the year that's coming to an end, and look forward to the new one with anticipation. Enjoy this transitional holiday in a way that's safe, healthy, and fun. After all, counting down until the clock strikes 12 marks the beginning of a full year of opportunity ahead of you. From Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, have a great new year!.

How do I avoid bad breath?

December 25th, 2015

At Stefano Dental, we see a lot of patients who are concerned about their bad breath, also known as halitosis. So today we thought we would educate our patients about what you can do to keep your pearly whites clean and your breath minty fresh!

Naturally, good oral hygiene on your part is the first step. With proper brushing and flossing you can keep halitosis in check. Even though you may have done an excellent job of brushing and flossing your teeth, if you fail to brush your tongue, you may still have bad breath. Bad breath is caused by odor-producing bacteria that grow in your mouth. Certain foods, medications, smoking, sinus issues, or even gum disease can cause bad breath.

Besides proper brushing and flossing, bad breath can be prevented if you:

Stop smoking/chewing tobacco-based products: Ask Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team for tips on kicking the habit.

Keep your mouth hydrated: Because a dry mouth typically leads to bad breath, drinking water or eating oranges or celery may help.

Visit our Sandusky, OH office for regular dental checkups: By visiting Stefano Dental at least twice a year, you will keep bad breath at bay. Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen will conduct an oral exam and will be able detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.

Invisalign® Q&A

December 18th, 2015

It’s estimated that up to four million people at any one time are wearing braces in the United States and Canada. But Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental know that braces have come a long way from the early days of orthodontics, so much so that these days, options are available that are not visible to onlookers. The most popular of these “invisible” braces is Invisalign. Here’s a list of FAQs regarding Invisalign:

Are they really invisible?

Yes, the clear liners are virtually invisible, so they enable patients to feel good about themselves and their appearance, while getting the orthodontic treatment they need.

Are there wires, rubber bands, and brackets with Invisalign?

Nope. Invisalign is truly an alternative to conventional braces. The treatment consists of clear liners that can easily be removed and cleaned throughout the day. There are no wires, so there’s less poking and mouth irritation compared to braces. There’s also no wire tightening at adjustment appointments, so patients don’t have to worry about a sore mouth in the days that follow in-office visits.

I’ve heard that if I get braces, I won’t be able to eat certain foods like popcorn and hard candy. Is this true with Invisalign too?

No. With Invisalign, there are no food restrictions. You simply remove your aligners when you’re eating, and replace them after you’ve finished and brushed any leftover food particles away.

Does Invisalign cost more than braces?

While overall cost varies on a patient-by-patient basis and is based largely on the level of treatment, Invisalign costs about the same as traditional braces, which makes this treatment option a truly affordable alternative.

How does brushing compare with conventional braces?

Brushing your teeth while wearing conventional braces takes some getting used to. Patients have to brush around the metal brackets and floss with a specialty tool to get into the hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. By contrast, Invisalign can be removed at any time to permit regular brushing and flossing.

Every patient is different and Invisalign might not be the best course of orthodontic treatment for everyone, but it's an option that's gaining more and more popularity, and it's an orthodontic alternative that doesn't sacrifice comfort and convenience for results. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, please give us a call at our convenient Sandusky, OH office!

TMD Problems and How You Can Prevent Them

December 11th, 2015

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) describe a set of conditions that involve trouble with your jaw and face muscles. They result from a problem in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is a hinge that connects the temporal bones, in your skull in front of each ear, to your jaw. The joint enables you to talk, yawn, and chew by letting your mouth move.

TMD can be very painful and interfere with functions such as eating and speaking. This what to watch for and how to try to prevent TMD.

Risk Factors for TMD

You are at higher risk for TMD if you are a women than if you are male. The disorder is most common among adults between the ages of 20 and 40 years. Other risk factors for TMJ disorders include the following.

  • Arthritis in the area, making movement more difficult
  • Excessive tooth grinding, because it increases stress on the joint
  • General stress, which can lead you to clench your teeth and strain facial muscles

Symptoms of TMD

Symptoms of TMD can last for just a short while, or for several years. Seeing Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen is important if your symptoms make it impossible for you to eat regularly or if you have unbearable pain or discomfort. The following symptoms can occur on both or one side of your face.

  • Aching or very tired facial muscles
  • Jaws that are fixed open or shut without you being able to unlock them
  • Grating or popping sounds when you chew or close or open your mouth
  • Pain in the entire area, including the mouth, jaw, neck, or shoulders, that comes on when you chew or yawn

Preventing TMD

You can try to prevent TMD by focusing on reducing risk factors. If you grind your teeth at night, ask Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen about wearing a mouthguard. If you are overly stressed, look into ways to better manage your stress and relax your muscles. Another strategy for trying to prevent the development of TMD is to avoid chewing gum, since that puts stress on your jaw.

If you have questions about TMD, don’t hesitate to contact our Sandusky, OH office.

Tips for Using Invisalign®

December 4th, 2015

More than one patient has come into our office and asked, “What can I do to help my teeth when wearing Invisalign?”

While everyone’s teeth and dental needs are different, there are certain things everyone can do to make wearing their Invisalign aligners a more rewarding experience. Always follow the list of instructions and tips from Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, and add the following advice to your daily routine.

Always ask us about teeth whitening. Our team at Stefano Dental knows how important it is for you to keep your teeth white and stain-free from the foods and drinks you consume daily. If you have attachments to your teeth, they will not whiten properly. Ask our office about teeth whitening when wearing your aligners; it might be best to wait until your treatment is complete.

Continue flossing every day. You should be flossing in any case. But it can be easy to assume that Invisalign will protect your teeth from bacteria. This is not true. Bacteria can get behind the aligners and affect the health of your teeth and gums, so keep up with your flossing schedule.

Follow the 48-hour rule when wearing your aligners. When you insert every new set of aligners, you should leave them in as much as possible during the first 48 hours. Your teeth will move more during this timeframe, and the aligners do the most good during this time.

You may experience slight discomfort while wearing your Invisalign aligners. You can take a pain reliever to help with the discomfort, but if you experience too much pain, please give us a call at our convenient Sandusky, OH office to schedule an appointment!

Can my body reject my dental implant?

November 27th, 2015

According to the International Congress of Oral Implantologists it is rare that your body will reject your dental implants. However, this does not mean that your dental implant will not fail. A successful dental implant is one that is placed in healthy bone and is properly cared for after the surgery takes place.

There is only one major reason why a dental implant would be rejected: a titanium allergy. The majority of dental implants are made with titanium because it has proven to be the most biologically compatible of all metals. On average, less than one percent of potential dental implant recipients reported an allergy to titanium.

Dental Implant Failure

The most common cause of dental implant failure in the upper and lower jaw is bacteria. Everyone has bacteria in their mouth. If you have bacteria in your jawbone at the time of your dental implant, it can spread from implant to implant, causing dental implant failure.

If you do not take proper care of your dental implants, that could also cause them to fail. You also have to take proper care of the implant and keep your mouth clean. The development of excessive bacteria around the implant and in surrounding tissues can lead to implant failure.

Teeth grinding is another reason dental implants fail. When you grind your teeth, it can move the implants out of position. Therefore, you should wear a mouthpiece when you go to sleep if you know you grind or clench.

If you take care of your implants by practicing good oral hygiene and visit our Sandusky, OH office, you should not have any problems with your new dental implants. As always, ask Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen about any questions or concerns you have about you dental implants.

Thanksgiving

November 20th, 2015

At Stefano Dental, we love to celebrate the holidays with vigor! Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen would love to share some unique ways of celebrating Thanksgiving from beyond the Sandusky, OH area to the national level!

When Americans sit down to dinner on the last Thursday of November, the day that Abraham Lincoln designated as the day on which Thanksgiving would be celebrated, they do so thinking that the first Thanksgiving feast was held at Plymouth in 1621. According to National Geographic, the Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez Coronado and his men celebrated a feast of Thanksgiving in Texas in 1541, giving Texas the distinction of being the first place where Thanksgiving was celebrated.

Different Types of Celebrations

Native Americans had rituals around which they celebrated in hopes of ensuring a bountiful harvest. The Cherokees had a Green Corn Dance that they did for this very purpose. The Pilgrims (not to be confused with the Puritans,) rejected any type of public religious display. They held a three-day long non-religious Thanksgiving feast. Although they said grace, the focus of their celebration was on feasting, drinking alcohol (they did have beer,) and playing games.

The Pilgrims at the Plymouth Plantation celebrated a different day of Thanksgiving in 1623. Plagued by a crop-destroying drought, the settlers prayed for relief. They even fasted. A few days later, they got the rain they so desperately needed. Soon thereafter, they received another blessing when Captain Miles Standish came with staples they couldn't otherwise get. He also told them that a Dutch supply ship was en route. In gratitude for the abundance of good fortune, the Plymouth settlers celebrated a day of prayer and Thanksgiving on June 30, 1623.

The Story of Squanto

No discussion of Thanksgiving is complete without a discussion of Squanto, or Tisquantum, as he was known among his people, the Patuxet Indians. It is believed that he was born sometime around 1580. As he returned to his village after a long journey, he and several other Native Americans were kidnapped by Jamestown colonist, Thomas Hunt. Hunt put them on a ship heading to Spain where they were to be sold into slavery.

As fate would have it, some local friars rescued him and many of the other kidnapped natives. Squanto was educated by the friars. Eventually, after asking for freedom so he could return to North America, he ended up in London where he spent time working as a ship builder. By 1619, he was finally able to get passage on a ship headed to New England with other Pilgrims.

Upon arriving at Plymouth Rock, he learned that his entire tribe was wiped out by diseases that accompanied earlier settlers from Europe. In gratitude for passage on their ship, he helped them set up a settlement on the very land where his people once lived. They called the settlement Plymouth. Since they knew nothing about how to survive, let alone how to find food, Squanto taught them everything, from how to plant corn and other crops, how to fertilize them, how and where to get fish and eels and much more.

After a devastating winter during which many settlers died, thanks to Squanto's teaching, they had an abundant harvest. After that harvest, they honored him with a feast. It is this feast of 1621 which was celebrated between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians that is widely considered the first Thanksgiving celebration.

About the Meal of the Plymouth Settlers

Surviving journals of Edward Winslow that are housed at Plymouth Plantation indicate that the first Thanksgiving feast was nothing like what Americans eat today. The meal consisted of venison, various types of wild fowl (including wild turkey,) and Indian corn. There were no cranberries, stuffing, pumpkin pie, potatoes, or any of the other “traditional” foods that appear on modern menus.

Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, the day that Abraham Lincoln designated as the holiday. It is still a day of feasting, and for some, a day of prayer and thanksgiving. For others, it is a celebration of gathering, especially for families. Still others may celebrate in entirely different ways, including watching college football bowl games, or by playing family games.

If you ever wonder why you're so tired after the Thanksgiving meal, it's because turkey contains an amino acid, tryptophan, and it sets off chemicals whose chain reaction combine to make people sleepy.

Caring for Your Smile after Invisalign® Treatment

November 13th, 2015

You have done a lot of work to get the perfect smile. You wore your Invisalign aligner trays and cared for your teeth, and now your treatment is done. You still need to take care of your teeth to keep your beautiful smile. Keeps these things in mind when you think about your oral care routine.

Retainers

Many patients do require a retainer after Invisalign treatment. This will be based on your unique situation. If a retainer is recommended by Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, use it as directed. Retainers prevent your teeth from shifting back into their original position. You should also avoid hard, crunchy foods for the first couple of weeks as your teeth adjust. For younger patients, retainers are normally used until the wisdom teeth come in or are extracted.

Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing must be part of your daily oral care. Flossing helps remove the plaque, which becomes tartar or calculus. This build up can lead to gingivitis and gum disease. Your gums may be more sensitive for a week or two after your orthodontic work is completed. A warm salt water rinse may relieve discomfort.

Your teeth may be slightly sensitive for a short time. They have been protected by your Invisalign aligner trays and now are fully exposed. You might want to try a sensitive toothpaste to get through the transition. Just ask; we will be glad to recommend the best type for your needs. If your teeth are stained, a professional whitening treatment can be considered.

Regular Dental Checkups

You still need to have regular dental exams. Professional cleanings and X-rays make sure that both your teeth and gums stay healthy so you can keep your teeth for life. If cavities or other problems are found, they can be taken care of quickly.

If you have any questions about how to care for your teeth after your Invisalign program, please ask our Sandusky, OH team. We want you to keep your healthy smile and enjoy the results of your Invisalign treatment.

November Marks National Diabetes Awareness Month

November 6th, 2015

Diabetes is a chronic disease that increases the risk for many serious health problems, including severe gum disease. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and it’s a great time for us at Stefano Dental to remind our patients that the way you care for your teeth at home doesn’t just affect your oral health; keeping your mouth healthy is vital to your overall health, too.

Diabetes is the result of a deficiency, or lack of the hormone insulin to properly transport glucose (blood sugar) to the cells throughout the body. According to the American Diabetes Association, the most common types of diabetes are Type One (five percent), Type Two (90-95 percent of cases), and gestational or pregnancy diabetes. Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 35 to 60 percent chance of developing diabetes, mostly Type Two, in the ten to 20 years following their pregnancy.

In the past decade, researchers have found links between periodontal (gum) disease and diabetes. Not only are people with diabetes more vulnerable to gum disease, but diabetes may also have the potential to affect blood glucose control, as well as contribute to the advancement of diabetes.

Nearly 26 million Americans currently live with the disease, with an additional 79 million in the pre-diabetes stage. There is some good news we want you to know, however; you can protect your gums and teeth from the effects of diabetes by visiting our Sandusky, OH office for an exam. Patients who are living with diabetes may require more often visits to ensure their dental health remains in tip-top shape. Many insurance plans provide expanded benefits for diabetic patients, and Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen can tell you how often you need to come in for an appointment.

For more information on how we can help, please do not hesitate to give us a call at our Sandusky, OH office.

The Intriguing History of Halloween

October 30th, 2015

Halloween is fast approaching, and Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen wanted to be sure to wish our patients a happy day, no matter how you might celebrate this holiday. The Halloween that is familiar to most people today bears little resemblance to the original Halloween; back in the "old days" it wasn't even called Halloween!

Festival of the Dead

Halloween started out as a Celtic festival of the dead that honored departed loved ones and signified a change in the cycle of the seasons. The Celtic people viewed Halloween, then called "Samhain," as a very special day – almost like our New Years day in fact, as their new calendar year began on November 1st. Samhain was the last day of autumn, so it was the time to harvest the last of the season's crops, store food away for winter, and situate livestock comfortably for the upcoming cold weather. The Celts believed that during this day, the last day of winter, the veil between this world and the spirit world is the thinnest, and that the living could communicate with departed loved ones most effectively on Samhain due to this.

Modern Halloween

Halloween as we know it today started because Christian missionaries were working to convert the Celtic people to Christianity. The Celts believed in religious concepts that were not supported by the Christian church, and these practices, which stemmed from Druidism, were perceived by the Christian church as being "devil worship" and dangerous.

When Pope Gregory the First instructed his missionaries to work at converting the Pagan people, he told them to try to incorporate some of the Pagan practices into Christian practices in a limited way. This meant that November 1st became "All Saints Day," which allowed Pagan people to still celebrate a beloved holiday without violating Christian beliefs.

Today, Halloween has evolved into a day devoted purely to fun, candy, and kids. What a change from its origins! We encourage all of our patients to have fun during the holiday, but be safe with the treats. Consider giving apples or fruit roll-ups to the kids instead of candy that is potentially damaging to the teeth and gums.

Remind kids to limit their candy and brush after eating it! Sweets can cause major tooth decay and aggrivate gum disease, so to avoid extra visits to our Sandusky, OH office, make your Halloween a safe one!

What’s the advantage of Invisalign®?

October 23rd, 2015

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team know it is natural for you to feel some concern when you need to wear any type of dental device to correct a problem with your teeth. Both braces and Invisalign can produce good results in giving you the smile you’ve always wanted. Both methods can straighten your teeth and alleviate such issues as crowding, spacing, cross bite, overbite, and underbite. Both methods of treatment have a similar cost.

You can take a cross-country road trip in a ten-year-old economy car or you can make the trip in a brand-new luxury sedan. Both will get you to your destination, but you will be far more comfortable traveling in the luxury sedan. Similarly, your journey to a great smile is much more comfortable and convenient with Invisalign as opposed to braces.

Comfort

Some of the discomfort you may experience with braces is greatly reduced with Invisalign. Because Invisalign is custom-fit to your mouth and made of plastic, you will feel less pain, irritation, and soreness. Unlike braces, there are no food restrictions; you can eat anything that is on your diet.

Brushing and flossing

Of course you will want to brush and floss your teeth to prevent plaque buildup, tooth discoloration, and dental decay. If you wear braces, these simple tasks can become quite a challenge. Invisalign aligners are very easy to remove and replace, so you can brush or floss like normal without having to work your way around any metallic framework covering your teeth.

Appearance

You do not have to be embarrassed to show your teeth when you are using the Invisalign system. Since the aligners are practically invisible, no one will even notice you are wearing them! Whether you are a teenager or an older adult, you can live your life normally.

If you want to learn more about Invisalign, or are wondering what your treatment options are at Stefano Dental, feel free to give us a call at our convenient Sandusky, OH office!

Dentistry around the World

October 16th, 2015

From the clinical perspective, dentistry is similar around the world. Dentists, like Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, go to school, obtain a license, and work hard to prevent and treat tooth decay, gum disease, oral infections, throat or oral cancer, tooth loss, and other conditions that might limit a person’s ability to smile, bite, chew, or speak. The quality of dental care, however, and the payment method for dental services varies between nations.

Dentistry throughout the World

Developed countries have more dentists per capita than do developing nations, according to the World Health Organization. There is one dentist for every 150,000 people in Africa, for example, as compared to about one dentist for every 2,000 citizens of an industrialized nation. The lack of dentists in developing nations means that dental care is restricted to pain management and emergency care.

Dentistry often reflects the cultural views of a nation. Some cultures acknowledge only the functional aspect of teeth, so dentists focus on preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Other cultures emphasize aesthetic appearances, so dentists there provide cosmetic procedures in addition to essential oral care.

Each nation imposes its own education and licensure requirements for dentists but most require some college before four years of dental school. The graduate must then pass local or national exams to practice in that region. European schools and standards are similar to the United States.

From the business perspective, dentistry varies between nations. In the United States, a dentist presents to the patient one bill that includes all of the treatment costs, such as the dentist, his assistant, tools, and labs. This allows the dentist to charge a single, easy-to-pay fee for individual procedures, and gives him an opportunity to mark up items and make a profit.

Across much of Europe, a dentist presents two bills to her patient – one for the dentist and another for the lab. This approach may stem from a cultural belief that profiting from healthcare is unethical and that healthcare should be available to consumers at actual cost; public dental clinics and subsidies ensures all citizens have access to dental care, regardless of ability to pay. In most cases, the government is both overseer and provider of dental care.

While the role of the dentist is nearly the same in every country – to ensure the oral health of the citizens – dental care is different in each nation. Regardless, you can rest assured that the care you receive at our Sandusky, OH office is held to the highest standard.

What can I expect during my implant procedure?

October 9th, 2015

Dental implants are a surgical procedure done by Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen right here at our Sandusky, OH office. Screw-like parts made of titanium are inserted into your jaw bone and act as the root of your tooth. An artificial tooth will be placed on top of the screw, usually made out of ceramic or layered porcelain. The dental implant will look and feel just like the natural tooth you lost.

How much time will the dental implant surgery take?

There are numerous factors that determine the length of time for the dental implant procedure:

  • If you’re having one tooth replaced or several
  • The teeth that are being replaced
  • If you need a tooth or teeth extracted before the implant placement
  • The amount of time it takes for your IV to be placed
  • Any last minute questions or concerns you may need addressed

All of the above factors will also govern the amount of visits to our Sandusky, OH office you will need to make throughout your dental implant treatment period. For example, a single tooth dental implant surgery typically takes one to two hours from the time you arrive until you awaken from the anesthesia. This also includes the amount of time it takes to put on your gown, hair cap, and other surgical dressing preparations before you are able to enter the sterile surgical environment.

Does getting an implant hurt?

With nearly any surgical procedure, you will feel some sort of discomfort. Whether it is the insertion of the IV for the anesthesia, or discomfort you may feel after the surgery. However, most patients report that their pain was tolerable after their dental implant surgery. In fact, the majority of patients said the discomfort was a lot less than they expected. Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen will prescribe pain medications to help with any discomfort you may experience once you get home.

How will I feel after the dental implant treatment?

It is normal to have some bruising and swelling in the soft tissue and gum area. Usually the pain or discomfort does not require the use of anything more than an over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol or ibuprofen. In addition, you will have the prescription for a stronger pain medication if you need it. You should be able to work the following day.

October is National Dental Hygiene Month: A simple oral health routine for your busy lifestyle

October 2nd, 2015

Adults are no strangers to feeling like there is never enough time in the day to get everything done. Your alarm clock rings and within minutes you ping pong around trying to spread peanut butter on sandwiches, answer your cell phone, remove the dog hair from your clothes, and make sure your child has completed his or her science fair project. Brushing your teeth can easily fall to the wayside. That is why our office promotes a simple, daily oral health regimen that you can easily incorporate into your busy lifestyle.

The American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA), in partnership with the Wrigley Jr. Company, is celebrating National Dental Hygiene Month (NDHM) during October. The ADHA encourages people to "Brush. Floss. Rinse. Chew...Keep it Clean, Keep it Healthy!" and offers some great tips for a quick and effective home oral health routine, below:

Oral Health Routine at Home

  • Brushing your teeth twice daily is the most important thing you can do to diminish the accumulation of plaque and the potential for other oral problems such as cavities and gingivitis.
  • Flossing once daily removes plaque and food from beneath the gums and between teeth that brushing alone cannot remove. Tooth decay and gum disease often begin in these areas.
  • Rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial, non-alcohol based mouthwash kills plaque and gingivitis germs that brushing and flossing do not catch. We recommend using a mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
  • Chewing sugar-free gum helps produce saliva, which battles cavities. The gum also neutralizes plaque, strengthens enamel, and removes remaining food. It is especially important to chew gum after eating or drinking.

It's easy to put the toothbrush down in order to take care of matters you feel are more urgent, but remember, a good oral health routine at home is the best way to prevent periodontal disease. "Periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. An estimated 75 percent of Americans reportedly have some form of periodontal disease," said the ADHA. Periodontal disease also is linked to more serious illnesses such as diabetes and stroke.

Also, remember to keep regular visits with our office. Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen can help you learn more about proper care for your teeth and gums.

Are dental implants painful? What You Need to Know

September 25th, 2015

Whether it is the result of tooth decay, gum disease, or injury, millions of people suffer tooth loss. Dental implants provide a strong replacement tooth root for fixed replacement teeth that are designed to match your natural teeth. Of course, there is one question all patients have about dental implants: are they painful?

Dental implant placement is performed under local or general anesthesia and is not considered a painful procedure. However, if the surgery is more complicated and involves bone or tissue grafts, there may be slightly more discomfort and swelling. At the same time, every patient has a different threshold for pain, so what may bother one person may not bother another. If you experience any pain from dental implants, there are several things can do to relive it.

Relieving Pain from Dental Implants

1. The initial healing phase can last up to seven to ten days. Over-the-counter painkillers such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Motrin work well to alleviate any pain or discomfort you may experience. However, only take these if instructed to by Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen.

2. Once you leave our Sandusky, OH office, you can reduce inflammation and any swelling to your cheek or lip by holding an ice-pack on your face over the implant area.

3. Your gum will be tender for the first few days. We often recommended that you bathe your gums with warm salt water.

4. Steer clear of crusty or hard foods for the first day or two. Ice cream, yogurt, and other soft foods are ideal as your gums will be tender.

5. Dental implants are a relatively straightforward oral procedure. Many people take time off from work to have dental implant surgery, and then return to regular activities. However, if you are feeling any pain or discomfort, there is nothing wrong with taking the day off, relaxing, and putting your feet up.

There is typically no severe post-operative pain with dental implants. When most people return for a follow-up appointment about two weeks later, they often say that getting a dental implant was one of the least painful procedures they’ve experienced.

Good Oral Health Habits When You’re Pregnant

September 18th, 2015

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental will tell you that good oral health habits when you are pregnant are very important. A plaque or infectious buildup can affect the baby in gestation, and cause some unforeseen issues during birth. There are a few steps relating to oral health that can help prevent complications and other pregnancy issues. Here are a few things to consider about oral health when you are expecting.

Proper brushing

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is essential when you are pregnant. This will peel away any buildup that you have on your teeth, and help create a shield against future buildup. Swallowing large amounts of plaque or bacterial buildup can and will affect the gestation of the fetus, and can cause certain complications.

Floss

Flossing will also help remove a lot of the buildup in your teeth that can promote infection. Make sure you floss at least once a day. Bacterial infections fester on food buildup, and certain destructive viruses can also breed and grow on these remnants.

Morning sickness

The acidity of vomit can erode the enamel on your teeth, and create buildup of damaging particulates in your teeth. If you are experiencing regular morning sickness, rinse your teeth with a mixture of baking soda and water. This will remove buildup, and alleviate some of the acidity from the vomit.

Alcohol-free, antimicrobial mouthwash

Regardless of whether you are trying to or not, you will swallow small amounts of your mouthwash. Alcohol can affect your gestating baby. Use an antimicrobial, alcohol-free mouthwash.

Visit the dentist

If you have any dental issues, please give us a call at our convenient Sandusky, OH office away. We will be able to diagnose and treat any oral health issues immediately, and make sure they do not affect your developing child. Protecting your baby includes protecting your oral health.

Eating and Invisalign®

September 11th, 2015

One of the greatest advantages to using Invisalign is that it provides maximum results with minimal impact on your everyday life. Invisalign is comfortable, easy to insert, and simple to remove. Because you can remove Invisalign aligners, you can enjoy all your favorite foods and beverages without worries about getting food stuck in the wires and brackets of traditional braces.

Eating and Invisalign

While the aligner is durable and strong, you should remove it before you eat or drink beverages, as the chewing action inside your mouth can break, crack, or distort the aligner. Even minute damage to the Invisalign tray will prevent it from aligning your teeth properly. Furthermore, eating with Invisalign in your mouth can be quite messy.

Beverages and Invisalign

Repeated exposure to hot liquids may also cause the Invisalign aligner to distort. This distortion changes the shape of your aligner in a way that will affect how it straightens your teeth. Contact our Sandusky, OH office if your Invisalign aligner has distorted after consuming a hot beverage.

Fluids can settle inside the aligner to “bathe” the teeth. Bathing teeth in acidic fluids can be especially problematic, as the acids can wear away tooth enamel. Exposure to acidic fluids is not normally a problem, as saliva neutralizes and buffers the acid then washes it away. Wearing an aligner, however, prevents the saliva from doing those jobs, increasing your risk for tooth decay.

Colored drinks may also change the color of your teeth. Most discoloration is temporary but stubborn stains may occur.

To prevent discoloration and tooth decay, brush your teeth after every meal or beverage before putting in your Invisalign aligners. If you do not have access to clean water, chew sugar-free gum to remove bacteria, acid, and food particles from your teeth. As a last resort, you may leave your aligners out for an hour or two until you can brush and floss properly. Before inserting Invisalign, rinse the aligner in lukewarm water or use the Invisalign cleaning kit.

Contact our Sandusky, OH office for more information about eating and Invisalign.

Labor Day: Our favorite holiday to rest!

September 4th, 2015

Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday each September here in the United States, is a holiday devoted to the American working community. The purpose of the holiday is honoring the country's workers and their contributions to the strength of our country as a whole.

How Labor Day Started

There is actually some debate as to the origins of Labor Day. It is uncertain whether Peter McGuire, a cofounder for the American Federation of Labor, or Matthew Maguire, who was the secretary of Central Labor Union of New York, had the great idea. However, the Central Labor Union's plans were what launched the first Labor Day in America.

The First Labor Day

The very first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5th, 1882. The Central Labor Union then held annual celebrations on September 5th for what they called a working man's holiday. By the year 1885, the Labor Day celebration had spread to many different industrial areas, and after that it began spreading to all industries in the United States.

Labor Day Today

Labor Day today is a huge United States holiday during which we honor the country's workers with a day of rest and relaxation or a day of picnics and parades. This holiday is truly one to honor the many people who work hard to contribute to the economic well-being of our great country!

Our team at Stefano Dental hopes all of our patients celebrate Labor Day, and every holiday, safely and happily. Whether you stay in the Sandusky, OH area, or travel out of town, have fun, and don't forget to brush!

Thumb Sucking, Pacifiers, and Your Baby's Teeth

August 28th, 2015

Sucking is a common instinct for babies and the use of a pacifier or their thumb offers a sense of safety and security, as well a way to relax.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the majority of children will stop using a pacifier and stop sucking their thumb on their own between the ages of two and four years of age. Prolonged thumb sucking or use of a pacifier can have dental consequences and needs be taken care of sooner, rather than later.

Many dentists favor pacifier use over thumb sucking because it makes it easier for parents to control and even limit the use of a pacifier. If thumb sucking lingers, the same strategies used to break the baby from using the pacifier can be used for thumb sucking.

Precautions

  • Try to find "orthodontically correct" pacifiers, as they may reduce the risk of dental problems.
  • Never dip a pacifier in sugar or honey to calm the baby.
  • Give your baby a bottle of water at bedtime, never juice.

Dental Complications

Long term pacifier use can lead to an assortment of dental complications including:

  • The bottom teeth leaning inward
  • The top teeth slanting outward
  • Misalignment of the baby’s jaw

The risk of any or all of these things happening is greatly increased if thumb sucking and pacifier use is sustained after the baby’s teeth start to come in.

Breaking the Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Habit

Most toddlers and children will stop sucking their thumb or using a pacifier between the ages of two and four on their own. However, if intervention is necessary here are a few tips to help your child break the habit:

  • Slowly decreasing the use of a pacifier can be effective for many children. This method does not work very well with thumb sucking.
  • Thumb sucking can be more difficult to break. Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen may recommend using an over the counter cream that you put on the child’s thumb; it doesn’t taste good and usually does the trick.
  • Rewards can also help with the process.
  • If these simple commonly used strategies do not work, there are oral devices that will prevent a child from sucking their thumb or a pacifier.

Talk to Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team, as we have many tricks up our sleeves that will be effective in breaking your child’s thumb sucking or pacifier use.

The Invisalign® Treatment Process

August 21st, 2015

Invisalign is gaining traction as a sought-after solution for orthodontic problems. Unlike traditional braces, which require the placement of brackets on teeth and the connection of unsightly wires, Invisalign works nearly invisibly (as its name suggests). Particularly for those who do not wish to draw attention to their orthodontic work, Invisalign provides an attractive solution.

Consultation with a Treatment Provider

Our practice has received specialized training to work with Invisalign. During your consultation appointment, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen will assess your smile needs. In some cases, the type of problem may not lend itself to correction through Invisalign, and we may offer an alternative solution.

Creation of a Custom Treatment Plan

Invisalign works using a series of customized clear trays that fit almost perfectly over the teeth. To create these trays, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen will take X-rays and impressions of your teeth. These are submitted to a specialized laboratory that makes a 3D image of your smile. This is used to create a specialized treatment plan that provides an estimate of how long treatment will take.

Arrival of Custom Trays

Once your customized trays have arrived, the treatment begins. For Invisalign to work properly, you must wear the aligners 20 to 22 hours per day, removing them only to eat, drink, and brush your teeth. The trays gently draw your teeth into proper alignment, correcting your orthodontic problems as you go about your everyday life.

In general, you will replace your aligners with a new set every two weeks. This is to encourage your teeth to continue moving throughout the treatment process. You’ll need to check in with our Sandusky, OH office every six weeks or so to ensure treatment progresses smoothly.

Beautiful Smile: Complete!

Once you complete your individualized treatment plan, you’ll have the smile you’ve always dreamed of. Like with traditional braces, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen may recommend that you wear a retainer to ensure that your teeth remain in their new positions.

Navigating the World of Dental Insurance Terminology

August 14th, 2015

Unless you work for an insurance company, you probably do not spend a lot of your time studying all the terminology that dental insurance companies use to describe the treatments and services they cover. If it seems pretty confusing, here are some of the most commonly used dental insurance terms and what they mean.

A Basic Glossary

Annual Maximum–The maximum amount your policy will pay per year for care at Stefano Dental. It is often divided into costs per individual, and (if you are on a family plan) per family

Co-payment– An amount the patient pays at the time of service before receiving care, and before the insurance pays for any portion of the care

Covered Services– A list of all the treatments, services, and procedures the insurance policy will cover under your contract

Deductible– A dollar amount that you must pay out of pocket each year before the insurance company will pay for any treatments or procedures

Diagnostic/Preventive Services– A category of treatments or procedures that most insurance will cover before the deductible which may include services like preventive appointments with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, X-rays, and evaluations

In-Network and Out-of-Network– A list of providers that are part of an insurance company’s “network”

  • If you visit in-network providers, the insurance company will typically cover a larger portion of the cost of the care you receive. If you visit someone who is not part of the network, known as an out-of-network provider, the insurance company may pay for a portion of the care, but you will pay a significantly larger share from your own pocket.

Lifetime Maximum– The maximum amount that an insurance plan will pay toward care for an individual or family (if you have an applicable family plan)

  • This is not a per-year maximum, but rather a maximum that can be paid over the entire life of the patient.

Limitations/Exclusions– A list of all the procedures an insurance policy does not cover

  • Coverage may limit the timing or frequency of a specific treatment or procedure (only covering a certain number within a calendar year), or may exclude some treatments entirely. Knowing the limitations and exclusions of a policy is very important.

Member/Insured/Covered Person/Beneficiary/Enrollee– Someone who is eligible to receive benefits under an insurance plan

Provider– Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen or other oral health specialist who provides treatment

Waiting Period– A specified amount of time that the patient must be enrolled with an insurance plan before it will pay for certain treatments; waiting periods may be waived if you were previously enrolled in another dental insurance plan with a different carrier

There are many different insurance options available, so you need to find out exactly what your insurance covers. It’s important to review your plan with a qualified insurance specialist. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the policy so you can understand it fully and be confident that you know everything your policy covers the next time you come in for treatment at our Sandusky, OH office.

What is nitrous oxide and is it safe?

August 7th, 2015

Our team at Stefano Dental understands that the sights, sounds and sensations at a dental office can be unsettling for some patients. One effective technique that we use to comfort you is to offer the gas nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is a common anesthetic used during many dental procedures.

What is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide is an oxide of nitrogen which has a slight sweet odor and taste. During medical or dental procedures, the gas is mixed with oxygen then inhaled through a mask that covers your nose. Within minutes, you should feel calm and experience an overall sense relaxation. You will be able to breathe on your own, move your limbs, and be conscious enough to hear and respond to our dentist's questions. The effects of nitrous oxide disappear shortly after the mask is removed and the drug is quickly eliminated from your body.

Is nitrous oxide safe?

Recreational use of nitrous oxide for its euphoric effects can be dangerous, however, the drug is combined with oxygen at dental offices. This ensures oxygen reaches the brain and prevents dangerous side effects or hypoxia. Nitrous oxide inhalation is a safe and effective technique to reduce anxiety, produce analgesia, and enhance effective communication.

Nitrous oxide is non-addictive and non-allergic, however, it may cause nausea in up to ten percent of patients. The drug is not recommended for people with some medical conditions such as chronic pulmonary disease. We recognize that all patients are different and encourage you to talk with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen about whether nitrous oxide would be a good option for you.

Our team wants to help all patients in Sandusky, OH to overcome dental anxiety, so please, give us a call at Stefano Dental.

Does getting a dental implant hurt?

July 31st, 2015

Getting a dental implant is a surgical procedure and everyone’s pain tolerance level is different. Therefore, what one person may perceive as pain is only a slight discomfort for another person. The general consensus about pain and dental implants is that the majority of people feel discomfort, not pain.

A dental implant is a complex procedure. Let’s take a look at what may cause discomfort:

  • Some people may find that having the IV put in is uncomfortable, especially if the healthcare worker has to try more than once. If you have a fear of needles or if you have anxiety about the procedure, we can prescribe a sedative, which you take before you arrive.
  • Of course, during the dental implant surgery, you will be asleep. Therefore, you will not feel any pain or discomfort at all.
  • When you awake from the surgery, your mouth should still be numb. In many cases, we can give you a “block” – it is basically a 24-hour pain medication, so you will not feel any pain or discomfort at all.
  • We will also provide you with a prescription for a strong pain killer, and you will most likely sleep while you are taking them. If you are still in pain, do not take more than is prescribed without calling us first. You will need someone to stay with you for 24 hours after the surgery, and they will be instructed on how to give you any prescription medication. The anesthesia tends to make people a bit loopy and forgetful the first 24 hours.
  • After the first 24 hours you may feel some discomfort. The most important thing you can do is take your pain medication regularly, whether you are taking the prescription medication or an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil.
  • You should not need pain medication for more than the first few days.

Most people do say there mouth is sore and they have to be careful what they eat, so it’s best to stick to soft foods. If you have any additional questions, please contact our Sandusky, OH office and speak with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen.

Oral Health Concerns for Infants

July 24th, 2015

Because babies’ teeth don’t appear until around six to eight months of age, it’s a natural misconception that they don’t need dental care. But the steps you take as the parent of an infant can help your baby maintain good oral health and develop healthy dental habits in the future.

It’s easy to take care of a baby’s teeth and gums, especially when oral hygiene for your infant becomes part of the normal daily routine. Learn more about how you can promote good dental health for your baby with these tips and considerations.

Taking Care of Baby’s Oral Hygiene

  • Dental Hygiene for Birth to Six Months. Cleaning your infant’s gums is as important as cleaning teeth will be later. Hold your baby in your arms, and with a clean, moistened washcloth wrapped around your index finger, gently massage his or her gums.
  • Dental Hygiene for Six to 12 Months. After teeth begin to appear, it’s time to switch to a soft, children’s toothbrush for teeth cleaning. New research has shown that fluoride toothpaste is safe and recommended for use once your baby’s first tooth arrives. Gently brush your baby’s teeth after each feeding, in the morning, and before bedtime, just as you did before teeth appeared.
  • Good Bedtime Habits. One of the most important things you can do to protect your infant from tooth decay is to avoid the habit of putting baby to bed with a bottle. Use other soothing bedtime activities, such as rocking and lullabies, to help your baby drift off to sleep.
  • A Note about Dental Decay. Many people are unaware that dental decay is transmissible. Avoid placing your baby’s bottle, sippy cup, or pacifier in your own mouth to test the temperature. Likewise, don’t share utensils with your baby.

Partner With Your Dentist

Your baby should receive his or her first dental health checkup by the age of six months. Even though your infant may not have teeth yet, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen can assess the risk your baby might face for oral diseases that affect hard or soft tissues. Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen can also provide you with instructions for infant oral hygiene, and explain what steps to add as your baby grows and develops.

Stefano Dental is your partner for good oral health, and we’re here to make caring for your baby’s dental hygiene and health easier and more enjoyable for you.

The History of Dental Implants

July 17th, 2015

The earliest endeavors for dental implant tooth substitutes on record dates back to the Mayan civilization, to 600 AD. Archeologists recovered primeval skulls in which the teeth had been replaced with materials the ranged from wood, stones, and jewels to small pieces of seashells.

Like most scientific progresses, the finding of what makes todays dental implants so successful was unexpected. In 1952, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon, named Dr. Branemark, placed a very small titanium cylinder into a bone to learn how the bone would heal. What he discovered was that the titanium cylinder had fused (melded to the bone.) Out of this experiment dental implants would be born within two decades.

In 1970s, modern dental implants made their first appearance. Of course, over the past four decades, the original dental implant has undergone several improvements in both structure and design, but has always been based on the original theme.

Dental implants were first made available to individuals who had lost all of their teeth and had difficulty wearing dentures, mainly because they had lost of much of their jawbone were dentures set. Today, most dental implants are used in place of dentures, for multiple teeth that are missing, or to replace a single tooth.

When dental implants were first designed, they were a one size fits all. The original dental implants were all the same circumference, while the length of each tooth varied depending on the type of tooth it was replacing. The dental implants were smoothed out and polished by a machine, but still did not produce the natural looking dental implants we have today.

Now, with the help of state-of-the-art equipment and advanced technology, implants come in a wide variety of sizes and shape to match the teeth that are missing. The surfaces of today’s dental implants give them a more natural look and feel. In addition, the surface of the dental implant also attaches to the bone much easier and for a longer period of time.

Dr. Branemark's discovery has left an impression on dental professionals, all over the world, including Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen. If you are considering dental implants to improve your smile’s health, beauty, and function, be sure to contact our Sandusky, OH office to schedule an appointment.

Adults Can Get Cavities Too

July 10th, 2015

Sure, you brush your teeth and floss regularly, so you might think you’re off the hook when it comes to the dental chair. However, it’s just as important for adults to get regular dental exams as it is for kids. Cavities are common among adults, with 92% of people aged 18 to 64 having had cavities in their permanent teeth, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

How cavities form

Our mouths are teeming with hundreds of types of bacteria. Some are helpful and maintain good health, while others are harmful. Certain types of bacteria process the sugars in food and release acid in return. Although minor decay can be naturally reversed by your body, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental will tell you that eventually the acid wears away the enamel and creates small holes in the surface of teeth.

Cavity prevention for adults

Some people are naturally more prone to cavities than others. However, making a few lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce your likelihood of developing cavities.

  • Food choices. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables increases saliva production, and reduces cavity risk. It is also important to avoid foods that get stuck in the ridges of your teeth. Candy, cookies, and chips should be eaten sparingly.
  • Beverages. Most people know that drinking soda contributes to tooth decay. However, fruit juices and energy drinks also contain large amounts of sugar. Whenever possible, replace these sugary beverages with tea or water, which rinses your mouth and prevents decay.
  • Fluoridated water. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring chemical that facilitates enamel growth. Most municipal water supplies are fortified with fluoride, so drinking tap water is a great way to keep teeth healthy. People with well water may use fluoridated toothpaste or other supplemental forms of fluoride to decrease cavity risk.
  • Brush teeth and floss frequently. Gently brushing teeth several times a day removes the harmful bacteria that cause cavities to develop. If possible, brush your teeth after each meal or when drinking sugary beverages. Flossing regularly removes small particles that get trapped between teeth, which further decreases tooth decay.

One of the most important steps in cavity prevention is visiting your dentist at least twice a year. Consistent dental exams ensure that cavities are caught early, before they cause major damage to your teeth.

For more information about avoiding cavities, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, please give us a call at our convenient Sandusky, OH office!

Happy Fourth of July

July 3rd, 2015

Every year, Americans all over the world celebrate the birth of the country and its independence on the Fourth of July. There are countless ways that people celebrate and they range from community parades and large scale gatherings to concerts, fireworks displays, and smaller scale celebrations among family and friends. For some people, July 4th is synonymous with baseball, while for others it is all about the beach of barbecues. However you celebrate, you can be sure that red, white, and blue is visible everywhere throughout the area.

The Beginnings of Fourth of July Celebrations

Although it wasn't officially designated as a federal holiday until 1941, the actual tradition of celebrating Independence Day goes back to the time of the American Revolution (1775 – 1783). At the time of the American Revolution, representatives from the 13 colonies penned the resolution that ultimately declared their independence from Great Britain. The continental congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence on July 2nd of 1776. Two days later, Thomas Jefferson's famous document that is now known as the Declaration of Independence, was adopted by delegates representing the 13 colonies.

First States to Recognize the Fourth of July

In 1781, Massachusetts became the first state (or commonwealth) whose legislature resolved to designate July 4th as the date on which to celebrate the country's independence. Two years later, Boston became the first city to make an official designation to honor the country's birth with a holiday on July 4th. In that same year, North Carolina's governor, Alexander Martin, became the first governor to issue an official state order stipulating that July 4th was the day on which North Carolinians would celebrate the country's independence.

Fun Facts About the Fourth of July

  • The reason the stars on the original flag were arranged in a circle is because it was believed that would indicate that all of the colonies were equal.
  • Americans eat over 150 million hot dogs on July 4th.
  • Imports of fireworks each year totals over $211 million.
  • The first “official” Fourth of July party took place at the White House in 1801.
  • Benjamin Franklin didn't want the national bird to be the bald eagle. He believed that the turkey was better suited to the coveted distinction. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson disagreed with him, and he was outvoted, so the bald eagle became the official bird of the United States.

For many, the tradition is something entirely different. Along the coastal areas of the United States, people may haul out huge pots to have lobster or other types of seafood boils. Others may spend the day in the bleachers at a baseball game, or at a park, cooking a great traditional meal over an open fire. No matter how or where you celebrate, one thing is certain: all Americans celebrate July 4th as the birth and independence of our country.

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental wish you a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Dreaming of a stunning smile without using braces?

June 26th, 2015

Most of us aren’t born with a red carpet smile. And if you’ve thought about straightening your teeth but are apprehensive about doing so with traditional orthodontic treatment, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental want you to know there is another option – Invisalign®!

Invisalign is an ideal solution for most adults looking for a less noticeable way to achieve a better smile. In fact, Invisalign has increasingly become a very popular choice for adults looking for a more comfortable, convenient and cosmetically-appealing treatment for straightening their teeth.

Our team at Stefano Dental is proud to offer Invisalign, which uses a series of invisible, removable and comfortable aligners that no one can tell you’re wearing, which allows you to smile more during treatment, as well as after. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are also removable, so you can eat and drink what you want; brushing and flossing is easier with Invisalign than with traditional braces.

Invisalign’s aligners are also comfortable, with no metal to cause mouth abrasions during your treatment. And no metal and wires usually means you spend less time at our office getting adjustments. Invisalign also allows you to view your own virtual treatment plan when you start, so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete!

A consultation with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen can determine if Invisalign is right for you. We encourage you to give us a call at our friendly Sandusky, OH office if you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign or if you are ready to visit us for an initial consultation! We look forward to seeing you!

The Importance of Baby Teeth

June 19th, 2015

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team know it can be easy to underestimate the significance of baby teeth. At Stefano Dental, we sometimes meet parents who assume that since their child's baby teeth, also known as primary teeth, eventually fall out and are replaced, they are less important. But did you know baby teeth serve purposes other than biting, chewing, and digesting food properly?

Baby teeth are essential not only for your child’s language development, but they also serve other important functions, like contributing to the normal development of your child’s jaw bones and facial muscles. Baby teeth also reserve space for your child’s future permanent teeth.

So, when do baby teeth fall out?

A baby tooth is intended to remain in your child’s mouth until the permanent tooth underneath it is ready to take its place. Sometimes, either due to a tooth being knocked out accidentally or being removed because of tooth decay, kids lose baby teeth before the permanent teeth are ready to erupt. If a tooth is lost, the teeth on either side of the open space may possibly push into the open space. The result? There may not be enough room for the permanent tooth when it is finally ready to erupt.

If you have any questions about your toddler’s teeth, or if your child is experiencing issues that concern you, please give us a call to set up an appointment at our convenient Sandusky, OH office.

Dental Veneers

June 12th, 2015

Are you looking to improve the appearance of your front teeth? Dental veneers are widely used to improve the appearance of front teeth and are a much more conservative option than a full dental crown. Veneers can be used to improve the appearance of staining, large gaps, large fillings, chipped teeth, or overall shape. Veneers are a thin covering over the front and biting end of the tooth used to restore the beauty of a smile. Over the years we have helped many patients who opted for veneers and now have the confidence to smile again.

Dental veneers are made in a lab from long-lasting porcelain materials. The shade can be chosen to a desirable color to whiten the appearance of your smile. Dental veneers are usually placed on the anterior, or front teeth, where the chewing forces are not as hard as the back teeth. The process of placing veneers is relatively easy requiring only two dental appointments. In some cases, only one appointment is needed. It depends on the fabrication process.

The first appointment is to “prep” the teeth and take an impression to be sent to a lab to fabricate the veneers. Veneers are fairly conservative in the preparation as it requires a small amount of space to be created on the face (front), bottom, and sides of each tooth to allow space for the veneer to be placed and look natural. You will leave the office with temporary veneers for the next week or two while the permanent veneers are being made.

The second appointment is to place the veneers and make minor adjustments if needed. What a difference it makes in the appearance of the teeth! If you’re interested in learning more, give Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen a call today!

Healthy Summer Foods

June 5th, 2015

It’s summer—that wonderful time of year when fresh and delicious produce abounds. Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen 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.

Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?

May 29th, 2015

Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental get this question a lot. Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come in, once young people get their adult teeth. Because they are the last teeth to break through the gums, they are often called the third molars. There are four wisdom teeth: two on each side of the top and bottom of the mouth.

There is no hard-and-fast rule that says everyone must have the wisdom teeth removed. There are certain situations in which they either cause problems directly, or create a situation where there is a greater likelihood problems will arise eventually.

Impacted wisdom teeth

If Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team say you have a soft tissue impaction, it means your wisdom tooth is covered by gum tissue that is preventing it from erupting — most likely because your mouth is too small to provide the tooth with the room it needs to emerge.

The term “partial bony impaction” means that gum tissue is covering the wisdom tooth, but part of the jaw bone is also covering it, in which case there is no room in your mouth for the tooth to erupt. The opposite end of this spectrum is a complete bony impaction, where the wisdom tooth is completely covered by gum tissue and the jawbone, which prevent it from ever erupting.

The importance of removing impacted wisdom teeth

Dentists often want to remove impacted wisdom teeth because of the likelihood that they will cause problems, or because a problem already exists. One such problem is pericoronitis, an acute abscess that affects partially impacted wisdom teeth. Food, bacteria, and other mouth debris can become lodged under the gum flap that covers the wisdom tooth, which prevents it from erupting. Pericoronitis symptoms include pain, swelling, and the presence of an abscess.

Regular dental checkups will enable your dentist to keep an eye on your wisdom teeth, especially if they have some type of impaction. Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental typically recommend removal of impacted wisdom teeth because of the likelihood that severe infections such as pericoronitis will develop.

If you have any questions about wisdom teeth, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, please give us a call at our convenient Sandusky, OH office!

Memorial Day and Getting Ready for Summer

May 22nd, 2015

Memorial Day didn't become an official holiday until 1971, but Americans started gathering annually in the spring to remember those who lost their lives in war during the 1860s, right after the Civil War. Celebrated on the last Monday in May, people still decorate the grave sites of war veterans and hold memorial services, but Memorial Day has also evolved into a day that signifies the beginning of summer.

During the summer months, many people take road trips to visit family members. Some head off to the airport to enjoy a long-awaited vacation far away, while others look forward to spending time with friends and family at home. However you spend Memorial Day and the subsequent summer months, there are a few things you can take care of to ensure your summertime is enjoyable.

Checklist for an Enjoyable Summer

  • Have the AC Checked. During the hottest days of summer, many families find themselves sweating it out due to a broken air conditioning system. Be proactive so you can avoid waiting for hours or days because the HVAC repair person is booked solid. Have your air conditioning system checked before or around Memorial Day each year.
  • Ensure Security While You're Away. When you leave for vacation, the last thing you should have to worry about is the security of your home. Install a home security system, if possible, and put a timer on your lights so they go on and off at normal hours. You can also alert your local police department that you'll be gone, and ask them to drive by your house once in a while to make sure everything is okay.
  • Visit Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen Before Vacation. Many people put off exams until after summer vacation. Avoid the crowds and make sure your physical and oral health are in top shape prior to vacation time so there are no unpleasant surprises.

Our team at Stefano Dental wants you to look forward to Memorial Day and the days of summer by preparing to spend the time safely and comfortably. As you plan ahead, take care of your health and secure your home, you can place your focus on creating memories with family members and friends while enjoying your favorite Memorial Day traditions.

What’s the advantage to Invisalign®?

May 15th, 2015

Invisalign, which we happily provide at Stefano Dental, is a great alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment if you've been apprehensive about the thought of metal braces. During your initial visit, the first thing we do is take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.

Invisalign treatment, which consists of a series of aligners that you switch out approximately every couple of weeks, can help patients with crowded teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites and more. Invisalign gradually shifts your teeth into place, creating the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted. During treatment with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, patients wear the aligners all day and night, except for during meals and when they’re brushing and flossing; cleaning your teeth and eating are a snap since you can easily remove your aligners! And because they’re clear, no one will know that your teeth are steadily straightening!

To find out if you are the right candidate for Invisalign treatment, we invite you to give us a call at our convenient Sandusky, OH office and schedule a consultation.

Wishing all our moms a happy Mother’s Day!

May 8th, 2015

"Motherhood: All love begins and ends there." - Robert Browning

We would like to take this moment to thank all the great moms out there for being so great during their child’s visits to Stefano Dental. Whether it’s driving their kids to regularly scheduled appointments or for “being there” while their child is treatment, the moms who come to our office are all stellar individuals, so Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our entire staff would like you to know that we appreciate you all!

Happy Mother’s Day and enjoy your special day!

May Marks National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

May 1st, 2015

The merry month of May also happens to be National Fitness and Sports Month, so take advantage of the warmer days to get outside and exercise! Bringing a friend, family member, or coworker with you when you go for a brisk walk during a lunch break can provide an opportunity to socialize as well as health benefits. If you need a little more motivation, here are some good reasons to stay active and fit.

Exercise provides:

  • Improved stamina and energy as well as toned muscles and bone strength and density
  • Improved circulation and breathing for a healthier heart and lungs
  • Reduced risk for Type 2 diabetes and certain forms of cancer
  • For older adults, regular exercise may help improve balance and reduce the risk of falls as well as improved cognitive abilities

Children and Teens

Children and teenagers spend long hours at their desks in school, on the computer, watching television, and involved in other sedentary activities that result in obesity and poor health later in life. Getting them engaged in school or community sports teams can help them form good life-long exercise habits. One important note: If they are participating in contact sports, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental recommend your kids wear an approved mouthguard to protect those valuable teeth from injury! Ask us for a proper fitting of your safety appliance during your next visit!

A gym membership is nice but not necessary to stay fit; try these easy ways to work some exercise into your daily routine.

At Home

  • Take a friend along for company on a walk through your neighborhood.
  • Pursue gardening or other yard work, including mowing or raking.
  • Take your kids on a bike ride or have them push a baby stroller around the block.

Couch potatoes take note: simply moving from the sofa to the floor for some sit-ups, leg-lifts, or push-ups while you’re watching television can help you get in better shape in no time.

At Work

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Take exercise breaks for walks around the building or parking lot.
  • Walk or ride a bike to work.

So what are you waiting for? Get moving!

For more information on exercise techniques, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, please give us a call at our convenient Sandusky, OH office!

Spring Cleaning For Your Smile (Smiles For Life)

April 29th, 2015

WITH WHITE CLOTHES, SOMETIMES IT TAKES a little bleach and a little sunlight to bring them back to their beautiful brightness! The same goes for your smile!

Your teeth may not feel the same as a cotton t-shirt feels, but they ARE porous, and they absorb the food colors that you eat each day.

Daily Living Can Dull Your Smile
Drinks like coffee, red wine, and dark fruit juices tint your smile. Berries, brightly colored candy, even soy sauce and curries will stain teeth too. Pigmentation from things we consume every day gradually build up and cause us to have dull, stained teeth.

Is It Time For A Spring Cleaning?
The problem with these set-in stains is that they need more than elbow grease. Brushing and cleaning your teeth, however thorough a job you do, won’t bring back that beautiful white you used to have. And while over-the-counter tooth whiteners can help, the best way to get a dazzling, bright smile in a safe and healthy way is to come see a dentist.

At Stefano Dental we offer a custom tray whitening system that utilizes Opalescence Bleach.  The custom trays we create for you will last a lifetime, which allows for easy and convenient touch ups at home! The whitening process is extremely comfortable, however if you do experience some sensitivity we do offer Relief gel to ensure the process continues to be comfortable for you.  This system will brighten your smile by 2 shades in 2-3 days and depending on your starting point you can see final results in just 3-4 weeks.

Your Gorgeous White Smile Also Helps Children In Need
Your timing is perfect, because we’re doing our Smiles For Life Campaign! When you get your smile whitened you also help children locally and around the world.

Here’s How It Works:

Help More Kids By Helping Us Spread The Word!
Whether you choose to have your own smile whitened or not, you can make a HUGE difference for seriously ill and underserved children around the world by simply sharing this opportunity on your trusted social networks such as Facebook!

How long do dental implants last?

April 24th, 2015

The average dental implant can last a lifetime if taken care of properly. In fact, studies have shown that the success rate of implants after ten years is about 90%! Of course, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team know that the better you care for your implant, the longer it will last.

There are a few factors that must be taken into consideration, when you are considering dental implants. These factors all play a role in how long your dental implants will last.

  • Bone Structure – You must have enough bone in your mouth for the implants to be inserted. Over time, the bone can wear down and become too thin or to short. In cases, where you may have just enough bone for the implants, over the years, the bone will continue to become smaller and thinner and the implants will not last nearly as long as the suggested minimum of ten years.
  • Healthy Gums – Diseased gums will not support dental implants for very long. It is important to maintain regular dental visits to maintain your healthy gums.
  • Good Oral Hygiene – Just because your implants are not your “real” teeth, doesn't mean you don't have to take care of them. That means brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleanings.

Bone structure, healthy gums, and good oral hygiene all play a crucial role in the length of time your dental implants will last. Whether you have full dental implants, partial implants, or a single tooth implant. The bottom line is you have to take care of them if you want them to last as long as possible.

For more tips on how to maintain the health of your dental implant, visit our Sandusky, OH office!

Make Every Day Earth Day

April 17th, 2015

Earth Day began in 1970 as an event to raise awareness of our environment. What began as a single day in April is now recognized around the world to bring attention and education to global environmental issues. Conserving our natural resources, reducing water and air pollution, and developing green technologies are all ways in which we can improve the environment around us.

Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse

One of the easiest ways to participate in Earth Day is by simply reducing the amount of refuse that ends up in landfills. Many communities have recycling programs for paper, plastic, and metal refuse. By keeping recyclable items out of landfills, we reduce the need for new disposal space and the amount of energy needed for burning refuse. Recycling products also helps conserve the resources that are used in making new products.

You can save money by reducing your consumption of many everyday products. Single disposable water bottles can be recycled but they are costly. By using filtered faucet water, you can conserve your financial resources. Disposable paper towels can also be wasteful. Consider reusable cleaning rags for the majority of your chores.

Reusing items saves both the environment and your finances. A large number of products can be re-purposed to create a new item. Old furniture can be remade into a new piece. Old clothing can be used for craft items. If you are not able to find ways to reuse your old items, donate them to a charity. Remember to continue your positive environmental steps on a daily basis.

Other things you can do to improve the environment

Everyone, young or old, can find ways to participate in improving the environment. Some ideas include:

  • Planting trees
  • Picking up litter
  • Reducing energy consumption
  • Walking, bicycling, or carpooling to work or school
  • Disposing of hazardous waste properly
  • Using rain barrels to conserve water for plants

Earth Day is designed to appreciate and celebrate the health of the earth. Keeping the earth healthy is important, but keeping your mouth healthy is important, too. Healthy teeth and gums contribute to your overall health and well-being, so remember to call our team at Stefano Dental to schedule an appointment. Have a happy and healthy Earth Day, from Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen!

Top Five Reasons to Choose Veneers

April 10th, 2015

If you notice every imperfection in your smile and you are aiming for a more ideal-looking smile, veneers might be for you. Veneers are common tools in cosmetic dentistry for improving the look of your teeth. They are thin layers, either made of resin composite or dental porcelain, that go over your teeth. If you are considering dental veneers, these five reasons to choose them may help persuade you.

1. They hide imperfections.

The basis of cosmetic dentistry is providing an attractive smile, and veneers are designed to hide imperfections such as chipped, uneven, or badly aligned teeth. With veneers, teeth are even and uniformly colored.

2. They are durable.

Dental veneers can last for a decade to up to 30 years, so you do not need to continually go back to our Sandusky, OH office to replace them. On average, veneers last longer than standard fillings.

3. You can get the process done quickly.

Often, you can get a full set of dental veneers in a three visits and within a few weeks. The first appointment is a consultation to evaluate your teeth and plan your treatment. At the next visit, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team prepare your teeth for veneers and take an impression of your teeth so the laboratory can custom-make your veneers. During the final visit, we bond the new veneers to the surfaces of your teeth.

4. They can whiten the appearance of your teeth.

Coffee, smoking, excessive fluoride, and certain drugs can yellow your teeth over time. Dental veneers can be colored to have a bright white appearance so your teeth appear noticeably whiter. This can be especially beneficial for individuals whose teeth are naturally off-white and do not respond well to bleach-based whitening treatments.

5. They can fix minor dental problems.

Dental veneers are not solely cosmetic. They can improve a variety of dental concerns, such as teeth with uneven spaces. They can hide the appearance of chipped and broken teeth, and make more even teeth that are worn down, spaced unevenly, or shaped irregularly. Since Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen can manufacture the veneers to match your natural tooth color, these thin layers are more attractive than unsightly fixes such as metal fillings.

April is National Facial Protection Month

April 3rd, 2015

The Importance of Facial Protection

Americans from all walks of life should mark April as National Facial Protection Month on their calendars. The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, Academy for Sports Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have combined forces to sponsor this annual campaign, which aims to educate and remind us of the importance of protecting our face and teeth against impacts and injuries.

Wearing a helmet can save your life and prevent devastating physical damage in a variety of situations, from playing football to riding a bicycle. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, helmets reduce the risk of various head injuries by as much as 85 percent. Whether helmet laws apply in your area or not, Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and our team at Stefano Dental want you to make sure you and your loved ones wear helmets with the appropriate safety ratings for specific activities. (A sticker on or inside the helmet will usually indicate this rating.) Helmets can also help save your teeth if they come with an attached faceguard, an essential addition for football players and others involved in contact sports.

Preventing Dental Injuries

A mouthguard can protect you against a variety of dental injuries, such as cracked, broken, or knocked-out teeth. The American Dental Association states that mouthguards play an essential role in preventing up to 200,000 dental injuries each year, and many states mandate their use for sports activities such as football and hockey. The Academy for Sports Dentistry warns, however, that these mouthguards must be custom-fitted as precisely as possible to prove effective. Have a professional-quality mouthguard molded and fitted by our team at Stefano Dental for better protection than a generic store-bought or “boil-and-bite” variety can offer. These cheaper versions tend to wear out quickly, interfere with proper breathing, and provide uneven degrees of cushion against impacts. Always have a fresh mouthguard fitted for each new sports season.

Choose the right combination of helmet, faceguard, and mouthguard to protect your teeth and face this April, and tell your friends to do the same! To learn more about mouthguards, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, please give us a call at our convenient Sandusky, OH office!

The Clear Benefits of Invisalign®

March 27th, 2015

Straighter teeth is something many people desire. A nice smile is one of the most attractive things about a person. However, wearing a mouth full of braces for two, three, or more years can be a major pain, both literally and figuratively.

Luckily, there is another option. Invisalign is an alternative to traditional braces. Learn more about the benefits Invisalign offers and why you should consider this exciting method of straightening teeth.

  • When you have straight teeth, your mouth is healthier in general and there is less chance of tooth decay and gum disease. Invisalign makes it possible for more people to straighten their teeth.
  • Invisalign is essentially invisible. You can straighten your teeth without unsightly metal in your mouth.
  • The average cost is similar to that of traditional braces, which makes it affordable for many families.
  • With Invisalign, the aligner trays are smooth and comfortable to wear. Traditional metal braces can be uncomfortable and cause irritation to the mouth.
  • Invisalign is removable, so you do not have to wear the system during special occasions, or when you’re eating. With normal metal braces, you are stuck with them for the entire straightening process.
  • Brushing and flossing are simple. Since the system is removable, you can brush and floss just like normal.

As you can see, Invisalign is an exciting option we provide at Stefano Dental for those who want straighter teeth. If this is something that sounds interesting to you, talk to Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen and find out if it would work for your particular situation. Get started today, and before you know it you will be enjoying your straighter teeth.

For more information about Invisalign, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen, please give us a call at our convenient Sandusky, OH office today!

What are the advantages of dental implants?

March 20th, 2015

Losing a tooth can affect a lot more than just the look of your smile. Missing teeth affect your ability to chew and can also cause problems for your other teeth. It is essential to replace missing teeth in order to maintain oral health as well as your overall well-being. Dental implants are an excellent option to replace your natural tooth and its root without affecting your neighboring teeth, and are available from Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen.

Why choose dental implants?

There are many reasons to choose dental implants to replace your lost or damaged teeth. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, dental implants are often considered more predictable than other treatment options and are known to provide long-term successful outcomes.

Dental implants provide many benefits over other treatments such as bridgework and dentures:

  • Unlike other treatment options for missing teeth, dental implants allow Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen to replace your tooth without impacting the healthy teeth surrounding the space.
  • Dental implants also protect healthy bone by preventing potential bone loss and deterioration in the jaw.
  • This treatment option allows you to speak and eat normally without worrying about slippery or uncomfortable removable dentures.
  • The closest thing to natural teeth, dental implants allow you to maintain your smile and natural face shape.
  • These implants are built to last, providing you with a long-term solution to missing teeth.

Overall, dental implants are the next best thing to natural, healthy teeth. Choosing to undergo surgery to replace your lost or damaged teeth is an important decision. To avoid the issues caused by lost teeth, consult Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen or visit our Sandusky, OH office to see if you are a candidate for dental implants.

St. Patrick's Day

March 13th, 2015

On March 17, everyone has a little Irish in them. St. Patrick’s Day is a joyous celebration of Irish heritage. The holiday originated as a commemoration of Saint Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland. The saint arrived in Ireland in 432 and earned the reputation of a champion of Irish Christianity. March 17th, the day of St. Patrick’s death, has been commemorated by the Irish for over 1,000 years. St. Patrick’s Day is still observed as a religious feast day by several Christian denominations, but it is better known in the public imagination as a rich celebration of Irish culture.

St. Patrick’s Day has been an official public holiday in Ireland since 1903. Each year, the Irish celebrate with a several-day festival that includes theater performances, music, fireworks, and festive parades. The celebration is also a public holiday in Northern Ireland, Montserrat, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In other parts of the world with heavy Irish populations, it is an unofficial celebration of Irish heritage. Parts of Great Britain, Canada, Argentina, South Korea, Switzerland, New Zealand, the United States, and Australia commemorate the holiday each year. Typical celebrations in these countries include drinking green beer, wearing green, eating traditional Irish foods, parades, and shamrock decorations.

Many people, Irish and non-Irish alike, take part in the “wearing of the green” on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, the color originally associated with Saint Patrick was blue. His use of shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish made the green clover emblematic of the holiday, leading to the traditional green attire worn by thousands on St. Patrick’s Day. Other little-known facts about St. Patrick’s Day include the following:

  • Each year, the United States and Ireland face off in a rugby competition called the “St. Patrick’s Day Test.”
  • Montreal celebrates the holiday with an annual parade, which has been held each year since 1824. The Montreal city flag even features a shamrock in its corner, as a nod to its Irish heritage.
  • The Guinness World Records named St. Patrick’s Day the “Friendliest Day of the Year.”
  • Along with Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most widely celebrated saint’s day in the world.

No matter your cultural heritage, St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to let loose and celebrate your inner Irish-ness! Don your greenest attire and exclaim “Erin go Bragh!” (Ireland forever!) to everyone you meet. From Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen - have a great St. Paddy’s day!

Our Smiles For Life Campaign Helps Children’s Charities

March 11th, 2015

MARCH THRU JUNE our practice is raising donations for children’s charities through the Smiles For Life program. We’re honored and excited to participate in such a worthy cause! 100% of the donations we raise go to the Smiles For Life Foundation to benefit children in need, with 50% benefiting a local charity of our choice—helping kids in OUR community.

We are partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters for this event. The reason we have chosen Big Brothers Big Sisters is because we understand how important mentors are in childrens' lives.  The old adage is it takes a village to raise a child and our children are all our futures.  By giving them hope and nurturing them, we can empower them to become positive adults and role models for future generations.  So we are paying it forward in hopes they will too!

Here’s How Smiles For Life Works:

  1. You schedule an appointment to get your teeth professionally whitened between March 1 and June 30.
  2. Ultradent donates the whitening materials to our practice.
  3. Our practice donates our time to professionally whiten your teeth.
  4. 100% of the proceeds goes to the Smiles For Life Foundation of our choice, Big Brothers Big Sisters of

Good Nutrition Leads to Healthy Mouths

March 6th, 2015

At Stefano Dental, we know the most common oral health diseases are tooth decay and periodontal disease (or gum disease), and both are among the easiest to prevent. One of the most common ways we recommend to boost your oral health is by improving your diet, because you (and your mouth) truly are what you eat. A healthy diet can lead to a healthy mouth and body, while an unhealthy diet can lead to the exact opposite.

The Role Nutrition Plays

While diet is not the only factor that leads to periodontal disease, studies suggest the disease may be more severe among patients whose diets lack essential nutrients. Poor diets will generally lead to a weaker immune system, leaving your body susceptible to all kinds of ailments, including periodontal disease.

A Well-Balanced Approach

There is no “magic” diet that we can recommend to improve your oral health, but the most important thing is to seek a well-balanced approach in your eating. While fad diets that emphasize one food group over another may help you lose weight in the short-term, they probably will not provide all the nutrients your body needs in the long run.

Meals should include a balance of lean meats or other healthy protein sources, colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats. Foods containing substantial amounts of sugar and salt should be consumed in moderation.

Soda and Sugar: A Dangerous Duo

Millions of gallons of soda are consumed every day in America, but sipping a cold soft drink can be very harmful to your teeth. Many of these beverages wear down the enamel that protects the teeth, which weakens and even destroys them over time. The American Beverage Association estimates that soft drinks account for almost 30 percent of all drink consumption in the U.S., averaging an annual total of about 50 gallons per person (up from only 20 gallons in the 1970s). For healthy teeth and a healthy body overall, try to limit your soda intake.

Sugar is another ubiquitous treat in our daily lives. When we eat sugar, naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths convert it to acids that attack tooth enamel. Consuming too much sugar can swiftly lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum diseases like gingivitis. Most people do not even realize how much sugar they consume each day. It’s important to limit your daily sugar intake by reading the labels of all the food you eat, and sticking with natural food sources that are low in sugar, especially ones that minimize added sugar, such as fruits and vegetables.

If you have questions about your diet and how it may be affecting your oral health, talk to Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen about it. See you soon!

How to Care for Your Invisalign® Aligners

February 27th, 2015

Is it possible to straighten the teeth without braces? Yes, it is. Welcome to the world of Invisalign aligners. Invisalign aligners are made from a clear, thermoplastic material that is custom made to fit your teeth. Unlike conventional braces, Invisalign aligners are removable. More importantly, the clear thermoplastic material makes the aligners invisible, which is ideal if the thought of metal braces and elastics make you self-conscious. For the best results, proper handling and care of your Invisalign aligners is important. Follow these steps to take care of your aligners:

1. Do not eat or drink hot beverages while wearing aligners. It's a good idea to get in the practice of removing the aligners before eating and drinking. Because the aligners are made of plastic resin, heat can distort and damage them. Also, eating while wearing the aligners will cause sugar and other food particles to stay on your teeth, which contributes to plaque and tooth decay.

2. Clean the aligner trays regularly. Invisalign aligners are exposed to the same bacteria and plaque that your mouth is, so you need to clean them as regularly as you clean your teeth. However, avoid cleaning the aligners with harsh chemicals. We recommend using a cleaning kit or some other type of specific solution. When it comes to cleaning Invisalign aligners, carefully follow the instructions given by Dr. Lata Stefano and Dr. Alexis Klassen.

3. Store aligners in a cool, dry, safe place. When you’re not wearing the aligners, store them in the case provided by our office. If you don’t use the case, they can easily be lost. Keeping them out of reach of small children and pets is also a good idea. The last thing you want is for Fido to think your Invisalign aligners are chew toys.

4. Don’t chew gum while wearing aligners. There’s one thing that conventional braces and Invisalign aligners have in common: chewing gum damages both of them.

5. Don’t soak aligners in mouthwash. Many popular mouthwashes contain a color pigment. It’s possible that soaking Invisalign aligners in mouthwash will tint or stain them.

For more tips and tricks for a successful Invisalign experience, contact our Sandusky, OH office!

Kitchen's Bounty

May 30th, 2012

THANK YOU to our Amazing Team!
Because our team members continually strive to exceed our patient’s expectations, Dr. Stefano wanted to show her appreciation by taking the entire team to dinner at The Kitchen’s Bounty. Once again, THANK YOU to our incredibly hard working and dedicated team who makes our office exceptional daily!

Fresh Look

May 16th, 2012

Have you noticed our new office logo? We are so proud to reveal our fresh look! You can also check us out on twitter:  @stefanodental and our facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lata-Stefano-DDS-Inc/165596523671

Half Off Bleaching in May

May 16th, 2012

We celebrate our mothers in May! Show her how much you appreciate her with the gift of a beautiful smile. Our custom bleaching trays and professional bleaching kit are half off for the entire month of May!
Our bleaching system can be completed in as little as two visits, call for your appointment today!

Meet "BLING!"

May 16th, 2012

Meet our newly named front desk pal: “Bling!”  (Blue + Wing)

The “Name Our Buttterfly” contest has come to a grand finale!  After reviewing almost twenty different suggestions and much deliberation, Cam A. admission was finally chosen as our winner! Congratulations to Cam A. who will receive a FREE SONICARE for their winning submission!

Implant

May 16th, 2012

In order to provide our patients with the most advanced dental options, Dr. Stefano and two of our team members attended a surgical implant course at the Midwest Implant Institute at the end of April. Implants have the look and feel of natural teeth and are one of our top recommendations for tooth replacement. If you are interested in a complimentary consultation, please give our office a call!

Firelands Montessori Toddler Talk

March 21st, 2012

Yesterday Dr. Sharp visited the Firelands Monetessouri Academy Toddler class to encourage little ones to have healthy tooth brushing habits! Thanks to Ms. Alana for the wonderful pictures!

ZONTA Red Lip Auction to sponsor Make A Smile

March 21st, 2012

   Earlier this month Dr. Stefano sponsored a table at ZONTA’s Red Lip Auction, which was the main fundraiser for the Make a Smile Program! This program helps fund dental work for women and children in the local community. Thanks, Doc we had a great time for a great cause! — at Sandusky Yacht Club.

March 21st, 2012

Thank you Dr. Stefano for taking us out to lunch for Dental Team Appreciation Week!

January 18th, 2012

To those beautiful brides marrying in 2012, come join Dr. Patricia Sharp at the annual Brides by the Bay bridal show, Sunday, January 22nd from 12:30to 4:00pm. There will be a fashion show, bridal vendors, and we will be talking with prospective brides about getting that amazing smile for their big day! Come by and see us!

January 18th, 2012

We are so proud of Dr. Stefano for being nominated for the 2011 Sandusky Register Award! This award recognizes area residents who have made selfless, voluntary contributions to their communities, the winners of which receive a two hundred dollar donation to the charity of their choice. Congrats on your nomination, doc!

January 4th, 2012

Get that professional snow white smile for the New Year for HALF the cost until Jan. 31st!  This is a significant savings on our reusable custom bleaching trays and professional strength gel! Come in and brighten your smile today!

December 28th, 2011

We had an amazing time at this year’s Christmas party! Dr. Stefano makes it a point to have a nice year end get together to thank the staff, and we are so appreciative! Thanks doc, for a wonderful meal and a great time! 


December 28th, 2011

We constantly strive to improve our patient service, and in doing so we had our annual plan meeting! We take time out of our busy schedule to brainstorm ways to make our office a more patient friendly place. As part of a team building exercise to improve communication, we had to build marshmallow structures within a certain time frame. Congrats to the winners, whose careful planning got them the first choice prize! ( a pair of Christmas socks!)  

Congrats to Nicole and Brad!

December 21st, 2011

Congratulations to Nicole, our patient relations expert at the front desk, and Brad on their wedding last fall! We snapped this photo during her bridal shower before the big day.  We wish you two a lifetime of happiness together! 

December 16th, 2011

Thank you to Montie and Brittany for putting up our holiday tree and making our office feel festive! Merry Christmas everyone!

December 16th, 2011


CONGRATULAIONS to Rene R. who won our Victory Kitchen Food Drive Raffle! Rene won a $75 gift certificate for a turkey dinner by bringing in a canned good!

If you missed out last month, you still have an opportunity to help our local community by donating to our TOYS FOR TOTS Drive! So we may thank you for your gift, we’ll enter your name for a chance to win a FREE BLEACH system! Come in and drop off a new toy today!

Get the latest news in our office! “Like” us on Facebook, or “Follow” us on Twitter!

Fire Safety First!

August 2nd, 2011

Thank you Firefighter Keith from the Perkins Fire Dept. for giving us our Fire Safety update this past week! We had a great cookout too- thanks Jim! No fires to put out but if there was one- we'd know what to do!

April 22nd, 2011

Celebrating Mothers in May You’ve just made a valuable investment in your child’s dental health. With proper care, their straight teeth and healthy smile will last a lifetime…

Now it’s your turn to have a beautiful smile!

Moms . . . you have been thinking about Invisalign; now take advantage of this special opportunity.Dr. Stefano is having an Invisalign Month for Mothers. Make your appointment today and you could qualify for the following:

-$200 off your Invisalign treatment

-FREE whitening with Invisalign treatment

-FREE Sonicare toothbrush

Call today to schedule your visit for a complimentary consultation. Visit us on www. Stefanodental.com and Like us on Facebook “Lata Stefano DDS Inc”. 419-626-2205

Congratulations to Gary O., Winner of a FREE SONICARE!

April 6th, 2011

So we can provide the absolute best in patient care, we have invited our patients to give us feedback with our patient comment cards. We carefully read each one and diligently strive to implement patient suggestions. Those who mentioned their name were entered into a raffle for a FREE SONICARE! Gary was our lucky winner last month, Congratulations!

April 6th, 2011

Take time during April Showers to Stop and Smell the Flowers

While We Care for You…

Our April in Office Promotion: $10 off

Nitrous Oxide Sedation = Relaxation!

Nitrous Oxide remains one of the most effective tools in the dental office for relieving anxiety during appointments. Nitrous Oxide is safe enough even for small children, and its effects are reversed almost immediately after exhaling. We want even the most apprehensive patients to have a comfortable experience, if you are nervous in the dental chair, ask one of our assistants about Nitrous Oxide today!

2011 Boys and Girls Club Health Fair

April 6th, 2011

Last month Dr. Sharp participated in the Boys and Girls Club Annual Health Fair. Our office gave away toothbrushes, toothpaste, and sticker books and educated little kids on their oral health. Besides from having lost of fun, we are always proud to support our local community!

2011 Women of Excellence Award

April 6th, 2011

We are so proud of Dr. Stefano! She was recognized by Zonta, a professional group of women advancing the status of women internationally, as one of the 2011 winners of the Women of Excellence Award! The Volunteer Center of Erie County celebrated this event with a reception at the Kalahari on March 20th, and we were there to support her and honor all her volunteer work for our local community. Congratulations Doc!

Congratulations to LISA H.!

March 4th, 2011

She entered her email address at either our Readers Choice Awards Ceremony or Bridal Expo at Lyman Harbor table clinics and won a FREE ORAL B SMART SERIES 5000 ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH! You too could win FREE STUFF, just sign up to receive our e-newsletter, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or E-blogger! Congrats again Lisa!

March Madness! Go Mad for Nitrous Oxide and Just Relaxxx.......zzzzz

March 4th, 2011

Nitrous Oxide remains one of the most effective tools in the dental office for relieving anxiety during appointments. Nitrous Oxide is safe enough even for small children, and its effects are reversed almost immediately after exhaling. We want even the most apprehensive patients to have a comfortable experience, if you are nervous in the dental chair, ask one of our assistants about Nitrous Oxide today!

Meet our New Friday Hygienist: Kelli Rodriguez-Laws

March 4th, 2011

Kelli Rodriguez-Laws received her dental hygiene degree at El Paso Community College in El Paso, TX. She has been in practice for 16 years and is licensed in 3 states. Kelli received her certification to administer local anesthesia in 2003 from Detroit Mercy Dental School. Her passions include working as a youth minister with the St. Peter's Jr. High Youth Group, reading books on leadership development and personal growth, and spending time relaxing with her husband and 3 children.

Congratulations Cristin Apling for Passing the Certified Preventive Dental Assistant Exam!

January 5th, 2011

We are so proud of Cristin Apling for passing the Certified Preventive Dental Assistant Exam! She is now certified by the Dental Assisting Board in coronal polishing, sealants, topical fluoride and topical anesthetic placement.

We are excited to have Cristin as part of our dental team!

New Year, New You!

January 5th, 2011

Get that healthy and beautiful smile you’ve always wanted!
Invisalign Month is February
You have been thinking about Invisalign; now take advantage of this special opportunity. Dr. Stefano is having an Invisalign Month. Call today to schedule an appointment and you can qualify for the following:
- $200 off your Invisalign treatment
- FREE whitening with Invisalign treatment
- FREE Sonicare toothbrush
Space is limited; call 419-626-2205 today to schedule your visit for a complimentary consultation.
Also visit us on www. Stefanodental.com and Like us on FacebookLata Stefano DDS Inc”.

Halloween Fun at the Office!

November 3rd, 2010

Congrats to our front desk gal, Nancy for winning our Costume Contest! She dressed as the little pig from the car commercial that says "weeeeeeeeeee, weeeeeeee" out the car window. At least she gets points for originality! Only one vote separated her from our hygienist, Erin, who dressed up as Dr. Stefano. Half of the office mistook Erin for Dr. Stefano at least once that day! Pretty great costumes ladies, thanks for all of your Halloween Spirit!


Halloween Happenings 2010 at Double S Industries Inc.

October 29th, 2010

Thank you to Brittany who showed her support for our office by dressing up as a "Tooth Fairy Assistant" and handing out stickers, plastic spiders, and pencils to little kiddies with Dr. Sharp!

(No candy from our dental office!)

Pumpkin Time!

October 22nd, 2010

Here' s our pumpkin on display at the office, compliments of Dr. Sharp's hard work!

Girls Night Out 2010

October 21st, 2010

Girls Night Out is a charity event to raise funds for Cancer Services, Fisher-Titus Mammography Fund, Firelands Regional Medical Center Cancer Program Fund, and North Coast Cancer Foundation. Dr. Stefano is an active member of Cancer Services and sponsored a table for our office to attend the event. We had a great time together, enjoying the food, live entertainment, and silent auction. We also checked out the "Bra's for a Cause", had a great time popping pink balloons for charity, and cheered during "Deal or No Deal." All in all a fabulous evening!




CONGRATULATIONS!

October 20th, 2010

Congratulations to Tracie H., Julie G., and Sarah K., who all won FREE bleaching through our office. Tracie and Julie won through our Facebook Fans bleaching raffle , and Sarah won our email bleaching raffle. Congratulations to all off you on your new, bright smiles!

Our Boston Office Trip

October 15th, 2010




Office Makeover

September 15th, 2010

Our office has recently received a face lift! Come in and see the changes yourself! In order to make your visit a more comfortable one, we’ve also added televisions to every operatory. Feel free to sit back and relax, and let us take care of you!


Fire Safety First!

July 27th, 2010

Today we were happy to have Fire Fighter Keith from the Perkins Township Fire Department come to our office and educate us on the ins and outs of fire safety. We learned our ABC's of the different kinds of fires: Class A fires are for items that turn into ASH, such as wood, cloth, paper, and rubber, Class B fires are for items that BOIL, like oils, grease, and paints, and lastly Class C fires are electrical ones that start from a CURRENT. We all remember PASS, Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep for fire extinguisher use. We each had an opportunity to practice using a water pressure fire extinguisher to put out a real fire. In order for us to be prepared in case of a fire, we all also practiced our fire drill to mobilize the office and get everyone to saftey. It was definitely an educational day at the office!

Intraoral Dental Cameras are IN!

July 21st, 2010

It’s an exciting time in our office, and we pride ourselves by using the most advanced technology available in order to give our patients the highest quality dental care. Recently we are proud to announce the addition of intraoral cameras in all of our opperatories. A picture is a thousand words, and these cameras will allow patients see for themselves any areas of concern. We hope this will be a valuable tool to educate our patients about their dental care.


Bleaching Raffle Winners!

July 1st, 2010

We are happy to announce that the winners of the Facebook Fan Bleaching Raffle are Tom B. and Scott T.! They each won free bleaching for entering their email address to receive quarterly newsletter updates from the office, as well as become our Facebook Fans! If you worried that you missed our bleach raffle don't fret! We will be holding another giveaway later this year on September 30th. Congrats to the winners!

Chillin' and Grillin'!

June 30th, 2010

Today was an exceptionally beautiful day for a picnic and the office had a moment during lunchtime to enjoy the weather. Thanks Dr. Stefano for picking a perfect day to eat outside! Dr. Stefano's husband, Jim, grilled up some amazing burgers and dogs for the staff lunch, but Lee gets credit for the yummy deviled eggs! We all had a great time soaking up the sun, thanks, Doc. for the outdoor treat!





Incredible T-Shirts

June 26th, 2010






They are here! Our office now has a t-shirts! Please give us a call if you are interested in getting one: (419)-626-2205.

Bleach Raffle Coming Up!

June 19th, 2010

We are excited to announce that our bleach raffle will be held on June 30th! Those of you who entered your name to become Facebook Fans at the office will get the chance to win free tooth whitening! There's still time to enter, just come to the office and fill out your name and email address to become our Facebook Fans.

Good luck to all those who entered!

Proud of our Dental Assistants

June 10th, 2010

We are proud of our dental assistants, Cristin, Lee, and Colleen for becoming board certified dental assistants! This honor is only given to those exceptional assistants who pass a rigourous national exam. All restorative dental procedures call for a two person team and Certified Dental Assistants, or CDA's for short, are an integral part of 'four handed dentsitry.' They directly assist the dentist, take x-rays, and offer their comfort and support. We are very proud to have them at our office. Congratulations to all of you!

Dentistry From the Heart: A Success!

June 9th, 2010

Our Dentistry From the Heart last Fri, June 4th went off without a hitch! We were successfully able to provide exams, cleanings, and x-rays to over sixty members of our community! We'd like to extend a warm thank you to all our sponsors which made this event possible:
Dresch

Marconi’s Italian Restaurant

Benco

Phillips Sonicare

Construction Equipment Supply

Crest/Oral B

Tatem Marketing

Pierre’s Quick Print

O E Meyer

Brent Fantozzi Photography

Glidewell

Derby Dental

Panera Bread

We would also like thank our staff and all the volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this even happen. We appreciate all your effort!

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