What’s With the Sticky Fluoride?

We have recently made the switch in the way we administer our fluoride treatment at the end of every cleaning appointment! We have shifted away from the standard fluoride foam and gel in the trays to a new paint-on, or fluoride varnish, type of application. Fluoride varnish is a gel that is applied with a small soft brush to the sides and chewing surfaces of your teeth.

Fluoride varnish is becoming the preferred method for delivery of professional fluoride treatments. Research has shown that fluoride applied directly to teeth is important for fighting decay. It is proven safe and effective, and is easy to use. It sets quickly on the teeth, and gagging and swallowing is unusual. We are finding that patients are more comfortable and accepting of fluoride varnish than with standard trays, making it perfect for patients of any age.

Advantages of fluoride varnish:
• Quickly applied, takes less than a minute
• You can eat and drink immediately after (with a few minor exceptions)
• Your own saliva sets up the fluoride and sets it on the teeth
• Ingestion is very minimal
• Helps to decrease tooth sensitivity
• No large trays needed
• Can be applied to ALL ages

Disadvantages of fluoride varnish:
• No brushing or flossing for 4-6 hours after application
• May make the teeth feel a somewhat fuzzy initially, but most people find it tolerable

Fluoride varnish offers many advantages over tray applications. All in all, fluoride has been dentistry’s greatest success in preventing dental caries. So what are you waiting for? Try the fluoride varnish at your next cleaning appointment and join the others who won’t use anything else!

Summertime Treats for Healthy Teeth

Need some ideas for end of summer treats that aren’t tough on teeth? Instead of keeping cool with ice cream and popsicles – which can leave teeth vulnerable to sugar attacks that increase the risk of tooth decay – consider satisfying your sweet tooth with fruit!
Give these fruits a try this summer:
• Strawberries are full of vitamin C. Vitamin C is required for the production of collagen, a protein that maintains gums strength and integrity. Vitamin C also helps reduce plaque and remove surface stains on teeth.

• Apples are a low-acid and fibrous fruit. This high-fiber fruit has a scrubbing effect, literally cleansing the surface of your teeth as you eat, working to brush the bacteria away. Apples are also a water-rich fruit that stimulate saliva production, which keeps oral bacteria in check.

• Watermelons have high water content and are packed with vitamin C. The water helps remove excess food particles stuck in and around your teeth. And it will keep you hydrated during the hot summer months! Vitamin C helps kill bacteria in the mouth and strengthen gum tissues, which may help prevent gum disease.

Stock your fridge with smile-friendly fruits. And try to consume fresh fruit instead of fruit juices. Whole fruit has less sugar and more fiber and nutrients than fruit juices.
Don’t forget to keep up your good oral health routine this summer and we recommend drinking a glass of water after meals and snacks to help wash away foods and drinks with sugar!

Opalescence Go Trays

Have you been looking for a fast and simple way to whiten your teeth? Opalescence Go is the professional alternative to over-the-counter whitening options. It’s the new, easy and an inexpensive bleaching option that doesn’t require any impressions! Opalescence Go trays are ready to use right out of the package. Each Opalescence Go tray is prefilled with a safe, effective gel that won’t leak out onto your gums. The Opalescence whitening gel includes potassium nitrate and fluoride. Findings have confirmed that the potassium nitrate and fluoride actually help to minimize sensitivity, which can be a side effect of many whitening treatments. And it’s so easy to use!

Each box of Opalescence Go contains 10 days of trays. Each tray system has an inner (clear) tray and an outer (green) tray. The trays center directly over each arch. Once in position, you suck down or swallow so the inner tray suctions to your teeth. Once positioned correctly, you remove the outer tray and wear just the inner tray for 30-60 minutes once a day. The trays are discreet and disposable, making it easy to take your whitening treatment to go! Opalescence Go can provide noticeable results after just a few days of treatment and it’s so easy to adapt to your budget and lifestyle.

Interested in trying it out? Schedule an appointment for an exam and cleaning and ask if Opalescence Go would be the right fit for you!

The Mouth-Body Connection

Regularly scheduled dental appointments with the team at Hannon & Sandler are not just good for your teeth and gums, but also for your entire body. Recent studies have indicated that there is a direct connection between your oral and general health. Taking care of your teeth and gums is about much more than pleasant breath and a sparkling smile.

Diabetes and Oral Health
Research suggests that although people with diabetes are more prone to developing gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis), treating gum disease can actually help improve blood sugar control in patients living with diabetes, decreasing HgA1C levels and the progression of the disease as a whole.

  • If diabetes is left untreated:
  • You may have less saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry. (Xerostomia is also caused by certain medications.)
  • Because saliva protects your teeth, you’re also at a higher risk of cavities and tooth loss.
  • 1 in 5 cases of total tooth loss are linked to uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Gums may become inflamed and bleed often (gingivitis).
  • You may have problems tasting food.
  • You may experience delayed wound healing.
  • You may be susceptible to infections inside of your mouth.
  • For children with diabetes, teeth may erupt at an age earlier than is typical.

Heart Disease and Oral Health
While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven between heart disease and poor oral health, research show that periodontal disease is highly correlated with the incidence of heart disease. Patients with severe periodontal disease have a 17% higher risk of stroke than periodontally healthy patients. Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions, Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures – consult your cardiologist or any of the doctors in the office to determine your need.

Research today is also being conducted on linkages between oral health/Alzheimer’s disease, and oral health/pneumonia. If you believe you may be suffering from gum disease, it is imperative that you and your loved ones receive regular dental cleanings and checkups. Schedule an appointment with the team at Hannon & Sandler today.

Floss is Boss!

With all the recent news coverage on the benefits of flossing, we want to encourage our patients to be critical consumers when it comes to what they hear! Please check out the article put forth by the American Dental Association in response to this recent “string theory”!


Correct flossing technique is an important part of any good dental homecare regimen. Schedule your dental cleaning and exam today!


Are you noticing tooth pain, mobile teeth, tenderness/popping/clicking/limited movement in the jaw joint, earaches, headaches when you wake, flattened or fractured teeth? You may be one of the many people suffering from bruxism. Prevalent during sleep, you may not even know you are clenching and grinding your teeth. There are many possible contributors, including stress, dehydration, medications, and tooth eruption in children.

Your temporomandibular, or jaw, joint (TMJ) is evaluated at each dental checkup. During this exam, please share any symptoms you have noticed or concerns you have about the health of your TMJ. If a temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is detected, you may be seen at a specialist’s office for evaluation and treatment.

There are many treatments possible. Teeth damaged by bruxism can be repaired with fillings, crowns and onlays. Medications, physical therapy and stress reduction techniques may be used to help muscles relax. Finally, we may recommend a flexible or hard acrylic mouthguard to protect the teeth from damage, and train the jaw muscles to relax over time.

Schedule your cleaning and exam with the team at Hannon & Sandler today!

Do You Suffer From Dentophobia?

At Hannon & Sandler, we recognize that just walking through the door is often the biggest challenge for someone with dentophobia, or dental anxiety. Our team can help you to overcome your fears. The key comes with understanding that while fears are learned, in time they can also be unlearned!

Putting off a visit to the dentist can only make matters worse. That toothache you have been avoiding may have progressed to the point where a root canal is needed. Although a root canal is no more difficult to endure than a simple filling, it does mean more time in the dental chair and higher financial costs.

The American Dental Association explains that nearly twenty percent of people living in the United States avoid the dentist because of fear or serious anxiety. Dental phobia can leave patients terrified and panic stricken. Many dental fears develop from a single bad experience, usually as a child. Oftentimes, these patients will avoid the dentist at all costs and only make an appointment to see their dentist in cases of extreme pain.

Signs that you may be suffering from a dental phobia and not dental anxiety include, but are not limited to:

  • Inability to sleep before seeing your dentist
  • Feeling nervous in the waiting room of the dental office
  • Emotional teary outbursts and/or feeling ill at the thought of seeing your dentist
  • Intense uneasiness just thinking about someone putting something in your mouth

These fears may stem from a previously unpleasant or painful experience at the dentist office. Thankfully, the doctors at Hannon & Sandler Dental have the technology and experience to make your procedure much less painful, and in most cases, completely pain-free. We also offer the use of Nitrous Oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, which we can use to help make your experience at the dental office more comfortable.

If you are one of the many people suffering from a dental phobia or anxiety, schedule an appointment with the team at Hannon & Sandler today. Dr. Bob, Dr. Jerry, Dr. Marissa and their entire staff pride themselves on making their patients feel comfortable, helping them to conquer dental fears.

Dental Sealants

What are sealants?

Sealants are a preventative tool in your fight against cavities on the chewing surfaces of your back teeth (molars). Tooth decay frequently begins in these small pits and grooves, and can spread quickly through the tooth. Even the most thorough toothbrushing cannot reach their depths. In order to prevent decay from starting, Hannon & Sandler Dental Office recommends placement of dental sealants soon after the susceptible adult teeth erupt into the mouth.


How do they work?

Teeth are cleaned and “painted” with a flowable resin material, which hardens and bonds to the tooth under a special light. This material is then able to “seal out” plaque and bacteria, providing a barrier against decay. After they harden, sealants generally appear clear or white, and cannot be easily seen except during close dental examination.


How long do they last?

Dental sealants may last many years before they wear out. They are made to withstand normal daily eating and brushing/dental cleanings. However, chewing hard candies, or other sticky and hard items, can easily break down sealants. Over time, dental sealants can wear away. If sealants break, wear away, or begin to show signs of failure, the tooth loses its protection. At that time, they must be replaced.


Are sealants right for me?

Teeth are in constant contact with plaque bacteria, and the cavity causing acids they produce. Our doctors place a high emphasis on preventative treatment and regular exams, protecting teeth with fluoride, and intervening with cavity development by placing dental sealants. We often recommend sealants for children and teenagers. In some cases, adults may benefit as well. Early placement and vigilant care of sealants can see a reduction in chewing surface cavities by over 80%. Now that’s something to smile about! Ask us about sealants at your, and your family’s, next visit. Schedule an appointment with the team at Hannon & Sandler today!


Did you know that Dr. Bob, Dr. Jerry and Dr. Marissa screen you for cancer at every dental visit? Oral cancers can be deadly diseases. Roughly 45,000 new cases of mouth and throat cancer are diagnosed every year in the United States. Treatment may be more successful when diagnosis is early, so this is one more reason to see your dentist regularly.

Below is a list of mouth and throat cancer signs and symptoms. Check your mouth in the mirror each day when you brush and floss. If there are any changes in your mouth or neck, or if you notice any of these signs or symptoms, contact us.

  • A sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • Red or white patches
  • Pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
  • A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
  • Lump or growth in the throat or neck area
  • Cough or sore throat that doesn’t go away
  • Earache
  • Trouble with swallowing
  • Hoarseness or other changes in your voice

Anyone can get cancer. There are some factors that if controlled, can decrease your risk of developing oral cancer: smoking cigarettes/chewing tobacco, heavy or frequent consumption of alcohol, and exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV).

Amazingly, when you quit using tobacco, your risk of developing oral cancer immediately decreases. After staying tobacco free for ten years, your risk of developing oral cancer is approximately the same as someone who NEVER smoked or chewed.

Remember: as the summer months approach, and we begin spending more time in the sun, wear sunscreen and lip balm with adequate SPF daily to decrease your risk of skin and lip cancers, and schedule your checkup with the team at Hannon & Sandler today!

Teeth Whitening: What are my bleaching options?

We offer a few different bleaching methods. Bleaching is a great option for both men and women to brighten their smile! You may notice some sensitivity while using the bleaching products, but this is not a permanent side effect.  All of our bleaching products are safe to use and safe for your teeth.

One option is the tray method.  We take impressions of the teeth and make custom fit trays. The trays are used at home once a day for one to three weeks, depending on each individuals’s teeth. This is great for people who want to keep their teeth white, as you keep the trays and can do touch up as needed.

We also offer an in-office bleaching method. This procedure takes place in the office for approximately two hours.  We systematically place bleach on the teeth for 12-15 minute intervals to acheive the desired whiteness. This procedure also includes the custom fit bleaching trays in order to keep the teeth nice and white.  It is recommended that you contiue to bleach at home with the trays for the next 3-5 days in order to prevent the color from fading.

Another option is the Crest Whitestrips Supreme.  These are only available from your dentist office due to the the fact that the strips contain a higher concentration of bleaching material. Whitestrips are used by placing a disposable plastic strip on the upper and lower teeth twice a day for 2-3 weeks.  Crest Whitestrips Supreme contain 3 times more bleach than any over the counter whitening products.

Next time you stop in, talk to your hygienist or dentist about which option is best for you!