Chewing gum may be good for your teeth

bubblegum man

By Kelsi Matylewicz/ Social Media Intern, Benco Dental

Did your parents used to tell you that chewing gum would give you cavities? According to Medical Daily, this is not the case.

Chewing gum is a billion-dollar industry with an average of 280 sticks of gum consumed per person per year . No need to worry though, your are contributing to the maintenance of oral health.

According to a study by the Journal of Dental Research, in most gums, the gum-base is supplemented with sweeteners, flavors, and other agents. However, sugar is now often replaced by artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol, xylitol, or mannitol. The addition these sugarless additives have been found to reduce the formation of oral biofilms, which is the cause of infectious diseases such as cavities and periodontal disease.

A team of researchers from University of Groningen in the Netherlands wanted to observe whether chewing gum can remove bacteria from the oral cavity. Five biomedical engineering students were recruited to chew two different standard types of spearmint gum for various lengths of time ranging from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. Afterward, the gum was spit into a cup filled with sterile water to be analyzed.

The findings revealed there were about 100 million bacteria detected on each piece of chewed up gum, with the number increasing as chewing time increased. The gum starts to lose its adhesiveness after 30 seconds of chewing, trapping less bacteria.

Chewing gum does not remove bacteria from the same places of the dentition as does brushing or flossing and each act targets different areas of the mouth.

As a reminder: The American Dental Association advises that chewing gum is not an adjunct to brushing and flossing, nor a substitute; brushing twice a day and using dental floss is still recommended.

For the full story:

Anesthesia-free laser procedures with no bleeding, no drilling? No kidding.


No vibration or loud noise with this laser.

“Often times, my preparations with Solea are completely drill-free, resulting in an entirely different experience for my patients,” said North Haven, CT, private practitioner David Fantarella, DMD, who has been using hard- and soft-tissue lasers since 2008.

Solea, by Convergent Dental, is the first CO2 laser system ever cleared by the FDA for hard and soft tissue ablation.

Fantarella, in an interview with Compendium magazine,  noted that the CO2 laser system can vaporize every tissue in the mouth—gingiva, bone, dentin, enamel, decayed dentin, and pulp—and can be used for Class 1 through 6 restorative procedures without the need for anesthetic.

According to the company, Solea dentists report that they perform over 95% of their Solea procedures without anesthesia, and over 98% of those patients report no pain, with 100% preferring Solea to a drill.

How can it offer drill-free, easy, precise, nearly noiseless and anesthesia-free performance (or your money back)?

Solea uses an oxygen-18 isotope and other modifications to emit 9.3 µm, matching the peak absorption of hydroxyapatite. Meaning the isotopic CO2 laser actually vaporizes enamel — versus erbium lasers that vaporize water and slowly chip enamel away — giving the power to work anywhere in the oral cavity, from any angle, with speed and ease. Decayed tissue and interproximal cutting won’t slow the process or compromise performance. For soft tissue it allows its user to feather into cuts with more speed, precision and less bleeding than ever imagined.

What’s the ROI?

According to Convergent Dental,  dentists are experiencing efficiency gains of 25% – 40%, enabling them to routinely perform six or more additional procedures per day.

The logic: Without anesthesia and bleeding, time is saved. It is possible to work in multiple quadrants in a single visit, fill cavities discovered during hygiene appointments (in the same day), and do soft tissue procedures that might have been referred out in past.

See Solea in action at Chicago Dental Society’s 150th Midwinter Meeting February 26-28.

Toothpicks or dental floss, which will you choose?


By Kelsi Matylewicz/ Social Media Intern, Benco Dental

It is never convenient to get food stuck between your teeth, and when dining out, most restaurants only offer a toothpick to solve this problem.

Tuck that fear away, thanks to Marta Correia, an entrepreneur with the idea for the Oralgem.

Oralgem's Pearl dental floss dispenser retails for $39.95 and is in use today in businesses and private homes.

Oralgem’s Pearl dental floss dispenser retails for $39.95 and is in use today in businesses and private homes.

According to The Loop, Correia, along with a business partner, invested in and created the floss dispenser which can be affixed via adhesive strips to the walls of a restaurant bathroom. These dispensers can also lock, preventing any risk of vandalism of the floss rolls in public spaces.

Correia’s business partner had inspiration for the idea after a trip to Brazil, when they saw a similar dispenser in a rest area. The partners chose to create a floss dispenser that was slimmer, sleeker and more functional.

So far, there are 2,000 such floss dispensers across North America, including at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel
and local YMCAs, even in private homes ($39.95, anyone?).

Photo Credit: CTV

Oralgem in use at FireGrill restaurant in Montreal. Photo Credit: CTV


Bringing positive energy to the dental practice

According to, 
Dr. Peter Igoe considers his new dental office more of a "wellness center." 
(Photo courtesy Tom Rivers)

As a dentist, you might not be neighbors and partners with a yoga studio, but you can benefit from a few tips from Dr. Peter Igoe.

This Western New York practitioner, shown above in a photo courtesy of, believes in whole body health, which means that your teeth are related to your overall whole body health: healthy teeth equals healthy body.

A recent shift in his practice location offers a significant benefit.

“There’s a positive energy, a positive atmosphere,” Dr. Igoe told Jim Krencik of in a recent interview.

Dr. Igoe references the connection between a business that began shareing a roof with his practice in 2015:  Igoe 2 Yoga,  his wife Laura’s studio.

According to, the couple is making full use of their new West Center Street Extension building, a 3,325-square-foot building with the yoga studio and dental office sharing space to encourage a connection between dental and full-body health.

As a dentist, he offers a number of comfort-enhancing options at his new office in Medina, and it’s no stretch to assume his wife’s business does the same. Dr. Igoe’s patients benefits from:

* wide windows, which offer a view of the Erie Canal from the five dental hygiene and operatory rooms.

* space planning, which  creates efficiency and time savings. A CAD/CAM milling unit that turns ceramic blocks into implants sits a short walk away the operatory room where teeth are X-rayed by a handheld, digital unit and crowns designed on a computer inside the room.

* informed patients, courtesy of televisions that can be swung to display x-rays and explanatory videos.

Be inspired by more of Dr. Igoe’s adaptations at:

Visit in person: Dr. Peter C. Igoe DDS Complete Health Dentistry and Igoe 2 Yoga, 11065 West Center St. Ext., Medina, will host an open house on Feb. 5. For more information about their businesses, visit or

Good news for teeth in Kansas

Photo courtesy

The state that served as home to the practice of first female dentist, Lucy Hobbs, is shifting gears for its dental hygiene students.

The Kansas Board of Regents recently recommended that all dental hygiene programs in the state align, which could inadvertently open more spots for those interested in pursuing the competitive field.

“Within the last five years there were 44,000 qualified applicants that applied to dental hygiene programs across the state and there were only 7,000 openings,” said Cheryl Bosilijevac, registered dental hygienist, one of two full-time staff members at Flint Hills Technical College. “It is really competitive.”

According to ental hygiene programs are few and far between in Kansas. One of the seven available programs is located at Flint Hills.

In an interview with Wagoner, Rhonda Weatherbie, a registered dental hygienist and another of Flint Hills two full-time staff members discussed the requirement changes and how they will affect the program there.

“The problem is that the program at FHTC was accredited unlike any other program in the state,” Weatherbie said. “We have what they call a one plus one program.”

Currently, students go through the first year of dental assisting and then a year of dental hygiene. Other programs throughout the state require two years of dental hygiene.

“We are now being required to go to the two-year program rather than the one plus one,” Weatherbie said.

The requirement changes requested by the Kansas Board of Regents will result in not only a need for more faculty, but will lead to curriculum changes and the need for location expansion.

Read more about the changes in Kansas and the need for support and funds for the dental hygiene program at Flint Hills: