Are these gifts just right or totally weird? Check out #5!

written by CariFree

Thinking of what to get your dentist or hygienist for their upcoming birthday or Christmas?  Look no further!  We have compiled a selection of possibilities for you.  But what do you think? Weirdly cool or too over the top?


#1:  Never lose your floss again?

butt floss#2: Keep it toothy with these cute magnets

dental magnets


#3 For the plant…and tooth lover. At least it is functional! dental planter


#4 Serve salad with a smile!   dental tongs


#5 Ummm….not really sure what to think of these teeth shoes? Do they come with a brush?!tooth shoes


#6: Move over diamonds! The molar ring is moving in!

tooth ring

#7 And my personal favorite…denture bracelet.

denture braceletWhich is your favorite?




Category: Uncategorized

What is the deal with red wine?

written by CariFree


We have noticed somewhat conflicting information about the effects of red wine on oral health. Below are two samples of what we mean.

 Red Wine May Have Cavity-Fighting Powers

From the article:

Red wine may have effects on teeth beyond giving them a funny hue: A new study suggests it could also have potential in warding off cavities.

The study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, showed that red wine was able to get rid of dental disease-causing bacteria in a lab setting.

Spanish researchers used a young Pinot Noir for the study, as well as a de-alcoholized version of the wine, which is a type of the wine that had grape seed extract added to it, and a solution of water with 12 percent ethanol (the positive control). Researchers also gathered saliva samples from five volunteers in order to grow biofilms with dental disease-causing bacteria.

The researchers dipped the biofilms into the different liquids to see their effects on the bacteria. They found that the red wine (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), as well as wine spiked with grape seed extract, effectively got rid of the bacteria.

They noted that ethanol — which is in wine — is known to be antimicrobial, but that even the non-alcoholic wine had effects in reducing bacteria.

“Since treatments of the biofilm with both wine and dealcoholized wine inhibited F. nucleatum growth, it was likely that other wine components — apart from ethanol — had antimicrobial properties against this bacteria species,” the study said. 

and here is a recent headline from Dentistry Today:

Red Wine may not be so Good for Oral Health

From the article:

Red wine may be good for your overall health but not so much for you oral health.

The acidity of red wine leaves a mark on your teeth and over time that takes its toll. A survey released recently showed that only 16 percent of people are concerned with oral health implications when drinking alcohol. This is a problem based on the fact that many alcoholic drinks are filled with sugar and possess high acidity levels.

Acidic drinks attack enamel, making teeth more susceptible to bacteria. Sparkling wines or Champagne are the worst offenders of attacking teeth, which is why it’s better to drink a flat drink than a fizzy drink based on lesser carbonation.

Acidic drinks are a major problem for teeth during the summer, when people are more likely to drink acidic fruit punches or attend celebrations where they will drink Champagne. Drinking water between drinks may help to curb the adverse effects of acidic alcoholic drinks.

There are many drinks—in addition to red wine or port—that stain teeth. Coffee-based cocktails or spirits mixed with dark juices also have the same negative impact on teeth. It’s essential to brush thoroughly after consuming these beverages when enough time has passed, preventing brushing from doing more harm than good.


So which is it?  For many years the benefits of drinking moderate amounts of red wine for heart heath have circulated. Recent studies suggest that the consumption of wine may inhibit the growth of certain bacteria in the biofilm. However, the acidic nature of wine (pH of between 2.9-3.9) suggests to us that the trade-off of a slight antimicrobial effect on some of the bacteria is going to be the effects of the very low pH on the biofilm.  According to the ADA “the study actually found that red wine with or without alcohol had no effect on the growth of Strep Mutans, the bacteria associated with caries.”  In addition, we know that there are good bacteria that can turn bad (acidic) if remaining at a low pH.  So what do we think? Everything in moderation.  Be smart if you choose to drink wine or any other alcoholic beverage.  It is a good idea to swish with water or use a mouth spray with xylitol after the pH has been lowered in the mouth.  Enjoy your wine, but be aware of the risks!

What do you think? Do you drink wine for its health benefits?






5 smile protection hacks for moms

written by CariFree


The other day I was sitting by an obviously over-tired mamma of 2. She had a familiar look in her eye, like she was “one-more-cheerio-on-the-floor “away from a mommy-melt-down.  I felt for her. So I offered to help collapse her stroller and hoist it into her car. She thanked me and said ‘well, that is 2 good things today.’ I asked her what the other good thing was and she said “My son didn’t have any cavities – thank GOD- I was totally prepared for him to have a ton.”

I looked at her toothy-grinned 4 year old and asked her why she thought he would have had cavities.

She said “I am doing my best, but I know he has too many treats, and it is a serious battle of wills when it is time to brush his teeth, I’m just so tired.  I know you think I am a terrible mom, but I can’t do it all.”

I stopped her and chimed in with my own parenting woes when it came to my kids and brushing, flossing and skipping treats.

It. Is. HARD.

I know from the outside looking in people DO think you are a bad parent if you give in to the tantrum or choose to skip brushing your kids’ teeth if they have already fallen asleep- but listen to me when I tell you that it is likely the 10,000th tantrum of the day and you NEVER wake a sleeping child e.v.e.r.

I rarely offer unsolicited advice, especially about parenting, but I felt compelled to let this mama know it is OK to not to it ‘all’ and doing ‘good enough’ is sometimes the best way to go.  I shared with her that I too give in to the tantrum at the supermarket and let my kids have the free cookie sample more than I should. I too struggle to get the toothbrush in my 3 year old’s mouth long enough to make it even smell a little minty- I get it. So, what I decided as a mom who is doing her best, is instead of beat myself up for what I am not doing, I started adding little things to my kids’ day that help protect their teeth.  I told her my 5 smile protection hacks that keep my kids teeth healthy and my mommy-guilt to a minimum.

1. I keep xylitol lollies in my purse at all times.  These lolly pops get substituted for the sugary treats offered my kids at the bank, gas station, grocery store and post office (YES they are offered everywhere!). It is easy to say no thank you and also avoid an epic tantrum if you can show your child a purse full of goodies.

2. I carry xylitol gum in my purse for much the same purpose

3. I carry this mouth spray in my diaper bag, purse and glove compartment for times when I DO give in to the regular treat, we call it “spraying away the cavities” and my kids love it.

4. No juice.  This was hard at first, especially at birthday parties, but I try and let them ONLY drink water.  If I do allow the occasional juice box, you better believe I am “spraying away the cavities” shortly there after

5. I keep toothbrushes in the car.  No joke.  I have found that when you are the parent of little kids it is often a miracle if they are dressed and fed before leaving the house on time.  I will ALWAYS be embarrassingly late if I fight the toothbrush battle. SO, as my children are strapped in a moving car with no where to run, I pass them their car-brushes and this tooth gel (it does not have fluoride because my kids will be swallowing it) and we listen to the wheels on the bus while they brush.

I know it is not the prescribed regimen of brush twice a day for 2 minutes and floss daily, but living life with little kids can’t always follow a prescribed formula.  If I can do these things, I feel like my kids’ smiles will be as protected as this mamma can muster, and maybe it won’t win me any mommy of the year awards, but as long as my kids are healthy and I am sane I count it a success.

Guest post by: Laura Moriarity


Gum disease was found where?!?

written by CariFree

Iceman examination

New findings while researching the Otzi Iceman shows evidence he suffered from periodontal disease!

Repost from:

Non-Human DNA Discovered During Biopsy Of Ötzi The Iceman

July 16, 2014 | by Janet Fang

Read more HERE


Now, a team led by Frank Maixner of EURAC Research in Italy reanalyzed the metagenomic data of the Iceman’s genomic survey (pictured below). They found evidence of a pathogen in the tissue biopsy. Called Treponema denticola, this opportunistic oral pathogen is involved in the development of periodontal (or gum) disease. Its sizeable presence was especially surprising: The pathogen had to have been distributed via the bloodstream from the mouth to the hip bone.

“This ‘non-human’ DNA mostly derives from bacteria normally living on and within our body. Only the interplay between certain bacteria or an imbalance within this bacterial community might cause certain diseases,” study coauthor Thomas Rattei from the University of Vienna explains in a news release “It is highly important to reconstruct and understand the bacterial community composition by analyzing this DNA mixture.”

According to the researchers, the bacteria didn’t colonize the body after death; they were part of Ötzi’s “commensal oral microflora” when he was alive. These findings confirm a CT-based diagnosis published last year showing that the Iceman suffered from periodontitis, an infection of the ligaments and bones that support teeth. It’s what happens when inflamed gums go unchecked.

The pathogen’s presence was further confirmed when the team analyzed gum tissue biopsy and a mouth swab sample taken from the Iceman. The work was published in PLoS ONE last month.

Gum disease has been linked to many systemic problems like heart disease, diabetes and dementia.  It is crucial for your overall health to stay on top of your oral health.
Risk factors for gum disease include:

  • Smoking.  Need another reason to quit smoking? Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of gum disease. Additionally, smoking can lower the chances for successful treatment.
  • Hormonal changes in girls/women. These changes can make gums more sensitive and make it easier for gingivitis to develop.
  • Diabetes. People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections, including gum disease.
  • Other illnesses. Diseases like cancer or AIDS and their treatments can also negatively affect the health of gums.
  • Medications. There are hundreds of prescription and over the counter medications that can reduce the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on the mouth. Without enough saliva, the mouth is vulnerable to infections such as gum disease. And some medicines can cause abnormal overgrowth of the gum tissue; this can make it difficult to keep teeth and gums clean.
  • Genetic susceptibility. Some people are more prone to severe gum disease than others.

Signs you may need to get help:

  • Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
  • Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
  • Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pus between your gums and teeth
  • Sores in your mouth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures

If it has been a while since you had a check up, don’t wait until it is too late, find a doctor that understands the link between your mouth and your body and get healthy!


Some good news today

written by CariFree


In June I was privileged to be part of a team of doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses and students that traveled to the Dominican Republic to provide services for the refugee Haitian population.  Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Americas, with virtually no infrastructure or natural resources to support its population.   Many people cross the border into the Dominican Republic in search of a better life but end up in small, under-served camps with little access to basic necessities like electricity and running water, let alone healthcare.  We went to one of these camps, Batey 6, just North of Barahona.

During our 7 day stay we saw over 1500 Haitians and provided countless consultations and provided those that needed them: glasses, small surgeries and prescriptions.  The dental team extracted an average of 30 teeth per day and were so happy to get our patients out of pain!  This trip was a life  changing event for me.  It allowed me to be part of a real humanitarian effort as well as put my own blessings into perspective, and to appreciate what I have every day!  I want to take this opportunity to extend my sincerest gratitude to Oral Bio Tech for helping to make this trip a possibility for me.

To learn more about the trip coordinated by Global Health Outreach and the Christian and Medical Dental Association, go {HERE}

Rachel Jablonski

DS4, OHSU School of Dentistry






Have you heard of vaping?

written by CariFree


Have you heard of vaping?  It is the e-cigarette equivalent to smoking and it is taking a firm hold in the US.

Backed by the world’s biggest tobacco companies, the industry is aggressively expanding its marketing across the country. More than 14 million U.S. adults and nearly 2 million teens and tweens have used e-cigarettes, and the rate of use among high-schoolers doubled from 2011 to 2012, the latest data available. (see full article here)

While the FDA is launching nearly 50 studies on e-cigs, at this point very little is scientifically proven about the side effects of vaping. A quick Google search reveals threads describing things like dehydration, dry mouth, and tissue irritation in the mouth.

Have you tried e-cigarettes or know someone who has? Were there any side effects?  Would you tell your dentist if you were vaping? 

Category: Discussion

When was the last time you flossed your child’s teeth?

written by CariFree

shutterstock_17812339“Nearly half of American parents say their child’s teeth have never been flossed” is the title of an article recently published in Dentistry IQ.  As a hygienist, this title caught my attention.  Never been flossed?  According to the article, only 22% of American parents report their child’s teeth are flossed on a daily basis.

The article goes on to report 35% admit their child brushes less than twice a day.  This is not due to lack of education for most parents recognized this was not often enough.  And 96% of parents reported assisting their child with brushing up to age 6.

Do you find these statistics alarming?  Are American parents too busy to assist with their children’s daily oral care?  Or do they not recognize the importance?  At what age do you feel children should be responsible for their own brushing and flossing?  


Donna’s Story

written by CariFree

6928_ctx26_kit_w1100gel_1I received a very nice hand-written letter from Donna today.  Donna is one of our delightful CariFree patients who had previously called us to share her story.  Her story is another example of how the CTx product line is not only beneficial for patients with caries but those struggling with periodontal disease (gum disease) as well.  This is what Donna had to say after starting on her CTx26 Kit:


In June of 2008 I was diagnosed with periodontal gum disease.  Six teeth were measured with 5mm periodontal pockets meaning infection, 36 teeth measured as 4mm meaning pre-infection. On June 12, 2008 received locally applied antibiotic on 5 teeth and perio scale and root planing on all teeth to remove infection.  Began using Sonicare Plus toothbrush and coming every four months for perio-cleaning.  I always refused the CariScreen evaluation. 

In January 2014, I still had 6 teeth measuring at 4mm after 5 ½ years of treatment.  I had the CariScreen test done and my bacterial level was 5,357 on a scale that did not go higher than 10,000.  I started CariFree treatment in March, 2014.  My bacteria level is now down to 722 and I have no gum measurement above 3 for first time in 5 ½ years.  I don’t have to come back to dentist for 6 months.


A big shout out goes to Dr. Evelyn Ofili’s dental office, Smile for Life in Festus, Missouri.  I had the pleasure of working with them when they were new to CariFree and it’s wonderful to hear such positive words from their patients!


We want to highlight your success story!

written by CariFree

Here aSuccessHighlightt the CariFree headquarters in Albany, Oregon, we love hearing success stories from CariFree patients.  We receive phone calls daily saying “your products have changed my life” and “I had my first cavity free checkup in 20 years thanks to CariFree!”

Have a story of your own?  Want to share your success story with others?  Let us know!  We would love to interview you and share your story with our CariFree community!  Send me an email at jmiller@oralbiotech.com for more information.  

Need some inspiration?  Here’s an excerpt from a past interview with Susan, a CariFree customer:  

Q: What have you learned about the dental caries disease process that you did not know before working with your CariFree dentist?

A: I didn’t know that bacteria and acid could cause such serious problems, and I didn’t know that it even though I brush regularly, that sometimes that isn’t enough. I also learned that sometimes genetics is a factor. That explained how I was still getting caries and contracting infections even though I was taking such good care of my teeth.

Q: How has the treatment process changed your condition?

A: My mouth feels much healthier, much cleaner, I have fewer caries, and with the exception of the things that I can’t control (like infections) I do notice that I have much less plaque, and my dentist is finding far fewer problems during my twice yearly exams.

Q: Do you think there are people that would benefit from risk assessment and Carifree that are not currently able to access it? What is preventing their access?

A: The cost, and lack of knowledge. Another thing is that people don’t realize that there is an important correlation between oral health and overall physical health. A healthy mouth may alleviate other health problems in the process. It did for me!

Photo credit: http://www.kathyonsuccess.com/


Medicated Americans

written by CariFree

Researchersshutterstock_1722709 at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently published that nearly 70% of Americans are taking at least one prescription drug daily and more than half of Americans take at least two prescriptions daily.  Among the laundry list of medication side effects one of the most common of both prescription and over-the-counter medications is xerostomia, otherwise known as dry mouth.

So, what’s the link between dry mouth and caries?  Saliva not only makes it possible to talk and chew and swallow food, but it also naturally buffers the acids in our mouths.  Just as I mentioned last week, it all comes back to pH.  It’s our saliva that helps neutralize acids in the foods we eat and naturally boosts our oral pH after mealtimes.

When we don’t have saliva or have limited salivary flow, our risk for cavities increases greatly.  Most medications would fall under the category of “unmodifiable risk factors”.  This means you were put on the medication for a reason and you likely won’t be able to stop taking it due to increased risk for tooth decay.  While discontinuing a medication without first consulting with your physician is never recommended, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Avoid sucking on candy.  Although this can help stimulate salivary flow, sucking on sugary candy can further increase your risk for caries.
  2. Replace your regular candy and/or gum with xylitol lollies or gum to help stimulate salivary flow.
  3. Throughout the day sip on tap water or use a xylitol containing spray to help moisten your mouth and boost your oral pH.
  4. Use a fluoride-containing toothpaste with an elevated pH, xylitol and glycerin to help prevent cavities and moisten your mouth.
Category: Uncategorized