Dr. Ashley Mann » Blog http://www.drashleymann.com Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Cary, NC Thu, 14 Aug 2014 16:35:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 5 Best Foods for Good Oral Health http://www.drashleymann.com/5-best-foods-for-good-oral-health/ http://www.drashleymann.com/5-best-foods-for-good-oral-health/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 16:19:18 +0000 http://www.drashleymann.com/?p=1246 5 Best Foods for Good Oral Health

Want to keep your smile healthy and bright? It all starts with the foods you eat. Brushing and flossing will do wonders for your teeth, but they cannot control the foundation of nutrients you put into your system. You need to make sure that you are eating the right foods to make your smile look its best.

Here are the five best foods for good oral health so your smile can continue to shine.


Water may not technically be a food, but it is essential to good oral health. Drinking water on a regular basis will help wash away bacteria in your mouth that can cause bad breath, gingivitis, and a variety of other oral issues. If possible, try to drink water with fluoride to keep your teeth healthy and strong. The tap water from your sink most likely has fluoride in it, so you won’t have to pay a lot to get the healthy drinking water you need.

Lean Proteins

Lean proteins help to strengthen your teeth and rebuild tooth enamel. Foods that are rich in phosphorus are perfect for helping you maintain a healthy smile. Examples include:

  • Tilapia
  • Salmon
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Egg whites
  • Venison
  • Lamb

Incorporate foods like this into your diet to keep your teeth looking and feeling their best.


Nuts are another great source of protein that will help your teeth stay healthy and strong. Just about any nut that you can think of is packed full of wonderful nutrients for your teeth and gums. Some of the most protein-rich nuts out there are:

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts

Nuts also help product extra saliva in your mouth, which will wash away bacteria as it starts to grow. Munch on nuts as a snack throughout the day, and your teeth will see big benefits.

Dairy Products

Milk and other dairy products are low in sugar and rich in calcium. These products will help keep your stomach full and your teeth strong at the same time. If your diet will allow it, try eating cheese and low fat yogurt on a regular basis. These foods will strengthen your tooth enamel and keep you healthy well into the future.

Fruits and Vegetables

Of course, we can’t make a list of good foods for oral health without mentioning fruits and vegetables. These foods are rich in nutrients that can help your body as a whole. Most fruits and vegetables are high in water and fiber, so they will help clean your teeth as you eat them. Some fruits are higher in sugar than others, but they can all help your smile in the end. Examples of good fruits and vegetables for teeth include:

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cranberries
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Pomegranate

Overall, the goal here is to maintain a well-balanced diet that promotes good health for the whole body. Foods that are good for teeth are also great for digestion, circulation, immune systems, and more. Change up the way you eat, and you may soon find your smile looking better than ever.




The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad understanding and knowledge of various dental and health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice from a qualified medical professional.


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Are Dental Problems Hereditary? http://www.drashleymann.com/are-dental-problems-hereditary/ http://www.drashleymann.com/are-dental-problems-hereditary/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 16:15:33 +0000 http://www.drashleymann.com/?p=1244 Are Dental Problems Hereditary?

A lot of people try to blame their dental problems on their parents. “My mom has bad teeth. That’s where I get mine from.” While there is a tiny bit of merit to that theory, the fact is that most dental problems are yours and yours alone. Before you jump to the conclusion that your family caused your oral issues, you might want to reassess your own habits. Here we will answer the classic question: “Are dental problems hereditary?”

Dental Problems You Could Get from Your Parents

There are some dental issues that you could get from your parents. Primarily, these will revolve around the shape and structure of your mouth. Parents with overcrowded smiles have a tendency to pass those cramped mouths onto their offspring. Crowded teeth can be difficult to clean, making them easily susceptible to plaque and decay. This can all be corrected with teeth removal and dental realignment, but you will have to go through extra care steps until then.

Your Habits Control Your Oral Health

Even though your parents are to blame for the way your mouth is shaped, they are not to blame for the care you provide for your teeth. If you only brush your teeth once every day or two, you are not going to get the same bright white smile that your friends have. Your diet, activities, and overall body health will also have an impact on the stability of your smile. The sooner you own up to this idea, the better your teeth will be in the future.

How to Get over Bad Oral Hygiene Habits

If you were never taught how to care for your teeth, you might not have twice-daily brushing on your mind. We aren’t expecting you to change this overnight, no matter how much better that will make your oral health. Try to put yourself on an oral hygiene schedule that you can logically follow. For instance, you might brush your teeth every night before bed. Make this a part of your daily routines, and then you can go on to twice daily brushing and once daily flossing.

If you have children in your home, this would be a good opportunity for you to instill good oral hygiene habits with your kids. Make them excited about brushing their teeth so they want to do so on their own. They will thank you for this mindset later on.


For the most part, your dental problems are not going to be hereditary. They are going to be the result of poor choices that you have made in your life and may continue to make in the future. Correct the problems now so you can have a great looking smile later on in life.




The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad understanding and knowledge of various dental and health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice from a qualified medical professional.

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Basic Care Tips for Dentures http://www.drashleymann.com/basic-care-tips-for-dentures/ http://www.drashleymann.com/basic-care-tips-for-dentures/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 16:02:13 +0000 http://www.drashleymann.com/?p=1257 Basic Care Tips for Dentures

If you are new to the world of dentures, you need to learn how to properly care for your new smile. Dentures may function like natural teeth, but they require different cleaning and maintenance altogether. Check out these basic care tips for dentures to keep your teeth looking their best.


Handle Dentures with Care

Dentures are built to last, but that doesn’t make them bullet proof. You need to make sure that you handle your dentures with care when putting them in or taking them out. Any time you mess with your dentures, make sure there is a folded towel or sink underneath you. That way, if you happen to drop them, you won’t have to worry about any major damage along the way.

Avoid Abrasive Cleaning Products

Traditional toothpastes and mouthwashes are often too abrasive for denture cleaning. Instead of using those, use some dedicated denture cleaner, or op for mild dishwashing liquid as an alternative. Avoid products that contain any form of bleach as they may lighten the gum-colored portion of your dentures. Your dentures are not made to stand up to the harsh chemicals that dental enamel can withstand. You need to adjust your cleaning accordingly.

Brush Your Dentures Daily

You need to brush your dentures on a daily basis to remove food and prevent plaque buildup. When you brush your dentures, you need to use a brush with soft bristles that are made for false teeth. Do not use a standard toothbrush because it may scratch the outside of your dentures. Brush your teeth twice a day, making sure to get off as much food and plaque as possible.

Rinse between Meals

One of the perks of being a dentures wearer is being able to rinse out your teeth in between meals. All you have to do is take them out and run them through water, or swig a little water if you want to keep them in. This will get rid of a bulk of the food that you will have to brush out before bed.

Store Your Dentures in a Soaking Solution

When you do not have your dentures in your mouth, you need to store them in a soaking solution to keep them moist. If your solution requires you to add water to it, make sure you use cold or room temperature water. Hot water can cause dentures to warp over time. If you have metal attachments on your dentures that could tarnished when soaked, ask your dentist about the best approach to your denture care.



The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad understanding and knowledge of various dental and health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice from a qualified medical professional.


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Getting Used to Your Smile after Braces http://www.drashleymann.com/getting-used-to-your-smile-after-braces/ http://www.drashleymann.com/getting-used-to-your-smile-after-braces/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 14:24:27 +0000 http://www.drashleymann.com/?p=1251 Getting Used to Your Smile after Braces

Getting your braces off is a glorious occasion, but it is often followed by a week of constant adjustment. Remember how you felt the day you got braces? Your mouth had to work extra hard to get used to its new hardware. Now it has to get used to not having that hardware all over again. Here are some tips for getting used to your smile after braces so you can make the adjustment successfully.

Your Mouth Will Feel Strange

Don’t be surprised if your mouth feels incredibly strange after braces. In particular, you will probably notice a difference when you move your lips because they are no longer gliding over your braces. Try moving your lips around a lot when people are not looking so your muscles will start to remember what your smile actually feels like.

You May Talk a Little Funny

A lot of people develop a lisp or other speech impediment when they get their braces taken off. This should not be a cause of concern because it will not last forever. You may talk a little funny for a couple days, but that is because your lips and tongue are trying to get used to the new shape of your teeth. Once they figure out what’s going on, you will sound like yourself again.

Your Teeth Will Be Sensitive

Because your teeth are no longer bound together by metal wires, they are probably going to be a little sensitive. This is perfectly normal after braces, so don’t be alarmed if your smile feels weaker than normal. After your gums and teeth are used to not having braces in your mouth, you will not have to worry about sensitive teeth anymore.

You Can Eat Whatever You Want, But Not Just Yet

In theory, you can eat whatever you want now. You don’t have to worry about maintaining some sort of braces-friendly diet. With that in mind, you do need to be concerned about the foods you eat right after you get your braces off. Your teeth are going to be sensitive to extreme temperatures, so try not to eat anything piping hot or ice cold. Also avoid crunchy foods that are hard to bite into, like peanut brittle and tortilla chips. Save all of those for a few weeks after your braces have been off.

Be patient with your new smile, and you will soon be able to reap the benefits o your years of brace-face sacrifices.



The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad understanding and knowledge of various dental and health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice from a qualified medical professional.

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Oral Health Tips for Summer http://www.drashleymann.com/oral-health-tips-for-summer/ http://www.drashleymann.com/oral-health-tips-for-summer/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 13:19:32 +0000 http://www.drashleymann.com/?p=1248 Oral Health Tips for Summer

In the middle of your summertime fun, you cannot forget about your oral health. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when you’re on vacation or at a backyard barbecue, but you have to think about your smile as well. These oral health tips for summer will keep your teeth looking amazing all throughout the year.

Go Easy on the Sugar

A lot of summertime foods, like snow cones and ice cream, are high in sugar. The bad bacteria in your mouth feed of those sugars, rotting away your teeth in the meantime. You can still have a tasty root beer float from time to time, but try to incorporate other foods into your diet. If your sweet tooth is still yearning for more to munch on, eat a bowl of fruit or drink a smoothie to tie you over. You’ll get a lot more nutrition this way, and you won’t have to worry about cavities come winter time.

Use Lip Balm with SPF in the Sun

Your lips need just as much protection from the sun as your skin does. By using lip balm with built-in SPF, you will be able to shield your lips from harmful UV rays. Doing this will also keep your lips moist, which will help you avoid the ever-dreaded feeling of dry mouth. If you want to wear lipstick or lip gloss, try putting on the lip balm first as a barrier. This will keep the lipstick in place better throughout the day, which could help you look better as a whole.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking water is essential to keeping your whole body healthy and strong. It is especially important during the summer months when you are more likely to get dehydrated out in the sun. As you continue to drink water, you will help flush the bad bacteria out of your mouth. This will prevent bad breath and preserve your teeth at the same time.

Wear a Mouth Guard

If you are going to be playing sports this summer, you should consider wearing a mouth guard to protect your teeth from cracking and chipping. This is most important for contact sports, but it can become an issue any time you get active with other people. A simple rubber or plastic guard in your mouth can save you hundreds of dollars in dental damage. It’s definitely worth the investment.

Use the tips above to preserve your oral health this summer, and you can keep that confident smile well into fall.




The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad understanding and knowledge of various dental and health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice from a qualified medical professional.

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History of the Toothbrush (Infographic) http://www.drashleymann.com/history-of-the-toothbrush-infographic/ http://www.drashleymann.com/history-of-the-toothbrush-infographic/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 08:01:19 +0000 http://www.drashleymann.com/?p=1233 Here is the history of the toothbrush (infographic)


  • In China (1600 B.C.), aromatic tree twigs freshened breath. Later, the first hard-bristled toothbrush was invented there.
  • In 1690, the word “toothbrush” was written into an autobiography — the word’s first known use. French dentists were the first to promote toothbrush use.
  • By 1780, William Addis created the first modern toothbrush… while in prison in England! It was made of cattle bone and swine bristles.
  • In 1857, H.N. Wadsworth was first to patent the toothbrush. Less than 30 years later, mass production of toothbrushes began in America.
  • In 1938, DuPont changed the way we brush with nylon synthetic bristles: softer and more hygienic than the hard hair bristles used at the time.
  • Following WWII, U.S. Army soldiers brought the toothbrushing habit home with them. Just a short time later, in 1954 Switzerland, the first electric toothbrush was produced.
  • It took just 7 more years to produce a rechargeable/cordless electric toothbrush, then a rotary. By 2003, the toothbrush was deemed the #1 invention people can’t live without.
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Meet Dr. Ralph Dolfi http://www.drashleymann.com/meet-dr-ralph-dolfi/ http://www.drashleymann.com/meet-dr-ralph-dolfi/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 23:12:27 +0000 http://www.drashleymann.com/?p=1230  



Meet our very own, super awesome Dr. Ralph Dolfi.

Most of the time you get a boring bio discussing education and training (don’t worry, we still provide that for those of you interested); this is more of a spotlight on the man behind the white coat.

Dr. Dolfi has been married to his wife, Karen, for 35 years this coming October. Yes, you read that correctly, THIRTY FIVE YEARS! They have 3 wonderful children, all of whom have graduated from college and live in various areas of North Carolina.

Dr. Dolfi is an avid cyclist, both on road and trail riding. He and his family enjoy skiing and visit Colorado every March for a traditional ski trip. They have also travelled to the wine country in California and Oregon numerous times. His son and daughter-in-law have a 1 year old, who is Dr. Dolfi’s first grandchild. They all are also hometown fans of the Carolina Hurricanes.

When asked what he has to say about a 35 year career as a dentist, he said, “My thoughts on 35 years in dentistry – find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life – I am so fortunate!”


Professionally, Dr. Dolfi graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine in 1979. He was in practice in Hillsborough for 16 years prior to joining our office. He has served as an adjunct professor at the UNC School of Dentistry and has received advanced training at various cosmetic studies programs throughout his career. As well as being in a private practice, Dr. Dolfi is currently a clinical instructor for Six Month Smiles. He teaches dentists from all over the country to help their patients smile with confidence.

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April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month http://www.drashleymann.com/april-is-oral-cancer-awareness-month/ http://www.drashleymann.com/april-is-oral-cancer-awareness-month/#comments Sat, 05 Apr 2014 14:27:14 +0000 http://www.drashleymann.com/?p=1126 The following is an excerpt from the American Dental Association website regarding the 14th annual Oral Cancer Awareness Month. If you have an questions please contact Dr. Ashley Mann  directly and we would be happy to assist you or answer any question.



As the nation prepares to observe the 14th Annual Oral Cancer Awareness Month this April, the American Academy of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology (AAOMP), American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) and the American Dental Association (ADA) have joined the Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF) in its campaign to remind everyone that regular oral cancer examinations from your dental professional are the best methods to detect oral cancer in its early stages. Regular dental visits can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily.

In between dental visits, it is important for patients to be aware of the following signs and symptoms, and to see their dentist if they do not disappear after two weeks.

  • 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

Factors That May Cause Cancer

Research has identified a number of factors that may contribute to the development of oral cancer. Those at an especially high risk of developing oral cancer are heavy drinkers and smokers older than 50.The human papilloma virus version 16, which is sexually transmitted, is related to the increasing incidence of mouth cancer in non-smoking patients. It is likely that there is a complex interaction of many external and internal factors that play a role in the development of oral cancer.

Your mouth is one of your body’s most important early warning systems. Don’t ignore any suspicious lumps or sores that last more than two weeks. Should you discover something suspicious, make an appointment for a prompt examination. Early treatment may well be the key to complete recovery.

For more information about oral cancer, its diagnosis and treatment, visit the Oral Cancer Foundation’s Website.



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Looking Back at an Odd Chapter in Dental History http://www.drashleymann.com/odd-dental-history/ http://www.drashleymann.com/odd-dental-history/#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 23:21:47 +0000 http://www.drashleymann.com/?p=1110 8573156_orig

Have you ever thought of going to a barber shop to get a cavity fixed or a tooth pulled? We’re sure that you probably haven’t! However, there is a good chance that at least one of your ancestors did. Back in the Middle Ages, there were no dental specific offices; people went to see barber surgeons instead. If you went to a dentist with a toothache in the 1700s, and he prescribed the removal of your tooth, it’s quite likely that you wouldn’t have had even a stool to sit on during the process. In fact, your dentist may have asked you to sit on the floor, at which point he would have stood behind you and secured your head between his knees.

Barber surgeons are just one interesting part of general dentistry history. As you may have guessed, they performed barber, general dentistry and surgical work on people across Europe and North America for years. So people literally could have their teeth pulled, beard trimmed, toe nails cut and minor surgery all in one place.

It wasn’t until laws started being passed in the mid-1700s that people finally gave up the multi-pronged trade. That’s because the laws helped define which individuals should perform certain tasks. After that, individuals suffering from oral health problems were able to seek dental care and pain relief from dentists.

In the beginning, there was only one type of dentist. They handled everything from pulling teeth to making rudimentary dentures. Nowadays, the oral health care marketplace is much different. There is a wide variety of different dentists to choose from. Each one specializes in performing certain tasks.

To learn more about dental history, Dr. Ashley Mann, Dr. Ralph Dolfi and the services offered by our office, please contact us! We look forward to being of service for you and your family!

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Facts on Gum Disease http://www.drashleymann.com/facts-on-gum-disease/ http://www.drashleymann.com/facts-on-gum-disease/#comments Mon, 03 Mar 2014 16:11:47 +0000 http://www.drashleymann.com/?p=1106 7237728_orig

Are your gums tender, red, or swollen? Do they bleed when you floss or brush? Do you suffer from constant bad breath? Then it’s quite likely that you have gum disease. At it’s mildest, it’s called gingivitis, which causes no discomfort but may show the redness and bleeding as symptoms. A worse form is called aggressive periodontitis, which can detach some of your teeth from the gums. Another type is necrotizing periodontal disease, which can produce painful ulcers in your month.

Gum disease can come from one or more factors.

  • Poor oral hygiene, such as by not brushing or flossing, can produce the disease.
  • Genetics can play a part, so if your family has a history of the problem, then it’s more likely that you’ll develop it.
  • If you smoke, have poor nutrition, or undergo stress, your body has less chance of fighting off the infection.

To prevent this disease, good oral hygiene is a must. Brush and floss at least twice a day. This is the best way of removing the bacterial plaque that can infect the gums. Have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year so that the dentist can remove the plaque that has hardened into tartar. He can also examine your gums for any sign of the disease.

If your dentist discovers that you have gum disease, the treatment depends on the progress of the infection. If he catches it early, he may recommend non-surgical therapy, which is simple and relatively painless. If the disease is more advanced, surgery may be needed. Your mouth will need re-evaluation after treatment. Otherwise, the disease may come back.

If you want to know more about gum disease and oral hygiene, please contact us.

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