Imagine it’s still winter … you’re standing at the door, ready to brave the cold. You’re layered-up with three shirts and a sweatshirt, your heavy winter coat, and two layers of socks underneath your waterproof winter boots. Then you’ve got those awesome jeans with the flannel on the inside, your comfy hat, scarf, and gloves. You’re set! But wait. As you step toward the door, you suddenly realize you have an itch … and it’s deep down … buried beneath all those layers. And, try as you may, every attempt to reach that bugger-of-an-itch fails. Defeated, you realize the only relief you’re ever gonna’ get is to remove each one of those layers. Where are we going with this?!

The Tongue

We’re going inside your mouth, of course, to your tongue – this is a dental article, after all! Because whether you know it or not, like you in the wintertime, your tongue is also “all covered up” – buried beneath layers of bacteria, fungi, and food residue that can inhibit your ability to taste, let alone cause your tongue to appear various shades of yellow, white, or green! Remove the bacteria, though, and your food will once again directly interact with those taste buds, and return to its natural hue. So how does one do that? With a tongue scraper, of course!

WHAT is a tongue scraper?

A tongue scraper is a U-shaped device designed to “scrape” the top layer of scum from yourtongue. They have been in use since ancient times, and have been made of everything from wood to whalebone. Nowadays, they are made of more hygienic material, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs and colors.

WHY use a tongue scraper?

  • Reduce your risk of periodontal disease and cavities: Bad bacteria contribute to plaque and tartar on teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities. Bacteria build-up can also lead to inflammation of gum tissue (gingivitis). If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, which means a more expensive dental visit (plus other unwanted consequences!). Speaking of avoiding an expensive dental visit, when was the last time you came in to see us? Come see us now if it’s been awhile, by calling in at 407-774-4433.

 • Make room for good bacteria and Reduce Bad Breath: see our article here on probiotics for your mouth.

Prevent heart disease? While the debate is still up in the air, some studies suggest there could be a correlation between gum disease and heart disease.

HOW does one use a tongue scraper? In general, make sure to rinse your tongue scraper before and after use. Apply the tongue scraper to the back of your tongue and drag it forward. Then, rinse and repeat.

Make sure to get the sides of your tongue as well, not just the center! Make sure not to press too hard or you can cause yourself to bleed. And, if you’re wondering if you should scrape your tongue while recovering from a dental procedure, that’s a good question … ask your dentist for the best advice particular to your situation. Still not sure how this thing really works? The next time you’re in ask Dr Halek or one of our Team Members for a quick tutorial!

WHERE do I buy one? Your first choice is, believe it or not, US! Tongue scrapers are relatively inexpensive, and can also be found at any local drugstore. It doesn’t matter the material, color, or brand – just find the one you like and get scraping!

By Spa Touch Dentistry
May 04, 2018
Category: Oral Cancer
Tags: Oral Cancer  

If there were a quick and painless way to identify pre-cancerous cells in the mouth of someone you loved, would you want them to try it? What if that person were you? The truth is, as uncomfortable as it may be to even think of the word “cancer,” thinking about it, and thus detecting it early, is key. That’s why, if you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you should schedule a visit, because while the oral exam that accompanies your cleaning may not be noticeable to you, it’s often your earliest line of defense in the detection of oral cancer. Lets take a quick look at a few of the risk factors and symptoms, and consider a few options you may have to help reduce risk. Keep in mind that no list is exhaustive, and to always share with each of your health care providers your concerns and strategies regarding your oral health.

Those at Risk for Oral Cancer

Passing certain age thresholds and engaging in certain lifestyle habits can place you at increased risk for oral cancer. For example, men tend to have higher rates of oral cancers than women. Here is the short list:

· Patients age 40 and older (95% of all oral cancer cases)

· Patients age 18-39 who use tobacco, are heavy drinkers, or may have a previously diagnosed oral HPV infection.

Warning Signs

If you experience any of the below symptoms lasting more than 7-10 days, please seek the advice of your doctor. Also, keep in mind that aside from an obviously sore throat, the below symptoms can present themselves in the absence of pain. Look out for changes that can be detected on the lips, inside the cheeks, palate, and gum tissue surrounding your teeth and tongue. At Spa touch Dentistry, we occasionally run across such concerns a few times a year, and are able to help patients get treatment early.

  • Reddish or whitish patches in the mouth
  • A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
  • A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth • Chronic sore throator hoarseness
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing


Reducing risk If you do not visit the dentist regularly, you could be missing out on the benefits of early cancer detection. Currently, just over half of all those diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years – a statistic driven by late diagnosis – so please visit your dentist and get an oral exam at least once a year. If you are considered “high risk,” (see list above) you should be receiving an oral exam at least every six months, if not more frequently.

Below is a short list of healthy habits you can start doing now, which may reduce your risk.

  • Avoid all tobacco products
  • Avoid or reduce your consumption of alcohol
  • Consume more fruits and vegetables (good for everything, of course)
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure that can result in cancer of the lip (using lip balm with an SPF of at least 30 can be helpful)
  • Avoid exposure to environmental hazards (wood dust, formaldehyde, printing chemicals)
  • Conduct a self-exam monthly so you can catch any of the symptoms listed above. Use a small hand-held mirror so you can see the back of your mouth and tongue. Denise, is a great person to ask for instructions on this sort of home exam. If you haven’t been in to see us in a while, give us a ring at 407-774-4433, and we’ll show you how to perform this exam in between visits.

Oral cancer is serious business. Yet, it can be managed when caught early. So, do the right thing and visit your dentist regularly, and get that screening.


By Spa Touch Dentistry
September 12, 2014
Category: Dental Treatment
Tags: Dentist   Spa  
Are you someone that can’t get enough of the spa? Do you love a good massage? Perhaps, you ask for a massage whenever your birthday comes around. Why shouldn’t more things in life feel like a day at the spa? That’s the same way we feel! Why shouldn’t our patients feel like they are coming to a spa when they come in for their dental cleaning? Sure, the idea might sound a bit weird, but patients love their relaxing dental visit. If you want to combine the spa treatment with your next dental cleaning, then consider getting spa touch dentistry in Apopka.

Going to the Dentist Should be Relaxful!

We want our patients to feel comfortable coming to the dentist. It’s not surprising that a lot of people feel anxious and nervous when they come in for their appointment. Dr. Mark Halek, our Apopka, FL dentist, wants to remove all those negative feelings and transport you to a soothing world outside the dentist’s chair. We want you to feel like you just had a day at the spa. We value compassionate care here at our office, and we practice spa touch dentistry in Apopka with a gentle touch.
Before your cleaning begins, your Apopka spa touch dentist will place a warm, comforting eye wrap on you to cover and soothe your tired eyes. While the calming warmth of the wrap takes over, enjoy a relaxing massage from one of our dental chairs. Your back deserves some TLC!
Dr. Mark Halek also offers relaxing music and essential oils, which only help to enhance your spa touch dentistry experience. We want you to feel like royalty when you sit back in our dental chairs! Just because you are at your dentist’s office doesn’t mean it needs to feel like it. We believe your dental experience should be comforting every step of the way.
Additionally, Dr. Halek also offers a complimentary extra oral exam, offered with the use of gentle touch therapy. This exam is similar to a mini facial massage, and it’s the ideal way to end your dental appointment. You’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle that laundry list of daily tasks when you leave our office. Not only that, but you’ll also be leaving with a sparkling, clean smile. We want all our patients to maintain healthy smiles that last a lifetime, and through spa touch dentistry in Apopka, we now have a comforting way to do just that.

Call Spa Touch Dentistry for Any Questions!

If you’re interested in having a dental cleaning that feels like a trip to the spa, call us today at (407) 774-4433 to setup an appointment.
Have you experienced our spa touch dentistry in Apopka? Were you amazed at how relaxing and calming the whole process was? We would love to hear your feedback! We’re here to make all our patients as comfortable as possible.
When it comes time for dental procedures are you often anxious and fear going into the office?  With the advancement of laser dentistry, our Apopka dentist can help your anxieties go away. The availability of laser dentistry in Apopka allows us to help our patients feel at ease with comfort and safety. 
Through laser dentistry, a laser utilizes light energy to perform the procedure and can treat the targeted tissue while leaving the surrounding tissues unaffected.  Using laser dentistry allows our dentist in Apopka, FL to perform some of the most precise procedures needed to improve your oral health care. 
Benefits of Using Laser Dentistry
When it comes to laser dentistry, the benefits are abundant.  Many patients enjoy the use of lasers in their procedures because of the ease and comfort that are commonly associated with it.  Some of the major benefits that are associated with laser dentistry include:
Sutures may not be required with procedures performed using soft tissue dental lasers.
Certain laser dentistry procedures do not require anesthesia.
Damage to surrounding tissue is minimized.
Wounds heal faster and tissues can be regenerated.
Minimization of bleeding.
Dental procedures may be performed quicker, more effectively and more comfortably with the growing popularity of laser dentistry.  Laser technology has been used in various types of medical procedures for years and continues to grow in this constant expanding dental industry. 
The use of laser dentistry in Apopka opens the door for dentists to perform a wide variety of dental procedures they may otherwise not be able to perform.  Dentists using lasers in procedures have become more adept at incorporating this technologically advanced precision into a number of common and not-so-common procedures. 
Visit our Apopka dentist, Dr. Mark Halek, for more information on the use of Laser Dentistry for your dental needs.  Your choice of a laser dentist may make you feel more comfortable and exhibit less anxiety during your treatments.
So you have any cracks, chips or spaces in your teeth that may cause you to be embarrassed of your smile?  At Spa Touch Dentistry we offer dental veneers as a cosmetic solution to help solve these dental imperfections.  Regardless of the reason for enhancing your smile, dental veneers can help cover-up many of your teeth problems.
Dental veneers are a very prevalent treatment in cosmetic dentistry, as they are used mainly for aesthetic purposes. Veneers are an excellent alternative to crowns in many situations because they provide a more conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color, size or shape without significantly altering your original tooth.  Used to cover the front surface of a tooth, veneers maintain the appearance and translucency of natural teeth.
How Can Veneers Enhance Your Smile?
Made of ultra-thin shells of ceramic or composite resin materials, veneers are bonded to the front of your teeth.  The procedure for placement of your veneers requires little to no anesthesia, which makes it an ideal choice for improving the appearance of your front teeth.
Veneers have the ability to mask undesirable defects, such as stained teeth by tetracycline or damaged due to an injury or as the result of a root-canal procedure.  If you have gaps between your front teeth; teeth that are chipped or worn; or discolored fillings in your front teeth, veneers in Apopka may be just the right procedure for your smile reconstruction. 
Regardless of the causes for your damaged teeth, dental veneers can solve your cosmetic dental issues including:
  • Worn enamel
  • Wear and tear
  • Uneven teeth
  • Gaps in your teeth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Chipped and cracked teeth
What is the Veneers Process?
One of the most important aspects of the veneers process is your role.  Make sure that you take an active role in the design of your reconstructive smile because it is your smile you are changing and it should be the way you have always desired. 
Your teeth are prepared for the veneers by being lightly buffed to allow for the small additional thickness created by the veneer.  Generally, about a millimeter of your tooth is removed.  The removal may require a local anesthetic to avoid any pain.  Composite resin veneers tend to be done in one appointment and after the tooth is prepared, your dentist will carefully bond and sculpt the composite material onto your teeth.  In regards to ceramic veneers, a mold is first taken of your teeth.  The mold is then sent to the laboratory for fabrication, which may take several days. 
When your veneers are ready, our dentist in Apopka will place each veneer on your teeth to make sure they properly fit and to match the shade and color.  To apply your veneer, your tooth is cleaned and special cement is placed between the veneer and tooth to bond the two together. 
A consultation with our Apopka dentist will allow a proper treatment plan to be created in order to restore your smile to the way you have always desired.  Remember veneers are not for everyone so a visit to our office is necessary when deciding on the best solution for your smile enhancement.

This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.