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Cary Dental Guest BlogDr. Acton's Insights

Newsletter Oct 11

By October 13, 2023October 16th, 2023No Comments

It’s already October!

Hello everyone,

It’s hard to believe that October is already upon us. I hope you’re enjoying the pleasant weather. In this newsletter, I’ll discuss our “Smiles For Life” charity, share my thoughts on snoring, and offer tips on preventing it. Additionally, I’ll delve into the most common causes of cavities.

As always, we are deeply grateful to have you as our patients and look forward to seeing you soon!

Allan M. Acton, DDS

Owner, Founder Cary Family Dental


Smiles for Life: 20 years

For the past two decades, our office has been a dedicated supporter of the Smiles For Life charity. Every year, from February to July, we contribute 100% of our teeth whitening proceeds to the Smiles For Life Foundation. This foundation channels funds to both local and national children’s charities. Thanks to your support, we’ve raised a total of $134,381 for charities nationwide over the years. This year alone, we collected $5,190, with half of that amount going to our local American Heart Association chapter.

We chose the American Heart Association (AHA) as our beneficiary because my son, Jack, now 13, was born with a rare congenital heart condition. Before his fourth birthday, he underwent three open-heart surgeries. Today, he thrives as a typical 13 year old boy, a testament to the incredible efforts of the AHA and his dedicated doctors.

To everyone who has supported or donated to Smiles For Life throughout the years: thank you! Your commitment to this cause and our community truly makes a difference.

The top 6 things that affect my sleep and 2 ways I monitor my sleep

For years, sleep has been a challenging puzzle for me, marked by issues like snoring and sleep apnea. Over the past decade, I’ve adopted a systematic approach to decipher this puzzle. Every night, I wear a pulse oximeter that constantly monitors my oxygen levels and pulse rate. In tandem, I use a sleep tracking app on my phone that’s keen on detecting signs of snoring and movement, offering me a daily sleep quality score.

From this wealth of data, I’ve pinpointed six key factors that seem to influence my sleep quality:

  • 1. Diet: Eating heavy or carb-rich foods, especially close to bedtime, such as my mom’s pound cake, tends to disrupt my sleep.
  • 2. Alcohol: Even a modest amount, like a glass of wine, noticeably increases my snoring, drops my oxygen levels, and raises my heart rate. These effects can persist for more than a night.
  • 3. Exercise: Regular physical activity has proven to enhance the quality of my sleep.
  • 4. Weight: Gaining even a little weight tends to deteriorate my sleep experience. 
  • 5. Routine: Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, where I retire and wake up at the same times, has been beneficial.
  • 6. Environment: A pitch-dark room seems to foster better sleep for me.

Monitoring and understanding one’s sleep patterns is essential for total well-being. By using tools like the oximeter and sleep tracking app, I’ve been able to shed light on the nuances of my sleep. If you believe you might be experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s crucial to seek advice from a physician. Quality sleep isn’t just about feeling rested; numerous studies have shown its profound impact on overall health. It’s a vital component of our lives that deserves both attention and informed care.

Sleep soundly – guaranteed less snoring:

Are you or your partner struggling with disruptive snoring? Snoring typically occurs when the tongue relaxes during sleep, falling back into the throat and partially blocking the airway. This blockage causes the tissues at the back of your throat to vibrate as you breathe, producing the characteristic snoring sound. Factors like weight gain, extreme fatigue, or consuming alcohol before bed can exacerbate snoring for many individuals.

If you’ve attempted to address these factors without success, you might find relief by protruding your chin slightly, a posture that pulls the tongue forward and opens up the airway. However, maintaining this position while asleep can be challenging, which is where a snore appliance can be beneficial.

To help prevent my snoring, I wear a specialized snore appliance that gently encourages my chin forward, facilitating a more open airway and smoother airflow while you sleep. This not only diminishes snoring but also promotes more restful sleep, as I have seen for years. Though it might not eliminate snoring completely, it can significantly reduce the intensity of the snoring sounds.

What are the leading causes of cavities?

During your health and wellness check at our office, we perform a comprehensive risk assessment to identify any factors that might increase your likelihood of losing a tooth. It’s our goal to ensure that everyone maintains their healthy smile for as long as possible. Here are a few key points that we focus on during these evaluations:

One area we focus on is the potential for cavity development, which is a significant factor that can escalate the risk of tooth loss. The formation of cavities is closely linked with the acidity levels in your mouth. A higher acidity level creates an environment where cavities can flourish. Here are the two primary sources that can cause this increase in acidity:

  • Sugar in your diet: Consuming high amounts of sugar can lead to a more acidic oral environment. Sugary beverages, such as sodas, sweet teas, and energy drinks, are some of the main contributors, along with hard candies. The longer sugar remains in your mouth, the more time bacteria have to convert it into acid, leaving your body with less time to neutralize it. Therefore, it’s critical to monitor your sugar intake and to minimize the duration sugar stays in your mouth.
  • Dry Mouth: Another contributor to increased acidity is a dry mouth, which might be a side effect of certain medications or inadequate hydration. In a dry mouth, acids are not efficiently washed away, posing a higher risk for cavity formation. If you suspect that your medication causes dry mouth, it might be beneficial to discuss alternatives or solutions with your doctor. Furthermore, increasing your water intake and maintaining regular oral hygiene can be effective strategies to mitigate this risk.

To safeguard your teeth against cavities, it’s recommended to be vigilant about your diet, stay hydrated, and adhere to a consistent teeth cleaning regimen. By adopting these preventative measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of cavities and, consequently, tooth loss.


Can’t seem to find time to call us during the day and would prefer to schedule online. For most of our appointments you can schedule here

We recommend the Sonicare electric toothbrush. If you are looking for one change to make to your oral hygiene that seems to make the biggest difference, start using an electric toothbrush. You (and you hygienist) will notice a difference almost immediately. If you are already using one, don’t forget to change the brush heads when they wear out. You should be changing them every 2-3 months. 

Jack and I love going to the NC State Fair. If you are thinking about going, you can save money by buying your tickets ahead of time here.

Want to see the leaves change in Western NC? Here is an interactive guide to the leaves in Asheville.

A quote I am inspired by. I saw this online the other day and I found it impactful. Jeff Goldblum quotes George Bernard Shaw and the meaning of life.

Smile makeovers. Click here to see some of our before and after smile makeover results.

Calendar Updates:

We are excited to remind you that we have extended hours on select Saturdays to provide you with more flexible scheduling options. Currently, we are open two Saturdays a month to help accommodate your busy schedules.

Open Saturdays Through January 2024:

  • October 21
  • November 4, 18
  • December 2, 16
  • January 13, 27

Please mark your calendars with these dates and schedule your appointments early to secure your preferred time slots.

Closed on the following dates:

  • November 22-26
  • December 23-26,  and Dec 29 – Jan 1, ‘24
  • January 11, 2024
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