Wellness Blog

Posts for: March, 2018

March 28, 2018
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Why Straight Teeth?

TO SOME, IT MAY seem as if the benefits of having straight teeth are purely cosmetic, and those benefits certainly do exist.  In fact, studies have shown that people tend to perceive someone with straight teeth as wealthier, happier, and more dateable than someone with crooked teeth. However, straight teeth have several other important benefits beyond what meets the eye.

Consequences Of Crooked Teeth

There are many different ways crooked, crowded, or misaligned teeth can negatively impact a person’s health and quality of life. Let us take a look at a few of the major issues.

Difficult To Clean

When teeth overlap each other in ways they are not meant to, they can be much harder to clean with brushing and flossing. If teeth are not getting cleaned as effectively, they become more vulnerable to tooth decay.

Impede Clear Speech

Underbites, severe overbites, and other teeth alignment problems can interfere with a person’s ability to speak clearly, leading to lisps and other distortions in articulation.

Interfere With Healthy Digestion

Chewing is a critical part of the digestion process. Our saliva begins to break food down on a chemical level while our teeth break it apart into more manageable pieces. Crooked teeth can make it difficult or even impossible to chew food enough, which forces the rest of the digestive system to pick up the slack. This can lead to a number of unpleasant GI consequences, and it can even make it harder to lose weight!

Interfere With Healthy Breathing

If your teeth do not fit together comfortably, you might keep them apart instead of closing your jaws when resting. This can lead to mouth breathing, which has many negative health effects. The two most connected to oral health concerns are chronic bad breath and dry mouth.

Cause Jaw Problems

If there is something off with your bite, it can result in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.  Symptoms include a clicking jaw joint, jaw pain, and frequent headaches.

Do Your Teeth Need Straightening?

Having straight teeth eliminates or greatly reduces all of these problems. This, paired with the cosmetic advantages and the boost in confidence, makes orthodontic treatment a very worthwhile investment. If you think you could benefit from orthodontic treatment, our practice is here for you. In the meantime, keep brushing, flossing, and scheduling your regular dental appointments!

You deserve the best for your teeth!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original. The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


WHEN WE PICTURE the ideal childhood, we usually think of children playing on playgrounds and exploring nature with their friends. They discover the world around them, imagine fantastical worlds beyond it, play games, and make friendships that could last a lifetime. As wonderful as that image is, it often comes with bruises and scraped knees — and, sometimes, tooth injuries. So what can parents do to minimize their children’s risk of tooth injuries while they play? It is easy enough to remember a mouth guard during actual sporting activities, but sports games and practice are not the only situations that can lead to a lost tooth.

Home And Play Tooth Safety Tips

Here are a few simple tips for keeping your children’s teeth safe around the house and when playing with friends.

  • With babies and toddlers, the most common culprit for tooth injuries is the bathtub. Never leave a young child unattended in the bathtub, because they could easily slip and hurt their teeth.
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  • When your child is playing with friends and using objects such as frisbees or balls, have a discussion with them about safety. Make sure they know how important it is not to aim for each other’s heads.
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  • Using playground equipment like the monkey bars, jungle gym, and swings can easily lead to tooth injuries. Make sure to talk to your children before they start playing so that they will know to be careful.

Adult supervision and open conversations about safety are the most crucial components of reducing the risk of injury. By utilizing them, you could help your child avoid the need for major dental work. Just as important are their daily brushing and flossing habits and their regular dental checkups, because healthy teeth are harder to injure.

What To Do When Accidents Happen

While it is possible to reduce the risks of your child injuring a tooth, not all accidents are preventable. In the event a tooth does get knocked out or chipped, do not panic. If the tooth was not already loose when it got knocked out, and especially if it is an adult tooth, try to put it back in place and come straight to the dentist. This will give it the best chance for reattachment.

If it is not possible to put the tooth back in place, the next best thing is to place it in a glass of milk to keep the root alive. In any case, bring your child to the dentist as quickly as possible. The faster you arrive at the dentist, the better the chances are of saving the tooth.  Do not clean the tooth or put it in water! This will kill the root!

They Grow Up So Fast

Childhood never seems to last as long as we, the parents, wish it would. Our practice cannot make it last longer, but we hope this advice will help make it a little safer. If you have any questions for us about child tooth safety, feel free to ask or come see us. If not, we look forward to seeing you and your child at their next regular check-up!

Be careful with those teeth, but remember to have fun!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original. The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


MOST PEOPLE OUTSIDE of teeth-related professions probably only think about their teeth when something is wrong, like when there is something stuck between them in the middle of a date, they are sore from a toothache, or they are stained after drinking coffee or juice. That is why we thought our patients would appreciate an opportunity to think about teeth in a more fun and interesting context. Get ready, because it is time for some dental trivia!

You Probably Didn’t Know…

These are seven of our favorite pieces of dental trivia! How many of them did you already know? If you know any cool dental facts not included in our list, feel free to share them with us!

  1. A Lifetime Of Brushing: If you brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, you are spending a whole day brushing your teeth for every year of your life! Keep up the great work!
  2. First Impressions: After your eyes, your smile is what people notice most about you, so make sure you are taking care of it!
  3. Teeth Tattoos: It is possible to tattoo your teeth, though technically the tattoo is on a cap or crown that covers the tooth, not the tooth itself. (We probably would not recommend this one!)
  4. Super-healing: The mouth heals faster from injuries (like a bitten cheek or burned tongue) than any other part of the body. This is because of the ample blood supply, the simplicity of the tissues in the cheeks, tongue, and gums, and the healing properties of saliva.
  5. Congenitally Missing Teeth: Most of us will have 20 baby teeth and between 28 and 32 adult teeth (depending on how many wisdom teeth we have) in our lifetime, but for 3-8 percent of the population, some of those teeth might never develop at all!
  6. Baby Teeth: One in about 2,000 babies are born with at least one tooth already erupted! These are called natal teeth (or neonatal if they erupt within the first month).
  7. Ice Age Dental Fillings: Archaeologists have discovered evidence of crude dental fillings in teeth from 13,000 years ago in northern Italy!

Let’s Take Care Of Those Teeth!

There are plenty of weird and fascinating things we can learn about teeth, but if you ever notice anything about your own teeth that strikes you as unusual, come see us. It is always better to make sure nothing out of the ordinary is going on, and your teeth will thank you for doing so earlier rather than later.

Remember to keep brushing and flossing!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


DO YOU GET a painful jolt through your teeth every time you try to enjoy a bite of ice cream or a sip of fresh coffee?  If so, then you are familiar with the woes of tooth sensitivity, and you are not alone.  More than half of adults between the ages of 20 and 50 experience some degree of tooth sensitivity, and children can experience it as well.  So why does this happen?  To understand tooth sensitivity, it helps to know about the structure of a tooth and how the different layers function.

The Anatomy Of A Tooth

The crown of each tooth is covered with a layer of hard enamel.  Beneath the enamel is dentin, a bony substance with thousands of microscopic tubules running through it.  These tubules are how the nerves in the pulp at the core of each tooth can detect what is going on at the surface.

Causes Of Sensitivity

Most often, tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel wears away, which could be the result of teeth grinding, erosion from acid, or even improper brushing.  Without enamel, the tubules in the dentin become exposed.  Once that happens, eating or drinking anything hot or cold — sometimes even sweet or sour — will give the tooth a nasty shock.

Another major cause of sensitivity is root exposure.  Teeth roots do not have a protective layer of enamel; their main defense is the gums.  Gum recession, which can also be caused by teeth grinding or improper brushing, leaves the roots vulnerable.  Other causes of sensitivity include cavities and having a chipped or fractured tooth.

How You Can Protect Your Teeth

If you do have sensitive teeth, there are several ways to fight back.  First, start using a soft-bristled brush if you are not already, because hard bristles may further damage the enamel and gum tissue.  You can also switch to a toothpaste specifically formulated for sensitive teeth.  Finally, avoid sugary or acidic foods and drinks, particularly soft drinks.

What Our Practice Can Do

Make sure to come to us if you begin experiencing tooth sensitivity, even if your next regular appointment is months away.  We can strengthen your teeth with a fluoride varnish, perform dental restoration work on areas with enamel loss, recommend a gum graft to cover exposed roots, or prescribe a desensitizing toothpaste.  We will also make sure there are not any other problems with your teeth!

We’re here to make sure your smile stays healthy and strong!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


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March 01, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
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    HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED how your toothbrush was made or how it is different from toothbrushes of the past?  Teeth-cleaning tools have certainly come a long way from the frayed sticks Ancient Egyptians used around 3500 BC!
 

A Brief History Of The Toothbrush

The first toothbrushes that resemble modern ones were invented in China in the late 1500s and consisted of pig bristles attached to a bone or bamboo handle.  Before long, the design caught on in Europe, where they sometimes would use horse instead of pig’s hair horse hair.  Can you imagine cleaning your teeth with animal hair?  It does not sound very fun, but with no other options back then, it beat chewing on frayed sticks.

Over the centuries, the design gradually became more like the toothbrushes we are familiar with.  Toothbrushes were first mass-produced in 1780, in England.  The first toothbrush with nylon bristles was made in 1938.  Sixteen years later, Philippe Guy-Wood developed the first electric toothbrush in Switzerland.  Even with the long history of toothbrushes and all the advances in the design, oral hygiene did not become a priority in the culture until soldiers brought their strict hygiene regimens home with them from World War II.  Just one more reason to be grateful for our troops!

How Your Toothbrush Is Made

Nylon bristles and plastic handles were the last major change in what toothbrushes are made of, but how are they actually made?  First, the handles are molded from plastic pellets.  Then, a machine positions and attaches the bristles.  Next, another machine trims the bristles to the right length.  Finally, the finished toothbrushes are packaged and shipped.

The most important step before a toothbrush makes it to the cup beside your sink is quality control.  The American Dental Association tests new toothbrush designs based on comfort and efficiency.  Toothbrushes that meet their standards are given the ADA Seal of Acceptance, so make sure any toothbrush you purchase has it!

You And Your Toothbrush

A toothbrush earning the ADA Seal of Acceptance is not the end of the story.  From there, it is up to you.  Remember to brush your teeth for two full minutes twice a day, store your toothbrush upright in a dry place preferably far from the toilet, and do not forget to replace it every few months!  A frayed, worn out toothbrush cannot do the job of preventing tooth decay and gum disease as effectively as a toothbrush in good condition.

Need A Recommendation?

We know there are many toothbrushes out there to choose from, and there is no one toothbrush that is perfect for everyone.  Children need different brushes than adults, people with braces need different toothbrushes than people without, people with sensitive teeth need toothbrushes with extra soft bristles, etc.  So if you are having trouble finding the best brush for you, just ask us at your next dental appointment!

We can help you find the brush that is right for you!

Top image by Flickr user Pascal used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.