Wellness Blog

Posts for: January, 2019

ANIMALS MIGHT NOT BE as concerned with maintaining their oral health and hygiene as we are, but that does not stop some of them from having very interesting teeth!  Like our teeth are adapted to an omnivorous diet, animal teeth are adapted to the foods they eat.  In some cases, the results can be pretty strange.  In this blog, we are going to focus on four of the weirdest sets of chompers we could find.
 

1. The Tusks Of The Babirusa

Babirusas are pigs native to Indonesia, but they are not like the farm animals we are used to.  No, these pigs have a serious dental problem in the form of their multiple pairs of very large tusks.  These tusks are actually the babirusas’ canine teeth, which continue to grow through their lives.  The males’ upper canines grow right through their upper lips and keep growing, sometimes so much that they end up curving all the way back around towards their skulls!  Yikes!

2. The Icepick Teeth Of The Payara

The payara is a carnivorous fish from the Amazon Basin whose lower fangs have earned it nicknames like “vampire tetra” and “saber-tooth barracuda.”  These long, thin fangs range from four to seven inches long, and the payara uses them to impale its prey, including piranhas!  Payara can grow to up to four feet long and 80 pounds!

3. The Serrated Bill Of The Goosander

At first, you might think a goosander looks like any other duck, but if you catch one yawning or chomping down on food, you will notice its rows of tiny, razor-sharp teeth!  These European birds are members of the Merganser genus, also called sawbills — so named because of the 150 teeth lining their bills, which are designed to saw through whatever they eat, such as small mammals and sometimes even other birds!

4. The Red Fangs Of The Triggerfish

Triggerfish are a group of about forty different species of brightly colored fish marked by the lines and spots in their scales, but do not let their beautiful scales distract you from their teeth!  Triggerfish have very powerful jaws and teeth that they use to crush the shells of crustaceans.  The redtoothed triggerfish is perhaps the weirdest species of the group, with bright red fangs protruding from its mouth!

Taking Care Of Your Teeth

Do you know of any other weird teeth out their in the wild?  We would love to hear about them!  In the meantime, make sure you continue taking great care of your own pearly whites by brushing and flossing regularly.  We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!

We love helping our patients take care of their teeth!

 

Top image by Flickr user peterichman 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.


MANY OF US HAVE TO deal with tooth loss as we get older, whether it be because of an injury or tooth decay.  What can we do when this happens to us?  Fortunately, the field of prosthodontics (false teeth) has come a long way, giving us plenty of options for filling those gaps back in.
 

Dentures Throughout History

The first known dentures were made around 700 BC in northern Italy.  These dentures were made from human and animal teeth, and although a set of these dentures would deteriorate quickly, they remained the norm for two and a half millennia.  However, the industrial revolution in the 1800s led to a massive increase in the amount of sugar people consumed, and this caused the demand for higher quality dentures to increase dramatically.

It was around that time that people started trying new materials, such as ivory, which lasted much longer.  In fact, hippo and elephant ivory are what George Washington’s dentures were really made of, not wood!  Nowadays, false teeth are made of porcelain or acrylic resin, depending on the situation.  These are much stronger and more durable materials.

Modern Denture Types

Your individual situation will determine the type of denture that would work best for you.  Someone who still has some of their natural teeth will not require the same kind of denture as someone with no natural teeth, so what are the different types?

  • Full dentures are a complete set of removable false teeth.  They can be just the top teeth, just the bottom, or both.  These may be made of porcelain, which imitates the look and feel of natural teeth, and they can last from 5-10 years.
  • Partial dentures are for people who still have some healthy natural teeth.  The new teeth fill the gaps so the natural teeth do not start to shift and cause new oral problems.  They are often made of acrylic resin, which will not wear down the natural teeth like porcelain will, but do not last as long.
  • Fixed dentures, meaning non-removable dentures, come in a few different varieties.  There are implants, which are surgically placed into the jaw bone and fuse over time to mimic the old root; bridges, which fill gaps by being cemented to the teeth on either side of the hole; and implant-supported dentures, which use implants as anchors for dentures.

Which Dentures Are Right For You?

Figuring out the ideal replacement teeth for you can be tricky, particularly if you have never needed them before, but that is why you have us!  Schedule a visit with us as soon as you can so we can talk about what type you need and set up a plan to get you on your way back to a bright, full smile!

As always, thank you for putting your trust in us!

 

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 THINK OF SUGARY FOOD, we usually picture things like candy, cake, pie, ice cream, and soda, but there is sugar hiding in many of the foods we buy at the grocery store — even foods we do not think of as sweet.  This is bad news for our oral health, because the harmful bacteria in our mouths love all that sugar, whether we know we are eating it or not.
 

Sugar’s Many Disguises

Unfortunately, finding the sugar in the food we buy is not so simple these days, because it hides behind many tricky-sounding names.  Here are some of the terms to look for when checking ingredient lists:

  • The “-ose” words: Fructose, sucrose, dextrose, lactose, maltose, glucose.  All of these are scientific names for types of sugar molecules.
  • The syrups: Corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, maple/rice syrup, etc.
  • The sugars: Brown sugar, malt sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar, coconut sugar, etc.  Whether brown or white, liquid or powder, sugar is still sugar.
  • The “natural replacements”: agave nectar, honey, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice concentrate, 100 percent fruit juice.  While whole fruit is definitely a healthier snack than a candy bar, fruit juice is not any better for your teeth than soda.
  • Molasses.

While these are the most common disguises sugar may take, there are plenty more.  A good clue is in the “added sugars” line on the nutrition labels.  Unfortunately, these sugars can be found in everyday foods we often think of as healthy, or at least not unhealthy, like Raisin Bran, fruit-flavored yogurt, ketchup, barbecue sauce, granola, and most types of bread.  This is why it is important to always read the labels!

Our Recommended Daily Sugar Intake

With sugar hiding in so much of our food, avoiding it entirely can be a difficult task, but our teeth (and the rest of us) will be healthier and happier if we can keep the overall amount to a minimum.  The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) a day for women and 36 grams (9 teaspoons) for men.  That might not seem like much, but the good news is that the longer you go with less sugar in your day, the less you will miss it!
 

Healthy Sugar Replacements

How we consume sugar is just as important as the amount we consume.  The reason whole fruit is healthier than fruit juice is that the sugar in fruit comes with a lot of water and fiber, making it harder for our bodies to absorb.  Whole fruit is also more filling, whereas we could drink the equivalent of several oranges in juice and still have room for bacon, eggs, and toast.  That is the difference between natural and processed sugars.

But what about when you get those sweet cravings and fruit just will not cut it?  That is when sugar-free sweeteners like Stevia, xylitol, and erythritol or low-sugar alternatives like applesauce, bananas, dates, and figs come in handy.  You will also have an easier time avoiding those insidious added sugars if you stick to whole foods.

Check On Those Teeth!

Luckily for all of us, cutting down on sugar is not the only way we can take care of our teeth.  We can also keep them healthy and bright by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and scheduling our regular dental cleanings.  If it has been more than six months since your last appointment, do not hesitate to schedule your next one today!

Our practice has the world’s sweetest patients!

 

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.