Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The History of The Toothpick

There is evidence that the toothpick has been around in various forms since 1600 BC and that our modern day toothbrushes actually evolved from them! In early times, things like porcupine quills and chicken bones and wood splinters were used to clean teeth. Here are some excerpts from an article I found that has some great information about when the toothpick originated.

"The skulls of Neanderthals, as well as Homo sapiens, have shown clear signs of having teeth that were either flossed with blades of grass or picked with rudimentary toothpick tools. Similar markings have been found in the fossilized teeth of both American Indians and Australian Aborigines."
Source: Smithsonian Magazine

Here is another excerpt I found particularly interesting...
"At one time, you could tell a person's status by what they used to pick their teeth. Kings, queens, and lords picked their teeth with designer toothpicks made from gold, silver, or ivory. Often, they were inlaid with precious stones. Twigs and porcupine quills were most often used by the "lower classes." By the 17th century, the toothpick was the latest fad for the educated classes in Europe they were even included in traveling sets together with a knife and spoon."
Source: http://members.aol.com/acalendar/February/toothpick.html

Here's a closing fact just for fun:
Did you know?
"One cord of wood (logs 8' in length, stacked 4' high, and 4' wide) can be turned into 7.5 million toothpicks." Source: amusingfacts.com

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Antioxidants And Oral Health

Are antioxidants good for our oral health? The answer is YES!

According to a presentation at the 2019 ADA FDI World Dental Congress, presented by Karen Davis, RDH, antioxidants found in dark chocolate and berries can help boost oral health!

Antioxidants such as Vitamin A, C, E, K can help reduce plaque, prevent gum disease, aid in healing mouth sores and promote collagen synthesis.

Davis recommends "consuming a healthy supply of antioxidants daily".

You're in luck because antioxidants can found in many types of foods, such as:
  • Dark chocolate
  • Dark-colored berries (blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries)
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Nuts 
  • Cinnamon
  • Tumeric
If you are prone to gum inflammmation you can even apply antioxidants topically. The major benefit of applying antioxidants topically is that it is immediately absorbed into the mouth tissues and start releasing anti-inflammatory agents right away!



Information found here!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Are kids Drinking Too Much Sugar?

Here is a startling fact...in 2018 almost two-thirds of sugary drinks purchased were accounted as children drinks!

Children who drink sugary drinks such as soda, juice, and flavored waters may develop obesity, cavities, tooth decay, tooth loss, and other health risks.

Yes, I mentioned flavored water. The majority of people think they are doing a great job by having their child drink "water" but unfortunately, those added flavors usually contain high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar or agave syrup.  The best way to flavor water is by using natural fresh fruits!

According to WebMD it is recommended that children should consume less than 6 tablespoons of sugar (25 grams) daily. Just to put that into perspective, one 12-oz can of soda contain 39 grams of sugar.

Below are some healthy alternative drinks for your child:
  1. Regular water
  2. Natural fresh fruit infused water
  3. Coconut water
  4.  Smoothies -
    1. Kale and pineapple
    2. Spinach and blueberries
    3. Peach and cauliflower
    4. Strawberries and beets 
      1. Blended with un-sweetened non-dairy or dairy milk
      2. It can include add-ins like: hemp seeds, cocoa powder, unsweetened coconut, avocados, etc.
  5. Unsweetened milk
  6. Unsweetened plant-based milk (coconut, hemp, almond, soy, etc.)
  7. Herbal teas






Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Bad Teeth Hurt Both Professionally and Socially

The struggle is real.  The pain is real, both physically and emotionally.
It’s a stigma that no one wants to bear…a crooked smile, broken or missing teeth, visible decay, and it can lead to poverty and discrimination.  People (including potential employers) will judge a person by how they look.  It happens, and it’s unfortunate.
A mind-blowing fact is that a potential employer may look past things such as excessive tattoos, piercings or even rainbow colored hair when it comes to hiring, but will pass over a person with broken or missing teeth.  The reason for this is clearly due to a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem in the interviewee.  People who have bad teeth will typically try to hide them by covering their mouth, not making eye contact or not smiling, lending to the perception of low self-worth.
In social situations, friends or acquaintances may be reluctant to include or introduce someone due to embarrassment.  Adding to their misery is the fact that dentistry is expensive and although there are financing options available almost everywhere, those without a job cannot usually qualify. Medicaid programs are of little help.  Most pay little to nothing for adult dental care, and nothing for restorative treatment.  All of this combined creates a vicious cycle of personal struggle and can lead to poverty.
It is a sad fact that many people living in poverty consider dentistry a luxury that is reserved for the rich.
The emphasis that is placed on physical appearance nowadays is unbelievable.  But then they say first impressions are everything.  It appears they are.



Thursday, October 31, 2019

Top 15 Halloween Candies Your Dentist Wishes You Won't Eat!

Happy Halloween, every year dentist offices across the country encounter a rush of patients experiencing Halloween candy-related dental emergencies!! No joke!! It's very common for patients to present themselves to the dental staff with crowns or bridges that have been pulled off, fillings that have been pulled out, teeth that have been chipped or cracked all by these innocent sweeties we consume every year!! I've compiled a list of the most common offenders that can be found in your candy bowl!

Top 5 Worst Culprits
(these are known to extricate crowns, bridges, and fillings with ease)
  1. Sugar Daddy
  2. Milk Duds
  3. Dots
  4. Bit-O-Honey
  5. Good n' Plenty
Top 10 Accomplices
  1. Jolly Rancher
  2. Laffy Taffy
  3. Caramel
  4. Gummy Bears
  5. Toffee
  6. Tootsie Rolls
  7. Sugar Babies
  8. Now & Laters
  9. Super Bubble Gum/ Dubble Bubble Gum
  10. Slowpokes

There ya have it! For those of you who have any type of dental work done, watch out for these sneaky little candies...or you may find yourself in the dental chair bashfully blaming your missing filling on one of these sweet little criminals!

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

original post by Dawn_DA  October 2009

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Safety Is The Key To A Fun Halloween!!

We won't nag about the effects of too much sugar on children's teeth...we all know the drill!  Ha ha ha! (No pun intended!)
However, it's about that time for our little princesses, pirates, goblins and gremlins to strut their stuff for treats this week! Here are a few safety tips for our trick-or-treaters to help make the best of their night out!
  • Make sure your child is wearing a glow stick, reflective tape or has a flashlight when headed out to make them easily visible to other people and drivers!
  • Instruct children to only visit houses in familiar neighborhoods that are decorated for Halloween. These houses are usually kid friendly and prepared for the trick-or-treaters.
  • Make sure your children know to never enter someone's home or vehicle unless accompanied by a familiar adult.
  • If you have an older child going out alone, make sure they are going out in a group and have a planned route so you know where they are at all times.
  • Instruct your child to not eat any treats until they are examined by an adult.

And most importantly...Have Fun!!

Wishing you all a Safe and Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

What Is Leukoplakia?

Leukoplakia (loo-koh-play-key-uh) are thick, whitish patches that form on the inside of the cheeks, gums or tongue, these patches are caused by excess cell growth and are common among tobacco users. Other causes include rough, uneven teeth and improperly fitted dentures.

If you notice these white patches, make an appointment with your dentist to get an oral exam. If the patches look suspicious your dentist will most likely do a biopsy, taking a small tissue sample and send it to a pathologist for testing. The goal is to rule out oral cancer!

Treatment begins with removing the factors that contribute to the lesion: quit using tobacco, replace improperly fitted dentures, etc.

*Image is from Google*
Image result for leukoplakia


*Remember if you notice something out of the ordinary, see your dentist immediately, don't wait because then it might be too late.