Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Dental Hygiene For Men

Here are some of the risk factors for developing gum disease:

Being male: Men are more likely to suffer from gum disease than women.

Being African-American: Black men are more likely than white men to develop gum disease.

Lack of funds and insurance: People at the lowest socio-economic levels tend to have the most severe gum disease. This is largely because they don't have access to (or can't afford) regular dental care.

Age: As we get older, our gums gradually recede, exposing the roots of the teeth to plaque. We also produce less saliva, which plays an important role in rinsing plaque out of the mouth.

Genetics: If your parents lost teeth to gum disease, you are at greater risk.

Neglect: Not brushing and flossing regularly.

Poor diet: Sugary snacks and drinks encourage the growth of plaque, and crunchy snack foods can damage enamel and teeth.

Clenching, grinding teeth: Chronic teeth grinding can sometimes result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may also damage tooth enamel and wear teeth down. This kind of damage can lead to the need for a host of expensive dental work, including bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures.

Smoking: Recent studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of gum disease. In addition, following periodontal treatment or any type of oral surgery, the chemicals in tobacco can slow down the healing process and make the treatment results less predictable.

Original Post by btflbutterfly77 on November 5th 2009

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Fact Or Myth? Truths You Need To Know About Tooth Whitening


TRUTH: Modern methods of teeth whitening, including laser teeth whitening or Air Flow technique, have minimal harmful effects. Nevertheless, one must remember that teeth whitening may not be recommended for all people, especially for those who have extremely sensitive teeth, problematic enamel, underdeveloped tooth tissues, or facial composite restorations and crowns.

TRUTH: In average, the effect can last for about a year or so, but after every additional bleaching procedure the duration of the effects usually decreases. Generally most patients will "touch up" bleach their teeth periodically to maintain their pearly whites. 

TRUTH: It is, actually, very harmful, because sodium bicarbonate we use for baking has very strong abrasive effects. If you want to whiten your teeth in an easy way, the use of special whitening toothpastes with bicarbonate contain much smaller particles of bicarbonate and they do not damage teeth as much.

TRUTH: While Peroxide MAY slightly lighten your teeth if swished with, it CAN however cause serious chemical burns to the soft delicate tissues inside your mouth. This route is highly discouraged by dental professionals.

TRUTH: This is absolutely not true! A tooth can look healthy and white, but, at the same time, it can have cavities, problems with the root or other abnormalities that require treatment.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Tips For Pet's Oral Health

Dental disease affects 78% of dogs and 68% of cats over age 3. Periodontal trouble in animals causes the same problems that it does in humans: from mild tartar and gingivitis to receding gums; significant inflammation and tooth loss.

Keep Your Crest In The Cabinet:
When you are ready to start brushing your pet's teeth do not use your toothpaste, this has to much fluoride in it, also this is toxic to animals. You can go to your local pet store and find tooth past that is right for your pet.

Open Sesame:
While holding your pet, put a little bit of the toothpaste on your finger, and let them taste it. Next gently put your finger in their mouth and rub the gum line. Once you and your pet have this down (may take a few weeks) try using a children's soft toothbrush.

It's All In The Wrist:
The most comfortable way to brush your pets teeth is have them on your lap (if they are small enough) and have their head face away from your body. Use your left hand to brush the right side of her mouth and vice versa. For large pets, have them face you while they sit and start brushing!

When All Else Fails:
Try tarter-control treats!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Plaque Attack Experiment

Did you know February is National Children's Dental Health Month? Well now you do!

If your a teacher or have a child at home and would like to teach them about dental plaque, here is a fun easy science experiment!


  • 2 plastic cups
  • 2 spoons
  • 4 tsp. yeast
  • 2 cups of warm water (not hot)
  • 1 TB of sugar
  1. Place 2 tsp. of yeast into each cup.
  2. Add 1 cup of warm water into each cup.
  3. Add 1 TB sugar to ONE cup.
  4. Stir to mix (using separate spoons)
  5. Watch the PLAQUE ATTACK!!
This is an great lesson to show children why its so important that we brush and floss our teeth twice a day.

*If your a teacher you can pair this lesson with a new toothbrush for each student for extra excitement!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Foods To Avoid After Your Wisdom Teeth Are Extracted

Many people leave their doctors office following a surgical extraction with a list of generic "do's and dont's", but a lot of people don't have a clear understanding of which types of foods to stay away from until the gums are healed. Below is a list of suggestions (straight from a dental assistant) to help with the decision making process.

Foods and Beverages to Avoid

Chips of any kind
Crunchy cereal
Alcoholic beverages
Carbonated beverages (these can interfere with the natural clotting that occurs after the procedure. The clotting is important to protect the open socket.)
Piping hot beverages

In addition to these foods and drinks, smoking is an irritant and should be avoided following an extraction. Both smoking and drinking through a straw can be harmful as the sucking motion can cause the bleeding to begin again.
As with any surgical procedure, check with your doctor or dentist if you experience excessive pain, bleeding or anything out of the ordinary.

Remember: A good rule of thumb is if it's crunchy, don't eat it!

Keep smiling!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Botox Reduces Teeth Grinding!

Botox is most commonly known for getting the crows feet and wrinkles out of your face. At least that's what is promoted the most about it. However, in reality, botox is used for a lot of medical conditions. If you have get chronic migraines, botox will help. Stiff muscles, a botox injection will take care of it. Even for the some with a overactive bladder.

What about teeth grinding? Yes, it reduces that too. Teeth grinding (medically known as bruxism), is a serious issue that can greatly damage your teeth, cause TMJ, and end being very costly to treat. Most of the time it treated with a mouthguard that is designed to reduce the risk to your teeth. However, even with the mouthguard you are still grinding in your sleep. Instead of grinding tooth to tooth, you are grinding on the mouthguard itself. Which, in essence, still causes the jaw pain and can lead to TMJ. It protects your teeth really good, but has a limited effect to protecting your jaw.

Botox on the other hand, has been proven to great reduce the grinding all together. 

So, if you are a chronic teeth grinder, maybe Botox is something to consider.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Dental Prosthetics From All Eras

Did you know that 35 Million Americans are missing teeth in one or both jaws?

We all know that replacing missing teeth can be expensive and time consuming but replacing teeth is nothing new. Humans have been replacing teeth for decades.

Lets take a look thought the ages of dental prosthetics:

Stone Age:
If someone had a cavity the ancient dentist would scraped out the hole using a stone tool and then would fill it with bitumen (a tarry substance).

Gold Teeth:
Gold made its debut about 2,500 years ago, and dentistry took full advantage. One of the earliest uses of gold wire was to hold teeth together. Gold was able to interact with water, air, food and the environment of a persons mouth without causing rust or wearing.  Picture below is an example of a gold bridge.

Early unambiguous (and rare) examples of prosthetics were fashioned entirely from gold, predating the Roman empire.

Pre-Roman Bridges:
Etruscans crafted some of the oldest known prosthetics and have made one of the earliest attempts at bridges. The picture below is a replica of an Etruscans bridge from around 1901.

Etruscan bridges are among the oldest known dental prosthetics.

Paul Revers, Tool maker:
One of Paul's many talents included dentistry. He would make dental prosthetics using ivory. In 1775, Paul was able to identify the body of a friend thanks to a bridge he crafted himself. This is where the use of dental records and prosthetics came into play when they need to identify bodies.

Along with gold, ivory has historically been a popular material for dental prosthetics.

Modern era:
Modern prosthetics are now made from ceramic. Today, dental prosthetics are held firmly to a patients jaw and are often indistinguishable from natural teeth!

An example of a ceramic dental crown on a model jaw.

Imagines and more information can be found here!

Monday, February 12, 2018

To Disinfect or Not - A Toothbrush Dilemma

This post is from a couple of years ago but I think with the current flu season upon us and the fact that it is particularly bad this year, it's worth a repost.

It is that time of year again, you know, when viruses abound in the form of head colds, flu, bronchitis, stomach viruses...your kids bring it home from school, it's prevalent in the workplace, grocery stores, etc. When we or someone around us is sick, we tend to reach for that can of Lysol spray or the bottle of bleach and disinfect everything from our doorknobs to our computer keyboards and even the telephone receiver!  But....what about our toothbrushes? Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to that.  Research differs on the subject.  Some healthcare providers suggest that you boil your toothbrush or rinse it in a bleach solution and then with clear water, or even replace it.  Others will tell you that there is no need because you cannot reinfect yourself with the same virus over and over as your antibodies will prevent it.  Hmmmm.....not so sure I believe that. but to be clear, I am no doctor!

So, who to believe? Personally, I trust my own instincts. To prevent illness from spreading in my household or workplace I will disinfect everything you can imagine that may have have a hint of a virus.  Now, this is a personal thing and others may not feel that way but I prefer to err on the side of caution, and my "phobia" has served me pretty well over the years!  Follow your instincts.  If you think it will help to disinfect your toothbrush then do it, if for no other reason than your own piece of mind!

Stay Healthy and Keep Smiling!

Friday, February 9, 2018

First Aid For A Broken Or Knocked Out Tooth

If you have ever broke a permanent tooth or had one knocked out, there is always that moment of "What Do I Do Next". Well, hopefully this can give you some insight.

It is important to remember, that you have about a 30 minute window to save the tooth a increase the chance that it can be successfully re-implanted into your mouth.

Here are some first aid tip to help you!

1. Collect Teeth or Teeth Fragments
  • Handle teeth carefully because damage may prevent re-implantation.
  • Touch only the crown, the top part of the tooth. Do not touch the root of the tooth.
  • Rinse the tooth gently in a bowl of lukewarm water for no more than 10 seconds only if there is dirt or foreign matter on it. Do not scrub, scrape, or use alcohol to remove dirt.

2. Re-Insert or Store Teeth

  • Rinse mouth with warm water.
  • If possible, reinsert permanent teeth into the correct sockets and have the person bite on a gauze pad to hold teeth in place.
  • If you can't reinsert permanent teeth, or for baby teeth or teeth fragments, store them in whole milk or between your cheek and gum to prevent drying.
3. Treat Symptoms
  • Control bleeding with sterile gauze or cloth.
  • For pain and swelling, apply a cool compress. Encourage a child to suck on a frozen pop.
4. Get Help
  • For teeth that have been knocked out, see a dentist or go to an emergency room immediately. Take the teeth or teeth fragments with you. Even if the teeth have been successfully reinserted, you should see a dentist.
  • For chipped or broken teeth, call a dentist.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Dental Impressions

Getting a dental impression is not a pleasant or a comfortable procedure for those of us who have a gag reflex but getting those impressions play an important part into your oral health!

Dental impressions produce a replica of your teeth and oral tissue and are used for many different procedures including: Crowns, mouth guards, whitening trays, retainers, bridges, veneers, dentures and other things. 

To make a impression of your mouth the dentist or their assistant will mix up a material and put that into a impression try, then they will slowly insert it into your mouth so it covers the entire dental arch. After the material has hardened they will remove the try and the impression will be sent to the lab for further processing. 

Here are a few pointer if you need a dental impression in the future ask the dentist or the assistant if you can sit up during the procedure, try breathing through your nose and try to focus on anything else besides the gunk in your mouth. Once the impression has been removed ask for a sip of water or mouthwash to rise out your mouth. 

Image result for dental impressions

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tooth Enamel Erosion-Once It's Gone, It's Gone.

Dental enamel, unlike bones, does not regenerate or "heal" once it is damaged. Dental enamel is formed during the original growth of the tooth underneath the gums. While there are many factors that can contribute to the loss of dental enamel, such as poor dental hygiene or certain hereditary conditions, there is good news. Researchers are actively seeking treatments and therapies that could change everything. Of course, proper hygiene and regular visits to your dentist are the best way to combat any kind of dental dilemma, but for dental enamel in particular, there are now certain treatments that can help slow the process of enamel degeneration that can be applied during your regular dental visits as part of your preventative maintenance regimen. There is also a plethora of information circulating on the internet that implies there are certain natural remedies that can heal cavities and regenerate tooth enamel, although it isn't scientifically proven as yet.

Keep Smiling! 

Friday, February 2, 2018

After Flu Season, Always Change Your Toothbrush!

Following every flu season and this could include the current COVID pandemic, if you are anything like me, you do the normal routine: Wash blankets, pillow cases, sheets and basically disinfect the whole house. Especially if you or someone in your household has been ill.

However, one thing that often gets overlooked is your toothbrush! Even if you didn't have the flu, you want to make sure you replace it. Airborne viral bacteria can attach to basically anything, including your toothbrush and theoretically it can transfer to your body when you brush your teeth.

There is a common misconception that toothbrush bacteria is harmless. Afterall, you are the only one who uses it, right?  Well, consider this: The bristles on the toothbrush are tall and there are many areas for bacteria to hide. The toothpaste does not clean or disinfect the brush. Soaking it in mouthwash from time to time can be helpful, and a good rinsing every time you brush is a good practice.  Still, the ADA recommends that you replace your toothbrush after a viral or bacterial illness or every 3 months to prevent the spread of infection.