Teeth, brushing, and flossing are a lot more fascinating than just being part of your daily routine. Yet, most people don’t know much more than that. So, we’ve compiled a short list of dental facts you’ll want to add to your memory bank. Some of these facts will make you laugh, some might gross you out, and others may even cause your jaw to drop.
Let’s take a look:
- Every day, people underbrush their teeth by 2 minutes and 30 seconds! That’s about 912 minutes missed a year!!! Be sure to brush twice a day for 2 minutes to keep your teeth clean.
- 60% of toothbrushes contain fecal particles due to storing them too close to the bathroom. You need to store your toothbrush at least six feet away from the toilet. Oh…and be sure to put the toilet lid down before you flush.
- To keep bacteria from growing on your toothbrush, be sure to store it in an upright position (bristles up).
- Soft bristles are better than hard bristles. Hard bristles can do some damage by putting stress on your gums that could lead to receding gum lines.
- Manual toothbrushes are as effective as electric toothbrushes. The only difference is that most people don’t spend enough time brushing with a manual toothbrush to get a proper cleaning.
- Many adults only floss when they feel something stuck in their teeth. Yet, by not flossing daily, you miss cleaning 40% of your tooth surfaces.
- Flossing can extend your life expectancy because it reduces the chances of getting infectious diseases.
- Did you know that you can buy floss in just about any flavor? The most popular flavors are mint, cinnamon, and bubblegum, but you can buy more obscure flavors like wasabi or even bacon!
- As soon as young kids have two teeth that touch, they should start to floss.
- Dental floss has been used to break out of prison.
General Oral Health Facts
- The enamel on the top surface of your tooth is the hardest part of your entire body.
- About 40% of kids have dental decay before they reach kindergarten!
- About 1 in 5 adults currently have untreated decay. That’s why yearly check-ups are so important.
- About 85% of people with bad breath have a dental condition that’s the cause.
- Many diseases are linked to oral health, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
Weird Dental Facts
- People who drink three or more soda glasses each day have 62% more tooth decay, fillings, and tooth loss than others.
- Yellow means decay, not just coffee stains. Enamel is partly responsible for your teeth’s white appearance, so when it decays, your teeth may start to appear yellow.
- You know that we each have unique fingerprints, but did you know we each have unique tongue prints?
- Your mouth is home to 300 known types of bacteria. In total, your mouth contains more bacteria than the entire human population on Earth!
- In a lifetime, your mouth will produce enough spit to fill a very big swimming pool.
- A sore jaw combined with chest pain can signal a heart attack – especially in women.
- In 2003, the toothbrush was chosen as the #1 invention people can’t live without, beating out cell phones and cars.
After reading these facts, I bet your daily oral routine becomes much more interesting. Hopefully, you’ll put your new-found knowledge to good use. If you need to schedule your next appointment or have questions, contact us, and we’d be happy to assist.
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, a time when dental and other medical professionals unite to create a larger awareness of oral cancer.
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer refers to cancer of the mouth, while oropharyngeal cancer refers to cancer of the pharynx or back of the throat. And guess who is your first line of defense against early detection…your dental provider!
How Many People Does It Affect?
Here are the American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers in the United States for 2020:
- About 53,260 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer.
- An estimated 10,750 people will die of these cancers.
5 Risk Factors
Doctors are constantly striving to understand oral cancer’s origins, but the issue is complex. However, the five factors described below may place you at greater risk of contracting oral and oropharyngeal cancers.
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
This sexually transmitted disease is now associated with about 9,000 cases of head and neck cancer (specifically those occurring at the back of the tongue, in or around the tonsils) diagnosed each year in the United States.
According to the American Cancer Society, men are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed and die from oral cancer than women. They attribute this to higher rates of alcohol and tobacco use, but also say that within younger men, it is due to contracting HPV.
Whether you smoke it or chew it, tobacco use dramatically increases your risk of getting oral cancer. Pipe smokers also have a higher risk of developing cancer in their lips. It is interesting to note that even smokeless tobacco can lead to cancer of the cheeks, gums, and lips.
According to the American Cancer Society, 7 of 10 oral cancer patients are heavy drinkers. Heavy drinking, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is an average of two drinks a day or more for men and an average of more than one drink a day for women.
Not Getting Regular Check-Ups
Did you know that your dentist is the first line of defense against the early detection of oral cancer? Every time you visit the dentist, the provider examines your tongue, teeth, gums, and every other surface in the mouth. Your dentist is not only checking for plaque buildup and cavities in your teeth, but they are also looking for any signs of oral cancer and early detection is key! If left untreated, oral cancer can spread to other parts of the body and become very difficult to contain.
Now you have a better idea of the 5 most significant risk factors for developing oral cancer. As you can see, nearly all of these factors are related to lifestyle choices. Those who choose to over-consume alcohol or smoke should seriously evaluate the necessity of these behaviors in their life. If you are not scheduling regular dental check-ups, we encourage you to make an appointment with our experienced dental team today.
Whether it happens when your child is eating, flossing or brushing their teeth, suddenly losing a filling can be somewhat traumatic, to say the least. Not only is it a strange feeling to be missing part of your tooth, but you can also experience tooth sensitivity and/or a good deal of pain after the tooth is exposed.
As a future note, regular dental visits every six months allows your dentist to keep an eye on your child’s fillings and make sure they are in good condition. However, if a filling does come out between dental visits, you need to know the steps to protect your child’s teeth and alleviate the pain.
Here are some important steps you can follow until your child gets in to see their dentist:
Manage the Pain
After taking a few deep breaths and making sure you and your child are calm, your next priority is to handle any pain they may be experiencing. Your child may feel a sharp pain on the affected tooth from inhaling cool air, as well as from sipping hot or cold beverages. After all, the tooth tissue is now exposed and is very sensitive.
Depending on your child’s age, various over-the-counter treatments are available and should suffice until you can get in to see your dentist.
- Ibuprofen and aspirin (or children’s aspirin depending on your child’s age).
- Over-the-counter topical analgesics, such as Orajel, that can provide temporary numbness around the tooth.
- Applying clove oil to the affected tooth is a natural remedy to consider. This is done by simply dampening the end of a cotton swab in the oil and applying it gently to your child’s tooth.
- Fill the hole temporarily with dental cement. This can prevent the tooth from becoming further damaged while covering up the exposed nerves to ease the pain. However, it is important to understand that this is NOT a long-term solution; the dental cement is not a substitute for a proper filling.
Note: Unlike a lost crown that may be kept and reapplied by your dentist, you will have NO such luck with a lost filling. Once the composite filling escapes from the tooth, there’s no way to save that particular filling. So, you can dispose of it.
Call your Child’s Dentist
The loss of a filling isn’t an emergency, but your dentist should take it seriously. Dental providers know that losing a filling can be scary and is often painful. This is why it’s a priority to contact your child’s dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.
In the interim, it is essential for your child to keep the affected tooth and the surrounding area clean. It is important to advise your child to brush as gently as possible and skip the mouthwash, which can burn and irritate the affected area.
Avoid Certain Foods
Until your child’s dentist appointment, there are certain foods you should try to avoid. You should tell your child to avoid foods with small seeds or kernels, such as strawberries and popcorn, which have a tendency to get lodged in the exposed area. It is also important to stick to drinking just water.
If your child loses a filling, it certainly can be stressful. You should do what you can to remain calm and reassure your child that this is a very common situation. It is important to soothe any pain and make sure to give your dentist a call as soon as possible. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact our office. We’d be happy to help!
Dental implants have gained a lot of attention in recent years because of their high success rates. Compared to dentures, bridges, and crowns, dental implants are an effective long-term solution for people who suffer from missing teeth, failing teeth or chronic dental problems. Once in place, you’ll be able to go back to enjoying your teeth and smile once again.
If you do not already have dental implants, here are the main three components:
- The implant: A metal post or frame that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gums and serves as a root for your new teeth.
- The abutment: A permanent, but removable (by your doctor), connector that supports and holds a tooth or set of teeth.
- The crown (or prosthetic tooth): This is the part of the tooth that you can see. It’s usually made of zirconium or porcelain for durability and to look natural.
While dental implants are a fantastic option for many, no dental procedure works 100 percent of the time. However, many of the most common dental implant-related problems are avoidable.
If you’re considering dental implants, or already have them, here’s how to help avoid common dental implant issues.
Choose a Qualified Dentist
Make sure you work with a qualified dentist or specialist for your dental implant procedure. An inexperienced or careless dentist can cause any number of problems. For one, dental implants inserted into the wrong position make it likely that the metal post won’t bond to your jawbone, leading to failure. Be sure to ask about your dental provider’s experience with dental implants before you schedule a procedure.
Disclose Your Full Medical History
Even though most people are good candidates for dental implants, not telling your dentist about your full medical history and health could lead to potentially bad outcomes with your dental implants. It is important to disclose everything, even if you think it might not matter.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Be sure to follow your dentist’s post-treatment care instructions for your implants, both immediately after the procedure and over the long-term. If you don’t, it could lead to an infection.
Smoking is said to be dangerous for your oral health and is the prime cause of dental implant failure. Dental experts say that smoking has several negative impacts such as infection, inflammation around the gums, and inappropriate bonding between the implant and jawbones. With this in mind, we strongly advise dental implant patients to quit smoking.
Report Problems Immediately
Some problems with dental implants happen after your procedure. For example, a newly formed sinus infection can cause pain. If the surrounding tissue doesn’t heal properly, you may experience excessive bleeding and discomfort. It is important to notify your dentist as soon as you experience a problem, so they can help you get back on the road to recovery. The longer an issue occurs without resolution, the longer it could take for your implants to heal.
Here are some common signs of dental implant failure or complications:
- Difficulty chewing
- Gum inflammation
- Gum recession
- Increased swelling
- Loosening of an implant or a replaced tooth
- Severe pain or discomfort
Routine check-ups should go without saying, but we all get busy. The easiest way to maintain a regular dental check-up schedule is to make your next routine appointment before you leave the dental office each time you visit.
Dental implants have a high success rate, but there can be complications from time to time. It is important to know what steps you can take before and after implant treatment to avoid any issues. For more information about dental implants, contact us today.
If you have a smile you don’t like due to teeth that are discolored, chipped, misaligned, uneven, or gapping, you probably find yourself refraining from showing your teeth. Perhaps you smile with closed lips or you cover your mouth when laughing. It is likely that you unintentionally walk around with an unfriendly, straight face. Do you realize that not being able to smile at your full potential can hurt your social life, as well as deprive you of some of the amazing benefits? Below are just a few of these benefits you may be missing out on.
5 Benefits of Smiling
- Your entire body relaxes when you smile.
- Smiling, even if forced, has been proven to immediately improve your mood.
- Smiling releases those feel-good endorphins.
- Smiling people are viewed as more attractive, sociable, and approachable.
- Smiling gives the illusion that you look younger than you actually are.
- And a whole lot more!
Two Ways to Easily Improve Your Smile
While there are many ways to improve your smile, two of the most popular methods are dental bonding and veneers. These are very similar dental cosmetic procedures, but they do have some important differences. Let’s take a look at each option.
Dental bonding is a low cost and simple dental cosmetic procedure that is used to improve the appearance of heavily discolored or chipped teeth, lengthen teeth that are too short, and even close-in unwanted gaps.
After you and your dental provider select a shade of white that is right for you, your dentist will then etch and roughen each tooth with a special tool. This process is painless and does not require anesthesia. One at a time, the teeth are coated with a special bonding liquid and then with a resin. Before hardening the bonding liquid, the resin is molded to the ideal shape. Then, using a high-intensity light, the resin is hardened into place. If needed, further trimming and shaping are completed to perfect the appearance. Last, but not least, you’ll receive one last polish. You are finally ready to fully smile and enjoy all the benefits that come along with it.
Dental veneers, like dental bonding, are also used to improve the appearance of your smile. However, veneers are custom-made, thin coatings that are typically comprised of porcelain. The material for veneers is hard from the very start, unlike with dental bonding, and may not be shaped after they are made.
At your first visit, a dental impression will be made of your teeth and then sent to a dental laboratory, where your new veneers will be made to fit your teeth. This process only takes 1-2 weeks. When your dentist is ready to apply your veneers, they will sculpt your existing tooth to make room for the veneer. This is a painless process and allows the final tooth thickness to look even and natural. With this final step completed, you permanently trade-in your natural teeth for porcelain veneers.
Choosing Between Bonding and Veneers
The decision to choose between dental bonding and veneers usually can be decided after reviewing these five significant factors…
- Cost: Bonding is more affordable than veneers.
- Durability: Veneers are far more durable than bonding; they won’t stain, chip, or break easily.
- Time: Bonding is a faster process.
- Permanency: Once you apply veneers, you cannot go back to your natural teeth.
- Appearance: Veneers have a nicer, subtle sheen to them; both options look natural.
If you are looking to smile with confidence, dental bonding and custom porcelain veneers are two great options to consider. To learn more about which option might be best for you, our dental team encourages you to give us a call and we’d be happy to address all of your questions.