Some Of History’s Fun And Bizarre Dental Stories

HISTORY IS FULL of outrageous tales about teeth! How many of these dental facts have you heard before?

The Dental Woes That Won the Battle Of Yorktown?

During the Revolutionary War, George Washington wrote a letter to his dentist requesting some dental cleaning tools to be sent to New York, noting that the American forces wouldn’t be in Philadelphia any time soon. The correspondence was intercepted by the British, making them think that Washington would not move his army to Yorktown. When the Americans attacked Yorktown anyway, the British were caught unawares and the battle was ultimately won.

Check out the video below to learn more about George Washington’s teeth and dentures!

The Power Of A Tooth

In Sri Lanka, the Temple of the Tooth is home to Buddha’s left canine. After Buddha’s death, this tooth played a major role in politics–whoever was in possession of the tooth had the right to rule the country. The tooth was passed down from monarch to monarch for generations as a symbol of power and authority to govern. Talk about strong teeth!

Cotton Candy And A Good Laugh

Some dentists throughout history put their names on the map as inventors. William Morrison may have been a dentist, but he is best known for developing the cotton candy machine! We think it was his history as a dentist that inspired him to first call cotton candy “fairy floss.”

Another dentist named Horace Wells saw a public demonstration of the effects of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and recognized its medical possibilities. He asked a colleague to pull one of his teeth out while he was under the influence of laughing gas and said he didn’t feel a thing, effectively introducing general anesthesia to dentistry. Now that’s dedication!

The $31,000 Tooth

After getting a tooth extracted, John Lennon gave it to his housekeeper whose daughter was a huge Beatles fan. The tooth stayed in the family for over 40 years until it was sold at an auction for approximately 31,000 dollars!

Sir, You Have Spinach In Your Teeth…

The famous frontman for the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger, added some flare to his smile by putting an emerald chip in one of his teeth. Unfortunately, most people thought it was a piece of spinach. He changed it to a ruby but got tired of people telling him it was a drop of blood. He finally settled on a diamond instead.

Floss Your Way To Freedom?

In 1994, an inmate escaped from a West Virginia prison by braiding dental floss into a rope and scaling the prison wall! We recommend just using floss to clean out those hard-to-reach spaces between your teeth.

Getting Into Character

Some actors are really devoted to their craft! For his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” Johnny Depp had gold caps put on his teeth. He wore them until after the filming of the third film!

In the comedy “The Hangover,” Ed Helms’ character loses a tooth after getting punched by the boxing legend, Mike Tyson. Well, guess what? His toothless grin is real! When Helms’ permanent tooth never grew in, he decided to get a dental implant to improve the appearance of his smile. For the film, he had his implant taken out so the tooth loss would be authentic!

Know Any More Interesting Stories?

There are plenty of other crazy dental facts and tales out there. Which ones did we miss? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

Thank you for being our valued patients and friends.

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.

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

Do Dental Fillings Last Forever?

YOU MAY BE SURPRISED TO LEARN that dental fillings don’t last forever! While they are extremely durable and can last years, there will come a time when they will have to be replaced.

We Check Your Fillings At Your Regular Visits

You may be wondering, “If fillings don’t last a lifetime, then how long DO they last?” That depends on a number of factors, such as the type of procedure performed, the size or area being treated or replaced, the kind of materials used for the filling and the patient’s level of oral hygiene and care.

At your six-month appointment, we will check your fillings and make sure they are still intact. We will look for early signs of wear and tear so we can replace a dental restoration before it breaks, loses its effectiveness or falls out on its own. We also take x-rays to make sure there is no decay under or around a filling, which can cause it to come loose.

We’re Here For You In An Emergency

Despite your best efforts, a filling may crack or fall out unexpectedly. This is unlikely to occur if you visit your dentist regularly, however accidents can happen. Over time, dental fillings can be weakened by:

  • Tooth decay
  • Frequent jaw clenching and teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Chewing on hard items or foods
  • Injury or trauma, such as those sustained during sports activities
  • Time; no filling lasts forever no matter how well kept

Although the following video discusses tooth loss, the same principals apply for a lost filling!

If you ever have a filling fall out just remember, don’t panic and don’t wait. Even if it falls out after hours, call us immediately–we’re here for you in an emergency! We will get you in as quickly as we can. In the meantime, keep your filling if you can but don’t try to push it back into place. Make sure to keep the affected area clean and debris-free.

If you don’t experience any pain after losing a filling, it’s still important to come in as soon as possible to have it treated. Not seeking immediate care could result in pain, discomfort and even tooth loss.

Call Us Anytime, Day Or Night

Regular dental visits are imperative to maintaining a healthy smile. With that being said, we know not every dental emergency happens during normal business hours. That’s why we strive to make ourselves available to our patients as often as possible. If you need us, call us! Your health and comfort is our number one priority.

Thank you for reading our blog and supporting our practice!

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.

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

Baby Teeth Myths—Busted!

YOU MIGHT THINK that baby teeth don’t matter because “they’re just going to fall out anyway,” but think again!

There are a lot of myths about baby teeth out there, so we’re going to set the record straight: here’s a list of the top four baby teeth myths, BUSTED!

Myth #1: Baby Teeth Aren’t Important

Although baby teeth eventually fall out, they are extremely important to a child’s developing oral health. Not only do they hold the space for permanent teeth to grow in straight (preventing crowding and crooked teeth), they also help the face structure develop properly and ensure that young children can eat and receive plenty of nutrition.

Myth #2: Cavities In Baby Teeth Don’t Matter

You might have heard that babies can’t get cavities at all, or that if they do have them, it’s not a big deal. Both rumors are untrue; not only are cavities painful, they can cause swelling and even infection. In addition, children who have cavities in their baby teeth are three times more likely to develop cavities in their adult teeth. If you think your child may be developing a cavity, marked by discoloration or a small crack, call us right away!

TIP: Don’t let your child fall asleep with a bottle! Juice and milk are full of bacteria-feeding sugars which cause cavities.

Myth #3: You Don’t Need To Brush or Floss Baby Teeth

You should begin “brushing” your children’s teeth even before their first tooth grows in! Just use a soft, wet cloth or bit of gauze to rub their gums to help reduce bacteria and prevent future cavities. Once teeth come in, help get your children in the habit of brushing twice daily with a smear of toothpaste and flossing regularly.

Myth #4: Young Children Don’t Need To See A Dentist

There is a common misconception that children shouldn’t visit the dentist before the age of three, or before they have their full set of 20 primary teeth. The ADA states that children should visit the dentist by the time they get their first tooth, or at least by the age of one.Early check-ups can identify cavities and help prevent and assess other problems.

Need Any More Myths Debunked? We Can Help!

If you have any questions regarding your child’s oral health, give us a call! We love any opportunity to help you, our wonderful patients!

Thank you for being a part of our practice family.

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.

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

Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered!

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WANT TO KNOW what our patients have been asking us? Here are the top five frequently asked questions we get at our practice!

#1: “How often do I actually need to visit the dentist?”

For most people, twice a year. Even if you do have perfect oral hygiene, plaque and tartar buildup are inevitable. With a professional cleaning every six months, your teeth will stay clean and healthy. We can also catch problems early at your biannual appointments, often saving you time, pain and money!

If your dentist wants you to come in more than twice a year, it may be because you have gum disease, are pregnant, or smoke, among other things. How often you need to make a dental visit is based on the health of your gums as well as how committed you are to a good oral hygiene program.

#2: “My tooth doesn’t hurt so I why do I need a filling?”

A cavity forms when bacteria in plaque produce acids that eat away at your tooth. It will usually not hurt at the beginning stages since it is only harming the protective outer layer of the tooth called the enamel. If a cavity is left untreated, the decay will reach the inner layers of the tooth, finally causing pain and sensitivity.

Most dental problems don’t have any symptoms until they reach a more advanced stage. That’s why it’s important for you to come in every six months–we can catch problems before you even begin feeling them!

#3: “What can I do about tooth sensitivity?”

Start by using desensitizing toothpastes, which are specially formulated to soothe the nerve endings in the tooth and reduce pain. You can also help by limiting acidic foods and drinks which eat away at your tooth enamel over time, causing sensitivity. In addition, don’t brush too aggressively. This can cause gum recession, which is a frequent cause of sensitive teeth. If these steps do not help, come in to see us! There are other in-office treatments we can provide to reduce sensitivity.

#4: “Why are my teeth getting more yellow?”

A darkening or yellowing of the teeth is inevitable over time, as this occurs naturally with age. However, trauma and certain lifestyle behaviors can contribute to tooth discoloration. The most common culprits for surface stains are cigarettes, wine, coffee, tea, cola, sports drinks, berries, hard candy and tomato sauce. If your smile has lost its sparkle, talk to us about the whitening options we provide in our office!

#5: “Should I be using an electric or manual toothbrush?”

While an electric toothbrush can help patients with limited dexterity ensure a better cleaning, a manual toothbrush, if used for the appropriate amount of time and done with proper technique, can perform just as well as a powered toothbrush.Certain features may attract you to an electric toothbrush, however, such as the ability to gauge pressure or a built-in timer.

We’re also often asked about wisdom teeth! Check out the video below to learn more:

We Love It When Our Patients Ask Questions!

The more educated you are about your teeth and mouth, the better you will feel about going to the dentist and making decisions for your oral health. Have any more questions? Call us or come in today!

Seeing our patients smile is what we live for!

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.

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