Tuesday, March 24, 2009

If a Monkey Can Floss....

"Flossing is hard."  "Flossing hurts."  "Flossing takes too long."  "I can't remember to floss."   I've heard them all.  This video falls under the heading "so easy a monkey can do it." Leave it to a monkey to set a good example.....

Monday, March 9, 2009

Another Notch on Green Tea's Belt: It Helps Your Gums

Green tea has been getting a lot of great press lately.  It gets credit for helping your heart and preventing cancer (providing you drink it, of course). I have also seen it make an appearance in shampoo and face cream (which you probably shouldn't drink).

Now a study that has been published in the Journal of Periodontology indicates that drinking green tea can help your teeth and gums. Gum health was better in the green tea drinkers than it was in the non-drinkers. The benefits might be attributable to the presence of the antioxidant catechin.

Green tea works hard for your health, but it can't do it alone.  Let your dentist help.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Do You Like Brad Pitt's Smile?

Last week I attended the Chicago Dental Society's 144th Annual Midwinter Meeting, which took place in, you guessed it, Chicago. In winter. A survey was given and the responding dentists said that the the celebrity smile most men ask for is that of Brad Pitt (a change from 2006's Tom Cruise). For women, the most requested smile belongs to Julia Roberts. Movie stars do seem to have nice teeth. Does that mean if you call 1-800-DENTIST and take care of your teeth you might become a movie star? You never know....  

In another survey response, 17% of responding dentists feel that the Tooth Fairy should pay $5 per tooth! With this economy and that rate, the Tooth Fairy might want to stock up on Super Glue.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Visit Your Dentist, Not Your Junk Drawer

We hear the news stories every day. We know the words: economy, deficit, unemployment, stimulus... Yes, times are tough, but don't take it out on your mouth and your health. A woman in Colorado has actually been using Super Glue to keep her teeth in her mouth. "Self help" in dentistry involves brushing and flossing, not this.

We know why dentistry isn't cheap (and shouldn't be) and why dentistry is a good investment. Sure, you can wait a bit for the dream smile if you need to, but get basic care. I hope you know by now that if you don't have one, 1-800-DENTIST will help you find a dentist near you. Many will invite you in for a no-cost evaluation and will discuss financing options for care you may need. Super Glue sold separately.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Is 600 a Crowd? Ask Your Saliva.

In addition to helping us fight tooth decay, saliva is also home to over 600 types of bacteria. Scientists (again with the scientists) have found that the variety of bacteria in the saliva is not as related to diet and environment as they had suspected.  Because of all the colonies of bacteria, saliva actually contains more DNA than blood does.

The article mentions one of the benefits of saliva. Humans are not as good as animals at detecting toxins, so we vomit more than other species. Saliva helps to guard against the damage of the acid when we throw up (Charming, I know.).

Most bacteria don't help us at all. They are just along for the ride. So keep your mouth clean and visit your dentist regularly before a new species gets named after you.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Why Don't We Have Shark Teeth?

Have you ever wondered why sharks have several rows of teeth and we have only one? Neither have I, but scientists have. Genetic researchers have isolated a gene in mice that controls tooth development and placement. When they "turned off" the gene, the mice developed extra teeth.

In humans this could provide a weapon against abnormal teeth development and cleft palate, which occurs in 1 in 700 live births.  Also, the potential to grow new teeth in adults could add an additional choice to dentures or dental implants.

Tonight when you pick up your toothbrush, be happy you don't have mouse or shark teeth. Also, they don't have the ability to call 1-800-DENTIST to find a great dentist.