November 7th, 2017
Wisdom teeth are appropriately named, because they are a set of molars that don’t grow up through the gums until later in life. Usually, wisdom teeth begin to sprout when a person is between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one, although it varies—some people get them sooner, others later. Wisdom teeth can sometimes be helpful, because that extra set of molars helps us chew our food. Unfortunately, many people need to have their wisdom teeth removed, because there isn’t enough space for them in the mouth.
Problems of Wisdom Teeth
Oftentimes, wisdom teeth don’t have the room to grow. Because the molars develop so much later than other teeth, oftentimes well after a mouth has fully developed—sometimes after a dental appliance, such as braces, have already aligned the teeth—there isn’t room for these extra molars. And there’s no easy way to predict how the wisdom teeth will grow in the mouth. Sometimes wisdom teeth can become impacted (impacted means that a tooth is trapped beneath the gum line, possibly even in the jaw). If wisdom teeth grow too closely to other teeth, it’s possible that food debris can get trapped in the spaces between. Sometimes these tight spaces can be very difficult to keep clean. Sometimes they grow so close to the neighboring molar that it becomes difficult, if not practically impossible, to floss. And when the spaces between teeth are not cleaned, bacteria thrive; and, when bacteria are allowed to thrive, a mouth can suffer from conditions such as infection and gum disease. Also, when wisdom teeth grow too close to their neighboring molars, they can damage those other teeth, destroying the roots, or even damaging the bones in the jaw that support those teeth.
When wisdom teeth overcrowd, or when they do damage to a mouth, they should be removed. Your dentist at Premier Dental will be able to determine if there is a potential issue. You and your dentist can discuss possible treatments, or, when wisdom teeth don’t require immediate removal, a plan to monitor their growth. If you have any questions about wisdom teeth, your dentist at Premier Dental is ready to answer them.
November 2nd, 2017
Holidays and Sugar
Halloween has come and gone, yet the candy lingers. We know the amount of sugar presented to kids at this holiday and most is absurd, and we know that excess sugar leads to tooth decay and a whole host of other issues (you can read about : Ten Ways Sugar is Hurting Your Kids )
. Unfortunately, many of our American traditions involve copious amounts of sugar!
Birthdays = Cake
Easter = Chocolate Eggs & Jelly Beans
Christmas = Cookies & Candies
Independence Day = BBQ (full of sugar!) & Ice Cream
Thanksgiving = Pumpkin Pie
And of course, Halloween = Candy
Learning Moderation: Spacing out the candy stash for a specific amount of time can help parents keep within the 3-6 teaspoons of sugar a day recommended by the American Heart Association*. The typical U.S. child eats around 20 or more teaspoons a day, so getting your kids within the recommended amounts most likely means you will have to take sugar out of the rest of your kids meals and snacks. Think: no juice, no soda, no sugar snacks, no honey, no syrup those days. This might be hard, but it will teach not only moderation, but also trade-offs, which are a big part of life.
Giving/Sharing: Keeping only the candy your children really love, and giving the rest away, will reward them twofold: First, the brain enjoys things more when it is not overwhelmed by too many choices and when the so-so options are weeded out. (We actually get less enjoyment when our candy stashes are peppered with mediocre candies.) Give away any candy that is not in your kids' top 10 sweets, and they will be even happier with what is left. Second, giving candy away will also teach charity and sharing.
Premier Dental is hosting their 4th annual Halloween Candy Buy Back on November 6th, 2017. Kids are encouraged to bring in their candy and receive cash and register for prizes. The candy is donated to the U.S. service men and women! It's a definite win-win. Premier Dental has also partnered with two local schools, Rohwer Elementary and Sandoz Elementary to collect candy and donate the money to the school. The kids get a prize for donating, the school earns money and the candy is out of the hands/mouths of kids.
October 5th, 2017
Halloween. It’s that time of year again! Now, obviously, your dentist is not going to recommend you binge out on candy. No person’s teeth can handle an overabundance of sugars. You might be wondering, however, why is sugary candy so, so bad for your teeth? The answer involves bacteria. Bacteria love the abundance of sugars in candy, and while they devour the sugars in your mouth they produce an acid that wears at tooth enamel and creates cavities.
Chocolate is one of the best candies for teeth, because the excess debris that gets left behind is more easily washed away naturally by saliva. The better the chocolate than the lower the artificial sugar content—at least, that’s usually true (dark chocolate has considerably less sugar than milk chocolate).
Sticky Candies and Hard Candies
No, no, sticky candies. Sticky candies make it difficult for the mouth to wash away the sugar. They stick to the surfaces of the teeth and encapsulate the tooth like a sugary cap. Not good.
Sticky candies are essentially setting up bacteria colonies. When chewed, hard Candies can easily chip or crack a tooth.
There are many Halloween-time extras that are delicious; delicious, but bad for your teeth. Caramel apples are a wonderful tasting Halloween treat, however the caramel that surrounds the apple is very bad for your teeth. Caramel may be the worst sticky treat you can chew. Caramel is terrible for your teeth. If you do partake in a caramel apple, make sure that you both brush and floss your teeth soon after. Popcorn balls are another seasonal favorite. Popcorn balls are usually held together by some type of sticky, sugary substance—somewhat comparable to caramel. Popcorn balls are also usually hard and can damage teeth in a way similar to hard candy. Also, the corn kernels may get stuck between teeth or in the spaces between a tooth and the gum line; if you do eat a popcorn ball, then make sure you brush and floss.
Stay safe this Halloween, and keep to your good oral health practices. If you need to make your next appointment, make sure to call Premier Smile today.
September 10th, 2017
We all know that flossing is important. But why? Why, daily, should we have to slip that strand of floss between our teeth, clean out the space down to the gum line? Don’t a toothbrush’s bristles get far enough into those narrow spaces? The number one reason to floss is to help to rid the surfaces of the teeth from harmful bacteria that can develop plaque, which, if allowed to thrive, will then harden into a substance called tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by twice-daily brushing and flossing. Bacteria that are allowed to thrive can cause chronic conditions such as gingivitis or the more severe periodontal disease. Bacteria allowed to thrive can be responsible for halitosis (bad breath).
How to Floss
Flossing is relatively simple, and if you are someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience (it’s estimated that over thirty percent of adults who are over the age of thirty don’t floss—at all) with a week’s worth of practicing you will have mastered the skill. First, start out with a strand of floss about 12-18 inches in length. (It doesn’t matter which type of floss you use; floss comes in numerous sizes, colors, and flavors—they all work!). Wrap the ends of the floss around your index fingers and work it into the space between two teeth. Slide the floss between the teeth keeping your hands at opposing angles that make the floss bend around the tooth—it should look like the letter C. It’s easiest to begin at a tooth at the edge of the mouth, or a tooth in the very center, so that you will remember which teeth you have already cleaned.
If you have issues with dexterity, there are appliances which can be used with just one hand. One such product is a soft plaque remover, which resembles something like a soft toothpick, and the other appliance is a flossing aid, which traps the ends of the floss between two prongs, and the flossing aid can be maneuvered over the spaces between the teeth, using just one hand. To schedule your next dental checkup, call Premier Smile today.