New Study Examines Nature vs. Nurture in Cavities

A new study aimed at determining whether teeth are more prone to cavities thanks to genetics has found that genetics probably don’t play as much of a role in the development of dental caries as experts first thought.

The study was conducted by the University of Melbourne and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute at Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, and followed 345 pairs of twins from the 24-week gestational age to 6 years old. What they found was at age 6, 32 percent of the children in the study had cavities (also known as dental caries) and 24 percent had what are considered "advanced cavities."

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Help! My Braces ...

In life, as they say, accidents happen - and that’s never truer than when living with braces. Braces are the best way to fix a misaligned bite for a healthy, beautiful smile, but with all that extra equipment in your mouth, it can be an invitation for mishaps and accidents. Here are some common (and maybe not-so-common) braces problems, and what you should do if they happen to you.

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276 Hits

Pregnancy and Oral Health

If you are pregnant, first of all, congratulations! Pregnancy obviously brings about some big changes – including to your oral health routine. That’s because pregnancy hormones can sometimes wreak havoc on the gums, making gingivitis and bleeding gums much more likely. Even if your teeth and gums are in perfect health, you still may experience the phenomenon known as pregnancy gingivitis. But never fear - there are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of both pregnancy gingivitis and full-blown gingivitis while pregnant.

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Tips for Healthier Gums

When it comes to oral health, it’s no secret that a lot of emphasis is rightfully placed on caring for the teeth. But just caring for your teeth is not enough. There is another part of the mouth that often gets neglected – and it requires just as much care as your teeth. It’s your gums! Here’s why your gums are vital to not just your oral health, but also your oral health - and what you can do to keep them healthy.

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How to Care for Clear Aligners

Congratulations on your new aligners or clear retainer! You are one step closer to a beautiful, even smile. Before you begin wearing your aligners, there are a few important care tips you should be aware of. These tips will help you keep your aligners or retainers looking their best and lasting as long as possible.

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New Bill Could Broaden Dental Care

When the 115th Congress introduced H.R2422 to the lexicon, they did it with the best of intentions: to expand dental care to seniors, children and the underserved. The bill was initially launched on February 26, 2017, but it is still not official yet. The bipartisan effort would be a game changer for some, focusing more on preventative health care before problems arise. It would expand the current oral health programs that are available with Medicare and Medicaid programs.

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Helpful Hacks from an Unexpected Source

No matter who you are, it’s natural to want to save a buck or two where you can. But sometimes we’ve got no choice but to buy a separate product to use once. That’s not exactly economical, or practical. But what if we told you that you could have the answer to your problem in your home already - and it could come from a very unexpected source?

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Oh Baby: The Effect of Oral Health on Fertility

You may have already heard how your oral health can affect the health of your unborn baby during pregnancy, but several new studies have found that the oral health of not just the mother but both parents prior to conception matters, too. Here’s why.

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Nursing May Help Babies' Oral Health

There’s more good news for the approximately 80 percent of babies who are breastfed in America each year. According to a new study out of Queensland, Australia, nursing a baby can help improve oral health from birth.

Conducted at the Queensland University of Technology, the study was published in the medical journal Scientific Reports and examined the effects of saliva and breast milk on babies’ oral biomes. Researchers found that the combination of the two helped stave off some dangerous microbes for up to 24 hours.

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Top Reasons to Keep That Regular Dental Visit

With upwards of 10 percent of Americans suffering from odontophobia, or fear of the dentist, getting patients into the dental chair can be like, well, pulling teeth. But for every excuse there is about why a dental-phobic person can’t go to the dentist, there are many, much more valid reasons they should. If you’re thinking about backing out of your next exam, remember these important facts about why going to your regular exam is so important.

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How to Choose a New Dentist

Moving to a new city can be extremely stressful, even under the best circumstances. In addition to the actual move, there’s a lot of work to be done once you get settled. From navigating your way around to finding new friends, stores and services, moving can be very overwhelming, making it easy to forget important details. But relax - if you’re looking for a new dentist and aren’t sure what questions to ask, we’ve got you covered with this helpful guide.

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What Is a Molar Root Canal?

There are very few dental procedures that inspire as much fear as a root canal. A root canal is a procedure that removes dead or dying tissue and bacteria from the inside of a tooth. This happens when the pulp of the tooth becomes infected following an injury or severe untreated cavity.

The root canal procedure itself is somewhat complicated, but it's routine enough that most dentists perform them frequently. To do this, a dentist or endodontist must first numb the tooth. Then, they must drill into the tooth and, using a small tool, remove the infected tooth pulp. The remaining structure of the tooth is then irrigated and treated with an antimicrobial treatment. The tooth is then dried and filled with a substance called gutta percha. The dentist may next place a temporary crown on the tooth, to be replaced by a permanent crown within several weeks.

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The Fluoride Debate

There’s no shortage of controversial topics on the news most evenings, but there’s at least one topic that shouldn’t be as controversial as it seems. It’s the great debate many towns across America are facing these days: to fluoridate or not to fluoridate the water - that, as they say, is the question. So, who’s right: The anti-fluoride activists who claim that fluoridating the water supply can cause everything from low IQ to cancer, or the medical community who say fluoridating the water helps reduce dental caries (cavities)? Decide for yourself.

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1360 Hits

Wise Investment or Waste of Money?

Self-brushing toothbrushes. Waterpiks. UV teeth-whitening lights. With so many oral health innovations on the marketing – and so many more coming out each year - it can be overwhelming to consumers to know which products work, and which ones just aren't worth the investment. After all, why spend $200 on a whitening kit if it’s no more effective than your $4 whitening toothpaste? Here, we'll go over some of the more popular at-home products to help you decide which ones to buy.

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Don’t Try This at Home: Leave This Repair to the Experts

There’s a certain sense of accomplishment you can only get from completing a do-it-yourself (or DIY) project – especially if that project is something you’ve never tried before. But sometimes in life there are DIY projects that you really shouldn’t do yourself, not just because they’re too difficult, but also because they can be extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Such is the case with many at-home dental treatments. While some may promise results that rival a professional job, the risks involved make them not worth the effort. Here’s one dental treatment you should definitely not try at home.

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1573 Hits

Life Hack: Caring for Teeth with Braces

It’s no secret that orthodontic treatment can be a major investment. Even if your insurance plan covers them partially, there is often a lifetime max that may or may not allow you to treat other members of the family later. Suffice it to say, when you get braces, it’s in your own best interest to take care of your teeth. After all, you wouldn’t buy a Ferrari and then never change the oil, right? What’s the point of investing all that money in your teeth only to neglect caring for them while they’re being treated?

That being said, caring for teeth with braces can be extremely difficult. All those wires and brackets, expanders, rubber bands - even clear aligners have their own set of challenges. So how do you care for your teeth with all these obstacles in the way? Sure, there are tried-and-true methods, but they take time and can be difficult - and that’s just for adults. If you have teens or children with braces, you can pretty much guarantee they’re not taking care of their braces as carefully as they should be. If you’re doing the braces-cleaning labor for your kids, that’s great - but even guardians can use a helping hand, right?

Thankfully, there are some hacks that simplify care for your orthodontics. Try these methods for a faster - but no less effective - orthodontic cleaning experience.

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2736 Hits

What Happens When Adult Teeth Don’t Come In?

Growing up, there are many things we can usually rely on in life. We will most likely get taller, our bodies will get stronger, and our baby, or primary, teeth will fall out and be replaced by adult, or permanent, teeth. But sometimes, things don’t go according to plan. We may not get very tall or have muscles like The Rock, and sometimes we don’t get all our adult teeth like we should. For some people, the baby tooth that’s keeping the place for the MIA adult tooth never falls out, so at least there isn't an empty space where a tooth should be. But just because there’s a tooth in that spot doesn’t mean it should stay there. If you’re an adult with a not-so-grown-up baby tooth hanging around in your mouth, here’s why you should consider having it removed.

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Botox From the Dentist?

You may never have known about it, but across America, there’s a controversy that’s been brewing for years involving a very popular cosmetic filler. That’s because, depending on where you live, your dentist may be able to inject you with the cosmetic filler Botox - and not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.

Here in California, dentists cannot inject patients with Botox for cosmetic purposes. Many other states have the same law. This was done to protect patients from practitioners who may not have the skills and training to administer Botox. However, dentists arguably know the muscles and nerves around the mouth and face better than any other type of doctor, including plastic surgeons.

The good news is that your dentist can inject you with Botox for medical purposes! In fact, you may never have realized it, but Botox can be used to help alleviate the pain from some very common dental issues.

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How Much Pain Is Normal with New Braces?

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_486598651.jpgBraces are one of those necessary evils that nobody particularly wants but almost nobody regrets getting once they come off. The good news is that they usually work really well - and they don’t stay on forever (despite how it feels sometimes!). The bad news is that, unfortunately, they aren’t always the most comfortable or easy-to-clean oral appliances. If you’re hesitant about getting braces because of a fear of potential discomfort, check out this blog about what to expect when you get braces.

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1861 Hits

Common Questions About Dental Implants

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_294243569.jpgWhether you are already missing teeth or you are facing the loss of a permanent tooth, an increasingly popular solution is the installation of dental implants. A dental implant is a permanent prosthetic tooth (crown) that secures via a metal post that is implanted into the jaw. When properly installed, the crown looks and feels just like a natural tooth. But in order to achieve a flawless installation, there are some steps you should take before you even lose the tooth your crown is replacing. If you’re considering dental implants, here are some facts you should consider.

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1001 Hits