The Crazy (and Disgusting) History of Mouthwash

Posted by & filed under History of Mouthwash, Oral Care.

For as long as humans have been using tools, we’ve been cleaning our teeth! From toothbrushes made out of sticks, to dental floss made out of horse hair, we have always been mindful of our oral health. But what about mouthwash? When did we start swishing liquid around hoping for cleaner mouths?

Ancient Roman Mouthwash

There are references to mouthwash in Chinese, Greek, Egyptian and Roman literature, but the most well recorded early instances of humanity using mouthwash comes from ancient Rome, in A.D. 1. The Romans used to buy bottles of Portuguese urine and use that as a rinse. GROSS! Importing bottled urine became so popular that the emperor Nero taxed the trade. The ammonia in urine was thought to disinfect mouths and whiten teeth, and urine remained a popular mouthwash ingredient until the 18th century.

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Teaching Kids Smart Ways of the Floss

Posted by & filed under Children's Dentistry, Flossing, Oral Care.

Little girl flossing her teeth

“May the floss be with you.” – Luke Skywalker, if he was a dentist fighting the Cavity Empire

For kids, at first sight tooth floss can look like the funny string dad uses to catch fish or the long handle they use to hold onto balloons.

Putting in their teeth can seem downright silly, like SpongeBob Square Pants silly.

But getting kids comfortable with using floss regularly from the time they get their first teeth can give them an invaluable weapon in the fight against cavities and tooth trouble.

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Taking Care of a Mouth after a Pulled Tooth

Posted by & filed under Children's Tooth Extraction, Lost Tooth, Oral Care, Pulled Tooth.

Baby teeth are meant to be lost so that the incoming adult teeth can erupt without issue. Most of the time, baby teeth are lost naturally, or due to an impactful force common in childhood. However, sometimes a baby tooth must be pulled to make room for the incoming adult tooth to avoid crowding and misalignment. If your child has a tooth extracted, they can experience pain and sensitivity in the following days. Follow these tips to keep your child’s mouth clean – and pain free – after they’ve had a tooth pulled.

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Why Flossing Matters

Posted by & filed under Dental Care, Flossing, Oral Care.

Woman flossing

Flossing is an important part of getting a healthy smile and keeping cavities and gum disease away. Yet, a recent study conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA) revealed that just over 50% of Americans floss daily, while nearly 19% don’t floss at all. But why is flossing so important?

Not Flossing Can Lead to Gum Disease

A full flossing routine should include cleaning teeth below the gum line, where dental plaque can go unseen and unreached by toothbrushes. If left untreated, plaque buildup near the root of teeth can lead to gingivitis and tooth loss. Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing are often an early sign of gum disease. People who regularly brush and floss their teeth suffer from gum disease and tooth decay far less than those that do not.

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Essential Tooth Tips for the Parents of Infants & Toddlers

Posted by & filed under Infant Tooth Tips, Oral Care.

Early infant oral care

More than 40% of children have cavities by the time they reach kindergarten.  In fact, The CDC reports that tooth decay is the most common preventable disease in children and while the cavity rate in children of older age groups has been slowly declining, the rise in cavities among those under 5 is actually increasing. Unfortunately parents often wait too long to begin a routine of oral care and to start caring for emerging teeth.  Here are five essential tips to get your child started on the right path:

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Four Ways to Get Your Kids to Brush More Consistently

Posted by & filed under Cavity Prevention, Oral Care, Toothbrush.

It can be difficult for all of us to do something that we’re simply not in the mood for.  This is especially true for children, whether it’s bed-time or bath-time.  Maintaining good oral hygiene can be a challenge as well, so here are a few tips for motivating your children to keep their teeth healthy:

Let kids pick their own toothbrush.

One of the easiest ways to make brushing fun is to indulge your kids with a themed toothbrush. You can find tooth brushing gear with everything from Sponge Bob to Finding Nemo and even comic book characters and superheroes. Always pick one with soft bristles and with a brush size that is appropriate for their mouth and age.   Giving your child an opportunity to choose her own toothbrush empowers her to be an active part of maintaining positive dental habits.

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Should Children & Teens Get Tooth-Whitening?

Posted by & filed under Oral Care, Teens, Tooth-Whitening.

Public awareness of tooth-whitening procedures and products has grown significantly in the past few years.  The number of questions our patients and their parents ask about tooth-whitening has also increased especially among parents concerned about their child’s self image and older adolescents/teens who want to look their best.  But are these methods and procedures safe for young mouths?  Let’s look at a few guidelines.

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Tooth Surprise! This Common Food Can Be More Damaging Than Candy.

Posted by & filed under Cavity Prevention, Healthy Eating, Oral Care.

When we think of the foods most harmful to our teeth, we immediately think of candy.  Cavities are caused by bacteria in your mouth that creates enamel attacking acids. This bacteria feeds on sugars that exist in nearly everything we eat, and candy is one of the most obvious culprits.  But other foods can be just as rough on teeth, if not worse.

You may have been “tricked”.

Chips and crackers are often substituted for sweets because we think they are better for our teeth, and even people who are vigilant about brushing can be less likely to consider the negative effects of starchy foods.  Unfortunately, it’s not only obviously sweet foods that can cause trouble for teeth, but potato chips, crackers, and other starches are bad news as well. They become soft or sticky when chewed, and stay lodged in teeth long after the meal. Although they don’t necessarily taste sweet, the starches in crackers and chips are broken down into sugar by enzymes in the mouth.

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Four Tips For Sensitive Teeth

Posted by & filed under Oral Care, Sensitive Teeth.

People of all ages can be affected by sensitive teeth.  Whether it’s biting into a cold ice cream cone or drinking a hot beverage, the pain that can come from hypersensitivity can be more than an inconvenience.

What can cause sensitive teeth?

  • Cracked or fractured teeth
  • Missing or worn fillings
  • Gum disease
  • Cavities

Each of these needs to be treated by a dentist.  Ignoring tooth sensitivity or expecting it to get better on its own can cause problems to compound and bring on even more pain.  By far, the most common cause of tooth sensitivity is exposed dentin, the soft tissue just below the hard enamel that protects your teeth.  Dentin can be exposed by one of the causes listed above, or simply because it has worn away as a result of abrasion.

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