Researchers at the University of Missouri are blazing the trail for painless dental fillings with their recent invention, the Plasma Brush. The Plasma Brush uses chemical reactions to disinfect and clean cavities before fillings in place of The Drill.
Wouldn't it be great if tooth decay became a thing of the past? A visit to your dentist would, most of the time, only include a cleaning session with the hygienist followed by an examination by your dentist. Basically, most of the intrusive dental procedures such as filling cavities in teeth, building crowns and bridges would be far less common. Even the less intrusive air abrasion procedure would be required only occasionally.
Often times when a cavity is found the patient blames this as genetics, "my dad had really bad teeth and I do as well". No matter how diligent we are in our dental hygiene, sometimes it is inevitable to get a small cavity. The number one cause of decay is leaving small bits of food on the teeth either by not removing it properly - brushing, flossing, and rinsing - or not being able to remove the food because of deep grooves on the teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach or crooked teeth that do not allow for proper flossing.
When a patient comes into a dentist office, the dentist takes radiographs (x-rays) and takes time to do a thorough examination of the condition of your oral cavity. This exam covers more than just your teeth, it involves the tissues as well. The dentist will do an oral cancer screening, inform you of what they find and what needs to be done to help you. Any questions about the work needed are answered at this time. Once this is performed, a treatment plan is made explaining the cost and if insurance is involved, what they are estimated to pay. The timing of the treatment is recommended and then it is up to you to decide on the next step.
Summer is coming and with it comes warm weather, barbeques and ice cold sodas. How refreshing! With that also comes extra weight, weak tooth enamel and cavities. Looking at the label on a can of soda shows that there is about 160 empty calories per 12 ounces, but it doesn't show what it does to your dental enamel.
We all know that we get two sets of teeth. The first set starts coming in sometime between 4 and 12 months of age, and begin getting replaced by adult teeth as early as 4 years old. Alarmingly, a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that the rate of cavities detected in the baby teeth of small children between the ages of 2 to 5 increased from 24% in 1994, to 28% in 2004. This is particularly distressing because in the preceding 40 years there had been a decrease in tooth decay in children so the new data suggests a reversal of this trend.
You have taken the time to fill out the schools registration forms as well as the medical history form for your childs first year of school and you are not done yet. AB 1433, a law in California since 2005, requires that all kindergaten children or first graders get a dental health assesment from a dentist prior to May 31 of their first year of school. This law was initiated so that all children would have access to dental services and hopefully find a dentst to serve their dental needs. If a dental exam has been done within 12 months it would count for the assesment.
Have you heard about sealants? A better question maybe, have you heard of Thomas' English Muffin? Their catch phrase was "it has lots of nooks and crannies to hold the melted butter." The top chewing surface of many posterior teeth have grooves and pits. These trap and retain food that feed the bacteria that causes cavities. This is where sealants come in. Sealants are a protective layer placed over the bitting surfaces of teeth to provide protection.
Did someone mention that chewing gum was bad for you? Is that true? While everyone is different and your jaw joint could be irritiated from over use, most people can chew gum without discomfort. In the past most gums had sugar in them which feeds bacteria in your mouth and that was bad. A study published in the Journal of Dental Research (May 29, 2001) shows that chewing sugar free gum for at least 20 minutes after a meal can reduce cavities by up to 40%. Now a days there are many flavors and brands to choose from so everyone should find a flavor and type of gum to meet their personal desires.
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