Class is in Session! – Dental 101
School has already started for some of us and is almost starting for some others. Now is the time to refresh your dental knowledge and get prepped for the start of a new school year! Take a seat at the front of class!
Did you know more than 50% of uninsured and 30% of insured Americans skip necessary dental care visits? Those number are over a period of twelve months and financial concerns are the main cause of those skipped appointments. That’s an alarming amount. If you have dental insurance, you should realize most dental insurances completely pay for your cleaning and checkups twice per year. Check your policy, it should clearly spell that out for you.
Did you know that almost 75% of Americans suffer from some type of gum disease and don’t even know it? Even people with a low risk of oral disease benefit from an annual cleaning. If you do not have dental insurance, check your medical insurance to see if you have dental coverage. Sometimes you’ll find you have coverage there that you are already paying for. Also, many people may not know this but there are options to consider for paying for needed treatment too. Check with your dental provider to see if they offer payment plans, CareCredit, or some other payment options. At Dental Oasis in McCordsville, we make it as easy as possible for you to get the treatment you want and need.
Records dating back as far as 5000 BC show how our dental knowledge has come along. The first “dentist” named Hesy-Re, an Egyptian, lived around 2600 BC. We gathered this history from inscriptions left on his tomb. Then came Aristotle and Hippocrates who wrote about the eruption patterns of teeth and the treatment methods for problematic teeth back in 500-300 BC. During the middle ages, the first book written solely on dentistry was authored by Artzney Buchlein. It covered the general dental knowledge of that time. During the Revolutionary War period, Paul Revere performed the first known case of post-mortem dental forensics. He identified a dental bridge he had made for a friend who died in the Battle of Breed’s Hill. In the late 19th century, x-rays were discovered and the first dental x-ray was taken. Later, in 1938, the first nylon toothbrush made of synthetic materials became available to purchase. Fluoridation of water and toothpastes came about a few years later too. Just before the start of the 21st century, home tooth bleaching became available. Its amazing how far we’ve come along!
Health and Fitness
Eating a well-balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise has always been something to strive to do. There are a variety of foods that are good for your teeth and some that are bad. Foods such as cheese, nuts, yogurt, apples, celery, carrots, and leafy greens all do wonders for your teeth. Cranberries, garlic, probiotics, and ginger are some examples of foods and nutrients that help your gums too. These are all great things to make sure you are including in your diet. Be sure to watch out for things that are bad for your mouth though.
Foods to limit in your diet:
-ice (chewing it)
-bread (which is sticky)
-soda containing lots of sugar
-soda with a low pH such as Mountain Dew
-coffee and tea (which often have sugar added and can stain teeth)
-starchy potato chips
Be sure to floss and brush after eating and try to stick with water as a healthy choice of beverage.
Bacteria is always present in your mouth eating away at sugar and producing acid as a by-product. When acid sits on your teeth, it dissolves minerals in your enamel. This is what happens when you have tooth demineralization. Demineralized teeth are much softer and weaker and thus are more prone to getting cavities. The bacteria are able to get further and deeper into demineralized teeth. This is why we stress the importance of brushing at least twice a day. You should brush once in the morning after breakfast and again before bed. Brushing and flossing after eating removes the food caught in and around your teeth. This keeps the bacteria’s food source away to prevent acid from forming on your teeth. It is especially important to brush and floss before bed. You usually sleep around eight hours a night and during that time there is decreased saliva flowing around your mouth. Without that saliva, acid cannot be washed away or neutralized and it is the perfect time for bacteria to feed. Be sure to brush twice a day to keep the acid away!