The History of the Tooth Fairy

Apr 21st, 2018
Easton Dentists May 1st, 2018

As a dentist, the tooth fairy is particularly close to my heart. She makes the potentially scary event of losing a baby tooth something to look forward to and she encourages good dental hygiene because, after all, no fairy wants to dirty tooth. Recently, I started wondering about the origins of this fairy. How did we begin to tell our children that if they put a tooth beneath their pillow, a fairy would come in the night and take it in exchange for a tooth?

As it turns out, the tooth fairy is a relatively new addition to the folklore of childhood, but the ritualistic disposal of a child’s lost tooth has a long, interesting history. In some cultures, teeth were buried, burned, thrown over a house, or placed near a mouse hole. Over time, the role of the mouse in the disposal of baby teeth grew and, even today, Spanish children leave their teeth for a little rat to take.

In a French story called La Bonne Petite Souris, a good mouse rescues a queen by knocking out the evil king’s teeth. This good mouse then turns out to be a fairy. So, the tooth mouse has become a tooth fairy. It wasn’t until after World War II, however, that the tooth fairy became a part of most American children’s childhoods. This may be thanks, in part, to Tinkerbell and Cinderella, who made fairies a big part of the childhoods of children in the 1950s.

Today, the tooth fairy is an important part of many children’s childhoods. It can also be a great tool for parents who need to encourage better dental hygiene in their children. Just be sure to let them know the tooth fairy likes pearly white teeth!

How to Detect a Cavity

Apr 21st, 2018
Easton Dentists May 1st, 2018

It is important to have your cavities treated as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration. During your regular checkups, your dentist will alert you to any cavities that he or she sees. Between checkups, however, it is important for you to pay attention to signs of cavities. Below, we’ve outlined a few key symptoms to watch out for.

1. Bad Breath or Bad Taste

If your breath seems to have gotten much worse recently and the scent isn’t going away, even when you brush your teeth and tongue regularly, you could have a cavity. Bad breath is sometimes a sign of cavities because the bacteria that causes cavities can also cause bad breath. In addition to bad breath, this bacteria can also cause a bad taste in your mouth that no amount of mouthwash can rinse away.

2. Tooth Pain

This is usually the most obvious symptom of a cavity. The decay of your tooth that is caused by cavities can lead to serious pain. If you experience any tooth pain, see your dentist right away, because this could mean your cavity has been left untreated for a long time.

3. Dark Spots and Holes

If your cavity is left untreated for a long time, you will be able to see it. It may appear as a dark spot on your tooth or as a hole you can see or feel with your tongue. If you can see or feel your cavity, you need to visit your dentist right away.

4. Pus

This is the most serious symptom of a cavity as it means that you have an abscess. Abscesses are serious medical issues that can cause fevers, pain, and swollen glands. If there’s any possibility you have an abscess, see your dentist right away so you can get the antibiotics you need to kill the bacteria.

If you have any of the symptoms we mentioned above, see your dentist as soon as you can. The best way to keep a cavity from becoming something more serious is to treat it early. If you believe you may have an abscess, call us immediately to schedule an emergency visit.

Foods That Cause Tooth Decay

Apr 11th, 2018
Easton Dentists Apr 11th, 2018

When it comes to tooth decay, it’s important to know the main culprit – acid. Acid is what eats away at our enamel and causes cavities.

Acid can enter our mouths in one of two ways: either directly through what we eat (citrus fruits, for example), or as a byproduct when oral bacteria consume the sugars that we eat.

Ultimately, a simple way to identify foods that cause tooth decay is to ask whether it’s acidic or sweet/starchy.

Acidic foods include things like citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar, kombucha and sour candy.

Sweet/starchy foods include things like candy, soda or sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit, bread,cereal, pasta and crackers.

The longer these things interact with your teeth, the greater the chance for tooth decay to occur. For example, sipping on soda throughout the day, or chewing a gooey caramel treat, increases the amount of sugar that coat your teeth. Bacteria love to feast on this sugar, creating an acidic environment and putting your teeth at risk for decay.

To help protect your teeth against tooth decay:
– Reduce your consumption of sweets and refined starches
– Enjoy acidic foods in moderation or as part of a meal
– Decrease or eliminate your consumption of soda or sugar-sweetened beverages
– Swish with water after meals and snacks
– Maintain good oral hygiene to brush away plaque buildup (floss at least once a day and brush twice a day)

And, as always, make sure to visit us regularly so we can remove tartar buildup and assess for early signs of decay!

Make an APPOINTMENT today!

Should Your Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?

Mar 12th, 2018
Easton Dentists Apr 4th, 2018

Between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five, many individuals grow a third set of molars. These molars are known as wisdom teeth. These teeth once served an important role in helping humans to eat raw meats, vegetables, and roots. Today, however, these teeth often cause more negative outcomes than positive ones. In order to prevent issues that may be caused by your wisdom teeth, you should see your dentist and have your wisdom teeth evaluated between the ages of sixteen and nineteen. At this age, the roots of your wisdom teeth are not fully embedded, which makes them easier to remove than they will be when you are older. Below, you’ll find a list of some signs that your wisdom teeth may need to be removed.

1. Overcrowding

When your wisdom teeth grow in, they may take up too much space in your mouth. As a result, they may shove your other teeth out of alignment. Wisdom teeth that push other teeth out of the way can undo the accomplishments of braces and can lead to a crooked smile.

2. Pain

Sometimes, wisdom teeth can cause pain. It is natural to feel some discomfort as these teeth push through your gums, but this pain should not persist. If it does, your dentist will help you to determine the appropriate course of action.

3. Inflamed Gums

If a flap of gum tissue forms near your wisdom teeth as they begin to grow in, you may be at risk of developing pericoronitis. This occurs as a result of the accumulation of small particles of food and bacteria within this flap of gum tissue. If you find that the tissue around your wisdom teeth has become hard and inflamed, see your dentist right away.

There are many possible reasons you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed. By meeting with your dentist regularly, you can make an informed decision regarding your wisdom teeth before they cause significant issues. On the other hand, there are plenty of individuals who simply do not need to have their wisdom teeth removed. If you are one of these individuals, your dentist can instruct you on the proper care of these hard-to-reach teeth. At The Dental Center, we will help you to determine the plan of action that is best for your unique dental needs.

St. Patrick’s Day Means 64% More Dental Emergencies

Mar 4th, 2018
Easton Dentists Apr 4th, 2018

St. Patrick’s Day Means 64% More Dental Emergencies According to a study from CNBC, there is a massive spike in emergency dental treatments on the day following St. Patrick’s Day. Nationwide, this spike is 64%, but there are states where the spike can be as dramatic as 150%. The reasons for this spike aren’t terribly surprising. On St. Patrick’s Day, the world consumes 13 million pints of Guinness. All that Guinness can make typically relaxed individuals a bit wild. As a result, there is a significant increase in the number of people who lose teeth in brawls or when they faceplant as they try to walk out of the bar.

If you’re going out on St. Patrick’s Day, be sure to appoint a designated driver. In addition to transporting you home safely, this selfless friend can act as your designated smile protector, too. He or she can see to it that you don’t trip over your own feet or get into any other trouble. Be sure to repay this kind friend by acting as the designated driver next St. Patrick’s Day!

If you do happen to get into some dental trouble on St. Patrick’s Day, rest assured that The Dental Center is ready to get you feeling better in no time. Dr. Gilmer has extensive experience performing emergency dental procedures. In addition, The Dental Center’s extended hours make us an excellent choice for individuals who need to be treated quickly. Hopefully, however, we won’t need to see you the day after St. Patrick’s Day. We’d rather see you for a regular checkup sometime soon! We wish you a safe, happy, and lucky St. Patrick’s Day!

Is the Future of Dentistry Silver?

Feb 26th, 2018
Easton Dentists Feb 26th, 2018

A recent scientific discovery could have big implications for dental practices around the world. This discovery was made by Dr. Carla Meledandri of the University of Otago’s Chemistry department. In fact, the discovery was so significant that Dr. Meledandri received the 2017 Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize.

Dr. Meledandri’s discovery was that silver nanoparticles can be used to prevent and treat dental disease without staining the teeth. Nanoparticles are incredibly small parts of a substance. On the nanoscale, these particles look, react, and act differently than they do on a larger scale. Dr. Meledandri has been studying these nanoparticles to better understand how they interact with their surroundings and how they can be used to benefit the world. In addition to discovering their ability to treat and prevent dental disease, Dr. Meledandri found that these nanoparticles may be able to help to mitigate global warming by capturing carbon dioxide and removing it from the atmosphere. These small particles really can make a big impact on the world!

If silver nanoparticles become largely used to treat the bacterial source of tooth decay and infection, the prevalence of antibiotics used to treat this bacteria could be decreased. This could be a great step forward because, although antibiotic treatment often works quite well, it does pose the risk of creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The silver nanoparticles, however, use a different mechanism to treat bacteria. This mechanism makes it impossible for bacteria to ever grow resistant to it.

At The Dental Center, we’re looking forward to seeing how these silver nanoparticles can benefit dental patients in our office and around the world. We’re always inspired to see the innovations that come from exploring our world and investigating new avenues of treatment. We can’t wait to see what new discoveries will improve dental treatment soon!

How to Brush your Teeth

Feb 26th, 2018
Easton Dentists Feb 26th, 2018

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been brushing your teeth for many years. The question is, have you been brushing them the right way? Below, you’ll find some of the most important pointers for keeping your pearly whites healthy and looking good for the long term.

1. Take your time

Brushing your teeth should take at least two full minutes. This might not seem like a very long time, but, when you’re brushing, it will likely feel quite long. The best way to make sure you are brushing for long enough is to set a timer on your phone or listen to about half of an average-length song.

2. Use the right brush

Not all toothbrushes are created equally. The best choice in brush is a round-headed electric brush. If electric brushes aren’t for you, we recommend using a manual brush with soft bristles and a small head. The soft bristles are plenty strong enough to remove debris and plaque from your teeth without causing too much wear and tear on your enamel and the small head allows you to better clean hard-to-reach areas of your mouth.

3. Brush everywhere

We tend to brush our teeth where it shows. So, the fronts of our teeth often receive the bulk of our attention. In addition to brushing the fronts of our top and back teeth, however, it is also important to brush the inner surfaces of the teeth, the chewing surfaces, and the tongue. Brushing thoroughly can keep your teeth healthy and, as an added perk, your breath smelling minty fresh.

4. Use the right technique

Although it may make you feel that you’ve cleaned your teeth well, there is no need to furiously saw away at your teeth. Instead, the best approach is to tilt your brush at a 45-degree angle from the gumline and gently roll the brush away from the gumline. Then, gently brush every surface of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes and, finally, brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

We hope these toothbrushing tips will help you to keep your smile healthy and bright. In addition to brushing your teeth properly, it is important to visit your dentist for regular checkups. We’re looking forward to seeing you in our office soon!

Prevent Enamel Loss

Jan 30th, 2018
Easton Dentists Jan 30th, 2018

Enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth that protects them from wear and tear and prevents them from feeling the temperature extremes of the foods and beverages you eat and drink. If you lose your enamel, your teeth will grow more sensitive and more prone to cavities. There is no way to replace lost enamel, but there are several precautions you can take to prevent enamel loss. By following the tips below, you’ll help to keep your smile healthy for years to come.

1. Avoid acid

By limiting your intake of acidic foods, you can help to prevent enamel erosion. Common acidic culprits include soda and other fizzy drinks, citrus fruits, and juices. When you do choose to consume these acidic items, try to keep them from settling on your teeth. Using a straw or rinsing your mouth with water as you eat or drink can help to keep the acid from eroding your enamel.

2. Be gentle

Brushing your teeth too firmly can lead to enamel erosion. Instead, try to brush gently with a soft toothbrush. You should also wait at least an hour after eating before you brush your teeth. Brushing too soon after a meal can increase your enamel erosion.

3. Assess your overall health

A number of medical conditions can cause enamel erosion. For example, alcoholism, bulimia, and GERD have all been found to result in enamel erosion. This is because each of these conditions causes acid to come into contact with your teeth. If you suffer from any of these conditions, see your doctor immediately.

4. Talk to your dentist

Your dentist can assess the current state of your enamel loss and can help you to develop a plan to prevent further erosion.

Protecting your enamel is an important aspect of maintaining your dental health. Once enamel has been lost, it cannot be replaced. With this in mind, be sure to take all of the precautions you can to prevent enamel erosion.

Avoid These Foods for a Healthier Smile

Jan 30th, 2018
Easton Dentists Jan 30th, 2018

A healthy smile starts with a healthy diet. In addition to making sure your diet contains plenty of nutritious and vitamin-heavy foods, there are a few foods and beverages you ought to avoid as much as possible. Below, you’ll find a list of some cavity-causing culprits and an explanation of why they cause so much damage to teeth.

1. Ice

This might seem like a strange item to top the list. After all, ice is just frozen water, right? That’s true and ice is totally harmless when used to cool a beverage. It only starts to cause problems when people chew on it. Ice is so hard that crunching on it can damage your enamel and leave your teeth susceptible to dental issues, such as chipped teeth and loosened crowns.

2. Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can lead to tooth decay and oral infections, such as gum disease. This is because an excess of alcohol can cause a decrease in the saliva flow to your mouth. Saliva washes away food particles and bacteria and provides protection to the soft tissues in your mouth. When you do not have enough saliva, your mouth becomes more prone to dental issues.

3. Bread

Bread might seem pretty harmless, but it can actually cause some real dental issues. The problem is that, as soon as we start chewing bread, our saliva breaks down the starches and almost immediately converts them to sugar. The sticky, sugary substance that bread becomes once we start to chew it can stick to teeth and provide fuel for cavity-causing bacteria.

4. Dried fruits

Although they often seem to be the healthy snack option, dried fruits can actually cause real damage to your teeth. This is because they are full of natural sugars and the juices that would normally work to quickly rinse this sugar from your teeth have been removed during the drying process. As a result extremely sugary dried fruits often stick to our teeth, where they quickly become food for cavity-causing bacteria.

Before you get too concerned, just remember that it all comes down to moderation. We’re not asking you to entirely give up any tooth-damaging food or beverage. Instead, we simply suggest that you limit your intake of these items and that you always follow them up with a thorough cleaning of your teeth. In addition, by following your meals and sweet beverages with water, you can rinse away food particles that could fuel cavity-causing bacteria.

Reasons You May Have A Dry Mouth

Jan 29th, 2018
Easton Dentists Jan 29th, 2018

We all know drinking enough water is good for our health. And when you’re feeling parched, there’s nothing better than a tall drink of ice-cold water to dampen that dry mouth of yours.

But what do you do when you find yourself constantly needing to wet your whistle?

There are numerous reasons you could be suffering from dry mouth. Below are the top five.

Physiologic
Sometimes having a dry mouth is just a normal part of life. Temporary anxiety, open-mouthed
breathing, mild dehydration, menopause, pregnancy, and decreased saliva due to sleep are all
normal causes of dry mouth.

Prescription medication
Sixty-three percent of the top 200 most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S. are known to cause dry mouth. And the higher the number of medications a person takes, the higher the chance of dry mouth. That’s why as we age, we tend to experience more instances of dry mouth. It’s not necessarily age-related, but our consumption of medication may cause this side effect.

Habitual use of alcohol and tobacco
Use of any of these products will dry out the oral cavity.
Please drink in moderation, and make sure to up your water intake when you imbibe. As for tobacco, we always recommend quitting as soon as possible.

Chronic Disease
Diabetes, Sjogren’s disease, Sarcoidosis, Hepatitic C can all cause dry mouth.

Psychogenic or Idiopathic
When symptoms are present without an identifiable cause (idiopathic), or because of psychological causes (psychogenic), they can be difficult to diagnose.

If you find yourself with a persistent, unidentifiable case of dry mouth, you should make an appointment. Call us at 614-414-0111 or request an appointment online.

Figuring out which one is causing your dry mouth is so important because a dry mouth has a big effect on your dental health. Saliva is so important for swishing away bacteria.

The dryer the mouth, the more prone you are to cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis. We recommend visiting us at 4030 Easton Station, Suite 250, Columbus, OH 43219 or your doctor for a consultation on why you may be experiencing a dry mouth.