7 Oral Health Concerns for Those Over 50

Aug 4th, 2016
Easton Dentists Aug 4th, 2016

Oral Health Concerns

When they say “age is all in your head,” they’re probably right. But then, your teeth ARE in your head — so you likely can’t escape having to pay a little more attention to them after the age of 50. Although some oral health concerns are seen as common as we age, if you adopt a proactive mindset and educate yourself, these concerns do not have to be common for you. Anticipating and recognizing changes in your mouth can help you be on top of your health in this area — so let’s take a look at the main ones you have to watch out for.

Dry Mouth:

The most common oral health concern you’re likely to experience as you age is dry mouth. In the medical world, dry mouth goes by the name xerostomia, and can be brought on by a number of contributing factors, including the over-consumption of drying beverages like coffee and alcohol, as well as the frequent consumption of salty foods. Another big offender is the medication we take over a lifetime to treat various illness. And the list isn’t a short one – there are at least 400 medications that can contribute to xerostomia, including medications for high blood pressure and depression. We have been able to help many patients find relief and prevent them from greater harm.

Ill-fitting Dentures: 

First off, it’s important to note that the need for dentures is not a must as we age. Today, healthier living and better access to dental care has reduced the percentage of seniors wearing dentures to 27% from nearly 50% just a few decades ago. That said, should dentures be a part of your life, or that of a loved one, wearing properly-fitting dentures is critical. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a denture reline. Give us a call at (614) 414-0111 and we can see if that will help. Dentures that cause pain or shift in the mouth tend to alter a person’s eating habits, which can lead to nutrition deficits if healthy, but hard-to-chew, foods are avoided. Ill-fitting dentures can also cause thrush.

Physical Obstacles to Good Oral Care: 

As we age, we sometimes find ourselves having to contend with physical ailments that limit our desire to maintain good oral care. Arthritis, vision loss, or injuries are a few of the most common. To combat these concerns, using a floss pick to get between teeth can be helpful, and the regular use of oral rinses can assist in dislodging difficult-to-remove food debris, while adding to the overall health of one’s mouth and gum tissue. Here’s how to choose the best mouth rinse for your needs!

Naturally Receding Gums: 

The old expression “long in the tooth” isn’t just a quaint idiom about how one accumulates wisdom with age – it also refers to how our teeth appear to “lengthen” as we age. In other words, it’s a fancy way of saying our gums are receding. While some degree of gum recession is indeed natural as we get up in years, this predisposes us to cavities along the root structure of the tooth where enamel doesn’t exist. So, as one ages, flossing, brushing and rinses are more important than ever.

Gum Disease: 

Natural gum recession is one thing, and a part of “growing up,” if you will. Gum disease, however, is preventable. So, if it’s been longer than six months since you’ve seen us, please do give us a call at (614) 414-0111. Each of the above items in this list can contribute to gum disease, and good oral care can prevent it. Failing to do so can lead to a need for dentures at its most extreme, and pain and swollen gums at its least. We’d prefer you experience neither concern!

Tooth Loss: 

If a tooth is lost due to trauma or decay, and not replaced with an implant or other prosthetic, it can have serious complications for the health of the jawbone. Teeth can shift out of place and fall out, and bone tissue can be resorbed back into the body. Not a good thing.

Loss of Insurance Coverage:

Retirees without dental coverage can sometimes cover the expense of dental care on their own; sometimes they cannot. But a lack of funds to take care of one’s teeth can be devastating to the health of our mouths, and our overall health. So we need to plan for two things: a care routine that allows us to take care of our teeth as much as humanly possible and some sort of financial backup plan for when problems do arise.We help dozens of patients a week to discover what the plan that best fits their needs!

5 Drinks That Are Bad For Your Teeth

Jul 14th, 2016
Easton Dentists Jul 14th, 2016

an assortment of drinks

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many people today track their food and liquid intake in an effort to lose weight and be healthier, but how many people actually consider how those same factors affect the health of their teeth? After all, the teeth are the first part of the body to come in contact with any food or beverage that you consume. Before a food can enter into your digestive system, it first has to pass through your mouth. So why not consider the implications that food and drinks have on your teeth?

If you’re wondering about foods that affect your oral health, check out this past article. Today, however, we’re going to look at the 5 worst drinks for your teeth. What makes a drink less than ideal for oral health are its sugar content, acidity level, and staining probabilities. Let’s take a look at the five worst offenders.

Coffee

Since so many people begin their day with a cup or more of coffee, you’re probably disappointed to see this on the list. It’s not the caffeine that makes this liquid an offender, rather the major issue with coffee is its staining power. The dark brown color of coffee is notorious for turning teeth yellow over time. If you’re someone who takes their coffee with cream and sugar, that doesn’t help either. Adding sugar to an already acidic drink only makes it worse for your teeth.

Tea

Much like coffee, the big problem with tea is its dark color. Black teas and other dark blends can cause the same staining issues as coffee, turning your pearly whites a shade of yellow. If you’re going to enjoy tea, try lighter blends to avoid staining your teeth and try not to add sugar so you don’t contribute to tooth decay and cavities.

Alcohol

Whether your beverage of choice is beer, wine, or liquor, it doesn’t really matter; all three are offenders for oral health. Beer is highly acidic, wine is acidic and stains teeth, and liquor is acidic and potentially too sugary when mixed with sodas or juices. No matter how you enjoy your alcohol, you’re going to expose your teeth to acid, sugar, or staining agents.

Soda

Soda is one of the worst offenders on the list because it combines high acidity, loads of sugar, and sometimes a dark color that causes staining all in one beverage. If you want to increase your risk of tooth decay, cavities, and yellowing teeth, simply continue drinking soda.

Energy & Sports Drinks

If you think that reaching for an energy drink or sports drink is a better option, think again. These beverages, whether in powder form or canned are just as bad as soda. High acidity and sugar levels harm your teeth and offer little benefit to your body in general.

You might be wondering what you’re supposed to drink to keep your teeth healthy. To be completely truthful, as boring as it sounds, water is your best option. Water is typically pH balanced for the body, meaning it isn’t too acidic or too alkaline, it does not contain any sugar, and its clear color means you won’t have to worry about staining.

We realize however that you are probably going to indulge in your favorite beverages from time to time. Here are a few tips that you can use to minimize the damage done to your teeth:

-Drink these beverages through a straw. This helps transport the liquid to the back of your mouth and avoids direct contact with your teeth.

-Sip water in between drinks of these beverages or follow up the beverage with a glass of water to wash away lingering acid and sugar.

-Brush and floss at least 2x a day to remove built up sugar and plaque that lead to tooth decay and cavities.

If you’ve already suffered the effects of consuming too many of these drinks, Easton Dentist is here to help correct any damage that’s been done. Whether you need professional teeth whitening, cavity repair, or simply a good cleaning, we can help you restore your healthy smile. Contact us today to set up an appointment!

What is TMD?

Jul 7th, 2016
Easton Dentists Jul 7th, 2016

Maybe you’ve heard the term TMD before, but weren’t quite sure what it stood for. TMD stands for Temporomandibular Disorder, a common disorder among many individuals that affects the joint connecting the jaw to the temporal bones of the skull.

When a person suffers from TMD, the hinge that connects the upper and lower jaw isn’t working properly and the area becomes inflamed. The inflammation causes a variety of uncomfortable symptoms that usually trigger the individual to seek medical attention.

Typical symptoms that point to TMD include:

  • Popping or clicking sound when moving your jaw
  • Jaw getting stuck or feeling as if it is stuck
  • Headaches that can mimic a migraine in severity
  • Earache and ear pain
  • Pain and/or pressure behind the eyes
  • Tenderness of jaw muscles
  • Neck stiffness resulting from tight muscles
  • A change in the way your upper and lower teeth fit together
  • Jaw pain that is caused by yawning or opening the mouth wide

If you have TMD, it is likely that you will experience one or more of these symptoms. While there is no test to diagnose TMD, symptoms such as those listed above are a good indication of the disorder. However, before you self-diagnose, it is best to seek advice from your medical or dental care provider.

Just as there is no test to diagnose TMD, there is also no cure for the disorder. But that doesn’t mean that sufferers won’t be able to find relief. There are ways to manage and reduce symptoms associated with TMD and to make your life more comfortable.

Treatment options for those who have Temporomandibular Disorder include:

  • Applying moist heat or ice to the jaw area in order to reduce pain and swelling
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medicine
  • Having your doctor prescribe muscle relaxants to control muscle spasms and prevent jaw locking
  • Wearing a night guard to reduce added pressure from clenching or grinding
  • Resting your jaw from chewing by eating a soft food diet for a few days
  • Eliminating sources of stress in your life and practicing relaxation techniques

Work with your doctor or dentist to find the right treatment options for you. A combination of treatments might be the best route to take. For individuals who do not respond to the treatments above, surgery is a last resort to help address and correct the problem.

If you’ve been suffering from jaw pain or any of the other symptoms listed above, contact Easton Dentists today and schedule a consultation with one of our caring and experienced dentists. We want to help you alleviate your discomfort and get back to living pain free. Schedule today!

Why Teeth Yellow and What You Can Do About It

Jun 24th, 2016
Easton Dentists Jul 19th, 2016

One of the most common aesthetic complaints that patients have regarding their smile is the color of their teeth. We are used to seeing celebrities and TV actors with perfect, pearly white smiles and come to expect that our own smiles should look the same way. It makes sense then that patients feel frustrated by the yellowing of their teeth and wonder what they can do to fix it.

What Causes Teeth To Yellow

The truth is that we will all experience yellowing teeth as part of the natural aging process. Some people experience it more than others, but none the less, it’s not an uncommon condition. As we age, the outer protective layer of our teeth, the enamel, thins and becomes more translucent. The inner, living layer of our teeth, the dentin, also diminishes with time and has a tendency to yellow with age. Both the thinning of enamel and the shrinking and yellowing of the dentin are what cause teeth to appear yellow as we get older.

What You Can Do To Prevent Yellow Teeth

As we discussed above, there are two layers of the teeth: enamel and dentin. Your teeth’s enamel can become discolored and stained; this is called extrinsic discoloration, while intrinsic discoloration is related to aging dentin. Preventing yellow teeth needs to be addressed both extrinsically and intrinsically.

Addressing the discoloration of tooth enamel is fairly easy. Here are a few things you can do to prevent your enamel from becoming stained and yellow in color:

-Stop smoking

-Cut back or eliminate acidic and dark colored beverages (coffee, soda, wine, tea)

-Maintain a good oral health routine, including flossing to remove plaque build up

-Drink water after eating brightly colored fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, etc.

-Use OTC whitening products

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for correcting discoloration of dentin. This living tissue is prone to the aging process. You can, however, take steps to prevent premature aging. Here’s how:

-Treat bruxism (teeth grinding) which can cause your enamel and dentin to wear and age at an accelerated rate

-Protect teeth from trauma by wearing a mouth guard when playing sports

-Nourish your body with a healthy diet and manage stress

If you are concerned with the color of your teeth, have your dentist determine if the discoloration is intrinsic or extrinsic. There are many whitening solutions that can help address extrinsic discoloration and restore a brighter smile. In the case that your discoloration is caused by intrinsic factors, don’t despair. Take steps now to make sure it doesn’t become worse and that you aren’t doing anything to cause premature aging of your teeth.

Do you want to have a brighter and whiter smile? Contact Easton Dentists today and schedule a consultation to see how we can help you get the smile you deserve!

 

 

The Difference Between Plaque and Tartar

Jun 7th, 2016
Easton Dentists Jul 19th, 2016

plaque buildup before and afterYou may have heard mention of the terms plaque and tartar when discussing dental care. You may have even heard the terms used interchangeably and because of that, you assumed that they were the same thing. The truth is that there is a difference between these terms and what they mean for your oral health. Let’s take a look.

What is Plaque?

Plaque is the sticky, colorless residue that builds up on your teeth and around the gum line. This sticky substance is constantly forming on your teeth and is made up of food particles, saliva, and sugar. When plaque builds up it will contribute to the grimy or gritty feeling you get on your teeth in between brushing. Even after brushing and flossing, plaque will begin to form on your teeth within hours.

What is Tartar?

Tartar, also known as Calculus, is simply built up plaque that has hardened over time. It is typically yellow in color and very hard and porous. When plaque has not been properly removed from the teeth, it turns into this stubborn, hard to remove substance. The only way to remove tartar is to visit your dentist and have him/her remove it for you using dental instruments. Tartar that is untreated puts you at higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

How Can I Prevent Plaque and Tartar?

The best way to protect your mouth, teeth, and gums is to brush twice daily and floss at least once a day. Brushing will remove plaque on the surface of the teeth; however, floss is needed to remove plaque buildup between the teeth and around the gum line. You should also visit your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings every six months.

If you have tooth crowding and find that even with brushing and flossing you still have a significant amount of plaque buildup between dental cleanings, you should consider visiting an orthodontist. Crooked or crowded teeth can make keeping your teeth plaque-free even more challenging. An orthodontist will be able to recommend a plan of action to straighten and fix the crowding of your teeth.

Follow these tips to prevent plaque from turning into tartar. If you’re due for a professional teeth cleaning, contact us today to schedule your appointment. Whether you have plaque or tartar, the best step you can take in preventing tooth decay and gum disease is to have your teeth cleaned and begin practicing good oral hygiene. Let Easton Dental clinic help restore your mouth to a clean, beautiful smile!

The Benefits Of Flossing

May 26th, 2016
Easton Dentists Jun 13th, 2016

When you visit the dentist, there’s one dental care question you’re sure to be asked; “Are you flossing?” Many patients sheepishly admit they’re falling short while others fib and ensure their hygienist that they floss religiously. The truth is, your dental hygienist will most likely be able to tell if you are being honest about your flossing habits or not.

Many individuals are guilty of skipping out on flossing. As your oral health expert, we don’t want you to feel guilty; we want you to understand the benefits of flossing so that you will take up the habit out of your own free will. Being informed of how flossing helps your oral health is the first step in wanting to start the practice.

So what exactly are the benefits of flossing? Let’s look at the main and most obvious gains you get when you decide to floss your teeth every day.

 

  • A cleaner mouth– Brushing is great, but it will only get you so far. Toothbrushes are designed to help you physically clean the surface of your teeth but they cannot adequately reach between teeth. Flossing allows you to remove left over food debris, bacteria, and plaque buildup that your toothbrush cannot reach, leaving you with a cleaner feeling mouth.

 

  • Healthier teeth and gums– Flossing helps rid your mouth of plaque, food particles, and bacteria that can cause gum infections, cavities, and tooth decay. Removing plaque on a daily basis by practicing flossing prevents the plaque from turning into tartar. Tartar is difficult to remove and will lead to issues such as gingivitis and cavities. Flossing is one more step you can take in keeping your mouth healthy.

 

  • A whiter smile– Plaque buildup is not only detrimental to your oral health, it also affects the appearance of your teeth. When plaque builds up, it attracts stains and makes your teeth appear discolored. Whether from the food you eat or the drinks you drink, too much plaque can mean a dull, stained smile. Flossing helps remove plaque and keeps your smile looking brighter, longer.

 

  • Fresher breath– When bacteria reside in the mouth, they cause bad breath. Plaque and food particles are a breeding ground for the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria can be reduced with flossing by ridding your teeth of plaque buildup and leftover food debris. If you struggle with bad breath, flossing can help you move towards fresher breath.

Flossing might be a tedious habit to develop but once you get in the practice of flossing, you will reap the benefits. Not only will flossing keep your mouth healthy, it will also save you money in dental treatments that can be avoided by practicing good oral hygiene.

At Easton Dentists, we want you to know that we have your best interest in mind. If you have questions about flossing or would like to be shown the proper technique, ask one of our dental professionals at your next appointment. Contact us today to schedule your next visit!

Is Xylitol Good For Me?

May 11th, 2016
Easton Dentists Jun 13th, 2016

You may have heard this funny sounding word or saw it listed in the ingredients of a pack of gum you recently bought. In fact, with nutritionist pushing for consumers to read food labels and for food manufacturers to be more transparent, you’re probably beginning to notice all kinds of ingredients that you may have never heard of before. Xylitol sounds anything but familiar, so what is it and more importantly, is it good for you?

What is xylitol?

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, much like sorbitol, mannitol, or erythritol. It is derived from the carbohydrate xylose and occurs naturally in some fruits and vegetables. When produced for commercial purposes, xylitol is extracted from one of two sources; corn cobs or birch wood.

What is xylitol used for?

Since xylitol is naturally sweet and contains 1/3 fewer calories than sugar, it is often used as a sugar substitute in chewing gums, mints, and other items such as “sugar-free” candies. Xylitol is also found in some oral care products such as tooth paste and mouth rinse.

Is xylitol good for me?

There are mixed results as to whether xylitol is beneficial to humans beyond the recommended serving of 6-10 grams per day. However, in small doses xylitol has shown to help prevent tooth decay and cavities because it does not convert to acid in the mouth like sugar does.

Although xylitol has proven to benefit human’s oral health when consumed in small doses, any amount of xylitol is toxic to dogs. If your dog eats any amount of xylitol, you should take them to the vet immediately for treatment.

How can xylitol benefit my oral health?

Xylitol has shown to increase salivary flow, helping keep the mouth hydrated and washing away harmful acids that break down tooth enamel. It is also useful in helping prevent plaque buildup which in turn helps prevent cavities.

Should I add xylitol to my diet?

Before you add anything new to your diet or oral health care routine, it’s best to talk to your doctor and/or dentist to learn their recommendation. While xylitol does show some promising oral health benefits, work with your doctor and dentist to determine if it is the right option for you.

If you have dental care concerns about cavities or tooth decay, having regular cleanings and exams with a professional dentist is the first step to improving your oral health. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

Fluoride and Your Dental Health

Apr 26th, 2016
Easton Dentists May 6th, 2016

fluoride trays

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you went to the dentist as a child, you probably remember the fluoride treatments that the hygienist gave towards the end of your appointment. You may have questioned why you weren’t allowed to eat anything for the next thirty minutes but it’s doubtful that you questioned the role that fluoride plays in your dental health. Now as an adult you may be wondering what fluoride is and how it helps keep our mouths healthy.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in some foods and in most cases, is also found in your city water.

What Role Does Fluoride Play in Dental Health?

The outermost layer of our teeth, our enamel, is made up of tiny crystals that are fortified with minerals such as calcium, fluoride, and phosphate. The foods that we eat, particularly sugar and grains, can cause acid to be produced as it breaks down the food. Those acids can then affect our enamel, causing mineral loss, also referred to as demineralization.

When tooth enamel suffers from demineralization, it leaves your teeth more prone to bacteria build up and tooth decay. Through our diet and through dental treatments and fluoride enhanced products, we are able to supplement lost fluoride and aid in the remineralization of our tooth enamel. Strong, healthy tooth enamel is the first line of defense against tooth decay and also tooth sensitivity.

Who Can Benefit From Fluoride?

It was once believed that only children with developing teeth and bones could benefit from topical fluoride treatments. Today, however, it has been shown that fluoride aids adults in the remineralization process and is beneficial for their oral health as well.

Do I Need More Fluoride?

Most over the counter toothpastes and mouth rinses are fortified with fluoride and provide sufficient supplementation for adults. To gain the most benefit, try brushing with fluoride toothpaste or using a fluoride mouth rinse 1-2x a day.

Be careful with children, especially those under the age of 6, as they do not require the same amount of fluoride as adults. Use only a small amount of fluoride toothpaste for young children and monitor their exposure to fluoride in other sources to keep exposure at a safe and beneficial level.

At Easton Dentists, we believe that preventative care, which includes regular dental checkups, is one of the most important factors in maintaining your oral health. If you’re ready to schedule a visit at our Columbus Dental Center, contact us today. We’re here to help you move towards greater oral health!

Everything You Need to Know About Sealants

Apr 11th, 2016
Easton Dentists May 6th, 2016

Maybe you’ve recently taken your child or teenager to the dentist and it was recommended that your child get sealants put on their teeth. Now you may be wondering, what exactly are sealants and how will they benefit your child’s oral health? We will explore these questions and more in today’s post.

What are sealants?

A sealant is a topical, plastic coating that can be safely applied to the chewing surface of the teeth. Sealants are most often applied to the pre-molars and molars of children between the ages of 6 and 14, but can also be used on adults.

What do sealants do?

Teeth, especially back teeth, have various pits and grooves on their chewing surface. Food particles, plaque and bacteria can collect in those grooves and cause tooth decay. A sealants job is to protect the tooth by covering the pits and grooves and preventing that build up from ever occurring. In this way, sealants help prevent tooth decay and prolong the need for dental treatments such as fillings, crowns, or caps.

Who should get sealants?

As we mentioned above, sealants are typically recommended for children and teenagers who are at risk for developing cavities. Once a child has their pre-molars or molars, applying sealants to these back teeth can help prevent cavities from occurring and keep their teeth healthy, longer. Children tend to have pits and grooves in their teeth that are deeper and less calcified than adult teeth, making them the perfect fit for sealants.

Does insurance cover sealants?

There are many insurance companies that cover sealants for children, up to a certain age. It is best to check with your dental insurance provider to see if they cover sealants and if so, what exclusions there might be surrounding the treatment.

Do sealants hurt?

Having sealants applied is completely painless. The teeth being treated will be cleansed, dried, and prepped before the sealant is painted on. Once the paint hardens, the treatment is complete. It is very quick and does not cause any discomfort.

How long do sealants last?

Sealants can last up to 10 years. However, it is important to practice good oral hygiene and visit the dentist regularly to make sure the sealants have not been damaged or worn off. Sealants can always be re-applied if needed, however insurance may not cover a second application.

At Easton Dentists we recommend sealants as part of your oral preventative care, especially for children. So, if you’re ready to schedule an appointment for yourself or your child to have sealants applied, contact us today and we’d be happy to get you an appointment!

 

What To Do For Dry Mouth

Mar 24th, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 25th, 2016

If you ask any dental clinic Columbus Ohio doctor about dry mouth, the answer always comes down to saliva production. Complaints of a dry mouth are not uncommon among patients that come to Easton Dentists, or any dentist for that matter. We hear this concern quite a bit and would like to address the issue so that you can get on with your life without having to worry about the effects of dry mouth.

dental clinic columbus ohioFirst of all, how do you know if you have a dry mouth? If you do have dry mouth, you probably don’t need this question answered. However, some common symptoms include a dry, sticky feeling in the mouth, frequent thirst or feeling the need to constantly wet your mouth, sores in the mouth, cracked lips and sides of the mouth, and bad breathe.

Unfortunately, dry mouth leads to more than an uncomfortable feeling or bad breathe. People who have dry mouth and do not take measures to correct the issue are more likely to experience dental problems such as gingivitis, tooth decay, and even oral infections.

Saliva plays an important role in both your oral and overall health, so not having enough of it can be problematic. A few ways that saliva keeps our bodies and teeth healthy include:

-Helping to moisten and cleanse our mouths after eating and in between meals

-Promoting digestion (there are enzymes found in saliva that break down food before it moves to the stomach)

-Preventing infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth

When patients do not have enough saliva production, there are many factors that might be causing the issue. Some factors you can control, such as the lifestyle choices listed below. Other factors such as disease and infection require you to work with your doctor to address the root cause and make adjustments where necessary.

Dental Clinic Columbus Ohio & Lifestyle Factors

-Consuming too much alcohol or caffeine

-Smoking

-Chewing tobacco

-Breathing through your mouth

Certain medications are also known to cause dry mouth. Medications used to treat depression, anxiety, allergies, and common colds are among the worst offenders. If you suspect that a medication might be contributing to your dry mouth, talk to your doctor about alternatives.

If you have a dry mouth and it is not caused by disease or medication, what can you do? We give our patients the following list of suggestions when talking about treatment for dry mouth. Try implementing some of these habits and see if your dry mouth doesn’t improve.

What You Can Do

-Use a fluoride toothpaste

-Rinse with fluoride instead of an alcohol based products

-Make a habit of breathing through your nose

-Chew on sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free mints

-Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially between meals

-Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco

If you implement these changes, your issues with dry mouth should resolve fairly quickly. If you continue to struggle with dry mouth and have already talked to your doctor concerning your overall health, schedule an appointment with a dental clinic Columbus Ohio provider such as Easton Dentist. Our staff will be happy to examine your mouth and provide additional advice on how you can cope with dry mouth.

Contact us todayto schedule an appointment!