Friday, October 17, 2014

Does Brushing After Sweets Help Prevent Cavities?

Surprisingly, the answer to that is no! To have a cavity one requires a tooth, some of the right kind of bacteria concentrated in an area where they can create and harbor acid on the tooth, sugar that the bacteria will eat and convert to acid, and some time for the acids to dissolve calcium out of the tooth enamel to make a hole.

So you see, if sometime during the day you cleaned all the bacteria off your teeth so they are not there to create any acid, then the sugar has no affect on the teeth. Also note: If bacteria have been successfully cleaned off the teeth, then it will take 24 hours for those bacteria to multiply and aggregate adequately to create and concentrate acid in a sheltered place on the tooth. In other words, your teeth are safe for 24 hours.

So THE TRICK here is to know how to effectively clean your teeth once each day to make them safe. Check our web site regarding disclosing solution as a tool to teach yourself effective tooth cleaning, and as a tool to monitor yourself periodically to verify you are still keeping your teeth safe.

Now here is an interesting taboo. DO NOT brush your teeth immediately after drinking any beverages (other than water or milk). Check in with us next week to learn why brushing your teeth immediately after drinking nearly all prepared beverages can do serious harm to your teeth.

In the mean time teach yourself to be a superb once a day effective tooth cleaner. And it makes absolutely no difference when during the day you do this cleaning.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons

Friday, October 3, 2014

Potato Chips for Dessert?

My curiosity couldn't resist and I bought the package of Cappuccino Potato Chips. What are we doing with coffee flavored potato chips? So when I got home, I discovered the cappuccino was more about the cinnamon and sugar than it was the coffee. They have taken that sugary cappuccino powder drink mix and used it to "season" the chips.

Sugar is being added to everything, it is true. As a dentist I clearly see the ravages it takes on teeth. My medical colleagues see it in the melange of diabetes, obesity, cardiac disease, liver damage that results. My friends in the insurance industry point out to me the necessity of increasing life insurance premiums because this new generation of youth is going to live a shorter life span than us and will therefore be paying into the system few years. Alas. When will you take charge of your eating habits?

So back to potato chips. We all know that a good southern barbeque sauce has sugar in it, so sugar in potato chip ingredients is not a new thing. But this is the first time a potato chip tasted sweet enough to qualify for dessert. Please read labels and be aware how much sugar is being added to your diet and be aware of the multitude of long term debilitating illnesses it is responsible for in our culture. It is not just about teeth.

Photo: Free image from Pixabay

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Chocolate for Teeth?!?!?

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons
Chocolate to the rescue! Eh? … It turns out theobromine, a natural alkaloid found in cocoa works perhaps as well as fluoride to remineralize teeth that have begun to decay. A preliminary laboratory study of the alkaloid comparing it with fluoride to reverse the demineralizing process in tooth decay found them statistically equal.
Can you imagine it now? Brush your teeth clean and then smear a bit of chocolate on them before bed. For those of you on the cutting edge, there is already an “up-scale” chocolate toothpaste emphasizing the theobromine.

Don't jump to conclusions just yet. There is more research going on to verify these preliminary results.

Join us at PIONEER DAY for some fun wall climbing, bounce housing, sack racing and other fun stuff.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Your Teeth Can Last Forever!!!

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons
Sure!!  No way! Really?  So just think about it. We have jaws full of teeth from Neanderthal Man, and from Cro-Magnon Man, and countless other pre-historic cultures. Perfect teeth with no cavities that are thousands of years old. So ... Why does modern man suffer cavities that destroy teeth in a matter of a few years?  Why, as a children's dentist, do I see teeth totally destroyed, disintegrated, in as little as 2 years?

Are you aware that cavities were not an issue for the average man until about 250 to 300 years ago? Towns and villages didn't need a dentist because average folks didn't get cavities. Interesting?
But wait. There are archeological findings of jewels being used to fill cavities in king's and pharaoh's teeth. Indeed. Pharaohs had cavities and they had a dentist in the royal court. And why?  Because they also had the money to import sugar with their spice. So pharaohs and kings paid the price for their indulgences, both financially and in the discomfort of dental disease and the rudimentary level of dental science. Ouch!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Contagious Cavities?

Most people recognize that cavity problems seem to run in families. Most people also shrug and say "I have soft teeth, it runs in the family," as if they cannot do anything about it. That is wrong. Research has never demonstrated soft teeth. Research has definitely demonstrated the bacteria that cause cavities are contagious and we usually get ours from our caretakers when we are infants and first growing teeth.

If a family has aggressive cavity causing bacteria, they are typically traded to the infant at those cuddly slobbery spoon sharing times. But, please do not stop being cuddling nurturing parents. There is another way! The contagious disease is dose dependent. Research has shown that cleaning up mom and dad's oral health before baby is born, or at least before infant teeth show up, is an excellent way to reduce bacterial count and improve outcomes for baby. By the way, this includes improving odds for full-term pregnancy.
A good way to start would be a dental checkup. However, by "cleaning up oral health" I don't mean necessarily getting those expensive cavities filled, though that obviously helps too. Immediate and inexpensive, or even free things people can do are:

1. Become a truly effective tooth brusher. 

Use disclosing tools (tablets, solutions, or kitchen food color) to show you the bacteria. Then teach yourself how to thoroughly clean your teeth. Check yourself every couple weeks until you are confident you have figured it out. Most people find they can thoroughly clean their teeth in about half the time they used to.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dental Health & School Performance Linked

A recent nationwide study published in Pediatrics demonstrated a significant correlation
with reductions in school performance and psychosocial well-being. Children with dental problems were more likely to have problems at school and to miss school, and were less likely to do all required homework. Dental problems were associated with shyness, unhappiness, feeling of worthlessness, and reduced friendliness. The effects of dental problems on unhappiness and feeling of worthlessness were largest for adolescents between 15 and 17 years.


Preventing and treating dental problems and improving dental health may benefit child academic achievement and cognitive and psychosocial development.

A reminder to start early.  The first tooth deserves a dental home.  If you are going to prevent tooth decay, you have to start before the decay starts.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Teeth and Quality of Life

It doesn't take rocket science or super intelligence to figure out that teeth are important to quality of life. Eating some delicious bar-b-cue or a sumptuous crisp mixed green salad requires some stable teeth.  When residents of elder care facilities are polled to rate the value of having back something they have lost since their younger years, having their teeth back invariably is at the top of the list.

Are you aware that 28% of those over 50 years old have no teeth?  Of those who still have teeth, The average number left is 19; that is 11 less than when they were in high school!  Imagine eating with 11 gaps for missing teeth.

Yet Americans continue to make life style choices that put their health at risk. Diabetes rates are skyrocketing in our youth. Diabetes, which was primarily associated with the elderly, accounts for 18% of the tooth loss problem in those over 50. Why is it that people continue to eat simple carbohydrates (sugars) even when they know it is bad for them?

Meet our Staff

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Welcome to Winning With Smiles - Pediatric Dentistry. We are dedicated to cavity free, healthy beautiful smiles. We look forward to the opportunity to share with you what we know about creating optimal oral health for growing children. We understand oral health is closely tied to general health and like to work closely with the family physician. Oral health is also closely tied to family life and lifestyle. That is why we like to have the family involved with dental appointments. What we teach our patients works best if understood and supported by the family and will benefit the family as well. We enjoy working with parent and siblings present. We have been learning from families since 1974. With the family present, open questions lead to family learning. We are dedicated to your oral health.