- Tooth structure cannot be replenished and does not benefit from wound healing or regeneration.
- While dentists are licensed to remove tooth structure from their patients, they are professionally and ethically bound to preserve tooth structure in the process of maintaining, preserving, restoring and improving oral health.
- The consummate professional avoids fads and trends, selecting new technology and techniques only when they are applicable to the needs of the individual patient.
- Technological advances are embraced with caution and are evaluated objectively against the principles of dentistry until they are proven with research or true paradigm shifts occur in the basis of theory.
- The health and needs of the patient take priority over the wants of the patient.
- Methods and materials should be evaluated for their clinical validity in preserving patients’ oral health and structures, and should not be selected on the basis of convenience or for the economic gain of the practitioner, insurance provider, manufacturer or supplier.
- Healthy teeth and gums possess a natural beauty that can be damaged by the misuse and/or over-use of techniques promoted for cosmetic reasons.
- Teeth, and their supporting structures, can last a lifetime if the bacteria that cause dental disease can be prevented and/or controlled.
- Patients are a critical part of the dental team and must be involved in their oral hygiene in order to help prevent disease and preserve oral health.
- The dental professional plays an important role within the community and has a civic responsibility to help promote, educate and motivate the public to value and preserve their oral health.
- The dental professional has a moral responsibility to elevate the quality of dentistry available to the public.
- The dental professional has a responsibility to edify the connection between oral health and systemic health.
What are the pros and cons of bleaching my teeth?
One of the most frequently asked questions at Preservation Dental is: “What are the pros and cons of bleaching my teeth?” According to Dr. William Demray, the number one rule for the natural, most appealing look is that the whiteness of your teeth should not be equal to or greater than the whiteness of your eyes.
The pros – It does work. It lightens your teeth. The important distinction to be aware of is: bleach lightens your teeth, not whitens your teeth. Internal stains, far below the level of enamel, can be neutralized by bleaching products containing various peroxides. The process helps return your teeth to their natural color. You should be cautious with regard to bleaching. Claims that some toothpastes whiten teeth are based on the removal of surface stains by increased levels of ingredients that contain abrasive materials. Few contain bleaching agents.
The cons – the results of bleaching are not permanent. Any colored food or drink re-stains the teeth, especially right after bleaching. Bleaching can be injurious to the soft tissue of the mouth and dehydrates the teeth. It is also implicated in creating tooth sensitivity that may be reversed by re-hydration, application of desensitizing chemicals and time away from the bleaching process. Over-bleaching can result in increasing translucency of the teeth, resulting in blue-ish or gray-ish looking teeth.
What’s the deal between silver fillings or white fillings?
Both are good materials and are approved by the American Dental Association. They are not always interchangeable. Silver fillings (also known as amalgams) do contain mercury that is chemically bound to other components to form a highly stable intermetallic compound. It does not contain free methyl mercury. It is one of the most widely studied dental filling materials. While it is not an aesthetically pleasing material, it is very economical and functional. Amalgam bans by some countries were initiated by environmental ministers, not medical or dental scientists. White fillings (also known as composites) while aesthetically pleasant by nature are subject to shrinkage while curing and contain Bisphenol A, a controversial compound found in plastics. Composites work well in the biting surface of a tooth, but not as well on certain side surfaces (the proximal side) of the tooth. The only dental material without some form of toxicity controversy is gold.
Does soda pop give me cavities?
Soda pop is a double dental whammy. Sugar and acid are on the attack. Dental decay is the result of acid attack on the teeth. Certain types of bacteria produce acid as a bi-product of consuming carbohydrates, especially sugar. Soda pops are acidic by nature. A combination of an acidic solution containing sugar in the presence of bacteria doubles the acid attack on teeth. Popular colas have a ph level of around 2; the least acidic soda is root beer with a ph level more than 4. Remember ph 7 is neutral.
On a side note – sour candies get the tartness from maleic acid.
From the National Museum of Dentistry
Museum Bites: The Invention of Floss
Most people think of dental floss as a modern phenomenon. However, Dr. Levi Spear Parmely advocated its use as early as 1818. Parmley stated that waxed silken thread, though simple, is more important than even the brush or a dentifrice*.”
*Dentifrice: a powder, paste or liquid used for cleaning teeth
Cherish Your Chompers
Want to keep your teeth? Here’s some helpful advice:
Break-A-Sweat…Recent studies suggest exercise may lower the risk of gum disease
Power Up…Use a high-quality power toothbrush to optimize the removal of plaque
Go Beyond Floss…The rubber tip stimulator is the best remedy for receding gums (Which happen to the best of us!)
Wait to Brush…It takes 30-minutes to an hour for saliva to neutralize the acids in foods. According to one noted periodontist: “Brushing right after eating can brush the enamel away.”
Excerpt in part from AARP The Magazine
True or False? Coffee and cigarettes are the only two culprits of teeth discoloration.
If you chose “false” … you are correct. Although these are two of the top tarnishers – there are several others including:
Some antibiotics and over-the-counter medications dull your smile. Tetracycline can turn teeth yellow in small children and its derivative – minocycline – can cause a permanent bluish-gray stain in adults. Certain antihistamines can also discolor teeth.
Fluoride is generally good for your smile but too much can cause chalky white spots to appear on your teeth. Dental experts recommend a sensible pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpase each time you brush.
Trauma can cause a tooth to become discolored – in children and adults. A root canal is as traumatic as damage from a fall or an accident. Any time a tooth dies it may discolor.
As you get older the enamel of your teeth wears thin and the natural yellow or brown color of the underlying dentin layer shows through. Genetics play an important role for the intensity of the whiteness of your teeth. You can thank Mom or Dad for naturally brighter, thicker enamel.
Many dark liquids, like fruit juice – red wine and soda can also turn teeth yellow. Even beer has an acidic effect on those pearly whites.
Ladies…Brighten your smile in an instant – with a simple tube of lipstick!
Did you know the proper shade of lipstick can create an illusion of whiter, brighter teeth?
A recent ad campaign for Clinique boasts: “Clinique can’t whiten your teeth. But we will brighten your smile. Instantly.” They used a dental color guide to create more than ten shades of lipstick that boost a smile by at least one shade! Beauty experts from New York have been offering this “bright idea” for years: You need contrast between the shades of your lips and teeth. Lip colors with yellow undertones tend to muddy the teeth. Instead, choose bright hues in the coral, rose or soft red families. High gloss, lacquered lipsticks – which reflect the light – almost make teeth seem dull by comparison. It’s best to choose those that have a cream matte finish. Another tip: To make uneven teeth appear straighter, be sure to stay away from mulberry, wine and brown colors. The darkness accentuates any misalignment of the teeth. Finally beautiful teeth are further enhanced by well-cared-for-lips. Treatments to try:
Blistex Lip Ointment and Neutrogena Lip Moisturizer both smooth dry, chapped lips in minutes.
A Kiss is Just a Kiss…but…
Saliva becomes more abundant during kissing. It has antibacterial properties that help limit halitosis, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Source: Inside Dentistry, February 2010
For Men Only….
Men’s Health Magazine (November 2009) offers some interesting advice: “Stay Firm With Floss”.
Researchers found gum disease was seven times more common in men with erectile dysfunction than in those men who reported no difficulty. Bacteria in gum tissue can travel throughout your body, causing inflammation that may damage blood vessels essential for erectile functions. Read the full article on page 30 of the November edition.
Do you know why they recommend a mouthguard or a helmet? Safety and protection are the obvious reasons…but did you know one without the other is less than an ideal situation?
Some Olympic competitors and professional athletes wear mouthguards to correct an imbalanced bite to enhance their performance. If the upper body muscles are not in harmony with the muscles that control the jaw, upper body coordination and strength can be compromised. Try this: Do a practice golf swing, or swing a baseball bat. Do it again with your mouth wide open. Do you feel the difference? Do the muscles pull differently?
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI)
Soft mouthguards can reduce the risk of MTBI in certain types of accidents. While the use of a helmet is very valuable in preventing brain injury when a stationary person is struck by an object, it is not as effective if the person is moving and the head strikes an object. In that case, the brain continues to move until stopped by the skull. Since the jaw is the prominent, lower and frontal part of your head, it often is the first area to be struck. A soft, flexible mouthguard can absorb some of the force and prevent it from reaching the brain.
Wear a helmet; use your mouthguard.
You’re on vacation and get a toothache…but haven’t had one for years! Why now?
Dental Pain Can Ruin a Vacation…
Barondontalgia is defined as pain in the teeth due to pressure changes. It is extremely difficult to foresee the potential for this pain in a ground level clinical setting. If you’re experiencing mild pain before flying or scuba diving, it could become very significant with the pressure changes associated with either of these activities. Diseased tooth nerves, periodontal pockets and impacted teeth should be remedied before traveling by air or diving.
“Grow, grow, grow up with me. It’s time to leave your binky on me.” – The Pacifier Tree
Babies are born wanting to suck. It is a natural behavior that allows them to eat and grow. Pacifiers can be helpful between feedings, but do not use them instead of feeding. A pacifier is sometimes better than a finger or a thumb, because you can’t throw away a thumb! You can wean a child from the pacifier before it becomes his/her “rubber soul.” The pacifier is not really needed beyond 10–12 months; however, most don’t give it up on their own until two to four years old.
Don’t put the pacifier on a string
Don’t dip it in honey (botulism) or sweets (decay)
Make sure it’s one piece and not liquid-filled
Don’t use the nipple from a bottle (it may come apart)
Inspect and clean it regularly
After 12 months, the pacifier can begin to interfere with speech development. It’s a good idea to find alternative calming techniques between six to twelve months and up to two years of age. An American Academy of Pediatrics study showed a reduction of 33% of the number of ear infections in children who gave up continuous pacifier use between six and ten months. Start the weaning process by beginning to limit the use; for example, offer it only at bedtime. Never use punishment or humiliation to force your child to give up using the pacifier; instead use encouragement and praise. At four and five years old, your child’s pacifier can affect the shape of the roof of the mouth and the position of the teeth.
Pick a day…
Give your child advance notice of the day he/she will give up the “binky”
Make a celebration out of it (see the following information about the Binky Tree)
When successful, do not let him/her return to pacifier use
The Binky Tree
We believe the Binky Tree in Ford Field (on Griswold just north of Main St. in downtown Northville) is the first Binky Tree in the United States. The Binky Tree is located near the playscape. It is a place of ceremony, a rite of passage so to speak. Children see it regularly and can see others giving up their pacifiers. You can plan a party and make the ceremonial visit a special occasion. Youngsters of all ages can come back and visit their binkies throughout their lives, if they wish. There is a world-famous Pacifier Tree in Frederiksberg Gardens in Denmark.