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Straighter Teeth Are Healthier Teeth

National Orthodontic Health Month

October brings us National Orthodontic Health Month, one of three reasons to celebrate optimal oral health before welcoming in the cavity creeps on a holiday all dentists rejoice around – Halloween.

In addition to National Dental Hygiene month, October is also National Orthodontic Health Month.

This tenth month of our calendar presents dentists, patients, & parents a great education opportunity to promote orthodontics and oral hygiene.

Did You Know Crooked Teeth Are Bad for Our Dental Health?

Metal Braces on Teeth 350x266 Straighter Teeth Are Healthier Teeth

It’s true for adults and children alike, and that’s not just some scary ghost story but don’t just take our word for it. According to WebMD, these are some of the most common health problems associated with crooked or misaligned teeth:

Crooked teeth and misaligned bites can:

– Interfere with proper chewing.
– Make keeping teeth clean more of a challenge, increasing the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis.
– Strain the teeth, jaws, and muscles, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth.
– Make people feel self-conscious about their appearance and affect their self-esteem.

Halloween Candy to Avoid If You Have Braces

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Wrigley’s & The ADHA Team Up for Dental Hygiene Month In October

Aside from Halloween, October also brings us one of two other dental-centric occasions to help raise awareness for optimal oral health – National Dental Hygiene Month.

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company have once again teamed up to help raise public awareness about good oral health during National Dental Hygiene Month (NDHM).

October Is National Dental Hygiene Month

NDHM 2014 banner 500x144 Wrigleys & The ADHA Team Up for Dental Hygiene Month In October
The focus of the joint ADHA/Wrigley efforts this year highlight the four main components of good oral health maintenance: brushing teeth twice daily, flossing every day, rinsing with mouthwash and chewing sugar-free gum.

Dental hygienists are on the front lines of our battle with the cavity creeps, and sometimes we forget how much our trusted RDH’s help educate us as dental patients on the importance of regular dental visits and essential at-home oral health care.

Not that October should be the only month we appreciate our dental hygienists – or pay lose attention to oral health – but if you see your hygienist this month, be sure to pass along an extra special thank you for the diligent defense of your teeth & gums!

Remember the recent news about certain toothpaste containing plastic microbeads? Read More

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Your Dental Insurance Might Not Cover This….

I Have To Wait How Long For a Replacement?

Did you know that after you receive dental treatment (like a filling or crown), most dental insurance plans have forced wait periods before they will fix or replace the same tooth again?

For example, say you had a crown placed on your front tooth two years ago. Today you bite into a popcorn kernel, and crack the crown in half.  Unlike medical insurance, your dental insurance will deny your claim to replace or fix your tooth. This is because you are still in their wait period before they’ll pay for new work on the same tooth.

Emergency 400x363 Your Dental Insurance Might Not Cover This….

Your options are to wait until the wait period is over, pay for the new crown in full yourself…or throw yourself on the mercy of your dentist for a discounted replacement.

According to, typical wait periods for the replacement of an existing crown range from five to seven years before a replacement will be paid for. This amount varies depending on the insurance company and your specific plan. Read More

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Which Toothpastes Contain Microbeads?

And what the H E double hockey sticks are microbeads anyway?

According to the ABC News report you can watch below, these plastic toothpaste microbeads are made from one of the world’s most common forms of plastic.

That material, used to make plastic bottles, is used for color in some toothpaste, and is approved by the FDA.

As if because it’s common, it’s automatically safe to put in toothpaste…

The culprit ingredient to look for on ANY tube of toothpaste would be Polyethylene.

This is the FDA approved food additive that according to Proctor & Gamble (the manufacturer of Crest® toothpaste), are completely safe FDA approved food additives used for color.

How Did We Come To Learn About Toothpaste Containing Plastic Microbeads?

Enter Trish Walravenan RDH, active blogger and social media maven, who just so happens to be a real-life dental hygienist at this The Colony, TX. dental office.

Trish Walraven Author 500x100 Which Toothpastes Contain Microbeads?

Trish first started blogging about something strange she noticed in patient mouths, all the way back in March of this year:

When I clean people’s gums, a lot of times when the water is flushing around, we would see a speck — and it would be blue — and gone.

Walraven says she has been cleaning teeth for 22 years and now she’s speaking out about microbeads.

Is Toothpaste Containing Microbeads Safe?

As pointed out in the video, P&G goes on to say, “Years of clinical research show no evidence of particles persisting underneath the gumline or causing harm.”

The FDA chimes in to say they are, “…not immediately aware of any safety issues with this product.”

To cut through all of the chaff and chatter, and to make a simple assumption, these plastic microbeads are probably not harmful…as far as we know right now – as supported by “years of clinical research” – but that doesn’t mean they’re beneficial either. Read More

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The Triple Threat To Kids Dental Health

This press release was originally published by dental researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia are warning parents of the dangers of soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks and other drinks high in acidity.

According to the report these high-acidity drinks form part of a “triple-threat” of permanent damage to young people’s teeth.

Ditch The Acidic Drinks For Back To School Dental Health

Triple Threat Acidic Drinks 400x225 The Triple Threat To Kids Dental Health

Credit: The University of Adelaide

As parents, we certainly care about what our kids put in their mouths and of course we always try to instill healthy eating habits, but are we aware of how damaging sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and ever fruit juices can be to our kid’s teeth and gums?

It’s easy to toe the everything in moderation line when we’re talking about Halloween candy blowout or Christmas cookie overload, but we also need to educate our kids to the dangers of gulping down those sugary slurry sports drinks, sodas, or energy elixirs.

For the first time, researchers have been able to demonstrate that lifelong damage is caused by acidity to the teeth within the first 30 seconds of acid attack.

Researchers say drinks high in acidity combined with night-time tooth grinding and reflux can cause major, irreversible damage to young people’s teeth. Read More

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Curt Schilling Blames Oral Cancer On Chewing Tobacco

While most sports fans are aware of former Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly’s battle with sinus cancer, and the recent passing of one of baseball’s greatest hitter ever – Tony Gwynn – up until earlier today most of us weren’t aware that another famous athlete is dealing with mouth cancer.

Former Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series winning pitcher Curt Schilling is currently fighting oral cancer.

We first learned Schilling had cancer back in February of this year, but we didn’t know exactly what type of cancer he was undergoing treatment for – that has since been in remission since June.

According to this CBS Sports article, Schilling announced he had been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma — cancer in the mouth — during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon, according to Steve Silva of the Boston Globe.

Curt Schilling Blames Chewing Tobacco for Oral Cancer

Schilling Oral Cancer Chewing Tobacco 540x338 Curt Schilling Blames Oral Cancer On Chewing Tobacco

Image courtesy of (USATSI)

Here is some of what Schilling has to say about his battle with oral cancer and the role he feels chewing tobacco played, courtesy of Steve Silva of the Boston Globe by way of the CBS Sports website: Read More

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