Lucky Smile

There are superstitious beliefs in lucky charms, such as rabbit’s feet, four-leaf clovers, and numbers.

You may not have ever thought of a smile as a good luck charm, yet it really does seem to bring good fortune to its bearers. People who smile often are more likely to get a promotion at work. Their general mood is about average. Apparently, they’re even lucky enough to not catch many of the viruses and bugs that go around. There are actually scientific explanations for the “good luck effect” of smiling.

The benefits of smiling are astounding. When you smile, it tells your brain that you must be happy, which transforms into a sort of self-fulfilling prophesy; smiles make you happier. It also sends positive a message to the people around you. The signal received is that you’re positive, attractive, and capable. Therefore, the “luck” of the smile tends to produce more sociability and higher earning power. Additionally, by easing stress on your body, smiling boosts your immune system.

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The Fear that Hurts the Most

At the top of the list of self-defeating fears is dental phobia.

Fears are a part of being human. Fear is the mental and biological response to stimuli, real or imagined, and it is designed to act as a defense mechanism. The reason we experience fear is for our own protection. However, fears don’t always do their job correctly.

There are two main directions of misguided fears. The first one is being afraid of something that can’t or won’t hurt you. These are pointless; there’s no protecting benefit to the fear of clowns, for example. Fears like this are unfortunate. They’re unnecessary, but cause mental anguish and biological stress responses.

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Letter to Tobacco

Dear Tobacco,

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…

Loss of taste

Loss of smell

Bad breath

Facial wrinkling

Stained teeth

Less successful periodontal treatment

Less successful dental implants

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Mouthwash: Good or Bad?

At your local store, mouthwashes seem to be gradually taking up more shelf space. Like many items these days, the choices are growing in numbers. You can get mouthwash strong in antiseptic quality because of its alcohol content, you can get some that will temporarily cure bad breath, or you can select something in between; and they all come in a variety of flavors. Despite the smorgasbord and availability of oral rinses, the question still remains as to whether or not they are good or bad for your oral health.

Is Mouthwash Bad?

It’s been debated that alcohol-containing mouthwash increases oral cancer risk. There have been some studies that support this stance. Dating back as early as 2003, however, the Journal of the American Dental Association published that mouthwash doesn’t increase risk of oral cancer, according to the majority of studies they surveyed.

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Reducing Your Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

September 21st is World Alzheimer’s Day.

The death rate for Alzheimer’s disease has continued to increase, whereas the rates for HIV, stroke, and heart disease have dropped.

The number of Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease is 5.4 million, and rising.

There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, and most of the risk factors, such as aging and genetics; nevertheless, there’s at least one thing you can do to reduce your chances of developing this tragic disease. Believe it or not, that thing is brush and floss your teeth regularly. How can such oral preventive care possibly lower the chances of developing Alzheimer’s? It all ties back to gum disease (periodontal disease).

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Teach Old Dogs About Teeth Whitening

You’ve heard the saying, “It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.” As it pertains to habits and lifestyle choices, it’s hard to make an “old dog” change now. We have one trick, however, that can help any dog, or human in this case, reverse the effects of bad oral hygiene, eating, and lifestyle habits. It’s called teeth whitening.

Rather than try and persuade people to brush and floss more often, quit smoking, discontinue drinking coffee and sodas, and aging (which is impossible at this time), teeth whitening offers a solution to these stain-causing acts. The reality is, teeth whitening products, such as the highly effective Zoom!® chairside whitening system, offered at our Wynnewood Dental Art office, are a lot easier to use than making a major lifestyle adjustment. Eliminating your personal pleasures isn’t necessary to have a beautiful, pearly white smile. Thanks to the natural aging process, your teeth naturally fade from white to yellow; so some staining is inevitable and out of your control.

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Playing the Odds Against Tooth Decay

In the business of trying to prevent tooth decay, there are no guarantees. The statistics look grim: 75 percent of the U.S. population has some form of periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to extreme decay and tooth loss. Nevertheless, there are some simple things you can do to play against the odds of developing tooth decay, a major contributor to the onset of gum disease.

People who drink 3 or more sugary sodas daily have 62 percent more dental decay, fillings, and tooth loss than those who limit their intake of soda and other sugar-loaded beverages. By eliminating just one soda per day, you lower your risk of developing dental problems. If you cancel out all sugary sodas, you greatly reduce your chances of decay. In fact, water serves as a cleanser and pH balancer for your mouth, which helps to fight against gum disease.

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Common Causes of Dental Problems

At some point, most people will experience a cavity. Nearly 70% of people between 35-44 years of age have lost a tooth, and 25% of folks 76 and older have no natural teeth left. Gum disease (from gingivitis to periodontitis) afflicts about 80% of the US population.

What causes cavities, tooth loss, and gum disease?  Can you take preventive measures now to reduce your risk of becoming part of statistics like these? Yes!

Bacteria: Your mouth has about 600 different types of bacteria. Plaque has 10,000,000,000 bacteria per milligram. These bacteria lead to many problems, in the mouth and body. They contribute to gum disease, cavities, halitosis (bad breath), and other problems. To have bacteria in your mouth is natural – but to maintain good oral health, you must control the bacteria. Brushing, flossing, using a tongue scraper, and rinsing with anti-bacterial mouthwash can help. Limiting snacks, particularly sugars and starches, also helps. In addition, stay hydrated. Drink water (not soda, tea, or coffee) throughout the day. It will reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth and contribute to good overall health.

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Chronic Headaches, Earaches Might Signify TMJ Disorder

The small joints that connect your jaw to your skull could be causing your chronic headaches, migraines, earaches, and other painful symptoms. The joints are called temporomandibular joints because they hold the mandible to the temporal bones of the skull. A complex network of nerves and muscles surround the joints and allow motion of the mouth. Stress, certain habits, injuries, and heredity are factors that contribute to misalignment of the joints. Clenching and grinding teeth, as well as malocclusion, may also cause the TMJ joints to be misaligned.

When jaw joints don’t sit in proper position, associated muscles work overtime to make the jaw work properly. Nerves react and send confused pain signals to the brain. That’s why TMJ disorder can cause symptoms ranging from migraines to tingling fingers and pain in the neck, shoulders, and back. Some believe that carpel tunnel syndrome can be associated with TMJ disorder, as well.Read More

Test Your Dentistry IQ

How many teeth does the average adult have?

a) 27
b) 32
c) 36
d) 39

What’s inside a tooth root’s canal?

a) A nerve
b) Dentin
c) Bone
d) None of the above

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