Teeth As Tools: How Our Teeth Have Been Used Throughout History

2018-11-05T14:35:48+00:00October 31st, 2018|Carolina's Dental Choice, Dental Trends, Teeth Cleaning|

Our teeth perform so many important functions throughout our life and on a daily basis. On a basic level, we use our teeth to talk, chew, digest food, and properly fill out our cheeks and lips to form our face shape. Without knowing it, you have probably used your teeth as tools in a multitude of ways. Whether you’re opening a bag of snacks by ripping open the seal with your teeth, cutting meat with your teeth, or holding bobby pins as you fix your hair, our teeth are one of the most important tools on our body.

While many of the ways that we use our teeth as tools aren’t particularly healthy for our teeth, and constantly put our teeth at the risk of damage, typically, a healthy tooth will not chip or break during normal function.

Now imagine a time and place where there were no electric toothbrushes, mouthwash, or even dental floss, and suddenly your teeth are one of the most important tools you possess. If teeth have less enamel, decay, or gum disease, they are more likely to chip, shift, or become loose, resulting in eventual tooth loss.

How have humans used their teeth throughout their history when they possibly weren’t as strong and healthy? What did it mean for humans to use their teeth as tools?

Early Ancestors: Teeth as Tools

Eating chocolate

Much of what we know about the life and diet of ancient humans is due to finding their teeth! Archaeologists find dozens to hundreds of teeth for every skeleton or skull. Why do our teeth survive at such high numbers? Our teeth are covered by enamel, which is 97 percent mineral, making our teeth stronger and more easily preserved than the rest of our bones. From the shape of the tooth to the thickness of the enamel, scientists can understand the evolution of humans, how our ancestors lived, what they ate, or even what diseases they had. Variations in teeth are a great way for scientists to classify early human species. As humans migrated across the globe, so did their diets; we know this because human teeth developed thicker enamel to eat other animals, seeds, nuts, and roots.

Looking back to Neanderthal teeth, scientists have hypothesized that they use their teeth as a tool, possibly gripping and clamping with their front teeth as they prepped animal hides for clothing and shelter.

What’s clear is that our teeth have evolved to serve us in similar ways as our ancestors. Like our ancestors, we use our teeth to access food or drink. Our teeth can still tell us a lot about our day-to-day life and culture as well!

Early tools to clean teeth

As far as we know, the earliest toothbrush dates back to around 3000BC, where Babylonians and Egyptians configured a toothbrush from frayed twigs. Fast forward a bit to 1600 BC, and we have the Chinese using aromatic twigs from trees as “chew sticks” to freshen their breath.
Some of the earliest tools to clean teeth were made from animal bone. For a stretch of history, and even today in certain parts of the world, coarse animal hair, such as hair from cows, was used to form the bristle on toothbrushes.

Did people in the past constantly have rotted teeth, cavities, and gum disease? Despite a lack of teeth brushing among ancient people, most people did not suffer from dental problems. There are a few explanations:

• The food being eaten was natural, unprocessed, and pure, containing nutrients and vitamins that strengthened teeth against bacteria
• Ancient diets were filled with fibrous foods, where the fiber acted as a brush against the teeth to filter away plaque and food
• Earlier diets lack sugary foods and acidic soda, two of the main detriments of modern diets
• Before cigarettes, humans didn’t smoke, and thus didn’t experience the harmful side effects of smoking on the teeth and human health

About 10,000 years ago at the dawn of the Neolithic period, our ancestors began farming, our teeth began to experience more decay, and dentistry emerged. As recent as the last decade, archaeologists found teeth that had been scraped and even drilled to possibly remove decayed tissue. With the onset of farming came carbohydrate-rich grains and starches. Some oral bacteria actually convert carbohydrates into enamel-destroying acids. There is evidence in numerous cultures across the world at various time periods where people combated decay by hand-drilling small holes into the teeth and scraping with different tools. At this point, you’re probably extremely thankful for the profound progress dentistry has made, even in the last century!

Cosmetic dentistry throughout history

It’s hard to pinpoint when improving the appearance of teeth became more fashionable rather than undergoing treatment to improve teeth function, but we know for sure that it has taken off in the past few years. Patients can now receive whitening treatments, veneers, and dental implants, all of which are cutting-edge procedures for a brighter, whiter smile! But cosmetic dentistry isn’t anything new—it goes back ancient times, where we know people developed tools to clean their teeth as early as 3000BC.
We’ve also been fixing our teeth since prehistoric times. Around 700 BC, there is evidence that Etruscans made dentures with ivory and bone, or constructed dentures from human or animal teeth. This practice lasted all the way up until the 1800s!

In 200 AD, the Etruscans also were using gold to create dental crowns and bridges, although it’s unknown whether this was for a dental treatment or for a fashion statement. The Ancient Egyptians used pumice stone and vinegar to create a toothpaste, and they hammered seashells into their gums as replacements for their teeth.

The 1700’s led to human teeth being used more commonly as dental implants, but our bodies tend to reject other humans’ teeth. In the late 1770’s, the first porcelain dentures were made, and they became extremely popular in the 19th century. By the early 20th century, dentists had switched to plastics and acrylics for dentures.

One of the most famous representations of cosmetic dentistry that comes to mind is that of the United States of America’s first president, George Washington. The legend surrounding Washington’s teeth was that they were made entirely of wood. But, in fact, they were actually made of animal bone!

How do our teeth become damaged from using them as tools in the present day and age?

Well, consider this: when we speak, our teeth are naturally separated during normal speech, and when we eat, food separates our teeth as we chew. When we use our teeth as tools, say to rip open a package or grind into tough foods, our teeth make contact, and suffer damage.

If your tooth has a filling or crown, using your teeth as tools they’re not intended for can pull out the filling or cause the crown to fall off. To those of you constantly holding bobby pins with your teeth to fix hair, bobby pins can actually pop off porcelain veneers on your teeth!

What does this have to do with our ancestors? Well, history repeats itself! We’re prone to using our strong, capable teeth as tools. Although we use our teeth as tools on a daily basis to eat, speak, and chew, improper use can lead to cracking and fracturing your teeth.

However progressive our dental care and habits are, we can truly damage our teeth. In comparison to the pain of damaging your teeth and the price of dental work, recognizing and changing our bad habits is better for our teeth and our wallets.

What if I already damaged my teeth?

You’re not alone if you didn’t know that using your teeth in certain, commonplace ways was damaging. What you should know, is that early treatment is always less extensive and less expensive. If a tooth suffers from minor cracks or chips, your dentist can easily repair them with a filling. If left untreated, these minor chips and cracks make the tooth weaker and more likely to break further, possibly chipping away at enamel and leaving the tooth exposed to bacteria.

Basically, the sooner you act with damaged teeth, the better for your wallet, your comfort, and the overall health of your teeth! Set up an appointment with Carolina Dental Choice to be proactive with your smile.

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Dental Anesthesia Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

2020-07-16T16:59:14+00:00September 14th, 2018|Dental Implants, Dental Trends|

If you’ve ever undergone a dental procedure such as a tooth extraction or root canal at Carolinas Dental Choice, you’re most likely familiar with — and have been the grateful recipient of — a dental anesthetic. Numbing agents, like novocaine, work by confusing communication between nerve cells so that the brain doesn’t register pain. However, today’s modern medicine hasn’t always been available, and the path to its discovery and use is a sordid one.

Teeth have been causing pain through the ages and remedies to fight the pain are recorded as far back as 2250 BC. A Babylonian clay tablet reveals the recipe to repair cavities — mixing henbane seed and gum mastic. In 1000 BC India, oral care relied on wine. It wasn’t until 1540 that ether was introduced. And while there is no evidence, one can imagine early cave people simple using a large stick to pry out any source of pain.

Early dentistry was commonly performed by barbers. Beginning in the Middle Ages, barbers were performing dental work and surgery in addition to cutting hair and shaving. Blood-letting and leeching, extractions and enemas all were services of the local barber-surgeon. Shave and a root canal? Two bits!

Historical documents from the Wood Library Museum of Anesthesiology detail a Dr. Horace Wells bravely volunteering to inhale nitrous oxide for his own dental extraction in December 1844. Despite nitrous oxide’s reputation as laughing gas, Dr. Wells was a “humbug” during the procedure.

The first nurse anesthetist dates to 1877, but it wasn’t until 1889, at the Philadelphia College of Dentistry, Henry I. Dorr, MD, DDS was appointed as the world’s first Professor of the Practice of Dentistry, Anaesthetics and Anaesthesia.

Dental pain relief developed from the humble beginnings of ether (a pleasant-smelling colorless volatile liquid that is highly flammable) to laughing gas (nitrous oxide) and more recently from ethyl chloride (a gas or volatile liquid) to Procaine (commonly known as Novocaine).

Now dental anesthesia makes what was once a truly torturous process into something that may be simply unpleasant.

Your first experience with dental anesthesia may have been during wisdom tooth extraction (the four hindmost molars which come in during young adulthood) which can cause issues including pushing other teeth out of alignment. Wisdom teeth also tend to be impacted meaning they are stuck just below the gum surface. Nearly 85 percent of adults have had wisdom teeth removed. Another common dental procedure is a root canal, which hollows out a tooth and removes infected pulp inert material.

Dental anesthesia falls into three basic categories:

  • Local Anesthesia — Medication is injected into nerves within the gums to numb the area to be treated. This type of anesthesia is commonly used during fillings, treating gum disease, or preparing teeth for crowns.
  • Sedation — Administered by inhaling nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, or orally in the form of a pill taken prior to the dental procedure, this form of anesthesia is commonly combined with a local anesthetic to help relieve anxieties and reduce pain.
  • General Anesthesia — The strongest form of anesthesia available for dental procedures involves intravenous medications that produce a temporary loss of consciousness. General anesthesia is usually only used during extensive oral surgery procedures and requires a medical facility more advanced than a typical dentist’s office.

 

You may have heard of I.V. sedation and wondered if it were for you. Intravenous (I.V.) sedation has become more common and works well for those with fear of the dentist and dental procedures. It is also ideal for patients whose fear of dentistry has led to a large amount of dental work needing to be completed. I.V. Sedation is also used for outpatient procedures, like colonoscopies. Referred to as “twilight sleep,” the sedation allows patients to wake with little or no memory of the procedure.

While in the United States and much of the developed world there are many options available for safe and pain-free dental procedures, much of the world still has limited options when it comes to oral health care.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “In developing countries, oral health services are mostly offered from regional or central hospitals of urban centers and little, if any, priority is given to preventive or restorative dental care. Many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin-America have a shortage of oral health personnel and by and large the capacity of the systems is limited to pain relief or emergency care. In Africa, the dentist to population ratio is approximately 1:150,000 against about 1:2,000 in most industrialized countries.”

This continues more than 20 years the primary care initiative “Health for All,” which has yet to be fully implemented. According to WHO, “in many countries, national capacity and resources — human, financial and material — are still insufficient to ensure availability of and access to essential health services of high quality for individuals and populations, especially in deprived communities.”

The Dental Anesthesiology Research (DAR) Group, based in Alexandria, Va. was founded in 2000. They focus their research in: 1) local anesthesia: anatomy, pharmacology, and therapy. 2) sedation: general anesthesia, deep sedation, moderate and minimal sedation, and, 3) pain management: acute and chronic orofacial pain, orofacial cancerous pain and synalgia.

While those are a lot of big words, the point is that dental anesthesia continues to develop and address more complex patient care including: intravenous and inhalational sedation, sedation in hospital and ambulatory environments, sedation for all dental procedures, including oral surgery, pediatric dentistry, and general dentistry, perioperative patient management: intellectual disability, physical disability, comorbid illness/medical complexity, and dental phobia.

Despite continued advances into pain relief in dentistry, a third of Americans have not seen a dentist in the last year, according to a Gallup-Healthways poll. Many do not see a dentist because of the expense and only wealthier individuals seeking regular dental care, but another reason cited for not pursuing dental care is being the lack of realization that good oral health is key to overall good health. Poor oral care has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and stroke; and research has found that those who suffer from gum disease are twice as likely to develop coronary artery disease. The Mayo Clinic suggests brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, and eating a healthy diet, along with attending regular dental check-ups.*

While dental procedures can seem scary and overwhelming, advances in anesthesia, options for pain relief during and after procedures, and continuing research to develop additional care methods, are making it easier for you to get the dental care you need.

 

*Medical Daily.

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What Do White Gums Say About Oral Health?

2020-07-16T17:00:13+00:00May 29th, 2018|Carolina's Dental Choice, Dentist Office Monroe NC|

Our bodies are amazing machines that like to communicate with us when they are healthy or when there might be something wrong. That’s right, there are little tells happening all the time indicating our current levels of health. This information is likely nothing new, but at Carolina Dental Choice we think it’s important for you to recognize a not-so-common sign that your oral health may be in danger.

 

Paying close attention to your gums is incredibly important. We all know the necessity of flossing and brushing and making sure those gums are not receding, but what about when areas of the gums begin to turn white? What is your body trying to tell you when this happens? White spots on the gums are more common than not, but most people do not understand the possible dangers that could arise because of them. Let’s take a look at some of the probable causes of white gums.  

 

What White Gums Could Mean

Unfortunately, noticing a white coloration on your gums could mean a number of different things, and they all have varying levels of seriousness. That being said, as long as you catch it in time and know the possible reasons, you can get your oral health right back where it needs to be. Here are some possible reasons for white gums:

 

  • Leukoplakia: this is an oral disease where white or gray coloration appears on or around the gums. These light spots are created due to mucous membranes that are sensitive and quite painful. Think canker sores, only on your gums! Leukoplakia is often caused by long-term tobacco use, excessive alcohol use, poorly fitting dental appliances, mouth injury, or bodily maladies such as cancer and HIV. If you find painful, white sores on your gums, the best thing to do is see a dentist immediately. Whether it is leukoplakia or not, your gums should never be white.

 

  • Anemia: this is a tough one because it can produce in many different forms, making it difficult to identify. The best way to diagnose an anemia is to notice if the white coloration on your gums is paired with any of the following happenings:

-cold hands and feet

-constant fatigue

-chronic headaches

-spells of dizziness

-shortness of breath

-bodily weakness

-spells of irregular heartbeat

Another tell to anemia is sudden whiteness of skin beyond just the gums. Some common causes of anemia include vitamin B12 and iron deficiencies, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease. This is definitely one you want to take care of right away. If you feel any of these symptoms could be true for you, make a dental appointment as soon as possible.

 

  • Mouth Ulcers: noticing white spots on your gums could indicate oncoming ulcers. This is much less serious than the previous causes of white gums, but these sores are no fun at all. If you feel the white spots on your gums could be connected to ulcers, it’s a good idea to begin washing your mouth out with salt water. This is a great way to keep them away and the inside of your mouth healthy. Some causes of mouth ulcers are sugary foods and drinks, as well as, tobacco use. There is no need to completely cut these out of your diet, but regulation is a must.

 

  • Gingivitis: this is a mild form of gum disease that is fairly common among American adults. If you notice your gums beginning to recede and turn white, gingivitis is most likely the culprit. A few other signs include swollen and bleeding gums, even painful irritation and loose teeth. The most common cause to gingivitis is poor oral care, so if you have fallen off the wagon a bit, it’s best to get right back into the routine of brushing and flossing regularly to keep from this uncomfortable situation.

 

  • Lichen Planus: this chronic autoimmune condition can inflame the gums and begin to turn them white in lacy patches. Symptoms to lichen planus are similar to gingivitis, but regular dental check-ups can keep this condition from inflammation.

 

  • Candidiasis: simply put, this is a yeast infection that causes creamy white sores on the gums. This type of infection is usually seen in babies and older adults, and is often brought on by diabetes. If you happen to fit any of these categories, it is important to maintain a strict teeth-and-gum cleaning schedule and keep up with your dental appointments. Two appointments a year is recommended, but in this case you might benefit more from three or four check-ups a year.

 

  • Oral Cancer: if you ever notice white bumps or growths on your gums, or if you suddenly find it difficult to chew or swallow, see a dentist right away. Most importantly, though, don’t panic. White growths or raised sections on the gums do not always equate to cancer, and even if they do, the faster you get them looked at the better your chances of having them safely removed.

 

 

How to Prevent White Gums

The good news is that you don’t have to just sit around and hope your gums don’t start turning white. There are a number of preventative measures to be taken that can keep your oral health at its peak. Here are a few we at Carolina Dental Choice recommend:

 

  • Begin by brushing correctly. The best way to keep white spots from appearing on your gums is to brush in small, circular motions. This will keep the toothbrush bristles from pushing your gums away from your teeth, which causes irritations that can lead to any of the conditions previously listed.

 

  • Floss every day: despite a completely false rumor floating around lately, flossing is incredibly important for your oral health. This keeps food from resting between your teeth, which begins to rot and aid in gum disease. Floss every morning or at night right before bed. Be sure not to jam the floss down on your gums. Use soft, clean motions, going back and forth. Hit every area between the teeth and rinse with water or mouthwash after.

 

  • Stop using tobacco: this can be a touchy subject, but using tobacco of any form greatly increases the odds of various gum diseases. Quitting smoking or chewing tobacco is much easier said than done, but if you are a user, at least try and reduce how much tobacco comes in contact with your mouth. Your gums will thank you!

 

  • Watch your diet: sugary drinks and foods, alcoholic beverages, even fatty meats can all have a negative effects on your gums. As stated earlier, you don’t necessarily have to cut these things out of your diet completely, but if you are the type of person who enjoys these on a regular basis, try and cut back a bit. At the very least, make sure you brush your teeth right after eating or drinking sugary or fatty substances.

 

The biggest thing to remember is not to panic. Have fun, enjoy good food and drink. Just be smart about it. Brush and floss regularly, and MOST IMPORTANT: come see us at Carolina Dental Choice. We have the capability to detect oral health issues, often before they become apparent even to you. We can then advise you on exactly what steps need to be taken to reduce and eventually eliminate any possible disease or irritations.

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The History Of Dental Crowns: From Gold To Porcelain

2021-02-05T18:06:15+00:00April 30th, 2018|Dental Crowns|

At Carolina’s Dental Choice, our goal is to make sure that you have a happy, healthy, and beautiful smile. To do that, many patients need a crown to cover one of their teeth but they aren’t exactly sure what the purpose of the crown is or what the procedure entails. Don’t worry; we can answer any questions you have about dental crowns and provide you with a little more information on the history of crowns.

First things first: What is a crown? A crown is essentially a cap that covers a tooth. Crowns are placed over a tooth to improve its shape, size, strength, and even help its appearance. A dental crown can be needed for many reasons, such as:

  • Protecting a Tooth – If a tooth is cracked or even decaying, a crown can protect a weak tooth from further damage.
  • Restoring a Tooth – A broken tooth needs a crown to restore the functionality of the tooth.
  • Covering a Filling – Sometimes, if a tooth has a large filling and there is not a lot of tooth left, a crown will be used to cover and support the tooth and filling.
  • Holding a Dental Bridge in Place – A dental bridge is something that dentists use to bridge a gap between teeth when a tooth is missing. A crown may be used to cover this gap.

Dental crowns actually have a very interesting history that dates back thousands of years. Four thousand years ago, Luzon, an island in the Philippines, gold was used to modify teeth. Skeletons have been found with gold caps and gold tooth replacements. Evidence suggests that this practice was popular with the chiefs of the time and was a symbol of wealth and power in society. An ancient Italian civilization, the Etruscans, have also been discovered as using gold for dental crowns as far back as 700 B.C. It is thought that wealth and luxury were important to these people and they put gold dental crowns to cover their teeth. Some skeletons were also found with what are essentially the first dental bridges: artificial teeth were held in place with a gold wire which then banded the fake teeth to real teeth. Pretty cool!

Europeans didn’t start utilizing modern dental practices until around the 1400s. They started by carving dentures from bone or ivory and around the 1700s, human teeth were actually the most popular tooth replacement. But this practice did not work well so it quickly fell out of practice. Porcelain dentures became the most successful way to replace teeth and by the 1800’s, porcelain was the standard material for crowns. The first modern dental crown was created by Dr. Charles Land in 1903. He created an all-porcelain jacket by taking a broken tooth and reconstructing it with a porcelain cover. This essentially made the tooth look brand new. This dental crown practice was used until the 1950s, which is when dental technologies started developing into what we now use as dental crowns.

Today, dental crowns can be made with four different types of materials:

  • Ceramics – These crowns are made with materials that are porcelain based. The benefit to these fillings are the natural look they give teeth, as the color blends well with natural teeth. Porcelain crowns are best for restoring the front teeth because of this. These crown resist wear-and-tear but can become brittle in cases with heavy biting.
  • Porcelain Fused to Metal – These crowns are attached to the tooth with a metal base and porcelain is then fused to the metal. These crowns make the restoration stronger than if a crown is made of only porcelain. These crowns also better prevent dental decay from recurring. Porcelain fused metal crowns are very durable.
  • Gold Alloys – While there are commonly called gold crowns, these crowns are made up of gold, copper, and other metals. This creates a strong material that supports the tooth. This is a strong material that doesn’t wear or fracture easily. This material also works well with natural gum tissue.
  • Base Metal Alloys – These crowns are made with metals that are strong and resist corrosion. When preparing for crowns made with this material, the dentist is able to remove the least amount of healthy tooth. Additionally, this material is gentle on other teeth that touch the crown.

A question that comes up a lot when discussing crowns is “How long will my crown last?” Depending on the material used to make the crown and the dental care of a person, a crown can have a varying lifespan. On average, dental crowns can last from ten to thirty years. However, there are factors such as dental hygiene practices that affect how long a crown can last. Some crowns may crack after some time due to trauma and sometimes the problem is with the tooth itself. Also, some crowns are simply not fitted properly.

Some tips to prolonging the life of a crown:

  • Brush Your Teeth – It’s always the first thing on the list but brushing your teeth is the most important way to take care of your teeth and your crowns.
  • Avoid Hard Foods – If you regularly bite into hard foods or ice, your crown is at risk of cracking.
  • Wear a Mouth Guard – If you are prone to grinding your teeth in your sleep or participate in sports, wearing a mouth guard protects your teeth and your crowns.
  • Pick the Best Material for You – There are many choices for which material to use for a dental crown, make sure you talk with your dentist and pick the best material for your teeth.

Carolina’s Dental Choice wants to help you understand how dental crowns work. There are a lot of questions to ask if you need a crown: What is it? How long will it take? How much will it cost? We at Carolina’s Dental Choice are happy to answer any questions you may have. If you have questions about replacing current dental crowns or are just ready for a dental checkup, give us a call at 704-289-9519.

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Real or Veneer? The Work Behind Celebrity Smiles!

2020-07-16T17:22:49+00:00February 21st, 2018|Veneers|

It’s no secret that many of us look to celebrities in awe, and often envy, of their straight, white smiles, and wonder ourselves why we weren’t born with perfect teeth. But, the truth is, most celebrities are not gifted with the perfect teeth either.

If we look at celebrities, you’ll be surprised and possibly relieved to see how many of them went through dental work to get the brilliant smiles we know and love today. Let’s take a look at some of celebrity smile transformations to see the power of cosmetic dentistry!

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise, Dental Work, Cosmetic Dentistry, Carolina Dental Choice

In his teenage days before his major fame, Tom Cruise’s teeth had major gaps in the top row of teeth, a mono-tooth in his front middle teeth, and teeth were generally yellowed. Cruise underwent a major transformation with braces and dental veneers.

 

Experts recommend dental veneers for damaged, stained, misshapen, or worn-down teeth. Veneers are custom-made shells of tooth colored materials to cover the front of your tooth and improve the appearance of your teeth.

 

A combination of teeth bracing and porcelain veneers gave Tom Cruise the striking, handsome smile he has today.

 

Hillary Duff
Dental Work, Cosmetic Dentistry, Carolina Dental Choice, Hillary Duff, Hillary Duff's Teeth

Hillary Duff was America’s sweetheart in the early 2000’s for her Disney Channel stardom days on the Lizzie McGuire Show. When she began to transition from acting into a more serious singing career, she chipped her tooth on a microphone during a concert. Instead of fixing the singular tooth, Hillary decided to get upgrade to a full set of veneers. While her smile wasn’t too bad before, her smile now is stunning!

 

Morgan Freeman

Dental Work, Cosmetic Dentistry, Carolina Dental Choice, Morgan Freeman

 

Morgan Freeman is one of the best known and revered actors of our generation, but we probably did not pay much attention to his teeth. Naturally, as we age, our teeth decay and yellow, and Freeman was no exception. Freeman decided to see a cosmetic dentist, close the gap between his teeth, possibly had teeth extractions and teeth implants to get the smile we recognize today. Freeman certainly looks years younger with his straight, whitened smile.

 

Zac Effron

Dental Work, Cosmetic Dentistry, Carolina Dental Choice

 

Right before the filming of the first High School Musical, Zac Effron’s gap disappeared. Using Invisalign, the invisible braces options through a clear aligner, in a matter of months, Zac had a straight smile. His charming grin was also improved with a whitening treatment to get a sparkling, white smile. Admittedly, we might not have ever noticed his smile, due to his latest films focusing on his trademark abs.  Fans speculate that he might have veneers now, but the heartthrob has never commented on the matter.

 

Many celebrities have beautiful smiles, but they worked with their dentists to get the smile they wanted. You also have the power to get the smile you want, and Carolina Dental Choice is here to help. You don’t need Hollywood’s most expensive dentists to get the same work done, whether those are teeth implants, veneers, or whitening.  In fact, most of the dental work you’ve seen done to these celebrities can and has been done in our office! If you want to talk to us about your smile, give us a call today at 704-289-9519 to schedule your next consultation.

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Your Teeth Are Uniquely Yours: 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Teeth

2020-07-16T17:02:14+00:00November 1st, 2017|Carolina's Dental Choice|

Your teeth: you learned how to brush them, you learned how to floss them, and you learned how to swish your mouth with fluoride. You went through the joy and pains of losing your baby teeth to gaining your permanent teeth, and possibly dealing with wisdom teeth. You know that your teeth are an essential part of your daily life, health, and confidence. Beyond all the things you already know about your teeth, Carolina’s Dental Choice wants to share some fun facts with you!

   
                                                                                              

  1. Your mouth is home to 300 types of bacteria.

Before you worry about the high number of bacteria, know that most of the bacteria in your mouth are naturally occurring and actually work together to prevent decay. Bacteria can live on the gums, teeth, tongue and cheek. As for the bad bacteria living in your mouth, brushing and flossing your teeth keeps bad bacteria at bay.

 

  1. Not everyone has two sets of teeth.

Most people are born with two sets of teeth, the primary teeth (or as you may have called them, your baby teeth, that you lose) and permanent teeth. We lose baby teeth because a child’s mouth cannot hold 32 teeth, and the permanent teeth push them out. However, a small amount of people (2.5 to 6.9 percent of the population) did not have permanent teeth come in, and their baby teeth remain and become their permanent teeth.

 

  1. The hardest part of your body is enamel.

Enamel is the outer layer of all the teeth in your mouth. You may not have known that enamel is also the hardest part of your entire body! But, even as the hardest part of your body, it is also more brittle and is susceptible to breaking more easily. Yellowing teeth can be due to decaying enamel, and we can often become altered to decaying enamel from the pain it causes. Because enamel can’t repair itself, dentists can treat decaying enamel with tooth decay removal, sealants, fillings, and more. Ultimately, we want to protect our enamel and reverse any tooth decay with daily brushing, flossing, fluoride, and drinking more water.

 

  1. Not everyone needs their wisdom teeth taken out.

Although it’s hard to know exactly how many people actually have to get their wisdom teeth removed, it’s estimated that around 60-85% get their wisdom teeth taken out. Fun fact: as we evolve our jaw length is getting shorter and the wisdom teeth do not have enough room to come in. This causes a lot of us pain and requires us to have them surgically removed as they start to come in. On the other hand, some people are just lucky enough to be born without wisdom teeth!

 

  1. Teeth can grow in strange places.

It’s a rare case, but teratomas can cause tumors to have teeth. Yes, you read that correctly. Teratomas are tumors that contain developed tissue, which themselves contain teeth, hair, and bone. It forms in the fetus and is seldom cancerous, meaning teratomas can be removed and treated with little risk. While the condition can terrifyingly occur in anyone, teratomas are rare, and its very unlikely you have to worry about it.

 

  1. Teeth are the only structures in your body that can’t repair themselves.

If your teeth are chipped or lost, only a dentist can repair it. Unlike other parts of your body, like muscles and certain bones, your teeth are not alive and are not self-repairing structures. But there’s no need to fret over a chipped or lost tooth with the dentistry available today—they’ll have your smile looking better in no time!

 

  1. You can brighten your smile without braces.

We all want white, aligned, and shapely teeth, and veneers can be one way for us to achieve that! A veneer is a porcelain shell placed over the surface of your teeth. They not only brighten your smile, but can prevent further tooth damage and expensive treatments.

 

  1. Some teeth can be pretty expensive.

Many celebrities opt go to extreme lengths to perfect their smiles. We see that with the dazzling smiles of those like actor Tom Cruise, who spent $30,000 on dental work, and model Victoria Beckham, who spent over $40,000 total on her teeth. The most expensive singular tooth however, sold was that (reportedly) of the late John Lennon, which sold for $36,857 at an auction house in 2011.

 

  1. Your drinking water protects your teeth.

In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan was the first community to put fluoride in their water system, and now, two-thirds of U.S. population gets fluoride from their drinking water. While many people have concerns about fluorosis, a condition that causes white spots on the teeth from ingesting too much fluoride, the amount of fluoride in the drinking water is totally safe. Most cases of fluorosis are actually from kids under eight years old ingesting toothpaste, so be sure to monitor children as they perform their dental maintenance routines.

 

  1. Your teeth begin to develop at six weeks in utero.

As early as six weeks, your teeth begin to develop in the womb. You can actually tell a lot of about the mother and the environment she was in during the pregnancy term (think: nutrition, pollution, disease) by examining a baby’s teeth. A baby’s teeth do not begin to come in until they are between six to twelve months old.

 

  1. A toothbrush and floss aren’t the only weapons you have to protect your teeth.

We know it as the universal solvent, but we certainly don’t credit saliva enough as a natural defendant against dental plaque. Your toothbrush misses 35% of your tooth’s surfaces, so while flossing is very important, your saliva can also help break down any bad bacteria and plaque. We create a surprising amount of saliva, at 35,000 liters, in a lifetime—that’s enough to fill up two swimming pools!

 

  1. Your teeth can be an indicator of your overall health.

Oral health is an indicator of your overall health. Just as your teeth can affect other organs in your body, problems in the rest of your body can also manifest in your mouth. For example, flat teeth and headaches are an indicator of grinding teeth at night, which is caused by stress. Or, suspicious sores in the mouth that won’t go away can be also be a sign of oral cancer. From the mouth, we can find indicators of serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. It’s definitely important that you go to the dentist not only for your routine teeth cleaning, but also to get an idea of how your oral and overall health is doing.

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  1. Your smile can make you feel better with the release of neurotransmitters.

It sounds silly, but a smile a day can keep the doctor away! Your smile can cause a release of endorphins and serotonin. Endorphins make us feel happy and lower our stress levels; as we smile and release of endorphins, we’re naturally boosting our mood. Serotonin, which as also released when you smile, is an anti-depressant and natural pain-reliever. Loving your smile can truly make you and those around you happier and healthier.

 

  1. Nervous habits can chip your chompers.

Not only does it ruin your nails and cuticles, but nail biting, a nervous and often unconscious tick, can actually cause major damage to your teeth. Constantly biting down on one part of your tooth can chip or fracture your tooth. Over time, nail biting can even lead to TMJ, a condition caused from excess stress and pain in the joint and muscles we use to chew. Luckily, by keeping your nails short or recognizing that you’re nail biting as a result of stress or boredom can encourage you to find other calming options.

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  1. Your teeth are as unique as you!

Our teeth are unique—in fact, none of the 32 teeth in your mouth are the same. No two people have the same teeth either, not even identical twins. Just like our DNA inherently makes us unique, our genes can also impact our grin. If gapped teeth or missing teeth run in your family, you can also get dental abnormalities passed down from your parents. Because teeth are unique, they can also be used as identifiers. In forensic dentistry, we can study people’s teeth to see who they were, what they did, or used to identify human remains.

 

You can love your teeth and smile without knowing everything about them, but having a broader appreciation of your teeth makes them all the more impressive. While there are many ways to care for your unique teeth and overall oral health, if you want to talk about your smile with professionals that are eager to chat with you, contact Carolina’s Dental Choice today.

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The Secret Behind Flossing!

2020-07-16T17:02:38+00:00September 29th, 2017|Carolina's Dental Choice|

Carolina’s Dental Choice takes pride in helping people have healthy teeth and a smile they want to show off. This is why we encourage people to floss daily. Flossing is a simple task that can be done in just a few minutes but stubborn non-flossers often underestimate the importance of those few minutes. Flossing cleans in-between the teeth and reaches places that simply brushing cannot. When you floss, you remove those tiny food particles and plaque that can’t be seen in-between your teeth and by removing the plaque, you can help prevent tooth decay.

Flossing is a must for good oral health. We know that flossing can be a little tricky and can be easily forgotten but flossing is essential to keeping your gums and teeth healthy. Flossing not only removes food from in-between the teeth, but it also helps protect the gums by cleaning out foods that, if stuck between your teeth, could cause bacteria to grow on the gums.  Flossing breaks down the plaque and bacteria biofilm on your teeth and protects your teeth from decaying and your gums from Gingivitis.

Believe it or not, when bacteria is left in-between your teeth it can actually change the whole ecosystem of your mouth. This can make you more vulnerable to bacteria related infections. Bacteria and plaque are your gums worst nightmare. The gums are very sensitive and when they come in contact with bacteria and plaque it can cause serious problems. Gum decay and gum infections are very common and if untreated can lead to gum disease.

Do your gums bleed when you floss? This is normal. Gums are sensitive and if they are not used to regular flossing, the flossing will irritate them until they become adjusted. Once you begin flossing daily, your gums will become stronger so that your gums will be less irritated and bleed less often.

Here at Carolina’s Dental Choice we want our patients to have the healthiest smile they can. Having routine visits to our office will help you keep your teeth happy. Just don’t forget to practice daily oral hygiene as well. Schedule an appointment at our office or give us a call to learn more about oral hygiene.

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