Posts for: February, 2018
While the last baby teeth generally aren't lost until age ten or eleven, most children stop believing in the tooth fairy by the time that they are seven or eight. Of course, children are more than happy to play along with the game when there is money at stake! While it is impossible to know what the tooth fairy does with all of those teeth (are thay labeled and stored like museum pieces in a giant fairytale castle?), it is possible to trace the history and myth of the tooth fairy to several cultures and traditions. Check out some interesting myths about the tooth fairy!
THE MIDDLE AGES
Legend has it that Europeans in the Middle Ages believed a witch could curse someone by using their teeth, so it was important to dispose of baby teeth correctly. Teeth were swallowed, buried, or burned. Sometimes baby teeth were even left for rodents to eat. Despite being pests, rodents were valued for their strong teeth; it was generally believed a tooth fed to a rodent would lead to the development of a healthy and strong adult tooth.
EIGHTEENTH CENTURY FRANCE
The tooth fairy myth began to show more characteristics of a conventional fairytale in 18th century France. La Bonne Petite Souris, a bedtime story, tells the strange tale of a fairy that changes into a mouse to help a good queen defeat an evil king. The mouse secretly hides under the evil king's pillow and defeats him by knocking out his teeth.
So, why does the tooth fairy leave money under the pillow? The idea of exchanging a tooth for coins originated in Scandinavia. Vikings paid children for a lost tooth. Teeth were worn on necklaces as good luck charms in battle. While the idea of exchanging a tooth for coins quickly spread throughout the rest of Europe, a fierce, horn-helmeted Viking is a far cry from the image of a fairy collecting teeth. While the tooth fairy as children know her today didn't make an appearance until the 1900s, tooth myths and rites of passage have existed in numerous cultures since the dawn of time.
With the recent celebration of Valentine's Day still fresh in our minds, an increased volume of tasty "treats" abound from all of the treasured relationships in our lives. While it is truly hard to look the other way or pass on the sweets from those that we love, the importance of maintaining a cavity free smile should never be forgotten. Although our lives are invaded with goodies during this time of year, take a look at some better alternatives that are "healthier" for your smile!
Heathy Chocolate. Studies have shown that dark chocolate is high in flavonoids, an ingredient found in the cocoa beans used to make chocolate. Flavonoids can help protect the body against toxins, reduce blood pressure, and improve blood flow to the heart and brain. By opting for dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate, you get to reap these benefits!
Dark Chocolate, AKA Protector of Teeth. Not only does dark chocolate provide some nice benefits for your overall health, it also helps protect your teeth against cavities! According to the Texas A&M Health Science Center, dark chocolate contains high amounts of tannins, another ingredient present in cocoa beans. Tannins can actually help prevent cavities by interfering with the bacteria that causes them. Think of them as scarecrows for bacteria.
Smooth Never Sticky. Unlike many popular candies, dark chocolate is less likely to stick in the crevices of your teeth. Chewy, gooey sweets are more likely to hang around in your mouth for longer periods of time, which means they raise the odds of you harboring cavity-creating bacteria. While some dark chocolates have additives like caramel or marshmallow, it is best to opt for the plain varieties.
While dark chocolate has some pretty sweet benefits, the most important thing to remember (whether you go the dark chocolate route or not), is that moderation is the key! If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our dental office at 918-455-0123!
Valentine's Day, also known as Saint Valentine's Day, has been said to originate with a Catholic priest named Valentine many years ago. Valentine defied the emperor at that time by secretly marrying men and their brides after the emperor had made it illegal to marry. Since married men were not required to go to war, Emperor Claudius II forbid marriage because he wanted as many single men to fight in his war as he could get.
Valentine disobeyed the emperor's edict by continuing to marry couples until he was sentenced to death. Before his execution, he sent a letter to a secret love and signed it "From your Valentine." Whether you have a valentine of your own or not, check out these Valentine's Day celebration suggestions.
VALENTINE'S DAY IDEAS
ENJOY A TASTY TREAT. There are plenty of options when it comes to cooking and/or baking on Valentine's Day. No matter what treats your may give or receive, just remember their potential impact on your teeth!
MAKE A PERSONALIZED CARD. Instead of buying a card from the grocery store, take the time to make your own for a loved one.
WATCH A MOVIE. Put on your favorite romantic comedy, or pick up your valentine's favorite movie.
DO NOTHING! Valentine's Day restaurant reservations can be hectic! Mixing it up and keeping it simple with a quiet, relaxinf evening may be the best remedy.
Valentine's Day is a time to celebrate love and spend quality time with the people you care about the most. Whether you're in a realtionship or single, take some time today to appreciate those you love in your life. Wishing you a happy Valentine's Day celebration and if you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our dental office at 918-455-0123!
The third molars have long been known as your "wisdom teeth," because they are the last teeth to erupt from the gums - usually sometime during the late teens to early twenties. This is a time in life that many consider an "age of wisdom": hence the term, "widsom teeth."
Of course, removing the third molars does not have any effect on your actual wisdom...in fact, holding on to them can't make you any smarter, either! So if you somehow feel that you became wiser and smarter when your wisdom teeth appeared, chalk it up to age rather than teeth.
Truth is, understanding the reasons why it is in your dental best interest to have your wisdom teeth removed, may be the best way to show just how smart you really are. Mankind once relied on the wisdom teeth to replace other teeth that had become damaged or missing, mostly because of a poor diet and a lack of preventive dental care in the past. But dietary changes and advances in modern dentistry make it possible for many people to maintain their teeth for many decades or even life, which eliminated the need for third molars. Statistically, if a person has all of their teeth, most patients do not have enough space for their wisdom teeth to fully erupt. A partially exposed tooth has a very high incidence of infection and decay. Furthermore, if the wisdom tooth is fully erupted, maintenance usually becomes a problem because of their position in the mouth, making them very difficult to reach with a toothbrush and floss, which lends to the development of decay and gum disease, especially in the fifth decade of life. Unfortunately, the recovery time from a wisdom tooth extraction in your fifties is much longer than if it had been removed in your youth.
For many people, wisdom teeth cause nothing but problems: becoming impacted, irritating surrounding gum tissue, or even causing other teeth to become more crooked or overlapped. By removing them, patients often enjoy a lower risk of decay, infection, and cosmetic complications.
Keeping on top of your oral health is key when it comes to making sure that your whole body stays healthy! The bacteria that occur naturally in your mouth can produce harmful bacteria such as strep and staph, which can lead to serious infections and sickness.
When you follow good dental habits like daily brushing and flossing, as well as eating a healthy diet, you can discourage harmful bacteria from traveling from your mouth to other parts of your body. Further protection can be achieved by learning more about the link between oral hygiene and a healthy body.
Until recently, tooth decay was the most common dental problem because of the lack of regular dental care and research behind fluoride. However, tooth decay is much less problematic today, due to fluoridated water, and toothpastes that contain fluoride.
Currently, gum disease has replaced tooth decay as the most frequent dental problem. Periodontal disease is on the rise among adults because people don't floss regularly and then ignore gum tenderness and bleeding. If left unchecked, periodontitis can cause inflammation that may cause harm to other body parts.
Many scientists now believe inflammation-related infections can trigger systemic disease or intensify existing conditions. Remember, bacterial overgrowth in inflamed gum tissue is able to enter the bloodstream through the eating processes, which is why that it is so vital to visit our office if you ever notice a sustained gum irritation and any inflammation in your mouth.
Caring for your teeth and gums every day can prevent the onset of disease and save you trouble in the future with regard to your body's health. If you think that you may be showing signs of periodontal disease, have any questions, or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!