During the COVID-19 quarantines, stir-crazy celebrities have been creating some “unique” home videos—like Madonna singing about fried fish to the tune of “Vogue” in her bathroom or Cardi B busting through a human-sized Jenga tower. But an entertaining Instagram video from Kevin Bacon also came with a handy culinary tip: The just-awakened film and TV actor showed fans his morning technique for cutting a mango to avoid the stringy pulp that gets between your teeth. After cutting a mango in half, he scored it lengthwise and crosswise to create squares and then turned the mango inside out for easy eating.
With his mango-slicing video garnering over a quarter-million views, the City on a Hill star may have touched a nerve—the near universal annoyance we all have with food stuck between our teeth. Trapped food particles aren't only annoying, they can also contribute to a bacterial film called dental plaque that's the top cause for tooth decay and gum disease.
Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to avoid stuck food if you love things like popcorn, poppy-seed muffins or barbecue ribs. It's helpful then to have a few go-to ways for removing food caught between teeth. First, though, let's talk about what NOT to use to loosen a piece of stuck food.
A recent survey of more than 1,000 adults found that when removing something caught between our teeth, we humans are a creative lot. The makeshift tools that survey respondents said they've used in a pinch included twigs, safety pins, screwdrivers and nails (both the hammer and finger/toe variety). Although clever, many such items are both unsanitary and harmful to your gums and tooth enamel, especially if they're metallic or abrasive.
If you want a safe way to remove unwanted food debris, try these methods instead:
Brush your teeth: The gentle abrasives in toothpaste plus the mechanical action of brushing can help dislodge trapped food.
Use dental floss: A little bit of dental floss usually does the trick to remove wedged-in food—and it's easy to carry a small floss container or a floss pick on you for emergencies.
Try a toothpick. A toothpick is also an appropriate food-removing tool, according the American Dental Association, as long as it is rounded and made of wood.
See your dentist. We have the tools to safely and effectively remove trapped food debris that you haven't been able to dislodge by other means—so before you get desperate, give us a call.
You can also minimize plaque buildup from food particles between teeth by both brushing and flossing every day. And for optimally clean teeth, be sure you have regular dental office cleanings at least twice a year.
Thanks to Kevin Bacon's little trick, you can have your “non-stringy” mango and eat it too. Still, you can't always avoid food getting wedged between your teeth, so be prepared.
If you've ever had a run-in with cavities, you know the drill (no pun intended): After getting a local anesthetic for pain, the dentist removes any decayed dental tissue, as well as some healthy tissue, and then fills the cavity to restore the tooth. It's an effective treatment protocol we've been using for well over a century.
It does, however, have its drawbacks. For one, although necessary, removing healthy dental tissue can weaken the overall tooth structure. The dental drill used during the procedure is also unpleasant to many people: Although it doesn't cause any pain thanks to the anesthetic, the sounds and pressure sensations associated with it can be unsettling.
But advances in dental tools, technology and techniques are addressing these drawbacks in traditional tooth decay treatment. In other words, treating a tooth with cavities today is taking on a lighter touch. Here are 3 reasons why.
Earlier detection. The key to effective treatment is to find tooth decay in its earliest stages. By doing so, we can minimize the damage and reduce the extent of treatment needed. To do this, we're beginning to use advanced diagnostic tools including digital x-rays, intraoral cameras and laser fluorescence to spot decay, often before it's visible to the naked eye.
Re-mineralizing enamel. One of the advantages of early detection is to catch tooth enamel just as it's undergoing loss of its mineral content (demineralization) due to contact with acid. At this stage, a tooth is on the verge of developing a cavity. But we can use minimally invasive measures like topically applied fluoride and CPP-ACP (a milk-based product) that stimulates enamel re-mineralization to prevent cavity formation.
Less invasive treatment. If we do encounter cavities, we no longer need to turn automatically to the dental drill. Air abrasion, the use of fine substance particles under high pressure, can precisely remove decayed material with less loss of healthy tissue than a dental drill. We're also using newer filling materials like composite resins that don't require enlarging cavities as much to accommodate them.
These and other techniques—including laser technology—are providing superior treatment of tooth decay with less invasiveness. They can also make for a more pleasant experience when next you're in the dentist's chair.
If you would like more information on effectively treating dental disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Minimally Invasive Dentistry.”
Missing teeth create gaps that can be unsightly and embarrassing. They can also irritate the mouth, unease in your bite while increasing mental and emotional distress. At Anderson Dental, our dentist may recommend a dental bridge to restore your smile, ability to speak and chew, as well as prevent remaining teeth from shifting out of place. These cosmetic restorations will not only benefit your appearance, but they'll give your oral health an additional boost. Please schedule a consultation with Dr. Jon Anderson, Dr. Brad Anderson, or Dr. Breding in our Fargo, ND, office today to get started.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge comes in different types. At Anderson Dental, our dentist will determine the kind that's best for your particular situation after performing an oral examination and taking X-rays. A dental bridge is a fixed artificial tooth that's supported by two crowns on each side to bridge the gap between one or more missing teeth. It's also considered an alternative to dental implants.
Benefits of a Dental Bridge
One or multiple teeth can devastate self-esteem and make you self-conscious about how others perceive you. One of the benefits of a dental bridge is that the procedure is non-surgical and involves minimal recovery time. They can also last a long time with proper at-home care and annual cleanings in our Fargo, ND, office. A dental bridge is also safe, comfortable, and has a durable reputation. Another advantage is that they prevent further oral problems from developing.
If you're tired of frowning, missing out on your favorite foods, and looking for a solution, consider treatment. You may be a candidate for a dental bridge, and Dr. Jon Anderson or Dr. Brad Anderson will confirm this during your initial visit.
For more information about other services provided at Anderson Dental, visit our website or call (701) 232-1368 for an appointment in our Fargo, ND, office.
Dental implants are a reliable way to replace teeth. More than 95% of implants survive ten years after their installation, and many of these could conceivably continue for decades.
But that still leaves a tiny few that don't reach the ten-year mark. Some fail early because the implant didn't integrate fully with the bone to create a durable hold. But others fail later—usually for one of two major causes.
Some failures occur due to over-stressing of the implant from abnormally high biting forces, usually because of teeth grinding. People who have this involuntary habit generate excessive force as they grind their teeth, which can damage implants (as well as natural teeth). To reduce this force, a patient's dentist can fit them with a biteguard they wear in the mouth to prevent teeth from making solid contact with each other during a grinding episode.
Fortunately, teeth grinding isn't that prevalent among adults—but that can't be said about the other major cause for implant failure: periodontal (gum) disease. This is a bacterial infection caused by dental plaque, a thin, bacterial film that accumulates on teeth. The implant itself isn't affected by the infection, but the gums and underlying bone supporting the implant can be.
Implants are most in peril from a form of gum disease called Peri-implantitis, which spreads deeper into the gum tissues around implants faster than infections around natural teeth. That's because implants lack the gum attachment of real teeth, which supply a collagen barrier that slows the spread of infection. Peri-implantitis can quickly infect the supporting bone and eventually weaken its connection with the implant.
Because of its aggressiveness and speed, we must diagnose and treat peri-implantitis as soon as possible to limit any damage to the support structures around an implant. If you notice any swollen, reddened or bleeding gums, you should call your dentist as soon as possible for an examination.
And in light of this potential danger to your implants, you should also strive to prevent gum disease through daily oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing your teeth, including around your implants, removes harmful plaque buildup. This daily habit and regular dental cleanings will help you avoid a costly gum infection and ensure your implants are there for years to come.
If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants: A Tooth-Replacement Method That Rarely Fails.”
Your dentists in Fargo, North Dakota can help you keep your teeth white
Did you know you can do a lot at home to keep your smile white? It’s true! In fact, just a few simple tricks and tips can help you keep your smile looking white, bright, and beautiful. Your dentist can help too. Dr. Jon Anderson and Dr. Brad Anderson at Anderson Dental in Fargo, North Dakota offer professional teeth whitening treatments, so you can enjoy a white smile.
One of the main culprits of stains on your teeth is tobacco use. Whether it’s smoking cigarettes, pipes, or cigars, or even chewing tobacco, using tobacco products will lead to a dark, stained smile. The best advice is to quit using tobacco products. They are hard on your teeth and deadly to your body.
Next, try limiting your intake of coffee, tea, and red wine. If you continue to drink these beverages, try to brush your teeth afterward to limit the amount of pigment left on your teeth. You can also switch to white wine instead of red. At the very least, try to rinse your mouth out after drinking these beverages to limit the stains left behind. You can also try drinking through a straw, to keep the liquid off of your teeth.
Highly pigmented foods can also cause stains on your teeth. Healthy foods like blueberries and blackberries can make your teeth dark. Tomato sauce is another food that can cause yellowish stains on your teeth. Again, try to brush or at least rinse your mouth out after eating foods with a high amount of pigment.
It's natural to get stains on your teeth. It’s also natural for your smile to look yellow as you get older. That’s because as you age, your enamel becomes thinner, allowing you to see the layer underneath, called dentin. This dentin layer is naturally yellow, so the more dentin you can see, the yellower your teeth will look.
Your dentist can help you regain your white smile with professional teeth whitening treatment. At Anderson Dental, they offer two highly effective methods to whiten your teeth:
- An in-office treatment, which is the quickest way to a bright smile, because it takes only about an hour.
- A take-home treatment, which is a kit containing everything you need to whiten at home.
To find out more about professional teeth whitening and other cosmetic dentistry services, call Dr. Jon Anderson and Dr. Brad Anderson of Anderson Dental in Fargo, North Dakota at (701) 232-1368. Call now, and get started on a beautiful white smile today!
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