Weird Facts – Why do some people have no wisdom teeth?

Impacted third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, can cause a lot of suffering. However, some people are free of this curse – in fact, certain ethnic groups, like the Inuit, have remarkably low rates of wisdom teeth. But why do some people have wisdom teeth while others do not? New research may provide the answer.

According to Alan Mann, a Princeton University researcher, a random mutation took place thousands of years ago resulting in the suppression of wisdom teeth formation. This trait has spread and is the cause in certain people and groups of the total or partial lack of wisdom teeth.

The oldest fossil to be found missing the third molar comes from China and is about 300,000 years old, suggesting the date of the first mutation. Humans, like other mammals, originally had four sets of three molars for a total of 12 teeth to help in chewing food. According to Mann, when humans underwent an evolution that resulted in a significant brain expansion, there was an architectural problem; the jaw had to become narrower to be able to connect to the lower end of the skull.

During this period, and even after, the genes controlling brain size developed differently from those controlling dental quantity. Narrower jaws left little room for the wisdom teeth to erupt from the jaw, leading to a mismatch. This is a familiar problem for most people. Wisdom teeth often don’t fit, and if they don’t make it through the gum (become impacted), they can become infected, potentially leading to real health problems. Even when not infected, impacted wisdom teeth can still cause pain.

These reasons may partly explain the mutation causing a lack of wisdom teeth in certain people and groups. Following basic evolutionary theory, we can assume that the pain could have made humans less likely to reproduce, therefore favoring those with the mutation.

About 10 to 25 percent of Americans who descended from European ancestry miss at least one third molar in their dentistry; however, 45 percent of the Inuit who live in the Arctic regions of Alaska, Greenland and Canada lack at least one of their third molars.

One reason for this disparity is that this group had its origins in Asia, which is where this mutation began. And, like Asians, the Inuits have flatter faces and, hence, narrower jaws, making it even harder for the wisdom teeth to grow.

As years go by and people continue to marry across races, this mutation will continue to spread until, one day, most of the global population will have no third set of the molar in their dentistry. This will be a relief, cutting down on dental problems and visits to the dentist to extract wisdom teeth due to infections or chronic pain at the end of the jaw and ears.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.

water fluoridation

What You Should Know About Water Fluoridation

Using fluoride in drinking water has been debated since its first use in US more than 50 years ago. This issue has resurfaced after Portland, Oregon decided to implement water fluoridation back in 2014. Before this time, Portland was the only large city in USA not having fluoride in their drinking water. What exactly is fluoride, and how much of it is contained in the water that comes out of the tap? Here are some facts about water fluoridation that you should know.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally and it is known to strengthen the tooth enamel as well as prevent dental cavities.

Why is fluoride routinely added to public water supplies?

Almost all naturally occurring water sources contain fluoride but its level is too low to effectively prevent the teeth from decaying. Over 70 years ago, scientists began to perform tests in order to find out if adjusting the concentration of fluoride in water would enhance the general oral hygiene of the society. This project was referred to as community water fluoridation.

In the 1930s, it was noted that the severity and occurrence of tooth decay was much lower among people whose water contained higher level of natural fluoride which made other cities like Grand Rapids, Michigan to start adding fluoride to their water supply. Today, over 204 million people in the United States of America alone live in places where fluoride is added in the water supply.

How safe and effective is water fluoridation?

According to research, fluoride has been proven to reduce tooth decay by about 25% and water fluoridation is named among the 10 greatest public health inventions of the 20th century. The sources of fluoride have also increased to include certain dental products such as mouthwash and toothpaste, professionally applied fluoride products like gels and varnish, and prescription fluoride supplements. In the year 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency recommended that the level of fluoride in the water supply be lowered to 0.7mg per liter of water. Previously, the fluoride content ranged from 0.7mg-1.2mg per liter of water.

After a careful study of the communities whose water supply was fluoridated, it can be stated that indeed fluoride is effective in preventing tooth decay and cavities.

Argument Against Fluoridation

Though most of the water supplies in the USA are fluoridated, the risks and benefits of having fluoridated water are still debated.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

There has been an argument where critics states that adding fluoride to water can lead to certain health conditions, the most common one being dental fluorosis; a condition that is caused by intake of excess fluoride. It leads to teeth discoloration and

streaks on the teeth. Other studies suggest that there is a link between brain damage, fractures, cancer and fluoride though no clear connection has been found.

According to Dr. Chris Mott, a downtown Shreveport dentist, the recommended amount of fluoride should provide an adequate level of mineral salt that helps to reduce tooth decay in both children and adults as well as minimize dental fluorosis. If you have any questions concerning water fluoridation and dental health, please contact our office. Dr. Mott would be more than happy to discuss this issue with you further.

6 Ways to Support Our Troops During the Holiday Season

As the holidays begin and you start planning different activities with your families, do you ever think of our troops who are deployed all over the world on specific missions? Have you ever thought about how they may feel during the holidays when they are not able to contact their families, let alone spend time with them? To ensure the holiday cheer is felt by all this season, especially those who are out serving our country, it should be the priority of every citizen to support our troops. A small gesture from you would let those brave hearts know that you care. Here are 6 ways to support them when they need it the most.

1. Send A Care Package

Sending a care package is a nice way to let your soldiers know that you care for them. These packages typically include toiletries, snacks items, disposable cameras and many other items that they need and enjoy. Also, within the care package you may include a special letter of appreciation to the men and women in uniform, letting them know that they are valued and remembered during this holiday season. It adds a nice personal touch that may very likely make this season a happier time for them.

There are many websites and organizations that arrange for sending care packages to overseas locations where the troops are deployed. Find one you like and share some holiday love with our troops.

Here is a list of some websites that can help you send a care package:

2. Thank You Notes

You can also send a thank you note to the men in uniform. Let them know how thankful you are for their willingness to put their life on the line to protect your country so you can peacefully enjoy the holidays. This is a very thoughtful and meaningful way to support the troops.

Here are some helpful links to get you started on those Thank You notes:

3. Adopt A Troop or Family Through The Soldier’s Angel Program

Make your soldiers and their families feel appreciated and happy by adopting a troop or military family through the Soldier’s Angel Program. With this program you would not only be able to send thank you notes and care packages, but you would also be able to communicate with the troops and their families to let them know how proud you are of them. Visit the official website of the Soldier’s Angel Program or call the headquarters if you are interested in adopting a troop or family.

Soldier’s Angel Website Links:

4. Volunteer To Serve At A Local Military Base

What could be a better way to show support than volunteering to serve our soldiers and their families during the holidays? Check with the local base and offer your services to them during the holidays. Typical volunteer activities would include working at the children camps or working at the base hospital. You should not miss a chance to serve those who are relentlessly serving your nation.

Barksdale Air Force Base

5. Send Out Gifts To The Families

So, what if men and women in uniform are not home with their families this holiday season? You can still make their families happy by gifting a Christmas tree or sending out Christmas presents to the children and other family members of the troops. By standing next to their families and sharing in their joy you will again be supporting your troops in a very special way.

Here are some links to guide in gifting a family this holiday season:

6. Let Them Call Their Homes

You could also support the troops by donating money at relevant programs that will allow the soldiers to call their homes or listen to voicemail messages that are sent out by their families. Imagine the immeasurable happiness a soldier could experience as they listen to their child, spouse, parents, and/or friends wishing them a happy holiday while they sit somewhere out at the borders protecting the nation.

Below are some links to organizations that help troops call home:
Cell Phones for Soldiers
Operation Phone Home

Here, at the offices of Dr. Mott, we encourage our patients and employees to support our troops during the holiday season to bring holiday cheer to those who need it most.

Most Incredible Toothbrushes of All time

Toothbrushes are one of the most ordinary items in life, it is almost hard to imagine how their monotonous design can be complicated or simplified. But somehow, people still manage to add unusual aspects. New models of toothbrushes are introduced yearly. Here is an outline of some of the most incredible toothbrushes of all time.

  • Dew toothbrush, self-standing toothbrush

The handle of this toothbrush is weighted and has a rounded end so that it can balance on the base. When this toothbrush is set down, it sways momentarily until it balances hence eliminating the concerns that your toothbrush maybe resting on a dirty surface

  • OHSO pocket toothbrush

This pocket toothbrush is convenient and compact. It has a small easy to fill and air-tight chamber that holds toothpaste saving travelers the hassle of carrying both toothpaste and a toothbrush. It is stored in a small plastic case and it can fit in the pocket, purse or a backpack.

  • Brush and Rinse Toothbrush

The current methods of getting water to the mouth when brushing create a lot of waste, are sloppy and they strain the body. This toothbrush solves this problem by redirecting water from the faucet to the mouth allowing easy rinsing.

  • Environmental Toothbrush

The love for the environment and brushing earned Dentist Natalya Taylor the idea to create these environmental toothbrushes. They are made from natural cellulose fiber and bamboo. They are environmentally sustainable, 100 percent biodegradable and do not pollute the environment.

  • Double Fast Toothbrush

This is a double sided electric toothbrush with bristles on both the bottom and the top. They are ideal for people who are compulsive about their oral hygiene yet hardly have time to brush their teeth normally.

  • Toothbrush without Toothpaste

Known as Soladey-J3X , these are solar powered toothbrushes that do not require toothpaste. Instead, they have a solar panel at the base that transmits electrons to the top of the toothbrush. The electrons react with the acid in the mouth creating a chemical reaction that kills bacteria and breaks down plaque. In order to operate efficiently, Soladey-J3X require twice the amount of light a solar powered calculator does.

  • Finger Mounted Toothbrush

Finger mounted toothbrushes are said to be one of the most effective toothbrushes. They comprise of a finger glove and a toothbrush that is a mounted at the top.

  • Silicone Baby Toothbrush

With a design similar to a finger mounted toothbrush, silicone baby toothbrushes are made of silicone and they are designed for babies who have not yet had teeth.

  • Pocket Electric Toothbrush

These toothbrushes are aimed at busy yet oral hygiene conscious women with crowded purses for a heavy tube of toothpaste and a big toothbrush. They feature a toothbrush that is concealed in a tube-like case that looks like a tube of mascara. They also have an AA battery that can last for about three months under normal use.

  • Tooth Tunes Toothbrush

Hasbro, a toy and board game company based in the US created these toothbrushes with the aim of convincing kids that brushing is fun. When the user presses a button, they play pop music and the better one brushes, the better the sound of the song being played.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.

Patients Ask: Why Do We Have Morning Breath?

Having bad breath in the morning, or “morning breath”,  is quite common. In fact, most of us cover our mouths and look away when we wake up since that is not the breath we would like to great our partners with in the morning. Bad breath occurs for various reasons, some of which are easy to avoid or eliminate altogether.

What Causes Morning Breath?

The primary reason why we have bad breath in the morning is that when you sleep, your mouth essentially dries up. As a result, the bacteria that produce odor take this opportunity to thrive. This means that as long as the bacteria are present in your mouth and you are asleep you will most likely wake up with bad breath. The best way to avoid waking up with bad breath is to eliminate these bacteria. This can easily be done by brushing your teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste before going to bed. After brushing you should go directly to bed without eating or drinking anything. You should also ensure you brush your teeth for up to two minutes instead of the usual thirty to fifty seconds that most people spend brushing. Flossing and rinsing using a mouthwash also helps significantly in ensuring the bacteria are eliminated effectively.

If you snore or sleep with your mouth open you will be even more prone to morning breath. This is because snoring and breathing through your mouth make your mouth even drier allowing the odor causing bacteria to thrive even better. There are a number of snoring solutions you can use but the most effective one is ensuring your mouth is clean prior to going to bed.

Other causes of morning breath include some medications which usually cause the mouth to be dry overnight. This is the primary reason older people who use more medications are affected by the issue of morning breath more often than others. Smokers are also more prone to waking up with unpleasant breath. This is because besides making the mouth incredibly dry, smoking also increases the temperature in the mouth which in turn creates better conditions for the odor causing bacteria to thrive. Allergies can also result with morning breath because the mucus that drips at the back of your throat is food to bacteria. If it is infected it can dramatically increase the number of the odor causing bacteria.

What Can Be Done?

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

To eliminate the issue of morning breath and other dental problems it is always advisable to consult a professional dentist. One of the top dentists in Shreveport family dentistry is Dr. Chris A. Mott. Dr. Mott is highly respected in the Shreveport area because he has more than twenty five years of experience. Through these years he has been able to perform basic to complex operations. Dr. Mott is also rated highly in Shreveport family dentistry because he uses state of the art equipment to ensure all his patients get the best treatments possible. Patients also get insurance and alternative payment choices when they visit Dr. Chris Mott, therefore making paying for services more convenient. Dr. Mott provides all the dentistry services in a way that makes his patients feel satisfied and comfortable.

When it comes to morning breath and other dental issues, Dr. Chris Mott is one of the best providers of Shreveport family dentistry services. If you are having issues with morning breath, please take a moment and call our office and schedule an appointment. Dr. Mott is happy to assist you with all of your oral health needs.

Scary and Not-So-Scary Halloween Treats: A Dental Perspective

It’s that time of year again, where goblins and ghosts haunt your streets in search of a tasty morsel or two. It’s the time of year that children love and dentists despise due to the vast amounts of sugary Halloween treats. Most kids hurry home and, after a thorough checking of their candy by an adult, dive into their sugary treats with complete disregard for their dental hygiene. After all, who’s going to stop and think about brushing and flossing at a time like this? This is Halloween, for Pete’s sake! It only comes once a year!

We parents can work together to make Halloween fun and not so devastating to your kid’s dental health. By choosing dental-friendly Halloween treats to pass out, both kids and parents can look forward to some Halloween shenanigans. Here we go over some of the healthier snacks and treats to give to your trick-or-treaters.

Not-So-Scary Treats

Most dentists will agree that it’s best to stay away from sugary treats all-together, however, they do understand that kids will be kids, so they have some healthier options to offer kids. Chocolate treats that don’t have sticky fillings are a good option. Sugar-free gum or cookies that won’t stick to kid’s teeth are good as well. Look for cookies that are soft and not filled. You could also choose to give away pretzels or goldfish crackers that are nutritious and not loaded with sugar. Pencils, stickers, notepads, bouncy balls, or yo-yos are also fun options that won’t damage their pearly whites.

Super-Scary Treats

As a general rule, anything sticky is horrible for your teeth. This includes anything gummy, taffy, caramels, or sugary nuts or coconut. Hard candies like Jolly Ranchers or suckers fall into the super-scary treat category as well, especially the suckers with the bubble gum or tootsie roll fillings. These are especially bad because your child’s teeth are exposed to the sugar for a longer time period as the candy dissolves. What’s more, if your child bites down on hard candies they could quite possibly chip or crack a tooth.

Candies such as Sour Patch Kids or any other highly acidic candy should be avoided at all cost. This acid can damage the tooth enamel and also feeds damaging bacteria in your child’s mouth.

If your child wears braces, you need to be especially careful about the types of treats your orthodontist approves of. Foods like gum, popcorn or other soft candies can become trapped in your child’s braces and either damage their braces or their teeth, and in some cases both.

Best Options for Dental Health

As we mentioned earlier, you can bypass the candy option all together and choose to hand out treats that are still fun but not edible. Rubber spiders, tattoos, raisins, crayons and mini-coloring or puzzle books are all great options, especially for kids with braces. And the best part of these types of treats is you don’t have to check them for tampering. They are safe as is.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.

Image courtesy of tifotter, flickr.com creative commons.

 

 

7 Steps to a Better Smile

7 Steps to a Better Smile

It is one of the most sought after things in America. Whether you’re a man or woman, young or old: everyone wants a beautiful smile. Your smile is one of the first ways you make an impression on others, it can tell them a lot about you – including how well you take care of yourself. It is, therefore, important to take good care of your oral hygiene to avoid health complications and make a good first impression, whether it’s on a date or for that big meeting. Having a bright smile not only makes you look better, but also makes you feel and act confident. Acquiring a better smile isn’t always hard, building good consistent habits can go a long way.

Here a some basic ways to make sure you have a good smile, brought to you but Dr. Mott.

Brush Regularly

One of the best ways to clean your teeth is through brushing habitually. This may seem obvious, but just because you already knew it doesn’t mean you practice it! Brushing your teeth is extremely important to do every day, twice a day. It helps to remove food particles that stick to your teeth after meals that encourage bacteria and tooth decay. Brushing your teeth will keep your teeth clean and your breath smelling good. It is helpful to brush your teeth after meals as well. If your dentist, such as Dr. Mott, prescribes fluoride toothpaste because of soft or decaying teeth, that can also help prevent unsightly tooth decay. Be sure to use soft bristled toothbrushes, and be firm but not too harsh while brushing your teeth.

Floss

Another obvious one! However, even less people follow this basic step to improving their smile. Flossing is important for keeping the area between your teeth clean and healthy. Flossing reaches the areas of your mouth that plaque, food particles, and bacteria are likely to accumulate. Flossing regularly will curb gum diseases and keep you healthy. It is recommended by Dr. Mott to floss at least once a day preferably before you go to sleep.

Visit your Dentist

Going for thorough checkups is crucial as it enables the dentist to sense any problem at an early stage so that he or she can catch it and fix it before you need major work done. It also allows the dentist to give you your bi-annual lecture so that you’re more likely to stay on top of your brushing and flossing. You could also take some time to examine your mouth yourself. This is simple: you could start by looking to see if you have swollen gums, bleeding gums, or any other unusual thing in your mouth. Consult your dentist, such as Dr. Mott, on what you should look out for.

Diet

It is essential to make your diet as healthy as possible: incorporate foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin C. This is because calcium strengthens both bones and teeth. Vitamin C also enhances the health of the gums. Ensure that your meals are free from sugary foods and if they are it is best to brush as soon as possible.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking poses risks of gum diseases and bad breath. Smoking causes mouth cancer and can severely affect the health of your gums and teeth. Additionally, the effects of e-cigs are unknown and may have similarly harmful effects so it’s best to stay away from those.

Whiten Teeth

Whitening teeth is a safe and very common procedure. You can get kits from target, or you can get teeth professionally whitened if you feel that it is necessary. You should also seek the dentist’s guidance if your teeth have severe yellowing. It is also of importance to consult your dentist prior to beginning any whitening process.

Cosmetic Procedures

Having crooked, discolored or missing teeth can alter your image and confidence. If you really want a solution to something that can’t be fixed by keeping good habits, you may want to consider a cosmetic procedure such as implants or braces.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Achieving a great smile by keeping healthy habits is entirely doable, and it will also keep you and your mouth healthy. Following the tips provided will ensure that you keep that sparkling smile for years to come. If you need a checkup, advice, or a cosmetic procedure, contact Dr. Mott today and learn how you can achieve the smile of your dreams.

Photo Credit: New Age MD

bad breath

Foods That Mask Bad Breath

Most people are well aware of foods that cause bad breath, however, very few know of foods which can actually freshen one’s breath. Bad breath affects more than half of people world wide. Most of the time, bad breath is caused by certain foods we consume. Other factors include decay in the mouth, smoking, and inflammation of the gums, plaque, or even certain medications.

According to Dr. Mott, a Bossier family dentist, good oral hygiene is still the best way to keep from having to deal with bad breath. Some kinds of foods, however, can actually help you fight bad breath. Here are some options that could freshen your breath in between meals:

1. Yogurt

One of the waste products from anaerobic bacteria is hydrogen sulfide. This is one of the main components that cause bad breath. Yogurt lowers the amounts of hydrogen sulfide in your mouth. In order for it to be effective, it’s essential that you consume sugar-free yogurt. This food tip will especially prove beneficial if the yogurt contains active cultures. Make sure to check whether the yogurt you’re buying contains live active cultures or probiotics. Both are good at fighting bad breath as they create protein chains that inhibit growth of odor-causing bacteria.

2. Food Rich in Vitamin C

Vitamin C effectively helps to inhibit growth of odor-causing bacteria. Citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C. Also, pure lemon juice is an effective anti-bacterial agent that helps in neutralizing odors from odor-causing foods such as onions and garlic. Avoid drinking sodas or juices from citrus fruits which are loaded with sugar. Yes, they may contain lots of Vitamin C, but they’ll do more harm than good to your teeth and waistline. It’d be best to consume citrus fruits as pure juice or raw fruits.

3. Crunchy Fiber Foods

Fiber-rich foods help increase the production of saliva. Crunchy and fibrous foods such as apples are excellent at removing particles and plaque from your teeth. They do just about as good of a job as brushing your teeth. Apples, celery and carrots are not only healthy, but great at fighting bad breath. As well, walnuts are perfect as they have omega-3 fatty acids which help lower the amounts of bacteria in your mouth. Feel free to crunch your way to better breath!

4. Herbs

Several herbs work exceptionally well when it comes to freshening breath. In addition to having anti-bacterial properties, they have a pleasant taste and odor. You can suck on them, chew on them raw, or steep in hot water for tea. Such herbs include peppermint, parsley, green tea, coriander, cardamom, rosemary and cinnamon.

5. Sugarless Gum and Candies

As a standard rule: any snack that increases the flow of saliva will help reduce odor in the mouth. You can opt for various flavors. Mint, for instance, will temporarily mask bad odor. On the other hand, cinnamon can stop it at once. The plant essential oil (cinnamic aldehyde), which is commonly used for flavoring cinnamon candies and gums, helps reduce odor-causing bacteria.

6. Water

It’s essential that you stay hydrated throughout the day. Good hydration will help with your breath and your and your overall health and well-being. Water moistens your mouth and throat, washing down food particles and bacteria that could be in your mouth. Always thoroughly rinse your mouth after eating or drinking anything other than water. Avoid drinking coffee, soda or any other drinks which contain loads of sugar or sweeteners.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Often, bad breath is caused by imbalances of bacteria in the oral cavity. In the long run, masking bad breath is just a short-term solution. It’d be wise to visit a dentist, especially when the foods mentioned above aren’t helping considerably.

Dr. Chris A. Mott, owner of a top Bossier family dentistry office, is highly-experienced and well-respected by his patients. He offer substantially helpful advice on maintaining good breath and overall excellent oral health.

Visit http://drchrisamott.com for more information regarding your oral health and learn how you can improve and maintain your health.

cavities

These 5 Factors Can Put You at a Higher Risk for Cavities

Cavities are areas of a tooth that have decayed because of the work of certain bacteria in the mouth. Although tooth decay is commonly associated with eating sugary foods, there are other conditions that can increase the possibility of tooth decay. Here are five important factors that can put you at a greater risk of having cavities.

1. Oral Bacteria

Generally, cavities occur when certain strains of bacteria accumulate on your tooth and feed on remnants of the sugar and carbohydrates that you eat. This process creates acids which react with the calcium-based enamel covering of the teeth and create porous areas which eventually become cavities. The volume of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth is one of most prominent factors that determines how fast you can develop cavities in your teeth.

2. Your Diet

The bacteria that cause cavities feed on sugar or carbohydrates to stay alive and multiply. Similarly, acidic foods and drinks can react with the calcium in the enamel and erode it. Increasing the level of acidity in the mouth can also make it more difficult for the saliva to restore the pH balance in the mouth. Reducing the consumption of sweets, chocolates and other sugary foods that leave residues on the teeth as well as acidic drinks can help to control the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth.

3. The Level of Dental Hygiene

Brushing your teeth correctly early in the morning and just before going to bed would reduce the risk of having cavities. Brushing and flossing dislodges trapped food particles and the plaque developed by oral bacteria. When plaque is not removed by proper brushing it can form a much harder and thicker substance called tartar. Removing tartar usually requires the help of a dentist. In addition, it is important to change your toothbrush regularly and use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Dentists recommend that you change out your toothbrush at least once every three months.

4. Dryness in the Mouth

A dry mouth can make the mouth cavity more acidic and promote tooth decay. Dryness in the mouth is frequently caused by inadequate flow of saliva. It may also be due to the use of medications and chemotherapy. However, when the saliva in the mouth is adequate, the minerals in it can neutralize the effect of excess acidity and even help to rebuild the enamel. To reduce dryness in the mouth, you should drink more water or use a mouth rinse with enamel-fortifying ingredients.

Dr. Chris A Mott

Dr. Chris A Mott

5. The Shape of Your Teeth

In many cases, tooth decay and cavities develop more in the large teeth at the back of the mouth. The premolars and molars are more prone to decay because of the tiny irregularities on their biting surface. These areas normally trap sugar, fiber and leftover food that serves as nutrition for bacteria. That is why it is very important to spend more time brushing the biting surface using a toothbrush with medium-hard bristles. However, the size of the fissures on these teeth differ based on genetics.

These are some of the most critical factors that increase the possibility of developing cavities and tooth decay. With proper dental care, you can reduce the impact of these risk factors and keep your teeth healthy for the rest of your life.

If you have any questions or concerns about your children’s teeth or are wondering whether or not you or your children may be more prone to cavities, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.

Smiling boxer dog

Is Brushing Important for Your Dog?

Getting yourself to the dentist is always a hassle, but what about your pups? If you have perfect teeth and want to share your oral hygiene routine with someone, you can start in your own home! Your dog, once fully grown, will have 42 teeth which makes their mouths just as susceptible to plaque and dental wear as you are! So it’s time to get down and dirty with your dog.

Smiling dogDog’s Need a Toothbrush, Too!

Without proper brushing, a dog’s teeth can build up plaque which can cause bad breath. In addition, this can result in gum disease and even tooth decay for your pup. It’s important that you brush your dog’s teeth daily or at least routinely once or twice a week to prevent bacteria buildup.

You don’t necessarily have to use a fancy dog toothbrush, but it can be helpful if your dog isn’t fond of brushing time. If you have smaller dogs, you can use finger brushes, which fit perfectly in their tiny mouths. If you have a big dog, you can consider using brushes that have longer handles to make sure you get all of the teeth cleaned without shoving your entire hand in its mouth.

Always Use Dog Specific Toothpaste

Definitely do not use your own toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. The ingredients in the toothpaste we use can be deadly to your dog if ingested in large amounts. Even if you use a little bit of your regular toothpaste, your dog could experience serious discomfort or stomach issues.

You can find dog specific toothpastes at your local pet stores. They come in many flavors, from mint to chicken, that you can choose from! Picking your dog’s favorite flavor can really help in the brushing process as it makes it easier to keep them still while you brush.

Get to Brushing!

Husky smilingOnce you find the perfect toothpaste, lift your dog’s upper lip slowly and start with the upper teeth first. You should hold the brush so that the bristles are angled to reach the gums, as well as the teeth. Angling is important because it allows you to massage the gums, while also cleaning your pup’s teeth.

However, you may realize that working around the gum area can cause slight bleeding. Light breeding is normal, so don’t stress. However, heavy bleeding can be an indication that your dog has a gum disease. Schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible if you find that your dog is bleeding heavily after a brush.

Be sure that you are being gentle when you brush your dog’s teeth. If you are too rough, you may cause the gums to bleed more than expected. Use a soft, circular motion to brush your teeth, and you can avoid any serious injury.

French Bulldog SmilingAnd You’re Done!

It’s important that you talk to your dogs as you brush their teeth. This helps them remain calm while you get to work on their teeth. If they are overly upset or uncomfortable, you can pet them during the process to help ease their discomfort, too. Once you are done, you can reward your pup with a treat if they did well during their brushing.

We’re Here to Help

Keeping your dog’s teeth healthy is important, but it’s also important to keep up with your own teeth. If we spent half as much time taking care of our own teeth as we do taking care of our pets, we would have no problem making it to the dentist every six months.

Be sure you are visiting your dentist regularly, brushing your teeth twice a day, and flossing routinely. Even though we can’t help your dog with oral health, we can help you at Dr. Chris Mott’s office! Keep all your family, human and furry alike, happy by brushing regularly and flossing, too!