5 Reasons To Replace Your Old Metal Fillings

closeup of molar with amalgam filling

If you are between the ages of 24 to 65, the chances are good that you have had a cavity. Another likelihood is that your filling was made of grey metal amalgam. At one point, metal fillings were your only option if you had a cavity that needed to be filled. If your silver fillings show when you smile or laugh, you’ve likely dreamed of having them replaced with tooth-colored composite fillings.

Could it be time for you to finally replace your metal fillings? Here are five reasons why you should!

Your Filling is Reaching the End of its Lifespan

An amalgam filling is packed into an area of your tooth, much like filling in a pothole, whereas a tooth-colored composite filling is bonded to your teeth. The lifespan of an amalgam filling is about ten years on average. Over time, these fillings will begin to wear away, exposing areas where bacteria can sneak in and start to cause tooth decay. When this happens, it will likely go unnoticed as it will not be something you can visually see.

If your filling wears out, allowing for decay to get into the tooth, you may end up needing to have a crown instead of having the filling replaced. To avoid this, have your fillings checked regularly by your dentist to see if they need to be replaced or if there are any leaks.

Amalgam Contains Mercury

While on-going research and debate continue regarding the potential dangers of amalgam, peace of mind may be a swaying factor in making the decision to have your fillings replaced. Around 50% of an amalgam filling is made up of mercury, which can potentially be a health risk to some patients.

For more information, click here to view the FDA’s official statement on amalgam fillings.

Temperature Changes May Be Causing You Issues

Metal expands and contracts with temperature changes. Since an amalgam filling is made up of around 50% mercury, which is a metal, it adjusts to the temperature changes in your mouth. When you drink something hot, the amalgam filling will expand and place a lot of increased pressure on your tooth. This expanding and contracting can eventually lead to cracks and fractures in your tooth. Similarly, when you eat something cold, such as ice cream, metal fillings contract, creating a gap around the filling and your tooth. This type of ongoing expansions and contractions are known to weaken your tooth over time.

Composite Fillings Strengthen Your Tooth

Tooth-colored composite fillings not only fill the cavity in your tooth, but they are also designed to bond directly to your tooth. The filling and the tooth then work together, not against each other, to strengthen the tooth. When a tooth with a filling gives under force, the amalgam does not because of its solid state. This creates an uneven distribution of force that can damage the non-filling areas of your tooth, creating cracks and fractures.

Composite Fillings Are More Visually Appealing

One of the most significant benefits to having your metal fillings replaced is that tooth-colored composite fillings can’t be seen. When you smile or laugh, amalgam fillings are noticeable and shows everyone that you have had a cavity (or two!) that needed to be repaired. Composite fillings are made to match the look of your teeth, meaning they are virtually invisible. No one will be able to detect the number of fillings you have had but you and your dentist.

Get Educated Before Making a Decision

Should you switch out your old amalgam fillings? That is a personal decision which comes down to how you feel about aesthetics, comfort, functionality and your peace of mind. If you are ready to say farewell to those silver spots in your smile, call Cherrywood Dental Associates today. We will examine your existing fillings and help you determine a replacement plan.

 

Do Wisdom Teeth Always Come In? The Answer May Surprise You

dentist hand with orthodontic tool show wisdom teeth toothache

Having your wisdom teeth extracted has become somewhat of a rite-of-passage into adulthood for many. The wisdom teeth, or third molars, typically begin to develop in the preteen years and erupt sometime before the age of 25. In fact, that’s how these molars earned their nickname, as this is the time of life when young people are said to become wiser.

However, if your 25th birthday has come and gone and your wisdom teeth are still with you, you may be wondering if it will ever be necessary to have them removed.

Not Everyone Has Wisdom Teeth

Today, as many as 35% of people, according to expert estimates, never develop the third molars known as wisdom teeth. Some scientists believe that the third molars may eventually disappear entirely from human anatomy.

Our early ancestors used all 32 adult teeth to their advantage when chewing through leaves, roots and raw meat. The human skull structure has changed over time, with the jaw evolving to become narrower, resulting in third molars.

Wisdom Teeth Can Erupt Later In Life

Your third molars are likely to come in sometime between the ages of 17 to 25. If you have celebrated past your 25th birthday, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your wisdom teeth won’t erupt later in your life. For some patients, these teeth can emerge much later in life.

Scientists have yet to be able to explain why this happens, but a third molar can arrive years or even decades after the typical time frame. Many dentists and oral surgeons have had patients in their 50’s, or even older whose third molars are just beginning to erupt.

Your Molars Could Be Impacted

If your wisdom teeth haven’t appeared by your early 20’s, they could come in later in your life, or they may never appear at all. That being said, the most likely cause of your no-show molars is that they are impacted. In other words, your jaw doesn’t have enough room for them to erupt, so the teeth become trapped below the gumline.

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons says that 9 out of 10 people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. When a tooth is unable to come in, it may grow at an angle and cause damage to the nearby and healthy teeth.

Impacted wisdom teeth should be removed as soon as possible to avoid these and other serious dental complications. Most professionals recommend that all young adults have a wisdom tooth exam and evaluation to determine the status of these potentially severe risk factors.

Extraction For Older Patients

Waiting to have your wisdom teeth removed until later in life can complicate your experience:

  • As the wisdom teeth develop, they grow a more extensive root system. Your Oral Surgeon may need more time and may have to perform a more invasive procedure to remove these teeth.
  • Younger patients tend to have fewer risks with any surgical procedure.
  • Similarly, young people tend to heal more quickly from surgery and may have a more flexible schedule for their recovery. As an older adult caring for a family or as a working professional, you may find it more challenging to fit wisdom teeth removal into your schedule.
  • Patients should give themselves the opportunity to have the most comfortable recovery possible. Young adults usually have a built-in support system—AKA, their parents—that can help them just after and in the days following surgery. This might be harder for adults.

For a professional consultation and evaluation of your oral health, look to Cherrywood Dental Associates. We have the knowledge and experience needed to help you make the best decision possible on the current status of your wisdom teeth.

The One Resolution to Make in 2019 – Drink More Water!

young woman drinking water after training

January is the perfect month for establishing new routines and goals for a healthy new year. Whether your resolutions are to exercise more, lose weight, or live a healthier overall lifestyle, drinking more water can help! Drinking water has more benefits than you might think.

Grab a glass of water, and read on to find out why this is one resolution you should make and keep.

Water Improves Physical and Mental Performance

One of the most common resolutions many adults make is to exercise more and to be more active. Water is essential for optimizing your physical performance and to keep your body hydrated during both intense and gentle exercise. Not only does water keep your body physically sound, but drinking more water can also help you to stay mentally strong during a workout. Avoid dehydration, which can lead to reduced motivation and fatigue by keeping your body hydrated.

Aids With Weight Loss and Digestion

Drinking more water can help regulate your digestive system and prevent constipation and other digestive issues. Additionally, water can boost weight loss results by revving your metabolism and making you feel full for an extended period.

Drinking water can also boost your body’s ability to burn fat. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking water increases metabolic rate by 30% in healthy men and women. The boost occurred within 10 minutes after drinking. Mild dehydration will slow down your metabolism by as much as 3% so drink up!

Prevents Cavities and Tooth Decay

Strengthens your teeth.

Drinking water with fluoride, nicknamed nature’s cavity fighter, is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to prevent cavities.

Keeps your mouth clean.

Consuming beverages like juice, soda, or sports drinks can leave unwanted sugar behind on your teeth. The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar and produce acid that wears away your enamel. Many of these drinks also contain harmful acids to make them taste less sweet. These acids cause just as much damage as sugar and erode away your enamel.

Water cleans your mouth with every drink you take. It washes away left behind food and sugar that leads to cavities. Drinking water throughout the day rather than soda and sports drinks will help to keep your teeth cavity-free.

Fights dry mouth.

Saliva is your body’s natural defense against tooth decay. Much like water, it washes away left behind food, helps you be able to swallow, and keeps your teeth strong by washing them with calcium, phosphate, and fluoride. A lack of saliva leads to a condition called dry mouth, which puts you at risk for developing tooth decay.

Maintains Your Overall Well-Being

Our bodies are made of 60% water, and staying hydrated helps your system distribute healthy nutrients to keep your body functioning. There are many benefits to drinking more water for your overall health including:

Cleansing. Cleansing your system regularly and hitting the reset button after an indulgent holiday season starts with water. A key ingredient in many detox recipes, drinking more water can help you flush toxins out of the body.

Temperature. Your body temperature needs to be within the ideal range to help it function properly.

Tissues. Your body’s tissues and organs also need sufficient water for lubrication and protecting sensitive tissues from a lack of moisture.

Make Your Resolution a Reality

Your daily activities can easily distract you from establishing a new habit of drinking more water. Integrate water into your routine and increase your daily water intake by:

  • Setting a timer to remind you to hydrate
  • Integrate water into your daily routine
  • Always drink a glass before meals and snacks
  • Bring water with you everywhere you go

Cherrywood Dental Associates is hopeful that together we can make 2019 your most hydrated year yet. Schedule your first checkup of the year and ask us about our favorite simple tricks to drink more water.

Save Money at the Dentist With This One Rule

dental equipment laid on the table

The best way to save money on dental care is by going to the dentist. That may sound a bit counterproductive, but regular dental care not only protects your teeth, but it also saves you money. With both at home care and regular office appointments, the very best investment you can make in your health and financial well-being is preventative care.

Keep your teeth and mouth healthy by following these tips.

Get Regular Checkups and Cleanings

When the household budget gets tight, optional expenses are the first to be cut. However, the one thing that rings even more true is that dental cleanings and checkups are not optional expenses as you might initially think. Dental decay is almost entirely preventable with regular professional care. Spending money on preventative dental checkups and cleanings will save you significantly more money in the long run.

Two cleanings and exams per year are often recommended. At roughly $200-$300 per visit, these services are typically free or heavily discounted if you have dental insurance or a dental savings plan. If you do not have dental insurance, the cost to get your teeth cleaned may seem rather expensive until you consider the cost of not taking preventative action.

Prevention is Always Best

When it comes to your health, prevention is always the best model. Regular dentist visits every six months will save you in the long run. Treatments for more substantial issues, such as crowns, root canals, and implants, can typically be prevented by taking proper care of your teeth.

Prevent Gum Disease

In the earliest stages of gum disease, gingivitis is curable. Regular dentist visits will help to prevent gingivitis, so you are never left to face the cancer-like disease. It’s much more useful to prevent issues rather than treat them.

Correct Brushing Technique Matters

Taking great care of your teeth and oral health at home is critical to staying healthy and saving money at the dentist. Many patients are surprised to learn that vigorous brushing is more likely to cause cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease than a gentler approach. Tooth enamel can be damaged by forceful brushing. It’s especially important to protect your tooth enamel from chips and cracks because the body is unable to repair it if it becomes damaged.

The proper brushing technique is to:

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.

Of course, brushing your teeth is only a part of a complete dental care routine. You should also make sure to:

  • Floss your teeth daily, once a day. Tooth decay-causing bacteria still linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. This helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
  • Eat a balanced diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks.

 

Cleanings Are Typically Covered

In general, dental insurance policies typically cover the cost of preventative care. This coverage commonly pays 100 percent of the cost of routine preventative and diagnostic care, such as checkups and cleanings. By not using your bi-annual cleanings, you are paying for a service you are not taking advantage of, and also increasing your risk of needing major treatments that are not covered in the future.

Seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams is about more than just having a beautiful smile. Regular dental visits in combination with proper oral hygiene habits at home can and will save you money. Preventing disease is cheaper than treating it, and Cherrywood Dental Associates wants to help save you time and money any way we can. Call today to schedule your first cleaning and exam of the new year.

 

Don’t Try This At Home! The Dangers of At-Home Plaque Scrapers

woman sticking out her tongue

Each year more oral health product manufacturers introduce dental instruments to the consumer market that promote the do-it-yourself approach. One of these recently popular tools is a dental scaler, also called a plaque scraper.

The one thing these products are not advertising: improper use of these products can easily harm your gums and teeth.

How Dental Cleaning Tools Work

During your checkup and professional cleaning at a dental office, the dental care professionals will use small dental tools to scrape off the tartar from your teeth. These small tools are pointed at one end. Some are curved to reach around the rounded surfaces of your teeth. During dental scaling, the plaque is removed from the tooth surface and underneath the gum line.

Removing plaque is vital to the cleaning process. When plaque is allowed to build up on the teeth, it can cause issues such as gum disease and tooth decay. The bacteria found in plaque release acids as they feed. These acids break down your tooth enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to cavities and decay. Dental cleanings are great to use if you’re also considering dental fillings as well.

The Dangers of DIY Scraping

While plaque needs to be removed to care for your teeth properly, it should never be attempted at home. Plaque scraping should always be performed by a dental professional, a dental hygienist or a dentist.

  • Gum Recession. Because plaque scrapers are sharp, improper use can damage the delicate gum tissue. Trauma to the gum tissue of any kind is not only painful, but it can also lead to gum recession.
  • Tooth Sensitivity. If your affected gum tissue lowers and exposes the roots of the teeth, you will begin to experience extreme tooth sensitivity.
  • Infection. Improper use of plaque scrapers can result in infection. Tartar can be accidentally pushed under the gum line, leading to gum issues and infection.
  • Other Mouth Injuries. Plaque scrapers are incredibly sharp. These tools are specialized medical tools, and it takes extensive training to learn how to use them safely and correctly. Improper use could result in injuries to your cheeks, tongue, or other soft tissues inside your mouth.

Managing Plaque At Home

While it is not recommended to use a plaque scaler at home, there are many ways to keep your teeth healthy in between professional dental cleanings.

  • Floss. Using dental floss to clean between your teeth once a day is the best way to ensure you are thoroughly cleaning every surface inside your mouth.
  • Brush. Regularly brush your teeth using a steady and calm motion for two minutes, twice a day. Brushing your teeth about 30 minutes after each meal will help to reduce the amount of plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth.
  • Plaque Specific Toothpaste. Using a fluoride toothpaste or a tartar control specific toothpaste will help to repair any damage to your teeth. Fluoride works to protect your enamel against acid and decay.
  • Eat Raw Vegetables. The simple act of chewing raw vegetables can help to clean your teeth when brushing is not available.
  • Mouthrinse. Using mouthwash can help to clean your teeth in the hard-to-reach spaces inside your mouth.
  • Invest in an Electric Toothbrush. Sonic vibrations from an electric toothbrush allow for a superior clean because of their ability to perform a secondary cleansing action for removing plaque easily.

Managing Plaque Professionally

If you are concerned about plaque buildup on your teeth, visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist can examine your mouth to determine if you have plaque, tartar or other dental problems that need to be addressed. If necessary, plaque can be removed safely by a trained and licensed dental hygienist. If you’re worried about plaque buildup, be sure to schedule an appointment with Cherrywood Dental Associates today.

10 Last Minute Tooth-Inspired Stocking Stuffers

colorful christmas stockings hanging on fireplace with healthy treats inside

Looking for a few last-minute ideas to fill the stockings you have hung with care? Here are a few great last-minute gift ideas. Getting your family excited about taking proper care of their oral hygiene is half the battle, so add these ideas to your gift list and make dental hygiene fun again.

A Fancy New Toothbrush

Everyone loves a new toothbrush. For the holidays, pick one that will get your kids excited about brushing their teeth and into the holiday spirit. Instead of their usual pink or blue toothbrush, opt for a unique option that gets them excited about oral hygiene. The toothbrush aisle is full of character brushes, brushes that light up and even brushes that play music while you clean your teeth! Be sure to choose a soft-bristled toothbrush with the appropriately sized head for smaller mouths.

A Tooth Timer

If brushing for a full two minutes is a challenge for your kids, consider getting a small timer to keep in the bathroom. Brushing for a full two minutes can seem like a long time when the concept of time is still a work-in-progress. A tooth timer can ensure your kids are brushing for long enough and will make brushing into a game.

Wacky Toothpaste Flavors

Kids don’t always share the minty-fresh toothpaste preferences that adults care for. Try finding exciting new flavors for their dental stocking stuffers. Toothpaste now comes in a variety of flavors including watermelon, citrus, cinnamon, ginger, strawberry, and more. Changing up the toothpaste flavor daily or even weekly can give your child something to look forward to while brushing their teeth. When it comes to kids, a little extra motivation can go a long way towards keeping up healthy habits.

Children’s Books

Reading is essential for the development of any child, so why not encourage your child to keep up good habits with a dentist-related children’s book? You can choose from titles that educate children on proper oral hygiene habits or find a book that teaches them about their overall health.

Sugar-Free Chewing Gum With Xylitol

Chewing sugar-free Xylitol gum can help in the production of saliva which washes away trapped food particles from your teeth. Gum containing Xylitol has been proven to help reduce cavities, making it a must-have stocking stuffer for the entire family.

Chocolate

Yes, chocolate can be good for your teeth! With the recent findings, it’s now more true than ever, that chocolate is a superfood for your teeth. While it should still be enjoyed in moderation, chocolate is far better for your teeth than other candy options that are sticky, gooey, or chewy.

Sports Mouthguard

Does your child play sports? If so, consider getting a mouthguard for Christmas, so their teeth are adequately protected. Even if they already have one, a new color or style can get kids excited about staying in the habit of wearing one.

Toothbrush Holder

Is your child often sleeping over at their friends’ houses or spending time at sleepaway camp? A colorful toothbrush travel case will make it easy for your child to remember to pack their toothbrush wherever they go. As a bonus, a toothbrush holder will keep their toothbrush clean and bacteria free.

Lip Balm

The ideal gift that can be used by anyone regardless of age, lip balm makes for the perfect stocking stuffer. During winter, our lips are one part of our body that is always exposed to the cold weather, so it’s vital to maintain their moisture.

Reusable Straws

Using a straw is a great way to protect your teeth, especially when sipping on drinks that may be acidic or prone to staining your teeth. One of the main reasons that using a straw will benefit your teeth is simply because it reduces the amount of contact between beverages and your teeth. Reusable silicone straws are the perfect gift for the entire family to make drinking beverages more fun.

Scheduling Your Post-Holiday Exams

Give your child the gift of good oral hygiene with fun, but practical dental stocking stuffers. These colorful, lively gifts will make routine habits like brushing and flossing seem much more fun. After the holiday season is finished, be sure to schedule your first dental exams of 2019 with Cherrywood Dental Associates.

Should I Be Using an Electric Toothbrush?

Hand holding electric toothbrush

From a young age, you have been taught the importance of properly brushing your teeth. Despite your best efforts, though, you may not be brushing as well as you would like to. Electric and manual toothbrushes each have their own benefits. However, bristles on manual toothbrushes cannot reach to remove all of the plaque and tartar buildup that resides between your teeth.

Do you use an electric toothbrush? If not, what are you waiting for?

Benefits of An Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrush bristles vibrate or rotate to help you remove plaque buildup from your teeth and gums. The vibration allows for more micro-movements each time you move your toothbrush across your teeth. An electric toothbrush will enable you to reach further thanks to the combination of motion and equal pressure from the brush itself.

Equal pressure is vital – far too many manual brushers do a good job on one side of their mouth, while the other side suffers. A right-handed person often brushes the left side of their mouth more thoroughly with a manual toothbrush and vice versa.

Superior Plaque Removal

A review of studies showed that, in general, electric toothbrushes do decrease more plaque and gingivitis than manual toothbrushes. After three months of continuous use, plaque was reduced by 21 percent and gingivitis by 11 percent. Oscillating (rotating) toothbrushes also seem to work better than just vibrating toothbrushes.

Ease of Use

Regular manual toothbrushes require you to move them back and forth along your teeth, whereas electric toothbrushes do most of the work for you. That means you need only to guide it along the surfaces of your teeth, making them easier to use for people with limited mobility. Many people find this method of brushing easier. Likewise, they may be helpful for anyone with mobility limits including those suffering from:

  • Carpal tunnel
  • Arthritis
  • Developmental disabilities

Technology Features

Generally rich in technology and advanced features, some electric toothbrushes can even enable you to improve your brushing habits. Most come with convenient features like a brush head or toothbrush holder, bathroom counter storage units and travel chargers.

Some high-tech features may include:

  • Numerous brushing modes specialized for sensitive teeth
  • Whitening benefits
  • Gum-massaging action
  • Pressure sensors to signal when you are brushing too hard
  • Timers to help you track of how long you are brushing each quadrant of your mouth
  • Digital reminders to replace your brush head
  • Oscillating or rotating sonic technology
  • Multiple brush head compatibility so you can choose which type of bristle design you prefer

Fun For Kids

It can be challenging to get your kids excited about brushing their teeth. For those children who are less-than-interested in their dental hygiene, an electric toothbrush may be the answer you have been in search of. If an electric toothbrush is more engaging to your child, it can help accomplish good oral cleaning and establish healthy habits for children. The more you are able to instill healthy brushing habits at a young age, the more those habits will benefit your child as they mature.

Ideal For Orthodontic Patients

Electric toothbrushes are known to be particularly helpful for patients going through orthodontic treatment. Appliances such as braces make brushing difficult, so an electric toothbrush allows a more thorough clean of those hard-to-reach places. If you or your child find it difficult to clean their mouth while having orthodontics, an electric toothbrush may be able to improve their oral health during treatment.

Are you interested in switching to an electric toothbrush, but are overwhelmed at the options? Cherrywood Dental Associates is here to help! Ask us for a personalized recommendation at your next checkup to ensure you find the best toothbrush for your teeth.

 

Straightening Your Teeth (Again!) With Invisalign

Hand with blue glove holding medical oral orthodontics Invisible

Many people have had traditional orthodontic treatment when they were younger, and unfortunately, for one reason or another, their teeth have shifted back to their original position. Sound too familiar? Luckily orthodontic treatments have come a long way, and Invisalign is there for those who have experienced wandering teeth over the years.

Why You May Need Orthodontic Treatment for the Second Time

For one reason or another, most young adults stop wearing their removable retainers after their orthodontic treatment is complete. A decade later, that bad habit of not wearing them can catch up with you. Your formerly straight teeth can look crooked again because of these oral health issues.

Shifting Teeth

The most common cause of shifting teeth after braces is not wearing your retainers for the recommended amount of time following orthodontic treatment. The natural progression of teeth causes them to migrate back towards their original positions, causing your teeth to become crooked again over time.

The best way to avoid your teeth from shifting back to their original positions before braces is to continue to wear your retainers for as long as it is comfortable to do so. Generally, after the first year, you will be able to reduce your retainer wear down to only a few nights a week.

Having permanent or “bonded” wire retainers placed on the inside of the front teeth is one considerable way to avoid having to worry about your teeth shifting out of alignment as a result of not wearing your retainers.

Teeth Grinding

Bruxism, or chronic grinding of your teeth, can force pressure on your alignment. Clenching or grinding can put stress on your teeth and gums, causing them to shift into different positions. To help break these habits, an orthodontist or dentist can provide you with oral devices that help to keep your teeth in place while avoiding any damage bruxism may cause.

Bad Habits

Some habits can follow us around for years. Mostly unconscious, habits that can contribute to an ongoing misalignment of the jaw and crowding of the teeth are sometimes referred to as “myofunctional” habits. Things like breathing through the mouth, tongue thrusting, and reverse swallowing can be hard habits to break, and will also cause once-aligned teeth to become misaligned after orthodontic treatment.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Straighter teeth make it much easier to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. Poor oral hygiene will make your teeth and gums susceptible to cavities and gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to infection, soft tissue damage, receding gums, and bone and tooth loss. Losing a tooth and not replacing it with a dental implant will cause the surrounding teeth to shift out of alignment to compensate for the space.

Illness or Injury

Facial trauma, such as a jaw injury or a mouth injury can have the effect of moving teeth out of place. Traumas are the most common cause of the most severe instances of crooked teeth. Losing teeth or having your jaw shift due to a forceful injury will create the effect of having your remaining teeth slowly shift to make up for the empty space over time.

Straighten Your Smile For Good

If you’ve already gone through traditional metal braces, but your teeth have shifted since your treatment ended, you may get even better results from Invisalign. Not only can Invisalign help your teeth get back on track, but your smile will have a better chance of staying perfect after your Invisalign treatment is over.

See the long-lasting results of Invisalign for yourself by scheduling a consultation appointment with Cherrywood Dental Associates today.

10 Fun Historical Facts About The Tooth Fairy

cartoon of tooth fairy and tooth

Losing a tooth as a child is considered a right of passage in many different cultures, and parents throughout history have created rituals to celebrate with their children. The legend of the Tooth Fairy is one of the most popular and iconic childhood stories in the world.

Here are 10 fun facts about our favorite dainty-dental-dealer.

She’s Not Always a Fairy

Worldwide, the Tooth Fairy varies in appearance. The majority of baby-tooth traditions around the world are connected to rodents. Depending on the culture and the nationality, the Tooth Fairy can be a squirrel, a mouse, or a rat. Cultural diversity is one of the things that make the Tooth Fairy so unique, and no matter the shape she embodies, the Tooth Fairy is one of the most magnificent magical creatures for children around the world.

She’s Younger Than You Think

When compared to Santa Claus, who dates back to ancient history, the Tooth Fairy only dates back to the early 1900s. She was first mentioned in an article in the Chicago Daily Tribune’s “Household Hints” column from September 1908. The story was further popularized by Esther Watkins Arnold in the 1927 play for children, The Tooth Fairy.

The Longstanding Celebration of Lost Teeth

While the specific concept of the Tooth Fairy is recent, cultures around the world have been commemorating lost baby teeth for hundreds of years. In the 13th century, the Middle Eastern tradition of throwing a baby tooth into the sky and praying for a better tooth to replace it was a common practice. In Turkey, Mexico, and Greece, children traditionally toss their baby teeth onto the roof of their house.

Her Rates Are Subject to Market Fluctuation

Insurance group Delta Dental has been tracking the average Tooth Fairy rewards since 1998 and comparing their results to stock market activity. Their research has found that in at least 12 of the past 15 years, trends in Tooth Fairy payouts have correlated to movement in the S&P 500. This can only indicate one thing – that the Tooth Fairy takes her stocks and investments very seriously.

She Visits Each Child About 20 Times

Children have 20 baby teeth that will fall out over the span of a few years.

The Vikings Had One Too

The Vikings, who pioneered many of the expeditions that lead to the discovery of the new world, seem to have developed something similar to today’s modern Tooth Fairy. While researching the 13th-century Scandinavian myths and poetry, The Norse Eddas, historians were able to transcribe the Viking language and successfully reference something that the Vikings called tand-fe´or tooth fee. In these writings, they described a ritual that took place between the parents and the child, in which the mother would offer a small payment to the child in exchange for its first tooth.

She Had Her Own Museum

Located in the split-level home of Dr. Rosemary Wells in Deerfield, IL, the Tooth Fairy Museum showcased art, books, dolls, and other Tooth Fairy memorabilia. Dr. Wells took it upon herself to become America’s foremost Tooth Fairy expert and even had her own business cards labeled with “Tooth Fairy Consultant.” Unfortunately, the museum closed following Dr. Wells’ death in 2000.

She Has Her Own Holiday

National Tooth Fairy Day is celebrated annually on February 28nd. However, other sources and calendars also list the holiday on August 22nd. With such a busy schedule, surely the Tooth Fairy deserves two holidays a year, right?

She Collects A LOT of Teeth

The Tooth Fairy collects about 300,000 teeth from children all over the world every night. It’s believed that the Tooth Fairy uses these teeth to build the fairy community where she lives.

She Helps To Promote Healthy Habits

Possibly the best thing the Tooth Fairy does is to help parents promote good dental hygiene from a young age. For years, many parents have told their kids that a perfect and healthy tooth is much more valuable to the Tooth Fairy than a decayed one. Schedule your child’s next dental exam with Cherrywood Dental Associates to keep their teeth as valuable as possible for future Tooth Fairy visits.

 

10 Ways to Recycle Your Old Toothbrush

a scattered group of different colored toothbrushes

You should be trading in your old toothbrush for a new one approximately every 3 months. Before you throw away your used one, consider the benefits it could bring to your life as a nifty little tool to keep around the house.

Here are 10 great ways to recycle your old toothbrush.

Uses For a Toothbrush in the Kitchen

An old toothbrush is the perfect cleaning tool for scrubbing off those pesky crumbs and pieces of food that fall into hard-to-reach places. The next time you’re deep cleaning the kitchen, try using an old toothbrush to help you clean kitchen appliances such as:

  • Toasters
  • Microwaves
  • Coffee machines
  • Other hard-to-reach places

Cleaning Your Chopping Board

Most cutting boards have some type of edge that can be tough to completely clean. Nothing works better for getting bits of food out of tight spaces than a used toothbrush. Unlike wiping your chopping board, a toothbrush will give you the opportunity for a deep, thorough clean.

Keeping Your Clothes Stain-Free

The real secret to getting a persistent stain out of an article of clothing isn’t what type of stain remover you are using, but scrubbing the stain out with a toothbrush. Apply a stain remover onto the spot and gently scrub the fabric with your used toothbrush to work the stain remover into the material until the stain has lifted.

Cleaning Tile Grout

Looking for a great way to clean the dirty grout lines between your tiles? Combine baking soda and water to make a paste and dunk your used toothbrush into the mixture to effectively clean out grime between kitchen or bathroom tiles. Your gleaming tiles and grout lines will thank you for this one.

Say goodbye to grout grime in your:

  • Bathroom
  • Kitchen
  • Tiled floors
  • Showers
  • Countertops
  • Backsplash

Applying Hair Dye

For quick touch-ups to cover grey hair or roots, use a toothbrush in addition to your hair dyeing kit. A toothbrush will help to blend the dye into your hair and will give you a more controlled way to apply color.

Crayon Marks on the Walls

A parent’s biggest fear during art projects is that your little one will sneak away only to be found creating a wall mural of their own with crayons. A used toothbrush and shaving cream will have those stubborn crayon marks removed in no time.

Cleaning Toys

Kids toys are a haven for dirt, dust, and germs. A used toothbrush is the perfect cleaning tool for cleaning between cracks and crevices of dolls, blocks and other toys.

Add it to Your Art Supplies

A used toothbrush is the perfect addition for your art supply box. It can work wonders when it comes to adding texture to a painting or adding details to a clay piece. Little hands love using a toothbrush in place of a paintbrush for hours of fun for free.

Clean Jewelry

An intricate piece of statement jewelry can be filled with twists, turns, and detail. Keep your jewelry sparkling clean and looking brand new by using a toothbrush to keep those tricky areas clean. One of the best secrets to keeping diamond rings sparkling is to soak the rings in ammonia and finish cleaning them with a used toothbrush to loosen any dirt or grime. Just rinse with water when you are finished cleaning for a professionally cleaned look.

Computer Keyboard

Keep your computer keys in tip-top shape with the help of a (dry!) toothbrush. Give the keys a gentle scrub to eliminate any evidence of snack crumbs or dirty fingertips.

The Best For Last

The best use for your toothbrush is…you guessed it, your teeth! The bristles in your toothbrush break down and lose their effectiveness in getting into all of those hard-to-reach corners and crevices around your teeth. Germs can easily hide in toothbrush bristles and lead to reinfection, so be sure to also change toothbrushes after you have had a cold, the flu, or an infection in the mouth.

Do you have any other great ways to recycle an old toothbrush that we missed on our list? Let Cherrywood Dental Associates know at your next dental exam.

 

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Dr. Barzgar is an excellent dentist

Dr. Barzgar was very professional and gentle. When I first came to his office to see Dr. Barzgar I had a major trust issue between dentist and patient from my past experiences. Dr. Barzgar is an excellent dentist, whose priority is making sure his...

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