Category Archives: Dental Cleanings

I Think There’s Something in the Water

Raise a glass of cavity fighting goodness

You may not know that a simple glass of tap water is one of the best means of maintaing good dental health.

“No way”, you say? Way. That’s because there is something in the water. Fluoride specifically.

“Oh yeah. I forgot about that Dr. Matt. So what’s the deal with it anyway?”

This is the cavity fighting molecule... or maybe just a stack of balls

Fluoride can actually be found naturally in the environment. Seriously. In fact, in the 1940’s people started noticing that communities with fluoride naturally occurring in the water had much less tooth decay than communities without fluoride in the water.

This discovery led to many communities adding fluoride to the public drinking water resulting in one of the greatest achievements in public health since it resulted in a drastic reduction in tooth decay.

So how does it work? Basically fluoride helps reduce the rate at which a tooth

Thanks Mr. Fluoride man for keeping me cavity free!!

breaks down due to tooth decay, and it also helps to remineralize (i.e. rebuild) a tooth after a small cavity has started.

It’s simple and cost-effective since it only costs about 95 cents per person per year… that’s a good deal! Plus it adds no color, flavor, or smell to the water. No spoon-full of sugar to make this medicine go down.

Lots of us have had fluoride in the water as a part of our lives for several decades. Some of us just assume that cavities are no longer a problem, but forget why we don’t have dental problems as much as people in the past.

we do not help fight cavities

Fast forward from the early days of fluoridation to now. Bottled water. I bet people from back-in-the-day would flip out if they knew that people are selling water. I mean I get it and all… pure (maybe), convenient serving size, nothing but hydrogen and oxygen, status symbol. That’s all fine and good, but you may be missing out on the good ‘ole cavity fighter fluoride.

Most bottled water companies are so excited about making their product pure, that they take out the fluoride. What happens next is that people stop drinking tap water in favor of bottled water, and in doing so they are no longer getting fluoride to help prevent cavities.

So why am I telling you this? I just want the good people of Nashville to know that if they are drinking bottled water, they may not be getting the cavity protection that they once were.

“Aw man!” you say. Fear not… there is a website that can tell you which bottled water companies put fluoride in their water. And here it is .

So maybe there is something in the water… or not. Check it out and just know how it affects your teeth.

Advertisements

The Clock is Ticking… Why Mick Jagger Doesn’t Give Good Dental Advice

 

"Get your dental work done before the end of the year!"

 

“TI-eye-eye-ime… is on my side… yes it is!” sang Mick Jagger. Um, no it isn’t. Why? Your dental insurance benefits are about to expire!!

Here we are at the end of the year. Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s, parties, shopping, etc, etc. It’s a busy time for all of us, but don’t forget about your teeth and your oral health. specifically, don’t forget about how to pay for your dental care.

See, the end of the year brings a close to a lots of things, and included in this are your dental insurance benefits. This is because most dental insurance plans operate on a calendar year, and that means that at the end of each year, your amount of coverage goes away if you don’t use it.

Wha?

Basically, if you don’t use it you lose it. Here’s how it works: an insurance plan allows you to you a certain amount of their money to help you pay for dental care in a given year. At the end of that year, whatever amount you don’t use just goes away. Bye bye.

That being said, my advice to you is to get on it!! Make haste! Get ‘er done! Or whatever motivational phrase you need to hear to maximize your dental benefits. I mean for Pete’s sake (who is Pete by the way?), there’s a stack of cash out there to help you take better care of your health… don’t let it go to waste.

Here’s some ways you can save money and take good care of your teeth…

1) See you dentist every 6 months. This is because it allows any problems to be detected early and thus corrected in the easiest and least expensive way. Also, getting your teeth cleaned and checked ever 6 months is kinda like changing the oil in your car… it’s just proper maintenance.

2) Take care of any treatment needs before “it hurts.” I have this conversation daily with patients. People always seem to wonder if they need treatment if nothing hurts. Makes sense. But the problem is that teeth typically don’t hurt unless the nerve is damaged, and at that point we’re talking root canals and pulling teeth rather than fillings or crowns. Waiting until something hurts to fix it means more expense or having fewer teeth.

3) Make the most of your dental benefits. This means using as much of your yearly benefits as you can. Now, obviously if you have no treatment needs, don’t go looking for a way to use dental insurance benefits. But, if you have treatment needs, don’t just let those benefits sit there and go to waste. Even if you don’t have dental insurance, you may be able to deduct your dental expenses on your taxes!! Consult your accountant on that one.

Our office participates with several dental insurance plans including Cigna PPO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN, Delta Dental, Health Spring, and Connection Dental network just to name a few.

So don’t listen to Mick!! Time is not on your side. Don’t let those benefits go to waste. If you live in Nashville and need a dentist who takes Health Spring, or Cigna PPO, or Delta Dental, or if you just have questions about you dental benefits, please give us a call at 615-298-2385 or check us out online at www.MusicCitySmiles.com .

Happy Brushing!

Rinse and Repeat


Why should your hair get all the fun? The mouth needs a rinse too, right?

swish, swish, swishPeople ask me this all the time. “what mouth rinse should I be using Doc?” or “I’ve been rinsing my mouth with hydrogen peroxide for years…” or “My great grand pappy only used baking soda to clean his teeth.” Nice.

So what is the deal with mouth rinses. Are they all that, or just hype. There’s all sorts of old wive’s tales and crazy stories about the benefits of rinsing with peroxide, Listerine, or mop n’ glow, or diesel fuel. Well, I’m going to provide a dentists perspective and help you decide what is best.

First things first. Brush and floss your teeth. Mouth rinses are no substitute for brushing and flossing as a means of keeping your teeth clean. After you’ve done that, and if you want get a little extra credit, you can use a rinse that will give you an extra dose of fluoride, or one that fights gum disease, or one that will help you have fresh breath.

Listerine is at the top of my list and is my personal fav. This stuff has been around for ever, and is the only rinse out there that is actually considered a drug. That’s right my little yuck-mouthed friends, it actually attacks and kills specific germs that cause gingivitis… and none of us want gingivitis, right.. RIGHT! Ok,moving on. This is a great addition to your oral hygiene regimen , and I’ve seen it really make a difference for lots of patients. It’s burns like the dickens, but you gotta feel that burn to get results baby!!

If you are one of those who has a sweet tooth and like to eat a lot of candy, you could probably use some extra fluoride. Well then Mr. & Mrs. Sugarbug say hello to my leetle friend Act. I get on to people’s cases about not getting enough fluoride. As a dentist it is my obligation to fuss at the residents of Nashville for not taking care of their teeth. It’s part of the dental oath… :  ). Anyway, this is a nice little rinse to get a little extra fluoride. Why fluoride you ask? Because fluoride makes your teeth stronger and more resistant to cavities, and that means fewer trips to my chair for fillings. Wait, forget what I said. Fluoride is evil. It will turn your hair green and make you smell funny… and I need to buy my kids Christmas presents. Just kidding. Fluoride will help prevent cavities, and you should use it.

If it’s bad breath you’re wanting to eliminate, I have a suggestion. Don’t eat garlic… and try a rinse like Breath Rx. This stuff used to only be available in a dentist office, but now you can buy it at a pharmacy or grocery store.  Use caution though when purchasing a rinse for bad breath because some mouth rinses contain alcohol and that will dry your mouth and make the problem worse. Eeeew.

There’s other rinses out there, and these I have listed are not the only ones that are good. If you have any doubt or concerns about a mouth rinse, ask your dentist. If you live in Nashville, ask me, I’ll be glad to help and/or be your dentist. Feel free to contact us at 615-298-2385 or visit our website at www.MusicCitySmiles.com .

 

 

Confession Time…

Just because I’m a dentist, doesn’t mean I enjoy flossing any more than the rest of yous. Ever feel like this?

I do. There’s my confession. I feel better.

How ’bout you?

Buying Toothpastes. So What’s the Deal?

Buying toothpaste is hard these days. There’s so many dang choices out there that it’s hard to sort through them all. Whitening. Tartar control. Enamel strengthening. I think I’ve even seen bacon flavored dental products!

A recent article has put some toothpaste to the test. Specifically those that claim to strengthen enamel. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes on that article: these toothpastes are really similar to normal-no-bells-and -whistles-attached toothpastes, they may just have a little more fluoride. So the toothpaste marketing people said “Hey, more fluoride=more enamel.”

The tricky thing about marketing and toothpastes is that there aren’t a lot of guidelines. Toothpaste is classified as a cosmetic according to the Food and Drug Administration. Now, that doesn’t mean you should rub it on oyur face to hide wrinkles, but it does mean that there is a lot of leeway when it comes to advertising. Basically, if the product doesn’t harm you, you can say just about what ever you want.

Products classified as drugs, on the other hand, must be able to prove that the treat a specific disease and are effective. It’s expensive to get your product classified as a drug. I would not want to go through the approval process.

My recommendation is to look for the American Dental Association seal of acceptance. This seal means that the product has gone through more test than you ever thought could be conducted on toothpaste, and came through with flying colors meaning it is safe an effective.

Here’s what it looks like… 

So when you are looking for dental products, just look for this seal and you’ll be good.

Now, I’ve got to design my own seal of approval…

I Hate Dentists!!!

If you hate the dentist (and I hope you don’t), Dr. Mac Lee is feelin’ your pain. He is the author of the book Nothin’ Personal Doc, But I Hate Dentists!! , and is himself a dentist.

Dr. Lee discusses dentistry wit Dr. Oz and helps to dispel some of the myths associated with us dentites…

Whoppi Goldberg Shares Her Experience With Gum Disease

I typically try not to make a habit of watching The View, but this segment warrants some attention. It seems that Whoopi had neglected her oral health for years despite having good insurance, and it finally caught up with her.

She shares her story here, and talks a bit about the connection between oral health and overall health. She even says that going to the dentist is not the horrible experience that it used to be. See, even Whoopi likes us!