Red-Heads Beware… Why Nicole Kidman and Ronald McDonald Don’t like Me

Hi Dr. McGee! I may be hard to get numb…
When I meet people and tell them that I am a dentist, they often tell me some story of their past dental experiences. They often tell how some dentist put his knee on their chest to remove a tooth or how they had to get about 50 shots just to get numb.
I usually nod my head in a “you don’t say” manner and listen to their story. Oddly enough, most stories are similar and more often than not they involve an inability to get numb.
Well now there may actually be some validity to some of these stories. For some time there have been stories here and there about people with red hair not responding well to general and local anesthesia. Some poor souls  that happen to 

who's worse Don Draper or the dentist?

have red hair have been suffering through medical procedures. Ouch!
Turns out they do. Turns out that people with blonde, brown, and black hair have normal receptors for a chemical in the body called melanin. People with red hair have a mutation for the receptor of this chemical melanin.

I bet that receptor ain't the only mutation this guy has

The researchers believe that this mutation has something to do with red head’s ability to feel pain and their increased perception of pain. The researchers also found that people with red hair have increased sensitivity to thermal pain, and are not as responsive to anesthesia.
Not surprisingly, there is some evidence that these poor souls are lees likely to visit the dentist on a regular basis when compared to people with other hair colors.
Now I know why Nicole Kidman keeps avoiding me at Starbucks. She and I cross 

No, Dr. McGee, you can't have the half and half... and stay away from my teeth!!

paths fairly regularly to feed our addiction to caffeine and over priced coffee. I thought the reason that she wouldn’t pass me the creamer is that she was just intimidated by my good looks and great smile. Now I know that she is just really afraid of dentists because of the whole anesthesia thing.
Do you have red hair? Do you experience pain more than the rest of us? If so, I feel for you.
So what have we learned today?
– Dr. McGee pays too much for coffee
– Nicole Kidman may have a tougher time at the dentist than you
– Carrot Top may have lots of mutations
If you have any dental questions, or would like to bring some Starbucks to our office, please feel free to contact us at 615-298-2385 or online at our official website
Floss On!

The “Great Oz” Speaks, But He’s No Tooth “Wizard”

I am the great Oz!! But I don't know much about teeth!!!

We’ve all heard of Oprah’s prodigy Dr. Oz, right? Right. He’s got his own show which he tells the public about ways to live a healthier life. I think it’s kinda cool how he brings out organs to show how they are destroyed by smoking and bad diet. It’s fabulously gross!!

 

Hi. I am much healthier than you

Recently he devoted a portion of his show to teeth and the thing s that discolor them. He even picked an audience member to participate in a little game of “pick the stuff that makes your teeth yellow.” Overall I think he dished out some good advice and made it fun in the process. I think maybe we should try a game at our office, because nothing says “fun” like a tooth game.

However, I think he dropped the ball a little at the end. He revealed his natural home remedy for whitening teeth. Ok Oz, spill it… the secret is lemon juice and baking soda. Dip a cotton ball in this secret potion and apply it to your teeth and they will turn white.

Sorry, but I’m gonna ask you to click the heels of your ruby slippers and come back to reality. Methinks it won’t work, and it may even be harmful.

But Dr. McGee, it’s cheap, and Dr. Oz said so.

please don't pour lemon juice on me

Here’s the problem… he’s telling you to put a highly acidic substance on your teeth. Bad. Acid is what causes cavities. We’ve already been over this, and if he would have been keeping up like the rest of you, he would have known better. The acid in the lemon juice can erode teeth just like you see here in this photo.

The other thing about this natural home remedy is that even if the stuff wasn’t acidic, it’s not on the teeth long enough to do any good. The professional strength bleaching solution we use has to stay on the teeth at least 30 minutes to be effective, and it takes 10 days or so to get good results. I just don’t see how lemon juice on the teeth can be a good thing.

Here’s the video of Dr. Oz and has teeth whitening advice…

Naturally Whiten Teeth, Pt. 2

If you would like whiter teeth and a nice smile, or if you simply have questions about your dental health, please feel free to give our Nashville dental office a call at 615-298-2385 . We hope to hear from you soon!!

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!

A Mission Trip to the USA… Helping Those Who Can Not Afford Dental Care

Remote Area Medical (RAM) is an organization near and dear to my heart. It was founded in 1985 with the purpose of providing basic medical care to people in remote areas of foreign countries with no access to care. When RAM began, they airlifted doctors and dentists into the middle of nowhere to help people.

Nashville dentist Dr. Matt McGee with RAM founder Stan Brock

RAM founder Stan Brock has now realized that there is a health care crisis right here in America, and has focused RAM’s efforts on helping people here at home. Many of RAM’s “missions” are conducted in or near Tennessee and are often held in remote communities that are underserved by the health care community, and have a population that is very poor.

RAM relies on a corps of volunteers that include health care providers including dentists, physicians, optometrists, and veterinarians. Other volunteers are just workers to help with auxillary functions such as patient registration, instrument sterilization, and food prep. Mmmmm, loved those donuts.

Dental clinic at a RAM event in Harrogate, TN

The events are held in a large facility ,such as a gymnasium or a community center, which is transformed into a health care clinic for a weekend. Patients are treated on a first come first served basis and are permitted to see as many health care providers as needed.

Oh and by the way… ALL HEALTH CARE SERVICES ARE FREE! Zip. Nada. 0. So, you can imagine that there is a high demand, because it don’t get any cheaper than free.

The following videos had a big impact on me and moved me to volunteer with RAM. It was an amazing experience. PLEASE WATCH THESE VIDEOS!! You will cry (or you’re heartless), but it is so worth it…

RAM video part 1

RAM video part 2

Someone please get me a Kleenex. Ugh. This breaks my heart.

By the way, did you notice that Stan Brock was the dude on Wild Kingdom? He got to wrestle hippos and snakes and stuff like that so he’s a bad-ass.

Ok, here’s the good news… RAM will be holding an event here in Nashville. Now, Nashville isn’t exactly remote, but the service will be provided all the same. So as a Nashville dentist, I plan to participate.

Here’s the details…

Feb 19-20 Davidson County, Nashville, TN – McGavock High School D, Vis, M

D= dental    Vis= vision   M= medical… you get the idea.

They’ll need lots of volunteers so I hope you’ll sign up. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

Happy Late Thanksgiving… Why Your Teeth Are Thankful

Hi. Welcome back. How was your Thanksgiving? I got to travel to Memphis to stuff my piehole and hang out with family. We also saw the movie “Tangled” and had dinner at a place that used to be a beauty parlor. The hair dryers were still there. True story.

Did you think about your teeth on this day that celebrates chewing? Of course you didn’t, that’s what you have me for. And I did think about your teeth and all that you may have put them through. But his time I have good news. I stumbled on a report that tells of research that shows that some of our favorite Thanksgiving foods may actually help prevent tooth decay.

This little dude actually lives in your mouth!!

First the bad news. While you are feasting away on Thanksgiving, millions of little friends living in your mouth are feasting too. They are called bacteria, and they cause cavities in your teeth. So while you were watching football after a belt-loosening meal, the bacteria in your mouth were just getting started on their feast.

The real meanie in this group of microscopic gluttons is known as Streptococcus mutans. This bad boy is responsible for most of those bits of silver in your mouth. Ole’ S. Mutans takes the food you eat and turns it into acid which destroys the enamel of your teeth.

Pass the cranberry sauce please, because this Thanksgiving staple can help prevent damage to your teeth. Researchers have found that compounds in cranberries can actually help prevent our leetle friend S. Mutans from producing acid. Nice. So basically the glob of molded red gelatin can be our ally in the fight against tooth decay.

Take That! you cavity-causing bacteria.

But wait! There’s more. Sit down and pour yourself another glass of red wine because this magic elixir also helps in the fight against S. Mutans and cavities. See red wine contains alcohol, so the bacteria just get drunk and fall asleep on the couch. No wait. That must have been me. Actually the red wine helps because it reduces the amount of acid that S. Mutans produces. So you get tipsy and fight tooth decay. It’s a win-win.

Nashville dentist Dr. Matt McGee fighting cavities!!

 

Well, dear readers, betcha didn’t know all that. So what have we learned? The main bacteria that causes cavities goes by the moniker Streptococcus mutans. Cranberry sauce and red wine help to combat cavities. An that Nashville dentist Dr. Matt McGee enjoys said red wine and napping.

If you live in Nashville and would like to discuss other means of obtaining better oral health, please feel free to contact our office at 298-2385 or check us out on the information super-highway at http://www.MusicCitySmiles.com .

 

The 70’s Called, They Want You to Take Better Care of Your Teeth

If you grew up in the 70’s or early 80’s you should remember these. I’m always on the lookout for great ways to communicate dental health to patients, and I think that these videos are great!!

This first one had me rolling on the floor. Who knew that the germs that cause cavities sound just like Louis Armstrong?!

Check out the yuck mouth video here…

And in this one an animated Danny Zuko tells us to exercise our teeth. O…. K.

Finally, a talking, hat-wearing Pac Man gives us oral hygiene instructions

Man, the last time I heard those I was sitting in a den covered in shag carpet in my Star Wars Pj’s.

Anyway, if you have any questions about dental care, or more vintage videos to share, or if you need a dentist in Nashville, please contact us at 615-298-2385 or check us out online at www.MusicCitySmiles.com

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 .