Most of us already know that brushing twice a day can reduce cavities, visiting a dentist near you regularly is important and fluoride is vital for dental health. However, there are also plenty of facts about oral health and hygiene that might surprise you. Here are the top five:

1. Your Spit Could Fill 2 Swimming Pools

The next time you find yourself salivating over a particularly tasty dish, remember that you’re contributing to the incredible amount of saliva produced over your lifetime. The average adult will produce just over 25,000 quarts over the course of their life, which is enough to fill up two whole swimming pools.

2. You Miss One-Third of the Surface When Brushing Your Teeth

Even if you’re careful to brush after every meal, replace your toothbrush often and pick a soft-bristled brush, you might still only be cleaning only two-thirds of your teeth. That’s because one-third of the total surface area of your teeth is unreachable by a toothbrush. Thankfully, flossing can tackle that remaining third and help you achieve complete dental hygiene.

3. Your Toothbrush Can Get You Sick

The general rule of thumb is to replace your toothbrush at least once every three months. After catching a cold or having the flu, however, you should change your toothbrush right away. The bacteria left behind from when you were ill could re-infect you after the fact and get you sick all over again.

4. 80% of Americans Have Gum Disease

Shockingly, a whopping 80 percent of Americans have some kind of gum disease. Sore gums, gums that bleed when you brush or gums that are painful to floss are all signs of gum disease. Frequent brushing and flossing can help reduce your chance of gum disease in the future.

5. Enamel is the Strongest Part of Your Body

No matter how much time you spend working out at the gym, your muscles still aren’t the strongest part of your body. You might be surprised to learn that it’s the enamel on your teeth that’s the toughest substance in the human body.

Although most people think they know all about the basics of dental health, there are still plenty of surprising facts out there. From your impressive saliva production to the potential health hazard of a toothbrush, share these facts with your friends to enjoy some shocked faces.

It is not unusual to read or talk about the importance of proper oral hygiene, but not everyone inherently knows what that entails. Even adults who have been visiting their local dentist for years might not fully understand what tasks should be included in their everyday schedule. For ideal dental hygiene, this is what your daily oral health routine should look like

Brush Your Teeth at Least Twice Each Day

The backbone of a great dental health routine is brushing your teeth twice each day. You should always use a toothbrush that can easily reach the teeth in the back of your mouth, and it should be soft-bristled. Brush over all of the surfaces of your teeth, and be sure to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Daily Flossing

Flossing on a regular basisis one of the habits that often gets overlooked by adults. Once a day, use at least 1 foot, or 12 inches, of dental floss. Hold one end of the floss in each hand and use it carefully along the gumline between every single tooth in your mouth. In some cases, it can be hard to reach certain teeth with dental floss. However, that’s no excuse to skip an area. A dental pick of some kind should be used instead.

Scrape Your Tongue Daily

Scraping your tongue is a key way to remove bacteria from your tongue. If you suffer from halitosis, or bad breath, this simple act can make a serious difference. Many toothbrushes have a tongue scraper attached to the back of the brush for your convenience or your can purchase a seperate tongue scraper like these from Healthy Top 10s.

Rinse With Mouthwash Daily

Mouthwash is an effective way of reducing plaque in your mouth, and it has been proven to reduce gum disease in many adults. Rinse with mouthwash once a day for up to 90 seconds, but be sure not to swallow the liquid.

Enjoy a Varied and Nutrient-Dense Diet

Believe it or not, the foods that you eat can also play a significant role in your dental hygiene. Either through diet or supplements, make sure that you are taking in key vitamins like calcium on a daily basis.

Along with visiting a local dentist in your area regularly, maintaining a daily routine is key for great dental health. Brushing twice daily, flossing, using mouthwash, eating a varied diet and scraping your tongue should all be used in conjunction for better oral health.

Healthy, well-maintained gums provide the foundation for strong adult teeth. Of course, taking care of your gums does more than just maintain stability for your teeth. Good dental care also helps prevent gum disease, which can cause oral health issues and can aggravate heart problems. No matter your age, you can take simple steps every day to improve the health of your gums and teeth. Start with these five essentials; then, ask your dentist what other steps you can take to protect your gums.

1. Stay On Top of Brushing and Flossing

Dentists recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day after meals and flossing once a day. If you can, try brushing your teeth three times a day. Health officials in many countries suggest brushing your teeth before breakfast and about an hour after each meal. Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after you eat, especially if you’ve had acidic foods. You can floss at any time of the day; choose the same time every day to make flossing a habit.

2. Avoid Mouthwash with Alcohol

Many over-the-counter mouthwashes contain an enormous amount of alcohol. Avoid using these rinses as they can dry out the mouth and gums, leading to discomfort and encouraging the growth of bacteria. Opt for all-natural or alcohol-free mouthwashes instead and use them at least twice a day.

3. Eat A Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet

The American Dental Association and other medical groups have launched educational campaigns to explain that eating well can improve oral health. Choose plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid eating too many sweets as they can damage teeth and encourage the growth of bacteria.

4. Keep Your Tongue Clean

Your tongue is a great breeding ground for bacteria. To boost overall oral health, scrape your tongue twice every day with a tongue scraper. A specialized scraper will remove more bacteria than a regular toothbrush.

5. Stay Well-Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water helps your mouth and gums stay hydrated, which in turn helps control bacteria. If you’re in an office environment all day, try to drink one glass of water every hour. If you’re active, you’ll need to drink extra water to protect your gums and stay hydrated.

Remember that choosing a dentist in your area for regular checkups and cleanings is the cornerstone of good oral health. Your dentist can complete yearly oral health screenings and alert you to any early signs of gum disease. Starting a gum care regimen today is a great way to improve oral health and offset any early indicators of disease.

Making the decision to become a dentist represents an important commitment to helping others. As a dentist, you play an important role, not only in helping your patients preserve their smiles, but also in maintaining their overall oral health. Maintaining good oral hygiene is important to one’s physical health, but it also has implications for mental health as well. A healthy smile can contribute to good self esteem, making cosmetic dentistry just as vital to a patient’s dental care. Essentially, oral health is an integral part of a person’s general well being.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), proper dental care is the most unmet health need in many communities and populations in America. By becoming a dentist, you’re joining a growing task force of professionals making a significant difference in people’s lives.

Why Become a Dentist?

Everyone becomes a dentist for their own reasons. For many, it is a passion for dentistry and a desire to help people that drives them. Patients are often incredibly loyal to their dentists, making it a personally rewarding field to work in, and the dental profession is highly respected. There are also a number of other benefits, including the flexibility that comes with owning your own practice. Dentists with their own practice are able to set their own hours, and while many do work full time, they are often able to have evenings and weekends off.

Dentistry is a growing field, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that the job outlook for dentists will grow by 16% percent by 2022. In 2012, the average annual salary for dentists was $149,310, making it a highly lucrative field as well.

Another enticing aspect of the profession is the numerous career options available. Aside from general dentistry, you can become a specialist or a cosmetic dentist. Dentists can also work in academia and research, contributing to the education of their peers and continued advancements in the profession. There are public health dentists who work directly with underserved communities to educate people about oral health, develop health policies, and prevent disease. The field of dentistry is so diverse that, regardless of your reason for pursuing a career, you can find a path that is right for you.

4 Steps to Becoming a Dentist

The path to becoming a dentist is nuanced, with the specific requirements for practicing varying on a state-by-state basis. However, there are some general steps all dentists must take in order to become qualified, licensed professionals.

1.  Determine your area of professional interest

Most dental professionals are general dentists, caring for the overall oral health of their patients. However, an approximate 20% are specialists, practicing one of the nine specialties recognized by the ADA.

Dental public healthworkers promote dental health and disease prevention in underserved communities.

Endodontists perform root-canal therapy and restore or remove damaged or infected teeth.

Oral and maxillofacial pathologists practice oral pathology, diagnosing oral diseases, such as cancer, that might have serious implications for the maxillofacial (face, jaw, and neck) region.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform surgery on the mouth, jaw, head, and neck to treat and repair injuries or defects.

Oral and maxillofacial radiologists are specialists who use radiologic imaging to identify and diagnose conditions in the oral and maxillofacial region.

Orthodontistscorrect the misalignment of teeth and malformation of jaw structure by applying pressure to the area with braces, iBraces, and Invisalign.

Pediatric dentists focus on dentistry for children and special-needs patients.

Periodontists treat the gums and bone supporting the teeth.

Prosthodontists replace missing teeth with permanent fixtures, such as crowns and bridges or dental implants, or with removable fixtures such as dentures.

2. Apply to an accredited school of dentistry

All dentists must receive their education from an accredited school of dentistry. While specific requirements vary by school, most dental students need at least a bachelor’s degree with a certain number of credits in biology, chemistry, and other related sciences. Most schools require the ADA’s Dental Admission Test as part of the application process.

Students typically take classes in anatomy, periodontology, radiology, and anesthesiology, among other subjects. Dental school takes four years to complete, but pursuing a career in one of the nine specialties requires advanced education that may take an additional two or more years.

3. Complete your residency or additional training

A dental education includes practical training in a clinical setting under the supervision of a licensed dentist. Beyond this, general dentists usually do not require additional training. However, those pursuing a dental specialty must complete a one or two year residency program in that field.

4. Apply for licensure in your state

All states require dentists to obtain a license to practice, though specific requirements vary by state. In addition to a degree in dentistry, most states require dentists to pass a written and practical exam. Specialists must obtain licensure in their specialty.

While the road to becoming a licensed, practicing dentist is clear, the process requires dedication, hard work, and above all, passion. Please keep in mind that you must be licensed in the state where you wish to practice, and while education, a written examination, and a practical examination are universal to all states, specific requirements do vary. The state’s Board of Dentistry is the necessary entity to contact for information regarding your dental license. The ADA maintains a list of each state’s dental board.

Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on all the things you are thankful for. The entire Dr. Linhart team would like to express its great thanks to all of our wonderful patients. We do what we do because of you! We are extremely lucky to have such a fabulous patient base, and we always look forward to seeing each and every one of you.

We hope you enjoy this holiday with lots of friends, family, and of course food.

Flossing your teeth is very important if you want to have better oral health. You should be making this a regular habit, which you do several times a day. Doing so will have defined benefits which will make your efforts very well worth it!

Five Reasons to Floss your Teeth

1 – Bad Breath

First of all, food which is trapped between your teeth will decay and leave your mouth smelling not as good as it could be. Flossing removes these elements and allows your breath to be as fresh as it can be.

2 – Gum Disease

Flossing is also useful because it stimulates the gums and allows you to scrape off corrosive elements which might be present. Clearing these spaces leaves the gums more vital and healthy.

3 – Tooth Decay

Flossing is also useful for preventing tooth decay. By getting rid of harmful elements which are decaying in the mouth, you will be removing corrosive elements which can eat away at teeth.

4 – Heart disease

Flossing is also great for preventing heart disease. Studies have shown that a healthy mouth is directly linked to a healthier heart.

5 – Your Smile

Last of all, the act of flossing helps you to have a beautiful smile which is more clean and clear. Making your smile beautiful is the outward manifestation of all of your efforts.

By making a positive habit out of flossing, you will have more control over your oral health. A beautiful healthy mouth can be yours with just a few minutes of effort every day!

Humans have 20 baby teeth followed by 32 permanent teeth, USUALLY!

The most commonly absent of the 32 adult teeth are the 2 maxillary (top) 3rd molars (aka Wisdom teeth).  The second most commonly absent are 2 mandibular (bottom) 3rd molars (the other Wisdom teeth).

Some say that because 3rd molars are not useful to the adult dentition, and are often problematic (causing infection, pain, etc.), that humans are evolving beyond wisdom teeth and that is why either 1, 2, 3, or all 4 are sometimes absent.

I don’t know if a person should want all 4 present, and thus have wisdom, or have all 4 absent, and thus be evolved…

Just thought that would interest you.

-Zach

Recently there was a long cover article in the New York Times regarding the overuse of Conebeam CT scans in dentistry.  This article brought up some of the negatives of these types of scans, primarily the amount of radiation associated with them.  However, there are uses for these machines in dentistry, and when used appropriately, they provide diagnostic and planning information that cannot otherwise be obtained.

Radiation

The average digital panoramic radiograph in a dental office exposes the patient to about 8-15 μSieverts (μS) of radiation <  a dental conebeam CT is anywhere from 10-100 μS, depending on the size of the scan area and location <  a cross-America flight exposes a person to ~60 μS < a medical CT ~2000 μS < annual background radiation ~2500μS.  Therefore, the amount of radiation actually received by patients during a conebeam CT scan is minimal when compared to the amount of background radiation a person gets in a year, ~50/2500 μS = 2%.

Pros

Conebeam CT scans give 3-dimensional images of hard structures in the head and neck region.  That means they can let you see every aspect of the jaw, teeth, joint, skull, etc.  You can see the distance of structures from one another, and the location of abnormalities.  In dentistry, these scans are particularly useful in Implant dentistry.  A conventional dental x-ray, whether a periapical (small) film or a panoramic (large) film, only give the dentist a 2-D picture of a structure.  However in order to place an implant in the best location in bone, sometimes the third dimension is required in order to avoid missing the bone, hitting nerves, or severing arteries.  Conebeam scans also are useful in endodontics (root canal therapy), orthodontics (tooth movement), and of course general dentistry.  3D images which allow cross-sectional viewing in dentistry are extremely useful tools that will allow dentists to be more precise in their procedures.

Cons

The only true con of these machines is the radiation.  As discussed above, there is a significant dose delivered, however it is minimal in comparison to other medical scans and even normal activities like flying.  The primary concern demonstrated in the NYT article about conebeams is their overuse.  While these devices do have a great role, they should be used only when necessary.  Not all implants require scans, most orthodontics and endodontics do not require them either.  Therefore it is extremely important for dentists to properly diagnose when a conebeam CT is necessary for a patient.

Kodak 9000 3D Conebeam CT

Dr. Jan Linhart is proud to announce that he has recently added the Kodak 9000 3D Conebeam CT to his office. We chose the Kodak machine because it allows us to take a scan of a small area, thus giving it the lowest patient radiation dose of any conebeam on the market.  In addition, the Kodak unit allows us to take independent digital panoramic x-rays without delivering the radiation dose of a conebeam.  This is a unique feature that many other machines lack.

Dr. Linhart, as well as the specialists in our office including Dr. Roger Bronstein (periodontist), have been trained to identify exactly when a conebeam CT is necessary, and will only take scans when indicated!  We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments regarding this new addition to our office.  I can be reached directly at Zachary@drlinhart.com

I am currently up in VT with a bunch of friends, and every hour or so, most of the group heads outside for their ritual cigarette. Smoking, although a declining trend , is still prominent in the USA, especially among my generation, those in their 20’s.

No matter what people claim, if they smoke, they are addicted. I know this because EVERYONE knows that smoking can kill you, yet if they still do it, thus they must be addicted.

Smoking causes lung cancer, which is the most common cancer in the USA and has one of the highest mortality rates of any cancer. If you get lung cancer from smoking (15x greater chance than a non-smoker), you have a 50% chance of being dead within 5 years . In addition to the obvious systemic dangers, smoking also has serious effects on your dental health such as:

1.) Oral cancer – this dangerous cancer has a higher death rate than cervical cancer, skin cancer, and others, making it extremely dangerous. Cigarette smoking has been directly linked to oral/pharyngeal cancer, so why smoke?

2.) Staining – smoking can cause serious, ugly staining of your teeth. This staining can ranger from a slight yellow, to brown, to black, and can become permanent if the smoking continues and oral hygiene is not sustained.

3.) Cavities – Long term smoking can lead to dry mouth, which is a high risk factor for cavities. We all know that you don’t want cavities.

Dentists today employ many means of smoking cessation, ranging from nicotine replacement therapy to providing information regarding the risks of smoking.

If you smoke, seriously think about and try quitting. Not only will it improve the health of your mouth, but it may well save your life.

President Obama’s most recent push to reform healthcare in the USA is the talk of the country.  At dinner tables, casual encounters, and town-halls nationwide, Americans are discussion how this healthcare bill, if passed, would effect the country.

In terms of dental care, this bill could be tragic to the current system in this country.  Today, dental care is one of the last free market medical professions left.  In NYC for example, you can find dentists charging from $20 for a filling to $500 for a filling, and both of them have patients that are more than willing to pay the costs.  That is because people are willing to pay for the best service, and other people, who can’t afford it, can get a procedure done, but not the same standards.

Buying a car is a fine example of the same system at play.  You can buy a $100,000 BMW, or you can buy a $15,000 Honda.  Both will get you around, but they have different standards.

Now if the government gets involved, they would take all of the free market influence away from the professionals, and give the control to the government.  Lawmakers would be setting dental fees, standards of care, etc.  Thus, all fillings would be, say $100.  Yes, everyone would have access, but all in all the quality of the work would decrease because THERE WOULD BE NO INCENTIVE!

Incentive is essential to the best care.  Doctors and dentist alike will provide the best service if they have incentive to do so.  Government run health care is not the way to go in America, not only because the cost would be prohibitive, but also because the quality of care would decrease drastically.

America has the best healthcare in the world, no matter what the politicians tell you.  People flock to America when they need the best medical and dental treatment. LETS KEEP IT THAT WAY.

These views are solely those of Zachary Linhart and in no way reflect the views of Dr. Linhart, his staff, his office, or any of his affiliates.