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mart mouth


Texas Dental Association Patient Publication

Winter 2016-17


“But I Saw it ONLINE!”

Why some at-home tooth treatments should NOT be trending

Why are my TEETH so SENSITIVE?

Learn the common causes of sensitive teeth--and what you can do

“Teeth to Treasure”: Word Search for Kids


teentopics: BAD BREATH

...and what to do about it

onary: ti ic D l ta n e D go Know the Lin

Periodicals supplement to the Texas Dental Journal, December 2016

W hat’s Smart Mouth™, a publication of the Texas Dental Association (TDA), is produced for the purpose of providing oral health information to the public. Member dentists can access electronic versions of Smart Mouth™ on tda.org. The material contained herein is for educational purposes and is not intended for diagnostic or treatment decisions. Please contact your dentist for oral health concerns and questions. Visit tda.org for more oral health information and resources. For comments and suggestions about Smart Mouth™, please contact the Texas Dental Association, attn Managing Editor Billy Callis, 1946 S IH 35 Ste 400, Austin, TX 78704; Phone 512-443-3675; Email bcallis@tda.org.


contents Meet the Dental Team............................................. 2 Who are these people, and what are they doing in my dentist’s office?

“But I Saw it Online!”.......................................3-4 Why some at-home tooth treatments should NOT be trending

©2016 Texas Dental Association

TeenTopics: Bad Breath.....................................5-6

Daniel L. Jones, DDS, PhD Editor

Why are my Teeth So Sensitive?........................7

Lee Ann Johnson Director of Member Services & Administration Billy Callis Managing Editor Hannah Atteberry Publications Coordinator

...and what you can do about it.

Learn the common causes of sensitive teeth-and what to do if you have it.

Teeth to Treasure: Word Search.........................8

Word search game from the American Dental Association.

Dental Dictionary...................................................9-10 Learn the lingo! Knowing these 16 terms may help you understand and communicate with your dentist.

Emoji images used on the cover and on page 5-6 are via EmojiOne, www.emojione.com. The persons shown in photographs in this publication are stock photography models (Models) and are not actual patients of, nor are they affiliated with, the Texas Dental Association and indirect parent companies, subsidiaries, or subsidiaries of its parent companies ("Affiliates"). Texas Dental Association has obtained the rights to use the photographs via license agreements with certain third party stock photography companies, and Texas Dental Association's use of the photographs is in compliance with the terms of those license agreements. The photographs showing the Models are used in this publication for illustrative purposes only. The Models do not personally endorse Texas Dental Association, or any products, services, causes, or endeavors associated with, or provided by, Texas Dental Association or any of Texas Dental Association's Affiliates. The context in which the photographs are used in this publication is not intended to reflect personally on any of the Models shown in the photographs. Texas Dental Association, its respective officers, directors, employees, agents, and/or independent contractors assume no liability for any consequence relating directly or indirectly to the use of the photographs showing the Models in this publication.

Look for the next issue of Smart Mouth, available only in your TDA member dentist’s office!


Who are these people, and what are they

doing in my dentist’s office?

Meet the DENTAL TEAM A healthy mouth is a smart mouth, and it takes a team of health care professionals to care for your teeth – all 20


appointments, I coordinate comfortable from the beginning.

As the OFFICE MANAGER, I oversee When you check out, I make sure your easy, and I am involved in the day-to-

PATIENT CARE TEAM I am the head of the dental team. I am the DENTIST

training. I’m the DENTAL HYGIENIST. As a dental hygienist I can take x-rays and do any of the work of a dental assistant. My primary duty is to perform dental prophylaxis, cleaning and polishing of teeth during recall visits. I may also talk to you about how to care for your teeth properly. I’m a dental hygienist in Texas, I have completed at least 2 years of dental hygiene training and passed several training requirements. I am a great so please feel free to ask how you can improve your oral health!

I am the DENTAL ASSISTANT! Dental assistants have many important jobs in a dental the front desk, maintain In fact, the work of an assistant varies greatly. In will teach the assistant how to complete his or her tasks, and assistants in Texas do not need to although some may.

Smart Mouth



“But I Saw It ONLINE!” At-Home Dental Trends that Should NOT Be Trending By Duc “Duke” M. Ho, DDS Texas Dental Association Member


f you’re younger than 45, there’s a good chance you may have heard of the term “hashtag.” If you’re under the age of 35, you might actually know what it means. In case you’re unsure or were too shy to ask, a hashtag is simply a number sign (#) placed in front of a word or phrase that allows people to categorize or search messages on a specific topic, while also providing a mechanism to begin a conversation on various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Simply, it’s a way to keep track of trending topics on social media. Unfortunately, not all trends--such as bell-bottoms jeans or leg warmers--are good. Here are two dental health related trends you should be leery of:

Activated Charcoal

Garnering over a 1.5 million views on YouTube, the newest do-it-yourself remedy involves brushing activated charcoal on your teeth. What it claims: Found in capsule form online or in health stores, activated charcoal is a special type of charcoal that is used in medicine for its absorptive properties, specifically for trapping chemicals and removing unwanted toxins. THE REALITY: What’s worse than brushing black charcoal on your teeth? Probably knowing that there’s no scientific evidence that teeth are whiter or brighter after use. More importantly, because the abrasiveness of the activated charcoal varies, the tooth enamel may become susceptible to wear, deterioration and erosion--resulting in unwanted sensitivity, or worse: cavities.


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Oil Pulling


Oil pulling has been used to treat various health issues for thousands of years and has become the “it” trend in oral health the last few years. What it claims: The belief is that toxins and bacteria are trapped or “pulled” by the oil, while also treating dry mouth to minimize inflammation of the gum tissue.

THE REALITY: Although there are few studies and very limited evidence that shows oil pulling helps in the treatment of gingivitis and bad breath, there is also no reliable scientific data that oil pulling results in whiter teeth. However, oil pulling requires a lot of time and effort--try swishing water in your mouth for 10 minutes and see how tired you are afterwards. Thus, if you elect to utilize oil pulling, it should be done after all traditional, proven techniques (such as brushing, flossing and/or water picks) have been used first.


If a brighter smile is what you want, contact a TDA member dentist and discuss your options for in office treatments and payment options (usually dentists will run specials throughout the year). These options will be safer and get you better results than something you see on the internet. Visit SmartMouthTexas.org to find a TDA member dentist near you.

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teentopics: By Laji James, DDS Texas Dental Association Member


our mom isn’t constantly nagging you about brushing your teeth just to ruin your life. She actually has a couple of good reasons. Not only is she looking out for the boring things like fighting off cavities and gum disease. It could actually help you out in the dating scene. Here’s a couple things to keep in mind.

Before you talk to that 1) 2) 3) 4)

special someone:

Brush your teeth for two minutes with fluoridated toothpaste. Floss your teeth. Brush your tongue gently with your toothbrush until you can clearly see the pink of the tongue. White or yellow tongues are stinky. Alternatively, use a plastic tongue cleaner to gently clean your tongue. Rinse with an American Dental Association-approved mouth rinse.

Wait! I am not at home. 1) 2) 3)


What do I do?

Chew a piece of sugar free gum Use a breath spray Dissolve a sugar free breath mint in your mouth

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Bad Breath Why is this happening, doc? Possible reasons include: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8)

Eating certain foods like onions, garlic, and spices Poor dental hygiene Dry mouth Medications Tobacco use Infections in your mouth or teeth Other mouth, nose, and throat conditions Underlying medical conditions

If bad breath is chronic, then please make an appointment with a TDA member dentist to work out a solution. And if your breath is better, then thank your mom. Hey! She might even stop nagging you‌ well, at least about brushing your teeth anyway. Dr James is a pediatric dentist in Houston.

The emoji images used in this article are courtesy of EmojiOne, www.emojione.com.

Smart Mouth



are my TEETH so


By Katie Sowa, DDS, Texas Dental Association member


n your last diet “cheat day,” you probably ate ice cream. Maybe you knew that ice cream was a terrible choice, but you had to spoil yourself just this once. Your first bite of your guilty pleasure comes at a cost. your teeth are incredibly sensitive. You may immediately think something is wrong.

This is a very common issue patients express at their regular dental exam. There are a number of reasons why teeth can be so sensitive. Sensitivity to temperature does not always mean tooth decay. Sensitivity can occur in other situations such as worn enamel, exposed roots, fractured teeth or restorations, and even can indicate gum disease. Consider your tooth enamel as the winter coat for your tooth’s nerve. If this enamel wears from activities such as clenching, grinding, or even acid erosion, your dentin is exposed. Think of your dentin as the long johns under your winter clothes. Just as long johns have a pretty direct route to your skin, your dentin has a direct route to your nerve. When your enamel is worn, your nerve can more easily access the environment, therefore sensitivity arises. Below the gum line, this winter coat is called cementum. When you have gum recession or gum disease, the cementum can wear down as well. There are treatments for sensitive teeth, but treatment varies on your specific sensitivity. Some treatments include: Fluoride toothpastes, varnishes, or gels to strengthen tooth enamel Soft bristled toothbrush or an electric toothbrush if it appears your enamel is worn from aggressive brushing Night guard to prevent further enamel wear from grinding or clenching habits Desensitizing toothpastes to help block signals to your nerve Crown or filling if the sensitivity is due to tooth decay Root canal if sensitivity is severe and persistent Visit your Texas Dental Association member dentist today to determine the proper avenue for addressing your teeth sensitivity, so you can get back to enjoying those cheat days. Dr Sowa practices general dentistry in Katy, TX.


Smart Mouth

Š2016, American Dental Association. All rights reserved.

For more games and activities, visit MouthHealthyKids.org.

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dentist is aBRASION:


Abscess: Infection Bruxism: Caries:

Use this GUIDE

Grinding of teeth


Tooth decay; also known as “cavities”

Calculus: Decay:


Loss or wearing away of tooth structure

Hard residue on teeth; also know as “tartar”

Damage to tooth structure caused by toxins produced by bacteria


Inner layer of the tooth




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The arrangement of the teeth

with your

essential. DDS: Doctor of Dental Surgery. Equivalent to DMD.




Doctor of Medical Dentistry. Equivalent to DDS.






Removal of a tooth

Gum tissue

Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gum tissue HALITOSIS: Bad breath THIRD MOLARS: Veneer:

The eighth and last teeth to grow in, also known as “wisdom teeth.”

A layer of material placed or bonded over teeth by a dentist to protect and/or improve the looks of teeth.

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Your dentist is a member of the Texas Dental Association (TDA). With more than 9,000 members, the TDA is the state’s largest dental organization, and is affiliated with the American Dental Association. To find out more about oral health, and the TDA, visit us online at SmartMouthTexas.org. 1 9 4 6 S I H 3 5 S t e 4 0 0 A u s t i n , T X 7 8 7 0 4 P : 5 1 2 - 4 4 3 - 3 6 7 5 t d a . o r g

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Smart Mouth December 2016  

Texas Dental Association (TDA)'s patient publication.

Smart Mouth December 2016  

Texas Dental Association (TDA)'s patient publication.

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