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Texas Dental Association Patient Publication: Educate While You Wait

Winter / Spring 2013

A Dentist Can Improve Your Love Life! Periodicals Supplement to the Texas Dental Journal, December 2012.

See pages 8-9

In this Issue Smart Mouth™, a bi-annual 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 The information included in each edition of Smart Mouth™ is provided by the TDA Council on Dental Economics, the Council on Membership, and the Council on Dental Education, Trade & Ancillaries. 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 Nicole Scott, 1946 S IH 35 Ste 400, Austin, TX 78704; Phone 512-443-3675; Email

Meet the Dental Team 3 Dentistry in Cinema


How to Protect Your Baby’s Teeth From Cavities 6-7

©2012 Texas Dental Association Stephen R. Matteson, DDS Editor Nicole Scott Managing Editor Staff Liaison to Communications Committee Lauren Oakley Publications Coordinator Staff Liaison to TDA Student Organization Lee Ann Johnson Director of Membership Staff Liaison to Council on Membership Danielle Taylor Policy Analyst Department of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs

Treat Your Teeth This Valentine’s Day


A Dentist Can Improve Your Love Life 8-9 Commander in Teeth


Dentistry: An Old and Interesting Profession 10-11 2

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Meet The Dental Team I am the head of the dental team. I am the DENTIST and the owner of the dental practice. As the dentist, I am in charge of patient care and treatment and will instruct the dental team. At a minimum, I will have attended a 4-year university, a 4-year dental school, and passed numerous tests. Your dentist may be a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). Following a doctorate degree, a dentist may begin additional study in order to specialize. These specialty programs can be an additional 2 to 6 years of study. Regardless of whether your dentist is a general dentist or a specialist, you can be sure that he or she has had years of education and 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. This may include information about brushing and flossing. Also, since 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 source of information for oral hygiene, 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 office. We may work at the front desk, maintain patient files, assist the dentist, and take x-rays. In fact, the work of an assistant varies greatly. In many cases, the dentist will teach the assistant how to complete his or her tasks, and assistants in Texas do not need to attend school for training, although some may.

In future issues, you can expect to meet the: • Office Manager • Receptionist • Patient Coordinator • Insurance Coordinator • Dental Lab Technician

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How to Protect Your B David L. Ward, DDS Did you know that babies are born without the bacteria that cause tooth decay? Cavities are the most common infectious disease of childhood.The best predictor of cavities in a child is the number of cavities the mother has had. The bacteria that cause cavities in the child are generally passed from the mother or other caregiver. They can also come from an older sibling who has been infected. Diet certainly has an effect also. Even in the baby and toddler stages, parents must be careful. The bad bacteria eat what your baby eats and produce as their waste product the acid that decays the teeth. So what’s a parent to do to 6

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keep his or her child’s mouth healthy?

Baby’s Teeth from Here’s a series of suggestions that will help. Get your own mouth healthy, preferably during pregnancy. Routine dental care can be safely performed during pregnancy and may even help you carry to full term. •

Do not put anything in your baby’s mouth that has contacted your saliva. This includes spoons and cups.

Do not clean a dropped pacifier, or anything else, with your saliva.

As soon as teeth become visible, start cleaning them on all sides with a small, soft toothbrush and a tiny amount of toothpaste. The size should be about as little as you can get on the brush. When the child learns to spit, more toothpaste can be used.

Brush your baby’s or preschooler’s teeth twice a day. The most important time is right before bed. Then, the child should have nothing but water before going to sleep. A good rule of thumb: do not give children the responsibility to brush their own teeth until they can tie their own shoes.

Do not put your child to bed with a bottle of milk (or anything else but water). Anything with any type of sugar (milk sugar, fruit sugar, table sugar) can cause cavities, especially at night when salivary flow is low.

For the same reason, do not let your toddler run around all day with a bottle (or sippy cup!) with anything but plain water. It’s not how much sugar is in the diet that causes the problems, as much as how often that sugar is in the mouth. Kids need milk, and juice is good at times. Just remember to make sure they are not in your baby’s mouth all of the time.

Train your child to enjoy healthy low-sugar snacks like cheese, fruit, and yogurt. This is harder to do once he or she becomes accustomed to eating to high-sugar drinks and snacks.

Finally, ask your dentist or pediatrician questions. He or she will be happy to answer them! Dr Ward practices family dentistry in Big Spring, Texas. He is a member of the Texas Dental Association Council on Dental Economics.

It is very important that parents establish a dental home. “The dental home is the ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient and the parent, inclusive of all aspects of oral health delivered in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated, and family-centered way. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care. Referral by the primary care physician or health provider has been recommended based on risk assessment, as early as 6 months of age, 6 months after the first tooth erupts, and no later than 12 months of age (1).” Reference 1. Policy on workforce issues and delivery of oral health care services in a dental home. 2012 Oct 31. Available from URL:

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Treat Your Teeth This Valentine’s Day We

D These Alternatives to Sweets

Roses are red. Violets are blue. These alternative treat ideas are sure to satisfy you. This Valentine’s Day, serve up something special for your sweeties. No reason to put your teeth, or your health, at risk by devouring sugary sweets. Kiss the candy goodbye! 1. Heart-shaped pancakes: Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter and whole grain pancake mix to whip up a breakfast everyone in your family will love. And, no arrows necessary. Take that, Cupid. 2. Fruit kabobs: Give the apple of your eye a kabob loaded with grapes, cherries, and strawberries. Serve with some low-fat yogurt or pink cream cheese. Voilà! They’ll go bananas over it. 3. Nuts: Give them crunchy treats this year. After all, you’re nuts about them anyway, so why not help them eat healthily? 4. Stickers: What better way to say, “I’m stuck on you!” than to give your kids a bag of stickers instead of a bag of candy. 5. Lip balm: Pucker up and read my lips, Valentine! Moisturize those smackers and get ready for some healthy eating this Valentine’s Day.

Dentistry in Cinema

ANSWERS from pages 4-5 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Tooth # 7: maxillary right lateral incisor Steve Martin “Reign Over Me” Matthew Perry Endodontics John Henry “Doc” Holliday, 1872 graduate of Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery 7. A root canal and an extraction 8. Hermione Granger 9. Dane Cook 8

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A Dentist Let’s assume that you found Mr or Miss Right a long time ago. Has your physical relationship changed over the years? Do you kiss the way you used to? Why or why not? Do you feel good enough to be romantic or do you suffer from chronic pain in your head or face? Do you sleep well in the same bed together or do you sleep in different bedrooms? Problems with your love life could be connected to your mouth in more ways than one.

t Can Improve Your Love Life! David L. Ward, DDS

Kiss Bad Breath Goodbye!

One of the main reasons people get out of the habit of passionate kissing is chronic bad breath. If one person has a smelly mouth, the other is not going to want to spend much time in a lip lock. The most common reason for bad breath is gum disease. The good news: gum disease is very treatable, and a dental exam might be your best bet to get your love life back on track.

Cuddle More: Relieve Your Chronic Pain

People who are in chronic pain from any source are not likely to feel romantic. Some chronic pain issues are frequent migraine or tension headaches and also tempromandibular joint or muscle pain (TMJ). Many of these headaches and virtually all TMJ issues are caused directly or worsened by bruxism. Bruxism is intense clenching or grinding the teeth while sleeping. Many people who clench their teeth will get headaches. Clench your teeth for just 5 minutes right now, and see if you don’t get a headache! People who tend to grind their teeth are more likely to get TMJ issues, but most people do a combination of the clenching and grinding. Drug-free, Food and Drug Administration-approved, and proven effective treatments are available and provided by trained dentists.

Sleep Better and Stop Your Snoring

Does your spouse’s snoring prevent you from sleeping well, or has it even forced you into different bedrooms? A great way to reduce or eliminate snoring for many people is with a dentist fabricated appliance. The device holds the lower jaw slightly forward. This opens the space between the back of the tongue and the back of the throat allowing the air to flow much more smoothly and quietly. If you or your spouse is a loud snorer who seems to stop breathing for a few seconds periodically during the night, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a possibility. This is a serious condition which reduces quality of life. If you suspect OSA, talk to your dentist or physician about a sleep study and other treatments. You may not have considered it before, but your dentist might offer these services. From here on out, you might refer to him or her as Dr Love! Dr Ward practices family dentistry in Big Spring, Texas. He is a member of the Texas Dental Association Council on Dental Economics.

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COMMANDE George Washington

The country’s first president is riddled with rumors about his dental state. In reality, President George Washington began losing his teeth at the age of 22 but never had wooden dentures as legend claims. Modern science shows that his dentures were actually made of ivory, gold, lead, human teeth, and animal teeth! Interestingly, by the time he became president, he had only one remaining natural tooth.

Abraham Lincoln

President Abraham Lincoln was rarely photographed showing his teeth. He was also rumored to have a genuine fear of the dentist! His phobia started when a dentist had to extract a tooth. At that time, anesthesia was not available in dental offices, resulting in a very painful procedure! Following the incident, President Lincoln began to use chloroform to self-medicate before his dental procedures.

Dentistry: An Old and Interesting Profession Recent research shows dentistry was practiced as early as 7000 B.C. Archeological excavations in graveyards in Pakistan reveal dental work on a number of the skeletons. The teeth of these skeletons show clear signs of drilling with flinthead instruments. A closer look at the dental work shows a surprising effectiveness of the flint drills at removing 10

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ER in TEETH William Howard Taft

In 1912, President William Howard Taft signed an act establishing the United States Navy Dental Corps. By 1916, President Taft was authorized to appoint dental surgeons in the Navy. This strategic decision by the U.S. government was designed to recruit and retain more soldiers into the Navy that would have otherwise been rejected for dental ailments. Today, the U.S. Navy Dental Corps may treat soldiers overseas, be utilized for disaster relief at home, or be sent on peacekeeping and humanitarian missions abroad.

Did you know...

...that the famous patriot Paul Revere also dabbled in dentistry? A silversmith and craftsman by trade, Revere used those skills to create wire and tusk dentures for his patients. In 1776 he became the first recorded practitioner of forensic dentistry when he identified the body of a dead soldier and patient by his dental work!

rotting dental tissue! In all cases, the dental work and drilling was performed on the person, and the smoothing of the teeth showed that the person continued to chew after the procedure. No doubt, without modern pain medications, the procedure was uncomfortable. Remember during your next checkup that your dentist is working with more than 9,000 years of scientific advancement under his or her belt!

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Set Your Site on

Oral Health

Your dentist is a member of TDA, the voice of dentistry in Texas. With more than 8,800 members, the TDA understands that the best patient is an informed patient. Visit for more information on oral health care for you and your family.

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Profile for Texas Dental Association

Smart Mouth  

Winter / Spring 2013

Smart Mouth  

Winter / Spring 2013