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4 Animals With Unusual Teeth

September 6th, 2018

ANIMALS MIGHT NOT BE as concerned with maintaining their oral health and hygiene as we are, but that doesn’t stop some of them from having very interesting teeth! Like our teeth are adapted to an omnivorous diet, animal teeth are adapted to the foods they eat. In some cases, the results can get pretty strange. Today, we’re going to focus on four of the weirdest sets of chompers we could find.

1. The Tusks Of The Babirusa

Babirusas are pigs native to Indonesia, but these pigs aren’t quite like the farm animals we’re used to. No, these pigs have a serious dental problem in the form of their multiple pairs of very large tusksThese tusks are actually the babirusas’ canine teeth, which continue to grow through their lives. The males’ upper canines grow right through their upper lips and keep growing, sometimes so much that they end up curving all the way back around towards their skulls! Yikes!

2. The Icepick Teeth Of The Payara

The payara is a carnivorous fish from the Amazon Basin whose lower fangs have earned it nicknames like “vampire tetra” and “saber-tooth barracuda.” These long, thin fangs range from four to seven inches long, and the payara uses them to impale its prey, including piranhas! Payara can grow to up to four feet long and 80 pounds!

3. The Serrated Bill Of The Goosander

At first, you might think a goosander looks like any other duck, but if you catch one yawning or chomping down on food, you’ll notice its rows of tiny, razor-sharp teeth! These European birds are members of the Merganser genus, also called sawbills — so named because of the 150 teeth lining their bills, which are designed to saw through whatever they eat, such as small mammals and sometimes even other birds!

4. The Red Fangs Of The Triggerfish

Triggerfish are a group of about forty different species of brightly colored fish marked by the lines and spots in their scales, but don’t let their beautiful scales distract you from their teeth! Triggerfish have very powerful jaws and teeth that they use to crush the shells of crustaceans. The redtoothed triggerfish is perhaps the weirdest species of the group, with bright red fangs protruding from its mouth!

https://youtu.be/GlmWckxsynQ

Taking Care Of Your Teeth

Do you know of any other weird teeth out their in the wild? We’d love to hear about them! In the meantime, make sure you continue taking great care of your own pearly whites by brushing and flossing regularly. We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!

We love helping our patients take care of their teeth!

Top image by Flickr user peterichman used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Taking Care Of Your Toothbrush

August 22nd, 2018

WE ALL USE TOOTHBRUSHES to take care of our teeth, but what are we doing to take care of our toothbrushes? It’s critical that our toothbrushes remain in good condition so they can do their jobs of keeping our teeth healthy, which is why we’re dedicating a blog post to giving our patients tips on toothbrush care!

Cleaning Your Toothbrush

Running your toothbrush under water and giving it a good shake won’t do much to get rid of all the germs you just brushed off your teeth, especially if you’ve recently battled the flu or a cold. Luckily, there are a few ways to deep-clean your toothbrush. Boiling the bristles for a few minutes will kill any germs on them, as will soaking the toothbrush in mouthwash. You can also sanitize it by placing it in the silverware rack of the dishwasher and running it without detergent.

Toothbrush Storage Dos and Don’ts

Do you store your toothbrush with the bristles on the counter or shelf, in a toothbrush cover, or near your toilet? Don’t! Bacteria needs warmth and moisture to multiply and spread, and flushing your toilet can send microscopic contaminants all over your bathroom. The best way to keep bacteria from growing on your toothbrush is to store it upright somewhere it can air out. It’s also a good idea to keep it well away from your toilet, and always put the lid down before flushing.

When To Replace Your Toothbrush

Getting used to a new toothbrush can feel weird. The bristles don’t feel the same, the shape is different, and the handle isn’t the same in your hand. But if we want our teeth to get the proper cleaning they deserve, this brief transition period is more than worth it.

If the bristles on your brush are getting bent, worn, or frayed, it’s definitely time for a new one — particularly if they’re sticking out the wrong way, because that won’t do your teeth any good! Bristles need to be straight in order to reach all the places they should. Just as important: have they become discolored? You don’t want to brush your teeth with stained, dirty bristles!

Get Creative With Your Old Toothbrush

Old toothbrushes are excellent tools for cleaning hard-to-reach areas in your house, like tile grout and backsplashes. You could boil it to make it soft, then bend it into a colorful bracelet! Toothbrushes also make great paintbrushes.

To make your toothbrush art minty fresh, use toothpaste as your paint!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8dD7ZPH6LQ

Need Toothbrush Recommendations?

Looking for a new toothbrush but not sure which one is right for you? Just ask us and we’ll give you a recommendation! Keep up those great brushing habits, and don’t forget to schedule your regular dental appointments!

Thank you for your trust and friendship!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

A Gift From Dad

August 11th, 2018

My father was a world class Nuclear Scientist (he won the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award in 1982- google it). He was also a world class woodworker. In the early 80’s I used to watch him build these swings, never for money, just for the pure joy of gifting them to his friends and to satisfy his genetic-fueled love of building. Although I asked many times over the years for him to build one for me (starting from the age of 12), it never happened. He used to tell me that when I was a grown up, and had finished school and had my own house he would build me a swing. Well, as it turns out, college took a really long time. I didn’t purchase my first house until the age of 30 and my dad was pretty much over manufacturing swings at that point. I would ask once in a while, but knew he was not spending much time in his wood shop. My bonus mom says that over the years he’d said many times that he knew that I always wanted a swing and he should probably build me one. It didn’t happen and he left us too soon.

On Christmas morning 2016, I opened a puzzle from my bonus mom, Bonnie. I put it together and it was a picture of a swing. I called her immediately and said “I cannot accept your swing!” She explained that it wasn’t her swing (perched in front of the home she shared with my father) but it was the one he had made for his best friend, Jim Ketcher. Jim had passed recently and his wife Cathey, was moving east to be closer to her kids. Bonnie had asked her if she could purchase their swing to gift to me for Christmas. Amazing. I feel so truly blessed to have such an incredible family.

I have a loving husband that realized the importance of this to me and spent hours and hours refinishing it to my specifications. (We had a few controversial discussions about the best way to hang it, but in the end he agreed that it should be hung exactly like my dad did…two posts in the ground vs. an “x” arrangement). I have a caring stepmom who I just call “mom” because she’s just that good at it. She saw the chance to make this happen for me and made it a great surprise. This swing is as meaningful to me as it would be if it were built for me. My backyard gets to not only carry on the legend of the great Dr. Michael J. Lineberry, but also the forever bond between two best friends, and the awesomeness of my bonus mom that put in the effort to make sure this ended up in my backyard. Cheers, Padre! Love you forever.

Good Tooth Brushing Technique

August 3rd, 2018

BRUSHING OUR TEETH is something we can get so used to doing that we don’t really think about it, but are we doing it the right way? It can be easy to get into some bad tooth-brushing habits, and the result can be that your teeth aren’t getting cleaned properly and you could be doing damage to your gums. So let’s take a moment to go over good brushing technique.

What To Avoid When Brushing Your Teeth

A few of the things we should avoid when we brush our teeth are brushing too hard, only brushing up and down or side-to-side, and always starting in the same place. Brushing too hard can damage our enamel and our gum tissue, which is why we should also avoid hard-bristled brushes.

When we only brush up and down or side-to-side, we tend to miss the spaces between teeth, which allows plaque to build up and leads to tooth decay. Because brushing our teeth is such a routine thing to do, it can be very easy to do it the same way every time, but when we always start brushing in the same place, we tend to pay unequal attention to the first teeth we brush compared to the last. Try mixing things up so that your whole mouth can get the same level of attention!

Brushing Your Teeth The Right Way

The first rule of good brushing is one you’ve likely heard all your life: brush twice a day every day for at least two minutes. Do whatever you need to do to make brushing your teeth an unskippable part of your morning and evening routines. You could even play music so you know how long to keep brushing!

However, brushing isn’t just about quantity; it’s also about quality. For the best cleaning action, hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and focus on the gum line. Use gentle circular motions to brush the outsides, insides, and chewing surfaces of every tooth. And don’t forget to brush or scrape your tongue before you’re done! Like daily flossing, tongue-scraping is another crucial step for getting rid of harmful bacteria (and it will help keep your breath fresh!).

Timing is also important. Our teeth often feel unpleasant after a meal, but as much as you want to clean them, make sure you wait at least half an hour after eating before you brush. The acids in our food and produced by oral bacteria soften our enamel right after we eat, and it takes about half an hour for our saliva to restore a neutral pH. If we brush too soon, we can actually brush away some of our enamel!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ooTKcboj1Q  

Your Dentist Is Your Greatest Resource

If you’d like more tips on tooth brushing techniques, just ask us! We can make sure your oral health routine is on track for keeping your teeth healthy for life. And don’t forget that an essential component of having healthy teeth is scheduling regular dental appointments!

Now set that timer and get brushing!