Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Cool" Dental Trivia

In the heat of summer, Wilmette Dental offers a few "cool" bits of dental trivia...

* Hundreds of years ago, having decayed teeth was a sign of wealth.  That's because only the rich could afford to enjoy sugary treats.  In fact, England's Queen Elizabeth I had extremely bad teeth because she consumed sugar to excess.

* In 17th century Japan, women showed faithfulness to their husbands by painting their teeth black.  After all, who would want to kiss a woman with black teeth?

* While today's dental implants are highly sophisticated and crafted of strong dental materials, a few hundred years ago, dental implants consisted of a tooth actually taken from a dead person.

* In the early 18th century, poor people with healthy teeth would actually pull their own teeth and sell them to rich people who would use them as artificial teeth.

* Toothpaste as we know it didn't exist until the late 19th century.  Until then, our forefathers (and mothers) used a mixture of either honey and tobacco or lemon juice and ground charcoal to clean teeth.  Some even used crushed eggshell, which has abrasive properties and lots of Calcium for strong teeth.

Thankfully, dentistry has come a long way from cracked egg-shells and decayed teeth as a sign of affluence. But, if you think your smile could use some modernizing, please visit us at Wilmette Dental.  We provide the latest in American Dental Association-approved preventive and cosmetic dentistry (no black teeth allowed).

If you are looking for a dentist in the Chicago area, please consider Wilmette Dental, a North Shore tradition in family dentistry for more than 30 years.  Feel free to call our office at 847-251-0085 or request an appointment online at www.wilmettedental.com.



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cocoa ... The New Fluoride

There may be a natural substitute for fluoride...and it’s a tasty one:  cocoa!  

A New Orleans company has developed a toothpaste that substitutes fluoride with a naturally occurring compound found in cocoa. Called Theodent, the new paste's key ingredient is Rennou, a proprietary blend of cocoa extract and other minerals that, together, help strengthen teeth.  The makers of Theodent say it is actually more effective at bolstering teeth than fluoride.


Theodent paste has a minty flavor, is nontoxic, and is safe for users of all ages, including children.  In fact, developers are working on a chocolate-tasting, sugar-free toothpaste especially for youngsters.  


Rennou, the cocoa-based ingredient in Theodent, has been studied for more than 30 years by researchers in America, Turkey, the Netherlands -- and by the American Dental Association.  With very positive findings, Theodent toothpaste has been issued two U.S. patents, and a third worldwide patent is pending.  It is commercially available in 20 states, including Illinois, as well as in Canada.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Chicago area, please consider Wilmette Dental, a North Shore tradition in family dentistry for more than 30 years.  Feel free to call our office at 847-251-0085 or request an appointment online at www.wilmettedental.com.


Labels:  ,, cocoa, American Dental Association, U.S. patents, fluoride, , chocolate tasting, American Dental Association, toothpaste, children, teeth, tooth-strengthening.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Iceman Cometh ... With Tooth Decay


If you think an occasional cavity is bad, consider the fate of Otzi, the 5,300-year-old mummified iceman discovered in 1991 in the Austrian Alps.  
When he was alive, poor Otzi suffered from extremely severe tooth and gum trouble, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Zurich’s Centre for Evolutionary Medicine.   
Until recently, scientists hadn’t systematically examined Otzi’s teeth.  But now that researchers have taken a close look, they were surprised to uncover an array of oral afflictions:  periodontal disease, tooth decay, severe abrasion, and dental trauma.
Otzi’s mouth was a dental nightmare.  
“He had everything," said study co-author Frank Rühli, head of the Swiss Mummy Project at the University of Zurich.  The researchers analyzed CT scans to identify Otzi's various ailments. Along with shedding light on the overall dental health of the iceman, these new findings could hold clues to the evolutionary history of oral conditions.
"The loss of the periodontium has always been a very common disease, as the discovery of Stone Age skulls and the examination of Egyptian mummies has shown," study co-author Roger Seiler, a dentist at the University of Zurich, said in a written statement. "Otzi allows us an especially good insight into such an early stage of this disease."
The study was published in the April 2013 issue of European Journal of Oral Sciences.
Had Wilmette Dental been around in Otzi’s time, regular cleanings and exams would likely have prevented many of his dental problems -- and alleviated much of the pain that poor Otzi must have endured. (Taken from The Huffington Post)

If you are looking for a dentist in the Chicago area, please consider Wilmette Dental, a North Shore tradition in family dentistry for more than 30 years.  Feel free to call our office at 847-251-0085 or request an appointment online at www.wilmettedental.com.





Monday, July 1, 2013

Here's To The Red, White and Blue...And To Dentistry!

As we celebrate Independence Day, let's also salute the role that dentistry has played in shaping our nation.

Paul Revere (1735-1818), that famous statesman who gave the "heads up" that the British were coming, was a silversmith...and a dentist!

Revere practiced dentistry in Boston for about six years, and was taught his craft by John Baker (1732-1796), a dentist who, while working in Williamsburg, Virginia, actually provided services to George Washington (who is nearly as famous for his dental problems as he is for being the father of our country).

Because Paul Revere was a silversmith, he worked a lot with prosthetics and made artificial teeth.  In 1776, he played a large role in one of the earliest recorded cases of dental forensics.  At the Battle of Bunker Hill the previous year, a man named Dr. Joseph Warren (1741-1775), a physician and major general in the Massachusetts Militia, received the unfortunate distinction of being the first American general officer to be killed in action.  His body was buried with many others from that infamous battle in a mass grave.  A year later, Massachusetts wanted to honor Warren, and decided to exhume his body for reburial in a special plot.  But given that it was in a mass grave, Warren's body was difficult to identify. Revere was called in, and he actually recognized a dental prosthetic that he had made years earlier for Warren (a bicuspid tooth), thus solving the mystery.

Revere was one of an estimated 79 dentists practicing around the time of the Revolutionary War.  Most of those dentists had somewhat questionable training, often learning their craft in apprentice positions. It wasn't until 1840, 22 years after Revere's death, that the first actual dental school opened in America.  Dr. Horace Hayden (1769-1844), who served as an assistant surgeon in the War of 1812, founded the world's first institution dedicated to the study of dentistry:  the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery at the University of Maryland.

Dentistry has come along way since America's early days.  This Independence Day, Dr. Neuhaus and the staff of Wilmette Dental will celebrate the men who helped build our great
country...and who laid the foundation for modern American dentistry.

Happy Fourth of July!