X-Ray of impacted wisdom tooth with text: Wisdom teeth, not that wise

Why are wisdom teeth called wisdom teeth?

If you get your wisdom teeth out, don’t worry! The dentist won’t be removing your good sense. The name for your third molars, a.k.a. your wisdom teeth, comes from when they show up in your mouth. Wisdom teeth typically appear around age 17 to 25, right about the time people become adults and begin to gain some – you guessed it! – wisdom. Wisdom teeth have been called that for hundreds of years, replacing an even earlier (and clunkier) name, teeth of wisdom.

The pesky thing about wisdom teeth? 9 out of 10 of people have at least one impacted. This happens when the tooth cannot grow in fully, often because of a lack of space. If impacted teeth are left in the mouth, they can harm the teeth next to them, become infected, or attract bacteria due to the difficulty of cleaning them well. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recommends that you have wisdom teeth evaluated early on in their growth, when you’re a young adult. Best bet? Talk to your family dentist about it.

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Of course you could get lucky… Not everyone has wisdom teeth! One estimate says that about 35% of the population is born without them.

 

 

woman in work setting with eyes closed, looking tired

NOT SLEEPING WELL? TWO WAYS YOUR DENTIST CAN HELP

Do you often feel like you don’t get a good night’s sleep? When your sleep is disrupted, it’s not only unpleasant, it can be bad for your overall health. There are lots of reasons you might be sleeping poorly, and your dentist can be your ally in discovering or ruling out certain causes.

1. Oral Appliances for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder in which your upper airways close off and interrupt your breathing while you sleep. Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Routine loud snoring
  • Waking gasping for air
  • Feeling overly fatigued during the day
  • Falling asleep unintentionally in the daytime

If you think you may have OSA, talk to your doctor. To properly diagnose OSA, you will have to do an overnight sleep study. Many people diagnosed with OSA can be treated using an oral appliance, a small, plastic device that you place in your mouth while sleeping that helps keep your airways open. Your dentist can help to fit you with an oral appliance made specifically for your unique needs.

2. Mouthguards for Teeth Grinding

Grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, can also cause you to sleep poorly. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw at night, your sleep might be disrupted by the sound of the grinding, hard clenching, or associated pain. Some signs that you might be grinding your teeth include:

  • Pain in your teeth, mouth or jaw
  • A clicking or popping sound in your jaw
  • Visibly worn down teeth
  • Sensitive teeth

If you’re thinking these sound like you, talk to your dentist. Your dentist will be able to examine your teeth and mouth to help determine if you are grinding your teeth. Often, teeth grinding can be treated with a mouthguard, which your dentist can custom-make for you.

Don’t neglect your sleep. Talk to someone.

Your sleep is important to your health, so don’t ignore signs that you’re not getting adequate sleep. Give us a call, we’d be happy to schedule an appointment to see you. 801-701-9799 You are also welcome to use our online appointment request form by clicking the button below.

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young woman with brilliant smile

Whitening Your Teeth: Three Common Questions

A brighter smile can be a great confidence booster for lots of people! We are often asked how to prevent tooth discoloration and how we whiten teeth, so we’ve rounded up the answers here for you.

What causes teeth to change color?

Teeth can appear discolored on the outside when there is a build-up of plaque, or the tooth enamel becomes stained. Common contributors to stains are dark colored beverages, like coffee and cola, and smoking. Teeth can also change color on the inside due to too much fluoride exposure or use of tetracycline during childhood, trauma to a tooth, or a rare medical condition. (Find more details here: causes of tooth discoloration.)

What can I do to prevent tooth discoloration?

  • Don’t smoke / quit smoking.
  • Avoid or consume sparingly foods and drinks that stain your teeth, including red wine, coffee, tea and cola, and foods that change the color of your tongue.
  • Rinse with water after meals, especially when you enjoy a food or drink that may cause stains.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.

 

How can I whiten my teeth?

If you decide you’d like to whiten your teeth, your best first step is to consult your dentist. Depending on the cause of discoloration and other health factors, you may or may not be a good candidate for whitening treatments or products. Your dentist will be able to tell you if you will benefit from whitening treatment.

The most common whitening solutions are in-office whitening treatments, and over-the-counter products.

In-office treatments:

  • Are performed at your dentist’s office
  • Can yield immediate results
  • Can whiten teeth as much as 10 shades

 

At-home products:

  • Are used in the comfort of your home
  • Come in both dentist-supervised and non-dentist-supervised varieties
  • Can take about two weeks to see results

 

How long whitening results last is varied for both methods, depending on a patient’s unique oral health, diet, genetics and other factors. A ballpark idea would be around six months to two years.

If you have more questions about teeth whitening, you can call any Kid’s Dentistree location and we’d be happy to talk with you.

 

World Oral Health Day banner

Know the Basics of Your Oral Health

March 20th is World Oral Health Day! It’s time to spend a few moments on your oral health.

Maintaining your oral health can be as easy as 1-2-3. In honor of World Oral Health Day, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to care for yourself and your smile. Take a few moments to look over the resources linked below, and remember these three guidelines to help ensure your optimal oral health.

1. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily.

Make sure you know the right way to brush. Take a minute and check out the American Dental Association’s (ADA) proper brushing technique. And we know flossing isn’t high on everyone’s list of favorite things to do, but investing such a small amount in your oral health each day can benefit you big-time in a number of different ways.

2. Choose your diet with care. 

What you eat can make a big impact not only in your overall health, but also in your oral health. Do you know the top foods that can damage your teeth?

3. Visit your dentist regularly.

Work with your dentist to determine the right frequency of dental visits for you. Twice a year is common, but you may find that your needs are different. Also consider these signs you should see the dentist from the ADA.

 

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