The Dentist Innovators

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Dentists are constantly innovating procedures and techniques to help make your visit more comfortable. Sometimes, these innovations take a step outside of the dental chair and lead to inventions that are used everyday. Here are some of those inventions, ranging from what you’d expect a dentist to invent to the more… bizarre…

Levi Spear ParmlyInventor of Dental Floss

It’s no wonder a dentist is credited with inventing dental floss. Although, people have been picking at their teeth since the beginning of mankind, it wasn’t until 1819, that New Orleans dentist Levi Spear Parmly published a book called A Practical Guide to the Management of the Teeth. In the book, he recommended that people floss with waxed silk thread “to dislodge that irritating matter which no brush can remove, and which is the real source of disease.”

Dr. William MorrisonInventor of Cotton Candy

Some people might cry “FOUL” when they learn dentist William Morrison created Cotton Candy. Yes, the air spun, sugary treat, that has been found guilty of many a cavity, was developed by a dentist. To add insult to injury, Dr. Morrison first called his sweet treat, “Fairy Floss.” Was this to make people use sugar as they would dental floss or did he get the recipe from some real hyper fairies? No one will ever know. At least the sugary confection has lead to millions of smiles throughout amusement parks around the world… and probably a few more dental appointments.

Dr. Bob SmithInventor of the Modern Snow Goggles

Dentist Bob Smith was an avid skier and was tired of his goggles constantly fogging up. So he did what any normal dentist would do: innovate the first double-pane goggle with a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam, to dramatically reduced foggy goggles on the slopes. Once he got a patent for the open-cell foam used for venting, he produced the goggles by hand with his wife and friends using dental tools and employed dental students to glue the pieces together.

Dr. Alfred P. SouthwickInventor of the Electric Chair

This invention is definitely on the bizarre side. Dentist Alfred Southwick saw a drunken man accidentally shock himself to death in 1881. This inspired him to invent the electric chair, which he figured would be a better alternative to hanging because it would be quick and painless (insert “going to the dentist” pun).

Is your dentist an inventor? You should ask. If you don’t have a dentist to ask, use DentistUSA to find one! Your smile will be happy and you’ll probably get an interesting conversation.

5 Ways To Get Your Kids To Brush Their Teeth

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Getting your kids to brush can be like pulling teeth (see what I did there?). A friend of mine with 3 kids, all under the age of 8 told me she has to use “white lies” to encourage them to brush. These white lies range from telling one child that moss will grow on their teeth, to telling another that, “teeth trolls with hammers will break up your teeth if you don’t brush them out of there.”

So, besides telling white lies to get kids to brush, here are 5 other ways to help get those kids brushing and help you avoid pulling teeth… figuratively and literally.dad-and-son-brushing

1. Brush your teeth at the same time   

You are your child’s greatest teacher. Watching you brush your teeth with them will help set them up for a lifetime of good oral habits.

  1. Make brushing a game

There are tons of games online as well as apps for your mobile devices that make brushing fun for kids. You can find a bunch of games by clicking here.

3. Let your kids watch a video

Use two-minute videos to help encourage you kids to brush for the proper amount of time. You want them to brush twice a day for two minutes each time. You can find two-minute videos for kids here.

4. Let your kids choose their toothpaste

There are many different kids of toothpaste made for little ones. They range in flavor from bubble gum to strawberry smash and feature characters like Disney Princesses, Transformers and Dora the Explorer. Getting kid excited about what toothpaste they use will make the nighttime chore all the more easier.

5. Let your kids choose their toothbrush

Now you still want to have them use an ADA approved toothbrush but still, there are tons of color and characters to choose from that will make brushing fun for youngsters.

Whichever way you use to get your kids to brush remember to encourage them to use the correct technique, which is a circular motion (not up and down) for two minutes each time. Do that twice a day and visit your dentist twice a year and your kids smile will be beaming bright.

Portrait of family enjoying piggyback ride

Which comes first, the floss or the brush?

floss brush

Should I brush first or floss first?” This question is asked everyday in every dental practice. If you are asking this, congratulations! You’ve already won. Because more than likely, you are doing both, which is what really counts. But what is the optimal sequence to get the best out of your daily smile chores – Brushing first or flossing first?

The arguments:

Brush First

Brushing first breaks up plaque on the teeth. Flossing afterwards will help remove this plaque while getting residual fluoride, left over from brushing, into the spaces between the teeth that brushing alone can’t reach.

Floss First

Flossing first will break up food particles in your teeth that can then be brush away. Fluoride can then reach the areas of your teeth that were previously blocked. Plus, flossing first gets it out of the way. Most people have been raised with the “Brush your teeth, then go to bed” mentality. Meaning, brushing your teeth is the last thing you do before you go to sleep. Flossing before brushing will keep you from skipping this important procedure.

Conclusion:

It’s a bit of a “chicken or the egg” conundrum. Most dentists agree: it really doesn’t matter which comes first. So see what best fits you and your lifestyle. Try flossing first for one week, then try brushing first for one week. See what feels best for you, your schedule and your teeth. As long as you are doing both, you’ll get good results. Mix in a couple of visits to your dentist each year and your smile will thank you!