Why dye eggs when you can color bacteria?

egg dye

California dentists Dr. Scott Thompson and Dr. Jennifer Ryan suggest another fun use for the food coloring box in your kitchen: painting or licking a few drops around your teeth to color bacteria.

At their practice, dentists use disclosing solution, “the pink stuff”, as a simple way to demonstrate bacteria on the teeth by making them visible. Food and vegetable dye works the same way.

By painting or licking a couple drops around your teeth (green might be fun!), then rinsing and swishing and spitting out, you can color bacteria. Then with a mirror in a well lighted place, take a look.

With  your toothbrush, see what it takes to get the places clean that you missed the last time you brushed your teeth. Surprise! Bacteria come off very easily.

According to Dr. Thompson’s blog Winning with Smiles, the reason that people continue to have cavities is not because bacteria are difficult to get off the teeth. It is because most people don’t know where their toothbrush has been missing those spots.

What are you waiting for? Get coloring… and brushing!

One Connecticut dentist suggests his peers can help patients with celiac disease


A dentist with two good reasons to investigate celiac disease (CD) — his wife and daughter — conducted a study that was published in 2009. Today he speaks around the country, sharing his findings with other dental professionals.

Dr. Ted Malahias said CD is not an allergy to gluten. Rather, “it is an autoimmune disorder that causes villous atrophy in the small intestine when ingested gluten produces an immune response that doesn’t attack the gluten, but instead attacks the intestine.”

Symptoms: diarrhea, intestinal bloating, and cramps, are often the first responses to gluten ingestion. Other symptoms can include irritability and weight loss as the body’s nutrient uptake system fails.

According to research  from 1989, people with CD have a higher risk of developing oral cancer if they are not on a gluten-free diet.

How does Dr. Malahias suggest dentists help their patients?

If dental professionals know more about celiac disease, and how this illness affects the entire person, including the mouth, they can help in its early detection, and possibly help their patients avoid years of suffering.

Findings from the research he initiated (which was published in the Journal of Gastroenterology in 2009):

1. CD is highly associated with dental enamel defects in childhood.
2. There is an association between CD and aphthous ulcers.

“Because we see the tissue and we see the health of the tissue, we can advise patients to go see their physicians,” he said. “[Dentists] can’t diagnose celiac disease, and you can’t say everyone with dental enamel defects has celiac, but you should at least think about it,” he told Christopher Friesen in a recent interview with rdhmag.com.

He said their clinical suspicions may be the first step in directing patients to physicians who can properly diagnose, or rule out, CD.

According to the story, CD does not discriminate and occurs on all continents, and among all racial, cultural, and age groups.  Stress, pregnancy, surgery, or even infections may bring about severe symptoms.

Dr. Malahias’s complete study and more information on celiac disease and the dental patient can be found on his office’s website at http://www.bridgeworksfdc.com/page.php?t=celiac.




Chchchchanges. Some musicians say yes to new teeth. Others, not so much.

Reproduction of David Bowie's natural teeth by artist Jessine Hein. (photo courtesy Jessine Hein) https://www.facebook.com/jessineh/photos_stream

By Alison Majikes/Special to thedailyfloss.com

The artist who in the past created a tooth pendant and the sculpture “Tooth Nuckles” recently received notoriety for a replica of one musical icon’s imperfect smile.

Recently interviewed by dental-tribune.com, artist Jessine Hein, a German painter and sculptor, made a reproduction of singer

Artist Jessine Hein wearing a tooth mask. (Courtesy Jessine Hein)

Artist Jessine Hein wearing a tooth mask. (Courtesy Jessine Hein)

David Bowie’s natural teeth.

Bowie underwent cosmetic dental treatment in the early 1990s, and the artist said she was “nostalgically longing back to Bowie’s old teeth”.

The famous rocker, who got a new set of pearly whites over 20 years ago, isn’t the first artist to upgrade his teeth for the sake of appearance.

According to an article on Buzzfeed, when Bowie underwent his procedure, he joined the ranks of many other artists who did the same, like Celine Dion, Leann Rimes, Miley Cyrus and Gwen Stefani (who famously sported braces back in early years of her No Doubt fame).

But not every artist will willingly change their teeth to please others.

Freddie Mercury, the late frontman of “Queen”, famously never changed the appearance of his teeth for the fear that it would alter the unique sound of his voice.

In an article on npr.org in 2010, Rudi Dolezal, the director of the film Freddie Mercury: The Untold Story said, “”We all know that Freddie Mercury had very strange teeth and we would all ask ourselves, ‘A guy who was that rich, why didn’t he change his teeth?’ He was very afraid that if he changed his teeth that his particular sound of [his voice] would go away. So he was more concerned with his voice than his looks, and I think that says a lot about the man.”

To read more about Bowie’s teeth and Hein: http://www.dental-tribune.com/articles/news/europe/21686_interview_bowies_teeth_were_like_everything_else_about_him_different.html

Who cares about kids? PRO-SYS and the LCCC Benco Dental Clinic.


At a Kids’ Cavity Prevention Day this weekend in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, all children will receive PRO-SYS® Toothbrushes PRO-SYS Kids_7939and Toothgel, along with an Iris Varnish treatment

The Luzerne County Community College Benco Dental Clinic will host the annual event March 28 from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. For children ages three to 16, the program will include dental exams, sealants, dental X-rays, oral hygiene instruction, and fluoride treatments. All services and activities are free of charge.

According to a story by Maureen Savner at TimesLeader.com, Luzerne County Community College’s Benco Dental Clinic is a state-of-the art facility in the Francis S. and Mary Gill Carrozza, R.N. Health Sciences Center, located at 42 E. Main St., Nanticoke. There, members of the community are charged the minimal fees of $5 for children, $15 for adults and $10 for senior citizens.

Throughout the year, patients can visit the clinic for an intra- and extra-oral exam, including oral cancer and blood pressure screenings, and for a comprehensive teeth cleaning. Students also provide desensitization procedures, such as the application of agents designed to reduce tooth sensitivity associated with gum recession. Digital X-rays, which use less radiation, are taken based upon patient need.

Students instruct patients on how to maintain good oral health, and provide them with a toothbrush and other oral health aids. Patients are referred to their local dentist or dental clinic for routine dental work.

This year, students placed first in a statewide competition discussing current dental topics; they intend to compete in the national competition. In addition, the LCCC dental hygiene program has achieved a 99 percent first-time passing rate on the National Dental Hygiene Licensure Examination for the past 30 years.

As part of their Give Back philosophy, PRO-SYS donates a toothbrush for every Tapered or Antimicrobial one sold. But simply donating toothbrushes isn’t enough, so they partner with nonprofits that ensure oral healthcare education is part of the package.




1800s Britain: Was the dentist also your blacksmith? Yeah, baby.

Despite his poor oral hygiene, Mike Myers as Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery, never lacked a date.

Proper dentists didn’t exist across the pond until the 1800s. Prior, the care of Britains’s mouths was in the hands of blacksmiths and barbers who doubled as surgeons.

Want all the grisly details?

Historian Professor Joanna Bourke presents a new documentary on the history of dentistry in Britain: Drills, Dentures and Dentistry: An Oral History, BBC Four, March 30.

You may be familiar with the inventor of the first toothbrush (William Addis, in 1780,) but were you aware that in the 1600s it was believed that a toothache was caused by a worm burrowing in the jaw?

Or that in 1771 John Hunter, a failed doctor who devised names for teeth that are still used today, proposed transplanting teeth from the living and the dead? The craze became such that in 1815 when 50,000 men died at the Battle of Waterloo, even the toothless middle classes could afford teeth, according to express.co.uk

Writer, historian and author of the BBC’s ‘Eyewitness’ audiobooks, Professor Joanna Bourke, investigates dentistry’s revolution over the past five centuries. (Photo courtesy bbc.co.uk)

Before today’s minty fresh mouth cleansers, abrasives such as ground-up oyster shells were placed on the finger and rubbed into teeth. Since this technique scraped away the enamel, exposing the nerves, it didn’t last long.

Time marched on, as did modern dentistry, but in the early 20th century, oral health treatment was still so expensive that some opted to have all their teeth pulled to spare themselves a lifetime of pain.

In her interview with express.co.uk, Professor Bourke says: “Having all your teeth removed was considered the perfect gift for a 21st birthday or a newly married bride.” Porridge, anyone?

If this taste of British history leaves you wanting a full serving, tune in March 30.