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Is It Time to Reconsider Dental Implants?


If you’re missing one or multiple teeth, chances are you've considered replacing them. Replacing lost teeth not only looks and feels better, but it is also better for your teeth and jaw. That’s because when you leave open spaces in your mouth, you can experience bone loss and the shifting of the rest of your teeth. Shifting teeth isn’t just an aesthetic problem, it can also cause uneven wear, excess tooth decay, and even headaches and jaw pain.

 

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Smile-Friendly Snacks for Back-to-School Season


With millions of children across America heading back to school this time of year, it’s time to start thinking about what to feed your kids when you send them out the door. Whether you pay for hot lunch or prefer to brown-bag it, there are a wide array of options to choose from that taste great and won’t harm your child’s teeth. If you’re looking for some snack inspiration that won’t end up in the trash can, check out this list of tooth-healthy snacks!

 

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Decade-Old Braces Wire Removed From Woman’s Stomach


People swallow some weird things. From teeth to magnets, coins, toothbrushes and, believe it or not, a fidget spinner (swallowed by a ten-year-old girl in Texas), doctors and dentists have seen it all. But a case of swallowed braces wire in Nedlands, Western Australia, is puzzling even the most seasoned medical professionals, thanks to a unique set of circumstances.

When a 30-year-old woman arrived at Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital in Nedlands, Western Australia, complaining of abdominal pain recently, doctors at first suspected gallstones. The pain soon subsided, and the patient was released, only to return two days later with the same pain. Doctors then ordered a CT scan and were shocked to find that it wasn’t gallstones causing the pain, but a long, narrow object (initially believed to be a fish bone) puncturing the woman’s intestines. The object had pierced the intestine in several places, becoming twisted in the organ. This created a serious bowel blockage known as a volvulus, which required emergency surgery to correct.

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A Good Smile is Still a Major Player in Modern Dating


Dating site Match.com has released its seventh annual "Singles in America" dating survey, and it’s got a lot to say about what single Americans are looking for in a partner.

The survey, which quizzed singles on everything from their social media habits to who should pick up the check, also inquired about what qualities are important in selecting a partner.

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Which Type of Dental Floss Is Best?


When it comes to most things in life, it’s great to have options. Dental floss is no exception, except when you have no idea what the difference is between all those little plastic boxes in the toothpaste aisle. So, what’s the difference between waxed and unwaxed, toothpicks and flossers, and is one any better than the others?

 

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The World’s Most Famous Teeth


For nearly a century, movies have been capturing our hearts and imaginations in a way no other medium could. From fantastic wardrobes to stunning makeup effects, so much can be conveyed about a character without that person ever speaking a word of dialogue. In that spirit, we have compiled a list of the most memorable teeth in Hollywood history! 

 

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Back to School for Dentists? Why Continuing Education Matters


You’re probably already aware of the importance of continuing education for yourself and your kids, but did you know that it’s also extremely important for your dentist, too? After all, with new advances in dentistry occurring almost every month, if your dentist isn’t continuing her education, she's doing herself and her patients a disservice.  

 

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Think Before You Drink: The Best and Worst Sodas for Your Teeth


Despite slight declines in soda sales in recent years, Americans still spend an average of $5 billion a year on soda, coffee and energy drinks, and the average American drinks 44 gallons of soda per year. In fact, it is estimated that 27 percent of our daily fluid intake is pure soda. With all that soda, it’s no wonder 92 percent of adults have had at least one cavity in their permanent teeth.  

 

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New Oral Cancer Test Could Be Coming to a Dental Practice Near You


With oral cancer rates increasing around the world, researchers are working diligently to find faster and more accurate ways to detect this potentially fatal disease before it’s too late. Here in America, oral cancer has become so common that according to the National Cancer Institute, one American dies from oral cancer every 60 minutes. But while in decades past, oral cancer was most frequently caused by lifestyle choices like drinking alcohol and cigarette smoking, oral cancers due to the human papilloma virus, or HPV, are on the rise.

 

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Is Virtual Reality the Future of Dentistry?


For some patients with dental anxiety, they’d rather be anywhere but sitting in a dentist’s chair. But while a lounge chair on a warm, sandy beach sounds like a lovely alternative to fillings and root canals, avoiding much-needed dental work isn’t doing your mouth any favors. So, what if you could visit the dentist and relax on the beach at the same time? No, we’re not talking about poolside dentistry. We’re talking about virtual reality, or more specifically, implementing the use of virtual reality equipment during dental procedures. While the idea may seem far-fetched, it's already yielding some big results around the globe.

 

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No Insurance? What to Do in a Dental Emergency


According to the National Association of Dental Plans, about 44 percent of Americans do not have any form of dental coverage. That’s about 114 million people! But just because you don’t have dental coverage doesn’t mean you should stop routine dental exams and cleanings. But while budgeting for a bi-annual checkup is one thing, it can be quite another financial setback if a dental emergency occurs without coverage. Here are some tips to try if you have a dental emergency, but you don’t have dental insurance.

 

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Encourage Oral Care in Kids with these Books about Brushing!


If you have kids, you probably already know that sometimes even the easiest and mundane of daily responsibilities can be a battle. Picking up one’s dirty socks off the floor can go over as well as being asked to deep clean the entire carpet, and asking them to wash their hands before dinner might as well be asking them to wash their hands in a big bucket of gooey slime. If getting your kids to brush your teeth is up there on the list of things to do that are often like, well, pulling teeth, check out some of these popular children’s books that show them how fun and important taking care of their teeth can be!

 

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Could Your Dentures Be Making You Sick?


  It is estimated that at least 20 million Americans wear some form of denture- ranging from a partial to a full set of teeth. But despite these high numbers, many denture or partial denture wearers have not been properly trained in the care and cleaning of these dental devices. This can cause huge problems for the wearer- ranging from ‘dirty’ looking teeth to bad breath to an increased risk for illnesses. So, what can you do to make sure you or your loved ones are properly cleaning these helpful oral appliances? Keep reading to find out.

 

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Dental Cavities on the Rise


Dental caries, or as they are more commonly known, cavities. They’re those pesky little spots of decay in your teeth that form when your below-the-surface tooth enamel breaks down, causing the surface enamel to collapse, and creating a sinkhole in your tooth. But what causes cavities in the first place, and why are they on the rise?"According to recent data, cavities are increasing across every single age group in America," said Dr. Michele Simpson of Wilmington, North Carolina. "Which is ironic, because today there are more tooth care products on the market than ever before."But according to Simpson, the increase in cavities may not be entirely about hygiene."A recent study at the University of Zurich found that genetic enamel defects may be caused by not just bacteria on the teeth, but by the strength of the enamel itself," explained Simpson. "Basically, some teeth have stronger enamel than others, and those with weaker enamel have less protection against cavities."

It’s in His KissAnother surprising cause of cavities?"Believe it or not, it may be your parents," says Simpson.Simpson is referring to the numerous studies that have shown that the bacteria responsible for causing cavities can be easily transmitted between parents and children, and even children and peers. Known as "vertical transmission," the bacteria can be transmitted via saliva if the parent or person doing the transmitting has serious, untreated tooth decay. Transmission from peer to peer or sibling to sibling is known as "horizontal transmission."According to Simpson, vertical and horizontal transmission occur most frequently at a time in a child’s life when they’re at an especially high risk for tooth decay. The natural immunity to S. Mutans bacteria (the bacteria responsible for tooth decay) we develop over time has not yet developed, and the initial passive immunity passed from the mother to child during pregnancy has worn off."All it takes for vertical or horizontal immunity to pass from one person to another is a kiss or a shared cup or utensil," said  Simpson. "It really is as simple as that."Is Prevention Possible? So, what can we do to prevent this type of bacterial transmission? After all, most parents aren’t going to stop kissing their kids."I wouldn’t say don’t kiss your kids," said. Simpson. "But maybe try to avoid kissing them on the mouth if you haven’t brushed your teeth recently. Also, avoid sharing cups, straws, utensils, toothbrushes, or anything else that has been in your mouth. I know it’s easier said than done, especially when your toddler grabs your drink off the table, but all the more reason to keep current with your dental exams and maintain excellent oral hygiene between cleanings."

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Baby Teeth Offer Autism Clues


A recently released study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has found a connection between prenatal and postnatal exposure to some metals, and autism spectrum disorder, also known as ASD. Conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, the study used naturally-shed baby teeth to measure levels of lead, manganese and zinc in children with and without ASD. The study analyzed the teeth of 32 pairs of twins and 12 individual twins to control genetic influences.

To measure the metals, researchers used lasers to cut out thin layers of the tooth’s dentin, much like dendrologists do when they use dendrochronology to date tree rings. By extracting dentin in this manner, researchers can measure metal exposure at various stages of the tooth, and by proxy, the child’s development.Lead Exposure May Hold a KeyWhat the researchers found was that baby teeth from the children with ASD had higher levels of lead and lower levels of both manganese and zinc compared to the children who did not have ASD. Even more fascinating, those levels stayed relatively similar throughout the child’s development, with lead levels peaking shortly after birth. Children with ASD were also found to have lower manganese levels both in the womb and shortly after birth. Zinc levels were lower in utero among the children with ASD, but those levels increased dramatically after birth, surpassing the levels of the neurotypical children at the same stage."We are really beginning to see just how important a barometer the teeth are to whole-body health," said Wilmington, North Carolina dentist Dr. Michele Simpson. "This study is just one more glimpse into how extremely connected the different systems of the body are to each other."The authors of the study conclude that autism spectrum disorder and early exposure to certain metals may be linked, but that the key to determining why some children develop ASD and others don’t lie in how the body processes those metals.Teeth May Offer Future InsightIn addition to the groundbreaking findings regarding ASD, many in the medical community are optimistic about the possibilities that baby teeth may hold in shedding light on other developmental disorders, like ADHD."Dentin samples and dental stem cells from shed baby teeth are showing lots of promise in both understanding and treating many different disorder," said Simpson. "A recent study in England used dental stem cells extracted from baby teeth to treat children with autism and even showed improved developmental markers in areas like language and memory. It will be exciting to see what other medical breakthroughs teeth will play a role in in the future."

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Crazy Dental Myths Debunked!


  Myths, legends, and mysteries. They are as much a part of the human tapestry as proven facts. But while some, like Bigfoot and that one about getting sick from not dressing warmly enough, won’t seem to go away, here are a few of the weirdest dental-related myths that have been thankfully dis-proven over time.

Swallowed gum stays in your stomach for seven years.

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Not Sleeping Soundly? It Could Be Sleep Apnea.


According to American Sleep Apnea Association, an estimated 22 million adults in the United States suffer from the sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs most frequently in men over the age of 40 who are overweight or obese, though it has been seen in patients of all ages, weights, and genders.

There are three main types of sleep apnea. The most common type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway of the throat is blocked while sleeping. This happens when while lying down, the tongue rests on the soft palate of the throat, and like a domino effect, the soft palate leans on the throat, closing it.

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Feeling Tongue Tied About Ankyloglossia?


 

 Ankyloglossia, or "tongue tie" is a common childhood ailment that occurs when the lingual frenulum connecting your tongue to the bottom of your mouth fails to separate in utero. An estimated 3 million babies are born each year with tongue ties, and while tongue ties are found in babies of both genders, for some reason, they’re more common in boys than in girls. Furthermore, while it is unknown what exactly causes tongue tie, it can sometimes be associated with certain genetic factors. Dr. Michelle Simpson discusses what exactly a tongue tie is, and how to correct it.

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Veneers Aren’t Just for Your Teeth


 If you’re one of the 81 percent of people who believe their smile is unattractive, or the 28 percent who refuse to show their teeth in photos on social media, you could be a candidate for porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are thin porcelain strips that are fitted onto the tooth and then adhered into place. Porcelain veneers can improve the look of the color, shape and texture of the teeth. Usually placed on the front-facing surface of your teeth, veneers give you the beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of, without having to undergo lengthy procedures like braces, crowns, or dental implants.

But the benefits of veneers go way beyond just your teeth! Having a beautiful smile doesn’t just improve your appearance, it can improve your entire life! And here are the facts to back that up. 

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Keep Forgetting to Brush?


 We get it- life gets busy. No matter how old you are or what you do for a living, it can be easy to forget to do simple everyday things like brushing your teeth if you’ve already got a lot of plates in the air. Unfortunately, forgetting to brush your teeth just once a day can increase your risk for cavities, gum disease, and even periodontitis, which can lead to a lot of other dangerous problems, including tooth and gum loss, and even jaw loss. So, when we say brushing twice a day is important, we mean it!  So, what can you do if you find yourself struggling to remember that all-too-important second brushing each day? Here are some cool new ways to remind yourself to take care of your teeth!

The "Tooth" App. The tooth app is a pretty simple, free app, but brilliant in its simplicity. It has three major functions, all designed to help adults remember to brush their teeth better

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Michele Simpson DDS

Wilmington Dental Office

3317 Masonboro Loop Rd • Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28409

(910) 550-3959

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(910) 550-3959

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3317 Masonboro Loop Rd
Suite 140
Wilmington, NC 28409