Fluoride: Good or Bad?

fluoride for dental careAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fluoridation of drinking water is ranked among the ten greatest public health achievements of 20th century America. However, a quick search of the internet tells us that fluoride is actually toxic if ingested in large enough quantities. So which is it? Do the health benefits outweigh the negatives of fluoride in toothpaste and drinking water? We at Brewer Family Dental know that Lexington folks care a great deal about their health, so we’ve put this article together to examine the facts and help you come to your own decision. As always, we are happy to answer any questions you might have, so feel free to give us a call (859) 554-4799

Why Use Fluoride in the First Place?

In order to understand the controversy, we must first to understand what led to putting fluoride in toothpaste and water. Even today, dental caries (tooth decay) is considered the most prevalent chronic disease in children and adults. With that in mind, it’s not hard to understand why Grand Rapids, Michigan took a leap in 1945, becoming the first city in the world to fluoridate its drinking water supply. The hope was that fluoridation would dramatically reduce the amount of tooth decay in children. After 11 years, the National Institute for Dental Research validated that hope, announcing that fluoridation had coincided with a 60% drop in the rates of tooth decay. Fast forward to 2000 and roughly half of the country’s water supply is fluoridated.

How Does Fluoride Work?

Fluoride aids in the protection of teeth by preventing decay in two ways:

  • Fluoride keeps plaque-based bacteria from producing decay-causing acid.
  • Fluoride remineralizes, or repairs, areas of teeth that have been damaged by decay.

Is Fluoride Dangerous?

As Mark Twain is famous for saying, “too much of anything is bad…” That is certainly true for fluoride. Too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis, a condition that permanently stains and pits the enamel of the teeth. More serious complications, such as skeletal fluorosis, can occur as well. In extremely high doses, fluoride can even cause death. The important thing to know is that fluoride’s popularity has led to its inclusion in more than just water and toothpaste – namely juice, soda, food, and pesticides.

Moderation is Key

As long as fluoride doesn’t exceed the EPA regulated 4mg/L, research suggests that the benefits outweigh the potential complications. The trick is monitoring your fluoride intake from all sources, not just water and toothpaste. However, there are plenty of anti-fluoride activists that advocate for removing fluoride from all sources.

What’s Dr Brewer’s Position on Fluoride?

Like most other dentists, Dr. Brewer recommends that Lexington residents use fluoride toothpaste, but reminds us to rinse thoroughly. If you have any questions about fluoride or would like to chat about anything dental, don’t hesitate to give Brewer Family Dental a call (859) 554-4799!

Sources

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/products/how-much-fluoride.htm
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/products/fluoride-free-toothpaste.htm
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00056796.htm
http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/DentalCaries/
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/54577-too-much-of-anything-is-bad-but-too-much-good
http://fluoridealert.org/articles/kennerly/

Posted in Dental Health

Are You Singing the Toothache Blues?

home remedies for toothaches in Lexington KYAre you or a loved one suffering from the toothache blues? Don’t wait around in pain for the problem to resolve itself. Although, at Brewer Family Dental, we do enjoy spending quality time with our patients, we don’t want any Lexington residents to have to undergo dental procedures that could have been avoided. A toothache can be a sign of a much more serious problem that should be addressed immediately, but there are a few things you can do at home, in the meantime, to get temporary relief from toothache pain: Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health

Replace Missing Teeth – Dentures & Dental Implants

So you’re missing a tooth—or a few!

replace missing teeth Lexington KY

An apple a day will not take care of this one, unfortunately. It’s time to consider dentures or dental implants. A variety of personal and practical factors will determine which solution is best for your new smile. Don’t feel lost among all the pros and cons of choosing a tooth-replacement plan. Brewer Family Dental in Lexington is an experienced practice you can trust to  help guide you on your journey from missing teeth toward a complete, natural, and healthy smile.

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Posted in Dental Services

I’d Rather Have a Root Canal

root canals in Lexington KYHave you ever heard someone say, “It was worse than a root canal?” Most of us in Lexington are used to hearing root canals compared some genuinely unpleasant circumstances, but Dr. Brewer would like set the record straight and talk about how root canals can do some serious dental good. As always, we are happy to answer any questions you may have, so please feel free to give Brewer Family Dental a (859) 554-4799.
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Posted in Dental Health

Need a Tooth Extraction? Don’t Be Afraid!

tooth extractions in Lexington KYWe’ve all had a toothache at some point at some point or another. While you should always consult your Lexington dentist, it’s not always a serious problem. Often, the issue can be fixed with a filling or a root canal. However, many Lexington residents have found themselves in a situation where the tooth is not salvageable, and the only solution is for Dr. Brewer to perform an extraction, or remove the tooth. Today, Dr. Brewer at Brewer Family Dental would like to talk about what you can expect from an extraction and why it’s not something to fear!

Pulling Teeth isn’t like “Pulling Teeth” Anymore

Just like root canals, tooth extractions have a pretty bad reputation. Many Lexington folks may refer to something difficult by saying it was, “like pulling teeth.” However, Dr. Brewer will be the first one to tell you that the technology and techniques of modern dentistry have made the process of extracting a tooth fairly simple and with minimal discomfort to the patients. As long as you take it easy after the procedure and follow the guidelines, you’ll be back to normal in a just a few days.

Reasons for an Extraction

Preserving your natural teeth is always a priority at Brewer Family Dental, but in some cases an extraction is unavoidable. Here are some of the conditions in which an extraction might be necessary:

  • Infection: If one of your teeth has an infection that extends to the pulp and could not be cleared up with a root canal and antibiotics, removing the tooth might be the only way to keep the infection from spreading. An extraction may also be required if the threat of a serious infection cannot be otherwise dealt with.
  • Gum Disease: Infections stemming from gum disease weaken the support structures for teeth. Advanced gum disease can cause teeth to become so loose that extraction is the only safe option.
  • Crowding: sometimes the arrangement of teeth does not perfectly fit the size or shape of the mouth. Severe cases, such as a tooth’s inability to erupt due to crowding, may require extraction. Pulling a tooth might also be necessary to prepare for an orthodontic appliance.

If you think you might need to have a tooth removed or would like to learn more about extractions, feel free to give Dr. Brewer at Brewer Family Dental a call today at (859) 554-4799.

Sources

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/pulling-a-tooth-tooth-extraction
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dry-socket-symptoms-and-treatment
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-extraction

Posted in Dental Services

The Benefits of Composite Fillings

tooth fillings in Lexington KYTraditionally, dentists have used what’s known as amalgam, or special metal alloys, to fill cavities. However, modern dental medicine has advanced to the point that Dr. Brewer can offer Lexington patients a much better option for filling holes caused by tooth decay: composite fillings. At Brewer Family Dental, we would like to educate you on the benefits of tooth-colored, composite fillings, so please let this article serve as your personal fillings fact sheet.
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Posted in Dental Services

DDS vs. DMD: A Dental Degree Breakdown

What is a dds or dmd in Lexington KY?If you are looking for a dentist in Lexington, you may have picked up on the fact that there are two types of dental degrees – DDS and DMD. Perhaps you’ve noticed that there are far more of one than the other, or maybe they are split 50/50. Either way, you’re probably wondering what the difference is, and how this will affect your dental care. At Brewer Family Dental, we love to spread the word about all things dental, so here are the facts, straight from Dr. Brewer.

The Difference Between DDS and DMD

You have the right to know what training your health care professionals have received so that you can choose the best fit for your needs. Most Lexington folks know there are specialties in dental medicine, such as orthodontics (braces), periodontics (gums), and cosmetics, but what about the degrees? Don’t worry, Dr. Brewer has even known dentists that are still confused about this.

So what is the difference between the two degrees, anyway? The short answer is…exactly one letter. Both DMD and DDS indicate that an individual is a certified doctor of dental medicine. Although there are subtle differences in curriculum within and between the two degrees, the American Dental Association considers them identical. Anyone with a DDS or DMD is qualified to practice general dentistry.

Why Are There DMDs and DDSs?

Now that you know the shocking truth about degrees in dental medicine, you might be asking –  why the distinction if they’re exactly the same? Another short answer…Harvard. Before 1867, the DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) was the only dental degree available. However, Harvard only offers degrees in Latin, so they came up with Dentariae Medicinae Doctor (Doctor of Dental Medicine, or DMD) when they opened a dental school that same year.

The Take Away

Now you know, there is no difference between a DDS and DMD dental degree, the distinction only lies in the hands of the university from which the doctor received their degree. Good to know!

Whether you are searching for a new dentist, or your curiosity just got the best of you, we hope that this article has quenched your thirst for dental degree knowledge. If you have any questions or would like to vent about the silliness of DDS versus DMD degrees, please give Brewer Family Dental a call!

Sources

http://www.1800dentist.com/dmd/
http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/dds-dmd
http://www.drsimonrosenberg.com/d_m_d__versus_d_d_s_.html

Posted in Dental Health

5 Common Dental Myths: Fact or Fiction?

Myths about dentists Lexington KYWhen it comes to ridiculous beliefs on dental hygiene and treatment, we’ve heard just about everything. However, the most dangerous ones usually aren’t quite so over the top. Unfortunately, a number of dental myths are floating all over Lexington, so Dr. Brewer is here to put an end to the misinformation. Don’t feel bad if you have believed one or more of these at some point, you’re not the only one, but do make sure to give us a call at Brewer Family Dental if you have any questions or concerns. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health

Diabetes and Oral Health: What Your Dentist Sees

diabetes linked to oral care Lexington KYIt’s no secret that diabetes is a health condition that must be treated because of the problems it can cause throughout the body—including in your mouth.  Consider that nearly 26 million children and adults in the U.S. who, according to the American Diabetes Association, have diabetes. Lexington dentist, Dr. Brewer wants you to know the side effects diabetes can have on oral health.

When people with diabetes experience high glucose levels, those levels could also be helping bacteria thrive—causing major problems for their teeth. Some diabetics have chronic inflammation and infections in their mouths.

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Posted in Dental Health

Why Wisdom Teeth are Not So Wise

wisdom tooth extractions Lexington KYMost Lexington folks have had some exposure to the concept of wisdom teeth. Perhaps you have had yours removed, are considering a removal, or Dr. Brewer has just shown you an X-Ray with the infamous third molars creeping into view. It’s common to hear patients ask how they are removed, but we rarely hear people talking about the reasons for getting rid of wisdom teeth. Today, we at Brewer Family Dental are going to explain what wisdom teeth are, why they don’t deserve to stay in your mouth, and how we can help! As always, feel free to call us with any questions or concerns.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of adult molars. Unlike the rest of your adult teeth, they appear many years later, typically between the ages of 17 and 25. Most people get four wisdom teeth (one in each back corner), but some get fewer, some get more, and some lucky folks never get any. Despite their name, wisdom teeth do not confer any special knowledge or enlightenment upon their owners. They just happen to show up later in life than the rest.

Why Get Rid of Wisdom Teeth?

There are two basic reasons we remove wisdom teeth – they are impacted (stuck in the gums, jawbone, or both), or they are likely to become a problem. The general idea is laid out below. Make sure to check these out before getting too excited about the potential for extra chomping power.

They don’t actually do anything!

There is no special value that wisdom teeth can provide. A full set of 28 adult teeth is just the right amount for proper chewing and speaking. The more the merrier may be a popular them in Lexington, but it does not apply to teeth. In fact, research suggests that our brains (and thus, skulls) expanded so rapidly that we no longer have big enough jaws to support wisdom teeth with any real functionality.

They can cause more trouble than they’re worth.

Let’s say you’ve become attached to your wisdom teeth in much the same way they are attached to you, and decide not to remove them. You may end up without any problems, but it’s important to understand what could happen. Wisdom teeth rarely come in straight, they usually disrupt the alignment of other teeth, and they are almost always accompanied by a hearty helping of pain.

Removing them early on is safer and easier than letting them stick around.

If complications are already present, they will most likely get worse with time as the bone grows and solidifies. This means that they can exert more pressure on surrounding teeth, are more difficult to remove, cause more pain, and can even create new complications. For example, in rare cases, the root of a wisdom tooth can wrap around the jawbone and abscess.

At the end of the day, it is best to consult with Dr. Brewer to figure out the optimal course of action for your unique situation. If you or your child’s wisdom teeth are coming in without any problems, it may not be necessary to remove them. However, only an X-ray can provide the information necessary to make the right call. If you do need one or more teeth removed, don’t panic! We at Brewer Family Dental will help you get the care you need! Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisdom_tooth
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/wisdom-teeth
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/news/20050505/wisdom-teeth-removal-often-unnecessary
http://www.livescience.com/27529-missing-wisdom-teeth.html

Posted in Dental Health

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2505 Larkin Rd #102
Lexington, Kentucky 40503

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