George Washington and His Wooden Teeth | Skiatook Dentist

George Washington is arguably one of our most celebrated presidents we’ve ever had. Not only a forefather of our great country, but a great leader. But his legacy isn’t just leadership achievements, it also has some interesting myths. We’ve all heard the cherry tree myth, where he famously stated he “cannot tell a lie”. But have you heard the idea that George Washington had wooden teeth? It’s true. Well, it’s sort of true.

It is no myth that George Washington had dental issues. At the time, it wasn’t tough to develop dental problems, especially in the military. And since dental technology was primitive at best, poor dental health was a general throughout his entire career. Because of these issues, he wore various sets of dentures constructed of ivory, gold and lead. Unfortunately, wood was never even an option at the time. Myth busted.

So why do we think he had wooden teeth? Well, dental scientists and historians believe it was due to the ivory set he used. As with all of us, teeth become stained over time. Because they were made of ivory, these studies lead us to believe the stained ivory gave the impression of wood.

Believe it or not, when George Washington did his First Inaugural Address in 1789, he only had one natural tooth, so the dentures were definitely necessary, and because they weren’t constructed as well as they are today, they were very painful to wear. This dental pain forced him to have a dour expression at all times. It is possible the myth was construed to make President Washington more relatable and less remote.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding dental restorations, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Owasso and all surrounding areas.

Do I Have Dental Anxiety or a Dental Phobia? | Skiatook Dentist

Dental Anxiety

For patients suffering from dental anxiety, dental appointments feel uneasy about dental appointments. But those suffering from dental phobia have a much more intense reaction. In general, people with dental phobia suffer from poorer health and tend to live shorter lives, due to the fact that poor dental health is somehow related to heart disease and lung infections, among other life-threatening conditions. So, what constitutes a dental phobia over anxiety?

Fear of pain. Surprisingly, fear of pain is much more common in adults as opposed to kids. This is most likely because adults today lived through a time when “pain-free” dentistry had not existed yet and had to go through painful dental experiences early on.

Fear of helplessness. Sitting in a dental chair is probably one of the most helpless situations out there. Add to that the use of nitrous oxide or anesthesia in certain cases and you have a recipe that’s sure to trigger someone’s fear of losing control and feeling helpless.

Fear embarrassment. The mouth is as intimate as any body part can get. Having someone poking around inside can cause a sense of embarrassment, especially if they have poor dental habits. The fact that a dentist’s face is just inches away from one’s face and mouth is enough to make people feel anxious and uncomfortable.

Whether you’re suffering from dental anxiety or dental phobia, it’s imperative to make sure your dental professional aware of these issues. Your dentist will be more than happy to help you overcome your anxiety or fear.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding dental fears, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Owasso and all surrounding areas.

Start Them Young: Flossing Edition | Skiatook Dentist

Getting our children on a good dental routine can be tricky. It takes some time to teach them to brush properly – but when does flossing work itself into the process?

Flossing should be introduced when your little human’s teeth start to fit closer together, generally between two and six. Start off by using floss that is soft so that it is gentle on their teeth and gums.

As we all know, the process itself is relatively simple. Cut a piece of floss about 18 inches long. Wrap both sides around your fingers until you have a good two inches separating either side. Pull it taut between your thumb and index finger and guide the floss in between each tooth. With a downward zigzag motion, slide the floss around each tooth to gently scrub down the spaces your toothbrush can’t reach.

Use a new area of floss for every tooth, don’t snap or flick the floss between your teeth, and always use a new piece. No particular order necessary to do it right. Work from top to bottom or vice versa. We have been taught to floss after we brush, but in fact, it is better to do it before to loosen any debris your toothbrush won’t be able to get to.

If their gums begin to bleed as you begin to teach them, don’t worry – it’s natural. Their baby gums will become stronger as they get older. If it doesn’t seem to go away, bring it up at their next dental appointment.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding pediatric dentistry, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Owasso and all surrounding areas.

Holiday Foods You Should Avoid | Skiatook Dentist

The holidays are a delicious time of year and the last thing we want to do is avoid any of the amazing treats coming our way during the celebrations. Unfortunately, not all holiday food is good for our smiles. Not only can they harm our teeth, but they can also cause them to decay. So, before you get ready to attend your first holiday parties of the season, take a look at this quick list of foods you may want to rethink:

Candy canes. When we think of Christmas sweets, one of the first things that comes to mind is the candy cane. Those delicious cane-shaped confections are not only made of 100% sugar, but they take a while to eat. Sucking on a candy cane will leave sugar in your mouth longer than necessary, making it easier for cavity-causing bacteria to dig in and cause harm.

Popcorn. Do you have popcorn garlands or make popcorn balls as gifts for your guests? While popcorn is quite festive, eating popcorn can cause harm by getting stuck between teeth and gums. If you aren’t much of a flosser, this can lead to a buildup of cavity-causing bacteria. If you love popcorn, learn to love flossing.

Eggnog. Are you one that loves to indulge in a cup or two of eggnog? Sure, it is a fantastic adult beverage, but it is also loaded with sugar and fat. Because it is a drink, eggnog coats your mouth with sugary sweetness, turning your mouth into a bacterial playground. If you drink eggnog, make sure you rinse with water to limit the sugars remaining until you can brush.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding holiday dental tips, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Tulsa and Owasso.

Moustaches and Mouths: Protect Your Face | Skiatook Dentist

It’s November, the time of year the weather gets chillier and men’s faces get hairy for a good cause. Movember is a month-long journey where men stop shaving to raise awareness of men’s health issues. Why not celebrate the month by focusing on their oral health? After all, it is a known fact that men are less inclined to watch their health in general, much less their teeth. Here are a few ways for men to embrace the attention from their moustaches and look after their dental health:

Regular dental checkups. According to research published in the Journal of Periodontology, women are almost twice as likely as men to have had a regular dental checkup in the past year. Make an appointment today. In fact, if you are athletic, ask your dentist about a mouth guard to prevent any dental accidents on the field.

Daily dental care. According to the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Dental Association, the average man is less likely to brush his teeth twice a day (49% compared with 56.8% of women), and more likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease can put you at risk for other health issues not dental-based. Brush twice daily for two minutes using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Reach every surface of the tooth and gently clean between the teeth and the gums.

Monitor your heart health. There are plenty of medications that can give you dry mouth. Saliva cleans bacteria and food particles from your teeth, so developing a dry mouth increases your risk for cavities and gum disease.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding men’s dental health, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Tulsa and Owasso.

Diabetes: What Your Teeth Need to Know | Skiatook Dentist

Having diabetes is definitely going to affect more a lot of your overall health, but one affected area you may not realize is your teeth. It’s true – not taking care of your diabetes and blood levels will likely cause more dental issues down the road beyond cavities. Because it is a blood-related disease, poorly watched diabetes can lead to oral infections.

Dry mouth is common among people with diabetes. And because saliva is important to oral health, when not producing enough, bacteria thrive, tissues can get irritated and inflamed, and your teeth can be more prone to decay. But worry not – there are lots of simple things you can do to keep things under control. After all, you have a new lifestyle now, and this is going to be an allover lifestyle change:

  • Make sure you brush at least twice a day and floss once a day
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash twice a day to help curb bacteria that can cause plaque buildup on teeth and gums
  • Check your mouth for inflammation or signs of bleeding gums and report any findings to your dentist
  • Visit a dentist for a cleaning at least every 6 months to clear up any plaque that has begun to build up

The most important thing you need to do when diagnosed with diabetes is to make sure your dentist knows that you have diabetes and any meds you take. You may even need to see a periodontist who specializes in gum disease.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding diabetic dental tips, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Tulsa and Owasso.

Thankfully, Halloween Is Only One Day a Year | Skiatook Dentist

As soon as October hits, the air turns from Indian summer to chilly Fall. And just like that, out come the cutest little ghouls and goblins waiting to trick-or-treat. Yes, the tiny humans in your family are especially excited about this sugary nightmare of a holiday and there is little a parent can do. After all, we know that too much of a sugary thing will only lead to dental issues in the future. But there is no need to deprive your child of this sweetest of holidays, just keep an eye on what it could do to their teeth. The following is a list of your child’s Halloween dental health enemies:

Sour. Sour candies can ruin your tooth enamel by combining sweet with sour for a pH level of 2.5, a level that high can cause serious damage to developing teeth so keep them clear of this fruity confection.

Sticky. It may seem fairly harmless, but sticky candy is some of the worst for teeth. Not only does the sticky texture stick to your teeth’s surface and in their crevices, but they can also loosen dental fixtures, like braces or fillings.

Gummi. Similar to caramels and other sticky candies, gummy candies also stick to the crevices of your teeth, making it difficult to remove with a brushing or a quick rinse of water.

Hard. Not only can hard candy damage teeth when bitten, but even if you don’t bite them, sucking on hard candy isn’t a quick process, making time for sugars to nestle into a tooth and cause cavities extensive.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding pediatric dentistry, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Tulsa, Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy and Owasso.

October Is National Dental Hygiene Month | Skiatook Dentist

I got a chuckle out of a saying I heard earlier this week, “You don’t have to brush your teeth. Just the ones you want to keep.” Such a funny way to phrase it, yet completely apropos. And as we celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month, we should take a moment to take a look at the way we care for our teeth. You never know – you may find out that you could be doing a better job with just a few tweaks.

The four basic dental hygiene rules you should keep in mind for a healthy grin are as follows:

  • Brushing twice a day, morning and night, for at least two minutes each session. Keeping cavity-causing bacteria from settling in your mouth will prevent future dental issues.
  • Flossing once a day, ideally before you sleep. Flossing gets in between places your toothbrush can’t, keeping your gums strong and healthy.
  • Limiting the snacks consumed, especially those full of sugar, each day. Try healthier options when available. A quick rinse with water will also clear out excess sugars.
  • Visiting the dentist every 3-6 months for regular checkups and professional cleaning. Keeping dental appointments will not only give your mouth a deep cleaning, but the checkup will point out issues that may be arising, as well as give you better insight as to what you need to do to improve your smile.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding dental hygiene, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Tulsa, Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy and Owasso.

Keep Dental Decay at Bay | Skiatook Dentist

Tooth decay is one dental issue that seems tougher to avoid than we think. Because we constantly have bacteria in our mouths, if we don’t keep up with proper dental hygiene, it is easy for bacteria to collect in our mouths and develop plaque, the main cause for tooth decay.

If you aren’t keeping up with your dental hygiene, food particles get stuck in the crevices in our teeth. Cavity-causing bacteria find this food and takes your leftovers. As they eat, they produce the acid responsible for causing our teeth to erode and decay. The more acid in our mouths, the more our tooth enamel begins to decay.

Enamel is the outermost layer of our teeth. It’s what makes our teeth look bright white and shiny. If it erodes, a person starts to feel the change in the structure of a tooth. Decay normally begins when the eroding acid reaches the pulp cavity which is the innermost layer of the teeth, which is when we begin to feel pain. This stage of decay is considered the most severe. Saliva settles in the crater that has formed in the structure of the tooth and makes the situation worse. Bad breath is a common symptom of chronic tooth decay due to the accumulation of saliva and dead food particles in the structure of the affected teeth. Keeping up with our dental hygiene is important. Our neglect is what causes our dental issues, so keep it up to avoid a dental emergency.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding tooth decay, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Owasso and all surrounding areas.

Eat Your Way to a Healthy Grin | Skiatook Dentist

Everyone wants a bright white smile, but for most it isn’t as easy as it seems. We can splurge on a professional whitening treatment, but it is a luxury we give to ourselves when our teeth are getting really dingy looking. Over-the-counter treatments are all fine and dandy, but the chemicals can be pretty rough on our teeth. So, what do we do to keep up with our sparkly white teeth? In honor of National Smile Week, let’s take a look at some things we can do at home:

Jelly or jam? Believe it or not, but there are plenty of foods you can eat that will improve your pretty smile. One of those fruits are strawberries. Yes, those sweet berries with the seeds that love to hide in between our teeth are actually great for scrubbing your tinged teeth because of its malic acid. The acid is what will remove tooth stains, so go ahead and eat them up.

Don’t say no to green. There are plenty of reasons why we eat veggies. I mean, the vitamins alone are plenty reason to indulge any time possible. Doesn’t celery look like floss? Could broccoli look any more like a toothbrush? These veggies, along with carrots and cauliflower, have teeth-friendly benefits we can’t deny. Sorry, kids…gotta eat your veggies.

Finish your milk. This one should be a given. Calcium-rich foods not only strengthen our tooth enamel, but the lactic acid contained in low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese will also help whiten your grin.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding healthy foods for your dental health, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Owasso and all surrounding areas.