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.

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.

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.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream | Skiatook Dentist

We love ice cream any time of year, but especially during the summer. The heat is unbearable and a quick way to cool down is to enjoy a chilly treat like ice cream or a fruity popsicle. The issue is, the sugar intake involved in making these frozen concoctions can definitely cause some dental issues if you over-indulge.

It truly is a shame that ice cream is bad for our teeth – it’s just the thing to beat the summertime heat. But the sugar turns into food for plaque, and plaque is the beginning stages of future dental issues, like cavities and tooth decay. The more sugar you have on your teeth, the easier it is for the plaque to feed on it. If you have poor dental hygiene, it will surely lead to a dental visit in the future.

The good thing is, there are frozen treats you can have that are not only good for our diet, but also good for your teeth. There are thousands of recipes that not only use fresh foods, but are also easy to make. One of the best ideas is frozen fruit ice cream. Freeze some bananas chunks and strawberries overnight. Strawberries have malic acid, which helps remove teeth stains. Throw it in a food processor and blend until smooth. Use more strawberries for a sorbet, more bananas for a creamier texture. But that’s it – just frozen fruit and you have a healthy sugar-free treat for everyone!

If you have any questions or concerns regarding summertime 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.

Quick Ways to Relieve a Toothache | Skiatook Dentist

Vector cartoon sick tooth. Decay and destroy tooth.We use our mouth for so much of our daily life, when in pain, it’s so much worse. Generally, a toothache can be remedied with a quick trip to the dentist, but what if the dentist isn’t close by, or you’re waiting for an appointment that is days away? In honor of National Toothache Day (Feb. 9), it is important to know there are some things you can do at home to help ease your pain until you can get in a dentist chair…

NOTE: Make sure you aim any of these remedies at the tooth in pain for utmost effectiveness. And if you choose a rinse, do NOT swallow it. They are cleaning out the bacteria in your mouth, so it’s best not to ingest it.

Rinses. There are a few things you can swish around in your mouth, but they may not be the greatest tasting options. Warm salt water, hydrogen peroxide, a shot of alcohol, tea tree or oregano oil in some warm water are all options to relieve some tooth pain.

Cotton balls. Soaking a cotton ball in vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, tea tree or oregano oil, or baking soda with some water will soak into your sore tooth for optimal relief.

Everyday foods. It may not entice you to soak your tooth in some less than tasty options, so there are lots of different foods you can chew on that will help tooth pain. These foods include: ginger root, garlic, onion, cucumber, potato, and plantain.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding toothache relief, 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.

Dental Emergency: When It Hurts to Brush Your Teeth | Skiatook Dentist

Vector cartoon sick tooth. Decay and destroy tooth.There are many times in life we are faced with a dental emergency. From toothaches to broken or missing teeth, having pain in our mouth isn’t exactly a rare occasion. When it gets bad, we make an appointment to see a dentist. But what do we do while we are waiting to see them? Pain management is generally done with pain medications and/or icing the area, but what if it hurts to brush your teeth as well? Most will bypass the extra pain until our appointment, but there is something you can do to keep up your dental hygiene while you wait… 

Skip flossing. Sometimes flossing can increase the pain, especially if the pain is being caused by something is stuck inside one of your cavities, stabbing you from the inside. If it hurts too much to floss, then it’s not worth it.

Use your finger. Your fingers won’t hurt as much as a brush might. Apply a little bit of toothpaste on your finger and smear it around your teeth, then spit it out. Something is better than nothing.

Rely on the rinse. If worse comes to worse and both of these suggestions hurt too much, rely on rinsing your mouth out with water, after every meal. It will help to clean your teeth as far as clearing out any loose debris. It’s not ideal, but leaving any residue on your teeth gives bacteria more time to move in on your teeth, causing cavities.

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

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

Halloween: A Parent’s Least Favorite Holiday | Skiatook Dentist

77739226There are many that believe Halloween is the greatest day of the year. Tricks, treats, monsters and ghouls – there is so much to love about this most imaginative of holidays. That is, unless you’re a parent. Not only do you try year-round to keep your child healthy, one day a year everyone around you tries to thwart all your efforts by tempting your child with deliciously sugary confections. Depriving your child of this scary holiday isn’t the cool thing to do and won’t score you any parenting points with your little ones, but you can let them have your fun while still keeping an eye out at the same time.

Trick or treating is basically the best part of Halloween for a child. And even you know that candy is delicious. So how do you keep your cool parent points while also being the responsible parent at the same time. Many parents try to limit their child’s candy intake by having them choose a certain amount of candy from their tremendous haul, some reserve candy to certain times of the day or as reward for good behavior. Why not just weed out all of the really bad sweets? The following is a list of your child’s Halloween dental health enemies:

Skittles. Skittles may let you “taste the rainbow”, but they are also letting you ruin your teeth’s enamel by combining sweet with sour for a pH level of 2.5. A level that high can cause serious damage to your little one’s teeth so keep them clear of this fruity confection.

Twix. Candy may be bad for us in general, 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.

Swedish Fish. Similar to caramels and other sticky candies, gummy candies could be considered the same type of animal, only fruity. The gelatin used to make the gummy candy gummy, also sticks to the crevices of your teeth, making it difficult to remove with a brushing or a quick rinse of water.

Jolly Rancher. I hate to say it. This one is a tough pill to swallow because they are just so deliciously addicting. But sadly, Jolly Ranchers are probably enemy #1 for your teeth on this spooky holiday. Not only are they a hard candy that can damage teeth when bitten, (and let’s face it…who doesn’t like to chomp on them?) but even if you don’t bite them, sucking on hard candy isn’t a quick process. It takes a while for hard candy to dissolve in the mouth, making the time frame for sugars to nestle into a tooth and cause cavities extensive. They are a definite favorite, but for the sake of your child’s teeth, keep those fruity hard candies at bay.

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 and Owasso.

Why Do I Have Wisdom Teeth? | Skiatook Dentist

Dental AnxietyIt’s almost a rite of passage into our teenage years. A painful one but a rite of passage nonetheless. The insane development of our wisdom teeth. Also known as our third molars, wisdom teeth got their nickname because of their impeccable timing. Right after we think the most awkward time of our lives is over, between the ages of 17 and 25. Their arrival is rarely met with celebration because it is almost a miracle if they don’t come in sideways, or impacted, and make your mouth a hot spot for pain because they are affecting the surrounding teeth and bones. Similar to a spleen, they are considered vestigial organs because they serve no useful purpose.

So why do we have them if they are so useless? Why must we deal with this unnecessary pain? One theory involves the evolution of our diet and our brains. If you think about it, we haven’t always had this advanced diet. Our ancestors didn’t have today’s foods available. Their food was tough and when they ate it, it would break down their teeth, even causing eventual tooth loss. All that chewing is hard on the teeth & jaw, so we naturally developed a much stronger, larger version to accommodate our needs. These changes in the jaw allowed for more teeth, and in turn, caused the evolution of our brains. With our diets today, the extra teeth are unnecessary. So again, our brains changed and grew larger and our jaws shrank. Unfortunately, someone forgot to send the wisdom teeth the memo that they were no longer needed. They stuck around and now we have this awful pain as we slowly end our growing up and enter into adulthood.

The first thought is, get them out of my mouth stat! This is so painful!!! And, generally, this is the way it all plays out. But there may be something to consider by leaving them in, or at least getting rid of them completely. Research in Japan conducted at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology discovered that the pulp inside the molars contain the highly sought-after mesenchymal stromal cells, similar to those found in bone marrow. What does that mean? Well, if we continue to make these improvements in the medical field regarding stem-cell research, in the not-too-distant future, we will have a way to create our own body parts. So your wisdom teeth, if stored in a preserved state, could serve as your own personal stem-cell bank. So if you happen to lose a tooth, you may even be able to grow your own replacements!

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

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