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Having a Healthy Smile!

They say that the eyes are the “windows to the soul.” If that is the case, then the smile must be the doorway. Think about it for a moment. Have you ever wondered how many times you will smile or laugh in your lifetime?

In fact, a recent research program at a University found out that in a test project of 200 participants, while most people would pick another person's attractiveness by his/her eyes, what confirms the attractiveness is closely followed by the smile!

So, to add to your beauty and grooming repetoire, perhaps it is also important to see how you can maintain good oral hygiene and develop a healthy smile too!

Your Healthy Smile Guide

Table of Contents
Introduction
History
In The Beginning
Good Dental Health Care
How Teeth Become Discolored
How To Have A Beautiful Smile
Selecting A Dentist
Cosmetic Dentistry
Good to Know
Resources


Before you can begin to appreciate what the advances in modern dentistry mean to us in the modern world, we must take a look at dentistry throughout the ages.

Sumerian tablets recovered from 5,000 BC tell us that these ancient people took their dental care very seriously using the first known toothbrush. It was fashioned from a tree branch and they used it to rid themselves of "tooth worms."

Jump ahead to just 100 BC and we find a Roman medical writer named Celsus. Believe it or not, he gave treatment advice for toothaches, jaw fractures and even oral hygiene.
By the middle ages, medicine began to emerge as a vocation. Monks were the surgeons and dentists of the day because they were usually the only "educated" people in their location. They practiced from around 900 AD up until 1163 when "The Church" decided to forbade the practice.

Fortunately, barbers were privy to the knowledge once held by monks only. During that period in history, barbers visited the monasteries frequently. Monks required shaved heads then and that was a service provided by the local barber. Because of their close association, the barbers frequently assisted the monks in their medical and surgical duties. It was a natural transition for them to pick up the slack after the monks forbidden edict.

From around 1200 AD barbers eventually branched off into two separate entities. One arm continued to do routine services such as shaving, bloodletting and the extraction of teeth.

The other branch was the basis for more sophisticated medical, dental and surgical services that eventually comprised the medical community.

By the 18th Century the medical profession had fully evolved. In 1760 the earliest medically-trained dentist arrived in America from England. His name was John Baker and he probably started the first American dental practice.

Perhaps you have had an opportunity to view one of the western cowboy movie where you often see the town barber called upon to extract a tooth for an ailing cowboy. Even that is a far cry from modern dentistry. With the advances in science and dental medicine it is now possible for someone to have a total dental makeover, no matter what condition their teeth may be in.

In The Beginning
Having a healthy, white smile really isn’t a mystery but in order to understand how your smile can be improved you need to have a basic understanding of how your teeth got to where they are today.

The construction and methodology of our teeth has been the same for thousands of years. Archaeologists recently uncovered a grave that contained an Eskimo child. Due to the dry cold arctic climate, the mummy was perfectly preserved.

Using sophisticated imaging the scientists were able to obtain a perfect image of the skull. There, just below the first set of teeth, lying dormant inside the jaw lay a full set of adult teeth waiting to erupt. For our little child, that would never happen but we are able to understand the progress of dental formation.

Just as our little Eskimo child, we are all born with two complete sets of teeth. Our first set is called “primary teeth.” You probably recognize them better when referred to as our “baby teeth.”

They are called baby teeth because the first appear at around 6 months of age. You could almost call these our “practice teeth.” Their role is to reserve a spot for the permanent tooth which will begin to appear as the baby teeth are pushed up and out of the way. This onset of permanent adult teeth begins to occur when we are around 6 years old.

Even though our first set of teeth is temporary, their role in our dental life is very important. In addition to being placeholders for our permanent teeth, these baby teeth are what help us to speak and how to chew.

The first teeth to erupt are usually the four front teeth. You probably don’t remember what they looked like, but they are the most beautiful shade of white imaginable! When the permanent teeth push the baby teeth out of the way and erupt they too will be a beautiful translucent white. Teeth that dreams are made of!

Even if your child has just one, tiny little pretty white tooth, it is important that you launch him/her on their road to dental health. So, begin by brushing that little tiny tooth and all others as they begin to appear. It isn’t necessary to use toothpaste, just use plain water. It’s never too soon to begin good dental health practices.

Believe it or not, that first little tooth is just as susceptible to decay as adult teeth. One common problem connected to tooth decay in infants is called “baby bottle decay.” It occurs as a result from excessive amounts of sugar in the formula, juice or milk the child consumes. For this reason it is a good idea to switch from a bottle to a cup as early as possible for your child.

You also must not allow a child access to beverages such as this on a continuous basis. Nor should a child be allowed to roam around with his or her cup. When a child is thirsty between meal times, offer water. This will cut down on the possibility of tooth decay and train the child to drink more water, the healthier choice.

A leading cause of dental problems in children is dry mouth. Mouth breathing causes the mouth to dry out. A dry mouth provides a perfect environment for the bacteria that causes tooth decay and to grow.

Children tend to breath through their mouth more often than adults and appear to have more instances of colds, allergies, sinus infections and other nose and ear problems.
A child who sucks their thumb or blanket can also dry out the mouth. Older children who smoke or use alcohol also set themselves up for dry mouth.

You will set a habitual pattern for your child to follow the rest of his life. He or she will thank you later in life for that perpetual healthy smile and confidence that you have bestowed on him/her from early life.

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DISCLAIMER: Information on this website is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

 
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