What Holiday Comes After Thanksgiving?

Yes, this is a trick question. The day after Thanksgiving is National Flossing Day, and Drs. Wager and Evans encourage you to participate. It’s perfect planning, actually. What better day to schedule a national flossing event than Black Friday? Here are five prime reasons you need to floss on National Flossing Day.

  1. You eat and eat and eat… and eat and eat and eat… then watch football… then eat and eat and eat on Thanksgiving. You’re going to have some food stuck between your teeth.
  2. Whether you shop or hang out with the family, people are going to smell your breath the day after Thanksgiving.
  3. With everything else you have scheduled between now and the end of the year, you probably don’t have time for a dental cleaning.
  4. Santa is watching.
  5. It’s cool to floss.

 

Is It Really Cool to Floss?

  • Only if you want to be a trendsetter. Studies show, 10-40% of Americans report flossing every day – and remember, people lie. The real percentage is probably closer to 10%. Another report states, 73% of Americans prefer going to the grocery store over flossing their teeth.
  • Only if you want to live longer. One study claims, daily flossing can increase your lifespan by 6.4 years. The CDC says, people with gum disease have a mortality rate that’s 23-46 higher than those who don’t.
  • Only if you want to avoid gum disease and increased risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes, problem pregnancies, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, osteoporosis, and potentially, certain cancers. Studies link all of these conditions to gum disease, and gum disease usually stems from improper oral health.
  • Only if you want to keep your teeth (don’t want to wear dentures). Gum disease is also the primary cause of adult tooth loss in our nation. (more…)

Amalgam vs Composite Resin Fillings

Fillings are used to restore teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay.

In the past, fillings were made primarily out of amalgam. This alloy, contains mercury, silver, tin, copper, and traces of other metals. Amalgam fillings have been used for 150 years. However, disadvantages of amalgam have prompted the use of composite resin, a tooth-colored, plastic alternative.

Disadvantages to Amalgam Fillings

  • They don’t blend with your surrounding teeth because they are dark metallic
  • They can corrode and leak over time
  • They expand and contract due to variations in temperature, and this causes potential fracturing of your tooth
  • They expose your body to the heavy metal mercury, which can lead to health issues depending on the amount of exposure and your level of sensitivity

Appreciating the disadvantages to metal fillings, Dr. Wager and Dr. Evans prefer using the metal-free alternative, composite resin fillings.

Composite resin fillings are made from glass or quartz filler that is added to a resin medium, making the end product natural-looking. A composite resin filling is custom tinted to match the color of the tooth in which it will reside, and it’s permanently bonded in place.

Advantages to Composite Resin Fillings

  • They look completely natural
  • They are metal-free and mercury-free
  • They are durable and can last for years

If you are interested in learning more about composite resin or amalgam fillings, or you want to schedule your dental appointment, call Dr. Wager and Dr. Evans in Reno, Nevada today by calling  775-829-7700, or visit our website at www.wagerevans.com.

Getting To Know Your Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel is one of the four major tissues that make up teeth. Enamel is the hard outer surface that protects the underlying layers. It is also the hardest and most mineralized substance in your body.

Ninety-six percent of tooth enamel is composed of minerals, while the remaining percentage consists of water and organic material. The main mineral in enamel is hydroxylapatite which is also known as crystalline calcium phosphate.

The Role of Tooth Enamel

The main role of tooth enamel is to protect the soft layer of dentin. Enamel also serves as a hard surface for chewing, grinding, and crushing food.

Enamel is semi-translucent and porous. Eating dark foods and drinking dark beverages, such as red wines, coffee, or soda, can cause the enamel to discolor and stain. Smoking, age, and certain medications also cause tooth stains. A beautiful smile is a white smile, so if your teeth are stained, consider professional, safe teeth whitening prescribed by Dr. Wager and Dr. Evans.

Enamel Erosion

Even though enamel is the hardest substance in your body, it is susceptible to damage. The food you eat contains sugars and starches, and when these components mix with saliva, they form acid. The acid extracts minerals from tooth enamel, weakening it. Then bacteria invade and cause decay, or cavities. Acidic foods, like citrus fruits, tomatoes, and carbonated beverages, also erode tooth enamel. Your tooth enamel doesn’t remain soft forever. Saliva will remineralize and re-harden the enamel within 30 minutes to an hour after you stop eating and drinking. (more…)

Don’t Play Tricks on Your Teeth this Halloween

Halloween is all about spooks and scares, candy and crazy costumes, and ghosts and giggles. It can be a fun, festive, fright night for the whole family, but your dentist may not feel the same way. Halloween has earned its spot on your dentist’s worst nightmare list.

This Halloween, the American Dental Association and the team at Wager Evans Dental want to remind you to take care of your teeth and yourself (and your kiddos) while you celebrate.

Sweets and Treats

Candy is one of the best parts of Halloween, but it’s also the number one reason why your dentist may not be celebrating with you. Sugar is the archenemy of your teeth, and too much of it can cause cavities and tooth decay, which is the most widespread childhood disease. To protect your teeth on this spooky holiday (and every other day of the year), consider the following:

  • Eat sweets with meals rather than as snacks. Saliva production increases during a meal, which helps to rinse food particles from the mouth and neutralize plaque acid.
  • Avoid sticky candies for a few reasons. First, they adhere to your teeth, keeping them in your mouth for longer. The longer your teeth are exposed to sugar, the more time the bacteria has to create acid that weakens tooth enamel, encouraging the growth of cavities. Secondly, sticky candies, such as caramels, taffy, and gummies, have the potential to damage dental work, including fillings, dental crowns, and bridges.
  • Neutralize sugar by eating foods like cheese, peanuts, and fruit. Also, chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals has been shown to reduce tooth decay because it increases saliva flow. (more…)

The Truth About Dental X-Rays

Of the following, which activities or objects expose you to radiation?

  • Living in a brick house
  • Flying in an airplane
  • Eating
  • Cooking with natural gas
  • Having an x-ray
  • Reading a book for 3 hours a day
  • Living on planet Earth
  • Sleeping next to another person
  • Smoke detectors (more…)

The Inside Scoop About Enamel Erosion

Tooth sensitivity may not seem like a big deal…that is, until you have it. The shooting pain that comes when you bite into an ice cream cone or take a sip of hot coffee is just unbearable. If you have severe tooth sensitivity, even an icy cold wind can leave your teeth in pain.

What causes tooth sensitivity? Enamel erosion might be to blame, and the same goes for tooth decay.

To understand what enamel erosion is, you first need to understand what tooth enamel is. Enamel is the hard, white coating that covers your teeth. This coating is your teeth’s natural defense system, and nature knew what it was doing when it designed the human body because tooth enamel is the second hardest naturally occurring substance in the universe, second only to diamonds! This means that it can protect your teeth from the extreme pressures, temperatures, and elements your teeth come in contact with on a daily basis.

Still, however, your enamel isn’t indestructible. While it’s unlikely that your dental enamel can chip off, it’s very likely that it can wear away, and this can happen for several reasons. In most cases of enamel erosion, acid is to blame. Every time we eat or drink, acids form in our mouths and, if not removed by proper brushing, flossing, and rinsing, can begin to eat away at our tooth enamel. Enamel erosion is often present in people with acid reflux disease and GERD because of the high levels of acid that come up from the stomach to the mouth. Frequent vomiting and consuming foods and drinks that are high in sugar and carbohydrates expose your teeth to even more acidity. (more…)

Your Teeth Are Not Tools

Everyone knows that you need to brush, floss, and go to the dentist regularly to maintain a healthy smile. Avoiding staining foods and drinks and limiting your sugar intake also contribute to a healthy and attractive smile.

What you may not know, however, is that how you use your teeth greatly impacts the health and appearance of your smile.

Do you crunch on ice? Cool it!

Anytime you crunch on a hard, solid object (whether it is food or something else), you run the risk of cracking, chipping, or otherwise damaging a tooth or several teeth, your tooth enamel, or existing dental work. Ice cubes, due partially to their cold temperature, increase this risk.

Also, because of its temperature, ice can potentially shock a nerve in your tooth, causing the need for root canal therapy.

Your Teeth Are Not Tools

Do you use your teeth to rip tags off of clothing, open wrappers, open bottles, and hold things when your hands are full? If so, you’re putting yourself at risk for severe dental damage and infection. Our teeth are meant to bite, chew, help us speak properly, and help us smile- that’s it. They’re not pliers, scissors, or spare hands.

They’re also not nail clippers. Biting your nails is one on the worst things you can do for your teeth. The pressure from pulling your fingers away from your teeth can cause misalignment, cracking, chipping, and damage to existing dental work. Also, your sharp nails (which are covered in bacteria, by the way) can scratch and cut your gums, causing an open sore in your mouth for bacteria to infect. (more…)

Soda and Your Smile

What do you call fizzy, flavored, carbonated drinks? Soda? Pop? Coke?

Whatever you call it, sodas are refreshing, tasty treats- that’s right: Sodas should be a treat, not a daily indulgence.

Soda and Your Health

Despite how tasty it is, soda is just a drink with a lot of added sugar and lot of empty calories. Drinking a lot of soda has been linked to kidney damage, weight gain, osteoporosis and bone loss, and tooth enamel damage.

As dentists, Dr. William Wager and Dr. Brian Evans care first about the health of their patients’ smiles, but they also want to help their patients lead healthy and fulfilling lives. That’s why they want to warn you against the dangers of consuming too many soft drinks.

Due to the high sugar and acid content, soda is bad for your teeth and can erode your tooth enamel, the natural protective covering on your pearly whites. These sugars easily form dental plaque, which builds up at the gum line, but the acids also break down your enamel, leaving your teeth unprotected and vulnerable. (more…)

We’re Building Beautiful Smiles in Reno!

Cosmetic dentistry. It’s in Hollywood, but in Reno? Really?

Yes. The person in front of you at the supermarket, the crossing guard at the kids’ school, and even your closest friends have probably tried some form of cosmetic dentistry. From housewives to Hollywood stars, smile makeovers are rampant – and for good reasons.

  • Emotional Benefits – With a beautiful, bright smile, you’ll feel more attractive and confident.
  • Social Benefits – A poll by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry shows that the owner of an attractive smile is considered more intelligent, friendly, and successful than others. (more…)

The Evolution of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental procedure available today. For patients looking to whiten their teeth, take years off of their appearance, and breathe new life into their smiles, teeth whitening is an easy, convenient, and effective way to do so. Teeth whitening procedures are at the top of the cosmetic dentistry popularity poll, but where and when did the desire for a bright, white smile originate?

Toothpaste got its start in ancient Egyptian when the Egyptians used a wine-based mixture to scrub their teeth. We now know that red wine is one of the leading contributors of tooth staining, along with tobacco products, coffee, and soda.

Following suit of their peers in Egypt, the Romans used human urine as the main ingredient in their toothpaste. In fact, this trend was so popular among Roman aristocracy that human urine was imported from all over the world just so the royals could have white smiles! As unappealing (and dangerous) as this sounds to us today, the Romans were on to something. Ammonia, the main chemical in human urine, has lightening and brightening qualities that are effective on our tooth enamel, which is the second hardest naturally occurring substance in the world.

Luckily, we have much better options when it comes to whitening our smiles these days. Dr. William Wager and Dr. Brian Evans, family and cosmetic dentists in Reno, Nevada, offer in-office and at-home teeth whitening to their patients. Both of these methods work, and you have the freedom to choose which method is right for you. For immediate results, in-office whitening is preferable. To whiten your teeth in the privacy of your home, you may prefer using custom whitening trays and professional-strength bleaching gel.

To find out more about teeth whitening, call Wager Evans Dental at (775) 829-7700 to reserve your appointment.