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Why do I always get cavities?


Are you one of those people that has never had a cavity? Or maybe you’re one of those poor folks that seems to have new cavities every time you get your teeth cleaned. Why do different people experience such different levels of tooth decay?

In today’s podcast Dr. Mead talks about risk factors for tooth decay and the things you can change as well as the things you can’t change about your own individual risk levels.

Did you like this podcast? I’d love to hear about it! You can share any Mead Family Dental podcast or post with a “Like” on Facebook, a “+1″ on Google+ or you can even “Tweet” it with Twitter! All you need to do is hover over the heart shaped button next to the title of the post. Or you can leave a comment by clicking on the balloon shaped icon next to the title. Better yet, subscribe to the podcast on your iPhone so you can catch Dr. Mead’s weekly podcast automatically!

If you’re looking for a dentist in Saginaw, we’re always happy to accept new patients! You can request an appointment online or call the office at (989) 799-9133. And, as always, you can email me at alan@meadfamilydental.com. I always answer my own emails!

Cavemen didn’t need hip replacements

If you were born in the paleolithic era, you could expect to live to be 33 years old. The global average life expectancy in 2010 was more than double this number at 67 years. Advances in hygiene, food production, medical care are among the reasons for this and we should all be thankful for this.

Primitive man

His hips are the last thing on his mind.

But on the bright side for the cavemen…they didn’t need hip replacements. If you were 35 years old you were likely the oldest person in your tribe and had probably outlived everyone you’ve ever known. But you hadn’t really lived long enough to wear your joints out.

Fast forward to the United States in the early 21st century and you’ll find that 2.3% of Americans have had a hip replaced and 4.6% have had a knee replaced. More than a million joint replacements will be done this year and that number continues to grow. Hip and knee replacements are surgeries that improve a patient’s quality of life in a big way. And we Americans are all about quality of life!

I want you to picture your lower molars. Your lower “first molars” came in somewhere around 6 years old. So for that same 50 year old we talked about above, these teeth have been tolerating chewing, hot coffee, cold ice cream and the occasional unpopped kernel of popcorn for 44 years. Think about that. 44 years! How old is your car? If you’re like most people it’s probably less than 5 years old and maybe 10 on the outside. But if you’ve got your first molars, they’ve been laboring for you since you were 6 years old!

a molar that could use some help

This molar has a long life to live…if it gets a little help.

Teeth wear out, too. If you happen to be particularly kind to them (avoiding sugary or acidy foods, not grinding your teeth, not chewing ice cubes, not smoking, not drinking super hot liquids followed by freezing cold ice cream, etc.) they may well last your entire lifetime. But if your dentist tells you you’re going to need a crown, don’t feel too bad. Crowns are kind of like the knee replacements of dentistry. Dentists can give that tooth a new life with a procedure that’s a heck of a lot easier than a hip replacement! Even more…if you happen to lose a tooth, we can replace that tooth with an implant that looks and functions almost exactly like the real thing!

If you were a caveman, your first molars would have only had to last about 27 years. And since cavemen didn’t have refined sugars in just about everything they ate, most of them did just fine. You are not a caveman. Your life expectancy is very likely well over 70 years old. You are going to wear your parts out. That’s not disease. That’s the awesome nature of living twice as long as a caveman!

The next time your dentist diagnoses you with a cracked tooth that needs fixing  you shouldn’t be upset at all. Let it be a reminder that you are benefitting from all the advances that the cavemen didn’t have.

And get that crown done. Those molars have to last a long time yet!

Did you find this post all ageless? Lively? I’d love to hear about it! You can share any Mead Family Dental post with a “Like” on Facebook, a “+1″ on Google+ or you can even “Tweet” it with Twitter! All you need to do is hover over the heart shaped button next to the title of the post. Or you can leave a comment by clicking on the balloon shaped icon next to the title.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Saginaw, we’re always happy to accept new patients! You can request an appointment online or call the office at (989) 799-9133. And, as always, you can email me at alan@meadfamilydental.com. I always answer my own emails!

 

A filling or a crown?

Imagine yourself sitting in the dental chair. The dentist comes in and examines your teeth. She looks at the x-rays, takes another look at your teeth and says, “I think you need a crown here.” What is she looking for? How does she know whether your tooth could use a filling or a crown? In episode 2 of “You Know the Drill” I give a little background on how the dentists determines when a tooth a little help, or some big help!

Did you like this podcast? I’d love to hear about it! You can share any Mead Family Dental podcast or post with a “Like” on Facebook, a “+1″ on Google+ or you can even “Tweet” it with Twitter! All you need to do is hover over the heart shaped button next to the title of the post. Or you can leave a comment by clicking on the balloon shaped icon next to the title. Better yet, subscribe to the podcast on your iPhone so you can catch Dr. Mead’s weekly podcast automatically!

If you’re looking for a dentist in Saginaw, we’re always happy to accept new patients! You can request an appointment online or call the office at (989) 799-9133. And, as always, you can email me at alan@meadfamilydental.com. I always answer my own emails!

How to choose a new dentist

Let’s say you’re new to town. Or your dentist just retired. You’re looking at choosing a new dentist, but you’re not sure what you should look for. In episode 1 of the “You Know the Drill” podcast, Saginaw dentist Dr. Alan Mead talks about a strategy to help you choose the right dentist for you.

Did you like this podcast? I’d love to hear about it! You can share any Mead Family Dental post with a “Like” on Facebook, a “+1″ on Google+ or you can even “Tweet” it with Twitter! All you need to do is hover over the heart shaped button next to the title of the post. Or you can leave a comment by clicking on the balloon shaped icon next to the title. Better yet, subscribe to the podcast on your iPhone so you can catch Dr. Mead’s weekly podcast automatically!

If you’re looking for a dentist in Saginaw, we’re always happy to accept new patients! You can request an appointment online or call the office at (989) 799-9133. And, as always, you can email me at alan@meadfamilydental.com. I always answer my own emails!

Bring an umbrella

Hand with an red umbrellaI wish I could tell you that we weren’t going to ruin your makeup when you come in to see us. It would thrill me to explain to you the gorgeous new filling we’re placing can be done without messing your hair up or getting your shirt wet.

But I can’t. In good conscience, I need to tell you that we’ll probably make a mess out of you.

When I’m working on people’s teeth, I use the water spray. The spray comes out of the handpiece (aka: drill) for a couple of great reasons:

  • When you use the handpiece on a tooth to remove diseased or broken tooth structure, it generates heat. According to research, this heat isn’t great for the pulp (nerve, blood vessels, connective tissue) in the middle of the tooth. Teeth that get overheated can become injured and may need a root canal. However, when you spray water on the tooth while you work on it, you significantly reduce the heating up of the tooth structure.
  • Water spray from the handpiece also removes debris. When I use the handpiece to remove diseased tooth structure, it breaks this stuff into really tiny pieces. It actually kind of pulverizes it into a dusty powder. Without the water spray this stuff smells pretty gross and keeps me from seeing what I’m doing. If you add the water spray, this debris gets gently sucked up into my assistant’s suction.

So please understand, I’m not using the water spray to mess up your makeup on purpose. In fact, you may want to skip your hair and makeup until after your dental appointment. We have a lovely bathroom with flattering lighting that you can use to put yourself together, if you like. Also, I won’t be offended if you bring an umbrella or shower cap in. I get it.

Did you find this post all wet? Entertaining? I’d love to hear about it! You can share any Mead Family Dental post with a “Like” on Facebook, a “+1″ on Google+ or you can even “Tweet” it with Twitter! All you need to do is hover over the heart shaped button next to the title of the post. Or you can leave a comment by clicking on the balloon shaped icon next to the title.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Saginaw, we’re always happy to accept new patients! You can request an appointment online or call the office at (989) 799-9133. And, as always, you can email me at alan@meadfamilydental.com. I always answer my own emails!

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