Women’s Health

What Is Dental Anxiety and Phobia?


  Some people don’t look forward to dental appointments any more than they look forward to visits to a physician. Most dental procedures aren’t painful. However, just being examined can make people feel stressed. Most people can live with having some anxiety about going to the dentist. For those with dental phobia, however, the thought of a dental visit is ... Read More »

How Often Should You Go to the Dentist?


  More than 50 years ago, examinations of people entering the military showed that Americans’ teeth were in pretty bad shape. Few people took good care of their teeth. There were no guidelines for how often you should see a dentist. Many dentists focused on fixing problems rather than preventing them. Dental and health organizations decided there was a need ... Read More »

Eight Steps to Dental Health


  It takes more than just brushing. OK, so you know about brushing and flossing. But there are other steps you should take if you want to keep your teeth for a lifetime. Some people assume they will lose their teeth as they age. That doesn’t have to happen. David A. Albert, D.D.S., M.P.H., suggests these steps to keep your ... Read More »

Parts of Your Teeth and Gums

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  Teeth A tooth is a bit like a tree — only part of it is visible, and the roots lie beneath the surface. The roots of your teeth extend into your gums and beyond into the jaw bones. Your tooth has many layers. The outer layer (enamel) is made of hard crystal. The next layer (dentin) is softer. The ... Read More »

Illustrations: How a Tooth Decays

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Healthy Tooth: Enamel is the hard outer crystal-like layer. Dentin is the softer layer beneath the enamel. The pulp chamber contains nerves and blood vessels. It is considered the living part of the tooth. White Spots: Bacteria that are exposed to sugars or carbohydrates make acid. The acid attacks the crystal-like substance in the tooth’s outer surface. This process is known as ... Read More »

Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?


  Wisdom teeth are the molar teeth in the back of your upper and lower jaws.  They are also known as third molars. A few people are born without wisdom teeth. Others have enough room in their mouths for the teeth to come in. But many of us get our wisdom teeth taken out as young adults. Often, the first ... Read More »

Tongue Piercing Not That Risky, but Things Can Go Wrong


  It’s hard to believe that certain things ever became popular. Pet rocks, for example. Shag carpeting. Sticking a needle through your tongue. But oral piercing, if not now mainstream, has at least become more common in recent years. According to one survey, 16% of the females and 4% of the males at a New York university had pierced tongues. ... Read More »

What Does ‘Sugar-Free’ Really Mean?


  Know what you’re eating. A survey done in the mid-1990s found that the average American consumes 20 teaspoons of sugar a day. That’s nearly half a cup! You may think you can protect your teeth by eating more “sugar-free” foods. In fact, almost 8 out of 10 U.S. adults consume some “sugar-free” products. But not all “sugar-free” foods are ... Read More »

Mouth-Healthy Eating

How should you protect your heart?

  If you want to prevent cavities, how often you eat can be just as important as what you eat. That’s because food affects your teeth and mouth long after you swallow. Eating cookies with dinner will do less harm to your teeth than eating them as a separate snack. Of course, overall poor nutrition can contribute to periodontal (gum) ... Read More »

Early Orthodontics May Mean Less Treatment Later


  Look at yearbook or prom pictures from the 1950s or ’60s and you’ll see many smiles framed with heavy metal braces. It’s a sight that’s less common in high schools today. Why the change? Children today tend to get braces at a much earlier age. Some patients with special problems begin orthodontic treatment at age 7 or younger. The ... Read More »