July 20th, 2018
WE TALK A LOT ABOUT TEETH, but not a lot about your tongue. Your tongue plays a vital role in your overall oral health! Did you know that your tongue is the fastest-healing part of your body? And without our tongues, we couldn’t speak, taste, or even swallow.
Six Facts About The Human Tongue:
- The tongue is a special kind of muscle called a muscular hydrostatic. This means that it operates without any help from your skeletal structure, like an elephant trunk or octopus tentacle.
- Your tongue is a natural cleaner—it starts clearing out food on your teeth after eating.
- Not all of your taste buds are located on your tongue. About 10 percent of them are found on your cheeks and the roof of your mouth.
- Almost 50 percent of the bacteria in your mouth is on your tongue. That's why it’s important to brush your tongue for fresher breath!
- Taste buds are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Those little bumps on your tongue aren’t taste buds — they’re called papillae.
- Some people have pierced their tongues since ancient times, but there are serious oral health dangers associated with doing so, including chipped teeth and nerve damage.
Time For A Little Fun
Most of time, talking about your teeth, dentistry and oral health is pretty serious. But once in a while, we need to have a little fun...
How many licks to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?
Since 1970, Tootsie Roll Industries has received over 20,000 responses from kids around the world answering that question. Answers range from 100 to 5,000, but the average is about 700. Purdue University actually enlisted the aid of a “licking machine” to determine the answer. While the machines averaged at 364 licks, the human control group averaged 252 licks.
Now, challenge yourself with some “tongue twisters”:
Did you know that tongue twisters can help you overcome any lisping that might accompany wearing a retainer? Practice makes perfect, so give it a try!
- “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.”
- “The skunk sat on a stump. The skunk thunk that the stump stunk, but the stump thunk that the skunk stunk.”
- “Theophilus Thistle, the thistle sifter, sifted a sieve of unsifted thistles.”
Do you have a fun tongue twister of your own to share? Comment below! Our team would love to hear it!
Visit us on Facebook for more fun and office photos!
Thank you for choosing Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California.
July 13th, 2018
WHETHER IT’S DONE consciously or unconsciously, nail biting habits affect people of all ages. On the surface, nail biting may not seem like a big deal. However, fairly severe consequences can result in both oral and overall health problems. And as if that wasn’t enough, it can also cause complications during your orthodontic treatment.
Nail Biting’s Effects On Your Teeth
- Nail biting can crack, chip and wear down teeth. Your front teeth are lot different from your back teeth in terms of functionality. They aren’t designed for gnawing or chewing.
- Nail biting can shift tooth alignment and damage existing orthodontic treatment.
- Nail biting risks gum tissue damage. Bitten nail pieces can easily tear into your gum tissue increasing the risk of gum disease and eventual tooth loss.
- Nail biting can be expensive. The Academy of General Dentistry estimates that nail biters incur an additional $4,000 in future dental repairs.
- Nail biting can break your braces. The hard nail on your finger when pressed up against your orthodontic bracket with biting force could cause your orthodontic bracket to break and come loose.
Did you know that teenagers are actually the most common nail biters? While 25 percent of young adults bite their nails and only 5 percent of older adults bite their nails, as many as 45 percent of teenagers have this habit. And for teenagers with braces, it can cause problems.
Nail Biting’s Effects On Your Health
Think about the most germ-concentrated areas of your body — your mouth and hands. You can imagine what happens when those two areas are in constant contact. And when there are even tiny, tiny breaks in the skin, germs get a free hall pass to your bloodstream. Yuck.
Tips For Quitting
Maybe you’ve always wanted to quit, but it hasn’t worked yet. Here are a few tips:
- Keep your nails looking nice. It will help motivate you to leave them alone.
- Enlist friends. Sometimes it helps to have someone remind you when you’re biting.
- Notice your trigger(s). Anxious? Bored? Learn to deal with these emotions in other ways.
- Carry a nail file and clippers. If you crack a nail or snag it, you can make repairs without biting.
- Treat your nails. There are many awful tasting products — designed for this purpose — that you can put on your nails to really deter you.
Do You Have Any Helpful Quitting Ideas To Add?
Do you struggle with biting your nails? Does someone you love bite his or her nails? We hope the content of this post has helped. Let us know if there is anything else our team can do to help, or if you have other questions. If you have any tips for quitting, share them below or connect with us on our Facebook page. We’re always excited to hear from you!
Your smile and health are our inspiration.
Gorczyca Orthodontics, Antioch, California.
March 20th, 2018
AFTER FINISHING LUNCH AT WORK, DO YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH? A survey reveals that despite knowing that a healthy, attractive smile affects both personal wellness and professional image, very few people are brushing at the office.
The survey, carried out by The Academy of General Dentistry and Oral-B Laboratories, polled more than 1,000 full-time employees about their oral care habits and the importance of a healthy smile at work. Their findings were very interesting.
The Importance Of A Healthy Smile At Work
- 96% of respondents thought a smile was very or somewhat important to a person’s appearance.
- 40% ranked “smile” as the first thing they noticed about a person at work.
- 32% cited “bad breath” as their co-workers’ least attractive trait.
Office Eating And Brushing Stats
- 3/4 of respondents ate twice or more a day at work.
- Only 14% brushed their teeth!
Changing When You Brush
The sugars and starches in the food you eat can cause an “acid attack” on tooth enamel. Even after the visible evidence of food disappears, plaque bacteria continues to grow. If you don’t brush, those workday meals, snacks, and beverages stay on your teeth and can increase the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease. So brush! Let’s adjust the when of brushing just a bit, to your advantage: brush your teeth after breakfast, after meals at work, and before you go to bed.
Helpful Tips For Brushing At Work
- Leave a toothbrush at work and increase your likelihood of brushing by 65%!
- Step it up at home—the better you brush at home, the better you’ll brush at work.
- Take extra care to clean braces after (and store retainers while) you eat.
If you already brush your teeth regularly at work, do you have any suggestions to help the rest of us, who may not be as valiant? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
If you would benefit from a new toothbrush to bring with you to work, ask us at Gorczyca Orthodontics about our easy travel oral hygiene kit. Your oral hygiene and dental health is our top priority. It is important to brush after lunch, especially if you have braces, Invisalign, or retainers.
Stay healthy, happy, and brush after lunch.
See you soon at Gorczyca Orthodontics, in Antioch, California. Your smile is our inspiration.
February 16th, 2018
IS A KISS RISKY WITH BRACES? You’ll have to answer that question on your own! Once in a while we’ll hear a story about braces getting stuck when two people with braces were smooching. But there’s a more-often-talked-about concern about kissing that our practice would like to briefly address below.
Bacteria Can Lead To Increased Plaque Which Can Lead To Tooth Decay
We know it’s not pleasant to think about, but it’s true — your mouth is full of bacteria. Some of it is good and some of it isn’t. For the most part, your body (and your mouth, specifically) does a pretty good job of keeping bacteria, germs, and viruses that make their way into your mouth in check. But increased bacteria can also lead to increased plaque. Maintaining great oral hygiene habits is the very best way you can help your mouth do its job.
Kissing (with or without braces) Introduces Your Mouth To Someone Else’s Bacteria And Viruses
Now there’s no need to make this a huge cause for worry. Our team just wants to be sure that you know about the most common viruses and diseases that you could be sharing with a smooch:
- Cold Sores. Cold sores are a manifestation of a herpes virus. Even when there are no signs, it can be contagious.
- Colds And Flus. Lots of viruses are included under the blanket “common cold” term. Colds happen, but you can decrease the spread by avoiding kissing while you’re sick.
- Mononucleosis. Also known as mono, glandular fever, or the kissing disease, this is caused by a viral infection that is easily spread by saliva and can knock you out for weeks.
Yes, There Are Lots Of Kissing Positives Too
We’re not condemning kissing! Think about the benefits! Kissing increases saliva flow, which is great for your teeth and overall oral health. And of course, an affectionate peck can make you happier and strengthen relationships, which leads to better overall health and wellbeing. So don’t put the brakes on a great relationship just because you’re worried about germs! Just be smart, make sure that you maintain great oral hygiene, and that you always know who’s on the other end of that kiss.
Any Questions About All This?
We love answering your questions about ANY orthodontic or oral-health related matter. It gives us a chance to know you better. Give us a call, leave a comment below, or send us a direct message on our Facebook page. We’re always happy to discuss things with you!
Give us a call at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California (925) 757-9000.
Thanks again for the trust you place in us! We value your friendship!
October 20th, 2017
WE ALL KNOW it’s possible to catch a cold from someone who’s under the weather. Did you know cavity-causing bacteria can be passed from person to person too?
Bacteria Is At The Root Of Cavities
While sugary treats often take the blame for causing cavities, the real culprits for tooth decay are bacteria. Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus are bacteria which stick to our teeth and eat food particles left behind from our last meal, producing acids which threaten gum health and cause tooth decay. And just like cold-causing bacteria, these bacteria like to travel.
Bacteria Travels From Person To Person
Whether it’s through sharing a drink or kissing a loved one, cavity-causing bacteria can be passed from person to person the same way many other bacterial infections can. Studies have shown that “catching a cavity” is not only possible, it happens far more often than you might think.
One of the most common transmissions is from parent and child. Cavity-causing bacteria is commonly passed along to a child when a mother or father tastes food to ensure it’s not too hot or when he or she “cleans” a pacifier by sucking on it before handing it over.
Take Simple Steps To Stop The Spread Of Bacteria
What can you do to reduce your risk of transmitting these cavity-causing bacterias to someone else?
- Floss and brush frequently.
- Chew sugar-free gum—this promotes saliva production and washes away plaque and bacteria).
- Be mindful of drinks and eating utensils you’re sharing and the risks that are involved.
- Be aware of other behaviors which may spread these bacteria.
Trust Our Practice For Solutions
Nobody wants to inadvertently “catch a cavity.” Our practice is committed to providing you with the best information possible to help you create a healthy and resilient smile. If you have any questions about this, be sure to ask us! We love visiting about your orthodontic health. You can also comment below and reach out to us on social media.
Visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch California for a free oral exam and orthodontic evaluation. Call us at (925) 757-9000. Find us at the Deer Valley Dental Professional Center, 5201 Deer Valley Road, right behind Deer Valley High School.
Your smile is our inspiration.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.