10 Things You Didn’t Know About Teeth

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We go through the motions of brushing and flossing without really thinking about our teeth until an imminent dental appointment. Even then, our teeth are the subjects of countless medical studies and news articles; they are sources of confidence, and sometimes, pain. They help us eat tasty food and smile—but even then, we rarely think about our teeth!

Even so, our teeth are pretty interesting, and unique to every person—did you know that no two teeth are alike? In this video, you’ll learn 10 cool facts about teeth—not only ours, but animal teeth, too!

To find out more about how to keep your teeth in top health, call us at (312) 704-5511. At University Associates in Dentistry , we are here to help keep your teeth healthy and strong for a lifetime.

Medieval Dental Health: Not as Scary as You Think

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dental history

Our modern conception of the medieval times evokes images of barbaric medical practices, knights and ladies, unusual fashion, poor hygiene and, by extension, rotting teeth. Surprisingly, medieval folk had pretty healthy teeth, bolstered not only by the era’s aesthetic preference for white teeth and fresh breath, but also by the calcium-rich diet that was prevalent during the medieval period.

Low-Sugar Diets
In the medieval era, people’s diets were relatively bland, with little to no sugar. At this time, sugar was either hard to find or astronomically expensive, so the common person turned to natural sources of sugar such as fruits and honey—and sparingly, even then. As we would discover hundreds of years later, sugar is conducive to tooth decay through the acid byproduct of bacteria as they feed on sugar remnants on the teeth. Only about 20% of teeth in a medieval person’s mouth showed signs of decay, according to archeological evidence. By the early twentieth century, sugar had become a dietary staple—but dentistry had yet to catch up to the times, and a whopping 90% of teeth showed signs of decay in some populations.

Mouth Maintenance
Medieval people ate the way they did because it was all there was to eat. But archeological evidence and historical records show that medieval people were fairly meticulous about their dental health. In what was an early form of tooth-brushing, people rubbed pastes made of salt and herbs on their teeth and gums to freshen breath and remove what would come to be known as plaque. If herbs weren’t available, medieval people rubbed their teeth with linen cloths instead. Even more surprising was that medieval people used acidic, vinegar or wine-based mouthwashes flavored with herbs and spices. And, for a quick fix for bad breath, people chewed strong, pleasant-smelling herbs. These habits helped maintain white, healthy teeth.

In those days, anesthesia didn’t exist, and the primary anesthetic, so to speak, was inebriation. As you can imagine, this was not particularly helpful, much less for the barber, who pulled teeth in addition to his other duties. Treatments for mouth cancers were just as, if not more painful: surgeons would cut out diseased tissue and then cauterize the diseased area—again, without anesthesia. When you take into account the dental “treatments” of the medieval era, it’s no wonder people took such good care of their teeth.

Here at University Associates in Dentistry , we’ve come a long way from the medieval times. We’re experienced providers of general and cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, and more. If you’re looking for dental care in Chicago, visit our website, or call us at (312) 704-5511 to find out more about what we do.

Tips for Avoiding Dental Sports Injuries

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sports dentistry Chicago

Injuries sustained during sport are some of the most common dental injuries. Damage to the front teeth, cheek, or gums is especially common among athletes. If you play sports regularly, it’s especially important to take steps to prevent damage to your teeth. Regular dental check-up and the use of protective mouth guards can help safeguard the beauty of your smile .

Dental Check-Ups
Both professional and amateur athletes should visit their dentist regularly. The dentist will be able to identify any teeth which are particularly vulnerable to injury. It is important to keep teeth strong and healthy as decaying or loose teeth are more liable to damage. Orthodontic work, replacement teeth, crowns, and bridges also need to be examined regularly to check that they are securely attached and not liable to break.

Mouth Guards
Well designed, custom-made mouth guards can protect your teeth from injury in the event of a fall, collision, or other physical trauma. Your dentist will tailor the mouth guard to fit your individual teeth and jaw. Ask your dentist to check your mouth guard regularly to make sure it is in good condition, as a crushed or damaged mouth guard will not offer full protection. In addition, some sports require use of a helmet, partly to prevent jaw injuries, which could damage teeth.

In the event of an injury, you should visit your dentist as quickly as possible. Even if a tooth has been knocked out completely, the dentist may be able to reattach it. The dentist may also be able to repair more minor damage, such as chips and scratches. To keep teeth in the best possible condition, athletes should always exercise good dental hygiene. For best results, brush and floss at least twice daily and use a fluoride mouthwash.

Chicago Blackhawks

We are the official dentist for the Chicago Blackhawks, so sports injuries are something UAD specializes in! We take care of the team, and provide many of them with mouth guards, including the ones we specially made when they went to the Olympics!

At University Associates in Dentistry we have valuable experience providing dental care to athletes. We know a thing or two about sports dentistry in Chicago! If you are a keen sportsperson, visit our website, or call us at (312) 704-5511 to find out more about how we can help you care for your teeth.

University Associates in Dentistry