A love song to teeth, a singing dentist, tattletale teeth, the perils of not flossing, and how teeth have solved another historical mystery, all in this edition of the :DentalPlans dental news roundup.
Let Me See Those Chompers!
If you’re in the mood to listen to a musical homage to teeth, check out this video of Josh Simkowitz’s song “Chompers.” Known as Chaucer, the Palm Beach, Florida native is known for corny comedy songs such as “Achoo, Achoo (I Don’t Know What to Do),” and, “Abraham Lincoln Ate Carbs, and So Will I.”
“Chompers (Let Me See Them),” was filmed at a friend’s house in West Palm. Chaucer told the Miami New Times that “My buddy, Ates Isildak, directed it. It was all his idea. I said no party scenes, no bands playing, and no lip syncing. We argued a bit, and then he got me to lip sync.”
Want To Keep Your Teeth? Floss!
The NY Daily News has a lovely story on the importance of flossing. A young reporter who never flosses asked dentists for their input on not-flossing. The dentists were not gentle with their feedback.
Do you need to floss? It depends on whether you want to keep your teeth or not,” said Dr. Matthew Messina, a spokesman for the American Dental Association. “It’s not sexy, but it works.”
“Dr. Timothy Chase, a dentist at SmilesNY, threw some no-flossing worst-case scenarios at me, ranging from the simply embarrassing and uncomfortable (bad breath, needing dental implants to replace the teeth falling out of my rotting gums) to the downright scary (heart disease, Alzheimer’s and pregnancy issues like premature births and low birth weight that studies have linked to gum inflammation).”
The conclusion: the reporter intends to start flossing ASAP.
Manhattan’s Singing Dentist
Dr. Gerald Curatola says that singing to his patients as he works calms them down and helps him to do his job better.
“Dentistry isn’t just about ‘drill ’em, fill ’em and bill ’em,’” Dr. Curatola told the New York Post. “I’m an integrative dentist, treating the mind, body, spirit . . . Fear of dentistry is a real thing.”
His only problem? Anesthesia.
“When they’re asleep,” Curatola says, “you lose your audience.”
Teeth Solve a Historical Mystery
“It is one of the most dramatic and controversial tales in British history – how two young princes were murdered by their dastardly uncle so he could claim the throne for himself.” The poor kids were locked up in the Tower for ages until they vanished from history, surfacing only after their remains were found in the Tower of London in in 1674.
At least that’s what historians thought, until now. An examination of King Richard III’s teeth shows no evidence of hypodontia, a hereditary condition that results in one or more (up to five) missing permanent teeth. One out of every 18 people in Europe have the trait, but Richard III did not. Therefore, he is not related to the remains found in the Tower of London. Some historians now argue that Richard III may never have murdered his nephews, others say that this only proves the bones – interred with reverence at Westminster Abbey for centuries, belong to two random Anglo Saxons.
Another thing that teeth can reveal about you after you’ve passed on is how much sunshine you were exposed to in your life. We’re not talking about teeth that tan, obviously. But if you don’t get enough vitamin D, your teeth develop abnormalities under the enamel, creating an ongoing record that can later be read like the rings of a tree.
“(your teeth are) essentially fossils in your mouth,” said Bonnie Kahlon, a researcher at McMaster University in Canada, whose team recently completed a healthcare study that focused on teeth. Scientists have used bones to try and track historical vitamin D deficiency, but bones “remodel” themselves in life and break down in death, while teeth continue to tattle on you centuries after you’ve been gone.”
Those Wacky Wisdom Teeth
Speaking of missing teeth, while most people typically get the standard set of four, about 9 to 30 percent of Americans of European descent will only produce 2-3 wisdom teeth. And about 11 to 40 percent of African Americans and Asian Americans will also develop fewer than four. Who is most likely not to have the full set? The Inuit population of Alaska and Canada, 45 percent of the inuit didn’t develop four wisdom teeth.
But 2.1 percent of the population develop more than four wisdom teeth, which are referred to as fourth molars, typically in the top jaw. For yet more fascinating facts on wisdom teeth, go here.