DentalPlans Weekly Dental and Healthcare News Roundup


 Please Stop Brushing Your Teeth!

Most parents probably never thought they’d have to restrict their children’s tooth brushing time. But a new electronic toothbrush, released at the end of August, has proven so entertaining that kids are over-brushing.

The Sonicare for Kids toothbrush features an app in which kids earn points for properly brushing their teeth for two-minutes per mouth quadrant. A character called Sparkly encourages the kids to keep polishing their pearly whites. Those points can be used to feed Sparkly or upgrade to a cooler character. It’s easy to understand why kids just didn’t want to stop brushing. Some Type-A children even refused to go to bed at the proper time, so preoccupied were they with achieving points.

The app has been tweaked, now Sparkly swoons in exhaustion after the optimum brushing time has been achieved.

Your Dentist Is Nervous

Dental patients unsurprisingly hate local anesthetics – sharp needles and tender gums are never going to be a happy combination. And most patients say that they also seriously dislike the prolonged numbness that persists long after they’ve left the dentist’s office.

But did you know that your dentist probably hates the process as much as you do?  Nearly 1 in every four dentists says that the administration of local anesthetics is a “significant cause of professional stress.” Dentistry Today, the trade magazine for the dental profession, adds that “dentists’ stress can rise even higher when we have to be concerned about children biting or chewing their tongues or lip for at least 30 to 45 minutes after treatment.”

To deal with their anesthetic angst, dentists are eagerly embracing lasers. Sadly, early adopters who were promised they’d be able to perform anesthetic-free restorative dentistry with lasers found that they could do without the needles on 30% to 50% of the time. But more recent technology seems to be far easier on everyone’s nerves.

Coffee’s Sneaky Little Secret

Caffeine isn’t just a stimulant, it actually slows down the body’s internal clock, according to a new study published in Science Translation Medicine.

If you are brave (or crazy) enough to sip a double espresso three hours before bedtime, your body will delay producing the sleep hormone melatonin by about 40 minutes.

Think it’s silly to have a caffeine-laced drink so late in the evening? Well, that double espresso has roughly half the impact on your body clock as exposure to three hours of bright light around bedtime. If you spend your evening watching TV or mucking around on the internet, you might as well be gulping down a big cup of strong coffee.

Ready to Regrow Your Teeth?

Researchers have developed sub-micron silica particles that will act as a medical delivery service to repair damaged teeth and ward off future injury.


The research was aimed at finding ways to decrease the pain of sensitive teeth, along with strenthining teeth by promoting the growth of enamel and dentine. It turned out that the silicia particles can act as a vehicle for nearly any compound that dentists want to add to teeth.

“The dentine of our teeth have numerous microscopic holes, which are the entrances to tubules that run through to the nerve,” said Damien Walmsley, a professor at the school of dentistry at the University of Birmingham, in a press release. “When your outer enamel is breached, the exposure of these tubules is really noticeable. If you drink something cold, you can feel the sensitivity in your teeth because these tubules run directly through to the nerve and the soft tissue of the tooth.”

Previous attempts to find a substance that would repair tooth enamel and dentine include calcium fluoride, carbonate-hydroxypatite nanocrystals and bioactive glass, but all of these substances were unable to enter teeth’s tubule openings. In the lab, silica particles treated with a surface coating have been successful in penetrating teeth. The researchers believe that the particles can be used as “seeds” to restore the teeth. They also envision dentists using the particles to insert antibacterial compounds to protect teeth from decay. Call us at 1-800-238-5163 to find out about how dental savings plans can help make quality dental care affordable.


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