Welcome to our protecting your molars blog post! If you have lived in Waco, Texas for any length of time, chances are you have visited the Waco Mammoth National Monument to see the remains of ancient mammoths. And you have probably been to the Cameron Park Zoo to see their modern day cousins, the elephants. African elephants are an endangered species, and of course mammoths are extinct. However, pachyderms have one distinct advantage over people, aside from their size. They don’t stop growing teeth. Throughout an elephant’s life, if a molar falls out, one will grow in to replace it, and this can happen up to 26 times! However, unlike the mighty elephant, when an adult person loses a molar, it is gone and another is not on the way.
With that in mind, you might want to give some thought about taking care of the molars you have. For starters, take a cue from the elephant. Elephants live on vegetation, and while you need protein along with your greens, it’s not a bad idea to eat a balanced diet. In fact, it’s a great idea and it is good for your body and your teeth. You can talk to Dr. Latino about the best diet for your teeth. Elephants also drink plenty of water, and may have 40 gallons at a time. 40 gallons would not do you much good all at once, even if you could drink that much. However, water does keep your mouth hydrated and clean, and fluoridated water can strengthen your tooth enamel. Your molars are designed for grinding and crushing your food so it is easier for you to swallow and digest it. To do that, they come equipped with a set of ridges known as cusps, which are very effective for chewing. However, those cusps are also great hiding places for plaque and food particles, and your toothbrush can’t reach into those spaces very well. And since you only get one set of molars to last your adult life, you should talk to us about dental sealants. Sealants are thin layers of plastic applied to the chewing surfaces of your molars which act as barriers between your tooth enamel and the harmful substances in your mouth and diet. The dentist will wash and dry your tooth, and then apply a very mild acidic solution to “rough up” the surface of your tooth. When the solution is ready, he will paint the sealant on to your tooth. When it has cured, the sealant will protect your tooth from decay, and can last up to ten years. A dental sealant is one advantage you have over an elephant. However, you will still need to brush your teeth no less than twice a day for two minutes at a time and floss at least once a day, since sealants only protect the chewing surfaces of your molars, and not the sides. The sides will still be vulnerable to decay.
It is said that elephants have excellent memories. Even if your memory is not as good as an elephant’s, make sure that you remember to contact Chad Latino DDS for a cleaning and exam and a maybe even dental sealants in Waco, Texas.