In this country alone, almost 40 million people grind their teeth, and mostly at night. The technical term for teeth grinding is “bruxism,” and if left untreated, it can lead to TMJ disorder, headaches, and trauma to the soft tissues of your mouth (your tongue and the insides of your cheeks). But perhaps the biggest danger is the damage that can happen to your enamel.
Your enamel is the hard, outer layer of the crowns of your teeth. It protects the layer directly below it, a porous calcified material called dentin, which in turn protects the pulp, the living center of your tooth. While enamel is the hardest substance in your body (and dentin itself is harder and denser than bone), it can be damaged. The damage we hear about most is from the bacterial byproducts (acids, mostly) that can accumulat
Not all dental care products have to do with brushing and flossing and various ingenious ways to dislodge that last, stubborn popcorn hull from behind your molar. When you think about it, those products really should be called dental “cleaning” products. And yes, I hear your thought forming: “But cleaning is care, isn’t it?” And you’re right, but a more basic kind of care has to do with protecting your enamel from a far more dangerous enemy.
Your teeth are covered by the single hardest substance in your body. Enamel is harder than fingernails and harder than bone. It’s designed to cut, slice, grind, and mash up a huge variety of materials with very little wear and tear. Ironically, the biggest mec
Think you have a lot of dental care products at home? It’s nothing compared to what your dentist has to have on hand, just to perform a routine cleaning. In addition to the motorized drills, pump-driven vacuums, and complicated x-ray machinery, your dentist also relies on a host of much simpler tools to examine and clean your teeth. Here are just a few of the most common.
- Dental Picks
The pick is probably the most recognizable tool on the dentist’s tray. Picks can be straight, angled, or curved, in a variety of different angles. The pick has two main functions: to scrape away any stubborn accumulation of foreign material, and to probe for sensitivity, soft spots, and unusually d