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Monday 9:00am - 6:00pm

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Phone: 989-773-3560

900 E Bellows St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858


 

In Dr. Egger’s first February blog we addressed some issues with tooth enamel. Despite being the hardest tissue in the human body (yes, it’s harder than bone), tooth enamel can still be broken down. That’s what the acids secreted by bacteria in plaque do, they begin to demineralize the enamel. That means the acids are pulling calcium and various phosphates out of the tooth enamel, which weakens it in that spot. Now the acids can penetrate the enamel; this is tooth decay, and you have a cavity.

So, the goal is to protect your tooth enamel, so that it can keep on protecting your teeth. That’s what good home hygiene does by brushing and flossing away plaque that builds up on your teeth during the day. The bacteria in plaque eat the bits and pieces of food that remain in your mouth and they then excrete acids. Brushing and flossing removes this, but if you don’t brush or don’t do a good job, the plaque remains along with its accompanying acids and potential to begin the process of tooth decay.

Fluoride is the best way to protect your enamel and keep it strong. Fluoride in toothpaste, mouthwash, and where it occurs naturally in foods and water help to push calcium and phosphates back into the enamel, known as remineralization, and this keeps the enamel in tip-top fighting shape, ready to take on all bacteria on the teeth.

In February’s first blog we also talked about toothpastes and mouthwashes that claim they can rebuild lost enamel. That’s a bunch of hooey. Enamel isn’t living tissue, so it can’t regrow. Once enamel is lost, it is lost for good. We all lose enamel over our lifetimes of chewing and biting. It just naturally thins. But there are a couple things you can do with the foods you eat and drink to minimize this thinning.

You are what you eat and drink

You want to preserve your enamel, and you can help on this front with what you eat and drink. There are various foods and drinks to watch out for. Carbonated sodas have lots of acid in them. Sweets don’t have acid, but they are loved by bacteria that love the sugars.

Fruit juices, especially lemon juice, can be extremely acidic. Drinking too much juice can break down your enamel in two ways. First, the acid breaks down the enamel. Second, once you drink the juice, it softens your enamel just a bit, and then when you brush your teeth that adds extra abrasion, which also degrades your enamel.

One way you can lessen this is by drinking acidic beverages with a straw. This pushes the fluids to the back of the mouth and away from your teeth. Plus, after that glass of orange juice, rinse with some water and this will neutralize the acid.

Another helpful hint is to chew sugar-free gum. This boosts the production of saliva, which washes the teeth and contains minerals to strengthen the enamel. Plus, some brands contain xylitol, which counteracts the acid in foods and beverages.

Now you know — it’s better to take care of your enamel than to wait for some false promise from a toothpaste to rebuild it. That can’t happen. Plus, keeping your twice-yearly appointments with Dr. Egger and our team is equally important to keeping your enamel and teeth healthy and strong. Is it time for your next appointment? Call us at (989) 773-3560 to make your appointment.

Everyone knows that healthy tooth enamel is key to healthy teeth. But what if your enamel has thinned? Are you saddled with a lifetime of rotting teeth and dentures? In the last year or two, you’ve probably seen the ads claiming that this toothpaste or this mouthwash can actually regrow enamel that has degraded. Is this true?

Too good to be true.

Once enamel is gone, it’s gone for good. So, for our February blogs let’s get into the reality of why it’s so important to protect your enamel with good hygiene and twice-yearly visits to Dr. Egger and not put your faith in falsely hyped dental care products.

Enamel is tough, but not invincible.

Enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body. That surprises most people. But it makes sense. Tooth enamel has the tough job of protecting the interior tissues of the teeth, where the blood vessels and nerves reside. That’s what decay does: it works its way through the enamel and into the dentin of the tooth. And when decay is left untreated, it can get through the dentin into the pulp of the tooth. Now there will be some serious pain, as the nerves in the tooth are exposed to the infection.

If you take care of your teeth with good home hygiene and twice-yearly professional cleanings and exams with Dr. Egger and our team, your enamel will hold up. But it will thin over time. A lifetime of chewing, biting, and eating and drinking acidic foods and beverages can wear away some of the enamel protecting your teeth. That’s why the teeth of older people start to look more and more yellow. Tooth enamel is actually translucent, so as it thins more and more of the dentin (the second layer of the tooth) shows through. And the dentin layer is yellow.

But the commercials say I can rebuild my enamel…

OK, so your enamel has thinned. You’ve squeezed lemon in your tea every day of your life and its acidic properties have broken down the enamel. But on TV you just saw an ad touting the ability of this toothpaste and that mouthwash to actually rebuild your enamel. So, no big deal about the degraded enamel, right?

Wrong. Tooth enamel is tough, but it’s not living tissue. Because of that it cannot regenerate. Yes, it seems commercials are playing hard and fast with the truth by saying you can rebuild your enamel. But if you listen closely to their claims, they skirt around the truth. They are basically saying they can “remineralize” the enamel, which is much different than rebuilding it.

Mineralization is key to healthy teeth. It is what prevents decay. Teeth are constantly gaining and losing calcium and phosphates in processes known as demineralization and remineralization. Acids in foods and secreted by bacteria draw out calcium and phosphates from the teeth — demineralization — and this leads to tooth decay. Toothpastes and mouthwashes with fluoride help to put those elements back into the enamel, which strengthens it. That’s why fluoride is so important in these products, and that’s why deceptive or outright misinformed claims made by “anti-fluoride” websites are so harmful for dental health.

In February’s second blog, we’ll get into this enamel issue a little more. Until then, if you need to make an appointment with Dr. Egger for your twice-yearly professional cleaning and exam, call us at (989) 773-3560.

Every day your toothbrush does hand-to-hand battle with that enemy of tooth enamel, plaque. It’s a thankless job that, like in the movie Groundhog Day (whose namesake is just a couple days away, by the way), starts over again the next morning.

And what do you do to say thanks to your trusty toothbrush? Stick him away wet in a dark drawer, don’t allow him to do his job properly, and keep him in the fight long past his retirement date.

Yes, you overlook your toothbrush.

But you need to give your bristled pal some love. After all, your toothbrush is the best way to head off all of the horrors of gingivitis, periodontitis, and the like.

Dr. Egger, being Mt. Pleasant’s plaque-fighting superhero, would like to remind you of some things about your toothbrush.

Toothbrush care

A dry toothbrush is a ready toothbrush, ready to fight plaque. Damp toothbrushes can be breeding grounds for germs, fungus, and bacteria. If allowed free reign they continue to build up to levels that would scare a biologist. But when your toothbrush dries between uses, almost all of those germs go and sleep with the fishes. When you’re finished brushing, let tap water run through the bristles, then store the toothbrush in an upright position so that the air can dry it out.

And, while Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, you may want to keep your toothbrush and that of your partner from hooking up. It’s not that we’re haters, it’s just that cold and flu viruses can jump from one toothbrush to another, if they’re touching while in the drawer. A toothbrush holder will keep them separate. Let them send Valentines to each other if need be.

How often to change your toothbrush

Some people keep using their toothbrush until the bristles are flattened like an armadillo on a Texas highway. Bad idea. Dr. Egger wants you to change your toothbrush every three months. Studies have shown that after three months of normal use, toothbrushes are no longer nearly as effective at removing plaque. This is because the bristles become bent and they break down, losing their effectiveness when getting into the tough spots.

And if you’ve just recovered from a serious cold, flu, or mouth infection be sure to change your toothbrush. The germs can lay low, hiding in the bristles, waiting a chance to re-infect you.

How long should I brush?

If you’re a slacker brusher, this may seem like an eternity, but you really need to spend two minutes brushing twice each day. To make it easier, think just 30 seconds for each quarter. Make sure to brush your tongue, the roof of your mouth, the pockets down along your upper gums. Two minutes. Set the timer on your phone.

See how easy that was to treat your toothbrush with some respect? Call Dr. Egger at (989) 773-3560 to schedule your next cleaning.

Ah the Internet, that breeding ground for whackos to spread lies, innuendo, and various conspiracy theories.

Fluoride has its fair share. When it first debuted in public water supplies in the 40s, it was decried by the John Birch Society as a Communist conspiracy to control our minds. Interestingly enough, the first municipal test of fluoride was done just about 85 miles from little old Mt. Pleasant in Grand Rapids. Nearly eighty years later, there are more technologically advanced crackpots, now with unfortunate websites, fomenting false information about fluoride poisoning.

But Dr. Egger and his team are big fans of fluoride for its role in preventing tooth decay. Here’s some information to set the record straight about this ubiquitous dental mineral.

What is it and how does fluoride protect your teeth?

Your mouth is like a busy mine with minerals coming and going all the time. Demineralization and remineralization are the terms for the processes where your tooth enamel adds and loses necessary minerals. Demineralization is the problem. Minerals are lost from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids, formed from the bacteria in plaque and sugars in the mouth, attack the enamel. Fortunately, when you eat foods and drink water, minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate remineralize the teeth. The balance is what’s important. Too much demineralization without remineralization results in tooth decay.

Another thing the anti-fluoride groups don’t mention is that fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water, like it or not. It helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth enamel more resistant to those acids from bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride also has the cool effect of reversing early cases of decay. For kids under 6, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth. This makes the teeth resistant to the assault of acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also speeds remineralization and disrupts acid production in the mouth.

Some stats

Despite the rumors about fluoride poisoning us, research shows its benefits. A Cochran review published in 2015 found that when fluoride was introduced into the water supply of a municipality:

  • Children had 35% fewer decayed, missing, or filled baby teeth.
  • There was a 15% increase in children with no decay in their baby teeth.
  • The proportion of children with no decay in their permanent teeth rose by 14%.

Sounds like the benefits of fluoride far outweigh possible poisoning, which occurs only with massive levels of fluoride that aren’t really attainable in the real world (unless you eat fluoride like candy!).

When is fluoride the most beneficial?

It was originally thought that only children benefit from fluoride, but new research shows that topical fluoride from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments are important to help adult teeth fight decay. For children, it’s long been known that children between 6 months and 16 years need fluoride to help build their teeth.

Fluoride at Dr. Egger’s

 At Dr. Egger’s practice, we provide our younger patients with fluoride varnishes or gel mouthpiece treatments to help strengthen their enamel. We can also do this for adults on request, which is a good idea if you don’t have the strongest enamel in the world (and have had many cavities to show for it).

Is it time for your next exam and professional cleaning? Call us at (989) 773-3560 to make your appointment.

If you’re over the age of 40, it’s unlikely you made it through childhood without having at least a couple cavities and their corresponding silver amalgam fillings. Want proof? Over 90 percent of adults over 40 have at least one filling in a permanent tooth.

But most of us think that was it — surely adults don’t get cavities. Those are the domain of kids and their developing teeth. With our bulletproof adult enamel, we don’t worry about cavities, right?

Wrong. Adults can still get cavities, but the causes are typically different than when kids get them.

What causes cavities in adult teeth?

There are two main culprits behind adult cavity development.

Receding gums — Whether due to gum disease or overly vigorous tooth brushing, your gum tissue can become swollen and begin to pull upwards off your tooth roots just a bit. This recession exposes those roots. Unlike the surfaces above the gum line, roots are not protected by enamel. Instead, they are covered by a softer material known as “cementum.” Enamel is great at fighting decay; cementum, not so much. This makes exposed tooth roots more susceptible to plaque and decay.

We’ve talked about periodontal disease in this blog often. It’s not that we want to beat our patients over the head with it, but gum disease is unfortunate because it is almost always preventable. All it takes is good home oral hygiene and keeping your twice-yearly visits with Dr. Egger for professional cleanings and exams. We spot some early gum irritation and alert you to it before it becomes any big deal. Receding gums would be one of those telltale signs, and if we spot it we can help you reverse it. This works to avoid both gum disease and cavities developing in the tooth root.

Failed fillings — Since virtually all adults have at least one or two fillings, this is the second source of adult cavities. That’s because existing fillings don’t last forever. As a filling weakens over time, it tends to fracture and the seal between the filling material (usually silver amalgam) and the tooth loosens. This opens the door for bacteria to accumulate in the cracks and crevices. When these bacteria ingest food particles and sugars left in your mouth after eating, they secrete acid. When they do so in the space under a loose filling, that will lead to new decay in the tooth.

As with gum disease, this decay is usually preventable. The key is good home hygiene coupled with seeing us twice each year. When we are examining your teeth, we test all of your existing cavities. That’s why Dr. Egger pushes and prods your fillings when you are her: he’s testing the filling to see if the bond is still strong. If it feels loose, we can replace the filling and avoid new damage from decay. But if we don’t see you that decay can make its way down into the interior of the tooth. Now you’re entering the realm of real pain, as the bacteria begins to come in contact with nerves in the interior the tooth. And you’ll need a root canal to save the tooth. Uh oh.

So, now that we’ve thankfully put the awful year of 2020 behind us, let’s not bring any new adult cavities into the New Year. Call Dr. Egger at (989) 773-3560 to schedule your next regular cleaning and exam.

Halitosis.

If you’ve ever seen a Listerine commercial you know that word. It’s the fancy term for bad breath. Everyone is afraid they have bad breath and don’t know it. You head to a meeting or other social situation and wonder how your breath is. That’s why the grocery and drugs stores have shelves overflowing with bad breath remedies. Of course, many of them only mask the problem temporarily. That may work fine when your bad breath is of the “Doritos Nacho Cheese” variety.

But when your bad breath is more regular, there can be other causes to blame, such as lax home hygiene. Although this oddest of years won’t involve the same number of usual holiday get togethers, you’re sure to see at least some added family members. Since Dr. Egger wants all of our patients to have happy, healthy mouths, and happy spouses, partners, and friends who have to be in close proximity to you, here’s some things to know about bad breath.

What’s behind bad breath?

There can be many reasons a person’s breath is, uh, less than the minty fresh.

  • Food — When food is being broken down, this can increase bacteria in your mouth, and this can create bad breath. Eating certain foods, such as onions or garlic, can also cause bad breath. Once you eat those types of foods, they are digested and can enter your bloodstream, where they are carried to your lungs, and, you guessed it, your breath.
  • Cigarettes — Smoking itself causes stale breath. But it also increases the risk of gum disease, which is another source of foul breath. 
  • Poor home hygiene — If you’re a lazy brusher and flosser, odds are you have bad breath. Food particles remain in your mouth, creating odors. Plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth throughout the day, needs to be removed by brushing and flossing daily. If you don’t, the bacteria start to irritate the gums and eventually cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that are like little hot tubs for bacteria to party…and create bad breath. 
  • Dry mouth — Saliva is important in your mouth, helping to cleanse it and remove food particles. If you have dry mouth, your decreased saliva production can lead to bad breath.
  • Infections in the mouth — If you’ve had wisdom teeth removed or other surgical wounds in the mouth, these can cause bad breath. But as long as they don’t become infected, this is only temporary.
  • Other mouth, nose, and throat conditions — Your tonsils can become inflamed and covered with bacteria. That will make for some bad breath. Chronic sinus infections and the like will do the same.
  • Other causes — Taking some medications can contribute to dry mouth, which contributes to bad breath. Certain metabolic disorders and cancers will cause breath odor, as does acid reflux disease.

Now you know why your breath may be a little more than stale. The first key to good breath is good home hygiene: brushing twice daily for two minutes and flossing. Beyond that, keeping your twice-yearly appointments with Dr. Egger and our team for your cleanings and exams is important. Is it time for your next appointment? Call us at (989) 773-3560 to make an appointment.

At Dr. Egger’s office we’re all big fans of preventive dentistry. While we can treat pretty much anything that goes wrong with your oral health, we’d rather just see you every six months with healthy happy teeth. In past blogs we’ve addressed how to take care of your teeth, how to brush, how to floss, etc. There are other things you can do to head off tooth decay before it ever gets a foothold, so this blog let’s get into those.

Preventing tooth decay

Almost all food has sugar of some sort, whether it tastes sweet or not. Plus, every mouth is teeming with bacteria. Together, they can spell decay, that five-letter dental swear word you don’t want to hear. Acids are produced when bacteria eat sugar. Those acids are the culprits that break down the mineral content in the enamel of our teeth, allowing bacteria into the tooth. Once bacteria gain a foothold in a tooth, this starts the process of decay that results in a cavity, and if not treated, far more heinous dental issues. If left untreated, tooth loss, gum disease…it’s not pretty.

That’s why we want you to come see us at our Mount Pleasant offices twice each year for your professional cleanings and exams. Six months is about the time it takes for decay to take hold, if accompanied by sloppy hygiene. Minimal decay is removed and the affected area, the cavity, is filled. That makes the tooth healthy and decay free again. If not treated, the decay can progress, ending in gum and nerve damage. Even more severe decay will result in extraction of the tooth. But tooth decay is easily preventable with brushing, flossing, use of fluoride toothpaste, refraining from an overly sugar-filled diet, and regular checkups with us.

Tooth sealants

Our molars, the heavy lifters of chewing, have depressions and grooves in them where food and bacteria can hide out. Think of crevasses in your teeth, if you’re into glaciers. Genetics are usually behind these deep pits, but it can be virtually impossible to get all the food particles out of teeth like that. Because you can’t get everything out, decay forms. A recent study found that 88 percent of cavities suffered by U.S. children formed in this fashion. Sealants can give you a way to fight back. Sealants are made of acrylic resin and are used to fill the fissures and pits in your molars, keeping out bacteria and food particles. After curing, sealants are almost as hard as your teeth, so chewing is unaffected. And they can last for decades.

Fluoride

Although some crazed paranoids think fluoride is a Communist conspiracy to poison our water supply, most sane people understand the power of fluoride. Fluoride has been scientifically proven to significantly reduce tooth decay. In fact, communities with fluoride added to the water supply have a 50% decrease in tooth decay in children. In addition to fluoridated water and toothpaste, there are also fluoride supplements and fluoride gels or varnishes that we apply to our younger patients’ teeth.

As an interesting side note about fluoride, Grand Rapids was the first city in the world to add fluoride to its municipal drinking water in 1945. On the other end of the preventive dentistry spectrum, here in little old Mt. Pleasant a ballot initiative in 2004 ceased water fluoridation in our fine city. One year later, we wised up and voted this time to put fluoride back into the water supply. The second vote was 63% for and 37% against fluoridation.

OK, now you’re fully armed to fight off tooth decay. But you’re not overdue on your twice-yearly cleanings, right? Call Dr. Egger at (989) 773-3560 to make an appointment.

It’s amazing at how one story that questions something can gain traction without earning it. Take the story in 2016 that touted how there wasn’t any research out there that showed using dental floss improved your oral health. It based this wisdom on the fact that there had not been any studies in which volunteers were randomly assigned to two groups, a floss group and a no floss group, to see what happened.

That’s probably because for a study like that to be effective, it would have to last at least a decade and it would need a lot of people. It would probably be pretty hard to find enough people willing to not floss at all for a decade to just see what happens.

By the way, there have never been any randomized control studies of smoking either, likely for the same reasons, but there’s not much question if it’s good for you or not.

Regardless of what people say on the internet (who wouldn’t think a vaccine that prevents polio wouldn’t be a good idea?!!), Dr. Egger wants his patients to know that flossing your teeth once every day is a good idea. Well, at least if you don’t want to get gum disease and lose all of your teeth one day.

Here’s why.

Removes 40% of your plaque

Research has shown that flossing does about 40 percent of the work required to remove sticky bacteria, or plaque, from your teeth. You know that plaque stuff — bacteria eat the food stuff left on your teeth, which generates acid, which is what causes tooth decay, and which irritates the gums eventually leading to gum disease.

Each of our teeth has five surfaces. If you don’t floss, you are leaving at least two of the surfaces unclean, with the plaque just sitting there. Flossing is the only way you can get into the space between the teeth to remove any leftover food particles and bacteria.

But don’t just take Dr. Egger’s word for it. What about the Department of Health and Human Services? It says, “Flossing is an important oral hygiene practice. Tooth decay and gum disease can develop when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth and along the gum line. Professional cleaning, tooth brushing, and cleaning between teeth (flossing and the use of other tools such as interdental brushes) have been shown to disrupt and remove plaque.”

What about the American Dental Association? It says, “Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach. Interdental cleaning is proven to help remove debris between teeth that can contribute to plaque buildup.”

OK, so maybe you shouldn’t take the advice of the leader of the anti-vaccine movement, a former Playboy bunny, when deciding whether to vaccinate your child against rubella. And maybe you shouldn’t take the advice of some bogus internet story that says flossing doesn’t do anything for your oral health.

Dr. Egger’s just sayin’.

Is it time for your next cleaning and exam? Call Dr. Egger at (989) 773-3560 to schedule your appointment.

Enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body. You probably didn’t know that. But it’s also porous, which is why our teeth stain when we eat raspberries and drink red wine.

Enamel covers the crown, the part of the tooth that’s visible above the gumline. It is translucent, so you can see right through your enamel to the main portion of the tooth, the dentin, beneath it. The dentin is where your tooth color is dictated, whether it be white, off white, grey, or yellow.

Enamel is the protector of our teeth, so Dr. Egger’s a big fan of it. Here’s some things to understand about how you’re treating or mistreating your enamel, and how that could be a big mistake.

The job of the enamel

Enamel protects your teeth during daily use. It stands up to teeth grinding and eating hard foods, and it insulates the teeth nerves from potential temperature extremes in foods or drinks, and to the impact of some chemicals such as the alcohol in mouthwash.

Enamel is one tough customer, standing up to all off the above, but it can be damaged. It can crack or chip, but unlike bone cells, enamel has no living cells so once it is damaged the body cannot repair it.

Erosion, the long-term enemy of enamel

Although your tooth enamel is tough, like the granite on the shores of Lake Superior, it can be eroded over time. Acids are the usual culprits. Here’s a list of enamel eroders:

  • Fruit drinks (fruits have various acids, some very erosive)
  • Excessive soft drink consumption (high levels of phosphoric and citric acids)
  • Too much sugar and starch in the diet
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Acid reflux disease
  • Medications like aspirin and antihistamines
  • Genetics
  • Environmental factors (see below)

Environmental surface erosion

Friction, stress, general wear and tear, and corrosion can all combine to grind off the enamel from your teeth.

  • Attrition — Grind your teeth at night? This tooth-to-tooth friction is called attrition.
  • Abrasion — This is the wear that happens when you brush too hard, bite hard objects such as fingernails and pens, or chew tobacco.
  • Abfraction —This is basically a stress fracture of the tooth caused by flexing or bending of the tooth.
  • rrosion — This is the name for acidic contents hitting the enamel. Frequent corrosion takes off enamel.

How do you know the enamel has eroded?

There are various ways to tell your enamel has eroded. Sensitivity to sweets and temperatures can cause twinges of pain in the early stages. As it progresses, your teeth become discolored as more of the dentin is exposed. As enamel erodes the edges of your teeth can become rough and irregular. Severe sensitivity will come in the late stages. Also, cupping, otherwise known as indentations in the teeth show enamel loss.

Beyond your home hygiene, Dr. Egger is the keeper of your enamel. He can spot early signs that you’re doing things such as grinding your teeth at night, which degrades your enamel and endangers your teeth.

Is it time for your next regular exam and cleaning with us? Call (989) 773-3560 to schedule your appointment.

Everyone likes to check out statistics. And since people who are usually stats freaks — baseball fans — have been deprived much of their livelihood this bizarre spring, at least we can check out some statistics on dental health.

Don’t smirk. Dr. Egger loves these statistics more than Al Kaline’s career batting average or on-base percentage.

Toothy Statistics

OK, who’s been on the naught/nice list and not seen Dr. Egger or another dentist within a year?

  • Percentage of children aged 2-17 years with a dental visit in the past year: 84.9% (2017)
  • Percentage of adults aged 18-64 with a dental visit in the past year: 64% (2017)
  • Percentage of adults aged 65 and over with a dental visit in the past year: 65.6% (2017)

Seeing Dr. Egger every six months is key to a happy mouth full of healthy teeth. Skipping just one of these appointments is basically just asking for future big-time trouble with your teeth. Fun things like root canals, bridges, extractions, and gum disease

Who has a cavity that they’re not having removed and a filling placed?

  • Percent of children aged 5-19 with untreated dental caries (decay): 16.9% (2013-2016)
  • Percent of adults aged 20-44 with untreated dental caries (decay): 31.6% (2013-2016)

OK. This stat’s not funny. Untreated tooth decay leads to the bacteria eventually make its way into the inner tooth and causing an infection in the tooth. Now the tooth is going to need a root canal just to save it from extraction. Or, if left alone, the person is headed toward full-on gum disease and a lift of dentures. Leaving a cavity in a child’s tooth is putting them behind the curve on a lifetime of less-than-stellar dental health, and that’s not cool for a parent.

What percentage of adults have all their teeth or none of their teeth?

  • Percentage of adults aged 20-64 who have all of their permanent teeth: 48% (2011-2012)
  • Percentage of adults aged 65 and over who have none of their teeth: 19% (2011-2012)

Do you floss? Tell the truth.

  • Percentage of people who floss daily: 30% (2016)
  • Percentage of people who floss less than daily: 37 percent (2016)
  • Percentage of people who never floss: 32% (2016)

Come on, people. Flossing isn’t difficult. It isn’t painful. It takes about 20 seconds. Dental floss can be minty fresh, should you choose. Floss isn’t an exercise in “whatever.” Flossing is very important to break up and remove the bacteria that are hanging out between your teeth and aren’t adequately removed by tooth brushing. You up your odds of decay taking hold in a tooth when you don’t floss, so Dr. Egger’s hoping his prized patients aren’t in that 69% who only floss sometimes or not at all.

Is it time for your next cleaning and exam with Dr. Egger? Call (989) 773-3560 to make your appointment.