My Blog

Posts for: December, 2016

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
December 24, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental injuries  

When your favorite baseball team wins, it's hard not to get excited — especially if you're right there in the stadium. It's even better when a player tosses the ball to fans. But sometimes, in the heat of the moment, things can go awry.

That's what happened during a recent game at New York's Yankee Stadium. After catching the ball that ended the game in an 8-2 Dodgers win, Los Angeles outfielder Yasiel Puig tossed it into a cheering crowd of supporters. “I saw it coming at me and I remember thinking, 'I don't have a glove to catch this ball,'” Dodgers fan Alyssa Gerharter told the New York Daily News. “I felt it hit me and I could feel immediately with my tongue there's a hole. And I looked down at my hand and saw there's a tooth in my hand.”

Ouch. Just like that, one fan's dream became… a not-so-good dream. But fortunately for the 25-year-old software engineer, things went uphill from there. Ushers quickly escorted her into a first-aid room at the stadium. She was then rushed to a nearby hospital, where the upper front tooth was re-inserted into her jaw. After a follow-up appointment at her dentist's office the next day, Gerharter said she remains hopeful the re-inserted tooth will fuse with the bone, and won't require replacement.

We hope so too. And in fact, she has as good a chance of a successful outcome as anyone, because she did everything right. If you're not sure what to do about a knocked-out tooth, here are the basics:

  • locate the tooth, handle it carefully (don't touch the root surface), and if possible gently clean it with water
  • try to open the person's mouth and find the place where the tooth came from
  • carefully re-insert the tooth in its socket if possible, making sure it is facing the right way
  • hold the tooth in place with a soft cloth as you rush to the dental office or the nearest urgent care facility
  • if it can't be replaced in its socket, place the tooth in a special preservative solution or milk, or have the person hold it between the cheek and gum (making sure they won't swallow it) — and then seek immediate care at the dental office
  • follow up at the dental office as recommended

In general, the quicker you perform these steps, the more likely it is that the tooth can be preserved. How quick is quick? The best outcomes are expected when re-implantation occurs in no more than five minutes. So if you're in this situation, don't wait: get (or give) appropriate first aid right away — it just might save a tooth!

If you would like more information about what to do in a dental emergency, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more the Dear Doctor articles “Knocked Out Tooth,” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
December 09, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

When the multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter and TV personality Jason Derulo was recently asked about his ideal woman, his answer covered a remarkably broad spectrum. "There’s no specific thing," he said, "so I think it’s unfair to say what my ‘type’ is." But it turns out that there is one thing the So You Think You Can Dance judge considers essential: A beautiful smile.

"I’m not into messy teeth," Derulo said. "If the grill has spaces and different colors, it’s not my vibe."

As it turns out, he may be on to something: A number of surveys have indicated that a bright, healthy smile is often the first thing people notice when meeting someone new. Yet many are reluctant to open up that big grin because they aren’t satisfied with the way their teeth look. If you’re one of them, consider this: Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of ways to improve your smile — and it may be easier and more affordable than you think.

For example, if your smile isn’t as bright as you would like it to be, teeth whitening is an effective and economical way to lighten it up. If you opt for in-office treatments, you can expect a lightening effect of up to 10 shades in a single one-hour treatment! Or, you can achieve the same effect in a week or two with a take-home kit we can custom-make for you. Either way, you’ll be safe and comfortable being treated under the supervision of a dental professional — and the results can be expected to last for up to two years, or perhaps more.

If your teeth have minor spacing irregularities, small chips or cracks, it may be possible to repair them in a single office visit via cosmetic bonding. In this process, a liquid composite resin is applied to the teeth and cured (hardened) with a special light. This high-tech material, which comes in colors to match your teeth, can be built up in layers and shaped with dental instruments to create a pleasing, natural effect.

If your smile needs more than just a touch-up, dental veneers may be the answer. These wafer-thin coverings, placed right on top of your natural teeth, can be made in a variety of shapes and colors — from a natural pearly luster to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Custom-made veneers typically involve the removal of a few millimeters of tooth enamel, making them a permanent — and irreversible — treatment. However, by making teeth look more even, closing up spaces and providing dazzling whiteness, veneers just might give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

If you would like more information about cosmetic dental treatments, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry — A Time for Change.”

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
December 08, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: nutrition  

Did you know that what you eat impacts the health of your teeth and gums? Learn more from your St. Louis dentists!

It obviously goes without saying that what you eat affects your overall health. Processed foods and foods high in sugar can cause some nutritionserious problems down the road. Of course, what you eat can also affect the health of your smile. If you want to stave off decay and gum disease, our St. Louis, MO, dentists, Drs. Jeffrey and Jodi Johnson, offer up a list of foods that are great for your oral health.

You’ve probably heard this since at least elementary school, but milk is meant to build strong bones because of the calcium that it contains. Calcium is not only great for the development of a strong jawbone but also teeth. Having the proper amount of calcium in your diet can protect your smile from decay and prevent bone loss. If milk isn’t really a favorite, you can also find calcium from other dairy products like cheese and yogurt. If you are lactose intolerant, don’t worry. Collard greens, broccoli, kale, edamame and figs are just some of the dairy-free options that can still help you get the calcium you need.

Your diet should also have a generous helping of crisp, crunchy fruits and vegetables, as they offer an array of benefits. Besides the obvious nutrients they offer, apples, celery and carrots can help to remove and dislodge bacteria and plaque from your teeth. Also, just the act of chewing these crunchy foods stimulates salivary production, which also aids in removing bacteria from your teeth to keep your smile healthier and cleaner.

Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins for repairing tissues and wounds, as well as fighting off infection. Not having enough vitamin C in your diet can cause bleeding gums and even leave you more susceptible to developing gum disease. Oranges, red peppers, sweet potatoes and carrots are some of the foods that are high in Vitamin C. Rather than opting for fruit juices, which often contain a lot of added sugar, go with natural fruits and vegetables to get your daily dose of Vitamin C.

We know that it’s a challenge but it’s important to stay away from sugary treats and refined carbs as much as possible. White bread, gummy or hard candies, cakes and pies, and sodas are loaded with sugar, which can increase your chances of decay and gum disease. If you do consume sugar it’s always a good idea to brush your teeth immediately after to reduce the amount of plaque.

Do you have questions about your diet and how it affects your smile? Do you need to schedule your six-month cleaning? If so, then it’s time you called our St. Louis, MO, family dental practice today. What are you waiting for?