Posts Tagged ‘fun facts’

Fun Facts for Kids – Dental Hygiene in the Wild

August 1st, 2017

Previously we’ve looked at the wildest animal teeth that nature has to offer, but have you ever thought about how animals keep their teeth clean?
 

Cats and Dogs

If you have a cat or a dog you’ve probably had to clean their teeth at some point with paste or dental treats to chew on. Most wild animals don’t have to worry about tooth decay, especially if they’re carnivorous predators who rip and tear at their food. That’s because they don’t eat a lot of carbohydrates and refined sugars – those tasty foods that are full of the sugars and starches that fill our mouths with cavity-creating bacteria.
 

Rodents and Rabbits

Other animals, like rodents, have teeth that grow continuously and have to be ground down by eating and gnawing on hard food. Sharks and alligators are constantly losing and growing new teeth!

If your teeth are always new it’s going to be difficult to have tooth decay. This is why otters can eat fish & eels and rabbits can eat grasses & plants (and lions can eat everyone else) without having to worry about going to the dentist!
 

Cows and Buffalo

The diet of some herbivores naturally cleans their teeth as they chew. Fibourous plants and an extended chew-time allows animals like cows to scrub their teeth as they eat.
 

Monkeys

Humans are not alone in caring for their teeth. Scientists have filmed macaque monkeys using hair to floss their teeth. Macaques living near a Buddhist shrine in Thailand even pull out visitors’ hair to use as floss! And like all good parents, these monkeys also teach their children how to floss. They slow down their flossing, make exaggerated movements, and repeat themselves while the younger monkeys watch.

Want to learn more about this impressive skill? Check out this article from National Geographic!

So remind your patients, if a monkey can brush their teeth, so can they!

 

Fun Facts for Kids – We Speak the Tooth – 3 Silly Dental Sayings to Share with Your Patients and Staff

May 2nd, 2017

Yeah, we’ve all heard them, those popular sayings that have to do with teeth. Maybe the lack of dentistry back in the dark ages made teeth quite the topic of conversation; whatever the reason, a number of ‘toothy’ sayings are still with us today and have some interesting history to go along with them.

 

1. “Long in the tooth” dates back to the 16th century and related to horses because as they age their teeth continue to grow. These changes and characteristics of their teeth make it possible to estimate a horse’s age. As an obvious reference to getting older, it’s fine to say such things about a horse, but it certainly isn’t flattering when talking about humans!

 

2. We’ve all done this at one stage in our lives: “bit off more than we can chew”. Thinking we can do it all, but actually putting ourselves in a bit of a predicament with an overloaded schedule. Funny enough this saying’s meaning is quite literal. Dating back to the 1800s when many Americans chewed tobacco, eager ‘chewers’ literally bit off too large a chunk of tobacco and couldn’t manage it, and so the saying was born. Gross!

 

3. If you’ve ever faced a difficult situation, maybe something you weren’t looking forward to or even something that scared you, you have likely used the phrase “time to bite the bullet”. Your meaning being that you are just going to do it and get it over with.

Well, whatever the situation is that is causing hesitation it certainly couldn’t be as bad as how this phrase came to be. Prior to anesthesia, the only distraction or respite surgeons could offer patients undergoing surgery was liquor and putting a lead bullet between their teeth for them to bite away the pain – YE-OUCH!!

 

What other old tooth-related sayings can you think of? Try and get your patients to think of some during their next appointment.

 

Fun Innovations in Dental Technology – Invasion of the Clones

March 2nd, 2017

Okay, maybe not so much of an invasion, more of a foray. If you have ever had the misfortune of losing a permanent tooth there are only two solutions, an implant or dentures. However, recent advancements in science have found a possible third solution.

Did you know that teeth have stem cells? These stem cells give researchers the opportunity to grow human teeth! A new technique pioneered at the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory of Dr. Jeremy Mao, Edward V. Zegarelli Professor of Dental Medicine, and a professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University can build an anatomically correct tooth in as little as 9 weeks once implanted in the mouth. Amazing, especially considering that at age 74, 26% of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

Adult teeth can now be regrown in your mouth!

A Canadian dentist must have been ahead of his time in November 2011 when he decided to buy the discolored molar of John Lennon at an auction for $31,200. His hope was that he could clone the British musician by extracting his DNA from the tooth.

Science may not be able to bring the beloved artist back… yet, but we could potentially clone his teeth. Not sure why we would want to, but then again, not sure why anyone would pay $31,200 for a tooth! The tooth fairy might have to up her rates in the future!
 

Fun Facts for Kids – Wow Your Patients with These 3 Interesting Facts about This Weird Appendage

February 1st, 2017

The tongue. Not a common conversation topic, yet such a critical part of human and animal survival. Without it, we can’t talk, eat or drink. Those are pretty important functions and in the animal world the tongue plays an even bigger role and has some pretty funky adaptations. Here are 3 weird facts that you can share with your young patients to get them interested in anatomy.

1. Most people are familiar with the chameleon; it has the longest tongue in the world in relation to its body. But did you know it has a sticky, mucus tip on its tongue that can lasso around any prey pulling the victim back in at lightning speed?

a long chameleon tongue catching a caterpillar

Hmmm, you know, we’re pretty sure we’ve seen this same technique used by moviegoers on their freshly popped popcorn. Who needs hands when you have a tongue!

 

2. Cats, giraffes, anteaters, and snakes all have tongue adaptations that enable them to groom, strip thorny bushes, dip into ant mounds, and even smell!

 

3. Nothing is as crazy as the tongue-eating isopod! It’s a critter, well a parasite actually, that targets fish by infiltrating its gills and latching onto its tongue. It not only proceeds to consume the poor fish’s tongue, but it will replace it with its own body, providing the fish with a new fully-functioning tongue it uses, albeit begrudgingly, to grind food against tiny teeth on the roof of its mouth.

an ispod tongue parasite in a fish mouth

Yikes! Maybe the phrase should be “Isopod got your tongue?” No thanks; we think we’d rather have the cat any day!

 

Humor has great uses when it comes to putting patients at ease. Using Humor with Your Patients by  states,

“Studies show that laughter brings physical benefits and releases endorphins. It also boosts the immune system, improves stamina, and can strengthen breathing. And, of course, there are emotional and social benefits too—like reducing depression or anxiety and helping us feel close with friends and family.”

So put your patients at ease and help them build a trusting relationship by injecting humor into your interactions with them during their appointments. You’ll set them up with a positive attitude toward their dental hygiene that can last their whole lives.

 

Animate the Wait – Using TV as a Positive Distraction for Kids

February 1st, 2016

Going to a dental office can seem a little scary for kids, even if you have a playful theme in place. So what else can pediatric dentists do to keep young minds from pondering scrapers and drills? There is the tried and true option of using a television.

Although television is going through quite a shift today, it has stayed relatively the same when it comes to children’s programming.

Be it the colors, characters, or the crazy sounds they make, animated television shows are still a good way to occupy a young patient’s time and mind when they don’t feel like interacting with apps on a touchscreen or playing on a slide.

Data analysis shows that the introduction of distraction conditions was associated with more calm behavior and less fine and gross movement, suggesting significant calming effects associated with the distraction conditions. Data also suggest that positive distraction conditions are significant attention grabbers and could be an important contributor to improving the waiting experience for children in hospitals by improving environmental attractiveness.

– From The Influence of Positive Distractions on Children in Two Clinic Waiting Areas
 

What are the best options for children’s programming?

If there is a television being used in a pediatric dental office waiting area it should definitely feature some fun, light-hearted, and potentially educational animated programming. Don’t just turn on the local news because that’s not going to keep kids happy. Some good television networks to look into for this are: Boomerang, Cartoon Network, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Universal Kids, and Nick Jr.

These channels have a good variety of animated programming that could keep young patients from getting too worked up about seeing the dentist, especially if visiting for the first time.

If you want to get more specific about what’s being watched, such as dental related episodes of animated shows, it’s as easy as creating a custom playlist by purchasing individual episodes through online stores like iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon Prime. This route might take more time to set up initially, but it will save money down the road.

Using this method, you can make sure the content is always in your control and maybe even teach your young patients about dentistry in a fun way.
 

These types of shows don’t only have to be restricted to the waiting areas either; they can be used on mounted monitors or tablets for kids to watch while in the dental chair to further keep their mind off of things.
 

So if you or a pediatric dental office you know isn’t doing it already, consider some animated shows or bring it up in conversation during your next visit. It’s an investment that can improve the experience of existing patients and be an incentive for new ones.