The Risks of Excessive Tooth Bleaching

Most people want whiter teeth. Instead of waiting around for their at-home whitening products to work, they overuse the product to have a whiter smile faster. This may sound like a good idea in theory, but what are the risks of excessive bleaching?
People who are obsessed with whitening their teeth, sometimes called “bleachorexics,” are never satisfied with the color. They constantly use the bleach, becoming addicted to it and using it more than necessary. This behavior can harm your teeth.
Excessive use of whitener can damage the structure of your tooth enamel. The bleaching products contain a strong peroxide agent that can hurt the nerve endings inside your tooth. The chemicals can get into your nerves through weak enamel or cracks. When the nerves become exposed to the chemical, it can cause tooth sensitivity or pain.
Too much peroxide can make your teeth have an uneven color tone and different shades. Instead of getting whiter, after excessive use your enamel will begin to turn a light bluish color.

Halloween Candy Craze

It’s October, and that means empty parking lots become pumpkin patches and crazy costumes become fashionable. This spooky holiday can be fun for everyone, but your smile may feel differently.
Why are your teeth afraid of Halloween? Because stores stock up on candy.

  • The average person eats about 24 pounds of candy each year.
  • Americans spend about $2 billion on Halloween candy each year.
  • The average household spends about $20 on candy each Halloween.
  • Americans eat about 20 million pounds of candy corn each year.
  • Candy corn is the preferred candy of the season, followed by Snickers, Reese’s, Kit Kat, and M&M’s.

The sugar from candy can stick to your teeth. Bacteria in your mouth live off the sugar to create acids that can harm your teeth. Without proper oral care, the acids contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems.
So how can you protect your mouth from the candy craze? Try giving out small bags of nut mixes, pretzels, animal crackers, or non-candy treats like stickers. In addition, there are other spooky snacks you can make that are healthy for your smile and your waistline.

  • Add an almond or piece of a fruit or vegetable to the end of a carrot or string cheese. This will create a fingernail to make healthy, freaky fingers.
  • Use nuts or raisins to build a face on a banana or hard-boiled egg, creating a ghost look-a-like.
  • Cut sandwiches into festive shapes using Halloween cookie cutters.
  • After carving your pumpkins, bake or roast the pumpkin seeds for a delicious snack.

Protect your teeth from decay all year long by limiting your candy consumption. Dr. Coon wants to encourage healthy eating habits this Halloween season. Contact Grinnell Street Dental at 307-672-7567 to schedule your dental appointment in Sheridan, WY.

Be Careful With Your Wiggly Tooth

Baby teeth fall out to make room for permanent teeth. Don’t think that just because it comes out, it doesn’t matter. When a tooth becomes loose, don’t rush to pull it out. Yanking out your wiggly tooth too early can cause infections and dental complications.
Primary teeth begin falling out between the ages of six and 14. Many children get excited when their first tooth becomes loose because they want money from the tooth fairy. While baby teeth are acceptable to pull out of your mouth, you need to wait until they are actually ready to come out. If a tooth comes out too early, the other teeth may shift into the empty space, causing crowding or spacing problems for permanent teeth.
Dentists don’t recommend playing with your loose tooth. The constant movement can damage the roots, causing complications and alignment issues for the new teeth that try to come in. Also, if you try to yank the tooth out too early, you may break off the top part of the tooth, leaving the rest impacted in your child’s mouth. The dentist will have to cut out the remaining part of the tooth.
If a tooth is ready to come out, there should be little bleeding. If gums do bleed, hold a piece of cotton or gauze on them to control bleeding. It’s also important that only children pull out their own teeth. They can figure out how the tooth is attached. If it hurts too much, your child will know and that means it’s not ready to come out.
If you have a loose tooth that shouldn’t be loose, contact Dr. Donald, Cody, or Justin Coon immediately. Permanent teeth can fall out due to gum disease and other serious dental problems.
The safest way to lose a tooth is just to let it fall out on its own. It’s important to clean the area after the tooth comes out to prevent infection and bacteria from entering the gums. Dr. Coon can tell you if your tooth is ready to be pulled out. He can pull it out for you, or tell your child the best way to do it. Contact Grinnell Street Dental in Sheridan, WY at 307-672-7567 to schedule an appointment.

Family Health and Fitness Day 2011

Family Health and Fitness Day is a national health event, always held on the last Saturday in September. The 15th annual family day will be held this year on September 24, 2011.
The health event is organized by the Health Information Resource Center. The goal is to gather families together to promote the importance of healthy lives. Your local YMCA, health clubs, and other community centers may have activities to promote good health awareness and family involvement. Some activities include health screenings, exercises, games, demonstrations, and health information workshops.
Taking care of your health is important to fight off illnesses and diseases. Also, you need to get your children involved in health awareness. Family Health and Fitness Day will teach them the importance of good health and how to maintain it.
Your oral condition is one important part of your overall health. Poor oral health can lead to excess bacteria in your mouth, causing tooth decay and gum disease. However, these harmful bacteria can also enter your bloodstream, potentially causing heart attack, stroke, complications with diabetes and pregnancy, and respiratory problems. Maintaining a healthy mouth will contribute to a healthy body.
Check your local organizations to see how you can get involved in promoting good health with Family Health and Fitness Day. You should also visit Dr. Coon every six months to make sure your family oral health is in good shape. Contact Grinnell Street Dental in Sheridan, WY at 307-672-7567 to schedule an appointment.

Fun Facts About Floss

Daily flossing is required for healthy teeth. Thorough flossing removes the plaque and food debris that your toothbrush may not. It also increases blood circulation in your gums to help prevent gum disease.
Flossing is a crucial component for a healthy smile, but it has a fair share of interesting facts, as well. Here are some fun facts about dental floss:

  • The idea for floss is credited to Levi Spear Parmly, a dentist from New Orleans, in 1815. He told his patients to use a thin silk thread to clean between their teeth.
  • Floss was commercially manufactured for the first time in 1882. Codman and Shurtleft Company began marketing unwaxed silk dental floss. Johnson & Johnson released their first silk floss product in 1896 and patented dental floss in 1898.
  • During the 1940s, the physician Dr. Charles Bass found that nylon material is better for flossing than silk. The silk often shredded when going between teeth. Nylon has a consistent texture and better resistance. Nylon led to the development of waxed floss and dental tape.
  • Proper flossing requires the average person to use 122 yards of floss per year. Sales data shows that only an average of 18 yards is sold per person each year.
  • Only 28 percent of people say they floss every day. About 73 percent would rather go grocery shopping than floss.

It comes in many forms – waxed, unwaxed, flavored, unflavored, wide, and regular. All floss works the same, but only if you use it properly. Ask Dr. Coon or one of our hygienists to demonstrating proper flossing techniques. Contact Grinnell Street Dental in Sheridan, WY at 307-672-7567 to schedule an appointment for your professional dental checkup.

How Many Smiles Do You Have?

As a baby, you learn to smile by mimicking the expressions of others. When you smile, your body sends a message to your brain that makes you and others feel good. A smile is generally defined as an upturning of the lips, but you form different versions of your smile depending on your mood and emotions. This makes it hard for others who don’t know you well to tell what you really mean when you smile.
The key to diagnosing a smile meaning is to look at the eyes. You use two different sets of muscles when you smile. The zygomatic major muscles control the mouth to enlarge the cheeks and expose your teeth. The orbicularis oculi muscles pull back the eyes to make them narrow and create tiny wrinkles.
The Genuine Smile: A true smile is formed when you express happiness and joy. It’s honest and comes straight from the heart. A genuine smile can be recognized because your eyes will look smaller, your eyebrows will dip down, and you’ll have small wrinkles in the corners of your eyes.
Smirk: A smirk shows that you are secretive. Your lips will be pressed together in a straight line and your eyes may look squinty. This type of smile makes people think you are hiding something or being sarcastic.
Friendly Smile: A friendly smile is welcoming and inviting. It’s often used for introductions when you meet or greet people and can be genuine or fake, depending if you’re actually interested in the person.
Polite Smile: A polite smile is often faked. You can use your muscles to form a smile with your mouth, but your eyes won’t have the true wrinkles of a genuine smile. You use this type of smile when you’re pretending to be interested in someone to spare their feelings.
Embarrassed Smile: Some people smile when they’ve been embarrassed or caught doing something wrong. Your head will be tilted downwards and your lips will be together. It looks innocent, makes you feel better, and covers up your embarrassment.
Playful Smile: When you’re laughing or playing, you’ll widely open your mouth and show all your teeth. This type of smile is genuine when you’re excited or having fun.
It takes more facial muscles to frown than it does to smile. If you’re embarrassed to smile and show your teeth because of your dental problems, Dr. Coon can help you restore and whiten your smile. Contact Grinnell Street Dental at 307-672-7567 to schedule an appointment.

How to Floss Properly

Your entire life, you’ve been told that it’s important to brush and floss your teeth, but why? Why are both dental hygiene measures necessary to maintain a healthy and bacteria free mouth?
The truth is, brushing your teeth only does half of the job. Yes, brushing your teeth thoroughly can remove plaque and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth, but what about the particles of food and sugar that become lodged in the dark, tight crevices between your teeth? Your toothbrush can’t reach those areas.
That’s where flossing comes in. Dental floss is designed to be pushed between your teeth to clean those tight spaces. By flossing properly at least once a day, you are removing the plaque and bacteria that hide between your teeth and escape the bristles of your toothbrush.
This is just one of the reasons why flossing is so important to your oral health.
Correct flossing is a pretty easy thing to learn, and there are two techniques to help you out.
The Spool Method
To use the spool method, take about 18 inches of floss, and wind most of it lightly around your middle finger. Then, wind the remaining floss around the middle finger on your other hand. Now, push the floss between your teeth using your index fingers and thumbs. Gently bring the floss up and down several times around both sides of each tooth, making sure to reach below the gum line, forming a “C” shape around each tooth with the floss.
The Loop Method
To use the loop method, pull off an 18-inch strand of floss, and make it into the shape of a circle. Tie the circle with three secure knots, and place all of your fingers (not your thumbs) into the loop. Next, use your index fingers to direct the floss through your lower teeth and your thumbs to direct it through your upper teeth. Again, be sure to clean below the gum line, and make the floss form a “C” shape around the sides of each tooth.
For more tips about oral hygiene and health, call Dr. Coon’s dental office Sheridan, Wyoming at (307) 672-7567.

Achieving Optimal Oral Health in Sheridan, Wyoming

As cosmetic and restorative dentists, Drs. Cody, Justin, and Donald Coon know the importance of a beautiful, fully functional smile. As dental caregivers, they know the importance of having a healthy smile.
That’s why they provide their patients with more than just cosmetic and restorative care at their dental practice in Sheridan, Wyoming. From routine dental checkups and cleanings, to more specialized treatments, including those for periodontal (gum) disease, oral infection, root canal therapy, and professional breath control, this trio of dentists care about the well being of their patients.
Your mouth is often referred to as “the window to the body,” and your oral health intensely impacts your overall health. For example, periodontal disease has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, osteoporosis, and certain cancers.
Don’t put yourself at risk. Come see us at Grinnell Street Dental for all of your dental needs, from minor restorative dental work, to porcelain veneers, and everything in between. Call (307) 672-7567 to reserve your appointment.

Diabetes and Dentistry

If you’re diabetic, it’s even more important for you to be in good oral health. Gum disease affects 80 percent of American adults, and you may not know you have it. Gum disease, clinically known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection of the mouth. In the early stages, symptoms may not be noticeable. However, mild to significant redness, swelling, tenderness, and bleeding of the gums may indicate the onset of gum disease.
Routine dental checkups are extremely important in the fight against gum disease. Plaque and hardened plaque, called tartar, are the primary causes of gum disease, and regular dental checkups, along with a quality at-home dental hygiene regiment, will protect you from the bacteria that thrive in the oral cavity.
According to, the website for the American Academy of Periodontology, “Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts diabetics at increased risk for diabetic complications. Thus, diabetics who have periodontal disease should be treated to eliminate the periodontal infection.”
The best way to determine if you suffer from gum disease is to see your dentist regularly. By evaluating your teeth and gums and measuring periodontal pockets at the gum line, an oral health professional can diagnose the disease. If you have gum disease, treatment may involve scaling and root planning, called a deep cleaning. With scaling, a hygienist removes tartar from below the gum line. During root planning, rough areas on the roots of teeth are smoothed to reduce the risk for plaque buildup. Other treatments involve topical antibiotics, laser dentistry, and, in severe cases, oral surgery. On the flip side, treating gum disease in the earliest stage can save time, money, and healthy oral tissues.
Don’t ignore bleeding gums, especially if you’re diabetic. Call Grinnell Street Dental at (307) 672-7567 to reserve your appointment with Drs. Cody, Justin, and Donald Coon.

Screening for Oral Cancer Can Save Your Life

Do you know that approximately 37,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year? It’s true, but unfortunately, it is not a problem that many people know about.
Because oral cancer is often detected in the later stages, it has a higher mortality rate than that of other health problems, including several other forms of cancer.
Drs. Cody, Justin, and Donald Coon of Grinnell Street Dental make this pledge to you: They will do everything in their power to find and diagnose oral cancer early, when treatment is most effective.
With the help of modern technology, screening for oral cancer is easier than ever. Generally, oral cancer screening devices use fluorescent lights to detect abnormalities in the tissue of your mouth. The different kinds of tissue in your mouth will appear to “glow” different colors.
Screening for oral cancer is quick and does not require any rinses, stains, or discomfort whatsoever. This, along with a traditional visual exam, is an effective process for diagnosing this debilitating, and often fatal, disease.
All adults should have an annual oral cancer screening exam. Men over 40 and women between the ages of 20 and 40 are the most prone to the disease, but it can appear in anyone, even those who have no lifestyle factors to heighten their oral cancer risk. Those who use tobacco, consume alcohol daily, have viral infections, autoimmune deficiencies, or diabetes should be screened more frequently because these habits and conditions can contribute to a higher risk of developing oral cancer.
For more information about oral cancer screening and treatment, please call at (307) 672-7567. We’re here to help you keep your mouth healthy and cancer-free.