It’s hard to imagine that human teeth have changed throughout history, but they have. Some of our earliest human ancestors — the people who were people before the Homo sapiens existed — dating back seven million years had remarkably different dentition than we do today. While some early hominids, such as Australopithecus afarensis, had the same number of teeth as we do, they were spaced differently due to differences in the size and shape of the jawbone.
Despite these differences in structure, it was thought that early humans didn’t consume nearly as much hard, woody plant matter (like seeds, nuts and shells) as they could have. But new research points to quite the opposite — that tougher plant matter made up a large portion of early human diets without causing painful or undue wear and tear on the earliest hominids’ teeth.
Raising kids is busy work. Parents of infants know how easy it is to get caught up in the day-to-day routine of ensuring baby is happy, healthy and developing properly. Moms and dads of toddlers and preschoolers are always on the go, seemingly doing it all with little to no sleep. Parents with school-aged children are swept up in spirit days, snack duty and extracurricular activities, while parents of teens may be left wondering where all the time went as they tackle broken hearts and college entrance exams.
Something about the start of a new calendar year is powerful. It’s a time when many choose to create new habits and refocus on those they may have lost touch with. Some opt to go to the gym, while others vow to renew their mental health. Many who make New Year’s resolutions fear falling out of the habit quickly and “failing” at their goals for the year — often as a result of setting too lofty or broad of a goal. While creating a resolution to take better care of your teeth and gums this year may seem broad, there are real, easy and actionable steps you can take to meet your goal of having a brighter, healthier smile this year.
Over 20.2 million adults struggle with a substance use disorder. Whether it’s a battle with addiction to illicit substances or inappropriate usage of prescription medication, it’s a problem that almost certainly affects you or someone you know.
Recovery from substance use disorder isn’t a linear path — some people enter recovery and stay sober their entire lives. Others experience many setbacks along the way. When it comes to managing pain, those grappling with addiction and substance use disorder often struggle. Fortunately, health care professionals like dentists are seeking new and innovative ways to help prevent and manage pain.
Botox is almost synonymous with smoothing unsightly forehead wrinkles, but this well-known beauty treatment has other uses that could help you live your best life, too. Instead of using the injections to merely fight signs of aging, more and more people are opting to go under the needle in the name of fighting pain at the unlikeliest of places: their dentist’s office. Botox is used as a treatment for the pain and discomfort associated with temporomandibular joint disorders (also referred to as TMJ or “lockjaw”).
Dentistry has, at times, been accused of being archaic and draconian. Indeed, it can seem like dental care stays the same as the rest of the world marches on — but that’s simply not the case. The implementation of painless dentistry practices or new teeth-whitening methods and the move from conventional braces to Invisalign are advances worth talking about.
How you look as you age is determined by a number of factors largely out of your control — genetics, environmental exposure to hazards and toxins and underlying health issues, to name a few. Along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there are a few things you can do to ensure you age like a fine wine, rather than an organic banana relegated to the bottom drawer of the fridge. One of those things is making sure your teeth and gums are well taken care of.
The animal kingdom is full of delightful smiles that put any movie star’s grin to shame. Some animals definitely smile to express emotion — primates like apes, monkeys and chimpanzees come to mind — but the jury is still out on the grins of other animals and whether they’re deliberately intended to convey happiness like ours. Still, these stunning smiles are some of the best in the animal kingdom.