Dr. Tanya Orr, DDS
6880 W County Hwy 30A
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

Fun Facts About Ancient Dentistry

Although modern dentistry is a fairly new field of study, which includes advancements in the prevention and treatment of a variety of oral health ailments, humankind has experimented with dental techniques since the prehistoric era. Here are some fun facts you may not know about ancient dentistry!

Did You Know?

  1. Neanderthals cared about their teeth
  2. A study done in 2017 concluded that Neanderthals had very basic forms of cleaning tools for their teeth.

  3. Ancient Egyptians used dental prosthetics
  4. Dental prosthetics were most likely used to enhance the appearance of mummified bodies and prepare them for the afterlife.

  5. In ancient Mesopotamia, tooth extractions were used as punishment
  6. One of the first documented forms of written law, The Code of Hammurabi, mentions tooth extraction as a form of punishment.

  7. The first dental filling was made of beeswax
  8. It was discovered in Slovenia and dates back 6,500 years!

    Aerial view of a honeycomb covered with bees that make beeswax

  9. Ancient Greek scholars studied an early form of dentistry
  10. Hippocrates and Aristotle observed and wrote about dental problems and potential solutions, including rudimentary ideas for treatment on what we now understand to be gum disease and tooth decay.

  11. Beginning in the Middle Ages, barbers would be the ones to take out teeth
  12. In Europe, tooth extractions were commonly performed by barber surgeons. This practice lasted all the way through to the mid-nineteenth century.

  13. The first toothbrush was made of boars hair & animal bone or bamboo
  14. Though there is evidence of chew sticks being used as an ancient dental cleaning device, the first toothbrush similar to what we use today was officially invented by the Chinese in 1498.

Utilize Our Modern Dental Services at Gentle Breeze Family Dentistry

Humankind has always had a fascination with the care of teeth. Throughout history, improvements in dentistry have allowed us to have better access to care today than ever before! Be sure to take advantage of every opportunity to improve your smile and maintain superb oral health. And remember that our team at our Santa Rosa Beach dental office is here to help. Contact us today if it’s a time to schedule your next cleaning and checkup.

Contact Us

Can You Feel the Difference Between a Dental Implant & a Real Tooth?

Blonde woman with dental implants wears a red hat and sweater

Implants are an increasingly popular solution to missing teeth caused by a variety of dental damage. If you opt for a dental implant, the result will be a smile that looks as good as new, but how will it feel? Read on to learn what to expect when you replace a tooth with a dental implant.

Dental Implant Basics

Dental implants are an alternative to dentures and bridges, and are used to address issues like a missing tooth, cracked tooth, infection, or decay. An implant consists of a biocompatible titanium rod inserted into the jaw to replace the missing tooth root. Once it heals and is fully integrated into the bone, a replacement tooth will be attached on top, which is crafted to blend in seamlessly with the patient’s smile.

Drawing of a patient's mouth with a dental implant, which consists of a titanium rod, abutment, and crown

As Good As New

As with any dental procedure, patients are always concerned with the lasting effects of a dental implant. Though it may be hard to imagine that a fake tooth could ever feel like a real one, dental implants do the trick! One of the reasons why implants are becoming the preferred solution for so many patients is that they look and feel just like regular teeth. With implants, the replacement tooth is custom-made to be a natural fit and color. And because the implant base is fused into the jaw, the implant is truly a part of the smile–functional and long-lasting. There is no need to worry about impaired speech or eating, and they are completely comfortable and very convenient. You can enjoy a beautiful smile with daily brushing and flossing, and biannual dental visits to keep your gums and neighboring natural teeth healthy and strong.

Dental Implants at Gentle Family Breeze Dental

Think you’re ready for a dental implant? Give us a call here at Gentle Breeze Family Dental. A member of our team will be happy to address any lingering questions or concerns, set up a consultation, and get you on your way to a brand new smile!

Contact Us

How to Help Your Kids with Dental Anxiety

Young girl with dark blonde hair frowns due to her dental anxiety

At Gentle Breeze Family Dentistry, we deliver gentle dental care with a gentle touch. This applies to all of our patients but most especially to our youngest patients. We understand that dental anxiety is a real struggle for children and adults alike. For this reason, we like to work with parents to help put their kids at ease concerning their dental visit. We aim to boost your child’s confidence and help them see the value of preventive dental care. Here are some tips on how to assist your children with their dental anxiety.

  1. Understand That Information Is Key
  2. Like all of us, children are afraid of the unknown. Dental anxiety can arise from visiting a dentist for the first time. Firstly, walk your child through what they can expect at their appointment. Let them know you have a lifetime of experience visiting a dentist and it’s helped you maintain your beautiful smile! Children will appreciate the information and knowing what to expect. Additionally, it’s critical we see your child on a regular basis. Kids are more likely to experience dental anxiety if they haven’t been to the dentist in a while. Visiting us every six months for a cleaning and checkup will allow them to become familiar with us and normal dental procedures.

  3. Be Patient & Positive
  4. Above all, a successful dental visit requires patience from every adult involved. We take our time helping children feel comfortable in our office. Before beginning any procedure, we show young patients our tools and explain to them what we will be doing, all while ensuring their safety and comfort. For your part, avoid scolding your child for being afraid. Only speak to your child in a kind and compassionate manner to help them feel brave. Praise them when they do demonstrate courage during their appointment, and reward them with a small (non-sugary) prize after their visit. Even if it’s just a little extra time on the playground, a sticker, or a special outing, they’ll begin to develop a positive association with the dentist.

  5. Encourage At-Home Oral Hygiene
  6. Encourage your child to keep up with their daily oral hygiene at home. Brush their teeth twice daily for two minutes each time and floss between their teeth until they have enough coordination to do so independently (usually around age five or six). Consider implementing a non-sugary reward system and even investing in an electric toothbrush for kids. Moreover, set a good example of preventive oral care for your children by keeping up with your own preventive oral care. Explain to them that properly caring for teeth includes cleaning them at home and going to the dentist. Over time, practicing dental care at home and coming in for dental checkups will feel routine and less anxiety-inducing for your child.

  7. Incorporate Relaxation Techniques
  8. We also recommend relaxation techniques to soothe anxiety. Reminding your child to take deep breaths leading up to a dental visit can help them calm down. Establishing positive rituals around dentist appointments is also effective. For example, take a walk with your child beforehand, read a book with them while in the waiting room, and provide lots of hugs and affirmation before, during, and after.

Schedule Your Child’s Next Checkup!

Ask a member of our friendly team if you have other questions about how to help your child with their dental anxiety. We want to help your child overcome their fears, and instead feel happy about their visit. Don’t put off your child’s checkup and cause their dental health to suffer. Contact us today to schedule their next appointment!

Contact Us

5 Oral Health Tips to Impress Your Dentist

A couple with great oral health smiles and stands close together as they pose on a dock by boats as the sun sets

Feeling confident in your oral health goes a long way when it comes to being comfortable in the dentist chair. Aim to have strong teeth and healthy gums at your next dental visit with these five tips.

  1. Cut down on sugar
  2. Sugar feeds the bacteria that exists in your mouth, wreaking havoc on your teeth. By cutting down on sugar, you’ll put yourself at a lower risk for cavities, bad breath, teeth discoloration, and gum disease. By your next checkup, not only will we notice a healthier mouth, but you’ll feel an improvement in your overall body wellness. Those who limit their consumption of sugar report benefits like improved skin, weight loss, increased energy, and much more.

  3. Stock up on foods that are good for your oral health
  4. Sugary foods increase your likelihood of dental issues, but did you know there are many foods that actually promote strong and healthy teeth? For example, crunchy apples, celery, and carrots help to clean your teeth and increase saliva production, and milk, cheese, yogurt, and almonds strengthen your teeth against damage and decay. Swapping sugary sweets for these foods will contribute to major improvements in your oral health, in conjunction with daily oral hygiene.

  5. Perfect your brushing routine
  6. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing twice a day for two minutes each time using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoridated toothpaste. Brush gently and meticulously brush every surface of each tooth. Consider investing in an electric toothbrush, which can help you clean those hard-to-reach areas better than a manual toothbrush. Moreover, remember to replace your toothbrush (or electric toothbrush head) every three to four months and after you’ve been sick.

  7. Finally make flossing a habit
  8. Although flossing helps clean out the bacteria and food particles under your gumline and from between your teeth that just can’t be reached with a toothbrush, it’s regularly skipped in many oral care routines. Are you one of the many Americans who dreads the moment in their cleaning when the hygienist asks, “How often do you floss?” A 2015 study by the American Academy of Periodontology found that more than a quarter of Americans lie when asked how often they floss. Lying won’t impress us, but healthy gums from daily flossing certainly will!

  9. Clean your tongue
  10. Lastly, don’t only give your teeth all the love; be sure to use a toothbrush or a tongue scraper to give your tongue daily attention! A clean tongue will leave your mouth feeling extra fresh and will help prevent bad breath.

Come Visit Us!

Follow these tips for outstanding oral health, and make sure your next cleaning and checkup is on your calendar. Contact our Gentle Breeze Family Dental team today to set up an appointment at our office.

Contact Us

History of Toothpaste

Blue tube of toothpaste with a white corrugated white cap

When you reach for your toothpaste in the morning, do you ever think about how that toothpaste came to be? Here, we’ll discuss the history of toothpaste from the very beginning up until present day.

Ancient Times

The first people to clean their teeth with a tooth powder are said to have been the Egyptians in 5000 BC. Similarly, the Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Indians used types of tooth powder in 500 BC. These powders were sometimes paired with twigs that had splayed ends. Ancient tooth powder was utilized for the same reasons we brush our teeth today with toothpaste: to freshen breath, whiten teeth, keep gums and teeth clean from food particles, and reduce the occurrence of decay. However, the specific ingredients were vastly different. Both the Greeks and Romans incorporated crushed bones and oyster shells for an abrasive texture, while the Romans also put a little something extra in their toothpaste in an attempt to freshen breath: powdered charcoal and bark. In China, toothpaste ingredients included things like herbal mint, salt, and ginseng.

1800s

In the 1800s, something more closely associated to what we call toothpaste nowadays was developed. Early versions included soap, chalk, ground charcoal, betel nut, and the fruit of the areca palm, which is found in parts of east Africa, the tropical Pacific, Southeast, and South Asia. In the 1850s, toothpaste transitioned from a powdery substance to something more pasty. Then, in 1872, Dr. Washington Wentworth Sheffield developed Crème Dentifrice, even adding mint to flavor the creamy paste, and was credited with inventing modern toothpaste.

1900s

Soap was a main ingredient in toothpaste up until 1945 when it was replaced with other ingredients, such as sodium laurel sulfate, to make a smoother paste. Sodium lauryl sulfate is still a common ingredient in modern toothpastes. The 20th century also saw the creation of toothpaste that was formulated to combat specific dental issues, such as tooth sensitivity and decay, with fluoride being added in 1914.

Present Day

At-home oral hygiene practices and toothpaste have come a long way since ancient times. Today, there are toothpastes for every dental issue imaginable: toothpastes to prevent gum disease, plaque, cavities, discoloration, and bad breath. Our toothpastes include ingredients very different from those of past pastes, including colorings, sweeteners, flavorings, and even those that make the paste smooth, foamy, and moist.

Toothpaste Is Only One Part of Proper Oral Care

Remember that brushing twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoridated toothpaste is just one aspect of an outstanding oral hygiene routine. Daily flossing, a healthy diet, and biannual checkups are critical too. Contact us today to schedule a checkup and cleaning!

Contact Us

What Happens to an Untreated Cavity?

Blonde woman cringes and touches her cheek due to toothache pain from an untreated cavity

Cavities are a very common dental health issue. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, roughly 90% of adults in the United States have had cavities in their permanent teeth! Moreover, 26% of these adults have untreated cavities. So, what happens to untreated cavities?

What Are Cavities?

First, we’ll explain what a cavity is and how it occurs.

  1. Bacteria feast on residual food and beverage particles containing sugar and starch that linger on your teeth. As a waste-product, they create acid that dissolves enamel, your tooth’s outer protective layer.
  2. Bacteria multiply and form a thin, sticky biofilm called dental plaque on the surface of your teeth and along your gumline. Plaque releases toxins that irritate your gums and cause them to pull away from your teeth. This creates pockets that harbor additional oral bacteria.
  3. The acid produced by feeding bacteria hollow out tiny holes and pits of decay in your teeth, called cavities.

How Do I Know If I Have a Cavity?

Cavities are hardly noticeable when they first begin. Most cavities must be detected by a dental professional via digital dental X-rays and a visual examination. However, some indicators that a cavity has extended beyond your enamel to the underlying layers of dentin and pulp include:

  • A chronic toothache with either intermittent or throbbing pain
  • Sensitivity to extreme hot and cold temperatures, sound vibrations, chewing, and the pressure changes on an airplane during take-off and touch-down
  • Perpetual bad breath
  • Visibly brown or black spots or pits on your teeth

What Happens to an Untreated Cavity?

Cavities don’t just magically heal themselves. If you leave a cavity untreated, the decay will advance deeper into your tooth and can spread to surrounding teeth. Root canal therapy is required to save a tooth from severe cavities that have damaged your tooth’s inner pulp of blood vessels and nerves. Teeth beyond repair must be extracted. Furthermore, an abscess, or infection, from unchecked bacteria can contribute to other systemic health problems, such acne, heart disease, pneumonia, and premature delivery of babies with a low birth weight.

Schedule Your Biannual Checkup!

Are you cavity-free? You can protect yourself from decay through daily at-home oral hygiene and professional dental cleanings and examinations. Contact our team at Santa Rosa Beach office to schedule your dental appointment today.

Contact Us

How to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth

5 young kids, boys and girls, looking down at the camera smiling on a sunny day outside

It’s hard enough getting your kids to make their beds and eat their vegetables. Is your child’s dental hygiene also a daily battle in your home? Some kiddos need constant reminding to do things they may not want to do. Brushing and flossing their teeth may be one of those things, but as a parent, it’s critical you instill the importance of good dental habits in your child now to ensure a lifetime of great oral health. Here are some fun tips to get them excited about brushing.

  1. Give Them Choices
  2. Giving your kids choices is a simple way to let them know that they’re in charge of their own brushing routine. Let them choose the color and shape of their soft-bristled toothbrush along with their favorite flavor of fluoridated toothpaste.

  3. Let them Follow Your Good Example
  4. Sticking to your own consistent brushing and flossing routine, eating a healthy diet, preparing your kids healthy meals, and getting excited about your own dental visits will likely make your children naturally want to follow suit as they grow up.

  5. Show Them What Happens When They Don’t Brush
  6. Kids love to know why they are doing what you’ve asked them to do. Try to encourage them by reading books and watching videos about how proper dental care leads to a happy smile. Moreover, use dissolving agents (which stain plaque on the surface of your teeth so you can see how much bacteria is on your teeth at any given time!) to show your kids that you aren’t just nagging them for no reason.

  7. Reward Them
  8. Put a sticker or a stamp on a calendar every day that your kids brush their teeth without you having to ask them. Have them collect a certain number of stickers before they win a prize or get extra allowance.

  9. Schedule Dental Visits Every 6 Months
  10. Bring your child to see us every six months for a cleaning and checkup. Gentle Breeze Family Dentistry is a family-friendly dental office that strives to make our younger patients feel at ease. We provide dental sealants and fluoride treatments to keep your child’s smile healthy and strong. Moreover, our personable team will instruct your kiddos concerning proper brushing and flossing techniques and answer all their dental questions.

It’s our mission to help families like yours maintain sparkling smiles and outstanding oral health! Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and to schedule your child’s next appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!

Contact Us

Do Gums Grow Back?

Dark-haired woman looks concerned as she wonders if her gums can grow back

A healthy mouth means having healthy teeth AND healthy gums! Infected gums can harm your oral and overall health. What exactly are gums, what is the proper way to care for them, and what happens if they recede?

What Are Gums?

Gums are made of connective tissue, and their main purpose is to protect the roots of your teeth. Without gums, the sensitive portion of your teeth tucked inside your gums would be in constant contact with bad bacteria!

Can My Gums Grow Back?

Just like your teeth, your gums harbor harmful plaque and bacteria (especially below the gumline) that needs to be brushed, flossed, and washed away daily. Poor oral hygiene leads to gum inflammation, infection, and recession due to plaque, tartar, and tooth decay. These issues are cause for concern because gums don’t grow back! Once they’re gone, the don’t regenerate.

How Do I Care for My Gums?

Daily brushing and flossing prevent the progression of gum recession and disease. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush using light, gentle circles so that you don’t cause any harm to your gums. Gently floss to remove bacteria from under the gumline. Not flossing can lead to inflamed, infected, bleeding, and painful gums, which are early signs of gingivitis, the beginning stage of gum disease. If left untreated, early-stage gum disease will develop into advanced periodontitis, in which bacteria grows all the way down into the roots of your teeth, resulting in extensive tooth decay, infection, and possible tooth loss!

What Should I Do if My Gums Look Abnormal?

If your gums are not thick and bright pink, come see Dr. Orr as soon as possible. During your visit, she will perform a thorough examination of your gums and make notes of where your gums look inflamed and receded. Protect your gums from advancing into painful and debilitating gum disease by visiting our office every six months for thorough cleanings and checkups, brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing every day, and rinsing with an anti-plaque/anti-gingivitis mouthwash.

We Are here to help you have exceptional oral health!

Whether you need to prevent or treat an oral health issue, our door is always open for you at Gentle Breeze Family Dentistry. We welcome new patients of all ages. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Schedule My Appointment

How Did People of the Past Clean Their Teeth?

Aerial view of a cluster of green mint leaves that the ancient Chinese put into toothpaste to clean teeth

What was it like to clean teeth without modern dental tools? Let’s take a look at how dental technology has evolved over time.

The Beginning of Dental History

The earliest texts on oral health date back to 3000 BCE. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Etruscans all used toothpicks and chewing sticks as toothbrushes as well as some form of toothpaste, usually tooth powders, which contained unappetizing ingredients like bones and eggshells. The ancient Chinese developed toothpastes using ginger and mint, ingredients that can be found in modern toothpastes today.

Early Dental Tools

An Arabic surgeon named Albucasis developed the first known professional dental tool. He developed a tool that could remove plaque long before the invention of the early toothbrush. The first modern toothbrush was developed in England and had pig hair for bristles!

The Field of Dentistry

Dentistry wasn’t its own field until a French physician named Pierre Fauchard (1678-1761) published The Surgical Dentist in 1728. This revolutionary book contained detailed descriptions of symptoms and treatments for issues that pertained to gum health, oral surgery, orthodontics, and tooth loss. People began to take oral health issues more seriously and developed specific tools to help patients maintain their oral health.

The Development of Preventive Dentistry

Dental floss was invented less than 100 years after The Surgical Dentist was published, helping people keep their teeth healthy and prevent complications. However, preventive dentistry didn’t become popular until the 20th century. The first dental hygienist was licensed to practice in the United States in 1917, a profession that promoted the importance of preventative care and proper cleaning techniques. With the introduction of the modern toothbrush in the United States in 1938, preventative dentistry and promoting healthy dental habits at home became part of the average person’s everyday routine.

Receive Modern Dental Care at Our Office

From sticks and tooth powders to the modern tools we know and love today, the way people clean their teeth has evolved rapidly. Today, dental offices not only offer services that thoroughly clean teeth and gums, but they also offer cosmetic and restorative options along with comfortable amenities. Gentle Breeze Family Dentistry is one such place. Whether you’re due for a cleaning or need advanced restorative care, we’d love to see you. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Schedule My Appointment

Oral Care for Seniors

Elderly woman with wrinkles, white hair, eyeglasses, and a floral collar and blue shirt smiles

We use our teeth to eat, communicate, and express ourselves. We only get one set of adult teeth, so it’s especially important for us to take care of them as we get older. It can be hard to maintain your dental routine as you age, but there are quite a few reasons why it becomes even more critical as the years go by. We’ve compiled a few of those reasons, as well as suggestions to make maintaining your oral health even easier as a senior.

5 Ways Aging Affects Oral Health

  1. Heart Disease
  2. You may not know it, but your oral health has a major impact on your overall health. Plaque doesn’t just build up on your teeth. Once that bacteria enters your bloodstream, it can actually collect along your heart’s artery walls, leading to heart disease.

  3. Diabetes
  4. Just as the plaque on your teeth can contribute to heart disease, it can also affect the way your body uses its insulin supply. Conversely, if you have high blood sugar levels, your gums are more likely to become infected.

  5. Staining
  6. Eating and drinking sugary foods and drinks, smoking, trauma, and neglect can all cause your teeth to stain more and more over time as your enamel becomes weaker. You may notice your teeth becoming more yellow over time, which isn’t a mere coincidence. Stained teeth can lead to lower levels of self-confidence.

  7. Dry Mouth
  8. If you take certain medications, like oral contraceptives and antibiotics, you may experience dry mouth, which makes it easier for bacteria to grow on your teeth. It’s especially important to take good care of your teeth and drink plenty of water if you are experiencing dry mouth.

  9. Decay
  10. Tooth decay can cause pain and difficulty talking and eating, and further infection of your jaw and other teeth. Untreated infected teeth will ultimately lead to missing teeth, a problem that many seniors face.

How to Maintain Superb Oral Health as a Senior

Prevention is always better than cure!

  • Maintain a well-balanced diet.
  • Brush and floss your teeth twice a day to curb the amount of bacteria growth in your mouth.
  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles or an electric toothbrush to clean your teeth more easily.
  • Utilize an interdental device or a water flosser to clean between your teeth if it becomes too tough to use traditional string floss.
  • Visit Dr. Orr every 6 months to ensure that your teeth are healthy and strong.

We Will Help You Have a Healthy Smile!

If you are missing teeth, don’t fret—it’s not too late to take control of your oral health. Dental implants, crowns, and dentures are all incredible tooth replacement options depending on your situation and budget. Our team at Gentle Breeze Family Dentistry wants our patients to have a healthy smile no matter their age. Contact us to schedule an appointment today for yourself or your loved one!

Contact Us

Affordable Payment Options

We believe that dental care should be available to everyone, but we also don’t want it to be a financial burden. To accommodate our patients, we accept a wide variety of flexible payment options. We are very insurance friendly, accept CareCredit financing, all major credit cards, and even have our very own in-house dental savers plan. We have something for everyone, so contact us today for any questions about our affordable payment options.

CareCredit Carington United Health Care DHA Assurant
Delta Dental Ameritas Humana Cigna Principal BlueCross BlueShield
Metlife
United Concordia

© 2019 Gentle Breeze Family Dentistry | Dental Marketing by Practice Cafe