Rabbit Teeth: A Tooth Tour

A brown rabbit chews on a green leaf outside next to a metal fence with lights

If you’ve been wondering about how Bugs Bunny and the Easter Bunny keep their rabbit teeth clean, we may be able to shed some light! Rabbits have fascinating chompers that are different than that of humans. But like rabbits, we all must manage our dental health through proper care and nutrition. Here’s a little bit of information about the dental habits of rabbits.

All About Rabbit Teeth

Rabbits are herbivores, which means they eat plants and vegetables. They have two sharp front teeth (incisors) which we commonly think of when we think of bunny faces. These front teeth are incredibly sharp and can cut through tough plants and shrubbery, like carrots and celery. In addition to those two large front teeth, rabbits have flatter teeth at the top and bottom rows of their mouth. Those teeth are used to thoroughly chew fibrous vegetation after the front teeth cut them. Rabbits have teeth that continuously grow throughout their lives, unlike humans, who have only two sets of teeth in a lifetime.

What We Have in Common With Rabbits

Rabbits and humans both must care for their teeth to avoid dental problems. Like humans, if rabbits don’t eat proper nutrition, they may suffer. For example, being fed only pellets instead of real vegetation can lead to their teeth overgrowing, creating malocclusion. Malocclusion, or teeth misalignment, can lead to problems for humans and rabbits alike. Vegetables are good for you and your pet rabbit, so be sure to ask your veterinarian about a proper diet to help support their dental health.

Keep Up with Your Daily Preventive Dental Care!

This season of spring festivities may mean a lot of bunny-shaped sweet treats. Remember to enjoy sweet treats in moderation, and follow the rabbit’s example of eating fresh veggies whenever you can. Additionally, brush and floss every day, drink plenty of water, and chew only sugar-free gum. And make sure your next routine dental appointment is scheduled here at Rigby Advanced Dental. Contact us today!

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Fun Dental-Related Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Lineup of holiday stockings hanging from a brown mantle near a Christmas tree

‘Tis the season for snow, Santa, and lots of sweets. In this blog post, we’ll list some tooth-friendly stocking stuffers and gifts to ring in the New Year that your family will love–especially if they’ve been sneaking the occasional sugar cookie.

1. Travel-Sized Basics

Have an avid traveler in the family? It’s always great to have items like mini tubes of toothpaste or travel toothbrush covers on hand for that upcoming vacation. Hit up your pharmacy’s travel-size section and load up on these essential–and adorable–mini oral hygiene products.

2. Kid-Friendly Themed Products

Delight your child with a toothbrush or tube of toothpaste featuring their favorite movie or cartoon character. While dental care might seem like a chore to the little ones, a Star Wars or Crayola themed toothbrush can make brushing something to look forward to.

3. Novelty Dental Products

Have a little fun with a silly dental-themed product that’ll make your recipient giggle. There are plenty of novelty items and gag gifts out there with a toothy theme, such as bacon-flavored toothpaste, tooth-shaped succulent planters, and denture-shaped ice cube trays. These gifts are just for fun, but they also pair well with a fresh, new toothbrush.

4. Doggie Dental Chews

Does your furry friend have a stocking? Fill it up with tasty dental chew treats that’ll give your pet’s teeth a good clean. We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth every day and supplementing with a dental treat, but be sure to look for a chew clinically proven to break up plaque and tartar to ensure optimal oral health.

5. Skip the Candy

It’s tempting to pack your family’s stockings full of holiday-themed candy. But don’t do it! While the occasional sugary indulgence during the holidays is okay, moderation is key. Plus, classic holiday candies like peppermints and candy canes are hard and can be dangerous to the teeth. Stick with minty sugar-free gum–without the sugar, decay’s not a concern, and the act of chewing gum actually helps clean the teeth. And you still get that refreshing mint flavor. Or, there are plenty of fruity flavors for your loved ones with an insatiable sweet tooth. However, if you really want to get someone candy, stick with dark chocolate.

See You in 2019!

When the stockings have been unstuffed and the gifts unwrapped, it’s time to make your New Year’s resolutions. Here’s an easy one: to keep up with your dental health routine every day and come see us for your biannual cleaning and exam before the first half of the year is up. We look forward to helping you have a smile that is merry and bright all year long! Contact us today to schedule your next appointment.

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Alzheimer’s Connection to Poor Oral Health

illustration of two profile silhouettes, colorful question marks floating around them

You’re probably at least a little familiar with both gum disease and Alzheimer’s, but did you know there’s a link between these two seemingly unrelated health problems? Yes, that’s right: doctors have recently determined that there is a connection between Alzheimer’s and poor oral health.

The Link

In a recent study, British scientists found bacteria usually associated with gum disease in the brains of patients affected with Alzheimer’s, meaning the presence of gum disease is linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s. These harmful bacteria usually live in the mouth, and they can enter the bloodstream and travel to the brain through daily activities like eating and brushing your teeth. Additionally, invasive dental surgery increases the risk that the bacteria will enter the brain. A previous study from New York University in 2010 also connected gum inflammation and Alzheimer’s.

How Does It Work?

When plaque builds up in our gums from lack of flossing, our bodies’ immune system is activated, and when this happens, your body’s standard level of health can start to deteriorate. In fact, bad dental health increases the chance that you will have cognitive issues by 30% to 40% over a three-decade period, according to the International Society of Vascular Behavioral and Cognitive Disorders.

What You Can Do

While gum disease is partly genetic, you can lower your risk of the plaque buildup that causes gum disease by flossing regularly (at least once a day!). The more you floss, the less plaque builds up in and around your teeth and gums. The less plaque you have in your mouth, the fewer harmful bacteria will reside there with the potential to travel to your brain and affect your cognitive functions. By taking care of your teeth every day you can make a difference!

If you are concerned about your dental health, or think you might be at risk for gum disease, contact our office today to speak with one of our friendly professionals.

Healthy Alternatives to Halloween Candy

dark chocolate bar

Halloween, and all the candy that comes with it, is just around the corner. But it’s no secret that sugar is bad for your teeth, causing cavities and even tooth decay. So what can you snack on this Halloween that won’t make your dentist cringe?

Why Is Candy Bad For Teeth?

Sugar is acidic, and acid causes erosion of the tooth enamel, or the outer layer of the tooth. When enamel wears down, you can develop cavities and experience painful tooth decay. Consuming large amounts of sugary, sticky candies is a major culprit when it comes to tooth decay and even tooth loss.

Fresh Fruit

Ditch the processed sugar for equally sweet and much healthier fruit. Apples, berries, and grapes are all great alternatives for your favorite candies. Feel free to get creative and make healthy baked cinnamon apples or freeze grapes for a refreshing treat. Just try to avoid dried fruits and citrus, since they can be damaging to teeth due to their sticky and acidic qualities.

Yogurt

Creamy, tangy, and packed with calcium, yogurt is a tooth-healthy and delicious alternative to candy. Add nuts, berries, cinnamon, or honey to the mix for an even more delicious snack.

Nuts

Some of our favorite candy bars contain almonds and peanuts, so why not just have them on their own? Mixed nuts are a great way to get vitamins and protein in your diet without having to sacrifice on taste. Nuts are also full of fiber, which keeps you feeling full so that your sugar cravings won’t get the best of you.

Dark Chocolate

Not all chocolate is bad for you! A couple squares of dark chocolate (containing at least 70% cacao) will satisfy your cravings for the sweet stuff and also give you a healthy dose of antioxidants.

Peanut Butter Toast

A slice of peanut butter toast as a snack is a sweet and delicious alternative to a candy bar that is loaded with sugar and saturated fats.

Protect your teeth this Halloween with these healthy candy alternatives, and remember that now is a perfect time to also see your dentist and make sure that your teeth are healthy and strong. Our team at Rigby Advanced Dental is here to assist you with your oral healthcare needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment!