tooth care in Albuquerque, NM | Dr. Steven Holbrook


For hundreds of years, brushing one’s teeth has been a social and hygienic necessity…and important in the prevention of gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath.

In the 18th century, the British included crushed china plates in their toothpowder recipes!
But today, you have a wide selection of toothpastes to aid in removing the nasty bacterial film or plaque that builds up on your teeth every 12 to 24 hours.

Have you ever wondered what is in this substance you use to scrub your pearly whites?

One of the main reasons to use toothpaste is to make the action of brushing more effective. in order to remove stains, you need a substance with a little graininess.

Abrasives or mild polishing agents, clean while preserving tooth enamel. The abrasives in your toothpaste may include hydrated silica or calcium carbonate. Abrasives won’t clean teeth without the scrubbing action of a toothbrush and brushing without an abrasive-containing toothpaste will not adequately clean and polish tooth surfaces and will not remove stains.

Toothpaste foams because it contains a detergent which breaks down substances on your teeth allowing them to be dissolved and rinsed away with water. Detergents in toothpastes are mild and won’t irritate sensitive oral tissues. Sodium lauryl sulfate is the most common detergent in toothpaste and is also found in other beauty products that foam, such as shampoo.

Introduced into toothpaste formulas in 1914, fluoride is the most valuable component in toothpaste. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and makes teeth more resistant to decay because it is actually incorporated into the enamel structure.

Humectants are a combination of ingredients that retain moisture in the toothpaste and keep all the ingredients from separating. If toothpaste didn’t have these components, it would dry out or require stirring before use just like paint.

Toothpaste would taste awful without the addition of flavoring agents. That’s why you will find various natural and artificial flavorings and sweeteners in your toothpaste.

You know The Golden Rule of tooth care: Brush and floss at least twice a day! JUST DO IT!

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Show Me Those Pearly Whites!

oral health in Albuquerque NM | Dr. Steven HolbrookDid you know that scientists studying decay inside an ancient wisdom tooth recently discovered the earliest known evidence of dentistry, dating back to the Paleolithic era?

Looking through an electron microscope, the scientists noticed a pattern of chipping and scratches that researchers say were made using a tiny stone pick.

Our teeth are pretty amazing!

And…did you know:

  • The average adult has 28 to 32 teeth, depending on whether or not they have kept their “wisdom” teeth.
  • The hardest substance in the human body is tooth enamel.
  • Tooth decay is the most widespread disease of mankind…and the oldest.
  • •The second most common disease in the United States is tooth decay. The first is the common cold.
  • Most tooth loss in people over the age of 35 is from periodontal disease.
  • Most tooth loss in people under the age of 35 is from athletic trauma, fights or accidents.
  • A tooth that has been knocked out starts to die within 15 minutes. But if it’s held in the mouth or put in milk it will survive longer.
  • People with hyperdontia have extra or ‘super-numerary’ teeth. Most remain hidden below the gum line, but occasionally they erupt and crowd other teeth.
  • The ancient Summarians called tooth decay “tooth worms.”
  • If you don’t floss regularly, you miss cleaning 40% of your tooth surfaces.
  • Sadly, 73% of Americans would rather go grocery shopping than floss.
  • Happily, over three million miles of dental floss is purchased in North America each year.
  • More than 300 types of bacteria combine to make dental plaque.
  • The average person brushes for a mere 45-70 seconds a day…the recommended amount is 2-3 minutes.
  • The first nylon bristled toothbrush with a plastic handle was invented in 1938.
  • The electric toothbrush first appeared in 1939.
  • Babies begin to develop their primary teeth just six weeks after conception.
  • About one in every 2000 babies is born with ‘natal teeth.’

And last, but not least…

  • The Statue of Liberty’s mouth is three feet wide…now that’s a lot of teeth!
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Cavities 101: Restoring Your Teeth and Smile

aesthetic dentistry albuquerque new mexico | cavities NM | Comprehensive Dental CareThere is so much more to a cavity than just a hole in the tooth, and many people often overlook the cause. The truth is that a cavity results from a decay in the tooth that develops over time. Many of our patients are victims of this nasty situation, and we urge them to seek our dental services to treat the problem. Then again, we still believe that prevention is better than treatment.

Know what’s inside your mouth!

Believe it or not, we carry a mouthful of bacteria — literally. Inside our mouths are different types of bacteria, which stay in the teeth, tongue, gums, and in every corner of the mouth. There are good bacteria, yet there are also harmful ones that play a huge part in the tooth decay process. Decay develops when there is an infection in the mouth with a type of bacteria that utilizes sugar in food and converts it into acids. Over time, such acids are responsible for the development of cavities.

How does a cavity form?

As we eat and drink, our teeth are frequently exposed to acids, especially when the food and drinks we consume contain sugar and starches. When the teeth are exposed to frequent acid attacks, the tooth enamel begins to lose minerals. This can be seen as a white spot where the minerals in the teeth have been lost.

At this point, decay can still be stopped or reversed, as enamel has the ability to repair itself with the use of the minerals found in our saliva, as well as from toothpaste and other sources. However, if no intervention is made and the decay continues, more and more minerals are lost, and the enamel begins to weaken. Eventually, it’s destroyed and a cavity forms. The bad news is that a cavity is considered permanent damage.

The good news is that it can still be repaired!

You can still make good use of your teeth by treating your cavity with composite fillings. Give us a call today at (505) 881-1159 to book an appointment with Dr. Holbrook and discuss how your teeth and your smile can be restored.

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