The First Woman to Earn a Dental Degree

IT’S WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH, which makes it a great time to celebrate a pretty awesome lady: Lucy Hobbs Taylor, DDS, the first woman to earn a dental degree in North America.

Who Was Lucy Hobbs Taylor?

Born in 1833, Lucy developed a passion for medicine in her 20s while working as a teacher. She was rejected by a medical school because of her gender and advised to try dentistry instead, but she faced multiple rejections there too. 😕

Lucy’s Dental Education

Undaunted, she found a professor who would teach her privately and opened her own practice at age 28. It didn’t take long after that for her to be recognized by her male peers for her skill and gentle chair-side manner, and she was finally accepted into the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, from which she received her degree in 1866. 🙌

The Student Becomes the Teacher

The next year, Lucy married James M. Taylor, a railcar painter and Civil War veteran. She combined her previous experience as a teacher with her hard-won dental expertise by training her husband to be a dentist too! Together, the couple established a successful practice in Lawrence, Kansas. 👩‍⚕️👨‍⚕️

After James died, Lucy spent less time on dentistry and became active in politics, campaigning for issues like women’s suffrage. Her example inspired many more women to pursue careers in dentistry.

We’re grateful to all of the pioneers of dentistry!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Posted in Uncategorized

How Tooth Grinding Can Damage Your Smile

tooth grinding treatment Fishers

What is Tooth Grinding?

Tooth grinding (or bruxism in doctor-speak) is a common behavior among men and women of all ages. It is when a person involuntarily clenches their jaw or rubs their teeth together. Tooth grinding can take place during the day or night and can affect kids and adults. Some individuals grind their teeth intermittently when they are going through periods of unusual stress. For other men and women, it becomes a habit over a period of time.

Regardless of the cause, tooth grinding can be painful and damaging to your smile. It can also have a long-term impact on physical and mental health.

The Dangers of Teeth Grinding

  • It can bring about loose teeth
  • It can cause physical pain in the teeth or face
    • Headaches
    • Jaw pain
    • Ear pain
    • Tooth pain
  • It can crack teeth
  • It can wear down the enamel
  • It can cause abnormalities with the alignment of the bite

Tips/Ways to Help Stop Grinding Your Teeth

  • Wear a mouthguard to bed
  • Botox (injections of Botox into the jaw muscles can prevent the muscles from contracting in some men and women)
  • Biofeedback
  • Physical therapy
  • Stress relief exercises
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Avoid alcohol

Resources to Help Stop Grinding Your Teeth

  • Consult with Dr.Behner  about a custom night guard or splint
  • Talk to your primary care physician about possible underlying medical factors
  • Talk to a sleep medicine specialist
  • Speak with a medical professional who is experienced in using Botox to treat medical conditions–these include dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons, TMD specialists, and some dentists

If you grind your teeth, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Behner. We can discuss creating a custom nightguard to help protect your teeth. We can also refer you to other specialists that can help you overcome the underlying reason for the.

Do You Already Have Tooth Damage from Bruxism?

If you have already damaged your teeth, let’s discuss options for correcting the problems. These might include porcelain veneers, dental bonding, or full crowns to protect against further damage.

Contact Dental Care Today PC – E. Dale Behner DDS:

317-842-2337

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

9744 Lantern Rd
Fishers, Indiana
46037

 

ArticleID 8365
Posted in Beautiful smiles, Cosmetic Dentistry

Canker Sores: Triggers and Remedies


GETTING A CANKER sore can mean days of distracting discomfort. Canker sores are small, shallow sores that develop on the inside of our lips or cheeks, and they can make it difficult to eat and even talk. Where do these awful ulcers come from and what can we do about them?

5 Common Canker Sore Triggers

Most canker sores come from one of these five causes:

  1. A tissue injury, such as when we bite our lip or cheek. When it swells up, it compounds the issue by making it easy to accidentally bite it again!
  2. Prolonged high stress levels put a real strain on the immune system, which makes the mouth more vulnerable to developing sores.
  3. Being sick also strains the immune system, which is why we can be more likely to develop a canker sore in addition to the main infection we’re already fighting.
  4. When we eat foods that are highly acidic (including lemons, strawberries, tomatoes, and pineapple), they can be pretty hard on the tissues of the mouth.
  5. Ill-fitting dentures or poking braces can lead to canker sores if they rub the cheeks the wrong way.

Simple Remedies for Canker Sores

If you’re prone to canker sores, try to identify the main trigger. Knowing the cause makes it easier to fight back. We can cut back on eating acidic foods, we can use dental wax to protect from poking wires and brackets, and we can work on reducing our stress levels to give our immune systems a break. If none of these solutions apply, or if you’ve tried them and it still isn’t helping, we recommend following these tips:

  • Apply topical medication or take painkillers to reduce the discomfort.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to help reduce inflammation and make the healing process go faster.
  • Use a toothpaste that doesn’t contain sodium laurel sulfate (but does contain fluoride!).
  • Only brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush to minimize irritation.

Canker Sore Prevention Tactics

Treating a canker sore once it develops is great, but preventing it from ever appearing is even better. Getting plenty of vitamin B12, iron, and folate is a big part of that, and we can get them by making sure to incorporate carrots, salmon, spinach, kale, parsley, and yogurt into our diets.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is important too. Just like being sick can make us more vulnerable to canker sores, having unchecked plaque in our mouths can make it hard for our bodies’ natural defenses to do their jobs in preventing them.

Bring Us Your Canker Sore Questions!

Hopefully we’ve addressed any big questions you have about canker sores here, but if not, we’re happy to answer them! We want our patients to have all the knowledge they need to keep their mouths feeling great.

Our patients are the absolute best!

Top image by Flickr user Donnie Ray Jones used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Posted in Uncategorized

Is Your Low-Carb Diet Giving You Dragon Breath?

bad breath treatment Indianapolis

Many people mistakenly believe that all bad breath is linked to inadequate brushing. The truth is that there are myriad causes of halitosis. Your dentist can help you pinpoint the cause of your problem and discuss how to cure bad breath.

Your diet significantly affects your breath. Because foods begin to be digested the second they enter your mouth, and because they are absorbed and distributed throughout the body, you probably will be able to smell odiferous foods like onions and garlic long after you’ve eaten them.

Therefore, using a mouthwash will only mask the smell. Constantly sucking on breath mints is also not wise. This may bring additional oral dilemmas—especially if the mints have sugar. If you want real relief, you may need to avoid strong foods altogether.

In addition, many dieters find that their diet regimen is making it harder to keep their mouths fresh and clean. Low-carb and no-carb diets promote fat burning, but the side effect of bad breath can be caused by the chemicals released during this process. Increasing water intake can help alleviate this.

Lastly, flossing regularly is often the key to truly fresh breath. Many individuals don’t realize how much food can be stuck between their teeth, and this food can cause halitosis if it isn’t removed. More importantly, the food particles turn into plaque which can cause tooth decay and gum disease.

I’m Dr. Dale Behner of 
Dental Care Today PC – E. Dale Behner DDS in Fishers. My practice provides general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry to residents in the Indianapolis area. I am dedicated to prime oral health for all of my patients, and that includes fresh breath. I also want them to love their smile, so if you have any questions about smile transformations or other cosmetic dental care, give us a call at 317-842-2337.

Redefining the Art of the Smile -Dr. Behner

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/low-carb-diets-can-cause-bad-breath

Contact Dental Care Today PC – E. Dale Behner DDS:

317-842-2337

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

9744 Lantern Rd
Fishers, Indiana
46037

 

ArticleID 5041
Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry, Oral Health, Restorative Dentistry

The Role of Saliva

WHAT IS SPIT FOR? It’s a pretty important question in the realm of oral health. People tend to think of saliva in a negative context if they think about it at all, but without spit, we would have a hard time chewing, swallowing, or even tasting our food. We also wouldn’t be able to speak clearly, and our teeth and gums would be much more vulnerable to problems like gum disease and tooth decay.

Healthy Saliva Production

Our saliva is produced continuously by salivary glands in our cheeks and beneath our tongues, and average output ranges from two to six cups a day. About 98% of saliva is water, but the final 2% is crucial, because it’s made up of proteins, electrolytes, digestive enzymes that start breaking down food, antimicrobial factors that fight germs, and even minerals to keep our tooth enamel strong!

Saliva Works in Different Phases

Depending on how far along the digestive process is, our salivary glands produce extra saliva for different reasons. When we smell a mouthwatering dessert, that’s the cephalic phase. Next comes the buccal phase when we start eating, and this helps us swallow food. After that, the esophageal phase kicks in to move the food on down to the stomach.

There’s also a slightly less pleasant phase: the gastric phase. If we’re sick or there’s something wrong with the food we ate and we have to vomit, the salivary glands work overtime to make a protective coating of saliva, which minimizes the damage stomach acid can do to our teeth and gums on the way out. (But we should still swish with water and brush our teeth half an hour later to get rid of any remaining stomach acid.)

How Saliva Protects Our Teeth

Why does an extra coating of saliva help protect our teeth and gums against acid? It’s because one of the main jobs saliva does is keeping the pH of our mouths as close to neutral as possible, which in turn keeps our tooth enamel strong. Tooth enamel might be extremely hard, but it is very vulnerable to erosion from acids in the foods we eat and fluids we drink. That’s why saliva is so important for oral health.

Beyond neutralizing acids, saliva fights harmful bacteria that causes gum disease and bad breath. Saliva is also part of the reason that oral injuries (such as a bitten cheek or a burned tongue) heal faster than injuries elsewhere on the body. Saliva contains growth factors that promote quicker healing!

When There Isn’t Enough Spit…

Given all the important functions saliva performs, it should be no surprise that dry mouth can lead to a lot of oral health complications. Whether it’s caused by stressful situations, mouth breathing, dehydration, a smoking habit, drinking, side effects of medications, or even simple aging, dry mouth is something the dentist should know about.

The Dentist Can Help With Dry Mouth

Dry mouth can include symptoms like difficulty chewing and swallowing and a reduced sense of taste. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, let the dentist know. You deserve to have all the benefits that come with having enough saliva, and the dentist can help!

We love our patients’ smiles!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Posted in Uncategorized

Is Cosmetic Dentistry For You?

Fishers smile makeover

Many of the patients who visit Dental Care Today PC – E. Dale Behner DDS have questions about cosmetic dentistry. There is some reliable information online, but there are many questions that only a cosmetic dentist can answer. New advances in cosmetic dentistry have made it safe, affordable, and worth your consideration if you want to improve your smile and look younger.

If you have questions about how cosmetic dentistry can whiten your smile, adjust crooked teeth, modify a gum line, or restore a tooth, give me a call. I am Dr. Behner, and I can give you straightforward answers to your cosmetic dentistry questions.

Schedule a consultation by calling 317-842-2337 I look forward to meeting you. We will discuss your unique challenges and aspirations for your smile. I will give you an oral assessment to determine what care would be most effective for you.

We can frequently attain outstanding results without resorting to procedures that require longer recovery times. Tooth whitening, inlays/onlays, dental bonding, and veneers work miracles and can often be completed in one visit.

Some more extensive dental dilemmas require more than one visit to our Fishers office. We can help you determine the level of cosmetic dentistry you will need to get the smile you want—from one or two procedures to a complete smile makeover.

We want you to be comfortable with any dentistry decisions you make. Give us a call, we look forward to answering your questions – E. Dale Behner, DDS

Contact Dental Care Today PC – E. Dale Behner DDS:

317-842-2337

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

9744 Lantern Rd
Fishers, Indiana
46037

 

ArticleID 34
Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry, Porcelain veneers, Tooth Whitening

Pregnancy’s Impact on Oral Health


AN EXPECTANT MOTHER goes through many changes during pregnancy beyond the baby bump and some funny cravings. Unfortunately, some of the changes to oral health are not especially pleasant.

Pregnancy Gingivitis and Hormones

No matter how exciting and hectic pregnancy can be, never let it get in the way of daily brushing and flossing, because pregnancy is a time when the gums are especially vulnerable to gingivitis. As many as two in five pregnant women have gum disease, which leaves their gums tender and swollen. Studies have even linked pregnancy gingivitis with premature delivery and lower birth weights, so fight back with daily flossing and a soft-bristled toothbrush!

Morning Sickness and Enamel Erosion

One of the more common (and certainly more well known) pregnancy symptoms is morning sickness. It’s an unpleasant enough symptom to deal with on its own, but when we aren’t careful, it can have compounding effects on our teeth. Despite tooth enamel being the hardest substance in the human body, it is highly vulnerable to acid erosion, and frequent vomiting due to morning sickness will put the enamel in contact with a lot of strong acid.

A good way to minimize the effects of the stomach acid is to swish with baking soda and water after a bout of morning sickness. Make sure not to brush until after you’ve done this, or you risk additional erosion!

Pyogenic Granuloma During Pregnancy

This one is extremely weird: some pregnant women develop raspberry-like gum tissue growths between their teeth. They’re called pyogenic granulomas or “pregnancy tumors.” They generally appear in the second trimester and vanish on their own after delivery. Pyogenic granulomas are benign, but they can be removed if they’re causing too much discomfort.

Nutrition and Dental Health (of Mom and Baby)

Dental health professionals tend to recommend cutting back on sugary treats no matter what the circumstances are, since sugar is harmful oral bacteria’s favorite food, and pregnancy is no exception. Consuming less sugar will go a long way towards protecting your teeth and gums, and focusing on essential nutrients (particularly vitamins A, C, and D, along with lots of calcium, protein, and phosphorous) will help the development of Baby’s teeth!

The Dentist Is a Great Resource

Keeping up with daily oral hygiene habits and eating healthy are critical during pregnancy, but another factor in maintaining good oral health is the dentist! Don’t forget to include regular dental appointments in your schedule, especially if you have any concerns about your teeth or gums. If it’s been a while since your last appointment, go ahead and schedule one!

Thank you for being part of our practice family!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Posted in Uncategorized

Eating Disorders Versus Oral Health

WHEN WE THINK of the damage that eating disorders can do, we probably first think of the psychological toll and life-threatening malnutrition. However, eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia can also be very hard on the oral health of those who struggle with them. Healthy teeth and gums require a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in addition to regular brushing and flossing, so not eating well or enough is a serious problem.

How Malnutrition Harms Oral Tissues

Anorexia nervosa is characterized by extremely limited food intake, which may be paired with compulsive exercising, purging, or even both. The way anorexia harms oral health is through malnutrition. The bones of the jaw can develop osteoporosis without sufficient nutrients, which increases the risk of tooth loss.

Without enough fluids, the salivary glands can’t produce enough saliva, resulting in dry mouth. Dry mouth makes both tooth decay and gum disease more likely because we need our saliva to neutralize acids and wash away food particles. Finally, without the nutrients to keep the immune system strong, the gums become more vulnerable to bleeding.

Bulimia and Acid Erosion of the Teeth

Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by first overeating, then forcibly purging food through vomiting or laxatives. This puts strong stomach acid in frequent contact with the tooth enamel. Even though enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it is highly vulnerable to erosion from acid. It isn’t uncommon for someone struggling with bulimia to experience tooth discoloration, decay, and even tooth loss due to their disorder.

Protecting Your Oral Health

We all need good oral hygiene routines to keep our teeth and gums healthy, our breath minty fresh, and our smiles sparkling, but it’s especially important for those battling with or recovering from an eating disorder. Anyone whose teeth are frequently exposed to stomach acid can minimize erosion by rinsing with water initially and then waiting thirty minutes before brushing. It’s important to give the saliva time to neutralize leftover acid so that brushing doesn’t cause additional erosion.

Here are a few signs to watch for if you’re worried someone you love might be developing an eating disorder:

You Aren’t Alone in This Fight

An eating disorder is a mental illness, and recovery is often a long road that requires help and support. That could come in the form of sympathetic family members or friends or licensed psychiatrists. Another great resource is the National Eating Disorders Helpline. And, of course, dental health professionals are always here to help patients keep their teeth and gums healthy through mental and physical health challenges they face.

We’re invested in our patients’ overall health!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Posted in Blog

5 Cavity Basics

Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

The desire to prohibit decay is one of the main reasons individuals visit their dentists

Today we are going to consider 5 things you need to know about cavities.

1. Cavities are also called caries or tooth decay. When a tooth is permanently damaged on the hard surface, tiny openings ensue. These little holes are cavities.

2. Factors that contribute to tooth decay are:

Frequent eating
Consuming sugary beverages
Oral bacteria
Poor dental hygiene

3. Cavities may get so bad that you will see pits or holes in your teeth, but symptoms may be more subtle, such as sensitivity, pain when biting, or a toothache. If you observe any of these symptoms, you should call your dentist today to set up an appointment.

4. Cavities are more common among pre-teens, but that doesn’t mean adults don’t have to take precautions.

5. Avoiding cavities is uncomplicated. Be sure to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, eat right, skip frequent snacking, and have regular visits with your dentist.

If you are in the market for quality dental care in the Fishers area, give Dental Care Today PC – E. Dale Behner DDS a call. We have been treating dental patients in and around Indianapolis since 1985.

Contact Dental Care Today PC – E. Dale Behner DDS:

317-842-2337

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

9744 Lantern Rd
Fishers, Indiana
46037

 

ArticleID 4786
Posted in Dental hygiene, General Dentistry, Oral Health

How Men’s Oral Health Is Different

MEN AND WOMEN have a lot in common, but they face significantly different challenges when it comes to keeping their teeth and gums healthy. Women are more prone to certain oral health conditions than men, but men have their own disadvantages to overcome, and we’re here to offer them a few tips.

Brush and Floss Like a Manly Man

Women tend to be pretty good at daily brushing and flossing habits, whereas men struggle more with this on average: men are up to 20% less likely to brush twice a day and even less likely to replace their old toothbrushes on a regular basis. Luckily, it’s a simple problem to fix: make brushing for two full minutes a regular part of your morning and nighttime routines! And don’t forget to floss once a day as well.

What Oral Diseases Are Men More Vulnerable To?

Because men are more likely to drink, smoke, and chew tobacco than women are, they put themselves at higher risk of serious oral health problems like periodontitis (advanced gum disease), tooth loss, and oral cancer. By avoiding harmful habits, men can do a lot to protect their oral health, which is why we recommend minimal alcohol consumption and complete avoidance of tobacco products.

Dry Mouth Is Also a Problem for Men

Dry mouth is a common side effect of high blood pressure and heart disease medications, and because men are more susceptible to those conditions, they are also more likely to get dry mouth. Saliva is the mouth’s first line of defense against bacteria, acid, and leftover food particles. When it runs dry, the risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and chronic bad breath becomes much higher.

Be a Real Man and Go to the Dentist

Just as men are less likely to follow a good brushing and flossing regimen than women, they’re also less likely to keep up with their regular dental exams — and they’re more likely to try to tough it out if they’re experiencing toothaches or other symptoms! This strategy is neither safe nor effective for addressing dental health problems. It is not unmanly to go to the dentist, even if it’s just for a regular checkup and you’re confident you have no cavities!

Let’s Work Together for Those Handsome Smiles

The most important piece of advice we have for our male patients is this: don’t try to be a tough guy when it comes to your dental health. Minty fresh breath and regular dental appointments are not weak, they’re signs that your teeth and gums are important to you. Where you should be a tough guy is in the battle against oral bacteria, by keeping up with twice-daily brushing and daily flossing!

We’re here to help our patients keep their smiles healthy!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Posted in Uncategorized
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    I had put off having dental work because of anxiety. I’m so glad to have been referred to Dr. Behner many years ago. Being able to have IV sedation enabled me to get the work done that was needed. Dr. Behner and his staff are so understanding. My bite is better due to crowns and I’m no longer in pain. Thank you, Dr. Behner. I no longer “dread” the dentist.

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    DENTAL CARE TODAY PC -
    E. DALE BEHNER DDS

    If you are searching for an Indianapolis dentist to provide cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry, or dental implants, Dr. E. Dale Behner is here for you! Call today to schedule an appointment if you are in the area, including Fishers and Carmel. Dental Care Today PC - E. Dale Behner DDS
    9744 Lantern Rd
    Fishers, IN 46037
    Call: 317-842-2337317-842-2337 DrBehner@dentalcaretoday.com
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