Dr. Bob’s Tooth Truth Blog

Words from the mouth, heart and mind of a caring dentist

Brush Your Teeth With Sugar!

Yes you can, as long as it’s Xylitol. Xylitol is a natural occurring alcohol sugar that is commonly used in chewing gum such as “Orbit” and other products.
The main advantage of Xylitol is that it cannot be processed by the natural bacteria in the mouth so that regular use can literally starve the cavity causing bacteria to death!
Used in moderation it can dramatically reduce the incidence of decay in the mouth.
But like all good things there are some precautions that should be heeded. Too much (more than two portions a day) can result in a laxative effect and Xylitol can be lethal to pets.    Dogs rapidly develop insulin shock after ingesting Xylitol and it is toxic to their liver whereas humans have no such problems.
So if your dentist says you have way too many cavities, try to have at least two exposures to Xylitol in your mouth a day.
It is important to have only products that have 100%  Xylitol and not just small amounts. Some gum or mints have only token amounts of Xylitol and primarily Sorbitol which is cheaper to produce and of  little or no benefit.
Sources of Xyltol include: www.zellies.com, www.xlear.com and www.drjohns.com.
So experience the minty, cool and refreshing taste of Xyltol and enjoy better dental health.

POISON ALERT – Zinc In Denture Cream


Zzinc001inc has been labeled a poison in recent times as an ingredient in denture adhesives and anti-cold nasal sprays.  Is this alarm appropriate?  Absolutely!  But some basic discussion of the ‘why for it’s use’ is required.

Zinc is an essential mineral required for good health.  But like all nutrients, we need to take a balanced amount to stay within the range of its healthful benefits.  That’s 9 mg/day for women and 11 mg/day for men with a maximum limit of 20 to 40 mg/day.  Zinc plays a critical role in a long list of bio-chemical reactions in the body.  Zinc is an anti-oxidant that promotes healing and  prevents infection.  For this reason it is commonly used in skin creams, hair shampoos, sun screens and diet supplements.  It’s known to prevent halitosis, age related macular degeneration and gastroenteritis.

But too much of a good thing can come back and bite you.  Too much Zinc can cause ataxia (lack of muscle control), lethargy (feeling tired) and Copper Deficiency resulting in permanent nerve damage.

Lack of Zinc causes growth retardation, delayed sexual maturation, increased infections and diarrhea.  800,000 children die every year due to low Zinc.

All of the problems with Zinc have stemmed from improper labeling and excessive use.

In the case of denture adhesives,  the manufacturers are now removing Zinc in order to avoid the consequences of using too much.  Unfortunately, Zinc was a benefit when used properly.

The BOTTOM LINE: If You Have To Use Giant Globs Of Adhesive In Order To Make Your Dentures “Fit”, Then You Need To See Your Dentist For A New Set Or At Least A New Reline To Make Them Fit Better.dentures

New Web Site Launched! Go To: www.drschwan.com

My first website was put together by my youngest son while he was living in Nepal over seven years ago.  The new design was done by my oldest son.  It has been a work in progress over four years.  You’ll find that it’s a lot more user friendly and loaded with helpful information.   Congratulations and A Big Thank You to Chris.  Check it out!   www.drschwan.com new_patient_lead

Bad Breath Quick Cures


The universal desire to be socially acceptable is often fraught with challenges.  One of the most common obstacles to “closeness” is “BAD BREATH”!  So what can you do to pass through this possible minefield of rejection?  Consider using the following  “Quick Cures”.

  1. Stay Hydrated:  The most common cause of morning breath, headaches and muscle spasms is lack of adequate water in your diet.  Eight-eight ounce glasses a day seems like a lot but if you even approach this goal, you’ll feel a lot better.
  2. Gargle with mouth wash: Listerine is alcohol based but that’s why it works!  There are also excellent non-alcohol based mouthwashes that work well.  The least expensive is 3% Hydrogen Peroxide cut in half with water.
  3. Clean your teeth, gum tissue and tongue:  Start with flossing between the teeth (be sure to wrap the floss against each opposing tooth in the space your in and go up and down several times); an alternate to floss is the “Stimudent” triangular tooth picks or for tight spaces try the new “Ultradent Opalpix”  which are thinner for tight spaces.   The last thing you should do is brush your teeth, gum tissue and tongue surface with a good quality manual or better yet electric toothbrush using one of the whitening/desensitizing toothpastes.  For example Crest’s “Pro-Health” or “Sensodyne”.

Please note the order is important!  By leaving the brushing with toothpaste as last,  you should spit out but not rinse.  The important beneficial ingredients in toothpaste need to soak in over at least a half hour.  If you rinse afterward, all those benefits go down the drain!

An Adjunct to all the above is to prevent your lips and nose passages from drying out.  Lips appreciate any good quality lip balm.  For the nostrils, you can place any unscented vaseline or skin lotion that will keep the mucous membranes moist.  If the air passages are blocked, use any basic saline nasal spray before applying the lubricant.  Keeping the mucous membranes healthy minimizes the ability for unwanted cold or flu viruses from getting into your system.

Remember to floss or pic only the teeth you want to keep!

And forget about the duct tape!badbreath01

Dr Schwan’s Tooth Saving eMax/Cerec 3D CAD/CAM Crowns

cere01As a West Chester, PA Dentist, we  are pleased to offer the best natural tooth colored restorations available.  By using our Cerec 3D CAD-CAM acquisition (photo impression) and milling  system, in addition to the Empress pure porcelain restorations we have placed for more than eight years, we now have the remarkable IPS e.Max Lithium Disilicate which is the next generation of crown and bridge material.

The e.Max material  is a monolithic glass ceramic block.  With monolithic crowns we do not have to worry about the porcelain chipping or fracturing from the gold or zirconia substructure.  In a recent study at New York University, e.Max proved to be three times more resistant to material failure than the next strongest zirconia layered crowns and five times stronger than porcelain over gold.

Even more important, the microscopic particles are round which results in minimal wear against opposing teeth compared to layered porcelain which when worn or broken can be very abrasive.

In additon, since there is no metal involved, Cerec restorations offer thermal protection to the remaining tooth structure and virtually eliminate that annoying line between the natural tooth and the new restoration be it a crown, onlay or veneer.

We are truly excited to offer the Cerec 3D restorations as the best  tooth-saving technology.

Dr Bob’s Life Extending Pearls Of Wisdom

pearlsWe hold these truths to be self evident but unfortunately many times we don’t live by them.  What follows is a brief list of  “Dr Bob’s Life Extending Pearls Of Wisdom.

Reduce Stress:

  • Go to bed and get up the same time every day with a combination of sleeping or just staying in bed for any multiple of 1.5 hours- 4.5, 6, or 7.5 since we sleep in 1.5 hour cycles.  Keep track & try it.
  • Eat breakfast and a total of three or more small meals a day and stop eating after 7 pm.
  • Stop eating or drinking  the artificial crap that get’s foisted upon us by the “food industry”.
  • Stay with wholesome and natural foodstuffs: fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein.
  • Exercise with every move you make by doing so with vigor; for example drying yourself with a bath towel or walking.  Do some sustained aerobics at least three times a week or daily for 20 minutes.  Do some specific weight training to maintain your bone strength.
  • Go ahead and have that one drink at the end of the day to just settle-I emphasize ONE!
  • Take a multiple vitamin, Calcium supplement, Coenzyme Q, and Flaxseed Oil.
  • Drink eight-eight ounce  glasses of water a day or its equivalent.
  • Nurture your companionship needs.
  • Say your prayers and be honest with yourself and God.
  • Have a good bowel movement.

Make a list of things on your mind:

  • Cross out all the things you can have absolutely no effect on the possble outcome.
  • Take the remaining items  and reduce them to the five most important.
  • Get at least one of those taken care of every day.

Become a Positive Force:

  • Trash the things that drag you down and start treating yourself to positive thoughts & actions.
  • Everyone you meet-the first thing that should come out of your mouth should be a complement.
  • The best way to feel good is to first make someone else’s day.

Above all else KISS- Keep It Simple Stupid,  JUST DO IT!

Snap-On Smile Not A SNAP!

snapon02“Snap-On Smile” is a patented product that is anything but a snap.  They are the best costume teeth available but like any artificial covering, they have specific limited applications and many significant prohibitions.  There are also several brands of the same basic concept; a few are of good quality and many are only one time use costume teeth that are blatantly cheap in all aspects.

The main application that I recommend is only after having  a dental exam and clearance that the teeth and gum tissue are stable and healthy.  The quick smile concept is in fact a reversable, trial or transitional device used by qualified dentists to primarily:

  • Evaluate how much change can be made to badly worn or poorly formed teeth in order to achieve the best results toward normal function and satisfactry smile esthetics.
  • Evaluate the potential options for cosmetic improvements to the size, shape, color and position of your teeth.
  • Temporarily replace missing teeth while waiting for a more durable result from implant supported crowns, conventional bridgework or a durable removable appliance.
  • Evaluate the potential effect of cosmetic changes to the size and location of the gum tissue framing your teeth.

The serious prohibitions include but are not limited to:

  • Increased Bulkiness of something foreign in your mouth
  • Snap in is no guarantee that they’ll stay in during eating, sleeping or kissing.
  • They can break!
  • Potential to initiate or aggravate tooth decay or gum infection.
  • There must be healthy intact teeth available to hold on to.
  • Eating while appliance is in place is not easy or recommended.
  • Cost that could be applied to final restoration.

Under the right circumstances, the “Snap In” type smile fix can be very useful when properly used.

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