This summer, Canadian police pulled over a big rig truck that was swerving erratically on Toronto’s highway 402 – only to discover that the driver had been preoccupied by trying to pull his own tooth!

The truck driver had tied one end of a piece of string around his painful tooth, and tied the other end to the roof of his cab. His plan was to drive over a bump in the road, and let the impact yank his tooth loose. Apparently highway 402 was far from an ideal road for the job (it had recently been resurfaced) but the driver did eventually find a bump and succeeded in removing the tooth.

“The evidence of his efforts were nearby,” Constable John Reurink told Canada’s QMI Agency.

Reurink also said that while he’s stopped drivers for driving while putting on makeup, talking on their phones and looking at maps, this was the first time he’d stopped a driver for performing dentistry on themselves. The driver – who was not named in the news reports – ended up in court facing a careless driving charge.

If you have a painful tooth, don’t take to the highway and try to fix the problem yourself… See your dentist today!

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

Q: My daughter is six, and she’s just growing in her first permanent tooth. Is there any way to know what order her other permanent teeth will grown in?

A: While we can’t always know the exact order that the thirty-two permanent teeth will grow in, they usually follow a fairly predictable sequence. This sequence is depicted in the chart below, courtesy of the American Dental Association. The first adult teeth to grow in are usually the first molars, around age six or seven. Between now and age thirteen, twenty-eight of the permanent adult teeth will appear. If the third molars (AKA wisdom teeth) ever develop, they will usually arrive between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees children and adult patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

What’s the history of dental floss?

Commercial dental floss was first manufactured in 1882 made of silk. In 1994 a prison inmate in West Virginia braided floss into a rope to scale the prison wall and escaped!

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

Indian dentist treats an elephant’s tusk

Over the past 5 years, an elephant named Devidasan had developed a 19-inch crack in one of his tusks. CV Pradeep, a professor at the PSM dental college in the town of Kerala, India, decided to fill the cracked tusk, using the same resins he would use to fill a cavity in a human tooth. The procedure took two hours and 47 tubes of resin, and the elephant wasn’t tranquilized! Read the full story here.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi
sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

Q: Is it possible to have gum disease without any warning signs?
A: Yes, it is. That’s just one of many reasons why it’s so important to have regular dental checkups! Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and it’s completely reversible!

Many factors increase your risk of developing gum (AKA periodontal) disease, including having crooked teeth, using tobacco, systemic illnesses like diabetes, the use of certain medications (steroids, for example), improperly fitting dental bridges, pregnancy or usage of birth control pills, and having fillings that are no longer effective.

The only way to know for sure what’s happening with your gums is to get them evaluated by a dental professional. If you come by our office, we’ll be glad to take a look.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

(Pictures by the American Academy of Periodontology)

Q: I’ve heard that cigars aren’t as bad for your teeth as cigarettes. Is this true?

A: Absolutely not. Cigars and cigarettes are both very bad for your teeth and overall health. Cigar smokers, just like cigarette smokers, are at risk for gum disease, as well as mouth and throat cancer and many other serious illnesses.

According to the American Dental Association, tobacco use could be responsible for as much as 75% of gum disease in adults. Tobacco products damage your gums by affecting the attachment of soft tissue and bone to your teeth. Cigars and cigarettes can also cause stains on the tongue and teeth, along with bad breath.

Cigars and cigarettes aren’t just unhealthy for the smoker – studies have repeatedly demonstrated that secondhand smoke can cause many health problems for non-smokers. Cigars and cigarettes are bad for your health, bad for your appearance and bad for those around you who are unlucky enough to inhale .

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

It’s possible. Now there is a study that adds breast cancer to the list(Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, October 19, 2010).

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.


Q: I’ve heard some people saying I should be brushing my tongue. Why?

A: You should certainly be cleaning your tongue on a daily basis. The tongue is home to many bacteria that are involved in periodontal problems, tooth decay, plaque, bad breath, as well as many systemic health problems. Dead bacteria in the back of the tongue often is the cause of bad breath (halitosis). The picture above shows the color of a healthy tongue. If you have a white coating on your tongue, talk to your dentist about proper oral hygiene. There are special devices for cleaning your tongue, such as the tongue cleaner below. Use it daily for better health and fresher breath!

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

"What is this white webbing in my mouth?"

Q: Recently I’ve had this strange white stuff on the inside of my cheeks. It’s bumpy and it kind of looks like lace. I spoke with my doctor and he said it’s probably something called lichen planus. What is that?

A: It’s good that you’ve spoken with your doctor. With a problem like this, it’s essential to be evaluated by a medical professional.

Although nobody is really sure what causes it, lichen planus is a generally mild skin disease found in about 1% of the general population. The mouth’s mucus membranes are a frequent target, and the illness typically affects people between the ages of 30 and 70. The white, lacy pattern often appears inside the mouth before showing up elsewhere on the body. While usually painless, it can produce painful ulcers. Lichen planus will often go away on its own, but sometimes it requires medical treatment.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

"What is baby bottle tooth decay?"


Q: I’ve heard of something called baby bottle tooth decay. What is that? Is there something in the plastic or rubber of the bottle that will decay my child’s teeth?

A: While there is nothing about the bottle itself that leads to tooth decay, many children develop cavities after feeding from a bottle (or breastfeeding or drinking from a cup) without having their teeth cleaned afterward. As the fluid sits in the mouth, it breaks down into acid that decays the teeth.

Even if your child is fussing, you should never put them down to sleep with a bottle, not even for a short nap. You may be very tempted to do this because you know it will quiet the child down, but eventually you’ll pay for that quiet in dental bills! If the child refuses to go to sleep without a bottle, give them a bottle full of unsweetened water.

Fruit juice and other highly acidic liquids should never be fed from a bottle. Serve them from a cup, and clean your baby’s teeth soon after.

You should regularly clean your baby’s teeth using a soft, infant-size tooth brush. If the child is under two years old use just a light smear of toothpaste on the bristles, and if the child is between two and five use a pea-sized amount. You should also talk to your dentist about whether fluoride treatments are a good idea for you child.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees children and adult dental patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

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