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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

RST: Ask the Dentist

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 16, 2013 3:15 PM

What to look for on Radio Smart Talk Tuesday, September 17, 2013:

dentist with woman 300 x 260.jpg

Tuesday's Radio Smart  Talk will be another in the series of "Ask the Professional" programs -- shows that feature professionals who in work in specialized fields that have an impact on nearly everyone.

Tuesday's program will focus on dental health with Carlisle dentist Dr. William Spruill, the former president of the Pennsylvania Dental Association, as our guest.

Preventing cavities and taking care of one's teeth by brushing with a toothpaste that contains fluoride and flossing have become so routine for most Americans that we don't even think about it.  So that means we concentrate on our teeth when there is a problem or if we are looking for ways to improve the look of our teeth.

In fact, teeth whitening is becoming more popular to brighten a smile.  Do the toothpastes that promise whiter teeth work or is something more required.

We're hearing more about a relationship between good dental health, especially when it comes to the gums, and heart disease.  Is there a correlation?

We'll asked those questions and more on dental health on today's program.

Listen to the show:


Dr. William Spruill

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-17 08:23

    Andrea emails:

    Using a tooth brush is essentially the same way we've been trying to clean our teeth for hundreds of years -- just using a plastic brush instead of a frayed twig.

    Where technology has excelled has been in fixing decayed teeth -- not in preventing decay. Flouride would be an exception.

    Since dental caries is bacterial in origin, will there ever be an antibiotic that can interrupt the work of the bacteria, preventing decay in the first place?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-17 08:27

    Samantha emails:

    I have one front tooth that is darker because it had a root canal. Is there a way to lighten just that tooth?

  • Terry Miller img 2013-09-17 08:28

    Regarding mechanical toothbrushes: Are they safe to use on veneers? Having had some problems early on, I worry that the vibration could cause the veneers to loosen eventually. Am I worrying needlessly? Thanks!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-17 08:30

    James emails:

    I chew sugared chewing gum throughout the day to keep from snacking at my desk.

    I cannot chew the sugar-free gum. I generally chew one stick of gum for 3-4 hours.

    I’ve heard conflicting ideas as to benefits and damage to my teeth. How much damage or benefit am I giving to my teeth?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-17 08:33

    Shanna from Harrisburg has a few questions via email:

    1. I make my family’s toothpaste, using calcium powder, coconut oil, baking soda, xylitol powder, food-grade diatomaceous earth, vegetable glycerin, and essential oils. We all had periodic dental caries when we were using mainstream, store-bought toothpaste with fluoride, but none of us have had cavities since making the switch over a year ago. We all do go to the dentist every 6 months, and have been told that we have less plaque in the past. Is there anything I should be alert about, that would put up red flags to indicate that the toothpaste is not as effective as it should be?

    2. I recently read that our teeth can re-mineralize themselves when not impeded by coatings (glycerin, fluoride, etc.), and heal cavities without drilling/ filling, but had not previously heard that from my dentist. It makes sense to me that teeth could heal themselves, as most other human body parts can heal themselves under the right circumstances. Can you tell us more about how teeth can re-mineralize and/ or heal on their own, and how to promote that process?

    3. My eight-year-old son was told at his last dentist’s appointment that the standard practice is to put sealant on all of his healthy adult teeth when he is 8 or 9 years old. Is this standard practice, and why?

    Thank you!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-17 08:35

    John emails:

    I have dental anxiety and get very nervous and nauseous when I need to go to the dentist. So much so that it has been at least 3 years since I've been to one. Once I even passed out in the chair. Any suggestions?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-17 08:48

    Lisa emais:

    Are there ANY over the counter whiteners that work?