Sparkling Water: Friend or Foe?

Glass of sparkling water

From time-to-time I get asked this question from my patients. I personally like sparkling water, and I thought this article from the American Dental Association might be of interest to all of you. Enjoy the read:

Is the satisfying fizz of your favorite sparkling water putting you at risk for tooth decay? Because any drink with carbonation—including sparkling water—has a higher acid level, some reports have questioned whether sipping sparkling water will weaken your tooth enamel (the hard outer shell of your teeth where cavities first form).

So, Is Sparkling Water Affecting My Teeth?
According to available research, sparkling water is generally fine for your teeth—and here’s why. In a study using teeth that were removed as a part of treatment and donated for research, researchers tested to see whether sparkling water would attack tooth enamel more aggressively than regular lab water. The result? The two forms of water were about the same in their effects on tooth enamel. This finding suggests that, even though sparkling water is slightly more acidic than ordinary water, it’s all just water to your teeth.

Tips for Enjoying Sparkling Water—and Protecting Your Teeth
Sparkling water is far better for your teeth than sugary drinks. In addition, be sure to drink plenty of regular, fluoridated water, too—it’s the best beverage for your teeth. Water with fluoride naturally helps fight cavities, washes away the leftover food cavity-causing bacteria feast on and keeps your mouth from becoming dry (which can put you at a higher risk of cavities).

Be mindful of what’s in your sparkling water. Citrus-flavored waters often have higher acid levels that does increase the risk of damage to your enamel. Plan to enjoy these in one sitting or with meals. This way, you aren’t sipping it throughout the day and exposing your teeth over and over again to the slightly higher level of acid it contains.

Sparkling water brands with added sugar can no longer be considered just sparkling water. They are a sugar-sweetened beverage, which can contribute to your risk of developing cavities. So remember—sparkling or not—plain water is always the best choice.

Is sparkling water bad for my teeth? Mouth Healthy
Retrieved January 21, 2022, from

Christmas Time: Job Security for Dentists

While many things are fine in moderation, it helps to eat sweets and other sugary foods with meals or shortly after mealtime. What did Dr. Rob just say? Yes, your dentist has a sweet tooth. And a food tooth. And I’m happy!… LOL. So, why do you want to eat your favorite Christmas treats with meals? Saliva production increases during meals and helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles.

When it comes to picking healthy snacks, many people put dried fruit at the top of the list. But many dried fruits are sticky and sticky foods tend to stay on the teeth longer than other types of food. If you find yourself eating a lot of dried fruits such as cranberries, make sure to rinse with water and brush carefully. Those sticky foods can hide in between your teeth, especially if you don’t floss very well.

‘Tis the season for egg nog, and all the other special combinations that go with it! If you choose to imbibe, try to drink water alongside your drinks. And remember: Too much alcohol can dry out your mouth, and harm other body organs. Remember not to drink and drive.

Some candies are more problematic than others. Hard candies can put your teeth at risk because in addition to being full of sugar, they’ve also been known to cause broken or chipped teeth. Be careful not to break or chip your teeth when eating nuts as well. We tend to do more crowns on teeth due to fracture this time of year. Treats such as peanut brittle, hard candy, and grandma’s home-made candy are nothing but job security for dentists.

If you choose to indulge in chips and cakes, take extra care when you floss that day to remove all the food particles that can lead to plaque build-up.

So, what can you eat? Lots of stuff! Make lean protein choices, such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish and vary your diet. Eat whole grains and choose low-fat or fat-free dairy foods. The holidays are a great time of year to start thinking about healthier habits. If you do snack, make it a nutritious choice—such as cheese, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables—for your overall health and the health of your teeth.

But if you’re normal like me, I hope you enjoy the chocolate gifts as much as I do…just brush and floss thoroughly at least twice a day.

My wife and I pray the Lord’s blessings on all of you, your families, and our service men and women at this time of year.

Merry Christmas!

Dr. Rob

Type 2 Diabetes and Your Overall Health

For years my hygienists and I have been stressing the importance of oral health to our patients, especially when we discover inflamed gum tissue, or worse, infection into the bone that supports your teeth. If you don’t keep your oral health in good shape, meaning brushing and flossing at least twice a day, it can affect more areas of your body than just your mouth.

“A recent study suggests “treating chronic gum inflammation” may help people with type 2 diabetes “control their disease.” The study of 264 people with type 2 diabetes and periodontitis found that “over the course of a year, patients who got intensive periodontal treatment from dentists saw improvements not just in their blood glucose levels but in the health of their kidneys and blood vessels, too.” Study leader Dr. Francesco D’Aiuto said, “While more research is needed to explore the exact mechanisms” by which treating periodontitis can help people with diabetes, “a reduction of systemic inflammation…is the most plausible link.” The findings were published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.”

Make sure you see us twice a year for regular cleanings and exams, brush and floss twice daily with no short cuts (I know you know what I mean) and keep those gums and teeth healthy. This is the best way to prevent oral bacteria from circulating in your blood stream causing problems that can have long term consequences.

Dr. Rob Thorup

Why We Battle Dental Insurance For You

Just when I thought I had seen it all, we get another amazing statement of denial for needed dental treatment. As most of my patients know, we document, x-ray, photograph, and write-up all the reasons for needed treatment. We literally prove the need for treatment beyond question. Yet apparently the insurance companies are now using tactics to simply deny covered treatment regardless of the obvious.

So, what do we do in our office on behalf of our patients? We go to battle. We are finding ourselves requesting more and more conversations with the dental insurance advising dentist. This is the person who can overturn the denied claim. This peer-to-peer conversation is usually enough to change the denial as you are looking at x-rays and photographs with a colleague. However, they have internal rules and regulations that bind them from doing the right thing. We see that all too often. But most of the time they are reasonable.

So why are dental insurance companies making us do this? It’s common knowledge that a percentage of offices will not go to battle on behalf of their patients and just collect balances from them. And dental offices have the right to do so as it’s not our responsibility to beg for payment from a third party for dental services rendered.

The problem is simply this, dental insurance companies have to be profitable, just like any other business. This is a common stall tactic to leave money in their companies for quarterly earnings reports. They have money coming in from premiums and can’t pay out more money than they take in.

Bottom line, when dental treatment is denied, we request a direct phone call from their advising doctor on our patient’s behalf. Hopefully they still have all the necessary pictures, probing depths, and notes to prove the need for treatment. Sometimes those are “conveniently” lost. We even go to the extent of having our patients on a three-way call with their insurance company so that they, the insurance company, can explain to our patient why they are denying covered treatment, especially when it’s obviously needed. So, don’t be surprised when we ask you to help us help you.

What can the patient do? File a complaint with their Human Resource department. You are the customer of that insurance company and actually hold more authority than we do. Most important, you deserve the coverage you’ve paid for. Don’t let them get away with not covering your oral health care when it’s needed.

Dr. Rob

Grinding Your Teeth?

We all wish we could take away the stresses in our lives, but unfortunately, we can’t do that. Stress is what makes us stronger, refined, helps us grow in this life…right? It also wears out your teeth faster when it causes grinding habits, or as we call it in dentistry, bruxism.

Whenever one of my patients comes into my office with signs and symptoms of grinding, I always ask if they wake up in the morning and see little singe marks on their pillows from sparks flying out of their mouths from grinding. That joke always gets them to relax a bit.

But bruxism or grinding of your teeth either at night or during the day, is a serious problem. It can cause morning headaches, sensitive teeth, and even fractures in teeth resulting in root canal therapy or even extraction in the worst of cases.

Treatment is usually very simple. Impressions are taken, replicas of your teeth are made, and a hard-acrylic appliance is produced and fitted to your lower teeth which protects them. That appliance is called an occlusal guard, and it’s worn at night in most cases. It’s that simple!

If you even think you are grinding your teeth, especially at night, make an appointment so we can help preserve your teeth for years to come.

Memorial Day

So grateful for those men and women who have served our country, and who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we might enjoy the freedoms we should each hold dear. Grateful to my two sons who have also served their country. We truly are a blessed nation.

As my wife and I went to the cemetery to clean up the headstones of loved one who have passed, we both could not help to walk among the headstones and read the names of those who have served before.

I hope you enjoy the message I came across on one of my news feeds, about the story of Memorial Day. Enjoy the weekend, honor those who have served, family who have passed, and please thank those in uniform every chance you get.
Dr. Rob
“This Monday, America will be shut down for a very good reason: to honor the men and women of the past and present who have given the ultimate sacrifice while serving in our armed forces.
Arlington National Cemetery, the largest military cemetery in the U.S., tweeted the story of Memorial Day and how it evolved from a post-Civil War celebration to the major national holiday that America celebrates today.
What’s the story?
According to Arlington, Memorial Day began in the aftermath of the Civil War when families from both sides laid flowers on the graves of those lost in the war. It was initially known as “Decoration Day.”
The national observance of Memorial Day began when Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, then leader of the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization for Union veterans, designated May 30, 1868 for the celebration of Decoration Day.
But the celebration quickly evolved from just a day honoring fallen Civil War veterans to a day honoring every American who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. With the meaning change came a name change. According to Arlington, people began referring to the holiday as “Memorial Day” by the late 19th Century.
In 1968, then-President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established the national observance of Memorial Day on the last Monday each May.
“These Memorial Day ceremonies, rooted in 150 years of tradition, ensure that the United States will never forget those who died in the armed forces and the country for which they served,” according to Arlington, which has approximately 400,000 graves on its land.”
Chris Enloe, Weekend Editor, The Blaze

Retirement at 70?

As all of you should know by now, I love dentistry. I love taking care of all my patients, and working with some of the best dental team members both past and present. I believe it is an honor to be entrusted with the oral health care of the public, and all of us at Thorup Dental constantly strive to deliver the best care possible to those we serve.

I hope to be able to continue the practice of dentistry for another fifteen to twenty years from now. Why? Because it’s amazing to be able to help people get out of pain, enhance their smile, and just improve their overall health.

I came across an article published from the American Dental Association about the need/ability to continue working till age 70, and it caused me to think about all of us in all professions. Unfortunately it only referenced the financial reasons to continue working:

Working Until 70 Beneficial, Research Suggests.

The AP (5/8) reports “when it comes to retirement, later may be better,” because experts suggest that “working a few more years or drawing your Social Security benefits later can significantly boost income,” which is “particularly important” amid a national decrease in pensions and retirement savings. Research from the Stanford Center on Longevity found that the “best” retirement income approach “for middle-income retirees to have a reliable source of income through retirement is to wait until age 70 to claim Social Security,” and the study’s lead researcher stated, “We keep adding years of life and it all got tacked on to the retirement period and it never changed the retirement age.”

I feel we also need to add more important reasons for working in our professions a bit longer:

1-The wisdom that older workers can impart is often times priceless.
2-On-the-job experience can not be learned in a classroom.
3-Our brains stay sharp when mentally and physically challenged.

So, when will I, Dr. Rob, retire? I get that question from time to time. Hopefully not for a long time, as “70” is still many years away…

Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful moms!

Dr. Rob

Common Pain Relievers Better for Dental Pain

Sometimes my patients wonder why I rarely prescribe opioid type pain medications for their dental pain. It’s simple, opioid pain medications do not block pain receptors as well as over-the-counter pain medications. Hopefully this article I am sharing with all of you will help you better understand how to control pain associated with dental conditions.

Enjoy the read….
Dr. Rob

Women Rule (My staff helped me name this article…)

As most of my patients know, I’ve had the opportunity to serve the youth for over thirty years of my life in the LDS Church, and other religious groups. It’s the youth of our society who are going to be taking care of us as we all age, and we will depend on them for decisions that will affect our lives, and those of our children/grandchildren. I only pray I have had a positive impact on the young lives with whom I have taught and mentored, which is always a concerning thought for me, as one hopes they only implement my good traits, and not the bad ones. Ugh….

I came across an article in the American Dental Association Newsletter that caught my attention, which has mirrored for years one of the things I am passionate about, and that is the pursuit of education for both men and women, and more specifically women. My Mom was so street smart it always scared me because I was not able to get away with much growing up, and she instilled in me many of the morals and values I hold dear. I later learned in life that my Mom never graduated from High School, let alone attended college, yet I would have never known had she not told me.

It was a different time growing up in the Great Depression, especially in families who didn’t have much. But Mom was “self-taught”, reading any book she could get her hands on. And all my life long, her and Dad instilled the need for me to go to college. I’m grateful to her, and for the fact she survived raising me…

With that all said, I have always been a teacher and mentor with the women in my life, in helping them, and encouraging them, to attend college and pursue fields of interest, including dentistry. Every day I’m surrounded by incredible women who do exceptional work in the dental field, and hope this article inspires all the fantastic women out there to achieve their full potential in any field they pursue, and continue to inspire those who follow in their footsteps…

Dr. Rob

From ‘forgotten womanhood’ to female empowerment: One woman’s pioneering spirit paved the way for women in dentistry
Posted on March 8, 2018, ADA News
Lucy Hobbs Taylor was the definition of a trailblazer. In 1859, the 26-year-old planned to enroll in medical school. However, after being denied admission on the basis of her gender, she pursued dental school. It took another few years before she was finally admitted to the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, and became the first woman in the world to earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1866.
Dr. Hobbs Taylor withstood the shock and awe surrounding her ambition, including accusations of “forgotten womanhood,” as she created a career for herself in dentistry. More than 150 years later, graduating dental classes are nearly 50 percent female and the legacy of Dr. Hobbs Taylor lives on through a namesake award that spotlights talented, inspiring female dentists.
Click below to read the full article:

From ‘forgotten womanhood’ to female empowerment: One woman’s pioneering spirit paved the way for women in dentistry

Needle-Free Numbing for Dentistry

Most of the time when dental treatment is needed, the dentist will need to numb the part of your mouth where treatment is needed. The medicine that numbs the mouth is called local anesthetic.

There are two types numbing techniques that the dentist can perform. The first type will usually consist of a numbing gel on the injection site, followed by the actual injection. This is the most common type of numbing. The second type of numbing is delivered with a nasal spray, which doesn’t require a needle. But this type has limitations as it only numbs a limited area of the mouth.

There are two types of zones your dentist can numb. The first type numbs an entire area of your mouth, like your front upper ten teeth, or one entire side of your lower jaw. The second type is an infiltration where a much smaller zone is numbed. Either type can last anywhere from thirty minutes to six hours or more. As most know, speech can be challenging after dental work, and eating is not recommended until the numbness is completely gone.

There are many types of local anesthetic that your dentist can use. The type of dental procedure you are in need of will usually determine the kind of local anesthetic your dentist will choose, and the costs involved with each. Most important is making sure you are as comfortable as possible when receiving your needed dental care.

Kovanaze is the first FDA-approved no-needle anesthetic given via nasal spray. It offers patients a safe and effective, needle-free alternative to numb selective teeth for restorative dental procedures. Patients usually do not experience the same sensations of numbness or tingling of the lips and cheeks associated with traditional injections, which is preferable after dental procedures.

-The world’s first intranasal dental anesthetic
-FDA approved

Dr. Rob