Our Blog

The History and Mythology of the Tooth Fairy

February 23rd, 2018

While the last baby teeth generally aren’t lost until age ten or 11, most children stop believing in the tooth fairy by the time they're seven or eight. Of course, children are more than happy to play along with the game when there’s money at stake! While it is impossible to know what the tooth fairy does with all those teeth (are they labeled and stored like museum pieces in a giant fairytale castle?), it is possible to trace the history and myth of the tooth fairy to several cultures and traditions. Dr. Dave Stinchfield and Dr. Tom Stinchfield and our team learned about some interesting myths about the tooth fairy!

The Middle Ages

Legend has it that Europeans in the Middle Ages believed a witch could curse someone by using their teeth, so it was important to dispose of baby teeth correctly. Teeth were swallowed, buried, or burned. Sometimes baby teeth were even left for rodents to eat. Despite being pests, rodents were valued for their strong teeth; it was generally believed a tooth fed to a rodent would lead to the development of a healthy and strong adult tooth.

Eighteenth Century France

The tooth fairy myth began to show more characteristics of a conventional fairytale in 18th century France. La Bonne Petite Souris, a bedtime story, tells the strange tale of a fairy that changes into a mouse to help a good queen defeat an evil king. The mouse secretly hides under the evil king’s pillow and defeats him by knocking out his teeth.

Scandinavian Lore

So, why does the tooth fairy leave money under the pillow? The idea of exchanging a tooth for coins originated in Scandinavia. Vikings paid children for a lost tooth. Teeth were worn on necklaces as good luck charms in battle. While the idea of exchanging a tooth for coins quickly spread throughout the rest of Europe, a fierce, horn-helmeted Viking is far cry from the image of a fairy collecting teeth.

While the tooth fairy as children know her today didn’t make an appearance until the 1900s, tooth myths and rites of passage have existed in numerous cultures since the dawn of time.

The Importance of Regular Dental Checkups

February 16th, 2018

When was the last time you paid Dr. Dave Stinchfield and Dr. Tom Stinchfield a visit? If you're like many people, chances are it was more than six months ago. We hear the reasons why people neglect regular dental visits all the time: lack of money or quality dental insurance, busy schedules, and fear. However, your twice-yearly checkups are so important for your dental health and for your overall health as well.

You may brush your teeth twice a day and even floss, and your teeth may feel fine, but regular dental checkups with Dr. Dave Stinchfield and Dr. Tom Stinchfield aren’t about addressing problems and reacting — they are about cavity prevention. No matter how much you brush and floss, there is still a chance that food or other debris can get lodged between your teeth, and there is also a chance that food and beverages can wear down your tooth enamel in between visits, making your teeth vulnerable to decay.

In addition to a thorough teeth cleaning and polishing, these regular visits help us detect and prevent the onset of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. During your visit, we’ll check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue. We’ll also check old fillings and restorations, as these can wear away over time from constant chewing, grinding, or clenching.

It's important to know that the majority of dental problems do not become visible or painful until they are highly advanced. And, unfortunately, serious oral issues are painful and expensive to treat. A deep cleaning twice a year by our team at Discovery Dental is the best way to hit all the spots you may have missed with brushing and flossing and prevent any problems that may have gone unseen.

Make sure your teeth get the professional attention they deserve! If you’re overdue for your next cleaning, please give us a call to schedule an appointment at our convenient Washougal, WA office!

Celebrating Love and Good Company

February 13th, 2018

At Discovery Dental, we love celebrating Valentine’s Day! Aside from all the sweet treats and fun cards, it’s a day that serves as a reminder to tell the people in your life how much you appreciate them. We can get so busy and so wrapped up in our own lives that it’s easy to forget to show kindness to those around us. We believe that it’s so important (and rewarding) to show our love in big ways and small because the world could always use more of it. (Psst, if you’re still in need of a Valentine’s Day idea for your significant other, nothings says “I love you” like a nice dinner and a movie!)

Fun fact: both Dr. Dave and Dr. Tom lived in Japan for a few years, where they quickly learned that this holiday is celebrated a little differently there. In Japan, it’s the women who give the chocolates to men. Not just that, the gift is considered truly sincere if it includes handmade chocolates, not store bought. No pressure.

One of Dr. Dave’s favorite Valentine’s Day memories is back in 1990 when he escorted his then-girlfriend, now-wife to a small church dance. He showed up with a dozen roses for her and wore his finest knit sweater and slacks. Sparks must have flown because it’s been happily ever after since!

This Valentine’s Day, part of our quarterly staff meeting will be held over a team lunch where we will certainly be indulging in a chocolate or two. Dr. Dave loves anything with dark chocolate or peppermint, while Dr. Tom is more a milk chocolate and peanut butter kind of guy, so we have a feeling we’ll have some good options to choose from. Not to worry though, we will be back just in time to see all our wonderful patients and treat them with beautiful red roses!

Just as we do every year, we just finished our Valentine's contest! Big congrats to our patient, Rebecca for guessing the exact number of candy in the jar. She not only gets to keep the jar but also gets a pair of movie tickets!

We hope you’re all enjoying the second month of the year. Don’t forget to be kind and spread the love!

The Start of Valentine’s Day

February 9th, 2018

Valentine’s Day, also known as Saint Valentine’s Day, has been said to originate with a Catholic priest named Valentine several thousand year ago. Valentine defied the emperor at the time by secretly marrying men and their brides after the emperor had made it illegal to marry. Emperor Claudius II did this because he wanted as many single young men to fight in his war as he could get.

Valentine disobeyed the emperor’s edict by continuing to marry couples until he was sentenced to death. Before his execution, he sent a letter to a secret love and signed it “From your Valentine.” Dr. Dave Stinchfield and Dr. Tom Stinchfield and our team have come up with some suggestions on how you can celebrate this Valentine’s Day, whether you have a valentine of your own or not.

Valentine's Day Ideas

  • Enjoy a tasty treat. There are plenty of options when it comes to cooking and/or baking on Valentine’s Day. Make your significant other his or her favorite meal or sweet treat, or make your own favorite dish to enjoy on this day. Oh, and be sure to make enough for leftovers!
  • Make a personalized card. Instead of buying a card from the grocery store, take the time to make your own for a loved one. People love handwritten notes, especially when it’s from someone special. If you’re single this Valentine’s Day, make a card for fellow single friend to brighten the day and remind the person that he or she is also loved.
  • Watch a movie. We all know there are plenty of romance movies out there. Put on your favorite romantic comedy, or pick up your significant other’s favorite movie to watch together. Even better, if you’re single, pick up your own favorite movies to watch to pass the time this Valentine’s Day.
  • Do nothing! We all know Valentine’s Day can sometimes get a lot of hype. If you’re worried about not making a reservation in time, don’t feel like planning an extravagant night out, or simply not in the holiday mood this year, spend your day sitting back and relaxing.

Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love and spend quality hours with the people you care about the most. Whether you’re in a relationship or single, take some time today to appreciate those you love in your life.

We wish you a happy Valentine’s Day celebration and look forward to seeing you at our Washougal, WA office during your next appointment.