Teeth in Space

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If you’ve ever watched a sci-fi movie or TV show, you may or may not have noticed that people in outer space never seem to brush their teeth. Maybe in the 24th century, people don’t need to brush and floss, but back here in the 21st century, brushing and flossing are still important. It isn’t a job you can leave to your android.

Astronauts still need to take care of their teeth, even in orbit. But they have some challenges we don’t such as living in zero-g, a lack of fresh water, and weight requirements. Sometimes, crews will share toothpaste. A person will brush their teeth in space the same way as back on earth, but since there is no running water, they use a bag filled with water to wet the toothbrush. Since there is no sink or even a window, astronauts swallow their toothpaste or spit it into a tissue and throw it away. The alternative is to have bits of used toothpaste floating around the cabin. But astronauts need to be in excellent oral health at all times, since a small problem like a cavity or abscess could become a big problem in space. Not to mention taking off and returning to earth can exert a great deal of force on an astronaut, and his or her teeth need to be able to stand up to it. And, astronauts can lose bone density while in space, which can cause dental problems.

Whether you are heading off on the next mission to Mars, or just heading off to work or school in the morning, dental health needs to be a priority. If it is time for your cleaning and checkup, our dentist, Dr. Lisa Kirshenbaum would love to see you. If you live in the Kennesaw, Georgia area and would like to make an appointment at Dental Excellence of Kennesaw, call phone today.