Dental Blog

Posts for category: General Dentistry

Elkhart general dentistIs tooth loss inevitable? With each passing year and our continuing technological development, the answer becomes a more resounding “no.” Our teeth are built to last, and seniors’ tooth loss has dropped by 60 percent in the last fifty years. So then why do so many seniors have partials or dentures? It all comes down to their lifelong oral hygiene.

 

The number one cause of tooth loss is periodontal disease. By brushing, flossing, and scheduling regular exams, you can help reduce your likelihood of infected gums. This will prevent tooth loss and keep your smile intact! Keep reading to learn how to implement your own disease-fighting measures into daily life, and get in touch today to schedule your next exam. Bringing a dental team into your mouth twice a year is the best way to spot early problems.

 

Why Gum Disease is a Big Deal

 

When your gums become infected, you can see tooth and bone loss - but the ramifications don’t stop there. Studies continue to suggest a link between periodontitis and some systemic health problems. By keeping your gums healthy, you may actually be able to avoid other diseases! When combining that with avoiding tooth loss, a periodontitis-free life is more appealing than ever.

 

Preventing Serious Dental Problems

  • Know the symptoms of gingivitis - When you're aware of what to watch out for, disease prevention is simple. Make sure to take note of red or purple gums, puffiness, tender gums, or receding gums.
  • Schedule exams every six months (or more) - Depending on your risk of gum disease, we may want to see you more often than the recommended interval. We'll let you know when you should be scheduling next after each appointment.
  • Brush and floss thoroughly and often - By removing plaque before it irritates your gums, you avoiding the inflammation that kicks off the disease cycle. Twice-daily brushing and daily flossing should be a part of your life if you want to preserve your teeth.
  • Be vigilant - When something seems like it's off, it's always safest to get it checked out.

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Elkhart pediatric dentistWhen it comes to kids’ health, sometimes the way to get them engaged in positive habits isn’t all that straightforward. Children are most interested in doing whatever is entertaining, pleasant, or fulfilling to them in some way. Of course, what this means depends on the unique child, but taking a look at what makes them feel more comfortable gives us clues as to how we can encourage them.

A group of schools in Australia is doing just that. Noticing that kids weren’t drinking water, the University of Sydney invested in chilled, filtered water fountains throughout the buildings. Many children in the area prefer sugary drinks because the tap water is warm and doesn’t taste good. By installing these drinking fountains for those who don’t have bottled water at home, the school can help lower tooth decay and improve kids’ overall health.

 

These are the kinds of changes that are necessary to reduce childhood cavities. By avoiding disease during their youth, patients can grow up without dental anxiety and confidence about their strong, healthy smiles. If you’d like to find ways to help your family prevent decay, keep reading - and get in touch with any questions.

 

Ways to Boost Your Kids’ Dental Health

  • Shop smart - As seen with the schools we mentioned, sometimes the presence of a healthier option helps kids make the right choice. By skipping soda, candy, chips, and other high-sugar, high-starch and high-fat options, and providing your kids with fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, cheese, and yogurt (not to mention plenty of water), you help them learn to enjoy the taste of fresh, healthy foods.
  • Find kid-friendly dental products - There are countless versions of every toothpaste and toothbrush, all with the aim of appealing to kids’ sensibilities. Find products that feature your child’s favorite movie character or colors, and they’ll be more excited to clean their teeth.
  • Brush and floss together - Make oral hygiene time family time! By brushing and flossing together, you not only make sure your kids get it done, but that they’re cleaning correctly and for long enough (at least 2 minutes per brushing).

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Elkhart pediatric dentist

Packing lunches for your kids is a relatively easy way to make sure they eat tooth-healthy while at school (instead of going for sugary treats)

Now that you know that kids' cavities are the #1 cause of school abscences (and adverse academic performance), you're readier than ever to make this school year cavity-free for your children. But what steps can you take to encourage their great oral health? Throughout the year, you can make both daily steps and larger decisions that will help boost health and keep your kids smiling. Our tips are below, and if you ever have questions, just give us a call.

How to Make This School Year Tooth-Healthy

  • Schedule your whole family's exams at once - If you struggle to find time in the schedule for preventive care (and who doesn't), it helps to set up your exams way out. By arranging everyone's exams on the same day, you also save additional trips to the office, and help your kids feel more comfortable with the office because you're also receiving care from the same team.
  • Pack school lunches - Who knows what your kids get up to when they're purchasing their own lunches at school? By packing their meals ahead of time, you make sure they get well-rounded lunches and low-sugar snacks. While you're at it, try packing your own lunch - you'll save money and eat better than if you eat out during work!
  • Make sure your kids' brushing and flossing are consistent - The school year gets so busy, with the combination of homework, extracurriculars, social events, and whatever else pops up in daily life. Keep an eye on your kids' brushing and flossing to be sure they're cleaning properly, and twice a day. If you have time, brush your teeth alongside them to get them more into the hygiene spirit.
  • Fill the fridge and pantry with healthy options - When you're grocery shopping, you're determining how your whole family eats. Be sure to prioritize foods, snacks, and beverages that are tooth- and body-health, and limit sugary or starchy treats.
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pediatric dental health

Hoping to help your kids get a leg up at school? We all want our children to succeed, and try to do whatever possible to give them the tools they need to excel academically. Problem is, there are some things that we might not be aware of, that are actually contributing to cavities. One of these is skipping dental exams.

Your kids should visit the office every six months for routine care. By staying cavity-free while they're young, they actually gain some lifelong benefits. Read on to learn more about what those are, and get in touch to schedule your kids' next appointments today.

Why Kids Benefit from Staying Cavity-Free

  • Lower chance of developing dental anxiety - What causes dental anxiety, exactly? The answer is different for every patient, but it commonly stems from negative dental experiences. And when you're a child, you're even less certain of what's going to happen in the dental chair. If kids develop cavities, they have to receive fillings, and the process can be traumatic. While we do everything we can to keep children comfortable in the dental chair, it's easier to prevent cavities in the first place.
  • Fewer school absences - As this infographic mentions, cavities are actually the top cause of school absences. The more often your kids miss school, the tougher it is for them to be star students. Avoid the need to pull them out during the day, and set up exams on your own schedule so that you're not suddely facing a dental emergency.
  • Improved confidence and self-esteem - When your kids have healthy, strong teeth, they feel better about themselves. They'll be more comfortable being social, and generally more confident.
  • Develop lifelong oral health habits - We learn habits during our youth that tend to stay with us for many years to come. By teaching your kids to visit the office and boost their dental health, you help ensure that they continue those practices into the future.

jaw pain Elkhart

Jaw pain changes every part of your life. While something like a twinge in your jaw might seem insignificant, it actually leads to ongoing stress, frustration, irritation, and poor oral function. But you don't have to just put up with this discomfort. Learning more about jaw disorders will give you a clue as to how you should proceed.

If you're ever experiencing chronic pain, get in touch with our office. We'll help diagnose the problem, and find the path forward that best suits you.

What's A Jaw Disorder?

Your upper and lower jaws are attached to one another with your TMJ (temporomandibular) joint on each side of your head. This joint allows the impressive range of motion that your lower jaw is able to perform, from side to side to front and back to circular. Unfortunately, this joint is delicate, and repetitive forces and motions can throw it off.

If a problem like chronic teeth grinding, clenching, or other excessive force on the jaw continues long-term, you may experience a jaw disorder. At this point, you can't recover from the problem without seeking out treatment to stop the harmful movements and heal your TMJ.

Signs of TMJ Problems

Your jaw pain might signify a TMJ disorder, or it may be more temporary. If it's been going on for some time, then it's a good idea to schedule an appointment. This will tell you more about the problem, and help you move past it.

How do you know that your pain = TMJ trouble? These symptoms are ones that should tip you off:

  • Exhausted-feeling jaw that you struggle to move
  • Facial or tooth pain after waking up
  • Soreness in your ears, or in front of your ears on the sides of your face
  • Clicking or popping sounds when you open your mouth
  • Facial swelling
  • Jaws not fitting together properly
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