Dental Blog

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By Elkhart Dental Center
June 21, 2017
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Welcome to the Blog of S Nappanee St Elkhart, IN

Whether you are an existing patient or searching for a dentist in the Elkhart, IN area, we’re excited you are here. With the dental industry advancing, we recognize the importance of keeping our patients and visitors up to date with all of the new and exciting things taking place in our practice.

As we move forward with our blog, we hope to promote dental awareness as a vital part of your healthy lifestyle. Here you will find a variety of articles and topics including dental news, advancements in dental technology and treatments, practical oral health advice and updates from our practice.

We hope you find our blog to be helpful, engaging and informational to ensure your best dental health. 

As always, feel free to contact our S Nappanee St Elkhart, IN office with any dental questions or concerns.

-- S Nappanee St Elkhart, IN

Elkhart family dentistryFamily dentistry means more than you might expect. When a family dentist takes your loved ones into their care, they're vowing to provide them the help they need to build healthy teeth and gums in the long-term, and gain the knowledge and tools that help them get there. You need different types of care at every age, and it's crucial to stay in touch with what's right for your mouth. By approaching your health alongside your children, you not only form a stronger bond with your family members, but keep everyone in healthy shape.

Keep reading to learn more about how you can help everyone in your home feel good about their dental care, and get in touch to schedule your family's next exams! Visiting the office together will help your kids feel less anxious about treatment, and give you more information about where your family's taking the right steps toward disease-free teeth.

Family Engagement with Oral Health

  • Try some oral health activities - If your kids aren't interested in brushing their teeth, they might need to learn a little more about how cavities form, and how oral hygiene keeps them at bay. Try an experiment that will illustrate the effects of acids and bacteria on tooth enamel, and talk about how the results apply to real life.
  • Clean your teeth together - Family brushing time is never a bad thing! You can keep an eye on your kids' habits, make sure they actually brush (and brush for long enough), and have some fun at the same time. Try finding a 2-minute song to time their brushing and make the practice more exciting.
  • Shop smart - Your groceries should give your kids the tooth-friendly foods, snacks, and drinks that their growing bodies need. Try to limit sugary or starchy packaged foods, and prioritize fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products, and nuts.
  • Find tooth-healthy alternatives - This doesn't just mean swapping out certain items on your grocery list. Try approaching holidays that are usually candy-filled in a slightly different way - donate leftover Halloween candy in the few weeks after trick-or-treating, and use non-sugary things as rewards for good grades or behavior. Sugar doesn't have to control your kids' lives, and you'll be helping them get used to (and appreciate) the taste of healthier foods.
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Elkhart general dentistYou do everything possible to provide for your kids. But what about when there isn't an option that will work with both their desires and with their health? Kids can be persistent when they light upon something they want - especially if they’re denied it outright. When your kids are craving a sweet treat, what’s a parent to do? You know that soda is a bad idea, both for teeth and for overall health, but when alternatives like smoothies are just as sugary, it can feel like you’re backed into a corner.

Fortunately, not all sugary snacks are created equal. There are always options that will fulfill your children's cravings but still leave them with bright, healthy smiles. Here’s how to find out what you should be putting in your grocery list and what you should be leaving behind at the store. If you ever have questions about how to feed your family, just get in touch with our office to learn more about tooth- and body-healthy foods.

Tooth Friendly Snacks for Kids and Adults

Children aren't the only ones who crave unhealthy treats now and then. If you've been struggling to eat better in the office or at home planning ahead will help you avoid a sudden crash and grabbing fast food or other momentarily satisfying snacks.

In our time as dental professionals we've seen a lot of food and drink options and seen their ultimate results on oral health. Remember that sugar isn't the only enemy -  foods and drinks high in acidity are just as bad (if not worse). This is why soda is a nemesis for healthy enamel: because it's both sweet and acidic. In addition to soft drinks, here are the top bad guys.


  • Smoothies - Although fruit is great for your body in whole form, when it's blended into a drink, it's typically sweeter and affects the body differently. Studies have shown that smoothies contain over 2.5 tsps of free sugars, which are dangerous for teeth.

  • Citrus fruit juice - Oranges, lemons, and limes are acidic and their juices have added sugars, making them a double threat to your enamel.

  • Dried fruit - While dried fruit might seem healthier than candy, it can have a sugar content that's just as high. Anything that sticks to your teeth is espeically harmful for your enamel, since it remains pressed against the teeth.

  • Potato chips - If you're snacking on chips during the day, it might be time to find a new appetite suppressant. The starches in chips give rise to harmful acids in the mouth, and also tend to get trapped against your teeth.

  • Anything too crunchy for teeth - If you have a habit of chewing on ice or other items not meant for teeth, you should try to keep that in check - this can lead to chips, cracks, or breaks.


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Elkhart periodontal treatmentOur gums often go overlooked. They don't play as prominent a role in our smiles as our pearly whites, and are usually hidden behind our lips. But when you take a second to consider all that your gums accomplish, their true importance becomes clear. The fact of the matter is, without healthy gums, there's no chance of healthy teeth. Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss, and avoiding it is the surest way to build a long-lasting smile.

Current research is showing a surprising trend, building the case for a mouth-body connection that scientists have suspected for years. Studies show that periodontal health may actually be linked to systemic health. What does this mean for us as dental patients? It's more important than ever to keep an eye on our gums, and take fast action if we notice inflammation. Pick up a few tips so that you can stay informed and know when to visit our Elkhart dentist for help.

Signs of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and refers to the inflammation of the gums. When the soft tissues in your mouth become inflamed, they're at a heightened risk of infection and damage. Gingivitis takes hold when your oral hygiene isn't removing plaque the way it should. Bacteria then builds up at the gum line, irritating your surrounding teeth and gums.

You may be approaching gum disease if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Reddened gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Tender gums or teeth
  • Receding gum line
  • Puffiness at the gum line
  • Bad breath that won't go away
  • Gums that bleed when touched or during oral hygiene

If you notice that your gums are changing, it's always a good idea to schedule a dental exam. But before you visit our office, get started on your own gum disease crusade by kicking your brushing and flossin gup a notch. Not usually a flosser? Now is the time to start - it will help reduce inflammation andn lower your chances of developing full-blown gum disease.

Get in touch if you'd like to schedule an exam, or get answers to any of your gum-related questions!

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Elkhart teeth whiteningWill your whitening be this pronounced? Get the facts behind bleaching to get a better idea of your results

As the most popular cosmetic dental treatment around, teeth whitening is a much-discussed option. But with popularity comes some misconceptions. While whitening can offer some a dazzling grin, it might not have an effect on some stains. How do you know whether it's right for your smile?

We want your cosmetic dentistry to be fulfilling, and that means making sure you have the right expectations. We'll always talk through the treatment process before you get started, but it never hurts to do some research of your own. Get a whitening primer below so that you're informed before your cosmetic consultation. Once you visit our office, Dr. Lee will take a look at your teeth and tell you more about what's possible with whitening.

Types of Tooth Stains

Not all stains are alike. There are a few different reasons your smile might have a yellowish tinge, and we'll need to get to the root of the problem before recommending whitening.

  • Intrinsic - Some stains are formed during tooth development. This can happen from the administration of certain antibiotics, or from excessive exposure to fluoride. These stains are internal, and won't be affected by whitening because that doesn't delve deeper than the enamel.
  • Extrinsic - The most common type of tooth stain, extrinsic stains are caused by dark compounds becoming lodged in the enamel. Since enamel is porous, there's ample space for stains to take hold. They're usually caused by habits like smoking, drinking red wine, cola, or coffee, or other environmental factors. These stains are the ideal candidate for conventional whitening.
  • Erosion - Your teeth are covered by enamel, which lends them their white shade. If the enamel chips away or erodes significantly, the layer beneath will show throw. This layer is called dentin, and is a deeper yellow. Worn teeth are typically yellow because of the lack of enamel, and no amount of whitening will change this - the teeth need to be rebuilt.

When Whitening is Right

As we mentioned, stained enamel is the right target for whitening. The whitening agent penetrates enamels pores and reacts with oxygen, breaking up stains and whitening the teeth. In-office whitening will yield a brighter smile within just one appointment, while home whitening offers gradual results with repeat treatments. We'll recommend the option that fits your preferences, whitening goals, and budget.

Alternative Whitening Options

If you're hoping to whiten other types of stains, it will be necessary to cover the stains and build up the teeth. This is possible with dental bonding, porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns, and more - just set up a consultation to get some guidance.

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