Beautiful Smiles Rely on Healthy Gums

Your oral health goes beyond just teeth. Gums play a big part in a healthy and beautiful smile.

It is the gums that hold the teeth together in the perfect way and protect them by providing armor underneath. Even when your teeth are disease-free, you need to constantly care for gums for long-lasting teeth. 

Tips for Healthy Gums:

Good oral hygiene goes a long way when it comes to maintaining healthy gums. Some of the things patients should add to their oral care routine include:

Brush Twice a Day

Brushing at least twice a day is essential to keep gums healthy. Patients should not only focus on teeth when brushing. The gums and tongue should be cleaned as well. This removes plaque buildup and bacteria from teeth surfaces.

Floss Daily

Using floss at least once a day is just as important as brushing. Dental floss should be used to clean the spaces between teeth and keep them healthy. Failing to do so daily still leaves teeth and gums susceptible to decay.

Use a Mouthwash

An antibacterial mouthwash goes a long way when it comes to oral hygiene. It helps to clean the spaces brushing and flossing cannot reach, and it kills some of the bacteria in the mouth. A good mouthwash also helps to re-mineralize teeth and freshen breath.

Regular Visits to the Dentist

Dentists are trained to detect early signs of gum disease. If you go to your dentist regularly, they are more likely to be able to catch signs of gum disease early and treat it before it causes serious damage. Professional cleanings are also the only way you can remove tartar. Tartar leads not only to tooth decay but also gum disease. Your hygienist is trained to remove this tartar to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Healthy teeth rely on healthy gums to keep them in place. Take care of your gums to maintain a beautiful, functional smile that lasts a lifetime!

Learn more about the ways to take care of your gums at Dentistry by Design Sister Bay. Request an appointment with us for a check-up. Call our office at (920) 854-5200 or book an appointment online.

Tips on Preventing a Dental Emergency

dental emergency

A dental emergency is defined as an issue that requires immediate care. These can range from pain, swelling, and abscesses to fractured, lost, or chipped teeth due to trauma.

While some dental emergencies occur randomly, others can be preventable. The best way to manage a dental emergency is to prevent one from happening. Here are 5 ways to prevent dental emergencies:

Practice Daily Dental Hygiene

While breaking a tooth from falling or getting hit in the face may be the first image that comes to mind when you think of dental emergencies, it is common for dental emergencies to be related to basic dental health issues such as pain associated with cavities or decay. Preventative care is key. 

Dr. Sledge recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to clean all surfaces of your teeth for at least 2 minutes. Besides brushing, you should also floss in between each tooth every night before going to bed to remove harmful plaque and bacteria missed by your toothbrush. For more instructions on proper oral care, visit our suggested “Home Care” instructions.

Schedule Regular Dental Check-ups

Checkups and cleanings allow us to detect problems with your teeth and gums before they become an emergency. Not only can we find cavities before they become painful, we can also find small fractures or weak spots that may cause a chipped or broken tooth if untreated. The dentist has the tools to eliminate stubborn plaque deposits that cannot be cleaned by regular brushing. If you fail to visit the dentist, you put yourself at the risk of cavities and gum diseases.

During your appointment, Dr. Sledge will carefully examine your oral cavity for signs of oral health issues and provide preventive care. For more information, see “Cleanings and Preventions”.

Protect Your Teeth from Trauma & Grinding

Many dental injuries result from trauma or injury to the face, such as from an accident, fall, or sports-related event. You cannot always prepare for this type of situation; however, you can if you play sports wearing an athletic mouth guard significantly reduces your risk of injury to your teeth, gums, and oral structures.

Trauma can also be caused by long-term pressure or strain on your teeth, like what is caused by bruxism. The grinding and pressure will wear down your enamel, increasing your risk of a fracture or even a loose tooth. A nightguard provides a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth to prevent a costly dental bill down the road.

For more information on custom athletic mouth guards and nightguards, please give us a call. (920) 854-5200

Use the Correct Tools, Not your Teeth

Get in the habit of using an appropriate tool for each task. Do not use your teeth to open or rip apart items, which puts unnecessary stress on them. You should only use your teeth for consuming food.

When it comes to opening packaging or cutting stray strings, reach for the scissors or other appropriate tools, and you could likely prevent a dental emergency.

Avoid Chewing Extremely Hard Foods

Although biting and chewing are natural functions of the teeth, attempting to bite or chew extremely hard foods can result in damage to the teeth. Most commonly teeth will become chipped or cracked from foods that are too hard. For a list of the most common food that can damage your teeth, see the American Dental Association’s “Top 9 Foods That Damage Your Teeth”. 

The Bottom Line

Dental emergencies can be debilitating. They cause pain, long-term damage and sometimes require expensive, invasive dental procedures. With preventive care, you can reduce your chances of having a dental emergency.

Request an appointment here or call Dentistry by Design at (920) 854-5200 

Clarifying the DBD Payment Policy

Every once and awhile we have a patient ask “Why do I need to pre-pay for my proposed treatment before I schedule an appointment for it, don’t you trust me to pay that day?”. This is a valid question that deserves further clarification.

Is pre-payment required for all appointments? – No, our policy states that for routine appointments such as cleanings, exams, or any dental work requiring an appointment less than 2 hours long, your complete payment is due on the day of service. If you have dental insurance, only your patient portion is due on the day of service.

When is pre-payment required? – For services that require appointments of 2 or more hours, we do require complete payment before the appointment is scheduled. If you have dental insurance, only your patient portion is due before the appointment is scheduled.

In the instances where we do require a pre-payment, we see it as a commitment by both parties. We are committing the doctor’s time and skills necessary to complete the treatment, while the patient is committing to receiving the care. It has been our experience that patients are more likely to keep their appointments and get the work they need done when there is a financial commitment involved. Also, if we block off more than two hours of a doctor’s schedule for one patient, and then he or she decides last minute not to come in, that is time taken away from another patient that may have needed our services on that day.

We feel having this policy helps us to better serve our patients in a timely manor. It’s our commitment to you and your commitment to us and one more way we can help you have healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime.