HOW TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE A CAVITY

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE A CAVITY

According to the National Institutes of Health, the most prevalent health condition after the common cold is tooth decay. It’s more than likely that if you haven’t already had a cavity, you will develop at least one in your lifetime. So, how do you know if you have a cavity?

Well, depending on the severity of your tooth decay, you may experience a variety of symptoms. Here are some of the accompanying symptoms that go along with tooth decay.

  • Nothing (in the early stages)
  • A toothache or spontaneous tooth pain
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Pain (slight or severe) when eating something sweet, hot, or cold
  • Staining (brown, black, or white) on the surface of your tooth
  • Visible holes in your tooth. Those holes are cavities
  • Pain when biting down

The best time to catch a cavity is in the early stages, when there are few, if any, symptoms. Keeping your twice yearly (or more) visits with us will ensure we catch them in time. 

We will let you know the best course of treatment for your particular situation. The recommendation could be as easy as watching and waiting to see if we find any tooth decay in the very early stages. Or, if you are symptomatic, we may have to formulate a more in-depth treatment plan. 

As always, brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss at least once a day, and try to minimize the amount of sugar in your diet. These steps will help you be proactive in preventing cavities. Even better, your teeth will thank you for it!

You can request an appointment here. Our team at Dentistry by Design is here for you. Please call with any questions or concerns. (920) 854-5200

Proper Brushing DOs and DON’Ts

Mouth open or mouth closed?

After lunch or after dinner?

Flat or at an angle?

We brush our teeth every day (hopefully!), but who knew it was this complicated. Just grab a brush a get to work, right?

Not so fast, my friend! There are actually some best practices to be mindful of when brushing those pearly whites.

The trick is cutting through the fat and finding out exactly what works. We live in a world of alternate facts, truthiness, and lists of “7 Ways to Keep Your Teeth Clean Without Picking Up a Toothbrush.” What’s even correct these days?!

Fear not, because we’ve got you covered with this handy FAQ (frequently asked questions) guide. We’ll keep it simple with some easy dos and don’ts of brushing. Let’s get to it!

Proper Brushing Habits

Don’t: Keep your brush flat
Do: Use a 45-degree angle when brushing Proper

Don’t: Use looooooooong strokes. No need to cover your whole mouth in one stroke!
Do: Use short, side to side strokes

Don’t: Brush with the force of a giant. This isn’t a strongman contest!
Do: Gently cover all areas. A gentle touch helps prevent wear and tear on your enamel

Don’t: Go one and done
Do: Brush at least twice a day, especially after eating or drinking something acidic (like citrus or soda)

Don’t: Be sentimental and use the same toothbrush for life
Do: Change your toothbrush every 3-4 months. A trick to remember: switch out on the first day of each season

Don’t: Be average – the average person brushes their teeth for 45 seconds
Do: Brush for a full 2 minutes. A helpful trick: say the alphabet while brushing a certain section, move to the next section after you hit Z.

Don’t: Keep your toothbrush in a closed container
Do: All your toothbrush to air dry

Don’t: Store your toothbrush on the sink counter where bathroom particles can get on it
Do: Store your toothbrush in the medicine cabinet

 Don’t: Wield a tough-bristled brush
Do: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, which is much better for your tooth enamel

And there we have it! Some easy practices to keep that perfect smile. Remember: Brushing is only 4 minutes out of the day, so why not make it the BEST 4 minutes of your day!

Dentistry by Design Partners with Toys for Tots

 

Dentistry by Design Partners with Toys for Tots

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but there are still many families whose children go without during the holiday season. What could be a better Christmas gift than that of bringing smiles to many children on Christmas morning?

Dentistry by Design has partnered with the popular holiday program, Toys for Tots (Door County Toys For Kids), to provide new toys to children in need- right here in Northern Door County! From now until December 9th, there will be a donation box in the waiting room of Dentistry by Design.

Donations will be accepted during normal business hours. After collection is complete, toys will be distributed to local children who are less fortunate than others. If you do not have an opportunity to pick up a new toy, any cash donations received will be spent on toys.

Help us put a smile on children’s faces this holiday season and let’s make this campaign better than ever!

Dentistry by Design, 2645 S. Bay Shore Dr., Sister Bay, WI  54234

Monday-Thursday, 8am-5pm

 

 

 

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