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 

Celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month!

Did you know that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic disease in children? It’s true! Helping your children maintain a healthy smile takes some extra work and vigilance, especially when they are still very young and may not be able to brush on their own. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM), so there is no better time than now to learn more about children’s oral care from your dental team at Dentistry by Design!

Dr. Sledge recommends the following strategies to set your kids up for a lifetime of dental success:

  • 2×2 – Your children should brush for two minutes, twice a day and they should floss just as often. Brush right alongside your kids to watch for proper technique, and play some fun music on your phone to make sure you brush long enough. Encourage them to spit out toothpaste, since getting too much fluoride can impact the appearance of their teeth.
  • Eat Healthy – Every parent knows just how many sweets are aimed at their kids. This compounds the problem for kids, since they’re already prone to tooth decay and cavities. Limit sugar – in foods and drinks (like fruit juices) – and stick to water, high-protein snacks, leafy greens, and dairy products. Cheese can protect tooth enamel so enjoy this healthy treat.
  • See Your Dentist – Since dental problems can arise as soon as teeth show up in the mouth, the ADA recommends scheduling your child’s first appointment no later than their first birthday. Kids should see our team at least twice a year for exams and cleanings.
  • Make It Fun – It’s important that kids get a good impression of the dentist when they’re young to encourage a lifelong habit of dental wellness. Watch cartoons and read children’s books about the dentist. Do dental activity sheets before your children’s appointment. (see below) Get them excited to visit the dentist!!
  • Set A Good Example – You know that your kids look up to you, so if you drink soda all day long, skimp on flossing, and don’t visit the dentist yourself, your children will pick up on that message.

Fun activity sheets for your children:

Now that you know what Children’s Dental Health Month is all about, take advantage of our $65 kids smile special  and give your son or daughter a smile that will last a lifetime! 

Schedule an appointment today! (920) 854-5200

5 New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthier Smile

 

Smile

5 New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthier Smile

 

Your dental health is an important part of your overall wellness, and the New Year is a great time to design resolutions for establishing healthy habits. Whether it’s improving toothbrushing habits or completing dental treatment, wellness resolutions are ALWAYS in season and the benefits of setting goals can be rewarding and motivating. Remember to make resolutions attainable by taking baby steps to achieve them.

Routine Dental Visits: The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you visit your dentist twice a year for a routine checkup to help maintain optimal oral health and identify any potential dental concerns before they have a chance to develop into something more serious. If you have been putting off your checkup or restorative work that needs to be done, then set a goal to get it done right away. Most dental insurance plans renew at the beginning of the year, which means that you have new coverage for the services that are needed.

Brush & Floss Daily: Brushing twice-a-day and flossing daily keeps harmful bacteria and plaque at bay, freshens your breath, and brightens your smile — which is typically the first thing people notice about you. Plus, it only takes a handful of minutes each day to floss and brush, so once you get into a routine it will be easy to maintain!

Choose Water Instead of Soda: It’s important to stay hydrated, but sipping on a soda throughout the day can be one of the worst things you can do for your dental health. Every time you take a sip, the sugar from the soda coats your teeth and creates the perfect acidic environment that promotes tooth decay.

In 2021, ditch the soda and switch it out for healthier alternatives like water.

Get a New Toothbrush: When was the last time you got a new toothbrush? It’s recommended that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months. One of the reasons is that the bristles can wear, making the toothbrush less effective. But a lesser-known reason for replacing your toothbrush is all about cleanliness. Toothbrushes are susceptible to bacteria just like the teeth, meaning that if you don’t take care of it adequately and keep it clean between use, you could be introducing bacteria into your mouth every time you brush.

Kick the Habit: Smoking has been linked to several health issues, making “quit smoking” one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. When it comes to dental health, quitting smoking can be a game changer. Smokers face increased risk of everything from chronic bad breath and tooth discoloration, to loss of jawbone density, gum disease and tooth loss. Smokers also face an increased risk of developing oral cancer.

For more tips on how to improve your smile, like us on Facebook and Instagram, or contact us today! 

(920) 854-5200

The Link Between Dental and Heart Health

How does the health of your mouth affect the health of the rest of your body? Studies show a possible link between chronic inflammation in your mouth and heart disease, heart attack, and other diseases like stroke, diabetes, and cancer.  Inflammation occurs whenever gum disease is present and studies show that up to 75% of adults are affected. There are usually no symptoms, which is why so many people do not know that inflammation is silently damaging their health.

The mouth is home to millions of bacteria trying to invade the gum tissues all the time. When these bugs manage to penetrate the gum tissue, the immune system goes on the attack and this is when inflammation occurs. If the problems aren’t corrected, the immune system can never shut off. This creates a condition where low grade, chronic inflammation is always present, which is believed to cause damage throughout the body and increases the risk for disease.

To be healthy you must minimize inflammation and here is how to do that:

– Remove the bugs. Minimizing the number of bacteria in your mouth through proper oral hygiene procedures is critical.

– Don’t feed the bugs. The more bad stuff you eat (sugar, soda, candy, junk food, etc), the more the bacteria multiply.

– Eliminate the places where the bugs can hide. Defective fillings or crowns, decay, or cracks in the teeth provide hiding places where the bad bugs live undisturbed and there is nothing you can do to get them out. This is how a damaged tooth left untreated could be damaging your heart.

– Have gum disease treated aggressively to remove bacteria and tartar from under the gums and eliminate gum pockets.

– Live a healthy lifestyle. Poor nutrition, stress, lack of sleep, alcohol, smoking, and chewing tobacco can weaken your gum tissues and your immune system, making it easier for the bad bugs to invade.

We here at Dentistry by Design understand that gum disease and inflammation are serious health risks, and we stand committed not just to your dental health, but to your overall health as well.

Dr. Michael Pierquet our Sister Bay Dentist

Article by Dr. Michael Pierquet
(Dentist at Dentistry by Design Sister Bay)