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

Donation Supports 16 Area Kindergarten Classrooms

Dentistry by Design recently had the opportunity to present 16 area kindergarten teachers with donations for use in each of their classrooms.  Kindergarten teachers at Algoma, Gibraltar, Sevastopol, Southern Door and Sturgeon Bay public schools each received a $200 donation as a result of our most recent Volunteer Day held at our Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay an Algoma practices.  The funds were presented to the teachers with the flexibility to use in a manor they felt would best benefit their students and enhance the overall classroom experience. 

“With our most recent volunteer day funds, we knew we wanted to give back to the schools once again and the teachers that play such a pivotal role in our children’s lives.  We selected the 5K teachers because there are many things they need for their classrooms and more often than not their budgets are small so they end up using their own money to stock their rooms. With this donation they can hopefully buy extra books, plan a fun field trip or a class party and not worry where the money will come from.” – Dr. Gina Grenfell, co-owner of Dentistry by Design Sturgeon Bay.

“My mother was a teacher for 28 years.  Growing up I experienced first-hand the dedication of time, energy and resources it took to ensure that her students had the best experience possible. So, being able to utilize my professional skills along with those of our team members as a way to give back to area teachers is such a wonderful gift. We really want them to know we appreciate all that they do!” – Dr. John Sledge, owner of Dentistry by Design Sister Bay.

Dentistry by Design’s Volunteer Day is a collaboration between our team members and patients.  It combines the skills of our team with the needs of our patients as a means to give back to the community.

We aim to have three volunteer days a year at each of our three locations; Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay and Algoma.  On each of those days our team members volunteer their time and talents to provide dental care to our patients. Two-thirds of that half day’s production is donated back to the community, with only a third retained to cover expenses like lab fees and supplies that pertain to that specific day.  Our team members that volunteer their time, collectively agree on how they want the funds to be distributed in the community.

Since the inception of the program in 2014, with the help of our patients we have proudly donated over $76,600 to individuals and families in need as well as various groups and organizations in the Door and Kewaunee County communities. Thank you to all who have made this possible as we could not have done it without you!

Community Members on a Mission to Provide Care in Haiti and Honduras

Community members from northeastern Wisconsin are on a mission to provide care in both Haiti and Honduras in the coming months.  Up first, a mission trip to a remote region of central Haiti called Los Cacaos, February 15th through the 25th to provide free dental care.

Our own Dr. Paul Feit will join Dr. Scott Zak of Shore-line Legacy Dental (Manitowoc) and Dr. Chris Hansen of Two Rivers Family Dental along with many other missionaries in providing much needed dental care to the people of Los Cacaos, Haiti. This mission trip was organized by Dr. Hansen in conjunction with the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Green Bay, Sister Maria Marciano Projects.

Dr. Paul Feit providing care in Haiti in 2018.

Dr. Chris Hansen providing care in Haiti in 2018.

This is both Dr. Hansen and Dr. Feit’s second trip to Los Cacaos.  During their inaugural visit in 2018  they, along with other Wisconsin missionaries, were able to finish setting up the dental clinic, stock it with over 650 pounds of donated supplies and provide much needed dental care to over 300 people. Preferred Dental Services of Denmark, WI, and Dental Health Products of New Frankin, WI, both generously donated dental equipment and materials to the project allowing missionaries to set up two operatories in Los Cacaos in 2018.  New this year will be the addition of two more dental chairs and a suction system to help aide them in providing care.  Missionaries will have 7 clinic days during which they will provide care. To support this mission, donations can be made to the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Green Bay, Sister Maria Marciano Projects.

A second mission trip is planned for March 16th through the 24th this time to Ahuas, Honduras. This trip will also focus on providing free dental care as well as food through the Infant Feeding Program to those in and around Ahuas. Organized by Rick Nelson (In-country Mission Coordinator), along with DBD’s Dr. Paul Feit and Clinical Director Katie Bennett there will be a total of 18 missionaries heading to Ahuas.  The dental team, which is comprised of nine dental professionals, will provide free care in the Ahuas dental clinic.  They will also take canoes or a tractor with trailer to neighboring villages to extend the reach of their service to areas that rarely have access to dental care.

Dr. Paul Feit in Honduras in 2016.

The Infant Feeding program is also a focus of this trip. Nurse Practitioner Stacy Luedeman along with multiple registered nurses and other missionaries will prepare and deliver food to area families, paying special attention to infants. Thanks to the donations of many this mission trip is more than half way funded, but is still in need of approximately $12,500 to reach their goal.  Funds donated will go to help missionaries provide dental care, food and medicine to those in need.  If you would like to help support this mission with a monetary donation please send checks to:

 Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church
323 South Fifth Avenue
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235-0266
*Please write Honduras Mission Trip in the memo section of your check.

What Type Of Dental X-rays Will I Need And How Often?

Recently we had a new patient mention that they enjoyed our dental practice and the service they received, but felt like we took more x-rays and intraoral pictures then they had in the past. This got us thinking that may be other patients share this feeling, so we felt it was important to take some time to explain why we do what we do.

As trained dental professionals we know how essential x-rays and intraoral pictures are to making an educated diagnosis. Through x-rays we can see your bone, roots, in-between the teeth and also detect any possible abnormalities such as oral cancers or blocked arteries depending on the x-ray we take. In order to know what is going on in areas we can’t see with the human eye we need these images to best serve the needs of our patients.   

So what type of x-rays can you expect to receive at Dentistry by Design and how often? That depends on if you are a current or new patient. We follow the ADA recommendations for x-rays and as an existing patient at our Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay or Algoma practice it is recommended to have the following.

Bitewings are taken yearly and are the small tabs that you bite on that holds the x-ray film in place.  These x-rays help us see between the teeth and catch possible issues in areas that may not be detected by a general oral exam.

FMX, otherwise known as a full mouth series, is also a type of x-ray you can expect to receive every 5 years depending on the patient.  An FMX consists of 18 different pictures of your teeth achieved by biting down on films that are placed inside your mouth similar to the bitewings.

Panorex (Pan), which is a Panoramic x-ray, is also done every 5 years depending on the patient.  This involves biting down on a straw-like appliance while a scanner rotates around your head taking one image.  Should you need to see us for a dental emergency it is our protocol to take another Pan of the affected area to identify the source of the problem, but this is case specific.

In some cases we will also take pictures of your teeth with our intraoral camera.  This is a tool that our dentist can maneuver inside your mouth to get different angled images of your teeth and gums. These images are displayed during an appointment on a monitor screen in either the exam room or consult room for our patients to see.  This comes in extra helpful when showing a crack in a tooth or separation between a filling and tooth.  It is also helpful to show before and after’s of restoration procedures like changing out a metal amalgam filling to composite resin filling (tooth colored).

For new patients x-rays can be transferred upon their request from a previous dentist to our office. If they are good quality and have been taken in the past 5 years, chances are we won’t need to take them again. However, if we feel they aren’t the quality we need we will take new ones to get a clear picture of the current state of your oral health.  For new patients that require updated imaging, they will receive an FMX and a Pan as part of our new patient special and going forward be under the recommendations listed above as a Dentistry by Design patient.

When talking about x-rays people understandably want to know how much radiation they will be subjected to.  To give you an idea, according to the American Dental Association, a FMX full mouth series is equivalent to a couple days of environmental radiation exposure. To reduce exposure even more we use a lead apron and sometimes a lead thyroid collar. A great resource on this can be found on the ADA website https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/x-rays .

We hope this article provides clarity on the use of x-rays at our Dentistry by Design practices. Remember not everyone’s needs are the same when it comes to your oral health so x-ray frequency, recall frequency, and the like, may differ.