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5 Tips For Keeping Your Smile Bright This Year

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5 Tips For Keeping Your Smile Bright This Year

Written by NWDentist on . Posted in Uncategorized

A bright smile exudes confidence, improves your appearance and makes a great first impression. However, teeth can stain and discolor over time for a number of reasons, including the natural aging process, eating habits and poor lifestyle choices. At Schererville Family Dentistry, we want you to enjoy a bright smile all year long. To help, we’ve compiled five easy tips to help you maintain white, healthy teeth throughout the year.

1. Avoid foods that stain

Certain foods and drinks are more likely to stain your teeth than others. These include red wine, brown soda, soy sauce, berries, curry sauce and black tea. Limiting foods and beverages with dark pigments can go a long way toward protecting your teeth from stains and discoloration over time. Likewise, eating a piece of crunchy fruit or raw vegetables at the end of a meal or as a snack can help remove buildup from the surface of teeth.

2. Put an end to smoking

There are many health benefits that ensue when you quit smoking, including improvements in oral health. Since teeth are naturally porous, the nicotine and tar present in tobacco penetrate them and cause yellowing and discoloration of the enamel. Talk to your doctor for advice on how to stop smoking — your teeth and body will thank you.

3. Exercise good oral hygiene

Twice-daily tooth brushing is an important way to keep teeth healthy and remove any surface stains. To maximize your brushing power, use a dentist-recommended whitening toothpaste to help minimize stains over time. Flossing daily also helps remove staining food particles and plaque from between teeth and along the gum line.

4. Rinse after meals

Brushing after you eat is the best choice, but it isn’t always possible. When you can’t get to your toothbrush, opt for water instead. Swishing it in your mouth is an effective way to dislodge bacteria and rinse away residue from the teeth.

5. Talk to your dentist about professional whitening

If you want to keep your teeth looking and feeling great, visiting your dentist is one of the best ways to do so. Routine dental cleanings help remove harmful tartar and surface stains from your teeth that regular brushing can’t reach.

Schererville Family Dentistry also offers professional whitening, including in-office whitening and take-home trays. In-office whitening treatments are a great option for patients who desire immediate results. We use a safe, professional-grade whitening agent to brighten teeth by several shades in a single office visit. Patients notice significant results by the end of the treatment.

We also offer take-home whitening trays that allow patients to brighten their teeth from the comfort of home. We custom-fit the trays to your teeth and provide a powerful whitening solution to deliver noticeably whiter teeth over the course of several days.

It’s not uncommon for teeth to become dull and discolored over time. The good news is you can reduce stains by adopting healthy habits and committing to good oral hygiene. If you have questions about how to minimize stains or if you would like to learn more about professional whitening, contact our office. We are happy to help!

The Reasons So Many Kids Get Cavities

Written by NWDentist on . Posted in Uncategorized

For some parents, keeping their children cavity-free is a real struggle. In fact, it may seem like every time they visit the dentist, their child has a new cavity. Can you relate?

As it turns out, tooth decay is one of the most common diseases affecting children in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — even more common than asthma and allergies. The good news is that tooth decay in kids is also very preventable with the right approach to at-home care and regular visits to the dentist.

Common Causes of Childhood Decay

Cavities, or dental caries, are damaged areas of a child’s hard tooth surface that develop into tiny openings or holes. They are caused by plaque — the sticky, colorless film of bacteria that attacks the tooth enamel and gums using the sugars from foods, drinks and saliva in your child’s mouth. Because bacteria are naturally present in the mouth, a child can get a cavity as soon as his or her first tooth appears.

Why are children so susceptible to decay? Researchers believe that a combination of factors can increase the risk for cavities in kids, including:

  • Poor oral hygiene habits: If children are not properly brushing their teeth twice a day, sugars and plaque left on the teeth will continue to attack the enamel and can quickly lead to decay.
  • Unhealthy diet: Sugar is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to childhood tooth decay. Consuming too much juice, candies and other treats over time can wreak havoc on kids’ teeth.
  • Sharing foods: The same bacteria that cause cavities can be transferred within families. That means when parents and siblings share drinks and foods, cavity-causing germs in the mouth can spread from one person to another and increase the risk for decay.
  • Insufficient fluoride: Fluoride is an important mineral that helps protect teeth against decay. A child who doesn’t get enough fluoride in his or her diet is more susceptible to cavities.
  • Delayed visits to the dentist: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents take their child to the dentist when his or her first tooth erupts or no later than his or her first birthday. When parents postpone their child’s appointments to the dentist, emerging dental problems may go unnoticed, leading to more serious, painful oral health issues down the road.

Preventing Cavities

Uncontrollable factors such as genetics and inadequate saliva flow can increase a child’s risk for tooth decay. In many cases, however, the risk for cavities can be significantly reduced with a combination of diligent oral hygiene, regular visits to a dentist, and a well-balanced diet.

  • Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth, even before his or her first tooth appears. Use a clean, damp washcloth to wipe your baby’s gums after each feeding. Once the first tooth appears, you can begin using a small, wet toothbrush.
  • Never put your infant or child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup of milk or juice, as this increases the amount of time that teeth are exposed to decay-causing sugars.
  • Establish routine, healthy oral hygiene habits at home. Assist very young children with brushing every morning and night. Older children can brush on their own, but may need supervision to ensure they are cleaning properly. Brush together to model proper technique, and make brushing fun by playing a game or music.
  • Promote healthy, nutritious eating habits at home and on the go. This includes a diet that is rich in raw vegetables, fresh fruits, lean protein and complex carbohydrates. Limit your child’s sugar intake — including soda, juice and candy — especially those that are sticky in nature. Starchy foods, such as pretzels and cereal also promote decay and should be eaten in moderation.
  • Encourage kids to eat and drink in one sitting instead of grazing on food throughout the day. Constant snacking continuously exposes teeth to damaging acids. Prompt brushing after meals and rinsing with water in between meals can help reduce decay.
  • Use fluoride as an effective way to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce decay. Adequate fluoride from your water source and dentist-recommended fluoride toothpaste can even reverse signs of early tooth decay in kids.
  • Scheduling routine dental visits for your child is one of the best ways to combat childhood decay and promote a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Starting appointments at an early age help create a positive attitude about the dentist while educating parents about how to best care for tiny teeth.

Tooth decay can cause chronic pain, lead to tooth loss, and interfere with a child’s eating and sleeping habits. The good news, however, is that childhood cavities are preventable.

It’s not too late to introduce good oral health habits into your family’s daily preventive care routine! In the meantime, for those who live in northwest Indiana, schedule your child’s next appointment with our office. At Schererville Family Dentistry, we are committed to providing your child with quality, personalized pediatric dental care in a fun, nurturing environment.

All About Flossing

Written by NWDentist on . Posted in Uncategorized

Brushing your teeth twice a day is a critical part of keeping your mouth healthy. What many people do not realize, however, is that brushing alone does not remove all of the food and bacteria that get trapped in the nooks and crannies of your mouth. This is where flossing comes into play.

Proper flossing loosens plaque and tartar in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth, such as the back teeth and along the gum line. If you’re new to flossing or haven’t reached for the floss in quite some time, then you may need to brush up on your flossing skills. With a little practice and some tips from our office, you will find that flossing becomes easier and your mouth becomes healthier over time.

Proper Technique Is Key

If you want to reap the full benefits of flossing, proper technique is essential. Start by breaking off approximately 18 inches of floss. Wrap each end around both middle fingers, and leave a few inches of floss in the center.

Next, use your index fingers to gently guide the floss between your teeth in a zigzag motion, making sure you reach as far along the gum line as possible. Avoid forcing the floss or using harsh sawing motions, as this can injure your gums and cause bleeding. Move on to the next tooth and repeat the process, using a clean section of the floss to avoid transferring bacteria. Don’t forget to floss the back teeth, as they are also susceptible to decay and gum disease.

In some cases, traditional floss may not be the best option for cleaning between your teeth and along your gum line. If you wear braces or have dental restorations, your dentist can recommend alternatives, such as interdental brushes, floss picks and water flossers. If dexterity is a concern, there are specialized products available to make flossing easier, such as floss holders and pre-threaded flossers.

Benefits of Flossing

Flossing regularly has significant benefits for your oral health. These include:

  • Flossing prevents bad breath.
    When debris and bacteria become trapped in your teeth, it can produce an unpleasant odor. By flossing regularly, you will dislodge old food from your teeth to keep your mouth smelling and feeling fresh.
  • Flossing reduces the risk for gum disease.
    Dental floss is one of the best defenses against gum disease, as it removes bacteria-laden plaque before it has the chance to spread deep below the gum line. Without flossing, plaque will continue to attack the gums, causing severe inflammation, redness and pain — and eventually leading to bone deterioration and tooth loss.
  • Flossing lessens the risk for cavities.
    When food and bacteria fester between your teeth for long periods, your enamel becomes susceptible to decay. Floss can remove excess plaque buildup between teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach, reducing your risk for cavities.
  • Flossing keeps your teeth bright.
    Finally, flossing can play an important role in keeping your teeth looking great by minimizing discoloration between the teeth. Flossing removes stain-causing food and bacteria before it has a chance to penetrate the enamel.

Proper flossing combined with twice-daily brushing are the foundation for good oral health, fresh breath and a beautiful smile. If you have questions about flossing, want to learn more about preventive care, or need to schedule your next visit to our office, contact Schererville Family Dentistry today at 219.322.3232.

Schererville Family Dentistry

1050 Caroline Ave
Schererville, IN 46375
Call or Text Us: 219.322.3232