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Posts for: July, 2015

By Karls Family Dentistry
July 30, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral cancer   nutrition  

Good nutrition is vital for maintaining health and preventing disease, especially for your mouth. A diet rich in whole foods — fresh fruits and vegetables, protein and dairy products — and low in sugar will not only promote strong teeth and gums, but lessen your chances of developing tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease.

Diet is also a prominent factor in reducing the risk for another serious mouth disease — oral cancer. While oral cancer makes up only 3% of total cancer cases reported annually, the five-year survival rate is a sobering 50%, much lower than for other types of common cancers. While genetics plays a role in your susceptibility to oral cancer, lifestyle choices and practices present the greater risk factors for the disease.

Of these lifestyle factors, refraining from tobacco products, moderating your alcohol consumption and avoiding risky sexual behavior are of primary importance in reducing your cancer risk. With that said, you should also take into account the foods that are part of your daily diet — both what you should and shouldn’t eat. As an example of the latter, some foods contain a class of chemicals known as nitrosamines that are carcinogenic (cancer-causing). One such chemical, nitrite, is used as a preservative in meats like bacon or ham, and may also be found in beer, and seafood products.

On the positive side, your diet should be rich in foods that supply antioxidants, substances that protect the body’s cells from damaging, unstable molecules known as free radicals. The best sources for antioxidants (more so than dietary supplements) are plant foods rich in fiber and vitamins C and E. Eating more of these may also reduce your intake of nitrates, animal fat and saturated fat.

Adopting a moderate, nutritious diet, along with exercise, can have a huge positive impact on your general health and quality of life. Along with other lifestyle changes, better dietary choices can also help ensure a healthy mouth and reduce your risk of oral cancer.

If you would like more information on the role of nutrition in reducing your risk of oral cancer, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Diet and Prevention of Oral Cancer.”

By Karls Family Dentistry
July 15, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

As a member of the best-selling pop group Spice Girls, Mel C (AKA Sporty Spice) enjoyed her share of musical superstardom. At the band’s peak in the Nineties, the young singer’s signature look featured baggy sweatpants, an assortment of tattoos, a nose stud and a gold-capped incisor, front and center in her mouth. Today, Melanie Chisholm is still singing — but now she’s a mom, an amateur triathlete… and that gold tooth is just a memory. Not only that, her smile looks more evenly spaced and whiter than it did when she was referred to as the “tomboy” of the group.

What happened? In our view, it all boils down to changing tastes — plus a little bit of help from dental professionals. As the “wannabe” singer proves, there’s no single standard when it comes to making your teeth look their best. Your own look is unique to you — and your smile can reflect that individuality.

For example, crowns (caps) are substantial coverings that may be placed on teeth when they are being restored. They are available in three types: gold, all-porcelain, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. The latter two are tooth-colored, while the gold is — well, shiny like gold bling. Which one is right for you? In many cases, it’s your choice.

Likewise, dental veneers — wafer-thin shells that can correct cosmetic issues by covering the surface of your teeth — can be made in a variety of shades. Their hues may range from natural ivory to Hollywood white, and everything in between. What’s the best color for you? Only you can say.

Some people opt for a “smile makeover” that uses small irregularities in the spacing and color of teeth to create a more “natural” look. Other folks want a perfectly even, brilliant white smile that dazzles the eye. Still others are looking to match or restore the smile they once had — perhaps even re-creating a signature gap between the teeth. As long as there are no other dental issues involved, the choice is yours.

So if you’re unhappy with your smile — or if you feel it doesn’t reflect the person you “wannabe” — why not talk to us about a smile makeover? Just call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”

By Karls Family Dentistry
July 10, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Invisalign  

InvisalignWouldn't you love a straighter, healthier smile? But, you've always been put off by lengthy orthodontics and unattractive wires and brackets. Surely, there's a better way!

Well, there is a better way to the smile of your dreams. It's Invisalign clear braces, featured by Karls Family Dentistry in Waunakee, WI. Doctors Matthew D. Karls and Stanley A. Karls evaluate teens and adults for treatment with Invisalign's inventive, clear aligner system. Achieving straight smiles in as little as 9 to 15 months, these clear, BPA-free aligners gently move teeth into aesthetically-pleasing and well-functioning positions. Plus, they are practically invisible.

Who Can Get Invisalign Clear Braces

Invisalign aligners help people of all ages and walks of life who want their teeth to look great and to be as healthy as possible. Studies show that correctly aligned teeth promote better nutrition and are less prone to decay. Additionally, research published in the American Journal of Cardiology indicates that people with poor dental bites suffer from advanced gum disease which can lead to coronary artery disease. A straight smile is really essential to overall well-being!

Doctors Matthew Karls and Stanley A. Karls carefully evaluate individuals for orthodontic treatment. Using visual inspection, x-rays and 3D imaging, the dentists can determine if Invisalign will work. Dentists use the aligners for mouths with:

  • rotated teeth
  • cross bite
  • overbite
  • under bite
  • gaps
  • crowding
  • a variety of alignment issues

How Treatment Works

A dental technician custom-makes a series of clear plastic aligners, similar in look to whitening trays, that fit snugly over the top and bottom teeth. There may be 20 to 30 aligners in all, depending on what problems the dentist is trying to correct.

The patient wears the appliances for 20 to 22 hours a day, removing them to eat, brush and floss. Some people elect to remove them for special occasions such as weddings or award presentations, too. For teens, the lab may place compliance tabs right into the Invisalign appliances. These colored tabs help patients, parents and doctors know how well teens are complying with the treatment plan.

As the individual wears the aligners, teeth gradually move into better position. The process is very comfortable and different from traditional orthodontics, there's no need to vary healthy diet choices or to deal with sore spots or other discomforts common to metal braces. When the treatment time is complete, patients have sparkling, well-aligned and beautiful smiles they can feel good about.

Contact Karls Family Dentistry

Curious about treatment with Invisalign? Why not contact the staff at Karls Family Dentistry in Waunakee to arrange for a smile consultation? The friendly team will walk you through the ins and outs of Invisalign treatment and help you decide if it's the right choice for your oral health. Call (608) 849-4100 today.