You already know the basics for healthy and attractive teeth and gums: brush and floss every day; and have your teeth cleaned and checked by a dentist every six months. But there are also some lesser known things you can do to improve what you're already doing—and some of them may go against popular wisdom.
Here then are 3 counter-intuitive tips for turbo-boosting your teeth and gum health.
Avoid brushing too hard and too often. While it may not seem like it, “The more, the better” isn't necessarily a good thing when it comes to brushing your teeth. Vigorous brushing several times a day could actually damage both your teeth enamel and your gums, eventually leading to problems like sensitive teeth. So, easy does it on the brushing pressure—let the mild abrasives in your toothpaste do the work removing disease-causing dental plaque. Likewise, avoid brushing more than twice a day.
Wait on brushing right after eating. If your first instinct right after a meal is to head to the sink to brush your teeth, curb your enthusiasm. Your enamel is actually in a slightly softened state right after eating and drinking because of an increase in mouth acid (especially if you've consumed sodas, sports drinks or juices). Saliva restores the mouth's pH balance and helps remineralize enamel in about an hour. If you brush before then, you could be sloughing off microscopic bits of enamel—an eventual problem if this is a regular habit.
Stop snack “grazing.” If you're one of those that likes to munch on food throughout the day, you could be thwarting your overall efforts to maintain good dental health. Remember saliva? As mentioned, it effectively neutralizes acid in a few minutes. But continuous snacking maintains a constant high level of acid in the mouth—saliva has little chance to catch up. As a result, your mouth stays acidic, which can lead to higher risk of dental disease. If possible, limit your snacking to mealtimes.
These tips might be surprising, but they're based on sound science and research. Incorporating them into your regular, ongoing dental care, could increase your chances of healthy teeth and gums.
If you would like more information on how best to clean and care for your teeth, 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 “10 Tips for Daily Oral Care at Home.”
Not all individuals have that perfectly white and even smile for different reasons, perhaps due to poor oral hygiene, damage from an injury, or the way their teeth naturally came in. Fortunately, dentists can employ various tools to aid you in getting that flawless smile. Here at Karls Family Dentistry, our dentists, Dr. Matthew Karls and Dr. Stanley Karls, commonly utilize dental veneers in our Waunakee, WI, practice to correct or conceal teeth deficiencies and give patients the smile they deserve.
What Exactly are Dental Veneers and How Do They Work?
Veneers are customized, ultra-thin shells crafted from composite resin or porcelain. They’re specifically made to fit snugly over the front teeth, enhancing their look. They are particularly useful in beautifying the smiles of individuals with discolored, misshapen, cracked, or chipped teeth. Likewise, although their main function is cosmetic, individuals usually opt for them as a part of their smile makeover plan that involves gum disease treatment.
Composite veneers, also called direct dental veneers, are composite resin coatings that are applied in just one dental appointment. These last for up to seven years with proper maintenance and care. Porcelain veneers, or indirect dental veneers, are customized porcelain shells and require two appointments—one for fitting your teeth and the other for installing them. These are more expensive than composite resin veneers since they can last for up to 15 years or more.
Both of these veneer options offer excellent benefits. Composite dental veneers require less enamel removal, can be completed in just one appointment, and are more affordable than its porcelain counterpart. Porcelain veneers are significantly more durable than composite resin veneers, don’t stain easily due to their natural stain-resistant properties, and look more natural.
With this in mind, the most qualified individual to help you decide on which specific type of dental veneers will work best for your needs and personal preferences is your dentist in Waunakee, WI.
Extending The Life of Your Dental Veneers
Maintaining your veneers, whether they’re porcelain or composite resin, is the same process for caring for your natural teeth. You might, however, need to visit your dentist more regularly for checkups and professional cleanings and use certain products that have been specifically proven to safeguard your veneers and prolong their service life.
To Learn More About Dental Veneers, Give Us a Call
Dial (608) 849-4100 to reach Karls Family Dentistry in Waunakee, WI, and set up your consultation with Dr. Matthew Karls or Dr. Stanley Karls.
Millions of people wear some form of removable oral appliance. The range is pretty extensive, from orthodontic clear aligners and retainers to full or partial dentures. But while they may vary in purpose, they all require the same thing: regular cleaning and maintenance.
And there's a right way to care for them, and a wrong way. The right way ensures you'll get the most out of your appliance—the wrong way might drastically curtail their longevity. Here, then, are 4 things you should and shouldn't do to keep your appliance in tip top condition.
Clean it properly. Only use cleaning agents appropriate for an oral appliance's materials. That means avoiding the use of toothpaste—the abrasives in it won't harm tooth enamel, but they can scratch some appliance materials. Instead, use dish detergent, hand soap or a recommended cleaner with a little warm water. Also, use a different brush than your regular toothbrush.
Avoid hot water and bleach. Hot or boiling water and bleach kill bacteria, but they will also damage your appliance. Hot water can warp an appliance's soft plastic and alter its fit. Bleach can blanch plastic meant to mimic gum tissue, making them less attractive; even worse, it can break down appliance materials and make them less durable.
Protect your appliance. When you take out your appliance, be sure to store it high out of reach of curious pets or young children. And while cleaning dentures in particular, place a small towel in the sink—if they slip accidentally from your hand, there's less chance of damage if they fall on a soft towel rather than a hard sink basin.
Don't wear dentures 24/7. Dentures can accumulate bacterial plaque just like your teeth. This can increase your risk of an oral infection, as well as create unpleasant mouth odors. To minimize this, take your dentures out at night while you sleep. And be sure you're cleaning them daily by hand, soaking them in an appropriate solution or with an ultrasonic cleaner.
Your oral appliance helps keep your dental health and function going. Help your appliance continue to do that for the long haul by taking proper care of it.
If you would like more information on how best to maintain your oral appliance, 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 “10 Tips for Cleaning Your Oral Appliance.”
If there's anything that makes Alfonso Ribeiro happier than his long-running gig as host of America's Funniest Home Videos, it's the time he gets to spend with his family: his wife Angela, their two young sons, and Alfonso's teenaged daughter. As the proud dad told Dear Doctor–Dentistry & Oral Health magazine, "The best part of being a father is the smiles and the warmth you get from your children."
Because Alfonso and Angela want to make sure those little smiles stay healthy, they are careful to keep on top of their kids' oral health at home—and with regular checkups at the dental office. If you, too, want to help your children get on the road to good oral health, here are five tips:
- Start off Right—Even before teeth emerge, gently wipe baby's gums with a clean, moist washcloth. When the first teeth appear, brush them with a tiny dab of fluoride on a soft-bristled toothbrush. Schedule an age-one dental visit for a complete evaluation, and to help your child get accustomed to the dental office.
- Teach Them Well—When they're first learning how to take care of their teeth, most kids need a lot of help. Be patient as you demonstrate the proper way to brush and floss…over and over again. When they're ready, let them try it themselves—but keep an eye on their progress, and offer help when it's needed.
- Watch What They Eat & Drink—Consuming foods high in sugar or starch may give kids momentary satisfaction…but these substances also feed the harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay. The same goes for sodas, juices and acidic drinks—the major sources of sugar in many children's diets. If you allow sugary snacks, limit them to around mealtimes—that gives the mouth a chance to recover its natural balance.
- Keep Up the Good Work—That means brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day, every single day. If motivation is an issue, encourage your kids by letting them pick out a special brush, toothpaste or floss. You can also give stickers, or use a chart to show progress and provide a reward after a certain period of time. And don't forget to give them a good example to follow!
- Get Regular Dental Checkups—This applies to both kids and adults, but it's especially important during the years when they are rapidly growing! Timely treatment with sealants, topical fluoride applications or fillings can often help keep a small problem from turning into a major headache.
Bringing your kids to the dental office early—and regularly—is the best way to set them up for a lifetime of good checkups…even if they're a little nervous at first. Speaking of his youngest child, Alfonso Ribeiro said "I think the first time he was really frightened, but then the dentist made him feel better—and so since then, going back, it's actually a nice experience." Our goal is to provide this experience for every patient.
If you have questions about your child's dental hygiene routine, call the office or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”
How your dentists in Waunakee, Wisconsin can help you fight gum disease
Did you know that gum disease can increase your risk of serious medical problems? It’s true. In fact, an unhealthy mouth has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and having a stroke, according to the Mayo Clinic. The good news is, you can do a lot to prevent gum disease and protect the health of your smile and your overall health.
Drs. Matthew and Stanley Karls at Karls Family Dentistry in Waunakee, Wisconsin offer a wide range of preventive dental care services to keep you and your smile healthy.
Gum disease can sneak up on you, with little to no signs or symptoms. All you may see is slight bleeding when you brush. It’s important not to ignore gum disease because if you do, it can become a periodontal disease, which can cause tooth loss.
So, how do you prevent gum disease? You need to practice excellent oral hygiene habits, which should include:
Brushing your teeth after meals and before bed; use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently, in a circular motion. Clean all the surfaces of your teeth and along the gumline. Many people like to use a sonic or electric toothbrush.
Floss your teeth every day; make sure you wrap the floss around the widest part of your tooth as you go down in between your teeth. When you wrap the floss, it helps keep the floss firmly against the tooth surface, so it cleans better.
You also need to visit your dentist at least once each year for a thorough dental examination, including x-rays. Regular visits to your dentist can help keep dental issues small and easily treatable, so they don’t grow into big dental problems.
You should also have a professional dental cleaning every six to twelve months, and more often if you have periodontal disease. Your dental hygienist can remove hard and soft deposits on your teeth, monitor the health of your gum tissue, and share all of the latest tools and tips to take care of your smile at home, between appointments.
Your dentist can help you prevent gum disease, so you can enjoy a healthy smile for life. To find out more about preventing gum and periodontal disease, talk with the experts. Call Drs. Matthew and Stanley Karls of Karls Family Dentistry in Waunakee, Wisconsin at (608) 849-4100. Call now!
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