Learning Center/Education

Preventative Care

We all want to be healthy, so we need to take charge of our dental health!  Daily cleaning of our teeth will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.  This is because your teeth are covered with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque.  If the plaque does not get removed, it will cause the gums to swell or bleed.  This is called gingivitis, the early stage of periodontal (gum) disease.  Brush your teeth well twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.  Use a soft-bristled toothbrush in a size and shape that will fit your mouth comfortably.  Replace your toothbrush after about three months.


Use floss to remove bits of food and plaque from under the gum line and between the teeth–because your toothbrush can’t reach these areas.  If you have trouble using floss, you may want to try a floss holder or dental picks, or narrow brushes that reach between the teeth.

Mouth Rinses
Different types of mouth rinses can be used to freshen breath, to help prevent or control tooth decay, to reduce plaque and tartar, or to prevent or reduce gingivitis.  Rinse before or after brushing, but do not skip brushing or flossing. When shopping for mouth rinses, look for products with the ADA Seal on the package.  The seal tells you that the product has met the ADA’s standards for safety and effectiveness.

Why do I need x-rays?
Dental X-rays are a useful diagnostic tool when helping your dentist detect damage and disease not visible during a regular dental exam. How often X-rays should be taken depends on your present oral health, your age, your risk for disease, and any signs and symptoms of oral disease. For example, children may require X-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing and their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than those of adults. Your dentist will review your history, examine your mouth and then decide whether or not you need X-rays.

Dental X-ray exams are safe; however, they do require very low levels of radiation exposure, which makes the risk of potentially harmful effects very small. Dental X-ray tools and techniques are designed to limit the body’s exposure to radiation and every precaution is taken to ensure that radiation exposure is As Low as Reasonable Achievable (the ALARA principle). A leaded apron minimizes exposure to the abdomen and may be used when it will not interfere with acquisition of the dental radiograph. Also, a leaded thyroid collar can protect the thyroid from radiation, and should also be used whenever possible. The use of a leaded thyroid collar is recommended for women of childbearing age, pregnant women and children.

How often do I need regular check-ups and teeth cleanings?
Professional teeth cleanings are very important to your dental health.  That’s because professional cleanings are essential to the removal of plaque, calculus (tartar) and tooth stains.  They also give your dentist a chance to examine your mouth for cavities or gum disease.  The ADA recommends that you schedule regular (every 6 months) check- ups to ensure good oral health.

Dental Problems

What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay is a disease that damages and breaks down teeth. A tooth has an outer layer (enamel), a middle layer (dentin), and a center (pulp). The more layers affected by decay, the worse the damage. Untreated tooth decay can lead to pain, loss of teeth, and even loss of confidence because of the appearance of their teeth. Bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugars found in foods and drinks. The bacteria produce acids that attack the teeth. Mouth bacteria thrive on sugar found in many foods and drinks, not just candy—but soda, sports drinks, fruit juice and even milk contain sugar that can lead to tooth decay. Each time these foods and drinks are consumed, acids attack the teeth for 20 minutes or longer. When you have sugary foods or drinks, many times a day, or sip on the same sugary drink for long periods of time, the acid attacks you tooth enamel again and again. The acid eats away at the tooth, and can cause decay. A hole called a cavity can then form.

What is an abscessed tooth?
An abscessed tooth is a painful infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth.  It is most commonly caused by severe tooth decay.  Other causes of tooth abscess are trauma to the tooth, such as when it is broken or chipped, and gingivitis or gum disease.  These problems can cause openings in the tooth enamel, which allows bacteria to infect the center of the tooth (the pulp).  The infection may also spread from the root of the tooth to the bones supporting the tooth.

Symptoms of an abscessed tooth are severe and continuous pain and results in gnawing or throbbing pain or sharp or shooting pain to the affected area.

If the pulp (nerve) in the root of the tooth dies as a result of infection, the pain may actually stop.  However, this doesn’t mean the infection has healed; the infection remains active and continues to spread and destroy tissue.  Treatment for an abscess is a root canal or extraction.

Bad breath (Halitosis)
Bad breath, medical terminology halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other medical problems as well.  If you don’t brush and floss teeth daily,  food particles can remain in your  mouth, promoting bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue.  This causes bad breath.  Antibacterial mouth rinses can also help reduce bacteria.

Canker Sores
The precise cause of canker sores remains unclear, though researches suspect that a combination of factors contributes to the outbreaks.  Possible triggers for canker sores include:

  • A minor injury to your mouth from dental work, overzealous brushing, sports mishaps, or an accidental cheek bite.
  • Toothpastes and mouth rinses containing sodium lauryl sulfate.
  • Food sensitivities, particularly to chocolate, coffee, strawberries, eggs, nuts, cheese, and spicy or acidic foods.
  • A diet lacking in vitamin B-12, zinc, folate (folic acid) or iron.
  • An allergic response to certain bacteria in your mouth.
  • Helicobacter pylori, the same bacteria that cause peptic ulcers.
  • Hormonal shifts during menstruation.
  • Emotional stress.
Emergency Care
Dr. Troy and Christy are always on call, so if you have a dental emergency and have been seen at our office, you can reach them at their emergency number (715) 305-3241.

Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, or xerostomia (zeer-o-STOE-me-uh), refers to any condition in which your mouth is unusually dry. Most often, dry mouth is the result of a decrease in saliva produced by the glands in your mouth (salivary glands), and it’s frequently a side effect of medication. Less often, dry mouth may be caused by a condition that directly affects the salivary glands.

Dry mouth is a common problem. It can range from being merely a nuisance to something that has a major impact on your general health and the health of your teeth, as well as your appetite and enjoyment of food.

Saliva helps prevent tooth decay by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria, limiting bacterial growth and washing away food particles. Saliva also enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to swallow. In addition, enzymes in saliva aid in digestion.

Treatment for dry mouth depends on the cause.

Gum Disease
Gum disease is the swelling or soreness of the gum tissues around your teeth.  It is caused by bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that forms on your teeth.  There are four stages of gum disease.

  1. Stage one: Gingivitis

Bacteria from plaque produce by –products which irritate the gums resulting in inflammation.  Gums are swollen, and red with some bleeding.

  1. Stage two: Early Periodontitis

Inflammation progresses into the supporting structures of the teeth, resulting in bone loss or pocketing, gums bleed easily.

  1. Stage three: Moderate Periodontitis

Continued inflammation and destruction of the supporting structures of the teeth, bone loss is more noticeable, there may be some tooth mobility, and bone loss extends between roots of teeth.

  1. Stage four: Advanced Periodontitis

Bone loss and tooth mobility increased, and will eventually lose one or more teeth.

Oral Cancer
Lesions inside the mouth are typically the first sign of mouth cancer, states the National Institute of Dental and Cranofacial Research.  However, some other signs of mouth cancer to watch for include lumps or soreness inside the mouth, difficulty chewing or swallowing, numbness and tooth pain.

Sensitive teeth
Tooth sensitivity is caused by the gradual exposure of the softer part of your tooth that lies under the tooth enamel, called dentin.  Dentin has tiny channels that acontain nerve endings and are filled with fluid.  Eating and drinking foods and drinks that are hot, or cold, or sweet can cause this fluid to move.  This fluid movement causes the nerve to react in response, triggering a twinge of discomfort or a short, sharp pain.  Some of the most common causes:  brushing too hard, gum disease, teeth grinding, and receding gums.

Teeth Grinding
Most people grind or clench their teeth form time to time.  Occasional teeth grinding, called bruxism, does not cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can occur.  People grind or clench their teeth because of stress and anxiety.  Often it occurs during sleep.  Teeth grinding can also be caused by abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.

A dull, constant headache or sore jaw when you wake up is a telltale symptom of grinding.  In some cases, chronic grinding can result in fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth.  Severe grinding can also affect your jaw, TMJ.

Most grinding cases can be resolved by having a splint (mouth guard) made to protect your teeth.  If stress is the cause, ask your doctor or dentist for options to reduce stress such as attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxers.

Oral Health Topics

Women’s hormonal changes impact oral health
Hormonal changes that take place during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can influence women’s oral health, according to a study in Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry.  It has been found that female hormones that fluctuate throughout women’s lives can change conditions in the mouth that allow bacteria to grow, enter the blood, and exacerbate certain health issues.

“There’s definitely a gender-specific connection between women’s hormones, gum disease, and specific health issues impacting women,” Dr. Krejci stated in a university press release.  Because of this women need to be even more vigilant about maintaining healthy teeth and gums to prevent or lessen the severity of some of women specific health issues.

As Joan Otomo-Corgel, DDS, MPH, president of the American Academy of Periodontology, points out, this can happen to half your patients:  women.  And the cause is menopause and its related effects.

“During perimenopause to menopause, women have the potential to lose 40% of their total bone mass,” she told DrBicuspid.com.  “They are also experiencing a huge swing in their hormones (estrogen levels), which are protective to the bone.”

The bone loss women may experience in their spine and hips as a result of postmenopausal estrogen deficiency also occurs to the bone mass in their jaw.  “Dentists should be aware of whether a patient is undergoing menopause in order to more acutely monitor changes in the health of her gums and underlying bone issue,” she said.

Dentists and oral health professionals can be on the leading edge of helping women to become aware of the effects of the different stages of menopause.—Dr.Bicuspid.com

Seniors and Oral Health
Oral health is an important and often overlooked component of an older person’s general health and well-being.  In the words of former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop:  “You are not healthy without good oral health.”  Oral health can affect general health in very direct ways.  Oral health problems can cause pain and suffering as well as difficulty in speaking, chewing, and swallowing.  These problems can also be a complication of certain medications used to treat systemic diseases.  There are also associations between oral health and general health and well-being.

So making sure you are in good oral health it is recommended you go to the dentist every 6 months, unless the hygienist and dentist feel more often is needed.  Remember you cannot be healthy without good oral health!

Nutrition and Your Teeth
A healthy diet includes a variety of foods from each of the 5 food groups—grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy and protein.  Different foods have different benefits for your body.  Eating a mix of healthy foods ensures that your body gets all the nutrients it needs.  Why is a healthy diet important?  A healthy diet provides nutrients needed for your body to work well.  It also helps prevent diseases linked with being overweight, like diabetes and heart disease.  A healthy diet also helps you keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Eating a healthy diet helps keep you from feeling tired,  getting sick,  and having other health problems, like tooth decay.  Almost all foods have some type of sugar.  You cannot and should not remove all sugar from your diet.  Many foods and drinks, like apples, carrots, and milk, naturally contain sugars.  They also have vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body needs. For teeth to be healthy, they need vitamins, protein, calcium, and phosphorous.

Fluoride is a natural mineral that hardens and protects teeth by neutralizing the acid that causes decay.  Several decades ago, scientists found that adding fluoride to drinking water significantly decreased the number of cavities in children and adolescents.  Most of us get fluoride from the tap water we drink.  Almost all of us get fluoride from toothpaste and fluoride rinses.   Children and some adults receive fluoride treatments from the dentist.  Fluoride is inexpensive, safe and effective.  The benefits of fluoride are that it can reduce tooth decay by 50-60%, the fluoride gels given at your dentist’s office twice yearly can reduce decay by 40%!  And there is at least a 25% reduction in cavities can be expected from use of fluoride toothpaste.

Smokeless tobacco
Smokeless tobacco, or chewing tobacco, has over 3,000 chemicals, including 28 cancer-causing substances.  People may think that smokeless means harmless, but nothing could be further from the truth.  Both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco can harm your health.  Smokeless tobacco can affect your oral health as well as your overall health.  It can lead to gum disease and tooth loss.  Your teeth and tongue can become brown and stained.  The regular use of spit tobacco also leads to a physical addiction to nicotine.  Smokeless tobacco users are at a higher risk of gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss.

Oral Piercings
Mouth piercings can interfere with speech, chewing, or swallowing.  That may seem like a mere inconvenience until you consider that it may also cause:  excessive drooling, infection, pain and swelling, chipped teeth, injuries to your gums, damage to fillings, increased salivary flow, hypersensitivity to metals, scar tissue and nerve damage.  The harmful effects can happen during the piercing, soon after, or even long after the procedure.

Piercing—like tattooing—is just one of today’s popular forms of “body art” and self-expression.  Piercing may seem daring, cool and totally safe because some celebrities use body piercing to flaunt their particular style or attitude.  Hip fashion magazines and videos will praise it—that is until it’s no longer deemed the “in thing” and something else comes along to replace it.  However, piercing the tongue, lips, cheeks, or the uvula (the tiny tissue that hangs at the back of the throat), is not as safe as some would have you believe.  That’s because the mouth’s moist environment, home to huge amounts of breeding bacteria, is an ideal place for infection.


Scaling and Root Planing
If your hygienist is discussing scaling and root planing with you, you have been diagnosed with periodontal (gum) disease.  The good news is that periodontal diseases often can be treated successfully.

The first non-surgical step usually involves a special cleaning, called scaling and root planing.  During the procedure the hygienist works at removing plaque and tartar deposits on teeth and root surfaces.  This procedure helps gum tissue to heal and periodontal pockets to shrink.  This procedure is scheduled in one or more visits, and local anesthetic may be used to make you more comfortable.

Your dentist may recommend medications to help control infection and pain, or to aid healing.  These medications could include a pill, a mouthrinse, or a substance that the dentist places directly in the periodontal pocket after the scaling and root planing.

At the next visit, the hygienist will check the pocket depths to determine the effect of the scaling and root planing.  Many patients do not require any further active treatment after this point, only preventive care.  If that is the case, you will be placed on a 3 month oral health therapy appointment, so that your periodontal disease does not become worse or to prevent it from recurring.

However, if the disease has advanced to the point where the periodontal pockets are deep and the supporting bone is lost, surgery may be necessary to help prevent tooth loss.  You may be referred to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in the treatment of diseases that affect the supporting structures of the teeth-the gum and bone tissue- for treatment.

A missing tooth is a serious matter.  Teeth are made to work together.  When you lose a tooth, the nearby teeth may tilt or drift into the empty space.  The teeth in the opposite jaw may also shift up or down toward the space.  This movement can affect your bite and place more stress on your teeth and jaw joints.  It may be harder to clean teeth that have shifted, which could lead to tooth decay and gum disease.  That is why it is important to replace missing teeth.

Removable partial dentures usually have replacement teeth fixed to a plastic base that matches the color of your gums.  The plastic base may cover a metal framework.  Partial dentures often have some form of clasp that attaches to your natural teeth.

It takes practice to put in and take out a removable partial denture.  It may feel odd or tight for the first few weeks.  But in time, you should get used to it.  Never force it into place by biting down, this could bend or break the clasps or damage your teeth.  Removable partial dentures are not meant to be worn 24 hours a day.  You should always remove the denture at bedtime and put it back in when you wake up.  If you develop a sore spot, you should visit the dentist and they will adjust it.

It is best to always try and save some teeth, but if that is not possible, a full denture will be needed. A conventional complete denture is made and placed in your mouth after the teeth are taken out and the tissues have healed.  The framework of the complete denture, called the base, is normally made of plastic that closely matches the color of your gums.  The base of the upper denture covers the palate (roof of the mouth).  When the base of the upper denture rests against the gums and palate, it makes a seal to hold the denture in place.  There are a few different types of dentures, conventional, immediate, and implant-supported dentures.  Before having your dentures made, it would be good to discuss with your dentist which one would be best for you.

Caring for your dentures:  Like natural teeth, you must take good care of your dentures.  Here are some tips to care for your dentures.  Dentures are delicate and may break if they are dropped.  When handling your dentures, stand over a folded towel or a sink filled with cool water.

Brush each day to remove food deposits and plaque, and to help keep the artificial teeth from getting permanent stains.  Use a soft bristled brush, so as not to scratch or damage your denture.

To clean the denture, take it out of your mouth and rinse off loose particles.  Wet the brush and put the cleanser on it.  Brush every denture surface gently.  Use denture cleansers that have the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, a symbol of safety and effectiveness.

Do not let your dentures dry out or they may lose their shape.  When you are not wearing them, put them in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in plain water.  Never soak your dentures in hot water, it may cause them to warp.

TMJ (temporomandibular joint problem)
TM (temporomandibular) disorders are a family of problems related to your complex jaw joint.  If you’ve had symptoms like pain or a clicking sound, you’ll be glad to know that these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated that they were in the past.  Since some types of TM problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.   No one treatment can resolve TM disorders completely, and treatment takes time to be effective.  TM disorders develop for many reasons.  You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint.  Or, you may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease.  Whatever the cause, the results may include a mis-aligned bite, pain, clicking or grating noises when you open your mouth, or trouble opening your mouth wide.  There is no simple prescription for your TM disorder.  Restoring your jaw’s harmony may include several kids of treatment to reduce muscle tension or rest to heal your jaw joint. A dental and medical evaluation helps pinpoint the causes of your TM disorder and is the first step in planning a personalized treatment program for you.  Treatment may include jaw resting, ice and heat packs, exercise, dental splint, medication, or biofeedback.

Orthodontic braces are fixed appliances applied to your teeth to align your bite or straighten crooked teeth.  Braces can dramatically improve the appearance of your smile, but they also improve the function of your teeth and jaw.  So there are many reasons braces may be recommended.  But braces are not just for children, many adults are choosing to get braces to improve their smile.

There are several different types of braces:

  • Traditional stainless steel braces
  • Clear braces
  • Invisalign
Dental Crowns/Bridges
A crown is a restoration used when a filling will not work because there isn’t much tooth structure left, or you have a cracked tooth.  The crown will cover the entire chewing surface and sides of the tooth.  It is performed in 2 dental appointments, the first consists of preparing the tooth for the crown and taking an impression.  You will leave the office with a temporary crown in place.  There are several types of materials that can be used for the crown.  We use All-Porcelain(ceramic) dental materials, or gold alloy.  The second appointment is for the cementation of the crown.

A bridge is a dental restoration that replaces or spans the space where one or more teeth have been lost.    A fixed bridge is commonly cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing teeth.  A false tooth (called a pontic) replaces the lost tooth or teeth.  A pontic is attached to a crown, which is cemented on a natural teeth, and provide support for the bridge.  The loss of a tooth may cause your mouth to “sink” from loss of the bone that supported the tooth.  Remaining teeth may also shift.  This can result in loss of function and a face that looks older than it should.  A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks and helps maintain the natural shape of your face.

Root Canals
When the pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves), becomes diseased or injured and unable to repair itself, a Root Canal is needed.  The most common causes of the pulp dying is a deep cavity, traumatic injury to the tooth, or a cracked tooth.  All of these allow bacteria to enter the pulp and cause it to start dying.  If the injured or diseased pulp is not removed, the tissues surrounding the root of the tooth can become infected, resulting in pain and swelling.  The tooth often can be saved through root canal treatment, where the pup or remaining tissue is removed carefully from both the pulp chamber and root canal(s).  Each root canal is cleaned and shaped to allow it to be filled with a rubber-like material to seal it.  Then a build-up is placed to fill the access hole made for the root canal.   The final step is to put a crown on the tooth to strengthen it.

Tooth Extractions
Gum disease can loosen or severely damage a tooth.  A tooth that is severely damaged may need to be extracted.  Your dentist or an oral surgeon (a specialist in oral and maxilliofacial) can remove the tooth.  Before removing your tooth, you will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area.  A stronger anesthetic to put you to sleep may be used if you are having more than one tooth removed, or if you are fearful.

After the tooth is removed, you may need stitches, if you do you may need to come back in one week to have them removed.  You can gently bite down on gauze placed over the wound to help stop the bleeding.  You will need to do that for 30-45 minutes depending on bleeding.

There will be options for replacing extracted teeth, such as dentures, partials, bridges, or implants, that can be  discussed at the appointment

Cosmetic Dentistry
Do you like your smile or are there things that you would like to change?  There are many dental options that can improve the appearance of a persons’ teeth, gums, and/or bite.  Primarily cosmetic dentistry focuses on improvement in aesthetics in color, position, shape, size, alignment, and overall smile appearance.  Cosmetic services range from changing the look of an existing tooth to replacing an entire set of teeth.  We want you to have the smile you deserve!

Our teeth are covered with a sticky film of bacteria, called plaque.  When we eat or drink anything that contains sugar bacteria turns the sugar into acids that can attack tooth enamel.  Over time, these attacks may cause tooth decay, or cavities, in the tiny grooves in your teeth.    Dental sealants protect the teeth and may prevent decay.  Sealants are easy to apply.  It only takes a few minutes to seal each tooth.  First, the tooth is cleaned and the chewing surfaces are prepared to help the sealant stick to the tooth.  Then the sealant is painted onto the chewing surface where it bonds to the tooth and hardens.  A special light is used to help the sealant harden.  Sealants generally last several years before they need to be touched up or replaced.  During regular dental visits, your dentist will check your sealants and reapply them if needed.

Sealants are most often placed in children and teenagers, since tooth decay can start soon after teeth come in.  But adults can sometimes benefit from sealants too, because you never outgrow the risk for developing cavities.

Managing Dental Pain

What is dental pain?
More often than not dental pain comes from a cavity, if left untreated it can affect the nerve of the tooth, which can be extremely painful.  Pain can also come from your gums, roots, tongue, or your jaw.  If you are experiencing dental pain, call a dentist and they can evaluate what is causing your pain, and help you to alleviate it.  Most of the time, dental pain does not go away, left untreated the pain could worsen and  you may cause permanent damage.

How do I manage dental pain?
Tooth pain can get intense, to the point where it disrupts life, making it impossible to eat, sleep, and concentrate.  Unfortunately, toothaches tend to happen at night, or weekends, when the dental office is closed.  Fortunately, there are methods that can be used to manage toothache pain, until you can visit the dentist.

Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen, as directed on the package. It will help dull the pain, making it more bearable.

If swelling is present, apply an ice pack, often tooth pain is caused by a cavity that becomes infected.  Applying an ice pack to the side of your face for 20 minutes, out of every hour will help to eliminate swelling, thereby reducing pain.

Eat soft foods, chew on the opposite side of the dental pain.  And avoid extreme temperatures in food or drinks.

In case of broken or chipped tooth, press a warm piece of wax into the tooth defect.  This will help prevent air, liquid, and debris from coming into contact with the sensitive or exposed nerve, thereby reducing the amount of pain that’s experienced.  Visit the dentist as soon as possible.  Generally, tooth pain does not go away, but continues to worsen.

Pain killing medications known as anesthetics not only help a patient avoid discomfort during a procedure, but post-operatively as well.

Types of Pain Medications

Analgesics—These are common pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and Tylenol.  These work good for mild cases of discomfort.

Anesthetics—Dentists often apply topical anesthetic with a cotton swab to an area of the mouth where an injection is needed.  Novocain and lidocaine are the most common kind of injectable anesthetics.  Such medications block the nerves from transmitting signals and are used for most procedures, such as fillings or root canals.

Sedatives—Sedatives are medications designed to help a patient relax.  This can be a powerful tool in avoiding pain.  Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a form of a sedative and is used in combination with over-the-counter pain relievers and anesthetics.

Conscious sedation involves administering a sedative while the patient is awake and alert.

Kids Corner

Why brush?
Cleaning your teeth is an important step toward preventing cavities.  Cleaning also helps remove plaque, a stick film of bacteria that builds up on teeth.  Teeth should be brushed twice a day and flossed once a day.

How to brush? 

Use a pea-sized drop of toothpaste on a soft bristled tooth brush.  Place the toothbrush against the gums.  Move the brush back and forth gently in short (tooth-wide) strokes.  Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower.  Repeat the same method in the inside surfaces and chewing surfaces of the teeth.  Finish by brushing the tongue to help freshen breath and remove bacteria.

What are x-rays?
Basically x-rays are digital pictures of your teeth.  They help the dentist see in between your teeth, to detect if you have any cavities.  Certain x-rays also show the roots of the teeth to help detect disease not visible during a regular dental exam.  Children may require x-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing and their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than those of adults.  Usually x-rays are taken 1 time a year.

What are Sealants?
Our teeth are covered with a sticky film of bacteria, called plaque.  When we eat or drink anything that contains sugar bacteria turns the sugar into acids that can attack tooth enamel.  Over time, these attacks may cause tooth decay, or cavities, in the tiny grooves in your teeth.    Dental sealants protect the teeth and may prevent decay.  Sealants are easy to apply.  It only takes a few minutes to seal each tooth.  First, the tooth is cleaned and the chewing surfaces are prepared to help the sealant stick to the tooth.  Then the sealant is painted onto the chewing surface where it bonds to the tooth and hardens.  A special light is used to help the sealant harden.  Sealants generally last several years before they need to be touched up or replaced.  During regular dental visits, your dentist will check your sealants and reapply them if needed.

Sealants are most often placed in children and teenagers, since tooth decay can start soon after teeth come in.  But adults can sometimes benefit from sealants too, because you never outgrow the risk for developing cavities

What happens during a check-up?
Regular dental visits are essential to keeping a healthy smile.   During the dental visit, the dentist checks the child’s mouth for tooth decay and growth patterns that may pose a problem in the future.  A hygienist will take necessary x-rays and clean your teeth.

What to eat for healthy teeth?
What a person eats, and how often, can affect their teeth.  Try to limit between-meal snacks.  If your child is thirsty or needs a snack, avoid cookies, candy and other sweets or sticky foods.  Instead, offer water or healthy foods, such as fruit, carrot sticks or wheat crackers.  Save sweets for mealtime, when the mouth makes more saliva to help rinse out food particles.

For good dental and overall health, be sure your child eats a balanced diet with foods from the major food groups.  For more information about a healthy diet, see www.chossemyplate.gov.

Will it hurt to go to the dentist?
Visiting the dentist can be scary if you have never been there before.  Fortunately, most of the time, it doesn’t hurt to go to the dentist.

A good routine of eating healthy foods and brushing and flossing every day, will keep your teeth healthy.  If your teeth are healthy, most likely all you will ever need is oral hygiene therapy.  And if you ever do need something done, like a filling, the dentist will use a special jelly to numb your tissue before putting the tooth to sleep with lidocaine.  The injection of lidocaine may sting for a few seconds, but it does not last long and then your lip, cheek, and tongue may feel different for a while, but that feeling goes away.


What to eat for healthy teeth?

What you eat and when you eat it will affect your teeth?  A healthy diet includes a variety of foods from each of the 5 food groups-grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy and protein.  Different foods have different benefits for your body.  Eating a mix of healthy foods ensures that your body gets all the nutrients it needs.

Why is a healthy diet important?

A healthy diet is important because is provides nutrients needed for your body to work well.  It also helps prevent diseases linked with being overweight, like diabetes and heart disease.  Eating healthy also helps you keep your teeth and gums healthy.

You can have a healthy diet by following these simple steps:

  1. choose your foods wisely from each of the food groups
  2. eat foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and salt
  3. avoid foods and drinks high in added sugar, which increases the risk of tooth decay. These include beverages such as soda, sports drinks, and flavored water.
  4. limit snacking throughout the day. If you do snack, make healthy choices like fruit, nuts or cheese.  Eat sweets with meals instead of as snacks.
  5. drink water between meals, which helps your overall health. Also drink water after eating to help wash away food particles.
Why brush?

Brushing helps keep your teeth clean and plaque-free.  Brushing removes food particles from the surfaces of your teeth.  These particles are necessary for plaque growth.  Brushing also removes food particles and plaque from the where the teeth and gums meet.  If these food particles are not brushed away you will eventually get cavities, have gum problems, and have bad breath.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath happens to almost everyone.  While chronic bad breath (halitosis) might have more serious causes, occasional bad breath can be prevented by good oral care.  In most cases bad breath is caused by the presence of oral bacteria.  Bacteria can form on the tongue when you forget to brush properly, when you become dehydrated, or have dry mouth due to medications you are taking.

How do you prevent bad breath?  You can prevent bad breath by brushing properly 2 times a day, and that includes brushing your tongue.  Get way in the back of your tongue that is where bacteria likes to hang out.  Flossing effectively will remove food particles from between your teeth which also can cause bad breath.  Round out your routing with a mouth wash that fights bad breath to keep your mouth at its freshest.  Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.  Chew sugarless gum that will stimulate saliva production.

Who needs braces?

Anyone, child or adult, who has a bad bite, crooked teeth, or just do not like the look of their teeth can get braces.   Early treatment may help prevent things such as a bad bite that could cause other issues in children.  If braces or another treatment are needed, the dentist may recommend them to you.

Sip all day get decay!

When you have sugary foods or drinks may times a day or sip the same sugary drink for a long time, acid attacks the enamel again and again.  The acid can attack tooth enamel for up to 20 minutes after you consume sugary foods or drinks.     Repeated acid attacks can cause tooth decay, which must be treated by a dentist.  To reduce your risk of tooth decay, you need to limit sugary drinks and snacks between meals.  Remember, many sports and energy drinks have sugar, too.  If you do snack, choose foods that are low in sugar and fat.  If you have sugary foods and snacks, have them at mealtime.  Saliva increase during meals and helps weaken acid and rinse food particles from the mouth.  Chew sugarless gum that has the ADA seal.  Chewing gum for 20 minutes after meals has been show to reduce tooth decay.  Drink tap water with fluoride can help prevent tooth decay,  and it helps wash away sugary drinks.

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First City Dental of Abbotsford, S.C.
First City Dental of Abbotsford, S.C.
202 E. Birch St.
P.O. Box 147
Abbotsford, WI 54405

Office Hours

Monday: 8am to 5pm
Tuesday: 8am to 5pm
Wednesday: 8am to 5pm
Thursday: 8am to 2:30pm
Friday: Closed