fluoride concept

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Oral Health, Prevention.

Fluoride is one of the best ways to keep teeth strong, healthy, and protected against decay. But what is fluoride? Who needs it? How much do they need? We know you have questions, but don’t worry… the team at our dental office in Evansville is here to answer them. 

What Is Fluoride?

Tooth decay is a serious problem among both children and adults, and one of the best ways to prevent it is by using fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral found in nature. However, it’s also often added to water which provides an easy way to make sure we’re all getting enough of it. Fluoride helps harden the enamel so our teeth are super strong and protected against bacteria and acid. Fluoride can even help strengthen teeth before they erupt, making it pretty important for kids. 

Where Do We Get Fluoride?

Fluoride comes in two forms — systemic and topical. Systemic is any form that’s ingested into the body, including fluoride found in water and fluoride tablets. Topical refers to the stuff your dentist in Evansville applies to your teeth during dental visits. Chances are if your drinking water is fluoridated, and you’re using a toothpaste with fluoride, you’re probably getting enough systemic fluoride. However, if you’re prone to cavities or decay, or have sensitive teeth, your dentist may recommend using topical fluoride to keep sensitivity at bay and further protect your enamel. 

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Fluoride?

When it comes to fluoride, there is such a thing as too much. Dental fluorosis is one of the main concerns that can result from the overuse of fluoride. Mostly affecting children under 8, dental fluorosis is caused by too much fluoride over a prolonged period of time before adult teeth have erupted. Sometimes you may notice pitting and staining, other times fluorosis can cause almost invisible white spots. You can reduce the risk of dental fluorosis by monitoring how much fluoride is in your water and choosing a different source for kids under 8 if yours has more than 2 mg/L. It’s also important to note that, while highly unlikely, too much fluoride can be hazardous. Even though it’s extremely difficult to expose yourself to dangerous levels of fluoride, you should still follow a few rules of thumb such as: 

  • Keeping fluoride supplements out of the reach of children
  • Avoiding flavored toothpaste to discourage swallowing 
  • Following your dentist’s recommendations for the right amount of fluoride for you 

If you have more questions regarding fluoride, we welcome you to call our Evansville dental office to schedule a visit. We’re always accepting new patients and are here to help our neighbors get and keep healthy smiles.

dental floss

Posted by & filed under Dental Hygiene, General Dental Articles, Oral Health, Prevention.

It’s not uncommon to hear your dentist in Evansville talk about the importance of flossing. In fact, flossing is a crucial part of any proper oral hygiene routine. This simple act helps remove bacteria and food particles that brushing alone just can’t touch, and helps reduce the risk of cavities. But there are many different brands and types of floss available to choose from. How do you know which is the right option for you? Let’s find out. 

Traditional String Floss

The most common type of floss is the traditional string floss that’s been around forever. This string floss is conveniently small yet very effective at removing plaque buildup if used correctly. However, some people can find string floss difficult to use — especially younger kids and older adults. There are also many varieties of string floss that range from dental tape, waxed floss, minty floss, woven floss, and more. So finding the right string floss for you could take some trial and error or talking with your dentist in Evansville about your specific needs. 

Floss Picks

One alternative to traditional floss is a floss pick. Many individuals find floss picks easier to use, especially when trying to reach far into the back of the mouth. Floss picks slightly resemble toothpicks and are individual flossers made of plastic and a small strand of floss. If you have trouble using traditional string floss, a floss pick may be the right option for you. But keep in mind that you may go through more waste this way as many times, more than one floss pick is needed per flossing session. 

Electric Water Flossers

High-tech electric water flossers have been around for a while but have just relatively recently made their way into homes. Electric flossers push a force of water in-between the teeth as well as up under the gums to effectively and quickly flush out bacteria and plaque. This type of floss may be the best choice for you if: 

  • You have braces or a dental bridge
  • You have trouble using regular string floss or floss picks 
  • You’re looking to save a bit of time flossing

However, electric water flossers can be pricier than traditional floss and floss picks. They’re also large in size and can’t really be stored easily in a drawer. 

No matter which type of floss you choose, the most important thing to remember is to use it. Flossing every day will not only help lower your risk of cavities but also gum disease. If you aren’t sure which floss is the best option for you, start by scheduling an appointment with your dentist in Evansville. They can help you find the right floss product to keep your mouth healthy.

kids swimming

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Oral Health, Prevention.

Swimming is a popular summertime activity, and it’s good for you too! It’s a great form of cardiovascular exercise, it’s easy on the joints, and it’s a sweet way to cool off on those hot days. But the team at our Evansville dental office knows that there could be some harm lurking in your pool water that you probably don’t know about. 

Swimming Pools & Your Teeth

Many pools use chlorine to keep pool water free of dangerous bacteria that could be harmful to humans. But this chlorine may also put another part of your body at risk for damage — your teeth. 

Research dating back to the 1980’s studied the negative effects of chlorine on your oral health, particularly your tooth enamel. Part of what chlorine does is help level out the pH balance of pool water, so it’s safe for families. For most situations, pool water should have a pH between 7.2 and 7.8. But when this drops below this ideal range, the water actually becomes acidic. If this happens and you spend a lot of time in the pool, or a lot of water gets into your mouth, the acid can wear away tooth enamel and even cause tooth discoloration

Why Is Tooth Enamel Important?

Tooth enamel is the super-strong protective layer of our teeth. It helps keep dangerous plaque and bacteria from eating away at the teeth and causing cavities. If tooth enamel erodes, whether it’s from an improperly chlorinated pool, drinking too many acidic drinks like lemonade, or brushing too hard, teeth are at increased risk for decay, wearing down, and sensitivity. 

Who Is At Risk?

While anyone’s teeth can suffer from enamel erosion, the cases in which the erosion is caused by chlorine is often found in competitive swimmers or those who spend a lot of time in pools. The truth is if you only swim occasionally, you’re probably not at risk. 

Signs of a Problem

Two of the first signs that a pool’s pH is too low are irritated skin or burning eyes while swimming. Over time, you may start to notice brown spots on your teeth (known as swimmer’s calculus) or experience increased tooth sensitivity. If you notice any of these changes, visit your dentist in Evansville as soon as you can.

Protecting Your Tooth Enamel

Besides proper brushing and flossing, there are steps you can take to help protect your enamel against erosion — and no, you don’t need to give up swimming. Just make sure you test the water for proper pH levels regularly and try to keep pool water out of your mouth as much as possible. Of course, it’s also important to see your Evansville dentist at least every six months for regular checkups and professional cleanings.

wisdom teeth

Posted by & filed under Oral Health, Prevention, Wisdom Teeth.

Extracting wisdom teeth is an incredibly common procedure. In fact, over 90% of Americans have their wisdom teeth removed. While there are some occasions when wisdom teeth surgery isn’t necessary, more often than not, it’s recommended to prevent additional problems and pain in the future. Let’s take a look at why so many Americans have their wisdom teeth removed and why our dental office in Evansville may recommend it for you.

There’s Not Enough Room

Perhaps the most common reason your dentist in Evansville may recommend having your wisdom teeth taken out is that there simply isn’t enough room for these four teeth to fit. If there’s not enough room in your mouth and the teeth are allowed to erupt anyway, other teeth may shift, and this can cause additional problems. For example, you may need orthodontics to correct any overcrowding or crookedness that may occur. Your bite can also be affected by overcrowding, which can lead to jaw pain, headaches, and neck pain.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Another problem with not having enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt properly is that they can get stuck developing in the bone. This is referred to as having impacted wisdom teeth. Once the teeth are impacted, treatment tends to become more complicated, so it’s best to catch any potential problems with wisdom teeth and remove them early. If your wisdom teeth become impacted, your Evansville dentist will talk to you about the most appropriate treatment to help.  

Wisdom Teeth Are Hard to Take Care of

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are situated all the way in the back of the mouth. Because of this positioning, it can be difficult to reach them with a toothbrush and floss. When not cleaned thoroughly, bacteria can linger around and increase the risk of cavities and even gum disease.

Seeing the dentist at least every six months is important for everyone, but especially for those who are in the prime years of wisdom teeth development, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. At your visits, your dental team can keep an eye on your wisdom teeth development through regular x-rays and make the appropriate treatment recommendation for you when it’s the right time.

If your regular checkups at our dental office in Evansville show that your wisdom teeth are putting you at risk for impaction or greater problems later on, we will probably recommend having them removed to keep your mouth in its best, healthiest shape.  

looking at gums with mirror

Posted by & filed under Gum Disease, Oral Health, Prevention.

When many people think about their dental care they immediately think of teeth and smiles. But there’s another huge part of dentistry that can not only affect your oral health but your overall health, too — your gums. At our dental office in Evansville, we take gum health seriously, and for good reason. Poor gum health can lead to gum disease which can be very serious.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, which can also be referred to as periodontal disease, is an infection in the gum tissue. There are different stages to gum disease that describe how severe the condition is. Gingivitis is early-stage gum stage and periodontitis is more severe, advanced gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems.

Gum Disease and Overall Health

Your gums can tell your dentist in Evansville  all sorts of information about your oral health and they just may indicate other potential problems throughout the body. In fact, symptoms affecting the gums have been linked to several serious health concerns such as strokes, heart attacks, heart disease, and certain cancers.

Signs of Gum Disease

Catching and treating gum disease early is the best way to keep it from affecting the rest of the body. That’s one reason seeing your dentist at least every six months is so important. You should also be on the lookout for some of the most common signs of gum disease in-between visits. Some potential signs of gum disease include:

  • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth

If you notice any of these symptoms, call your dentist as soon as possible. Your dental team will see exactly what’s going on and make the best gum disease treatment recommendation for you.

Protect Yourself

There are things you can do to keep your gums healthy and protect yourself against gum disease.

  • Floss every day
  • Brush your teeth twice daily
  • Quit smoking
  • See your dentist regularly

It’s important to know that gum disease may not always show symptoms, so make sure you visit our Evansville dental office twice a year to keep yourself protected. If it’s been longer than six months since your last appointment, call us to schedule one today.

smiling woman

Posted by & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry.

With all of the changes to dental care over the years, coupled with our society’s general tendencies to emphasize our appearance or looks, there’s no doubt that the demand for cosmetic dentistry has dramatically increased.

Your Evansville dentist wants you to know that if you have questions about cosmetic treatments, this blog is an excellent place to start. Here are just a few of the more common questions we hear from patients and non-patients alike.

Question #1: Do cosmetic dentists have specialized training?

Some dentists have more advanced cosmetic training than their peers, so it’s always a good idea to do some homework before you commit to anyone or anything. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry suggests you take a look at a dentist’s before and after shots to see their previous complete work, ask about their continuing education efforts, and read references and reviews if they’re available.

Question #2: What are some of the most common treatments people ask for?

At our dental office in Evansville, we meet so many patients of all ages and walks of life who are ready for a smile makeover with cosmetic dentistry. Sometimes we can achieve this with just one type of treatment, but most cases require a mixture of dental procedures to get the results you’re looking for and deserve. To revamp the aesthetics of their smile, patients often ask for:

1 – Bonding – This tooth-colored material is expertly placed on teeth to help them be more uniform and free from gaps or discolorations. Slightly decayed or chipped teeth can often be fixed with bonding because it can cover the entire surface of your tooth for a change in shape and color.

2 – WhiteningTeeth whitening is probably the most widely recognized cosmetic dental treatment because it’s something we can do in the dentist’s office or the comfort of our own home. This can help lighten and brighten your smile for any big occasion.

3 – Veneers – Usually thin and made of porcelain or plastic, your dentist places veneers over the front of your teeth for an immediate upgrade to the shape and color of your smile. Veneers can help you say goodbye to unevenly spaced, chipped, broken, or discolored teeth.

4 – Crowns – Also known as caps, crowns are used to help fix deteriorating teeth by covering your tooth for better appearance and function. They tend to have the longest life expectancy compared to other popular cosmetic restorations.

Question #3: How long will my results last and how much will they cost?

We understand that cost is important when considering any investment, especially in your smile and health. It’s impossible to throw out any numbers as to how much your cosmetic dental care would cost because we don’t know what procedures you’re interested in or would make a good candidate for.

Your smile overhaul should last for many years. It all depends on how well you take care of your teeth at home and if you keep your regular dental checkups and cleanings. You’ll want to make sure you’re not grinding your teeth or using them as tools to open packaging, etc. because it can damage your new dental work.

We hope you’ll talk to your dentist in Evansville about how cosmetic dentistry can change your smile and your life. We’re proud to offer trusted cosmetic treatments in the comfort and privacy of our office with a team you know and trust.

pregnant woman brushes teeth

Posted by & filed under Oral Health, Prevention.

Finding out that you’re pregnant is one of life’s most joyous (and scary) events you can endure. Everyone at our dental office in Evansville wants to send plenty of well wishes to all of the parents out there who are expecting a blessing of their own.

We wanted to set aside this blog to talk to the moms out there. Because whether you’re new to pregnancy and experiencing every special moment for the very first time, or a seasoned parental pro who knows exactly how this all goes, it’s essential not to put off your upcoming cleanings or treatments. We understand pregnancy brings up a lot of new concerns about your health and wellbeing, including taking care of your smile. Let’s talk about some of the most common concerns we hear from our patients about going to the dentist during pregnancy.

Common Concern #1: What if I need dental X-rays? Are they safe?

Most dental offices are equipped with state-of-the-art digital X-rays, eliminating the possibility of  overexposure to harmful radiation for you and your baby. If you’re experiencing a dental issue, it’s advisable to get the necessary X-rays to fix the problem before it poses any risk of harming your developing fetus.

Common Concern #2: My gums are really bleeding. Should I call my Evansville dentist?

If you’re pregnant and reading this, there’s no doubt in our mind that you would agree that being pregnant can change your body, usually in part due to fluctuations in your hormones. The American Dental Association says that as many as 50 percent of pregnant women can develop “pregnancy gingivitis.” It usually goes away after your child arrives, but it’s important to brush and clean your teeth regularly. If still concerned about bleeding in your gums, you can always reach out to us for help.

Common Concern #3: I’ve got morning, afternoon, and night sickness. Should I tell my dentist?

Sickness and vomiting during pregnancy are one of the most common side effects that most women tend to experience early on in their pregnancy. When you get sick, excess stomach acid can eat away at your tooth enamel leading to decay. Remember these helpful tips you can use at home to help protect your teeth from acid:

  • Wait to Brush. Brushing immediately after vomiting can lead to damage. Acid weakens the enamel, and if you brush while the enamel is soft, you can cause scratches that bacteria can hide in. So wait at least an hour after getting sick to brush.
  • Rinse with Water. While you’re waiting for the right time to brush, it’s a good idea to rinse your mouth out with water initially. Swishing water around in the mouth and spitting it out can remove a lot of acid.
  • Keep Drinking Water. You’re already drinking a lot of water, so keep on doing it. The more water you drink, the less acid will stick around in your mouth.
  • Scrape the Tongue. Don’t forget about your tongue. After vomiting, get a tongue scraper and gently run it down your tongue. You can successfully remove a lot of acid that would actually end up on your teeth.

If you’re really having a hard time and are worried about your smile, contact our dental office in Evansville as soon as you’re feeling up to it. Seeing your dentist is crucial during your pregnancy, so let us work with you to determine what your needs are and how to proceed with your care during this special time in your life. We’re always here to help!

dentist looks at x-ray

Posted by & filed under Oral Health, Prevention.

An abscessed tooth isn’t a very fun topic to talk about, but it is necessary. Many people will experience an abscess in their life as well as the pain that often comes with it. At our dental office in Evansville, we’re here to share some important information about tooth abscess, so you’re able to recognize the signs and get treatment quickly.

What is an Abscess?

A tooth abscess is a painful collection of pus that’s brought on by a deep tooth infection that has spread into the tooth’s root and even the bone. If treatment is not sought early, the infection can lead to serious problems and perhaps require a tooth extraction.

Signs & Symptoms

Tooth pain is a common sign of an abscess. Other signs and symptoms of an abscess include:

  • Face or jaw swelling
  • Sensitivity with increased pressure
  • A bad taste in your mouth that may taste salty
  • Pain in the jaw, neck, or ear

It’s worth noting that, occasionally, an abscess won’t show any symptoms at all. When this happens, your dentist in Evansville is usually the one to diagnose an abscess at one of your dental checkups through the use of a dental x-ray.

Causes of an Abscessed Tooth

Often untreated decay is the main cause of an abscess. But there are other things can lead to a painful abscess, including an injury to the mouth, certain dental treatments (such as a root canal), crown, or filling, or from clenching or grinding.

Risk Factors

There are several things that can increase your risk of getting an abscess including:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Eating too much sugar
  • Dry mouth
  • Not seeing your dentist in Evansville every six months

All of these factors increase your risk of decay, and in turn an abscessed tooth.

Prevention

Since many abscesses are caused by untreated decay, the best thing you can do to prevent an abscess is to follow a good oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing every day. It’s also recommended that you visit our dental office in Evansville at least twice a year for preventative care, professional dental cleanings, and x-rays.

If it’s been longer than six months since your last dental appointment or you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with us today.

oral cancer awareness

Posted by & filed under Oral Cancer, Oral Health, Prevention.

Every April, the dental community recognizes Oral Cancer Awareness Month to educate our patients and neighbors on this scary, and sometimes deadly, disease. In fact, oral cancer kills one person every hour, every day. More than 50,000 people are diagnosed every year. At our dental office in Evansville, we want to do our part and help our community recognize the risks and signs of early cancer.

Who is at Risk of Getting Oral Cancer?

Anyone can get oral cancer. But there are several things that can put someone at greater risk. While we can’t change some of these risk factors, there are definitely some we can control. Some factors that increase the risk of oral cancer include:

Tobacco Use: 80% of oral cancer diagnoses are in tobacco users including those who smoke cigarettes, cigars, or use smokeless tobacco.

Drinking Alcohol: Nearly 70% of those diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers.

Gender: Men are two times more likely to develop oral cancer than women.

Age: Those over the age of 50 are at increased risk of oral cancer.

The Sun: Unprotected sun exposure tends to put people at greater risk of oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Symptoms

Even though oral cancer can be treated successfully, treatment and survival increase greatly when oral cancer is caught early. This is why it’s incredibly important to know the signs of oral cancer. Some common symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • A sore that doesn’t go away
  • Irregular areas such as lumps, rough spots, or erosion
  • Red or white patches
  • Pain or numbness
  • Difficulty speaking, chewing, or swallowing

If you notice any of these symptoms, call your dentist in Evansville and schedule a checkup.

Regular dental appointments don’t just help protect your teeth from cavities. They’re also crucial to monitor your overall oral health. During your dental cleanings and exams, your dental team will be on the lookout for any concerning areas or warning signs that there may be a problem so that treatment can begin sooner rather than later. Early diagnosis of oral cancer may save your life.

Don’t put off your dental appointments. Call our Evansville dental office to schedule an appointment today.

man missing tooth

Posted by & filed under Dental Implants, Oral Health, Restorative Dentistry.

Your Evansville dentist knows what it’s like to lose a tooth. Sometimes there’s a little pain. Sometimes you might feel embarrassed. Sometimes you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time and then “smack” your tooth gets knocked out. Trust us when we say it happens (and it’s probably more than you think).

What Are Some Common Tooth Replacement Options?

We get excited about dentistry because there’s so much state-of-the-art, advanced technology available today to make getting the care you need more comfortable and less time-consuming. It’s important to call your dentist in Evansville as soon as you lose a tooth. If you’ve been missing one (or a few) for a while, that’s ok, too!  We’re here to help!

Dental Implants

One of the coolest, most innovative ways you can replace a missing tooth is to use a dental implant.

  • How Can a Dental Implant Help Me? – A dental implant is a life-changing restoration that actually behaves like your missing tooth’s natural roots and functions just like a real tooth. It also helps keep your jaw bone healthy since it provides regular stimulation. Your dentist will first place the implant and then create a custom, tooth-colored crown that will be placed on top. The crown is shaded to look like your other teeth so nobody will even know it’s there. If taken care of properly, dental implants can last many years if not a lifetime.

Bridge

Sometimes a missing tooth or even multiple teeth can be easily fixed with something called a dental bridge. We can craft a custom restoration that blends seamlessly with your natural teeth and fills in the gaps all at the same time.

  • How Can a Dental Bridge Help Me? – A dental bridge can help fill gaps left behind by a missing tooth or teeth to give you a full smile. Bridges are usually made from two or more crowns that again are shaded to match your natural look. The restoration is then anchored to nearby teeth to hold them in place. Essentially, the dental bridge is bridging the gap. Sometimes bridges can be supported by dental implants depending on your individual case and desire.

Dentures

If you’re missing multiple teeth, there might be some benefit to you speaking to us about dentures. They can be expertly crafted to fit your mouth and take years off of your appearance.

  • How Can Dentures Help Me? Dentures can be used to replace both upper and lower missing teeth. They’re created to be aesthetically and naturally pleasing, so no one will even know they’re not your real teeth. There are plenty of options to choose from, so it’s important to learn about your options and pick what works best for you and your busy lifestyle.

We understand what it’s like to be missing a tooth or several teeth. There are options that can help. Call our dental office in Evansville to schedule a consultation and together, we can create a plan for your treatment that works for your budget, your schedule, and your smile.