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

October is known for a lot of things, but it’s the one month set aside each year to give a little bit of extra love to all of the immensely talented, caring dental hygienists out there. There are so many of them across the country whose work goes unnoticed or even underappreciated each day. So we’re here to pull back the curtain and shed some light on the life-changing services they provide.

Take a few minutes with your dentist in Evansville to give three cheers for dental hygienists and everything they do to keep you and your smile healthy.

Cheers #1 – Celebrate Their Love For Smiles

You have to admit it; someone who chooses dentistry as a career must really love teeth. If you ask any dental hygienist, we’re sure their answer will be very similar. Most dental hygienists take special classes and graduate with different training, degrees, and certifications. They don’t merely learn how to clean patients’ teeth and then send them on their way.

The American Dental Association will tell you that dental hygiene is no easy job. Hygienists are responsible for:

– Carefully examining teeth and the entire mouth for anything suspicious

– Taking a patient’s oral health history, blood pressure, and pulse

– Assessing your oral health needs and goals

– Taking precise x-rays and oral photos

– Educating patients about the best ways to care for their smile at home

– Clearing away harmful plaque and tartar from teeth to avoid decay

To get that up close and personal to smile each day takes a special dedication and a person who genuinely cares about their patients. Your Evansville dentist will be the first to give any dental hygienist a huge high five for all the work they do!

Cheers #2 – They’re Making History

Fones School of Dental Hygiene first opened its doors in 1913, paving the way as the first school of its kind dedicated to educating dental hygienists. National Dental Hygiene Month first started being recognized in October back in 2009 courtesy of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and Wrigley gum. Together, both organizations saw the need for more Americans to put a heavier emphasis on keeping their teeth healthy.

This year, there’s even more to celebrate as the ADHA is partnering with Walgreens and LISTERINE® to promote further the benefits of good oral health and the incredible, life-changing work done by dental hygienists across the nation. There’s even a new, #DoTheSwish campaign happening at participating stores where you can snap a selfie with specially-marked LISTERINE® mouthwash displays for a chance to win some sweet prizes!

Cheers #3 – It’s an Excuse for a New Toothbrush

While we genuinely appreciate all that dental hygienists do for patients, this is also a good time of year to take a look at your toothbrush. Is it starting to look a little scary? It might be time for a replacement if your bristles are frayed or breaking. 

Having the right toothbrush is going to help keep your mouth and gums healthy, in turn, making your dental hygienist happy. That’s what we want this month and every month of every year! This holiday marks the perfect opportunity to celebrate the fantastic, fabulous work dental hygienists do to keep mouths healthy across the country, from big cities to small villages. 

Are you need of a teeth cleaning? Contact our Evansville dental office today by phone or online to schedule a time with your amazing dental hygienist. Don’t forget to thank them for all they do for you and your smile. 

young woman in dental chair

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

Your dentist in Evansville knows how incredibly unnerving a trip to have your teeth checked or cleaned can be for some patients. If this sounds like you, it’s essential to know that you’re not alone. Besides the fact that millions of Americans struggle with anxiety about seeing the dentist, you’ve got an extended family at our office who cares about your comfort and happiness.

We thought it might be a good idea to devote a blog to different ways you or someone you care about can alleviate your dental anxiety and relax in the chair. There are a few things we tell our patients that are sure to work for you too.

#1 – Talk it Out

No matter what age you are or where you’re at in life, one of the most significant, most effective ways to overcome dental anxiety is to talk to us. Communication with your Evansville dentist will help to lower your stress levels associated with dental visits and make you feel less anxious about scheduling an appointment with us. Your dentist treats patients every day who are not too excited about having to sit in the dental chair, even for as something as routine as a cleaning. We have the right tools and training to make sure you’re always feeling comfortable and at ease.

Remember, starting with the first phone call if you’re a new patient, share your questions and concerns with our dental team. We can adapt to fit your needs and your schedule, to make seeing the dentist an experience that’s stress-free (and dare we say, enjoyable).

#2 – Relax and Breathe

It may seem a little silly having your dentist remind you to breathe, but so many people tense up when they’re at the dentist. Sometimes when we do this or we’re feeling anxious, we hold our breath and don’t breathe properly. This decreases oxygen levels and can further increase your feeling of anxiety or panic. 

Whether you’re on your way to the office for an appointment or if you’re getting ready to sit down for treatment, you can always practice deep, meditative breathing. It’s easy! Just try focusing on your breath. Keep taking steady, slow inhalations and exhalations. When you develop a more rhythmic breathing pattern, you’re able to focus on that more than your feelings of dread from having to see the dentist. Focusing on our breathing helps dramatically reduce stress levels. 

#3 – See Your Dentist in Evansville Regularly

It may seem a bit strange, but the best way to avoid the dentist is to see your dentist regularly. If you can overcome your anxiety and get through regular, routine checkups and cleanings, then there’s a good chance you’ll be able to avoid more extensive, time-consuming procedures in the future.

Also, remember this if you’re in the chair having work done: it’s OK to have a signal to stop and take a break if you’re uncomfortable. This puts you in control of the procedure and alerts your dentist if you need a time out for a minute or two. 

We hope these tips can help provide you some relief from your dental worries and anxiety. Like we mentioned earlier, please don’t hesitate to call our Evansville dental office and explain your feelings to us. There’s a solution for every patient, for every smile! We’re happy to help you find what makes you comfortable. 

kids playing lacrosse

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

Your dentist in Evansville is all about patients getting exercise and engaging in sports. It’s good for your body, mind, and spirit. However, there are quite a few sports that put your smile in danger every time you suit up. Some sports, for various reasons, put your teeth at a higher risk for injury and issues. 

Let’s countdown the top three sports that can do some serious dental damage to your smile. 

#1 – Ball and Stick Sports

There’s a reason this is number one on our list. Sports involving the combination of ball and stick or bat are a big danger to your smile. These pastimes include:

– Baseball

– Hockey

– Field Hockey

– Lacrosse

– Cricket

– And More

A hard ball or puck moving at a high rate of speed directly at your head or mouth is never going to have an ideal outcome if contact is made. And don’t think that football shouldn’t be included in this list. Football players wear mouthguards for a reason, whether it’s body contact or even a football to the face, there’s definitely damage to be done on the gridiron. 

Guess what? Basketball is just as dangerous for your smile. It sounds surprising for some patients when they hear it… but think about how physical a good basketball game can get. You can feel every second tick by whether you’re courtside or chairside. Basketball can become increasingly physical, “inside the paint,” or inside of the key on the court. Some big guys are throwing some serious weight around, and one false move to the mouth can mean disaster for your teeth. 

#2 – Boxing, MMA, Martial Arts

Sports such as martial arts, mixed martial arts, boxing, and others can also spell trouble for your teeth. There’s no denying that these sports are full-contact and sometimes mean hitting someone directly in the face. Oral injury is occasionally imminent. But it can be avoidable if you remember to wear a custom mouthguard courtesy of your Evansville dentist

#3 – X-treme Sports

We’re talking to all the thrill-seekers out there. You know the ones who just can’t resist shredding some pipe on the skateboard, enjoying corduroy conditions on their snowboard, or doing some freestyle tricks on their BMX bike. You may think these sports are reserved for the pros you see killing it at the X-Games, but in all reality, they’re still pretty popular recreational activities. Sometimes you take a tumble or suffer a fall that impacts your smile. This can spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E for your teeth. 

It all comes down to this: Give it your all, no matter what you do. Just don’t let your game get out of hand. Remember that it only takes a few seconds to do damage to your teeth, whether they’re broken or completely knocked out. Your smile is yours for the rest of your life, so you want to make sure you’re taking all of the necessary steps to protect it both on and off the field, court, or ice. 

Please remember to wear a mouthguard or sportsguard whenever you can while you’re engaging in these activities we’ve talked about today. Stay away from overly aggressive sports where you’re doing more damage to your health than helping it. Stay safe and have fun!

If, for whatever reason, you ever find yourself in a dental emergency, please don’t hesitate to call our Evansville dental office right away. There’s always someone ready to listen and help you get out of pain, fast. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment for you and your smile. 

woman with clear dental aligner

Posted by & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry, General Dental Articles.

Every time you turn on the TV these days or read something online, there seems to be an ad for do-it-yourself or DIY teeth aligners. They promise a straighter smile without a trip to see a trained professional. Your dentist in Evansville will tell you to be cautious about mail-order aligners for a few reasons. After all, this is your smile we’re talking about. If it doesn’t work correctly, you run the risk of a bad bite, poor alignment, and adverse effects on your overall health. 

The Biggest Risks to Your Bite

No matter what kind of treatment or procedure you want for your smile, it’s always best to work with a professional. Other than keeping up with your at-home brushing and flossing like a champ, there’s not too much else you should be doing to your smile yourself. These mail-order, or direct-to-consumer orthodontic options are often not monitored by a dental health professional. So, who’s there to check in on your progress? 

The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that every type of straightening treatment plan be monitored by a dental health professional like your Evansville dentist. This regular interaction allows you to communicate any concerns you may have. It also gives the doctor an idea of how well your treatment is progressing. Orthodontic treatment without supervision could lead to issues that are painful and irreversible down the road. 

Avoiding Temptations is Hard

When the commercial comes across the screen featuring beautiful people and their straight smiles, it’s easy to be sucked in. Couple that with clever marketing and the guarantee of a straighter smile and it becomes even harder to ignore. What it comes down to is cost. 

When you’re promised a straighter smile at half the price, you’re instantly attracted and may be ready to buy. But how do you know what you’re getting? Normally with the DIY products, you make an at-home dental impression… and you had better cross your fingers that everything was done right. Then a series of clear aligners are created and mailed to you. You wear them without ever seeing a doctor to make sure you’re not damaging your bite or smile. 

Know What’s Right

What the ads don’t tell you is that not everyone or every smile is fit for clear aligner orthodontic treatment. Sometimes these aligners aren’t enough to get your teeth to move into a more desirable, healthy position. Chances are, to get the results you want, you’re going to need some serious tooth movement. If your case is complicated, wasting your money on mail-order, DIY aligners will NOT give you the straight, confident smile you desire. 

The moral of the story? Be careful about choosing convenience over expertise.

Are you or someone in your family ready for a straighter, healthier smile? Then forget about the TV ads and call our Evansville dental office today for a consultation. We have the cutting-edge technology to be able to assess your smile and your bite to find out what orthodontic treatment is right for you. Better yet, if we find something that’s going to work for you, we’ll be there with you every step of the way. We can answer questions, make sure your treatment is progressing normally, and help you with aftercare needs, like a custom retainer. 

dental veneer

Posted by & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry.

You may have seen recent ads for do-it-yourself dental veneers pop up on your social media news feed, or stumbled across veneers that you can purchase online through various retailers. While DIY dental veneers may sound like a quick and cheap fix, there are several concerns your dentist in Evansville wants you to know about.

What Are DIY Veneers?

DIY dental veneers are inexpensive alternatives to a professional and custom-made solution from your dentist in Evansville. They typically come in two varieties — one that uses molds of your teeth and one that does not. Unlike their professional counterparts, DIY veneers are temporary, removable, and are held in place only using dental adhesive. 

Concerns About DIY Veneers

Those looking to enhance the appearance of their smile may be first attracted to the low cost of DIY veneers. But these temporary fixtures do not come without concerns. 

  • Temporary – DIY veneers are designed to only be worn occasionally and for short periods of time. This really only allows someone to have a brighter, straighter, more attractive smile for a few hours. Professional cosmetic dentistry and veneers from our dental office in Evansville give you a permanent smile every day of your life.  
  • Longevity – The materials used to create these cheap alternatives to custom veneers are typically low quality. This means you may need to replace temporary DIY veneers several times. 
  • Not Custom – Even the DIY veneers that require you to take molds of your teeth and send them off to the manufacturer aren’t incredibly custom. The final result can be uncomfortable and may look unrealistic. 
  • Bite Problems – One of the larger concerns of DIY veneers is that the manufacturer is not taking your bite into consideration when making the fixture. This means you may accidentally shift your bite or put unnecessary pressure on your teeth and jaw. This can create pain, discomfort, and, if not treated, more problems down the road. 
  • Decay – When a dental appliance does not fit well (and DIY veneers often don’t), there’s often a space between the appliance and the teeth or gums. This space gives food and bacteria a great place to hide which can easily lead to decay, cavities, and again, more problems such as the need for a root canal or crown. 

Every patient’s mouth is unique, as are their goals and concerns. The only way to make sure you’re investing your money into something that you will be happy with long-term is to talk with your dentist in Evansville. There are many cosmetic dentistry treatments available, including veneers, that can improve your smile safely and permanently. Ensure that your results are truly custom and truly what you’re looking for. Schedule an appointment today. 

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.