Posts for: January, 2018
Did you make any New Year's resolutions this year? For many of us, these pledges reflect a sincere desire for self-improvement—whether it's in terms of our career, our personal lives, or our health. Yet it isn't always possible to keep every promise we make…and while exercising every day and cutting out desserts are worthwhile goals, they may also be very difficult to maintain. Fortunately, when you resolve to improve your oral health, there are some simple things you can do to help keep your smile looking healthy and bright.
Get Into the Oral Hygiene Habit
Got a minute? How about two minutes, twice a day? If so, you have time to brush your teeth properly. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled brush that fits comfortably in your mouth—and replacing that brush every three to four months—is essential to good oral hygiene. The ADA also recommends flossing once a day to clean all the places where your brush can't reach—like in between teeth and under the gum line. Brushing and flossing are the best ways to maintain good oral hygiene at home.
Think Before You Drink
Here's another way to make a big difference in your oral health: Pass up those sugary and acidic drinks, and choose plain, refreshing water instead. We're talking about regular and diet soda, as well as fruit juice and those so-called “sports” or “energy” drinks. The sugar and acid in these drinks can spell disaster for your teeth: Sugar promotes the growth of bacteria that can cause tooth decay, while acid softens the hard enamel covering of your teeth, allowing cavities to get started. Water, on the other hand, satisfies your body's need for hydration without adding calories or harmful ingredients. That what makes it the best drink for your diet—and your oral health.
See Your Dentist Regularly
There are some jobs best left to the pros—like removing the hardened deposits called “tartar” from your teeth, and checking for tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems. We'll take care of all that at your routine dental checkup. Plus, you'll get a thorough cleaning and a chance to “brush up” on oral hygiene techniques that can help you keep your mouth healthy throughout the year.
If you have questions about improving your oral hygiene, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Daily Oral Hygiene” and “Think Before You Drink.”
Tooth loss changes how you look, eat and speak. Also, it affects your gum tissue and jaw bone. What could help your smile in the event of dental extraction or trauma? Dental implants from Portage dentists, Dr. Keith Wester and Dr. Jennifer Sarantos preserve the jaw and look and function just like real teeth. Learn all about these modern tooth replacement marvels from the experts at Wester Dental Care.
The details on dental implants in Portage
Dental implants differ from conventional tooth replacements which simply rest on gum tissue and/or clamp to remaining natural teeth. Instead, implants lodge right in the jaw bone for superior stability. Additionally, dental implants actually improve jaw bone density. After surgical placement, the titanium implant cylinder and the patient's bone fuse together through a process known as osseointegration.
As the patient bites and chews on a finished implant, its strength increases. The same applies when dentists place multiple implants or mini-implants to secure multi-tooth bridgework or dentures.
The single implant procedure
To qualify for a dental implant, your dentist in Portage will do a complete oral examination, including digital X-ray imaging. Critical to oral implant success is sufficient jaw bone density and healthy gum tissue. If all is well, the dentist proceeds with an injection of local anesthesia and incision of the gums at the implant site.
Then, the doctor creates a small hole in the jaw bone and places the standard dental implant cylinder. A few sutures close the area, and the patient goes home for for a few weeks or months as the implant bonds with the jawbone. At the next visit to Wester Dental Care, the dentist permanently bonds a metal alloy post and porcelain crown in place.
Your new smile
You care for dental implants just as you do your natural teeth: floss daily to keep ahead of plaque and tartar, and brush every day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Also, see Dr. Wester or Dr. Sarantos every six months for oral examinations and professional cleanings.
A word of caution: while dental implants do not get cavities, they can fail because of an infection called peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis resembles advanced gum disease, and poor oral hygiene and smoking can cause it. So it's best to keep implant sites clean and to avoid tobacco.
Find out more
Dental implants from Wester Dental Care in Portage, MI could help your oral function, bone structure and personal appearance, too. Learn all about these amazing prosthetics in a personal implant consultation with one of our highly skilled dentists. Call today: (269) 327-1119.
At the first-ever Players Weekend in August 2017, Major League Baseball players wore jerseys with their nicknames on the back. One player — Cleveland Indians shortstop, Francisco Lindor — picked the perfect moniker to express his cheerful, fun-loving nature: “Mr. Smile.” And Lindor gave fans plenty to smile about when he belted a 2-run homer into the stands while wearing his new jersey!
Lindor has explained that he believes smiling is an important part of connecting with fans and teammates alike: “I’ve never been a fan of the guy that makes a great play and then acts like he’s done it 10,000 times — smile, man! We’ve got to enjoy the game.”
We think Lindor is right: Smiling is a great way to generate good will. And it feels great too… as long as you have a smile that’s healthy, and that looks as good as you want it to. But what if you don’t? Here are some things we can do at the dental office to help you enjoy smiling again:
Routine Professional Cleanings & Exams. This is a great place to start on the road toward a healthy, beautiful smile. Even if you are conscientious about brushing and flossing at home, you won’t be able to remove all of the disease-causing dental plaque that can hide beneath the gum line, especially if it has hardened into tartar, but we can do it easily in the office. Then, after a thorough dental exam, we can identify any problems that may be affecting your ability to smile freely, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or cosmetic dental issues.
Cosmetic Dental Treatments. If your oral health is good but your smile is not as bright as you’d like it to be, we can discuss a number of cosmetic dental treatments that can help. These range from conservative procedures such as professional teeth whitening and bonding to more dramatic procedures like porcelain veneers or crowns.
Tooth Replacement. Many people hide their smiles because they are embarrassed by a gap from a missing tooth. That’s a shame, because there are several excellent tooth-replacement options in a variety of price ranges. These include partial and full dentures, bridgework, and dental implants. So don’t let a missing tooth stop you from being Mr. (or Ms.) Smile!
If you’d like more information about oral health or cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”