The Benefit of Adding Flossing to Your Routine | Highland Dentist

You have heard the recommendation from your dental hygienist or dentist over and over again: “You need to start flossing. Flossing daily is important.” Although it may sound like a broken record at times, flossing truly is instrumental to both your oral and overall dental health. It is important to understand the benefits of flossing daily to keep your smile shining bright. 

Flossing not only protects your gum tissue, but also the surrounding bone support. When you floss, you clean the plaque (dental bacteria) in between your teeth. Simply brushing your teeth does not allow you to reach the areas in between where your teeth touch together. The bacteria can build up and eventually harden into tartar. A combination of bacteria in your mouth and tartar under the gumline can lead to periodontal disease and eventually tooth loss. 

Periodontal disease not only affects your oral health, but your systemic health as well. Long term, unresolved inflammation in your body can lead to many issues. The bacteria found in the mouth that cause periodontal disease have also been shown to circulate throughout the bloodstream. It has been proven that there is a correlation between these bacteria and heart disease, stroke, increased blood sugar levels/diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, among many other diseases. 

A consistent routine of flossing, when paired with brushing and professional cleanings, can save you money in the long run. Preventative care can reduce more severe problems down the road. Flossing can help decrease the amount of decay you develop in between your teeth, therefore decreasing the amount of dental work that needs to be done. It is a great way to stop the problems before they even begin. 

Although it may sound repetitive, you truly do want to heed the advice of a dental professional when it comes to flossing. The old saying “only floss the teeth that you want to keep” holds true. Contact our office for a full dental examination and a professional cleaning, including an evaluation of your oral hygiene habits and how they can be improved.

Artistic Family Dental of Highland
Phone: (219) 836-7684
cash, credit card
3307 45th St.
Highland, IN 46322

Healthy Smile, Healthy Body | Dentist Highland

Dentist Highland

Good oral hygiene habits are essential to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. What you might not know is that research has found the health of your mouth actually mirrors the overall condition of your body. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, there is a direct relationship between gum disease and many serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The good news is, research also shows that good oral health may actually help prevent certain diseases from occurring.

 

Understanding the mouth/body connection

Poor oral habits can cause bacteria to build up on your teeth, making your gums more prone to disease and infection. When that happens, your immune system goes to work attacking the infection, leading to inflammation and gum disease, also known as periodontitis. Left untreated, periodontitis and chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on the rest of your body, leading to a host of health problems. Thankfully, this “worst-case-scenario” is easily preventable. Here’s what you can do to elevate your oral hygiene habits and keep unwanted health concerns at bay:

 

  • Brush twice a day for at least two minutes using a soft-bristled brush. Be sure to choose a toothbrush that is the right size for your mouth so you can reach back teeth easily. If you have any questions about which toothbrush we recommend for you, you can ask our office during your appointment.
  • Remember to replace your toothbrush every three or four months.
  • Choose an American Dental Association-approved fluoride toothpaste to keep teeth free from decay.
  • Floss daily to remove tooth decay-causing bacteria that tend to linger between teeth. Regular flossing also helps remove plaque under the gumline and minimize your risk of contracting gum disease.
  • Eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks.
  • Avoid cigarettes and other tobacco products, which are known to contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.

 

In addition to maintaining good daily oral health habits, seeing your dentist regularly is one of the best ways to keep your mouth – and your body – healthy. These exams allow our team to monitor any changes to your teeth and gums and make recommendations that will help you avoid future health problems. Call our office today to schedule an exam.

Artistic Family Dental of Highland
Phone: (219) 836-7684
cash, credit card
3307 45th St.
Highland, IN 46322

Easy Flossing Alternatives to Preserve Your Healthy Smile | Dentist in Highland IN

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If there is one recommended dental habit that many people struggle to embrace, it’s flossing. Whether you find traditional thread flossing challenging to maneuver, messy, or just time consuming, you are not alone. However, The American Dental Association (ADA) and our office want you to be able to floss regularly and thoroughly. Consider these effective alternatives to remove unwanted plaque from the places your toothbrush simply can’t reach. 

1.) Disposable Floss Pick

These convenient little tools have plastic handles and Y-shaped prongs that come pre-threaded with floss. No measuring, snipping or finger threading required. Ideal for travel and on-the-go use, simply grab the handle, insert the floss between your teeth, and when done, toss the tool away.

2.) Non-Disposable Floss Picks

Fashioned with a longer handle than their disposable counterparts, these picks may be an excellent option for patients with small mouths and/or crowded teeth. They also help to make reaching back teeth a breeze. 

3.) Water Flossers

Electronic flossers use streams of pressurized water to clean between your teeth. There are many different models to accommodate price preferences, and most offer adjustable pressure settings to ensure your comfort during use. 

4.) Interdental Brushes

Designed to look like tiny toothbrushes, interdental brushes are especially effective for those who wear braces. They are also a nice option for patients with mobility issues who struggle with traditional flossing. Another plus? Like toothbrushes they can be used repeatedly – simply ask our office when we recommend replacement.

5.) Air Flossers

These high-tech tools use air pressure combined with a small amount of water to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy. Considered to be less messy than their water-based cousins, air flossers offer easy point and click instructions – just aim the flosser between your teeth and a blast of air does the rest. 

Keeping the spaces between your teeth and gums free from plaque and tartar is essential to your oral health. Finding tools and techniques that work for you is the first step towards establishing lifelong habits that lead to a lasting, healthy smile. Consider any of these flossing alternatives or call our office for a recommendation. Our team will be happy to evaluate your unique needs to help you find the solution that is right for you.

Artistic Family Dental of Highland
Phone: (219) 836-7684
cash, credit card
3307 45th St.
Highland, IN 46322

What to Do in Case of Dental Emergency | Highland IN Dentist

Highland IN Dentist

 

Accidents always happen. Be sure to know what to do when one arises – it can be the difference of saving a tooth or losing one.  

 

A dental emergency is an injury to your teeth or gums that can be potentially serious. Ignoring one can increase the risk of permanent damage. For all dental emergencies, it is important to contact our office as soon as the injury occurs.  Provide detailed information about the injury to your mouth. We will be able to give you instructions on how to care for your mouth in the time before coming to our office. In some instances, we may recommend emergency care. 

 

Here are some common dental injuries and how to care for them. 

 

Knocked-out tooth 

Rinse the tooth with water if it’s dirty and try not to remove any attached tissue fragments. Keep the tooth moist at all times by carefully putting the tooth back in place without forcing it back into the socket. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a small container of milk or in a cup of water that contains a pinch of salt. Contact our dental office as quickly as possible. 

 

Chipped or cracked tooth 

Save any pieces if possible. Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the injured area as well as remove any small tooth fragments. Apply cold compresses to your mouth to keep down the swelling and relieve pain.  

 

Objects caught between teeth 

Carefully try to remove the object using floss. If you cannot get the object out, see your dentist. It is important to never use a pin or sharp instrument to remove the object since you may cause injury to your gums or the surfaces of your teeth. 

 

Soft-tissue injuries 

Injuries to your tongue, cheeks, gums and lips can result in bleeding. To control the bleeding, rinse your mouth with mild salt water. Apply a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag to the bleeding site for about 15 minutes. You may also use a cold compress to relieve pain. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, contact our dental office. 

 

You can also take simple precautions to avoid dental emergencies:  

 

  • When participating in sports, always wear a mouth guard 
  • Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy 
  • Never use your teeth to cut things – use scissors 

 

If you encounter a dental emergency, always contact our Highland IN dentist as soon as possible. We can provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to care for your mouth or may ask you to come into the office. If you have any additional dental emergency questions, be sure to contact Artistic Family Dental of Highland.

 

 

Artistic Family Dental of Highland
Phone: (219) 836-7684
cash, credit card
3307 45th St.
Highland, IN 46322

Top 5 Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth | Highland IN Dentist

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When it comes to your oral health, what you should eat is just as important as what you shouldn’t. By limiting certain types of foods and focusing on others, you can set yourself up for a lifetime with a healthy smile. Here is a list of foods you should strive to eat, and others to consume with moderation. 

 

Best Foods for Your Teeth 

 

Cheese and other dairy products. Dairy is high in calcium and protein, which strengthen tooth enamel. Cheese, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products are all great sources. 

High-fiber foods. Fiber keeps saliva flowing, which helps to get rid of bacteria and fight decay. Leafy greens, beans, and many fresh fruits contain high amounts of fiber. 

Water. Water should be your main drink of choice. It helps rinse food particles or sugars away and keeps saliva levels high. 

Sugar-free gum. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), sugar-free gum can protect your teeth by increasing saliva flow. Chewing a stick after a meal can also help clean any food particles that remain. 

Lean protein. Foods like eggs, fish, chicken, and various red meats contain phosphorus, which is necessary for your body to fully absorb calcium. 

  

Worst Foods for Your Teeth 

 

Acidic foods. The acids found in citrus fruits, wine, and candy can wear down the calcium buildup in your teeth and create opportunities for tooth erosion. 

Sodas. Soft drinks contain high levels of sugar and acidity which are both equally destructive to your teeth. 

Sports drinks. While sports drinks may help you rehydrate during physical activity, they also contain a lot of sugar. We recommend limiting sports drink consumption and switching to water. 

Alcohol. Alcohol is known to dry out your mouth, which prevents saliva from doing its job. Alcohol can also stain your teeth. 

Sticky or sugary candies. Sugar is one of the main causes of tooth decay and is commonly found in candy. Limit how much candy you eat and drink water afterwards to wash away any remaining sugars. 

 

By watching what you eat or drink, you can protect your oral health. Minimize your consumption of problematic foods and aim for those that will benefit your teeth. In addition, regular cleanings and exams will help keep your smile bright and healthy. Contact Artistic Family Dental of Highland today to schedule your next appointment. 

 

Artistic Family Dental of Highland
Phone: (219) 836-7684
cash, credit card
3307 45th St.
Highland, IN 46322

How to Maintain Your Oral Health While on Vacation | Highland IN Dentist

 

Highland IN dentist

Keeping up with your dental hygiene and oral health can be easy during your work-week, but being on vacation can complicate things. Follow our advice to ensure your smile stays bright while you enjoy your vacation. 

Plan Ahead 

Make sure you pack everything you will need, such as a toothbrush, floss, and travel-sized mouthwash. Your toothbrush should have a cover or a separate bag, so that it can dry and avoid contamination between uses. Buying supplies while on vacation can be a hassle, so hit the store before you skip town. If you are in need of dental care such as a root canal or a filling, it is better to have treatment done ahead of time to avoid any emergency care away from home. 

Set a Routine 

At home, routines for oral hygiene are easy to follow. On vacation, however, your time management might be hectic or sporadic. Set a routine to ensure you brush twice a day and floss at least once, and stick to it as best you can. 

Watch your Diet 

Enjoying delicious cuisine while on vacation can be a fantastic experience – just make sure to do so in moderation. Avoid too many sugary or acidic drinks and foods, which can cause damage to the enamel of your teeth. Cocktails are a great example of this. In addition, bring healthy snacks along with you. These can save money while on-the-go, and are easy on your teeth. Try to bring a water bottle or canteen to rinse your mouth when possible, which helps prevent decay and plaque growth. 

You can maintain your oral health on vacation without any stress if you plan for it. Bring the right tools, set a routine, watch what you eat, and your optimal oral health will remain. If you need treatment or a cleaning prior to your trip, contact Artistic Family Dental of Highland.

 

Artistic Family Dental of Highland
Phone: (219) 836-7684
cash, credit card
3307 45th St.
Highland, IN 46322

How to Keep a Healthy Tongue  | Highland IN Dentist

 

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When it comes to oral health, protecting your teeth and gums are often the focus. However, did you know that your tongue needs proper care as well? Your tongue is responsible for many essential functions like swallowing, tasting, and talking, but it can harbor bacteria that harms your oral health. Learn how to keep your tongue healthy by following these four treatment tips. 

 

Practice Optimal Oral Hygiene 

 

Brushing and flossing twice a day will protect your mouth from pesky bacteria, but make sure to brush your tongue as well. As an alternative, try using a tongue scraper once a day. Tongue scrapers will scrape away any build up that has formed on your tongue. 

 

Drink Plenty of Water 

 

If you are dehydrated, it’s possible for your tongue to lose moisture and become uncomfortable. Drinking water ensures your hydration and will wash away food particles and bacteria from the surface of your tongue. Proper hydration can also prevent bad breath. 

 

Maintain a Healthy Diet 

 

Your tongue is a muscle, and what you eat can affect its health. Fill your diet with foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, calcium, lean protein, and fiber. Avoid eating processed foods and treats that are filled with sugar. 

 

Visit our Dental Office 

 

By visiting your Highland IN dentist at least twice a year for a routine cleaning and examination, you can protect your tongue, teeth, and the rest of your mouth. During these visits, we will thoroughly check all aspects of your oral health. We will then work with you to create an oral health plan that is tailored to your needs. 

 

Don’t let your oral health slip by neglecting proper care for your tongue! Put these four tips into practice so you can enjoy a bright and healthy smile. Contact Artistic Family Dental of Highland today to learn more about proper oral care or to schedule your next appointment. 

 

Artistic Family Dental of Highland
Phone: (219) 836-7684
cash, credit card
3307 45th St.
Highland, IN 46322

Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks | Highland IN Dentist

 

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Many sports drinks contain electrolytes which can be helpful to maintain energy levels when engaging in physical activities. You may believe that sports drinks are healthy but the truth of the matter is, they are not healthy. Energy drinks are those like Monster and Rockstar. Sports drinks and energy drinks are also seen as a tasty alternative to water when it comes to staying hydrated. It is important to know the negative effects and damage that these drinks do to your teeth.  

 

Up to 62 percent of children of the same age drink at least one sports drink per day and between 30 and 50 percent of teenagers in the United States drink these types of beverages regularly. With these numbers being so high it is important to take notice on the negative effects these drinks can have on teeth. The danger to both children and adults in sports drinks and energy drinks comes not only from the sugar content but also from the acidity. These types of drinks contain a significant amount of acid that they begin destroying the teeth of the person drinking them in as little as five days. 

 

There is a lot of damage being done to your oral health when consuming sports drinks and energy drinks. Energy and sports drinks can damage tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. These drinks erodes or thin out the enamel of the teeth, leaving them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity. Athletes drink these beverages to remain hydrated and sip them frequently during exercise. This increases the time that teeth are exposed to the acidity and high sugar content of sports drinks, leaving them vulnerable to decay. 

 

While sports drinks and energy drinks can be an alternative to water, there are ways to promote great oral health. The best way to promote oral health is to keep yourself hydrated with water to prevent negative effects that sports and energy drinks bring. If you feel that you must use sports drinks, rinse your mouth with water afterwards and do not brush your teeth right after you have consumed a sports drink. Also, read the ingredient labels before you consume drinks. Avoid high amounts of acid and sugar, especially if you already have teeth problems. 

 

Getting healthy is great for your body and your mouth, but sports and energy drinks are not a necessary part of well-being. There are many alternatives, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you. One must maintain oral health to make sure to have a lasting smile. Talk to your Highland dentist about preventative care for your oral health. Contact Artistic Family Dental of Highland today.

 

 

Artistic Family Dental of Highland
Phone: (219) 836-7684
cash, credit card
3307 45th St.
Highland, IN 46322

I Chipped a Tooth! What Can I Do? | Highland IN Dentist

 

Highland IN Dentist

It usually starts pretty innocently. You’re biting into your favorite hard candy and suddenly you realize that there’s one little hard piece in your mouth you can’t seem to dissolve. You check it out and fear overcomes you when you see it’s a little chipped piece of a tooth. 

 

Enamel may be one of the hardest substances in the body but like most things in life, it has its limit. Whether you are chewing on ice or grinding your teeth at night, there’s always a chance of putting your teeth at risk. If you have chipped your tooth, there’s no need to panic. Here are a few things we can do to restore your beautiful smile: 

 

Tooth Bonding 

 

Tooth bonding has many structural uses, and it can be very helpful for repairing chipped teeth. Tooth bonding is a simple procedure that doesn’t require any numbing. The bonding materials and porcelain used are natural in color and can be designed to perfectly match your teeth. Your smile will look good as new, and people will have a hard time noticing you ever chipped a tooth to begin with.  

 

Dental Crown 

 

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that helps protect your teeth, while at the same time improving its appearance. An AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) dentist will likely use a tooth colored crown made out of porcelain or zirconia to look identical to your teeth. Crowns will also provide the durability and strength your teeth need to withstand daily use. You may only need a partial crown if our dentist sees that the chip doesn’t affect the entire tooth.  

 

Porcelain Veneers 

 

Porcelain laminate veneers are made up of several thin layers of ceramic used to repair chipped teeth. They will be bonded to the teeth to replace the original enamel of the tooth with a special adhesive. Dental veneers are a fantastic way to get your tooth to look whole and healthy again.  

 

If you have a chipped tooth and would like more information on these methods, or to schedule a consultation, contact Artistic Family Dental of Highland today.

 

Artistic Family Dental of Highland
Phone: (219) 836-7684
cash, credit card
3307 45th St.
Highland, IN 46322

Effective Prevention for Healthier Smiles | Highland IN Dentist

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Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children and adolescents. About ¼ of children and more than half of teens currently have this illness. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 90% of adults over age 20 have some amount of tooth-root decay. However, tooth decay is highly preventable. By providing effective dental care during childhood, better long-term oral health may be achieved. 

 

Here are some practices that can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues at every age: 

 

Hygiene 

Brush teeth twice each day with a soft-bristled brush. Clean your tongue gently with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen enamel. Children should use only toothpastes designed for kids’ use. Replace toothbrushes every 2-3 months. 

 

Clean between teeth daily. Use dental floss or another interdental cleaner. Talk to your hygienist for a recommendation and instructions for effective use. 

 

Diet 

Eat healthy foods and limit sugary and acidic foods. Drink plenty of water. 

 

Sealants 

A recent study on the effectiveness of sealants was published jointly by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). They found that sealants can prevent up to 80% of tooth decay in permanent molars when used for children and teens. Adults may see similar benefits from use, as well. Additionally, no adverse effects have been reported with use of sealants on patients of any age. Talk to our dentist about whether dental sealants may help you prevent tooth decay. 

 

Fluoride 

Fluoridation of public water has been listed by the CDC as one of the great achievements in public health in the 20th century. Studies have shown tooth decay in children who have fluoridated water sources is reduced by up to 40%. If you have concerns about tooth enamel weakness or if you live in an area without fluoridated water, ask our dentist whether supplemental fluoride may be right for you. 

 

Dental Care 

Visit our office for a professional cleaning and thorough exam at least twice each year, or as instructed. Seek treatment right away if issues are identified. 

 

Effective preventive care saves time and money and can help ensure a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles. For more information from our Highland dentist about tooth decay prevention, contact Artistic Family Dental of Highland. 

Artistic Family Dental of Highland
Phone: (219) 836-7684
cash, credit card
3307 45th St.
Highland, IN 46322

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