Posts for category: Oral Health
To stay healthy at home during this lockdown, you may be fixing nutritious meals, going for walks, or following along with workout videos. Don't forget to include your teeth in your health routine! There are a variety of ways you can update your dental hygiene practices at home to make sure you're getting the most out of your brushing and flossing. Below, your dentist in Berkley, MI, Dr. Julie Forte, offers at-home dental cleaning guidelines for the whole family.
Tips for adults
Brushing your teeth is something you've been doing for many decades, and it's probably become so ingrained that you don't think much about it anymore. However, take some time to evaluate how you're brushing to see if you need to make any changes. Are you brushing for two minutes twice a day? Do you replace your toothbrush every three to four months? Are you using a non-abrasive toothpaste? When it comes to flossing, try ordering the plastic flossing picks to replace the traditional spool of floss. To stay on track with flossing, try updating your calendar for every day that you do floss. After about 10 to 12 days, you should be well on your way to keeping this habit!
Tips for kids
Children aren't known for being diligent about cleaning their teeth, and during this time where normal routines are disrupted, they might be even more inattentive to brushing and flossing. You can boost their interest in brushing by ordering new toothbrushes featuring their favorite color or cartoon character. A fun-flavored toothpaste can also be helpful. You may try downloading an app to your phone that times their brushing and encourages them to keep going; there are several of these apps available. To promote children's flossing, your Berkley dentist suggests similar methods as mentioned above.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to see patients for non-emergency appointments at this time, but for questions or dental emergencies, please contact Dr. Forte of Forte Family Dentistry in Berkeley, MI at (248) 546-2030.
Protect your gums from disease with good oral hygiene and healthy habits.
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy doesn’t have to be a challenge. Keeping up with good brushing and flossing habits can go a long way to reducing plaque and tartar buildup. Of course, if you don’t visit the dentist as often as you should, or if you find that your sweet tooth gets out of control, then you may end up noticing changes in your gums. You should visit our Berkley, MI, dentist Dr. Julie Forte if you notice any of these three warning signs of gum disease.
Healthy gums will appear pink and firm; therefore, if you notice that your gums are a bit puffy and red this could be a sign of bacteria under the gumline that could be leading to inflammation or swelling. By brushing more meticulously and flossing daily without fail you may be able to get rid of the bacteria; however, if you don’t see a difference in the health or appearance of your gums after 1-2 weeks of very diligent and thorough at-home care then it’s time to turn to our Berkley, MI, family dentist.
Are you noticing some blood in the sink lately when you rinse? Bleeding gums that occur after brushing or flossing could be a sign of gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. While gingivitis is a milder form of the disease, if you don’t properly care for your gums this can progress into full-blown periodontitis. Be more thorough when it comes to brushing and flossing your teeth and you should notice that the bleeding goes away after a couple of days. If it doesn’t, it’s time to see your dentist.
Unfortunately most people don’t notice the very subtle changes associated with gum disease until the disease has progressed enough to alter the shape and appearance of their gums or has caused other dental problems. If you have suddenly noticed that your teeth look a little longer than they usually do this could be a sign that your gums are receding. Gum recession is a telltale sign of gum disease. Don’t ignore this problem! Untreated gum disease can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Are you looking for a dentist in Berkley, MI, that can provide your whole family with routine cleanings and checkups and prevent decay and gum disease from happening to you? If so, call Forte Family Dentistry today at (248) 546-2030 to schedule your next six-month cleaning.
Refusing, or delaying your trip to the dentist's office?
Your Berkley, MI, dentist, Dr. Julie Forte wants you to understand that missing dental visits can be harmful to your oral and dental health. If you dodge the dentist you may need more invasive procedures, rather than a simple professional cleaning, or dental filling.
What other procedures may you need?
- Dental Implants: Losing your teeth can be detrimental to one's confidence. While a tooth can be lost due to a sports injury or an accident, it can also be lost due to infrequent visits to the doctor. If your cavities have turned into issues a root canal treatment can't fix, then an extraction may be needed. During a dental implant procedure, the dentist will insert a titanium post, allow it to fuse to the jawbone for three to six months, then place an abutment and crown on top.
- Root Canal Therapy: If you sustain an injury, like a crack or a fracture, or your cavities have allowed bacteria to reach the pulp, this means you may have a tooth infection. The dentist will have to remove the tissue, disinfect the area and seal it. If the deterioration is too massive, your doctor will give you a temporary crown that will be swapped out with a permanent crown in another visit to your dentist's Berkley office.
How to Care for Your Teeth:
In addition to visiting your doctor, you need to take care of your teeth at home. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day, and don't skip flossing, at least once before bed.
Visiting your dentist on a regular basis will help reduce the chances of you needing to deal with serious dental problems. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to schedule a visit your Berkley, MI, dentist, just call Dr. Julie Forte at (248) 546-2030.
A woman as gorgeous and funny as Sofia Vergara surely planned to be a model and actress from the get-go, right? Wrong! Sofia’s first career choice actually was to be… a dentist! That’s right, the sexy star of TV’s Modern Family actually was only two semesters shy of finishing a dental degree in her native Columbia when she traded dental school for the small screen. Still, dental health remains a top priority for the actress and her son, Manolo.
“I’m obsessed,” she recently told People magazine. “My son thinks I’m crazy because I make him do a cleaning every three months. I try to bribe the dentist to make him to do it sooner!”
That’s what we call a healthy obsession (teeth-cleaning, not bribery). And while coming in for a professional cleaning every three months may not be necessary for everyone, some people — especially those who are particularly susceptible to gum disease — may benefit from professional cleanings on a three-month schedule. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to having professional teeth cleanings — but everyone needs this beneficial procedure on a regular basis.
Even if you are meticulous about your daily oral hygiene routine at home, there are plenty of reasons for regular checkups. They include:
- Dental exam. Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease are much easier — and less expensive — to treat in the earliest stages. You may not have symptoms of either disease early on, but we can spot the warning signs and take appropriate preventive or restorative measures.
- Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is not just a concern of the middle aged and elderly — young adults can be affected as well (even those who do not smoke). The survival rate for this deadly disease goes up tremendously if it is detected quickly, and an oral cancer screening is part of every routine dental visit.
- Professional teeth cleaning. Calcified (hardened) dental plaque (tartar or calculus) can build up near the gum line over time — even if you brush and floss every day. These deposits can irritate your gums and create favorable conditions for tooth decay. You can’t remove tartar by flossing or brushing, but we can clear it away — and leave you with a bright, fresh-feeling smile!
So take a tip from Sofia Vergara, and don’t skimp on professional cleanings and checkups. If you want to know how often you should come in for routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”
More than likely your child already receives fluoride from your drinking water or toothpaste. So, is it really necessary for them to receive topical fluoride during their regular office checkups?
We highly recommend they do. A naturally occurring chemical, fluoride has the ability to make enamel more resistant to acid attacks that lead to tooth decay. It’s most effective when it works its way into the structure of the enamel during early teeth development.
Both fluoridated drinking water and dietary fluoride supplements (recommended by a doctor or dentist) can be the vehicle for this to occur while the teeth are still forming in the jaw before eruption (when teeth become visible). After the teeth have erupted, fluoride applied directly to the enamel surface (topically) can become infused with it as it continues to develop during early growth.
But can’t fluoride toothpaste accomplish the same result? No — the fluoride added to toothpaste and other hygiene products is relatively low, and only strong enough to maintain and protect enamel. The fluoride levels in topical applications like gels, foam or varnishes are much higher (in the tens of thousands of parts per million) and remain in contact with the teeth during a treatment session for much longer. Some fluoride varnishes, in fact, will continue to leach fluoride into the tooth surface for a month or more.
Topical fluoride applications are especially beneficial for children who are growing up in an area without fluoridated drinking water or without the proper means for good oral care and hygiene. But even for children with access to fluoridated water and oral care, a topical application can still be helpful.
A topical fluoride treatment isn’t a stand-alone application, but a regular part of your child’s dental care of daily brushing and flossing and semi-annual dental cleanings and checkups. Topical fluoride enhances the care they already receive to help produce stronger enamel for future healthy teeth.
If you would like more information on topical fluoride applications, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Topical Fluoride: How Fluoride will Benefit Your Child.”