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.
Are you scared of the dentist? We understand that many patients struggle with dental anxiety, and are so fearful about going to the dentist that they prefer not to have treatment. Sedation dentistry can take away your anxiety. It uses medicine to help patients relax during dental procedures. Led by Dr. Julie Forte, Forte Family Dentistry in Berkley, MI specializes in sedation dentistry. Read on to learn about the different types of sedation options and their benefits.
#1 Medication- For minimal sedation, your dentist can give you oral medication an hour before the procedure. Drugs that can be used include triazolam, zaleplon, lorazepam, hydroxyzine, and diazepam. The medicine will make you drowsy, although you will be awake. One of the greatest benefits of oral conscious sedation is that patients feel completely relaxed during every stage of the treatment process.
#2 Laughing Gas- Nitrous oxide, also referred to as laughing gas, is a form of inhaled sedation that helps patients relax during dental treatment. You breathe nitrous oxide and oxygen through a small mask that's placed over your nose. Your dental care provider can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas usually wears off quickly. Laughing gas can reduce anxiety, improve your mood, and eliminate your pain during dental treatment.
#3 IV Sedation is the administration of a sedative drug through a vein. It allows your anxiety levels to be managed while keeping you at least somewhat aware during treatment. You will be able to respond when spoken to, move, and breathe independently. IV sedation will keep you comfortable and reduce stress during dental treatment.
#4 General Anesthesia- General anesthesia is commonly used to facilitate dental treatment in people with anxiety. The procedure renders patients unconscious through the use of potent medications and gas. Most patients under this type of anesthesia do not feel pain and have no memory of the procedure. In this unconscious state, there's also an absence of anxiety and fear.
Don't let dental anxiety stop you from visiting the dentist. Our dentist Dr. Julie Forte specializes in sedation dentistry can calm your nerves and put your mind at ease. Call Forte Family Dentistry in Berkley, MI at 248-546-2030 right now to schedule a dental appointment. We're committed to helping our patients overcome their fear of the dentist, so they can maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime.
Root canal therapy is an important dental restoration which saves failing teeth from extraction. Comfortable and effective, a root canal takes just two visits to your dentist, Dr. Julie Forte and her team at Forte Family Dentistry in Berkley. Really--just two visits!
What is a root canal?
A root canal is part of your tooth's natural anatomy. It contains connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. There may be up to four roots, and therefore, four root canals, per tooth.
Unfortunately, these interior canals are subject to bacterial invasion from decay or injury. Over time, the pulp becomes inflamed and infected, and toothache pain results.
At Forte Family Dentistry in Berkley, your dentist determines the extent of dental damage and may recommend a root canal procedure to clean out the tooth, seal it and cover it with a realistic porcelain crown. Dr. Forte performs root canal therapy in its entirety in her office. Most people need only local anesthetic, but some patients benefit from oral conscious sedation (tranquilizers) for added relaxation and relief of any anxiety.
Annually, American patients undergo about 15 million root canal procedures, says the American Association of Endodontists. The treatments are highly successful, relieve pain, and allow patients to keep their natural teeth.
Signs you may need a root canal
Some ailing teeth show no obvious signs of trouble. That's why regular check-ups at Forte Family Dentistry are so important.
However, other teeth may be very symptomatic. These danger signs may include:
- Toothache pain (severe and throbbing)
- Jaw and gum swelling
- Dental sensitivity to cold, heat, and sugar
- A pimple on the gums
- Tender, swollen gums
- Drainage which smells and tastes bad
- Bad breath which persists
- Enamel discoloration
- A crack or chip obvious upon inspection or X-ray
- Extensive and deep decay
- Multiple fillings in a single tooth (along with filling breakdown)
Living with your restored tooth
Teeth restored with root canal therapy usually last for many years--even decades. Key to their useful lives is:
- Daily flossing and twice daily brushing to keep crown margins free of plaque and tartar
- Six-month examinations and cleanings at Forte Family Dentistry
- Consuming a low-sugar, high-fiber diet
If you do need root canal therapy, Dr. Julia Forte and her team will care for both you and your tooth so well you'll both thrive. Call Forte Family Dentistry in Berkley, MI, any time you have a question or a concern about the health of a particular tooth. We're here to help! The office phone number is (248) 546-2030.
Teeth whitening has become a very popular cosmetic dental service. Why? It's because people see the value in a bright, attractive smile. It helps both interpersonal and professional relationships, and who wouldn't feel good about a beautiful, bright set of teeth? At Forte Family Dentistry in Berkley, MI, Dr. Julie Forte offers at-home and in-office teeth whitening services to help adults of all ages reach their smile goals.
FAQs about Teeth Whitening
What is teeth whitening? It's the process of applying hydrogen peroxide gel to tooth surfaces stained by tobacco, coffee, sports drinks, and more. Poor oral hygiene habits contribute to dull, yellowed teeth, but teeth whitening treatments improve tooth color by as much as 8 shades.
Will this chemical ruin my tooth enamel or gums? As opposed to shopping mall whitening services or drugstore products, professional teeth whitening is very safe. Your Berkley, MI, dentist will evaluate the health of your teeth and gums before advising teeth whitening or any cosmetic dental service. Also, Dr. Forte will place a protective dam in your mouth to keep the gel from spilling on your gums or lips. The trays you use at home are customized to fit your teeth perfectly, so the gel does not spill onto your soft oral tissues. You may, however, notice a bit of tooth sensitivity after the treatment, but this will resolve quickly.
How long does the treatment take? If you choose in-office whitening, expect to spend one to two hours at Forte Family Dentistry. If you whiten at home, the process takes about a week of daily applications.
Do the results last? Most teeth whitening treatments produce dramatic results which last for months--even years. The key to keeping your smile white is good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing, along with professional cleanings at Forte Family Dentistry, maintains that sparkling, bright finish. Also, you should avoid tobacco and reduce the amount of coffee, tea, and other dark foods and beverages you consume.
Find out more
Of course, you have more questions. So, why not arrange a cosmetic dentistry consultation with Dr. Forte at Forte Family Dentistry. We love helping our patients make informed decisions about their oral health and smile appearance. Call our Berkley, MI, office at (248) 546-2030 today!
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