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Should I Use a Water Flosser?

May 22nd, 2018

Is it challenging for you to floss? Do you tend to skip flossing just because of the problems you have when flossing or because of the length of time it takes? You’re not alone. Just half of Americans floss daily, and 18.5% don’t floss at all.

We know we’re supposed to floss every day, but the truth is that many people find traditional flossing a hassle. Just think about how many times you’ve dreaded your dentist asking you how often you floss! While the thought of using dental floss or thread may seem like a chore (or a bore), there’s another alternative out there: water flossing!


What Is a Water Flosser?

A water flosser also sometimes called a water pick, is an oral irrigator. Which means water flossers use a focused stream of air and water at high pressure to wash away food, bacteria, and plaque between your teeth. If you avoid flossing because of the time or difficulty, this may be an excellent choice for a quicker more convenient way to keep your gums healthy and prevent cavities. The most popular version is made by Waterpik.

Who Can Use a Water Flosser?

Water flossers are safe for most adults. They are especially great for people with braces or dental work who have a hard time flossing the traditional way. They’re also a good, gentle alternative for patients with sensitive gums that might bleed with string floss. Consult your child’s dentist before letting them use a water flosser.

Are they Safe?

Yes, water picks are safe. Just make sure they have the ADA Seal of Acceptance, and you’re good to go. If you’re not sure which water flosser to buy, talk to your dentist and ask for their input. They might have a recommendation for you based on your unique dental situation.

Should You Try It?

It depends. If your regular brushing and flossing routine is working just fine for you, you probably don’t need a water flosser.

As a dentist, I can tell you that regular old dental floss works like a charm when used daily. In fact, standard floss is considered the most effective tool for cleaning between teeth.

So don’t use a water flosser as a substitute for regular brushing and flossing. You still need to use regular floss every day. If you get a water flosser, use it as a supplement to your traditional routine or to reach difficult-to-clean places.

Brushing and flossing are so important to maintaining your dental health, but it’s not everything. Remember to schedule a cleaning every six months to keep your mouth in tip-top shape. Give our office a call to set up a cleaning appointment today! We have three convenient locations, one in Omaha, Blair, and Lincoln. Hope to see you soon!

The Long Term Effects of Thumb Sucking

May 15th, 2018

Thumb sucking is a normal and soothing habit for babies and toddlers. While most children grow out of this habit during their toddler years, some parents are faced with the reality that their elementary-aged child is still sucking their thumb. Usually, the reason why children tend to continue thumb sucking is out of habit due to hunger, boredom or stress. At this point, it’s important to try to stop the habit before it leads to any permanent damage to your child’s permanent teeth. Thumb sucking is usually harmful if it persists beyond the ages of 5-6 years.

What long-term impacts is your child at risk for if they continue sucking their thumb?

  • Teeth being pushed around, which might cause an overbite or an underbite to form. Thumb sucking has the potential to create an overbite, underbite, or an open bite due to shifting teeth from the presence of the thumb being in the mouth.
  • A lisp being built because constant thumb sucking can affect the jaw bone positioning. This is because continuous thumb sucking can affect the development of your child’s jaw, leading to a problem that could even require surgery to fix.
  • Germs from your thumb and surrounding areas affecting your body. Children who suck their thumbs well into and beyond their toddler years are at higher risk for infections due to continuing exposing the mouth to bacteria. These children are typically introduced to antibiotics earlier than children who cease the thumb sucking habit.

Approximately 30% of children in pre-school continue to suck their thumbs. Here are some helpful tips on how you can stop your child from sucking their thumbs at this point:

  1. Don’t nag or punish your child for sucking their thumbs as it may create stress and a reason to suck their thumbs more.
  2. Be gentle when encouraging your child not to suck their thumb. They should be old enough to understand the reasons why this habit is harmful. You can also try distracting them when they begin to suck their thumb to help break the habit.
  3. Explain to them the long term effects of such a habit and what that might entail.

If you notice any alternations to your child’s teeth due to their thumb sucking, visit one of our three locations! Please click one of our offices that will be most convenient for you, Lincoln OfficeOmaha Office, Blair Office. We’d be happy to help you and answer any questions you may have.




Fun Facts About Smiling and Laughing

May 8th, 2018

This blog has been a lot of the reasons why taking care of your teeth is essential for your overall health. Smiling. It feels good and looks great but did you know it could actually increase your lifespan and do everything from making you more attractive to help you land that promotion?

Of course, you can smile and laugh no matter what your teeth look like, but you’re more likely to do it if you know that you have a smile worth showing off. You’ll get a big boost of self-confidence, and some other significant physical and mental benefits.

Here are a just a few fun facts about smiling and laughing and why it’s so great to smile:

#1 Smiling Helps You Live Longer: 

Smiling has many benefits, not the least of which is that smiling can actually help us live longer.

People who smile more often are generally happier and, since smiling can decrease blood pressure and release endorphins, it’s a great way to boost health and protect your golden years.

#2 Improved Mood, Increased Relaxation:

When you are in a bad mood, the last thing you feel like doing is smiling or laughing. But did you know that faking it can help improve your mood? Just the act of curling your lips into a smile or letting out a small giggle is enough to trigger your brain into feeling happier.

That sounds like something that’s too good to be true, but studies show that it does in fact happen. Try it the next time you are feeling angry or sad and see what happens. It might feel weird at first, but it could turn into a long-term coping strategy for when those feelings arise.

Those effects are even further amplified when you turn that smile into a full-blown laugh. Laughing stimulates circulation and helps your muscles relax. Those positive effects are felt for up to 45 minutes after the laugh ends.

#3 Smiling Boosts The Immune System:

In addition to making you look more attractive, successful and approachable, smiling and laughter may also protect you from the common cold. According to recent data, smiling can help boost the immune system by decreasing stress levels, which in turn increases white blood cell count and releases beneficial antibodies that help fight infection and disease.

#4 You Become More Approachable:

Not only will you help yourself feel better when you smile and laugh, but you’ll also give the signal to others that you’re a right person to be around. You probably don’t want to be around other people when they are in a bad mood, so why would you expect anyone to want to be around you when you are in a bad mood?

The more you can engage and interact with others, the happier you’ll be. It’s a cycle that’s worth getting into. Smiles and laughter are contagious — whenever you see someone else doing it, you can’t help but do the same. You can thank your mirror neurons for that. Whenever we look at someone doing specific behaviors, we feel inclined to do the same.

Sharing a laugh with others also helps you deepen your bond with them and makes you more likely to share information and have a healthy long-term relationship.

#5 Physical Benefits: Smiling Can Make You Happier

Putting all of the scientific research aside, the best reason to do more smiling and laughing is that it makes you feel good. We should all strive to spend time doing things that make us feel that way, and that begins with smiling and laughing.

If you’re having a bad day, force yourself to smile. Research suggests that the act of smiling can actually trick the brain into feeling happier, no matter how bad the current situation may be. While smiling certainly doesn’t fix all problems, it certainly has the power to make us feel just a little better at any given moment.

Whether your teeth look the way you want them to or not, everyone can benefit from a happier life. Don’t let the state of your teeth get in the way of that.

Call us today to help you with your smile! Please click one of our offices that will be most convenient for you, Lincoln OfficeOmaha Office, Blair Office.

What Happens If I Leave a Cavity Untreated?

May 1st, 2018


While it can be a difficult process for some, having cavities treated at the earliest opportunity is essential to your overall health.

What Are Cavities?

Cavities, in short, are decay. When you don’t brush your teeth properly, bacteria on the surface of your teeth start to penetrate below the surface. If you eat a diet that’s heavy in sugar and carbohydrates, the bacteria on the surface of your teeth will consume the sugars and carbs and release acid that is harmful to your enamel. Cavities begin to form when that acid wears down the enamel just below the surface of your teeth.

How Do Dentists Treat Cavities?

The primary way to treat cavities is with fillings:

  • During a filling procedure, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic so you won’t feel the procedure.
  • They will then clear the decay from your teeth and fill the gap with a material to prevent future decay.
  • This material can be anything from metals like gold, zinc, and silver to natural-looking resin and porcelain that isn’t noticeable when you talk or smile.

What Happens If I Leave a Cavity Untreated?

A few things can happen if you happen to skip out on your regular dental appointments and allow a cavity to go untreated:

  1. Increased Sensitivity: The initial signs of a cavity include your tooth becoming more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. You might notice that you can no longer enjoy that piping hot coffee in the morning. Or you might experience a toothache when you drink that refreshing glass of lemonade on a hot summer’s day. This is your body warning you that there’s an issue with your tooth and it should be addressed quickly.
  2. Pain: Over time, your tooth will become more painful to use. Whether you’re chewing into a soft marshmallow or trying to bite into a sandwich, you’ll experience a swift and recurring pain that seems to radiate throughout your mouth. This is a clear sign that you need to see a dentist immediately.
  3. Swelling: If bacteria is able to reach your tooth’s pulp, it may become abscessed. This can result in swelling. This is your body telling you that it’s time to see a dentist before it’s too late. The swelling is related to the inflammation in that area of your mouth.
  4. May require a Root Canal or Extraction: If left untreated, a root canal treatment or extraction may be necessary. This is the result of an infection in the nerve of your tooth. A root canal can help you to keep the tooth without undergoing a full extraction. An extraction will be required if the damage is too extensive to repair. In this instance, the tooth will be completely removed.Early identification of a cavity by a dentist is the best approach to safeguarding your health over the coming years. Your dentist can help you to manage the problem and treat the cavity. To discover more about the process for treating cavities, book an appointment with us today.  Please click one of our offices that will be most convenient for you, Lincoln OfficeOmaha Office, Blair Office.
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