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I’m thinking about getting Orthodontic work done, What are the benefits of Invisalign?

January 24th, 2019

  • APPEARANCE! Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment! The trays are a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to wearing braces. It is especially nice for people who are getting married or are in a wedding.
  • CONFIDENCE BOOST! “Invisalign doesn’t SCREAM braces!” -Dr. Martens. The Invisalign trays snap in and out easily, and you can feel more confident in your smile!
  • CONVENIENCE! Invisalign won’t get in the way of your day-to-day life. You take them out to eat, brush, and floss your teeth. This means that you CAN eat your favorite sticky or crunchy foods, while its highly frowned upon with traditional braces.

 

While the length of time having Invisalign may be similar to traditional braces, every patient’s needs are different. Treatment length varies and depends on severity of crowding, spacing, or rotation of the teeth. Trays are worn for 2 weeks at a time, and it is recommended to wear your trays 22 hours per day, as they only work as long as you are wearing them! Monthly visits to your dentist are also recommended for adjustments.

Here at Superior Dental Health, Dr. Martens in our Lincoln office, Dr. Lake in our Omaha office, or Dr. Kight in our Blair office, can help you get started on your Invisalign journey. Our offices are comfortable, positive, and friendly! Dr. Martens, Dr. Lake, and Dr. Kight will cater to your individual wants and needs by guiding you through a consultation and listening to the problem areas you want fixed! Give us a call today in Lincoln at 402-477-5665, in Omaha at 402-391-1047, or in Blair at 402-426-3334!

I chipped a tooth. What can I do?

September 11th, 2018

You just crunched down on a piece of hard food when you suddenly realize there is something hard still in your mouth. Your nightmare is confirmed when you retrieve a piece of your tooth from your mouth. You chipped your tooth; now what?

Obviously, the first thing you need to do is call our Omaha office. While we make every effort to see emergent cases immediately, you may have to wait a day or so before you can see Dr. Martens, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, Dr.Kight, Dr. Stinson, and Dr. Lake. Luckily, it’s easy to take care of your chipped tooth while you wait.

How to Take Care of a Chipped

The last thing you want is for the tooth to become infected or break even more. Let’s look at a few things you can do:

  • If the chipped tooth is causing you pain take an over-the-counter pain medication, like Tylenol. Always follow the directions on the label.
  • You should also rinse your mouth with lukewarm saltwater, as this will help prevent an infection from setting in.
  • If your chipped tooth has a sharp edge, cover it up with a piece of wax to prevent it from cutting your cheek, tongue, or lip.
  • If you have to eat, make sure you eat soft foods and don’t bite down on the chipped or broken tooth.

Treatment Options for a Chipped Tooth

  • Dental Filling and Bonding – If you only have a small chip in your tooth, Dr. Martens, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, Dr.Kight, Dr. Stinson, and Dr. Lake will probably fix it with a filling. If it is a front tooth, we may bond the tooth using a tooth-colored compound.
  • Dental Crown or Cap – If you broke a large piece of your tooth, we may grind the remaining part of your tooth and put a crown or cap on it.
  • Dental Veneers – If you chipped or broke your front tooth then choosing a dental veneer may be your best choice. It will make your tooth look completely normal.
  • Root Canal – If you cracked your tooth and the center (pulp) of the tooth is exposed and infected, you will need a root canal. If the center of your tooth is exposed, it becomes vulnerable to bacteria that will cause your tooth to abscess.

Chipping or breaking your tooth is never a good thing, and you should always call any of our three locations right away. The sooner you get your tooth repaired the less likely you are to have any problems with it.

September is National Gum Care Month!

September 4th, 2018

Can you believe it's already September? At Superior Dental Health, we know that gingivitis, the early stage of periodontal disease, can be challenging to recognize. Many people don’t understand the warning signs, bleeding and swollen gums, as a precursor to gum disease. This month, a national campaign is underway to raise awareness about gum health and periodontal disease, and we wanted to help do our part to spread the word!

Dr. Martens, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, Dr. Lake, Dr. Kight, and Dr. Stinson will tell you early recognition and action are the most essential steps to healthy gums, and ultimately a healthy body, too! Studies are published every year linking oral health, including the gums, to the health of other areas of the body, such as your heart. One of the most important steps to improving the care of your gums is recognizing the warning signs for gum disease. These can include:

  • Gums that appear red or swollen
  • Gums that feel tender
  • Gums that bleed easily (during brushing or flossing)
  • Gums that recede or pull away from the teeth
  • Persistent halitosis, or bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Any change in the way teeth come together in the biting position

If you happen to notice any of these signs with you or your child, please schedule an appointment at our convenient Omaha office as soon as possible. Dr. Martens, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, Dr. Lake, Dr. Kight, and Dr. Stinson and our team can take proactive steps to prevent gingivitis and gum disease while showing you how to improve gum care in your or your child’s daily oral hygiene habits.

Is soda really bad for your teeth?

August 21st, 2018

You take a sip of soda – and someone remarks, “That’s going to ruin your teeth!”

Is that true? Is sweet soda the enemy of a healthy smile? The answer, unfortunately, is that one glass might not hurt your teeth, but drinking soda regularly can do some real damage.

Sodas are one of America’s favorite drinks. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says about half of us drink soda regularly, averaging 2.6 glasses each day.

That’s a lot of soda considering the drinks are acidic, full of sugar, and have little or no nutritional value. It may surprise you to learn that it’s actually the acidity of cola, not the sugar, which poses the biggest threat to teeth. Over time, repeated exposure to soda wears down tooth enamel, leaving teeth stained and less able to prevent cavities.

As enamel wears away, teeth can become discolored, take on a rough texture, and become highly sensitive to hot or cold. Your teeth may start to tingle, and brushing or flossing can cause pain. If not checked by dental care, teeth may begin to erode, becoming thinner and more likely to crack. It’s a pretty high price to pay for a glass of soda.

Of course, sodas are not the only culprits in tooth erosion. Coffee, wine, and some fruit juices are also acidic, though these drinks tend to have less acidity than a typical soda.

So what can you do to protect your teeth?

1. Cut back – way back – on acidic drinks.

2. Add more water to your daily diet in place of sodas.

3. Use a straw when you drink.

4. Don’t confuse diet soda with a healthy alternative. Diet drinks are just as acidic as regular sodas.

5. Rinse your mouth with water after drinking soda. The rinse may remove some acid from your teeth, although abstaining from the soda would do more good.

6. Hold off on brushing your teeth after drinking soda. Brushing too hard can weaken enamel that is already covered in acid.

7. Pay attention to your teeth, both how they look and how they feel. Let Dr. Martens, Dr. Smith, Dr. Kight, Dr. Stinson, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake know if you see signs of discoloration or erosion, or feel tingling. Make an appointment at any one of our three convenient locations, one in OmahaBlair, and Lincoln if you feel tooth or gum pain when eating or drinking.

 

Should I be brushing my teeth while at work?

August 14th, 2018

Yes, absolutely. A recent survey by Oral-B® reveals that despite knowing that a healthy, good-looking smile affects not only their personal wellness but their professional image as well, very few people (only 14 percent) brush and floss at the office regularly. What’s more, three-quarters of people who responded to the survey said they ate twice or more a day at work.

Today, Dr. Martens, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, Dr. Lake, Dr. Kight, and Dr. Stinson and our team thought we would provide some tips for brushing at work.

  • Leave a toothbrush at work to increase your likelihood of brushing
  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
  • Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner; this helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line. Tooth decay-causing bacteria still linger between teeth where your toothbrush bristles can’t reach.

And remember to brush for 30 to 45 seconds across visible parts of the teeth. Brushing after breakfast or lunch will eliminate any remaining food particles and odors. We recommend people brush their teeth twice and floss once a day to remove plaque and other harmful bacteria.

Questions? Give our office a call to set up an appointment today! We have three convenient locations, one in OmahaBlair, and Lincoln. Hope to see you soon!

Alleviate Tooth Sensitivity

August 7th, 2018

If a sip of ice water, spoonful of ice cream, or piping hot latte is enough to send shivers up your spine from tooth sensitivity, be assured you are not alone. It’s estimated that as many as one in eight adults suffers from tooth sensitivity.

What causes sensitive teeth?

Some of the causes of tooth sensitivity include brushing too hard, a cracked tooth, receding gums, periodontal disease, tooth bleaching, or other conditions that expose the sensitive roots of your teeth. For example, brushing too aggressively can injure your gums, and lead to exposed roots and tooth sensitivity.

When the enamel on the outside of the tooth or tissue located between the teeth breaks down or wears away, nerves inside the tooth trigger sensitive teeth that are particularly noticeable when you drink or eat anything hot or cold.

How to alleviate tooth sensitivity

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do, both at home and at the dental office, to reduce the discomfort of sensitive teeth. Brushing with desensitizing toothpaste is one of the ways to reduce tooth sensitivity: it works well for many patients and is typically the first course of action.

  • Brush with toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth.
  • Change the way you brush by using a soft toothbrush and not brushing too aggressively.
  • Avoid brushing teeth after consuming acidic foods and beverages, like orange juice and pickles.
  • Drink water or milk after eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages.
  • Sip through a straw when you drink acidic beverages.
  • Wear a mouthguard at night to prevent teeth grinding that wears down teeth.
  • Ask Dr. Marten, Dr.Kight, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, Dr. Lake, and Dr. Stinson about fluoride dental treatments or plastic resin.

For moderate-to-serious cases of tooth sensitivity, more invasive professional dental treatments are available. These include a bonding agent designed to seal/cover the exposed root, obtaining new gum tissue through graft (for receding gums), fillings, crowns, inlays, or bonding. When tooth sensitivity is persistent and results in hypersensitivity, endodontic treatment in the form of the root canal may be recommended.

To learn more about tooth sensitivity, or to schedule, an appointment give our office a call to set up an appointment today! We have three convenient locations, one in OmahaBlair, and Lincoln. Hope to see you soon!

How much calcium does my child need?

July 31st, 2018

When you were a kid, your parents may have told you to drink milk to build strong bones and grow tall and strong. Now that you have children of your own, you may hear yourself parroting those instructions you received years ago. Getting enough dairy is essential for young children whose teeth are growing. A child who consumes the recommended daily serving of dairy will develop healthy, strong teeth for the rest of his or her life.

So, which foods are the best in terms of acquiring the right amount of calcium? Milk and other dairy products are excellent sources of calcium. Milk also contains vitamin D, phosphorus, magnesium, and proteins. Magnesium promotes calcium deposits in your enamel, while phosphorus forms a small but important barrier against acidic foods that cause cavities. Vitamin D and protein are used by a child’s body to build bone tissue and maintain dental health.

According to a recent study, the majority of Americans, including children, do not receive enough calcium. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, only one in five children meets even the minimum standards for calcium consumption. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that children under the age of eight should receive two and a half cups of dairy per day. Children older than eight need three full cups, the same as adult men and women. In addition to milk, eating yogurt is a great way your child can increase his or her dairy consumption. Drinking sugary beverages in place of milk causes cavities and tooth decay.

If your child does not get enough dairy consumption, they run the risk of improper tooth development and other dental health problems. Dr. Martens, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake, Dr. Kight, Dr. Stinson and our team at Superior Dental Health encourage you to monitor your child’s dairy consumption to ensure he or she grows healthy teeth to last a lifetime.

Questions? Give our office a call to set up an appointment today! We have three convenient locations, one in OmahaBlair, and Lincoln. Hope to see you soon!

I have sensitive teeth. What are my options?

July 22nd, 2018

 

At Superior Dental Health, we have patients coming in asking us why a taste of ice cream or a sip of coffee becomes a painful experience, or why brushing or flossing makes them wince or cringe. The answer, usually, is sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity typically occurs when the underlying dentin layer of the tooth is exposed in the oral cavity, and most people experience tooth sensitivity at some point in their lives.

So, why do people experience sensitivity and how do you know if tooth sensitivity is something to be worried about? The most common cause of the sensitivity is exposure of the dentin, which is the layer surrounding the tooth’s nerve. Contributors to tooth sensitivity include teeth whitening and dental work such as fillings, periodontal treatment, and the placement or adjustment of braces. These are temporary and should be of no concern.

Permanent hypersensitivity, however, may require treatment at Superior Dental Health. The first step is to determine the cause, and that begins with a visit to our Omaha office.

The reasons your teeth may become sensitive vary, but possible causes include:

  • Tooth decay (cavities) near the gum line
  • Cracked or fractured teeth
  • Fillings that are worn
  • Gum (periodontal) disease, or recession of the gums
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Brushing too hard
  • Consuming acidic foods

Dr. Kight, Dr.Stinson, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, Dr. Martens and Dr. Lake and our team at Superior Dental Health want you to know that sensitive teeth can be treated, and the type of treatment will depend on what is causing the sensitivity. Dr. Kight, Dr.Stinson, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, Dr. Martens and Dr. Lake may suggest one of the following treatments:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste, which contains ingredients that seal off the microtubules inside the exposed dentin to reduce tooth sensitivity
  • Fluoride gel, which strengthens compromised tooth enamel, helps prevent tooth decay and decreases hypersensitivity of the teeth
  • A crown, inlay, or bonding, which is used to treat tooth decay and prevents sensitivity
  • A surgical gum graft. If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this procedure will protect the root and reduce sensitivity.
  • Root canal: If you are experiencing severe and persistent sensitivity which cannot be treated by other means, Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake may recommend you undergo a root canal to eliminate the problem.

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, give us a call today so that Dr. Kight, Dr.Stinson, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, Dr. Martens and Dr. Lake can provide you with some much-needed relief!

Relax with Sedation Dentistry

July 17th, 2018

Dr. Stinson, Dr.Martens, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, Dr.Kight and Dr. Lake and our team at Superior Dental Health understand that many of our patients have a fear of dentistry. You may be concerned about experiencing pain from sensitive teeth or routine procedures. General anxiety is also common. Do not put off visiting our offices; we offer various types of sedation to take the pain and fear out of your dental procedure.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

For many patients, nitrous oxide, combined with local anesthetics, will both provide pain relief and reduce anxiety. Nitrous oxide is beneficial because the dosage can be regulated during treatment and patients are normally capable of driving shortly after the procedure is completed.

Oral or Injected Sedation

With oral sedation, you may be given a pill or liquid to consume several hours before your procedure. You will not be able to drive yourself to the appointment. An oral liquid is often given to children before any shots or intravenous anesthesia. An intramuscular injection may be given at the office that provides relaxation benefits for 20 to 30 minutes.

Nitrous Oxide with an Oral Sedative

If you experience higher levels of anxiety, an oral or injected sedative can be offered before nitrous oxide is started. This is also effective for reducing anxiety regarding the injection of local anesthetics. A liquid medication followed by nitrous oxide is beneficial for children. This combination can produce a deep sedation level.

General Anesthesia

This type of anesthesia can be offered as an inhaled gas or intravenous liquid. If no oral sedative is given before the general anesthesia is administered, you should wake up quickly after your procedure is complete. An injection, pill, or liquid medication can be offered to reduce anxiety before intravenous sedation begins. Intravenous sedation can also be used at moderate-to-deep sedation levels without complete loss of consciousness.

Do not hesitate to ask Dr. Stinson, Dr.Martens, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, Dr.Kight and Dr. Lake about receiving sedation or pain prevention when you visit. We will be glad to explain the options we have available and answer all your questions to ensure that your exam is pleasant for you.

Give our office a call to set up an appointment today! We have three convenient locations, one in OmahaBlair, and Lincoln. Hope to see you soon!

 

 

Why 6 month check-ups are so important

July 10th, 2018

When was the last time you paid Dr.Stinson, Dr. Martens, Dr. Kight, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake a visit? If you're like many people, chances are it was more than six months ago. We hear the reasons why people neglect regular dental visits all the time: lack of money or quality dental insurance, busy schedules, and fear. However, your twice-yearly checkups are so crucial for your dental health and for your overall health as well.

You may brush your teeth twice a day and even floss, and your teeth may feel fine, but regular dental checkups with Dr.Stinson, Dr. Martens, Dr. Kight, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake aren’t about addressing problems and reacting — they are about cavity prevention. No matter how much you brush and floss, there is still a chance that food or other debris can get lodged between your teeth, and there is also a chance that food and beverages can wear down your tooth enamel in between visits, making your teeth vulnerable to decay.

In addition to thorough teeth cleaning and polishing, these regular visits help us detect and prevent the onset of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. During your stay, we’ll check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue. We’ll also check old fillings and restorations, as these can wear away over time from constant chewing, grinding, or clenching.

It's important to know that the majority of dental problems do not become visible or painful until they are highly advanced. And, unfortunately, severe oral issues are painful and expensive to treat. A deep cleaning twice a year by our team at Superior Dental Health is the best way to hit all the spots you may have missed with brushing and flossing and prevent any problems that may have gone unseen.

Make sure your teeth get the professional attention they deserve! Give our office a call to set up a cleaning appointment today! We have three convenient locations, one in OmahaBlair, and Lincoln. Hope to see you soon!

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.

Natural Cures for Common Dental Issues

April 24th, 2018

The natural cure for the dental issue is always preferable besides brushing and flossing. Are you seeking a solution that is not only effective but also will refurbish your oral health?

Natural cures are wrapped with astringent properties, antiviral agents that heal the pain at much faster pace.

  1. Baking soda

This active agent will not only help to fight tooth decay, but this can restrict the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Mix the peroxide with water to weaken the paste, if the ratio of water is not in right amount it can burn your gum.

  1. Green tea

Green tea extract will help your teeth from getting damaged. If you have a habit of in taking a large number of starchy foods then ask someone who regularly drinks green tea, you’ll get to know that this not only heals your gum but protects a reliable shield in your enamel.

  1. Eucalyptol, menthol, and tea tree

Have faith in these oils, it not only helps in killing all the bacteria but at the same time it will protect the gum from getting inflamed.

  1. Clove

Clove oil has antibacterial properties.  Clove oil has eugenol extract that you can get from clove bud. It is a natural analgesic agent, which heals dental pain.

  1. Garlic paste

 This has been used by many for centuries, add a pinch of salt to the ginger paste, and if you can chew a clove additionally then you can find the best result.

  1. Vitamin D

This is the best which prevents bacteria to settle in your mouth. Studies have shown that if you’re suffering from gum diseases, then this is the best practical solution. Eggs, fishes, tuna, salmon and orange juices are rich in Vitamin D.

A dental problem can be sprung up anytime; try to mitigate any dental issues by having this pure and natural diet. But not always your problem has the above solution. Sometimes the pain becomes unbearable. Superior Dental Health will assist you under their professional care. Contact one of our dental offices today! Please click one of our offices that will be most convenient for you, Lincoln OfficeOmaha Office, Blair Office.

Stop Teeth Grinding By Lowering Stress

April 17th, 2018

Avoiding stress in the 21st Century is hard. We’re all bombarded with stressors, from work to the family — even our smartphones! The problem really isn’t the stressors themselves but how we respond to them and try to relieve stress.

It is not abnormal for people to clench or grind their teeth at times. The medical term is called bruxism and is not usually harmful. However, those who grind their teeth on a regular basis can run the risk of oral health complications.

How Do I Know I’m Grinding My Teeth?

Most of us are unaware that we grind our teeth because it often happens while we are sleeping. If you wake up with a constant headache or a sore jaw, you may be grinding your teeth at night. Many factors can cause bruxism including, sleep apnea, anxiety, stress, crooked teeth or an abnormal bite. If you think you're grinding your teeth, you should consult with your dentist. At Superior Dental Health we can examine your jaw and mouth to check for tenderness or damage done to your teeth.

How Can I Stop Grinding My Teeth?

If you are a chronic teeth grinder, it can cause loss of teeth or fractures. If you do not seek the help of a dentist right away, you might need to have root canals, bridges, partial dentures or implants. While no one knows for sure what exactly causes bruxism, stress and anxiety may play a significant role.

To properly get a handle on stress in your life, you must first understand what causes it.  There’s a long list of causes of pressure. Topping that list are things like unfulfillment and mistreatment at work, poor relationships, financial problems, moving, traumatic events, worrying, unrealistic expectations, health problems, and even death. Everyone has different stress triggers. Therefore there is not a one size fits all approach to relieving stress. We recommend surveying your life and being aware of what triggers stress in your own life. Often times making a commitment to resolving issues or removing yourself from external stress environments can go a long way in creating more balance for your emotional health.

Lowering your stress level can decrease the need to clench your teeth. Practice meditation before bedtime to help relieve stress and anxiety. Meditation allows you to focus on one particular subject at hand while concentrating on your breathing. It enables you to prevent your mind from racing which can cause unnecessary stress.

If you are continuing to experience teeth grinding problems, contact one of our dental offices today! Please click one of our offices that will be most convenient for you, Lincoln Office, Omaha Office, Blair Office.

 

 

5 Tips to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Dentists

April 10th, 2018

1. Start early

Early visits to the dentist will help your child become familiar with the dental experience and learn that dentists are safe, important, and even fun. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends taking your child to see a dentist when his or her first tooth erupts, or by the first birthday.

At Superior Dental Health, we suggest it might be best parents bring their children in for a reassuring introductory visit, which is designed to ease them into regular dental exams.

2. Praise and Reward Your Child for Being Brave
You can encourage your child and diminish his or her fear by offering praise or rewards after a successful routine visit with our Mooresville pediatric dentist. The gesture will prep your young one to stand firm for more involved future procedures if necessary.

3. Don’t teach fear of dentists

Unknowingly, parents often contribute to children’s fear of dentists by expressing their own concerns. If you experience anxiety about going to the dentist yourself, remember that this is an acquired fear.

Many people share this anxiety, but you can break the cycle by not sharing contrary ideas about the dentist with your child, and avoiding words like “pain” and “hurt.”

Superior Dental Health treats adults as well as children, so you are welcome to discuss any of your own fears with our doctor and staff. We will be happy to address your concerns and help you overcome past unpleasant experiences.

4. Have a backup plan – It’s normal for young children to be fussy, so it’s always a good idea for the parents to meet the dental hygienist and dentist before the visit and share some information about the child. Tell them about brothers and sisters, their new puppy or detail about their favorite Disney character. This way if there is a fussy moment, your dentist can talk about things your little one can relate to. Just changing their mindset for one moment can stop the tears and eliminate anxiety.

5. Stay with your child

When your child sits in the dental chair for the first time, he or she may experience fear no matter how well you’ve prepared for the exam. You can help your child stay calm and confident by staying nearby.

Superior Dental Health welcomes parents to stay with their children during checkups. This is a great way to help kids overcome the fear of dentists, and gradually feel comfortable going through checkups on their own.

Learn more about your dentist

To learn more about how to help kids overcome the fear of dentists, schedule a visit with Superior Dental Health by calling one of our offices today. Lincoln Office: 402-477-5665, Omaha Office: (402) 391-1047, Blair Office: (402) 426-3334

Located in the 68521, 68114, 68008, areas, Superior Dental Health proudly serves patients from the surrounding communities.

Ten Fun Facts About Your Mouth!

April 3rd, 2018

 

Your mouth is a fascinating place full of stories! For as long as humanity has existed, we’ve studied and minded our oral care. Below are some fun facts about your mouth, and the tools we use that keep our smiles healthy!

1 – Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the entire body! This makes it perfect for protecting teeth against cavities!

2 – Tooth decay is actually classified as an infectious disease because it is caused by a specific strain of bacteria that can be shared between people.

3 – Around 25% of adults do not brush twice per day! We recommend brushing twice per day, for two minutes per session.

4 – The average person produces just over 100,00 gallons of saliva in their lifetime.

5 – The first toothbrush was actually called a “chewstick.” Chewsticks were made by chewing on one end of a small branch until it became soft and fibrous. Surprisingly enough, chewsticks were effective at cleaning teeth of debris.

 

6 – Cavities are the most common and most preventable disease in children, which affects nearly 42% of all American children each year.

7 – Americans buy more than 14 million gallons of toothpaste each year.

8 – Saliva actually helps fight cavities and keep tooth enamel strong by washing away sugary and acidic food debris.

9 – The human tongue is as unique as a fingerprint, and no two tongues are alike.

10 – Toothpaste was once made out of crushed seashells, salt, pulverized dried bread, and sometimes crushed bones! Ancient toothpaste was often flavored with mint, juniper, and other herbs.

 

5 Good Reasons To Wear A MouthGuard

March 26th, 2018

Common sense dictates that it’s a good idea to wear a mouthguard if you play contact sports or engage in any activity where you could potentially damage your teeth.  However, we don’t always do what we know is in our best interest.

There are several reasons why people don’t wear mouthguards.  Sometimes people don’t know that the activity that they are engaging in requires a mouthguard.   Teenagers may not wear them because there is peer pressure to not wear one.  After all, nobody wants to be the only one on their team that wears a mouthguard!  Others might complain that a mouthguard is uncomfortable or interferes with their speech and breathing.

However, there are several reasons to wear a mouthguard. Our office would like to share some of them with you.  Our goal is not to convince you to wear a mouthguard (or to assure you to make your child wear a mouthguard) if you are not already.  But I do hope that this blog will increase your awareness of the implications of wearing or not wearing a mouthguard so that you can make an informed decision.

5 good reasons to wear a mouthguard:

1. Mouthguards Protect Against Tooth Fractures

One of the most critical functions of mouthguards is to keep your teeth from breaking.  If your tooth does fracture, it usually can be saved.

2. Mouthguards Protect Against Tooth Displacement

If a baseball hits you hard right in the mouth and you’re not wearing a mouthguard, it could break your tooth.  If you’re more fortunate,  it may only displace your tooth and cause your tooth to move quickly after that.

However, if you are wearing a mouthguard when an object hits your mouth, it will cushion your teeth.  A mouthguard can also distribute the force over all of your teeth so that one tooth doesn’t receive a crushing blow.

3. Mouthguards Protect Against Knocking Out a Tooth

Nobody wants to have their tooth get knocked out.  It would be a tragedy if someone ended up with a large gap in their smile due to an accident that could have been prevented by wearing a mouthguard.

4. Mouthguards Protect Against Soft Tissue Injuries

Picture a basketball player who had bit right through her lower lip.  She needed stitches to repair the harm.  All of this could have been avoided if she had covered up the sharp surfaces of her teeth with a mouthguard.  Mouthguards can keep you from injuring your tongue and cheek as well.

6. Mouthguards Protect Against Jaw Fractures

Mouthguards also protect against jaw fractures.  When you sustain a blow to the head, and your teeth contact each other, there’s not much room for flexibility.  But, if you have a layer of flexible plastic between your teeth, it can act as padding and save your jaw from fracturing.  Jaw fractures often require major surgery (and a steady diet of Jello and soup), so it is likely in your best interest to wear a mouthguard to prevent such an occurrence!

 

At Superior Dental Health, we take pride in offering high-quality dental care for the whole family in a comfortable environment. So if you are looking for a custom mouth guard for yourself, your kids, or anybody you know who may need one, schedule an appointment and experience the difference for yourself! For the Lincoln office call us at (402-477-5665), Omaha office calls us at (402-391-1047), and the Blair office you can call us at (402-426-3334) to schedule an appointment. Or if it's easier one can fill out our convenient online form.

What Are Dental X-Rays and Why Do You Need Dental X-Rays?

March 12th, 2018

 

How Dental X-Rays Work

When the X-rays pass through the mouth, the teeth and bones absorb more of the ray than the gums and soft tissues, so the teeth appear lighter on the final X-ray image (called a radiograph). Areas of tooth decay and infection look darker because they don’t absorb as much of the X-ray.

How Often Should Dental X-Rays Be Taken?

How often you need dental X-rays depends on your particular oral health. But if you’re prone to tooth decay, your dental professional may recommend dental X-rays annually to identify weak spots and treat them before the decay progresses. Children and teens may need X-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws aren’t yet fully developed. Also, your dental professional will take X-rays before a procedure such as a root canal or tooth extraction.

Several other situations might require dental X-rays. If you switch to a new dental professional, they may want to take X-rays to help them become more familiar with your teeth and any problems that you have. A new dental professional might also ask your previous dental professional to send any old X-rays to have a complete history of your dental care.

What Do Dental X-Rays Show?

The images taken from dental X-rays provide your dental professional with valuable information about your teeth and gums and help him or her plan the best treatment for any problems that you have. Dental professionals can also use the information from an X-ray to identify infections, abscesses and even small cysts and tumors. X-rays can even help detect developmental abnormalities, such as impacted wisdom teeth.

The appearance of fillings and crowns on an X-ray depends on what they are made of. Some appear dark, and some appear light. No matter what type of dental restoration or implant you have, your dental professional can use X-rays to help identify any areas that need attention or adjustment.

Dental X-Ray Radiation: Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Of course, the machines used for dental X-rays do involve radiation, but the amount of exposure is minimal, which is why studies have shown that dental X-rays are safe for most people in most situations.

In fact, measurements of the radiation in dental X-rays show that they are not significantly different from the radiation most people are exposed to in daily life from environmental influences. These might include frequent travel by airplane and individual appliances in the home, such as TV sets and smoke detectors.

Dental X-Ray While Pregnant

Although the amount of radiation in dental X-rays is quite low and the procedure is safe, pregnant women should refrain from dental X-rays unless they are necessary. But because pregnant women are at increased risk for gum disease, it’s important not to ignore a potentially severe dental problem due to fears about radiation exposure from X-rays. If you are pregnant and you require dental X-rays, your dental professional will have you wear a lead apron and a lead thyroid collar to protect vulnerable areas. In fact, children and women of childbearing age should wear protective lead coverings when getting dental X-rays. But there is no added risk associated with dental X-rays for breastfeeding women or women who are trying to become pregnant.

Types of Dental X-Rays

At Superior Dental Health, we take pride in offering high-quality dental care for the whole family in a comfortable environment. Schedule an appointment and experience the difference for yourself! For the Lincoln office call us at (402-477-5665), Omaha office calls us at (402-391-1047), and the Blair office you can call us at (402-426-3334) to schedule an appointment. Or if it's easier one can fill out our convenient online form.

 

TAX REFUND? WHY NOT INVEST IN YOUR DENTAL HEALTH?

March 5th, 2018

Every year, nearly eight out of 10 U.S. taxpayers get a refund.

The average refund is roughly $3,000, and while it can be tempting to use this money for a beach vacation or on a wild shopping spree, it’s important to remember that dental care is not only a wise financial investment but also an investment in your health.

How Do People Typically Spend Their Federal Tax Refund?

Despite the temptation to spend the money on something frivolous, most people actually spend their tax returns on personal finances. According to BankRate.com, “30 percent of Americans intend to pay down debt with their tax refund, 28 percent say they will save or invest it, and 26 percent have earmarked those funds for necessities such as food or utility bills.”

These statistics are reassuring. At SUPERIOR DENTAL HEALTH, we would like to think a percentage of tax return funds are being set aside for dental care, too.

The Importance of Dental Health

Nothing is more important than your health.  Spending money on your oral health now can lead to a longer and healthier life.

Poor oral health not only causes painful teeth and gums, but it’s also shown to have a connection to heart disease, stroke, and other inflammatory diseases. It can also be an indicator of other health problems. Research shows that more than 90% of all systemic diseases like diabetes and oral cancer have oral symptoms that can be diagnosed in its early stages by a dentist.

Look at it this way—a crown may cost $1,000, but you’ll have it for the next 20 years. If you break that down, that’s only 20 cents a day! That’s a small price to pay for good oral health (and pain-free chewing!).

A Wise Financial Investment in Your Dental Health

Spending a little bit of time and money on your oral health now will save you a lot of time and money in the future.

Dental care gets more expensive the longer it’s neglected. Brushing, flossing, and regular checkups aren’t costly, but when you don’t brush, floss, and see your dentist as recommended, you can develop serious dental problems like periodontal disease and cavities. More dental severe issues lead to more expensive dental treatment like dental surgery and dentures. It’s an expensive and painful chain of events.

What if you took care to avoid dental problems with routine trips to the dentist? You won’t find a better return on investment than that.

When you’re considering what to do with your tax refund this year, consider investing a bit it in your oral health. SUPERIOR DENTAL HEALTH is here to get you started. We offer new patients a New Patient Special*- exam, x-rays and cleaning for only $79!

Contact a SUPERIOR DENTAL HEALTH dental office to schedule an appointment.

*Valid for new patients only.*

February is National Children's Dental Health Month!

February 21st, 2018

Healthy Habits

Your child’s baby teeth are at risk for decay as soon as they first appear—which is typically around age 6 months. Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is often referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. It most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected. In some cases, infants and toddlers experience decay so severe that their teeth cannot be saved and need to be removed.

The good news is that tooth decay is preventable! Most children have a full set of 20 baby teeth by the time they are 3-years-old. As your child grows, their jaws also expand, making room for their permanent teeth.

As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, it’s time to schedule a dental visit. The ADA recommends that the first dental visit take place within six months after the first tooth appears, but no later than a child’s first birthday. Don’t wait for them to start school or until there's an emergency. Get your child comfortable today with good mouth healthy habits.

 

A few tips for cleaning your child’s teeth:

  • Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth by wiping the gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth. As soon as teeth appear, decay can occur. A baby’s front four teeth usually push through the gums at about 6 months of age, although some children don’t have their first tooth until 12 or 14 months.
  • Until you’re comfortable that your child can brush on his or her own, continue to clean your child's teeth twice a day with a child-size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin cleaning their teeth daily.
  • For children younger than 3 years, caregivers should begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as they start to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing to ensure that they use the appropriate amount of toothpaste.
  • For children 3 to 6 years of age, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.

 

Here are the typical ages you can expect your baby to teeth at.

 

Meet Dr. Kight

February 12th, 2018

Everybody should visit the dentist twice a year, but some of us don't, because we are either afraid, don't have the time or don't know where to start when looking for a dentist.

Check out our new Blair dentist, Dr. Lauren Kight and see why she would be an excellent dentist for you!!

 

 

Did you know Kissing can cause cavities?

February 1st, 2018

Play it safe with our Valentine’s Day tips!

  •  Make sure you brush your teeth and tongue (yes, your tongue) twice a day and remove excess plaque and bacteria with flossing.
  •  Use anti-bacterial mouthwash once or twice a day.
  •  Chew gum. Chewing gum stimulates the salivary function, and the purpose of saliva is to clean your teeth.
  • Eat right dental foods—an apple a day will keep both the doctor and the dentist away. Fiber-rich and crunchy foods are natural tooth cleaners.
  • Never go to sleep with an unclean mouth. When we sleep, we have a reduced salivary flow. If you don’t wash away the cavity-causing bacteria, your mouth won’t either.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for check-ups.

 

Trust Superior Dental Health For Great Family Care

When you come to our dental office you will have a smile on your face from the time you walk in, to when you leave, you won't have a choice but to smile. Our dentist and team make sure that every patient is comfortable in their chairs and get the care they need.

At Superior Dental Health, we take pride in offering high-quality dental care for the whole family in a comfortable environment. Schedule an appointment and experience the difference for yourself! For the Lincoln office call us at (402-477-5665), Omaha office calls us at (402-391-1047), and the Blair office you can call us at (402-426-3334) to schedule an appointment. Or if it's easier one can fill out our convenient online form.

Do you know the many causes of bad breath?

January 16th, 2018

 

Do you have bad breath and don't even know it?

Dehydration is the number one leading cause of bad breath, did you know that? You're mouth and teeth will thank you later down the road if you keep yourself hydrated.

Not drinking enough water means food (and the bacteria that feed on it) hangs out in your mouth longer, breeding and heightening the stench. Fortunately, the fix is as simple as the problem: Drink up! Plain H2O is best, but doctors add that sugar-free gum or candies can also help stimulate saliva flow.

Check out the graph below to see other causes of bad breath, it's great to know what could be causing your bad breath.

 

10 OF THE BEST HEALTH BENEFITS OF SMILING

January 5th, 2018

 

Have you lacked self-confidence in your own smile for some time now? It's a new year, new benefits, and of course a new YOU! Well think no more, head to Superior Dental Health for a checkup and see what options are right for you. Did you know it's vital and healthy that one smile's each day? Below are some benefits of how smiling can impact your life.

 

 1 – Lower Heart Rate – Smiling slows the heart and relaxes the body. This lets the heart work without overworking. People who smile and laugh often are less likely to develop heart disease. Smiling also temporarily reduces blood pressure.

2 – Reduce Stress – Stress is a common problem in the modern world that causes a myriad of health problems. Stress relief may be as simple as smiling a little more throughout the day. Smiling releases endorphins that counteract and diminish the stress hormones.

3 – Better Mood – The endorphins do more than kick stress to the curb. Endorphins lift your mood. Feeling down? Slap a smile on your face, even if it isn’t entirely genuine at first, and turn your entire day around with something simple, easy to do, and free.

4 – Increase Productivity – Smiling has been shown to increase your productivity while performing tasks. There’s truth to the “whistle while we work” mentality. This also explains why silly internet memes and pictures of cute animals can actually get people motivated and working harder after a few moments of smiling or laughter.

5 – Encourage Trust – Studies show that we are more trustful of others when they smile and smile genuinely. Trust is an essential part of social health when dealing with people, whether they are loved ones or simple acquaintances. Seems relationships are genuinely built on smiles.

6 – Produce Empathy – When we’re embarrassed or caught doing something questionable, often our first response is a smile. This instinct breaks the first ice of embarrassment, promotes leniency in what others think of us, and engenders a sense of empathy since we’ve all experienced embarrassment and we want to smile along.

7 – Avoid Regret – We smile to avoid feeling bad for not smiling. Sounds weird and circular, but we don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, so we smile when someone shares some story about their dog, even if we don’t really care. Studies show that if we don’t smile, we feel regret failing to do so. This regret brings down our mood and boosts stress hormones.

8 – Kill Pain – Smiling and laughter both have been shown to lessen pain. They release endorphins that lift our moods, but many of these act as natural painkillers too.

9 – Increase Attention – Stress limits our perceptions and narrows our attention. Our bodies kick into fight or flight mode where we can focus only on one of those things. Smiling counteracts this and widens our attention again, opening us back up to multitasking and insights that come from the fringes of our perception and our subconscious.

10 – Contagious – Around 50% of people smile back. This spreads the health benefits throughout those around you, and it comes back to you several times as well.

Trust Superior Dental Health For Great Family Care

When you come to our dental office you will have a smile on your face from the time you walk in, to when you leave, you won't have a choice but to smile. Our dentist and team make sure that every patient is comfortable in their chairs and get the care they need.

At Superior Dental Health, we take pride in offering high-quality dental care for the whole family in a comfortable environment. Schedule an appointment and experience the difference for yourself! For the Lincoln office call us at (402-477-5665), Omaha office calls us at (402-391-1047), and the Blair office you can call us at (402-426-3334) to schedule an appointment. Or if it's easier one can fill out our convenient online form.

Do's and Dont for Dentures

December 28th, 2017

DENTURE TIPS

When caring for your dentures, it is important to know right from wrong so that you can ensure proper denture health. Here are some Do’s and Don't when it comes to denture care:

Keep Your Teeth Healthy This Holiday Season

December 21st, 2017

Between the caroling, the family get-togethers, and holiday parties, the last thing you should have to deal with during the “most wonderful time of the year” is a dental disaster.

But with great preventative dentistry from Superior Dental Health — and a little care on your end as well — you can avoid dental mishaps and enjoy want you to love about the holiday season without worry.

Read on for some ways you can keep your teeth healthy during the holiday season. Then, give us a call to schedule routine checkups and cleanings to keep your teeth and gums in great shape all year round!  All three of our offices, Lincoln, Omaha, and Blair is more than happy to provide top-notch patient-centered dental care for the entire family. For the Lincoln office call us at (402-477-5665), Omaha office call us at (402-391-1047), and the Blair office you can call us at (402-426-3334) to schedule an appointment.

 

1. Don’t Open Presents Or Bottles With Your Teeth.

You probably do it without even thinking about it. A stubborn knot is keeping you from the inner contents of a gift-wrapped package. Surely your teeth will help you remove the ribbon, right?

Wrong.

Using your teeth in ways they’re not intended to be used — like loosening knots, prying open bottles, and cracking walnuts — is one of the easiest ways to chip, crack, or break a tooth. Damaging the hard outer part of your tooth can leave the nerve-filled inner parts of your tooth vulnerable to infection. Ouch!

If you do break a tooth this holiday season, Superior Dental Health can restore your tooth with a dental crown. A dental crown is a “cap” that completely covers a damaged tooth to restore its health, appearance, and function. And if your broken tooth has become infected, we might be able to eradicate the infection and save the tooth with a root canal procedure.

Plus, we can do all of this while letting you be comfortable. We have a comfort menu you can pick from many options. Whether it is using headphones, or a warm blanket, sunglasses, or even having a coffee or beverage from our reception area.

 

2. Avoid Stocking Stuffers That Are Problematic For Your Smile.

If you’re trying to maintain great dental health throughout the holiday season, it’s probably a good idea to resist the urge to fill your child’s stocking with jawbreakers and other problematic sweets.

Hard candies can spell disaster for little teeth. One accidental bite into a hard mint or lollipop can crack or chip a tooth.

You should also steer clear of sticky candies like taffy or caramel. These sugar-filled substances easily become lodged in the grooves and crevices of teeth, making them difficult to remove.

When sugary debris is left on your teeth, it attracts all sorts of bacteria. The bacteria feast on the particles, producing a weak acid that causes tooth decay and cavities.

What are some smile-friendly alternatives?

Chocolate is a great choice because it’s less likely to cause damage to your teeth. Dark chocolate is an even better choice than milk chocolate or white chocolate because it’s rich in antioxidants!

You can also opt for sugar-free chewing gum. Look for brands and flavors that have earned the American Dental Association’s Seal Of Approval. These choices have actually demonstrated an ability to protect your teeth.

 

3. Don’t Ditch Your Brushing And Flossing Routines.

Amid the excitement of the season, it can be easy to skip the brushing and flossing. But as the year draws to a close, when you’re most likely eating more gingerbread cookies and candy canes than any other time of year, it’s important to maintain proper dental hygiene habits.

You and your family members should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, using a soft-bristle toothbrush. Need help getting your full two minutes? Turn on the radio and listen to a favorite holiday tune while you clean your teeth.

When it comes to helping your kids develop great brushing habits, brushing together as a family allows your kids to see that dental care is important to you and sets a great example. Use just a small amount of toothpaste for children under the age of 3 — an amount about the size of a grain of rice should be sufficient. Children older than 3 years old should use a smear of toothpaste about the size of a pea.

And great dental hygiene doesn’t stop at brushing. Make sure to floss once a day! Flossing has been shown to be an effective way to prevent gum disease. As soon as children have two teeth that touch, you should help them clean in between them. Once a child is about 10 years old, they should be able to thoroughly floss their teeth on their own.

 

Trust Superior Dental Health For Great Family Care

One of the best ways to lessen your chances of gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental complications is to partner with a skilled team of dental professionals!

At Superior Dental Health, we take pride in offering high-quality dental care for the whole family in a comfortable environment. Schedule an appointment and experience the difference for yourself! For the Lincoln office call us at (402-477-5665), Omaha office call us at (402-391-1047), and the Blair office you can call us at (402-426-3334) to schedule an appointment. Or if it's easier one can fill out our convenient online form.

5 Tips for Teaching Kids to Brush

December 13th, 2017

As parents we all know it can be hard to teach your little ones how to brush their teeth, but here are some ways you can make it more enjoyable and successful for them and for you.

  1. Set an Example

    Like with most things, your children will follow your lead, so it’s important to set a good example for them. Brush your teeth in front of them with a proper technique and be sure to brush for the full dentist-recommended two minutes. The more often they see you brushing your teeth the right way, the more likely they are to imitate you and learn by your example.

  2. Start Early

    As they always say the early bird gets the worm, and in this case the early tooth brusher gets a healthier smile. When they are very young, this can mean you brushing your child’s teeth for them, getting them used to the feeling of having their teeth brushed. By teaching good oral hygiene early, you’ll be providing with your child with a foundation to a lifetime of healthy teeth.

  3. Personalize Their Tooth Brushing Adventures

    When they are old enough, let them select their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Whether they love cars or princesses, bubblegum or mint, they’ll be more excited to brush their teeth if they have a fondness for their teeth brushing accessories. This is especially effective for kids who are starting to desire more ownership and control over their activities.

  4. Reward System

    Rewarding your child for practicing good oral hygiene can help motivate them to brush their teeth. Every time they brush their teeth for the full two minutes, give them something that they love. Use whatever motivates your child most, whether that’s a sticker or an extra bedtime story. Just maybe not candy! It could even be the same reward system you used when you maybe potty training them!

  5. Make It Fun!

    There are many ways to make tooth brushing fun for your child. From apps to music videos to games, there are plenty of resources that can encourage your child to brush their teeth for the full two minutes, and even make them look forward to brushing their teeth!

    Though practicing good oral hygiene at home is vital to a healthy mouth, be sure to bring your child in for regular cleanings and checkups, as well. Call us today to make an appointment!

Is Invisalign right for me?

November 29th, 2017

When it comes to your smile, you want to make the best decision for your smile but also the health of your smile. Invisalign is a revolutionary alternative to traditional braces. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best option for all patients or all alignment issues. Before you pursue one course of treatment over another watch this video on Dr. Smith, one of our excellent dentists at Superior Dental Health.

Keeping Your Teeth And Gums Healthy For The Holidays

November 22nd, 2017

There is a lot to look forward to during the Holidays. Family, Friends, Time Off, the Joy of Giving, World Peace, and Food. Food is the main ingredient in the recipe for a great holiday besides Family and Friends. This time of year we are besieged by delicious food. From Thanksgiving dinner to New Years, turkey, ham, wine, cranberries, pumpkin pie, champagne, winter ales and oh! so many more kinds of food and drinks are set out before us to be unabashedly consumed while merrymaking with friends and family. Hopping from one house or party to another, soaking up as much “holiday spirit” as possible, eating and drinking your way through the better part of 2 months is the norm. During this series of decadent smorgasbords, there is one thing one should remember, and that is to take good care of; your mouth. Yes, all of that yummy goodness has a gateway to your overly-enthusiastic stomach, and that “gateway” needs some extra maintenance this time of year.

To help keep your smile bright and healthy during the busy and party-filled season, here are 11-holiday dental tips to see you (and your teeth) safely through the season.

#1 Be cautious of candy canes– Hard candy is tasty and readily available at the holidays from candy canes to peppermints, but it can crack your teeth if you bite down wrong. It may be better to let candies dissolve to prevent any chipping or other damage – but be sure to brush thoroughly after eating candy of any kind.

#2 Stay clear of soda– Holiday parties are rife with pop, and this sugary substance is never good for your teeth. If you want something bubbly, try fizzy water rather than soda. If you must drink soda, use a straw to keep most of the acid off your teeth.

#3 Watch the wine– If you like a nice red, be mindful of how this can stain your teeth. White wine is less of a risk to your white smile. If you do drink red, do so with food to mitigate how much of it gets on your teeth. Be sure to brush thoroughly if you do indulge in reds.

#4 Take more turkey– One-holiday food that’s great for your chompers is the turkey. It’s an excellent source of phosphorus and protein – both of which can help your body fight tooth decay and keep your teeth strong and healthy.

#5 Stock your stockings well– Christmas stockings are often chock full of sugary treats that can cause your kids to get cavities. Instead, consider eliminating candy altogether or stick to one sweet item. Also, consider giving them a cool new toothbrush as part of their holiday loot!

#6 Dip into veggies– At holiday events, skip the trays of Christmas cookies and brownies and instead fill your plate with vegetables. Broccoli and carrots are great treats for your teeth because they’re loaded with Vitamin A which strengthens your enamel.

#7 Chomp on cheese– Choose cheese to snack with if you’re drinking alcoholic drinks at parties. The pH balancing effects help neutralize the acid that’s in boozy beverages, and the calcium is great for your tooth health as well.

#8 Carol while you clean – Optimal tooth brushing last about two minutes so if you hum a few verses and choruses of your favorite holiday song while you brush, you’ll likely brush long enough to clean up your teeth and gums (be sure to brush your tongue too).

#9 Don’t use your teeth as a tool – The holidays come with packages to open, tape to apply to presents and loads of other things you may be tempted to break open or cut with your teeth. Don’t do it! Using your teeth as a tool can cause chips and breaks.

#10 Fill up on fruit –Instead of piling on sugary desserts at your holiday meal, turn to fruit instead. If you’re having a big dinner or party, rather than prepping some cakes and pies, try sticking to one sweet dessert and then prep a big fruit plate to satisfy your sweet tooth.

#11 Make the holiday meaningful –We often structure our holiday events around food, but this is good for your teeth or your waistline. To take the focus off of food, set up activities like board and card games, craft projects or holiday movie marathons.

Our entire Superior Dental Health Team hopes you have a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Aging and Oral Health

November 15th, 2017

As you age, it becomes even more important to take good care of your teeth and dental health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one-fourth of adults age 65 and older have no remaining teeth. What's more, nearly one-third of older adults have untreated tooth decay.

Oral health, regardless of age, is crucial to overall good health. Ideally, we all want to keep your natural teeth, but whether you're caring for natural teeth or dentures, advancing age may put older adults at risk for a number of oral health problems, including:

  • Dry mouth
  • Diminished sense of taste
  • Root decay
  • Gum disease
  • Uneven jawbone caused by tooth loss
  • Denture-induced tissue inflammation
  • Overgrowth of fungus in the mouth
  • Attrition (loss of teeth structure by mechanical forces)
  • Oral cancer

These conditions may not be diagnosed until it is too late. If you want to feel good, stay healthy, and look great throughout life, you might be surprised what a difference a healthy mouth makes.

Here are some tips for maintaining and improving your oral health as you become older:

  • Brush twice a day with a toothbrush with soft bristles. You may also benefit from using an electric toothbrush.
  • Clean between your teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner.
  • If you wear full or partial dentures, remember to clean them on a daily basis. Take your dentures out of your mouth for at least four hours every day. It’s best to remove them at night.
  • Drink tap water. Since most contains fluoride, it helps prevent tooth decay no matter how old you are.
  • Quit smoking. Besides putting you at greater risk for lung and other cancers, smoking increases problems with gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
  • Visit Superior Dental Health regularly for a complete dental checkup.

If you have any questions about keeping up with your oral hygiene at home, please give us a call!

World Diabetes Day

November 14th, 2017

Did you know that World Diabetes is celebrated on November 14th, every year?  November 14th is a significant date in the diabetes calendar because it marks the birthday of the man who co-discovered insulin, Frederick Banting. Banting discovered insulin in 1922, alongside Charles Best.

I bet you didn't know that people with poorly controlled diabetes are at higher risk for dental problems? People who have diabetes are more likely to have infections of their gums and the bones that hold their teeth in place because diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the gums.

High blood sugar may also cause dry mouth and make gum disease worse, and who wants all that happening in their mouth? Less saliva can allow more tooth-decaying bacteria and plaque buildup. With good blood sugar control and dental care, you can avoid these problems.

Proper dental care

To help prevent damage to your teeth and gums, take diabetes and dental care seriously:

  1. Make a commitment to manage your diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar level, and follow your doctor's instructions for keeping your blood sugar level within your target range. The better you control your blood sugar level, the less likely you are to develop gingivitis and other dental problems.
  2. Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brush in the morning, at night and, ideally, after meals and snacks. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. Avoid vigorous or harsh scrubbing, which can irritate your gums. Consider using an electric toothbrush, especially if you have arthritis or other problems that make it difficult to brush thoroughly. Get a new toothbrush at least every three months.
  3. Make sure your dentist knows you have diabetes. Every time you visit your dentist or Superior Dental Health, remind them that you have diabetes. Make sure your dentist has contact information for your doctor who helps you manage your diabetes.
  4. Look for early signs of gum disease. Report any signs of gum disease — including redness, swelling, and bleeding gums — to your dentist. Also mention any other signs and symptoms, such as dry mouth, loose teeth or mouth pain.

Five Things You Should Never Do With Your Toothbrush

November 8th, 2017

When’s the last time you gave your toothbrush any serious thought? Sure, you use it every day (and ideally twice), and you know that with a dollop of toothpaste it waxes up your pearly whites nicely, not to mention preventing bacteria, plaque, and inflammation.

But what are the things you should never do with your toothbrush? Here’s a brush-up on five toothbrush no-nos, from Superior Dental Health.

1. If you have your toothbrush too close to the toilet, you’re brushing your teeth with what’s in your toilet. In other words, keep your toothbrush stored as far from the toilet as possible.

2. The average toothbrush harbors ten million microbes. Many families keep their toothbrushes jammed together in a cup holder on the bathroom sink, but this can lead to cross-contamination. Family members’ toothbrushes should be kept an inch apart. Don’t worry; they won’t take it personally.

3. Don’t delay replacing your toothbrush. It’s best to purchase a new one every three to four months, but by all means get one sooner if the bristles are broken down because of your frequent and vigorous brushing. If you have a cold or the flu, replace your toothbrush after you recover.

4. Store your toothbrush out of the reach of toddlers. The last thing you want is for your toothbrush to be chewed like a pacifier, dipped in toilet water, or used to probe the dusty heating ducts.

5. Sharing is caring, right? Your parents probably taught you the importance of sharing back when you were, well, dipping their improperly stored toothbrushes in toilet water. But here’s the thing: As important as sharing is, there are some things you just don’t share, and your toothbrush is one of them.

COMPASSION

November 7th, 2017

Happy November everyone! As the Holiday season approaches we take the time to reflect on what we are grateful for. One of the most important key components of the Holiday Season and year-round is Compassion.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of compassion? Is it Self-Compassion, Act with Compassion, That you need to practice more compassion?

Superior Dental Health has 5 core values, and we start everything with Compassion.

Every patient has a unique personal journey of their own, and each of our Dentist, Dr. Smith, Dr. Martens, and Dr. Stinson, Dr. Lake, Dr. Huffman and Dr. Kight would love to take that trip with you.

From the moment you walk into our practice, you will see how well our team members love and respect one another along with every single one of their patients. When the patient realizes our compassion, their anxiety goes down and they become much more receptive to what we have to say.

Our vision is to be the top dental destination for improving the quality of life in the midwest. Superior Dental Health makes sure by the time you walk into our practice that we take the time to care for you and make you feel special!

November Marks National Diabetes Awareness Month

November 1st, 2017

Diabetes is a chronic disease that increases the risk for many serious health problems, including severe gum disease. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and it’s a great time for us at Superior Dental Health to remind our patients that the way you care for your teeth at home doesn’t just affect your oral health; keeping your mouth healthy is vital to your overall health, too.

Diabetes is the result of a deficiency, or lack of the hormone insulin to properly transport glucose (blood sugar) to the cells throughout the body. According to the American Diabetes Association, the most common types of diabetes are Type One (90-95 percent of cases), Type Two (five percent), and gestational or pregnancy diabetes. Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 35 to 60 percent chance of developing diabetes, mostly Type Two, in the ten to 20 years following their pregnancy.

In the past decade, researchers have found links between periodontal (gum) disease and diabetes. Not only are people with diabetes more vulnerable to gum disease, but diabetes may also have the potential to affect blood glucose control, as well as contribute to the advancement of diabetes.

Nearly 26 million Americans currently live with the disease, with an additional 79 million in the pre-diabetes stage. There is some good news we want you to know, however; you can protect your gums and teeth from the effects of diabetes by visiting our Omaha office for an exam. Patients who are living with diabetes may require more often visits to ensure their dental health remains in tip-top shape. Many insurance plans provide expanded benefits for diabetic patients, and Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake can tell you how often you need to come in for an appointment.

For more information on how we can help, please do not hesitate to give us a call at our Omaha office.

The Intriguing History of Halloween

October 25th, 2017

Halloween is fast approaching, and Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake wanted to be sure to wish our patients a happy day, no matter how you might celebrate this holiday. The Halloween that is familiar to most people today bears little resemblance to the original Halloween; back in the "old days" it wasn't even called Halloween!

Festival of the Dead

Halloween started out as a Celtic festival of the dead that honored departed loved ones and signified a change in the cycle of the seasons. The Celtic people viewed Halloween, then called "Samhain," as a very special day – almost like our New Years day in fact, as their new calendar year began on November 1st. Samhain was the last day of autumn, so it was the time to harvest the last of the season's crops, store food away for winter, and situate livestock comfortably for the upcoming cold weather. The Celts believed that during this day, the last day of winter, the veil between this world and the spirit world is the thinnest, and that the living could communicate with departed loved ones most effectively on Samhain due to this.

Modern Halloween

Halloween as we know it today started because Christian missionaries were working to convert the Celtic people to Christianity. The Celts believed in religious concepts that were not supported by the Christian church, and these practices, which stemmed from Druidism, were perceived by the Christian church as being "devil worship" and dangerous.

When Pope Gregory the First instructed his missionaries to work at converting the Pagan people, he told them to try to incorporate some of the Pagan practices into Christian practices in a limited way. This meant that November 1st became "All Saints Day," which allowed Pagan people to still celebrate a beloved holiday without violating Christian beliefs.

Today, Halloween has evolved into a day devoted purely to fun, candy, and kids. What a change from its origins! We encourage all of our patients to have fun during the holiday, but be safe with the treats. Consider giving apples or fruit roll-ups to the kids instead of candy that is potentially damaging to the teeth and gums.

Remind kids to limit their candy and brush after eating it! Sweets can cause major tooth decay and aggrivate gum disease, so to avoid extra visits to our Omaha office, make your Halloween a safe one!

How do I know if I need a root canal?

October 18th, 2017

Tooth decay affects everyone, with studies reporting that 92% of adults have had a cavity at one point in their lifetime. In more serious instances of tooth decay, however, the nerve of the tooth may become infected. This type of infection requires a root canal, in which the affected nerve is removed, and the interior of the tooth is cleaned and filled.

Tooth Anatomy

Although each tooth is covered by a hard outer shell, the interior of a tooth consists of dental pulp. This pulp is soft, containing blood vessels that bring nutrients to the tooth. Each tooth also has an associated nerve, which resides within a root canal passing from the tooth’s root into the dental pulp. This nerve provides information about temperature, allowing teeth to sense heat or cold.

Symptoms of Nerve Infection

Damage to the dental pulp or nerve tissue leads to a rapid multiplication of bacteria within the interior of the tooth. The result may be an abscess, a small pocket near the root of the tooth that becomes full of pus. This infected area commonly causes the following symptoms:

  • Intense pain or sensitivity when pressure is applied to the tooth
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, even after the heat or cold has been removed
  • Darkening or discoloration of the affected tooth
  • A small, persistent pimple that forms on the gums
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Swelling in other areas of the face, neck, or head

Nerve infection may occur due to deep decay, although repeated dental procedures, facial trauma, chipping or cracking of a tooth, or large fillings may also contribute to an abscessed tooth.

What to Do if You Think You Need a Root Canal

Only a visit to Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake can confirm whether a tooth’s nerve has become infected. We will perform an oral examination and X-rays to confirm whether the tooth is abscessed. If a root canal procedure is needed, a small hole will be placed in the tooth. The pulp and nerve tissue are removed from the tooth, which is thoroughly cleaned and filled. Then, the hole is sealed with a special compound to prevent bacteria from entering the tooth’s interior. The entire procedure is performed under local anesthesia to numb pain.

If you think you may have tooth or nerve decay, call our Omaha office today to schedule a diagnostic appointment.

Energy Drinks and Dental Health

October 11th, 2017

Are energy drinks bad for your teeth? Many of our patients at Superior Dental Health ask us this question, so here’s the scoop.

Energy drinks have been on the rise, taking up more and more space on grocery store shelves. Drinks such as Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, Monster Assault, Rockstar, and the like promise to jump-start your day, give you more energy, and help you feel more alert. But they also do a lot more than that. Turns out, they do a pretty good job of stripping your teeth of enamel, which is a very bad thing.

Many of these energy drinks are loaded with a lot of citric acid. In addition, they are laden with preservatives (not to mention sugar), not only to enhance flavor, but extend shelf life. While enamel loss, tooth decay, teeth sensitivity, and cavities cannot be blamed entirely on energy drinks (improper oral hygiene at home and lack of professional dental care also play a role), they can wreak havoc on the health of your teeth and gums, especially when consumed in more than moderation. Over time, energy drinks can strip enamel, which is the outer layer that protects your teeth.

What can you do?

Although Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake and our team aren't recommending you drink energy drinks at all, if you must drink one occasionally, there are a few things you can do to minimize the damage to your teeth.

  • Drink through a straw.
  • Don’t hold the drink in your mouth before swallowing.
  • Rinse your mouth with water immediately after drinking this kind of beverage. Water helps both to neutralize the acid and to increase the production of saliva.
  • Chew sugar-free gum immediately after, to increase saliva production.
  • Don’t brush your teeth right after drinking an energy drink. Wait at least an hour instead, because the combination of the acid and brushing will further damage tooth enamel.

The best advice is to refrain from drinking energy drinks altogether. One of the best hydrators is water. Water is a natural energy-booster and hydrator, and it doesn’t contain calories.

Give us a call today at our Omaha  office if you have any questions or concerns about energy drinks and dental health. We can provide additional tips and a treatment plan to help reduce enamel loss, eliminate tooth sensitivity, and repair cavities and tooth decay as a result of drinking energy drinks.

What's on your fall reading list?

October 4th, 2017

How better to spend the fall months than inside by the fireplace with a warm cup of cider and a book in hand? Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake and our team at Superior Dental Health encourage you to warm up your mind this fall season with a few great books. Sure it may be easy to put off reading when balancing a hectic schedule, but reading is vital to brain development. Besides, reading is always a blast!

This week, we thought we’d ask what you or your child are reading this fall. Do you have any suggestions for must-read books this year? Out of ideas for great fall reads? Ask us for suggestions, and we would be happy to provide a few. You may also ask a local librarian here in Omaha for some ideas.

Happy reading! Be sure to share with us your fall picks or your all-time favorites below or on our Facebook page!

Nitrous Oxide

September 27th, 2017

Nitrous oxide is a gaseous sedative that’s inhaled through a small mask placed over the nose. Often referred to as laughing gas — because of the euphoric effects it produces — nitrous is used in our Omaha office for its anesthetic/analgesic properties.

It will make it so you don’t feel the pain of dental treatment or have an experience that some patients may find traumatic.

Nitrous oxide’s use in the dental field dates back to about the mid-1800s, but when it was introduced, practitioners didn't understand the need to add oxygen. These days all nitrous oxide is administered with at least 30% oxygen for safety (so it forms the compound N2O-O2).

If you need any form of dental treatment, Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake may find it necessary to administer nitrous oxide. Some of the effects you may experience while you’re sedated include:

  • Lightheadedness, tingling in the arms and legs, followed by a warm or comforting sensation
  • A euphoric feeling or feeling like you are floating
  • Inability to keep your eyes open, so it seems as if you’re asleep

If at any time you feel uncomfortable, irritated, or sick, let Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake know, so the percentage of nitrous oxide being used can be adjusted. The effects dissipate quickly once you return to breathing regular air.

It’s best to be informed about all aspects of your dental treatment before you arrive. There are alternatives to nitrous oxide, so if you’re at all concerned, please don’t hesitate to ask questions about other options for sedation.

Analgesic (numbing) injections can often be used locally at the surgical site. We’ll find what works best for your particular case.

Happy Labor Day!

August 30th, 2017

Labor Day is upon us, and that means the non-official end to summer. Before the kids head back to school and temperatures start to cool down, this is your last chance to barbeque in the beautiful Omaha community, head to the lake, and wear your favorite pair of white pants.

About Labor Day

Each year, Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September. It is the one day of year Americans celebrate their achievements in work, which the US Department of Labor says has contributed to prosperity and well-being of America as a whole. Americans have been celebrating Labor Day since the 1880s, and today it is an official federal holiday.

Interesting Facts About Labor Day

  • Every year, more than 30 million Americans travel over Labor Day weekend.
  • Canada was the first to celebrate Labor Day, and the US soon followed.
  • President Cleveland made Labor Day and official US holiday in 1894.
  • Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and NCAA sports seasons for fans.
  • Labor Day marks the end of hot dog season, when Americans consume seven billion hot dogs.

Thanks for being a valued patient of our general office. Our staff would like to wish you a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. Enjoy your time off!

I’m on a diet and getting MORE cavities!

August 23rd, 2017

Health gurus rave about replacing unhealthy food choices with healthy ones in your diet. If you want to maintain your beautiful smile as well as your waistline, choose foods that are good for your teeth and good for losing weight. This article will discuss some of the worst healthy foods for your teeth and gums, and what you can do to continue to enjoy them.

When watching your weight, snacks heavy in sugar and starch are the first target for elimination. You want to trade those empty calories for something with more nutritional value. A healthier snack is fruit and vegetables. When you are substituting empty calories with whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, consider a few implications for your dental health.

The most acidic fruits are grapes, grapefruit, and strawberries. Want to know the number-one worst healthy food for your tooth enamel? Apples! An apple a day may keep the doctor away but you may soon be calling your dentist.

Another healthy food often incorporated into dieting is salads. But consider what you put in those salads. Salad dressings are filled with vinegar and sweeteners. These make a salad very acidic and can change the pH of your mouth from alkaline, which is good for your teeth and gums, to acidic, which puts your smile at risk for erosion and decay.

Last but not least is diet soda. You might be cutting down on the calories but you are still putting your teeth at risk for decay. Though calories are reduced, the acid is not.

You do not need to eliminate any of these foods from your diet. Simply alter what you do after eating these foods to decrease the amount of acid your teeth are exposed to.

During your next visit to Superior Dental Health in our Omaha office, we can discuss your diet. We may recommend using certain products to fortify your teeth or change the way you routinely care for your teeth.

Please enjoy the wonderful whole foods that are great for a healthy waistline. A healthy waistline and a healthy smile have a positive influence on your general health. A healthier you is a happier you. The happier you are, the more you smile. Keep your smile brilliant and beautiful with the care your teeth deserve at the practice of Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake.

Dangers of Alcohol and Oral Health

August 2nd, 2017

We often have patients who ask, “Can drinking alcohol affect my oral health?” There are, in fact, a few reasons why that martini may not be good for your pearly whites.

In addition to creating an overly acidic environment in your mouth, alcohol severely dehydrates oral tissues because of its desiccant and diuretic properties. Because alcohol saps oral tissues of their moisture so readily, saliva glands can't keep enough saliva in the mouth to prevent dry mouth. In addition, saliva contains antibacterial properties that inhibits growth of anaerobic bacteria, a destructive type of oral bacterial responsible for tooth decay, gingivitis, chronic bad breath, and periodontitis.

What are anaerobic bacteria?

When there is a lack of saliva flow in the mouth and the mouth cannot naturally cleanse itself of oral debris (food particles, dead skin cell, mucous), conditions develop that promote activity of anaerobic bacteria, or bacteria that thrive in dry, airless places. These anaerobes also flourish when an unending supply of proteins (food debris) are available to consume, creating rapidly multiplying layers of plaque that stick to teeth and demineralizes tooth enamel unless removed by brushing and professional dental cleanings.

Oral Cancer and Alcohol

Acetaldehyde is a chemical compound leftover after the liver has metabolized alcohol. Capable of causing genetic mutations, acetaldehyde is also a known carcinogen that contributes to the ill feelings of hangovers. Although most metabolism of alcohol is done in the liver, evidence shows that metabolism also occurs outside the liver and that enzymes in the mouth could encourage accumulation of acetaldehyde in oral tissues.

When combined with poor oral health, smoking, and other detrimental lifestyle factors, alcohol may be considered a primary contributory factor in the development of oral cancer.

Even if you don't drink or drink only occasionally, remaining aware of symptoms that may indicate oral cancer will improve your chances of recovering successfully when you start treatment in the early stages of oral cancer. Signs include red or while speckled patches in the mouth, unexplained bleeding, lumps/swellings, chronic ear or throat pain, and areas of numbness in the mouth or on the face.

If you have any questions about alcohol and its connection to oral health, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake at your next visit to our Omaha office.

How to Handle an Unexpected Dental Emergency

July 26th, 2017

Regardless of the type of dental emergency you experience, it is important that you visit Superior Dental Health for emergency dental care as soon as possible. A chipped or cracked tooth requires professional attention, as bacteria may gather in these areas, potentially causing infection that could require a root canal. Remember, you may be capable of managing pain, bleeding, and swelling at home, but by visiting our office for immediate treatment, you can fight infections and minimize lasting damage to your mouth, teeth, and gums under the expert care of our emergency dentist.

24/7 Emergency Dental Care

Superior Dental Health is proud to offer emergency dental care around the clock, seven days a week. Dental emergencies do not wait for regular business hours, and if you experience a serious dental emergency, you need immediate treatment. Whether you have a broken tooth or if you have bitten through your tongue, do not hesitate to visit us day or night. Until you arrive at our office, however, there are some helpful steps you can take if you encounter a serious dental dilemma.

Managing Your Dental Emergency

If a toothache is causing problems, you can probably keep the discomfort under control until our emergency doctor can treat you. Start by checking the gums that surround the affected tooth for inflammation, bleeding, or foreign objects. There may be food lodged in the gum that could be removed by flossing. You can control pain by placing a cold compress against your mouth, or by using an over-the-counter oral numbing agent.

More serious situations may be extremely time sensitive, and require immediate emergency attention. For example, if a tooth is completely knocked out, carefully clean it with water. Try to place the tooth back into its socket or briefly store it in a cup of milk if it will not fit back into the gum. Never pick up a tooth by the root or force it into the socket. Come straight to our office, as your tooth will need to be replaced within a short amount of time. Similarly, if you have bitten through your lip or tongue, the American Dental Association recommends carefully cleaning the area before coming as quickly as you can to our emergency dental office for treatment.

Remember, there is no reason you should live with discomfort. By visiting our Omaha office immediately in an emergency, you can take control of your oral health comfortably and safely.

How safe are dental X-rays?

July 12th, 2017

Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake and our staff rely on digital X-rays to help us diagnose oral conditions and process images at incredibly high speeds. You can also view digital X-rays in real time while we examine your mouth with an intraoral camera and upload the images to a software program. A chairside computer monitor lets you see these images as we refine areas of concern to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

But are dental X-rays safe?

Yes! They emit 80 percent less radiation than exposure-type X-rays and provide detailed images to improve diagnosis and treatment. We can now detect dental problems in their earliest stages without subjecting you to unnecessary radiation. The amount of radiation released by digital X-rays is “negligible,” which means the amount is so small, that it can be safely disregarded.

Safe enough for children and pregnant women, digital X-rays detect microscopic pitting in tooth enamel and other abnormalities in the oral tissues that might have remained undetected with traditional X-rays. When Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake and our staff discover dental caries in their earliest stages, we can initiate treatment measures that will effectively prevent cavity development, tooth decay, and potential tooth loss.

Patient appointment lengths are shortened with digital X-rays as well, because images are immediately viewable and do not require the exposure time associated with old-style X-rays.

How Digital X-Rays Differ from Traditional X-Rays

Instead of using cardboard-contained film, we insert a small sensing device about the size of a pen in your mouth and engage the digital X-ray machine by manually manipulating control buttons. Within seconds, images appear on the monitor that can later be stored in your file or sent to another doctor for further examination.

The increased resolution afforded by digital X-rays means that patients are able to understand the seriousness of their dental issues better, and are more inclined to follow through with procedures recommended by Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake.

Safer, Better and Faster

For detection of cancerous tumors in their early states, digital X-ray technology offers vast improvements over film X-rays because of its cutting-edge image processing capability. Early detection of oral cancer and dental caries is the best way to prevent any type of oral health problem from exceeding the treatable stage.

Teeth Whitening For a Bright Summer

July 5th, 2017

Summer brings sunshine and warm weather, and many of our patients begin thinking about brightening their smiles this time of year. A whiter smile is one just one visit away at Superior Dental Health!

Teeth whitening is safe, quick, and inexpensive. It can be used to correct many tooth discolorations which may have been caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. Using the latest in whitening technology, we can offer a safe method for creating the beautiful smile you've always wanted. Just let us know at any appointment if you would like a brighter smile.

Get your beautiful smile today! Give us a call at our convenient Omaha office to schedule an appointment!

Happy Fourth of July

June 28th, 2017

Every year, Americans all over the world celebrate the birth of the country and its independence on the Fourth of July. There are countless ways that people celebrate and they range from community parades and large scale gatherings to concerts, fireworks displays, and smaller scale celebrations among family and friends. For some people, July 4th is synonymous with baseball, while for others it is all about the beach of barbecues. However you celebrate, you can be sure that red, white, and blue is visible everywhere throughout the area.

The Beginnings of Fourth of July Celebrations

Although it wasn't officially designated as a federal holiday until 1941, the actual tradition of celebrating Independence Day goes back to the time of the American Revolution (1775 – 1783). At the time of the American Revolution, representatives from the 13 colonies penned the resolution that ultimately declared their independence from Great Britain. The continental congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence on July 2nd of 1776. Two days later, Thomas Jefferson's famous document that is now known as the Declaration of Independence, was adopted by delegates representing the 13 colonies.

First States to Recognize the Fourth of July

In 1781, Massachusetts became the first state (or commonwealth) whose legislature resolved to designate July 4th as the date on which to celebrate the country's independence. Two years later, Boston became the first city to make an official designation to honor the country's birth with a holiday on July 4th. In that same year, North Carolina's governor, Alexander Martin, became the first governor to issue an official state order stipulating that July 4th was the day on which North Carolinians would celebrate the country's independence.

Fun Facts About the Fourth of July

  • The reason the stars on the original flag were arranged in a circle is because it was believed that would indicate that all of the colonies were equal.
  • Americans eat over 150 million hot dogs on July 4th.
  • Imports of fireworks each year totals over $211 million.
  • The first “official” Fourth of July party took place at the White House in 1801.
  • Benjamin Franklin didn't want the national bird to be the bald eagle. He believed that the turkey was better suited to the coveted distinction. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson disagreed with him, and he was outvoted, so the bald eagle became the official bird of the United States.

For many, the tradition is something entirely different. Along the coastal areas of the United States, people may haul out huge pots to have lobster or other types of seafood boils. Others may spend the day in the bleachers at a baseball game, or at a park, cooking a great traditional meal over an open fire. No matter how or where you celebrate, one thing is certain: all Americans celebrate July 4th as the birth and independence of our country.

Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake and our team at Superior Dental Health wish you a safe and happy Fourth of July!

How does a tooth decay?

June 14th, 2017

When acids are allowed to erode tooth enamel long enough to leach calcium and other minerals from your enamel and dentin, a process called demineralization occurs. This rapidly leads to tooth decay unless reversed by good oral hygiene and professional dental cleanings at our Omaha office. Acids responsible for tooth decay come from the wastes of mutans streptococci and lactobacilli bacteria that thrive in dental plaque, a substance that is the leading cause of periodontitis.

Where do demineralizing acids come from?

Dietary sugars comprise the bulk of tooth-decaying acids, including table sugar, cooked starches, fructose, glucose, and lactose. In fact, as soon as you bite down on a sugary cookie or into a French fry, bacteria start digesting sugars, breaking them down and eventually excreting them as demineralizing acids. As this bacteria colony grows and becomes organized, plaque develops and forms that tough, yellowish coating you often see on the tops of teeth at the gumline.

Plaque is the Problem

Dental plaque is a filmy type of nesting place for bacteria that also keeps acids pressed against tooth enamel. Since plaque cannot be removed by brushing, it is important that a person who suffers tooth decay visit Superior Dental Health immediately so we can use special tools to scrape and thoroughly clean teeth.

Signs of Tooth Decay

Early tooth decay and cavities remain asymptomatic until demineralization creates a hole deep enough to reach the tooth’s inner tissues and nerve endings. Eventually, tooth decay will cause tooth sensitivity, toothache, vague pain when biting down on the affected tooth, and possibly pus seeping around a tooth’s gum line if the decay creates an infection. If treatment is delayed long enough, a decaying tooth may loosen, crumble, and ultimately fall out, which leaves an empty or partially empty socket.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Getting regular checkups with Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake, brushing and flossing twice a day, and eating fruits or crunchy vegetables at snack time instead of a candy bar or doughnut are the three best ways to keep your teeth healthy, white, and where they should be: in your mouth.

June is National Smile Month: Show off your smile!

June 7th, 2017

The community health awareness group Oral Health America has reported that 82 percent of adults are unaware of the role that infectious bacteria can play in tooth decay or cavities, and almost three out of five children aged 12 to 19 have tooth decay. Since June is National Smile Month, Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake and our team at Superior Dental Health thought we’d remind our patients about the importance of good oral hygiene visits between office visits.

To keep your family’s smiles healthy and beautiful for years to come, be sure to:

  • Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss every day to clean between your teeth
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Visit Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake for scheduled appointments

If you want to know more about healthy home care habits, feel free to ask our team at your next appointment, or ask us on Facebook!

Surprising Ways to Prevent Cavities

May 31st, 2017

There are numerous ways to prevent cavities. Some, like brushing your teeth regularly and visiting our Omaha office, are more obvious than others. Beyond the standard methods of preventing cavities there are a number of different ways to keep your mouth healthy that you might also find surprising.

1. Reduce your consumption of carbs and sugar.

The consumption of sugar is ultimately the biggest catalyst for cavities. By limiting the sugar you consume both at meals and while snacking you will in turn be preventing cavities. But this goes for all carbs, not just sugar. See, even more complex, lower glycemic, carbs can lead to cavities in your mouth, so the best way to prevent them is to limit your carbohydrate intake. This is not to say that you have to cut out carbs all together, but by reducing your intake, you will prevent cavities and it can also lead to a healthier body overall.

2. Rinse your mouth with food-grade hydrogen peroxide.

For some people this may seem a little odd, but washing your mouth out with a food-grade hydrogen peroxide is an excellent way to prevent cavities. Doing so will kill harmful bacteria that accumulates in your mouth much in the same way applying the anti-septic to a cut does. That said, when you rinse your mouth out similar to how you would use a mouth wash, you want to make sure you don't swallow the hydrogen peroxide, spit it out instead.

3. Use a straw.

If you are someone that drinks a lot of sugary beverages a great way to prevent cavities is to use a straw. This way the sugar in the beverage does not come into contact with your teeth as much as it would if you were to drink straight from a glass, can, cup, or bottle.

4. Chew gum.

Chewing gum is another viable way of preventing cavities. You, of course, will need to chew a sugarless gum flavored with a substitute like Xylitol, and preferably with a cavity fighting ingredient in it.

5. Eat cheese.

Plain and simple cheese has a protein called casein which helps build calcium in your teeth which is vital to the integrity of your mouth and preventing cavities.

Memorial Day and Getting Ready for Summer

May 24th, 2017

Memorial Day didn't become an official holiday until 1971, but Americans started gathering annually in the spring to remember those who lost their lives in war during the 1860s, right after the Civil War. Celebrated on the last Monday in May, people still decorate the grave sites of war veterans and hold memorial services, but Memorial Day has also evolved into a day that signifies the beginning of summer.

During the summer months, many people take road trips to visit family members. Some head off to the airport to enjoy a long-awaited vacation far away, while others look forward to spending time with friends and family at home. However you spend Memorial Day and the subsequent summer months, there are a few things you can take care of to ensure your summertime is enjoyable.

Checklist for an Enjoyable Summer

  • Have the AC Checked. During the hottest days of summer, many families find themselves sweating it out due to a broken air conditioning system. Be proactive so you can avoid waiting for hours or days because the HVAC repair person is booked solid. Have your air conditioning system checked before or around Memorial Day each year.
  • Ensure Security While You're Away. When you leave for vacation, the last thing you should have to worry about is the security of your home. Install a home security system, if possible, and put a timer on your lights so they go on and off at normal hours. You can also alert your local police department that you'll be gone, and ask them to drive by your house once in a while to make sure everything is okay.
  • Visit Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake Before Vacation. Many people put off exams until after summer vacation. Avoid the crowds and make sure your physical and oral health are in top shape prior to vacation time so there are no unpleasant surprises.

Our team at Superior Dental Health wants you to look forward to Memorial Day and the days of summer by preparing to spend the time safely and comfortably. As you plan ahead, take care of your health and secure your home, you can place your focus on creating memories with family members and friends while enjoying your favorite Memorial Day traditions.

Three Signs You May Have Gingivitis

May 17th, 2017

Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, is an early stage of gum disease. If you have gingivitis, it’s important to visit Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake to get proper treatment, since home care isn’t enough to get rid of the plaque that leads to tartar and eventually to gum disease. Monitor yourself to see if you have these signs of gingivitis, and get help as soon as you can to prevent the progression to periodontitis. Your vigilance could save your teeth.

1. You have one or more risk factors.

Having risk factors for gingivitis doesn’t mean that you have or will get the disease, but it does mean that you should be especially watchful. You’re more likely to get gum disease if you have the following risk factors:

  • You are a smoker.
  • You are a female going through puberty, pregnancy, or menopause.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You have a compromised immune system, as is the case if you have HIV/AIDS.
  • You have a family history of gum disease.

2. You have inflammation in your gums.

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums, and that is a tell-tale sign of the condition. Gingivitis or periodontitis can involve a bacterial infection, and inflammation is your body’s response to an injury or infection. The four standard signs of inflammation are pain, redness, swelling, and a higher temperature than normal.

If you have inflammation around your teeth, your gum disease may have progressed to the more serious condition of periodontitis. Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake can evaluate your case using a scope, or small ruler. The ruler is used to measure the pockets around your teeth, with a depth of one to three millimeters being normal.

3. Your teeth seem to be moving around.

Loose teeth are a classic sign of periodontitis. You may also have them if you have gingivitis. They can occur when your gum line recedes, or as the result of having soft bone in your jaw.

You might also notice other signs of your teeth moving around. For example, they may seem to be oddly spaced, or they could be separating from each other. You might also notice that your partial dentures don’t fit properly anymore, even if they’re not that old.

Gingivitis is a very treatable condition, but you need the help of Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake to keep it in check. Contact our Omaha office to schedule an exam today!

Wishing all our moms a happy Mother’s Day!

May 10th, 2017

"Motherhood: All love begins and ends there." - Robert Browning

We would like to take this moment to thank all the great moms out there for being so great during their child’s visits to Superior Dental Health. Whether it’s driving their kids to regularly scheduled appointments or for “being there” while their child is treatment, the moms who come to our office are all stellar individuals, so Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake and our entire staff would like you to know that we appreciate you all!

Happy Mother’s Day and enjoy your special day!

May Marks National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

May 3rd, 2017

The merry month of May also happens to be National Fitness and Sports Month, so take advantage of the warmer days to get outside and exercise! Bringing a friend, family member, or coworker with you when you go for a brisk walk during a lunch break can provide an opportunity to socialize as well as health benefits. If you need a little more motivation, here are some good reasons to stay active and fit.

Exercise provides:

  • Improved stamina and energy as well as toned muscles and bone strength and density
  • Improved circulation and breathing for a healthier heart and lungs
  • Reduced risk for Type 2 diabetes and certain forms of cancer
  • For older adults, regular exercise may help improve balance and reduce the risk of falls as well as improved cognitive abilities

Children and Teens

Children and teenagers spend long hours at their desks in school, on the computer, watching television, and involved in other sedentary activities that result in obesity and poor health later in life. Getting them engaged in school or community sports teams can help them form good life-long exercise habits. One important note: If they are participating in contact sports, Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake and our team at Superior Dental Health recommend your kids wear an approved mouthguard to protect those valuable teeth from injury! Ask us for a proper fitting of your safety appliance during your next visit!

A gym membership is nice but not necessary to stay fit; try these easy ways to work some exercise into your daily routine.

At Home

  • Take a friend along for company on a walk through your neighborhood.
  • Pursue gardening or other yard work, including mowing or raking.
  • Take your kids on a bike ride or have them push a baby stroller around the block.

Couch potatoes take note: simply moving from the sofa to the floor for some sit-ups, leg-lifts, or push-ups while you’re watching television can help you get in better shape in no time.

At Work

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Take exercise breaks for walks around the building or parking lot.
  • Walk or ride a bike to work.

So what are you waiting for? Get moving!

For more information on exercise techniques, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake, please give us a call at our convenient Omaha office!

Help! My gums hurt when I floss!

April 26th, 2017

By no stretch is it rare for your gums to hurt during and after flossing. Even some bleeding is to be expected. This is especially true if you have not flossed in a long time. However, if your gums do indeed hurt when you floss, and unbearably so, there are some things you can do.

Be Gentle

Perhaps the most obvious way to combat gum soreness and bleeding is to be gentle. One of the most common occurrences of these gum problems is over-aggressive flossing. In other words, if you are too rough on your gums while flossing, either because you are out of practice or because you are in a hurry, soreness and hurting is to be expected. Instead, try taking your time and be gentle. Also, if you are just starting out, be patient and consistent, your gums will become more conditioned over time.

Use an Alternative Method

If being consistent and gentle does not work, there are other alternative methods of flossing that you can try. You can also try a water floss machine, or what is sometimes called a water pick. The device essentially shoots water into the crevasses between your teeth, and in other areas of your mouth, in order to dislodge food and plaque. These oral instruments also come with different attachments that allow you to reach many of the hard to see and reach areas of your mouth. And lastly, you can always buy floss that is not as abrasive to your gums. There is floss that comes with soft and gentle coatings that will do less harm to your gums while they are adjusting to the good oral hygiene habit you are creating.

Flossing is one of the easiest parts of oral hygiene to overlook. When you first start out, it is common that you may want to stop because of the pain it can initially cause. However, if you try one, or all, of the above mentioned methods, you will give yourself the best chance of being success with your flossing, and it won't hurt as much.

For more flossing tips, schedule an appointment at our Omaha office and askDr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake or a member of our team!

Every Day is Earth Day

April 19th, 2017

During the early days of the environmental awareness movement, those who demonstrated against pollution, toxic chemicals, and the general public health were known as hippies. The early 1970s were a time of change, and assertions that we needed to pay more attention to the Earth's atmosphere were generally dismissed. But within a couple decades, it had become clear that the previous generation was right; the citizens of the world needed to become more environmentally conscious.

Many people feel that they can't make a difference if they don't do something big. But caring for the environment doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing concept. In fact, the little things you do can add up to make a great impact, especially in our community. Here are a few ways you can help the environment on Earth Day, April 22nd and all year around.

Four Small Ways to be Environmentally Friendly

  • Recycle Your Textiles. Nearly 21 million tons of textiles are added to American landfills each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Donating your unwanted clothing to a secondhand store or an organization that repurposes fabric helps cut down on solid waste and conserves natural resources.
  • Reduce Usage of Disposables. Plastic bottles and bags, disposable diapers and other things we can use and toss out are convenient, but they're not necessary. Simply choosing to replace one of type of disposable with a reusable product can help you cut down on waste that has a large negative impact on our environment.
  • Conserve Water. If everyone in the United States turned off the water while brushing their teeth, more than 1.5 million gallons of water could be conserved. Turn the water on long enough to wet your toothbrush for brushing and rinsing, and then immediately turn the water off again.
  • Turn Off the Lights. Flip the light switch to "Off" if you're going to leave a particular room for 15 minutes or more. This will conserve energy on incandescent light bulbs and cut down on cooling costs.

It's not necessary to be an activist or install solar panels all over your home to help the environment. Although you can do these things, the little everyday measures make a big difference in helping to conserve energy and the environment, while reducing your carbon footprint. Our team at Superior Dental Health wants to remind you to celebrate Earth Day and help the environment, knowing that it will benefit your and your children's generation.

The Importance of Regular Dental Checkups

April 12th, 2017

When was the last time you paid Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake a visit? If you're like many people, chances are it was more than six months ago. We hear the reasons why people neglect regular dental visits all the time: lack of money or quality dental insurance, busy schedules, and fear. However, your twice-yearly checkups are so important for your dental health and for your overall health as well.

You may brush your teeth twice a day and even floss, and your teeth may feel fine, but regular dental checkups with Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake aren’t about addressing problems and reacting — they are about cavity prevention. No matter how much you brush and floss, there is still a chance that food or other debris can get lodged between your teeth, and there is also a chance that food and beverages can wear down your tooth enamel in between visits, making your teeth vulnerable to decay.

In addition to a thorough teeth cleaning and polishing, these regular visits help us detect and prevent the onset of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. During your visit, we’ll check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue. We’ll also check old fillings and restorations, as these can wear away over time from constant chewing, grinding, or clenching.

It's important to know that the majority of dental problems do not become visible or painful until they are highly advanced. And, unfortunately, serious oral issues are painful and expensive to treat. A deep cleaning twice a year by our team at Superior Dental Health is the best way to hit all the spots you may have missed with brushing and flossing and prevent any problems that may have gone unseen.

Make sure your teeth get the professional attention they deserve! If you’re overdue for your next cleaning, please give us a call to schedule an appointment at our convenient Omaha office!

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April 5th, 2017

What is oral cancer?

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. If you have been putting off a visit to our Omaha office, now is an excellent time to schedule one. Regular visits to Superior Dental Health can be the first line of defense against oral cancer, by identifying early warning signs of the disease, or helping you with preventive care tips to lower your chances of developing it.

Oral Cancer Rates in America

Nearly 40,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and more than 8,000 die every year from this disease. It is a devastating illness: most people who are diagnosed with it do not live more than five years beyond their diagnosis. Oral cancer has a higher death rate than many other common cancers, including cervical cancer, testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and thyroid or skin cancers. The high death rate results from the fact that most oral cancers go undiagnosed until the disease is well advanced and has spread to another part of the body—most often, the lymph nodes in the neck.

What causes oral cancer?

While there is no way to predict exactly which individuals will get oral cancer, there are some potential causes you should know about—because in some cases, you can minimize these risk factors.

  • Age (most patients diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 40)
  • Tobacco use, either from cigarettes or smokeless chewing tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol consumption (especially in combination with tobacco use)
  • Persistent viral infections, such as HPV16
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables

In addition, oral cancer tends to occur at a rate six times greater in men than in women, and more often for African Americans than other ethnic groups. No genetic links have been identified to explain the higher incidence in these populations, so lifestyle choices remain the likeliest cause.

Oral Cancer Treatments

Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment of oral cancer usually involves a multi-disciplinary team that includes surgeons, oncologists, dentists, nutritionists, and rehabilitation and restorative specialists. Our team will decide on the best approach for each patient, depending on the risk factors and how far the cancer has progressed. The strategy will be different in every case. Some of the most common methods include chemotherapy, radiation, and potential surgery.

Finding out you have cancer can be devastating news. If you are concerned that you might be at risk for developing oral cancer, talk to us about screenings and other things you can do to reduce your risk.

Easing Your Allergies with Latex-Free Dentistry

March 29th, 2017

Imagine this scenario: you go to the dentist to have a cavity filled, and an hour after the procedure you have a runny nose, scratchy throat, and your arms are breaking out in blotchy, red hives. In other words, you’re in worse shape after the visit to the dentist than you were before you walked in to have the cavity fixed. If you experience any of these types of symptoms or side effects, chances are you have a latex allergy.

What is a latex allergy?

A latex allergy is a hypersensitivity to latex proteins. If you have this allergy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you avoid direct contact with any materials that contain latex. While latex gloves are known to cause allergic reactions in people with a latex allergy, certain metals, plastics, and other materials used in dental care can also cause an adverse response.

A runny nose and itchy eyes are common allergic reactions to latex. However, Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake and our team at Superior Dental Health want you to know it can also trigger more severe symptoms, including asthma, wheezing, and cardiovascular and gastrointestinal ailments.

A latex-safe dental environment

Many dental offices screen patients for a latex allergy. This is only beneficial, however, if you’re already aware you have a latex allergy. The best thing you can do to ease your allergies is to find a dentist who has a latex-safe environment. A latex-safe dental environment observes the following protocols:

  • All patients are screened for a latex allergy.
  • No personnel use latex gloves.
  • All latex products are removed from the patient’s vicinity, including rubber dams and elastics.
  • Work areas contaminated with latex powder are cleaned frequently.
  • Signs are posted to communicate all latex allergy procedures in case of an emergency.

If a latex allergy is part of your medical history, then it’s in your best interest to find a latex-free dental environment. To learn more about latex-free dentistry, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake, please give us a call at our convenient Omaha office!

What’s an intraoral camera?

March 22nd, 2017

One of the greatest features our team at Superior Dental Health offers is the ability to see first-hand how we can help our patients. While X-rays help us detect any problems in your mouth and give us valuable information on what is bothering you, they often don’t give Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake a complete view of everything that is going on inside your mouth. With the use of an intraoral camera, we can see every aspect of your teeth and mouth with incredible detail, uncovering cracked or fractured teeth, excessive wear, carious lesions, cavities, or other issues that may be hidden. When we can discover oral problems early on, your treatment is much less invasive and often saves you money down the road.

An intraoral camera allows Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake to view clear, precise images of your mouth, teeth, and gums and allows us to make an accurate diagnosis.  With clear, defined, enlarged images, Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake and our team see details that standard mirror examinations may miss. It’s much easier to understand what is happening in your mouth if you can see the problem on a computer monitor, and it means faster diagnosis and less chair-time for our patients!

Intraoral cameras are small, about the size of a dental mirror, and emit a light onto the tooth. The tooth will emit a color that lets Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake determine if the tooth is healthy or diseased. Intraoral cameras also allow us to save your images on our office computer to provide a permanent record of treatments. These treatments can be printed for you, other specialists, and your lab or insurance companies.

For any questions about the intraoral camera, we encourage you to ask Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake or our team during your or your child’s next visit or by giving us a call at our convenient Omaha office.

St. Patrick's Day

March 15th, 2017

On March 17, everyone has a little Irish in them. St. Patrick’s Day is a joyous celebration of Irish heritage. The holiday originated as a commemoration of Saint Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland. The saint arrived in Ireland in 432 and earned the reputation of a champion of Irish Christianity. March 17th, the day of St. Patrick’s death, has been commemorated by the Irish for over 1,000 years. St. Patrick’s Day is still observed as a religious feast day by several Christian denominations, but it is better known in the public imagination as a rich celebration of Irish culture.

St. Patrick’s Day has been an official public holiday in Ireland since 1903. Each year, the Irish celebrate with a several-day festival that includes theater performances, music, fireworks, and festive parades. The celebration is also a public holiday in Northern Ireland, Montserrat, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In other parts of the world with heavy Irish populations, it is an unofficial celebration of Irish heritage. Parts of Great Britain, Canada, Argentina, South Korea, Switzerland, New Zealand, the United States, and Australia commemorate the holiday each year. Typical celebrations in these countries include drinking green beer, wearing green, eating traditional Irish foods, parades, and shamrock decorations.

Many people, Irish and non-Irish alike, take part in the “wearing of the green” on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, the color originally associated with Saint Patrick was blue. His use of shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish made the green clover emblematic of the holiday, leading to the traditional green attire worn by thousands on St. Patrick’s Day. Other little-known facts about St. Patrick’s Day include the following:

  • Each year, the United States and Ireland face off in a rugby competition called the “St. Patrick’s Day Test.”
  • Montreal celebrates the holiday with an annual parade, which has been held each year since 1824. The Montreal city flag even features a shamrock in its corner, as a nod to its Irish heritage.
  • The Guinness World Records named St. Patrick’s Day the “Friendliest Day of the Year.”
  • Along with Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most widely celebrated saint’s day in the world.

No matter your cultural heritage, St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to let loose and celebrate your inner Irish-ness! Don your greenest attire and exclaim “Erin go Bragh!” (Ireland forever!) to everyone you meet. From Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake - have a great St. Paddy’s day!

Tooth Worms? The History of Cavities and Tooth Fillings

March 8th, 2017

Scientists have discovered tooth decay in specimens that are more than 15,000 years old. The ancients once thought that cavities were caused by something called “tooth worms” … Eew! They didn’t exist, of course, but how else could humans explain the holes that cavities make in teeth?

The appearance of cavities on a widespread basis is often traced to the rise of farming. The new diet filled with grains and carbs made our mouths a haven for cavity-causing bacteria. As we added more sugar to our diets, our teeth got worse.

The “tooth worm” idea didn’t completely disappear until the 1700s when scientists finally began to understand the process of dental caries. Once that part of the puzzle was solved, they began focusing on filling existing cavities and preventing new ones.

Dental Fillings Come of Age

Many different materials, including beeswax, cork, aluminum, tin, and even asbestos, have been used to fill the holes caused by dental decay. Sometime in the mid-1800s, however, dentists began to use metal fillings such as gold, platinum, silver and lead amalgams.

The amalgam we use today is mixed from liquid mercury, silver, tin, copper, zinc, and other metals, but some patients still like the look of a gold filling. Newer options include composite-resin fillings, which are made from a tooth-colored mixture of plastic resin and finely ground glass-like or quartz particles that form a durable and discreet filling. Porcelain or ceramic fillings are natural in color, but more resistant to staining.

Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake can help decide which filling is best for you, based on cost as well as your dental and lifestyle needs. You may not have “tooth worms,” but if you have cavities, contact our Omaha office so we can take the proper action to protect the health of your mouth.

Good Nutrition Leads to Healthy Mouths

March 1st, 2017

At Superior Dental Health, we know the most common oral health diseases are tooth decay and periodontal disease (or gum disease), and both are among the easiest to prevent. One of the most common ways we recommend to boost your oral health is by improving your diet, because you (and your mouth) truly are what you eat. A healthy diet can lead to a healthy mouth and body, while an unhealthy diet can lead to the exact opposite.

The Role Nutrition Plays

While diet is not the only factor that leads to periodontal disease, studies suggest the disease may be more severe among patients whose diets lack essential nutrients. Poor diets will generally lead to a weaker immune system, leaving your body susceptible to all kinds of ailments, including periodontal disease.

A Well-Balanced Approach

There is no “magic” diet that we can recommend to improve your oral health, but the most important thing is to seek a well-balanced approach in your eating. While fad diets that emphasize one food group over another may help you lose weight in the short-term, they probably will not provide all the nutrients your body needs in the long run.

Meals should include a balance of lean meats or other healthy protein sources, colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats. Foods containing substantial amounts of sugar and salt should be consumed in moderation.

Soda and Sugar: A Dangerous Duo

Millions of gallons of soda are consumed every day in America, but sipping a cold soft drink can be very harmful to your teeth. Many of these beverages wear down the enamel that protects the teeth, which weakens and even destroys them over time. The American Beverage Association estimates that soft drinks account for almost 30 percent of all drink consumption in the U.S., averaging an annual total of about 50 gallons per person (up from only 20 gallons in the 1970s). For healthy teeth and a healthy body overall, try to limit your soda intake.

Sugar is another ubiquitous treat in our daily lives. When we eat sugar, naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths convert it to acids that attack tooth enamel. Consuming too much sugar can swiftly lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum diseases like gingivitis. Most people do not even realize how much sugar they consume each day. It’s important to limit your daily sugar intake by reading the labels of all the food you eat, and sticking with natural food sources that are low in sugar, especially ones that minimize added sugar, such as fruits and vegetables.

If you have questions about your diet and how it may be affecting your oral health, talk to Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake about it. See you soon!

Early Detection is Key to Treating Oral Cancer

February 22nd, 2017

Every hour of every day, someone in North America dies of oral cancer, the sixth most common diagnosed form of the disease. The five-year survival rate is only 50 percent, and oral cancer is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved.

This grim statistic may make you think that oral cancer is a particularly deadly form, when in fact the high death rate has more to do with how late in its development oral cancer is detected. Routine screening is the key to early detection and survival, and in our continuing efforts to provide the most advanced technology and highest quality care available to our patients at Superior Dental Health, we proudly screen our patients for oral cancer.

So, who’s at risk for oral cancer?

Anyone can develop oral cancer, but some people are at a higher risk. These high-risk groups include those over the age of 50 and men, who are twice as likely as women to develop the disease. Smoking or chewing smokeless tobacco products, consuming alcohol excessively, and constant exposure to the sun at a young age are also risk factors.

How is oral cancer detected?

Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake and our team at Superior Dental Health suggest our patients perform a monthly self-examination to check for unusual red or white patches, sores, lumps, or thickenings anywhere inside the mouth, on the lips, or in the throat and neck area.

We encourage you to give us a call at our convenient Omaha office if you find any of these symptoms or if you have trouble swallowing or experience a chronic sore throat and hoarseness. During your visit, Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake will inspect the oral tissues and neck to determine if abnormalities are present.

What happens if oral cancer is detected?

If we discover abnormal tissues during your visit, a biopsy will be required. The results from the biopsy will be sent to a laboratory to determine if the cells are cancerous or precancerous. If a diagnosis of cancer is made, surgery, as well as treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation may be necessary. Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake and our team will work closely with your oncologist and other members of your medical team to ensure that you achieve the best possible oral health care both during and after treatment.

Finding out you have oral cancer can be devastating news. If you are concerned that you might be at risk for developing oral cancer, talk to us about screenings and other things you can do to reduce your risk. Through a routine visual inspection, Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake and our team at Superior Dental Health can often detect premalignant abnormalities and cancer at an early stage when treatment is both less expensive and more successful, and can potentially save your life. Ask us about a screening during your next visit!

Tips for Managing Oral Pain

February 20th, 2017

Experiencing tooth or oral pain is not fun. If you cannot get to Superior Dental Health right away, the pain may even seem to increase. The old saying that a tooth will stop hurting once you get to a dentist is not that far from true. However, there are many tips you can try to relieve your oral pain until you can see Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake.

Common Pain Relief Options

First, try to determine the source of the pain. This is sometimes not possible, but it may help. If you are experiencing pain between your teeth or along the gum line, try swishing some warm salt water in your mouth. One teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm (not hot) water is all you need.

The pain you are experiencing could be a particle of food stuck under your gum. You can also try flossing as long as bleeding is not present. Salt water soothes other mouth irritations to reduce pain.

You can try over-the-counter pain relievers, including oral medications or topical gels. Avoid taking aspirin; it thins your blood, which could end up being a problem for dental work. Wash your hands before applying any topical pain treatments to avoid spreading germs.

Clove Oil

Clove oil works quickly to relieve most oral pain. Place a few drops of clove oil on a damp cotton ball and place the cotton in your mouth near the painful area. Do not use this method overnight, because you don’t want to swallow the cotton.

Whole cloves can also be used, but try to remove any sharp edges first. Place a few pieces in your mouth and allow your saliva to soften the clove. Some sources say that chewing the clove helps, but you shouldn’t do this if you have a fractured tooth.

Other Household Remedies

If you have cough drops that include benzocaine or menthol, you can try sucking on a cough drop for relief. Placing a warm, wet tea bag against a painful oral area can sometimes reduce the pain as well.

Toothpastes designed to relieve pain from sensitive teeth may work. While these pastes do take time to reach full effectiveness, they can be helpful if you have to wait several days.

Remember that these tips are only designed to provide temporary pain relief. You need to schedule an appointment at Superior Dental Health quickly. Call and schedule an emergency appointment with Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake as soon as possible.

Choose Chocolate on Valentine's Day

February 8th, 2017

From a student handing out sweets for her classmates to an older married couple exchanging boxes of candy, Valentine’s Day is the time of year when people like to show affection by gifting sugary treats to their loved ones. Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of Valentine’s Day candy, you can celebrate the holiday in a healthier way by making dark chocolate your confection of choice.

Contribute to Your Health

According to the Cleveland Clinic, studies have shown that the cocoa beans used to make chocolate contain flavonoids, which can help protect the body against damage from various toxins. Flavonoids may also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the heart and the brain. Dark chocolates typically contain a higher amount of flavonoids than other types, making them a great choice for chocolate lovers. However, you should keep in mind that many companies produce chocolate that is so heavily processed that the flavonoids are largely eliminated. Your best bet is to look for high-quality dark chocolates and cocoa powders that have undergone minimal processing.

Protect Against Cavities

If you think there’s no way candy could ever be beneficial for your teeth, think again. The Texas A&M Health Science Center has reported that the tannins present in cocoa beans may actually help prevent cavities by interfering with bacteria’s harmful interaction with teeth. Just like with flavonoids, tannins have been found to be present more often in dark chocolates, rather than milk chocolates, giving you another great reason to choose the richer, sweet varieties.

Avoid a Sticky Situation

One more benefit of choosing chocolate over other candies is that it is less likely to get stuck in the crevices and spaces between teeth. Gooey sweets like taffy can stay lodged in the mouth for longer periods of time, putting you at a greater risk for developing cavities. When you choose your chocolate, be sure to avoid types that also contain sticky ingredients like caramel or marshmallow, and instead opt for the plain varieties.

Remember that the health benefits you can receive from dark chocolate are largely based on eating the candy in moderation. With that being said, it’s easy to make this delicious and health conscious switch when you’re out shopping for your sweetheart, friends, loved ones, and yourself. Have fun satisfying your sweet tooth this year and Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Superior Dental Health!

February is Heart Month

February 1st, 2017

The American Academy of Periodontology stresses the importance of good oral health since gum disease may be linked to heart disease and stroke. Thus far, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established, but there are multiple theories to explain the link between heart disease and periodontal disease. One theory suggests that oral bacteria may affect heart health when it enters the blood and attaches to the fatty plaque in the heart's blood vessels. This can cause the formation of blood clots. Another theory suggests the possibility that inflammation could be a contributing link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Gum disease increases plaque buildup, and inflamed gums may also contribute to the development of swollen or inflamed coronary arteries.

What is coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease is caused in part by the buildup of fatty proteins on the walls of the coronary arteries. Blood clots cut off blood flow, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. Both blood clots and the buildup of fatty proteins (also called plaque) on the walls of the coronary arteries may lead to a heart attack. Moreover, periodontal disease nearly doubles the likelihood that someone will suffer from coronary artery disease. Periodontal disease can also worsen existing heart conditions, so many patients who suffer from heart disease need to take antibiotics before any dental procedures. This is especially true of patients who are at greatest risk for contracting infective endocarditis (inflammation of the inner layer of the heart). The fact that more than 2,400 people die from heart disease each day makes it a major public health issue. It is also the leading killer of both men and women in the United States today.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the bone and gum tissues around the teeth, reducing or potentially eradicating the system that supports your teeth. It affects roughly 75 percent of Americans, and is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. People who suffer from periodontal disease may notice that their gums swell and/or bleed when they brush their teeth.

Although there is no definitive proof to support the theory that oral bacteria affects the heart, it is widely acknowledged better oral health contributes to overall better health. When people take good care of their teeth, get thorough exams, and a professional cleaning twice a year, the buildup of plaque on the teeth is lessened. A healthy, well-balanced diet will also contribute to better oral and heart health. There is a lot of truth to the saying "you are what you eat." If you have any questions about you periodontal disease and your overall health, give our Omaha office a call!

Oral Health Concerns Specific to Pregnant Women

January 25th, 2017

A lot of changes occur in a woman's body during pregnancy. Hormone fluctuations are responsible for many of those changes, including the need for additional attention to the teeth and gums. Women who are expecting are at an increased risk for oral health complications, including gingivitis and tooth decay, which can lead to irreversible damage. Fortunately, there are steps pregnant women can take to keep their teeth and gums in optimal health from the first trimester to delivery day. Today, Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake and our team at Superior Dental Health thought we would share them.

At-home dental care

At-home dental care should not vary much from what you did prior to pregnancy. The American Dental Association recommends brushing at a minimum of twice per day using fluoridated toothpaste. Follow up with floss to keep bacteria from accumulating in hard-to-reach spaces.

Dental checkups

It is safe and recommended to continue visiting Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake for routine dental checkups and cleanings during pregnancy. However, it is very important to inform Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake about an existing pregnancy. Special steps must be taken to protect pregnant women from certain medications or X-ray radiation that could be harmful to a growing baby. On the other hand, avoiding teeth cleanings during pregnancy can lead to serious consequences, including advanced tooth decay and infection.

Food and cravings

It is no secret that pregnancy can cause a woman to crave specific foods. Sugary treats like candy, cookies, or sodas may satisfy a sweet tooth, but they can also cause serious dental problems when consumed frequently or without brushing afterward. Trade out these treats for naturally sweet fruits when possible, and never forget to brush and floss thoroughly after eating sugar-filled foods.

Signs of complications

It is important to know and recognize the signs of oral health problems during pregnancy; an early diagnosis usually translates to an easier, less-invasive treatment. Symptoms of potential problems include gums that easily bleed or are swollen, reddened, or painful. These are symptoms of gingivitis, which can lead to a receding gum line and tooth loss if left untreated.

Call our Omaha office if you experience any of these symptoms or pain in a tooth, loss of a tooth, a broken tooth, or bad breath that does not go away with brushing.

New Year's Day Around the World

December 29th, 2016

New Year’s Day marks the beginning of the calendar year in most parts of the world. The holiday is celebrated on January 1st of each year. Customs and celebrations vary by country, religion, and even individual desires. Whether celebrated quietly or with gusto, the day brings the start of new opportunities for those that observe it.

United States and Canada

In both the US and Canada, celebrations begin on New Year’s Eve. At midnight on January 1st the New Year is welcomed with bells, horns, whistles, and other noisemakers. Fireworks are often part of the celebrations. In New York City, Times Square comes alive with revelers. In Toronto, there are large celebrations which may feature concerts, late-night partying, sporting events, and fireworks, with free public transit service during peak party times. Many individuals in North America greet the year by making resolutions for improvements in their lives.

China

In China, many people celebrate two forms of a new year. They may observe January 1st, but the traditional Chinese New Year is based on a lunar calendar. Parades with paper lanterns and dragons made from silk are a significant part of the festivities. Legends say that the dragon spends most of its time in hibernation so fireworks are used to keep the dragon awake.

Jewish Celebration

Jewish New Year’s observances begin with Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the New Year, and end with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This ten-day celebration is held in September or October, based on the Hebrew calendar. The New Year is not marked as much with loud celebrations as with personal insight to mend wrongs and resolve to better oneself.

Other countries and cultures also have different dates for New Year’s Day observances:

  • Vietnam observes the New Year in February
  • In Iran, the day is celebrated on March 21st
  • Islamic cultures often observe the tenth day of the month of Muharram
  • Russian Orthodox observers use the Julian calendar and celebrate on January 14th
  • Buddhist celebrations are held from April 13th through 15th

If you observe New Year’s Day by making healthy resolutions, include dental care in your plans with Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake. The health of your teeth and gums contributes to your overall health. Caring for your mouth now can prevent many dental problems later in life. Superior Dental Health wishes you a healthy, prosperous, and happy New Year!

A Variety of Dentures to Meet Your Needs

December 8th, 2016

With advancements in prosthetic dentistry, patients are now able to wear dentures that are comfortable, natural looking, and long lasting. There are different options to choose from that will meet your individual needs, whether you have a few teeth missing or have lost all of your teeth. Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake will be able to help you decide which denture option is best for you.

Partial Dentures

Patients who receive partial dentures have some of their original teeth still in place and therefore only need a partial to replace the missing teeth and keep their existing teeth from moving. It also makes sense that patients need them to be able to eat comfortably. All dentures are made from porcelain or plastic and are made with comfort in mind.

Complete Dentures

If you have suffered from complete tooth loss, you would typically receive complete dentures. Immediately after you have your teeth extracted you will leave the dentist office with a set of temporary dentures. These will be worn for a few months while your mouth heals. After this initial wait time, your conventional or permanent dentures will be ready to be fitted.

Implant-Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures involve a more invasive procedure, but are also permanent. A select number of implants are placed into the jaw. The denture is then attached to the implant posts. You will be able to chew normally and maintain normal dental hygiene, like brushing and flossing.

Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake will be able to advise on which kind of denture would be the best based on your individual needs. Contact our Blair office to schedule an appointment!

The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

December 1st, 2016

In our continuing efforts to provide the most advanced technology and highest quality care available to our patients at Superior Dental Health, we proudly screen our patients for oral cancer. The fact is, every hour of every day in North America, someone dies of oral cancer, which is the sixth most common diagnosed form of the disease. The five-year survival rate is only 50 percent, and oral cancer is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved.

Oral cancer can occur on the lips, gums, tongue, inside lining of the cheeks, roof of the mouth, and the floor of the mouth. Symptoms of oral cancer may include a sore in the throat or mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal, a red or white patch that persists, a lump or thickening, ear pain, a neck mass, or coughing up blood. Difficulties in chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaws are often late symptoms. While there is no way to predict exactly which individuals will get oral cancer, there are some potential causes we want you to know about. In some cases, it is possible to minimize these risk factors.

  • Age (most patients diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 40)
  • Tobacco use, either from cigarettes or smokeless chewing tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Persistent viral infections, such as HPV16
  • A diet lacking or low in fruits and vegetables

Finding out you have oral cancer can be devastating news. If you are concerned that you might be at risk for developing oral cancer, talk to us about screenings and other things you can do to reduce your risk. Through a routine visual inspection, Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake and our team at Superior Dental Health can often detect premalignant abnormalities and cancer at an early stage, when treatment is both less expensive and more successful, and can potentially save your life. Ask Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huffman, and Dr. Lake and our team at Superior Dental Health about a screening at your next appointment!

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