Posts for: December, 2017

By Ottawa Smiles Dental
December 22, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics  

Wearing braces takes time, but if all goes well the changes to your smile will be well worth it. In the meantime, though, you’ll have to contend with one particular difficulty—keeping your teeth clean of disease-causing, bacterial plaque.

Don’t worry, though—while keeping dental disease at bay with braces can be challenging, it is doable. Here are 4 tips for minimizing your chances of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease during orthodontic treatment.

Eat less sugar. Like any living organism, bacteria must eat—and they’re especially amenable to sugar. The more they have access to this favorite food source, the more they multiply—and the greater your risk of tooth decay or gum disease. Eating fewer sugary foods and snacks and more dental-friendly ones helps restrict bacteria populations in your mouth.

Brush thoroughly. Brushing with braces can be difficult, especially in areas blocked by orthodontic hardware. You need to be sure you brush all tooth and gum surfaces around your braces, including above and below the wire running through the brackets. A soft multi-tufted microline bristle brush is a good choice for getting into these hard to reach places. Brushing around braces takes more time, but it’s essential for effective plaque removal.

Use flossing tools. Flossing is important for removing plaque from between teeth—but, unfortunately, it might be even more difficult to perform with braces than brushing. If using string floss proves too daunting consider using a floss threader or a similar device that might be easier to maneuver. You can also use a water irrigator, a hand-held device that sprays water under pressure to loosen and flush away between-teeth plaque.

Keep up regular dental visits. While you’re seeing your orthodontist regularly for adjustments, you should also see your general dentist at least every six months or more. Besides dental cleaning, your dentist also monitors for signs of disease and can prescribe preventive measures like antibacterial mouth rinses. Of course, if you see abnormalities, like white spots on your teeth or red, puffy or bleeding gums, contact your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner a problem can be addressed the less impact it may have on your orthodontic treatment and overall oral health.

If you would like more information on caring for teeth and gums while wearing braces, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”

By Ottawa Smiles Dental
December 07, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: family dentist  

It’s your one-stop shop for getting the proper dental care your family dentist

Your family’s oral health is very important. We think so, too. This is why you should visit our Holland, MI family dentist, Dr. Todd Brower, to get unique, tailored dental care for the whole family. Here in our office, we make sure that everyone gets the customized treatment they need. Here are some of the reasons to come into our office:

We Make it Convenient

Now you don’t need to run to several different dentists to make sure that your kids get individualized dental care that meets their needs while also making sure that you get your specific dental needs meet, as well. We provide a comprehensive array of services that can be customized to each person in your family. Not sure about what we can offer you? Just ask.

We Save You Time

Whatever will you do with all that free time you saved not having to run to multiple dentists or make multiple trips to the dentist? We have a pretty good clue that you could better spend that time doing something with the family that you love. We know how important your time is to you. Spend more of it making memories with the family and less of it at the dentist’s office.

We Work With Your Schedule

We know that between work, yours and your children’s daily activities and obligations that it can be crazy trying to schedule a dental visit; however, we will work with you to make sure you get a time slot that fits your schedule. Better yet, schedule everyone’s dental cleaning at the same time to save a little time, mileage and gas money.

We Offer Individualized Care

Do you want a dentist in Holland who can provide your child with the unique care their growing smiles need while also being able to provide different care for mature, adult smiles? Your wish has been granted when you turn to us. We make sure that whenever you step in the door that we provide you with care that is as unique as your smile. From preventive dentistry and cosmetic procedures to restorative options and even orthodontic consultations, we offer it all!

Ottawa Smiles Dental in Holland, MI is happy to be there for your family’s oral health, whether you need to schedule a routine cleaning or a full restorative makeover. Call us anytime!

By Ottawa Smiles Dental
December 07, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: local anesthesia  

A lot of people don’t like dental work because they believe it will be painful or uncomfortable. There’s an anatomical reason to back up that concern — the mouth with its dense network of nerves in the teeth and gums is one of the most sensitive parts of the human body.

But modern dentistry has helped solve much of the problem of pain with advances in local anesthesia. Using substances that temporarily block electrical impulses within the nerves of a selected area of oral tissues, there’s a good chance you’ll feel little to no discomfort even during moderately invasive procedures.

Unfortunately, you might have heard some complaints from others about local anesthesia that might make you wary of it. Many of these complaints, however, aren’t fully based on all the facts. So, let’s set the record straight about local anesthesia and what you can expect.

No need to be afraid of needles. Nobody enjoys the painful prick from an injection needle, and some people are highly fearful of them. But although it’s necessary to use a needle to deliver anesthesia to deeper levels of tissue, it’s possible you won’t feel it. That’s because we’ll typically apply a topical numbing agent to the skin surface that deadens the top layers where we insert the needle.

That numb feeling afterward won’t last long. One of the chief complaints in the past about local anesthesia was the irritating numbness that could long linger after a procedure. Today, however, with more advanced anesthetics and formulae, we’re better able to gauge the duration of the medication’s effect.  This has greatly reduced the length of time afterward your mouth might have that awkward numbing sensation.

Anesthesia isn’t necessary for every procedure. Unless you have hypersensitive teeth, a lot of dental procedures don’t require anesthesia. Your enamel, for example, has no nerves and actually serves as a kind of “muffler” for sensations to lessen their effect. Cleaning your teeth or removing portions of the enamel can normally be performed without the need for numbing medication.

For procedures, though, where pain could be a factor, local anesthesia can make all the difference in the world. In these cases, anesthesia is your friend — it can help you receive the dental care you need without the discomfort.

If you would like more information on pain-free dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Local Anesthesia for Pain-Free Dentistry.”