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Dental Care For Children Omaha NE

Cold/Flu Season and Dental Health

January 7th, 2019

Illness can wreak both mental and physical havoc on the body. And while the common cold and the flu bring the most noticeable symptoms to various parts of the circulatory system, it can also have a negative impact on our dental health.

Good hygiene is absolutely important when you have a cold or the flu. Did you know that the flu virus can survive for seventy-two hours? That means that your toothbrush is contagious with the virus even after you’ve gotten over it. So, don’t share your toothbrush with anyone during the cold and flu season (Although it’s best to keep to this rule year round). It’s probably important also to throw out the toothbrush once you begin to feel better. It can be hard to get rid of a toothbrush early, but you don’t want recontamination, nor do you want to spread it to anyone else with whom you share bathroom space. But it’s not all bad with your toothbrush. While you are sick the act of brushing your teeth can leave you with a reinvigorated feeling; it improves your outlook. Remember to keep to a schedule of brushing at least twice daily and flossing once.

One common symptom of illness is dehydration and dry mouth. You may experience dry mouth because of dehydration or even as an unfortunate side effect of certain medication—antihistamines, for example, are notorious for causing dry mouth. You want to drink lots of fluids while you are sick. Dry mouth can leave the teeth susceptible to a cavity. And choose the right fluids when you’re sick. Yes, sports drinks are a good balance in the body when you’re sick, and oftentimes are used to replenish the electrolyte storage in the body, but you’ll want to drink them in moderation, and remember to brush your teeth soon after consuming them.

Hopefully you remain healthy, cold-and-flu-free, this winter season, but if you don’t then remember to take care of yourself. The winter months are also a terrific time to come in and see your dentist at Premier Smile for a checkup.

Links Between Diabetes and Dental Health

December 9th, 2018

Diabetes is a difficult disease for the entire body; it takes a toll on everything, including dental health. Diabetes, like other types of systemic disease, can increase the risk of dental disease. Practicing quality dental health is a necessary component to both quality oral health as well as disease management. Diabetes can be responsible for tooth loss—according to the American Dental Association, diabetes can be responsible for total tooth loss—but when quality dental health is put at a premium, including routine cleaning both at home and at the dentist’s office at Premier Smile, the risk of total tooth loss and other dental disease is lessened.

First Signs of Gum Disease?

Bleeding gums is a likely symptom of disease. Gums that bleed when you brush or floss could be a sign of gum disease. Thankfully, however, it doesn’t mean that the symptoms cannot be reversed. In its earlies stages, gum disease is treatable with quality oral care—twice daily quality brushings, and flossing once—and through dietary restriction. Limiting sugar in a diet, etc. When a person has diabetes, fluctuating blood sugars can increase the likelihood of gum disease.

Dry Mouth and Infection

Diabetes can cause symptoms of dry mouth. And saliva is responsible for clearing away sugar and other food debris from the teeth. Infection is a common condition among people with diabetes because diabetes decreases the immune system. A condition called thrush, which is a type of yeast infection within the mouth, a white, patchy covering. The yeast in the mouth feed on the sugars, and, thriving, can unfortunately leave a person suffering the condition with a persistent bad taste. Infections may also be as simple as a common mouth sore. When a person has a compromised immune system his or her body has a difficult time healing cuts and sores, etc. And a sore in the mouth, however simple, may not heal for a long time.

If you have any questions about the complications of diabetes and dental health, or if you are ready to schedule your next appointment with your dentist at Premier Smile, then call today.

Holiday Candy Season… Survival Guide

November 8th, 2018

Halloween has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the candy season. There are plenty of opportunities to imbibe sweets—both of the candy and pastry/cookie variety—throughout the next few months. And while those sweets are delicious and fun, there are many reasons to either consume in moderation or, in some cases, avoid some sweets entirely. Here’s why…

Sugar is an enemy to teeth, but it’s not the sugar, it’s the bacteria which feed on the sugar. The bacteria in your mouth love sugar, probably even more than you do, and as bacteria consume sugar they produce a weak acid that harms teeth. That acid is the cause of cavities.

If You’re Gonna Eat Candy Then Eat…

Chocolate! In moderation chocolate is one of the better types of candy for your teeth (there is absolutely NO candy that is actually good for your teeth). The reason? Because chocolate washes from the teeth. Some types of candies form a film or remain sticky, but chocolate can be washed away by saliva and water. But that isn’t to say that there is no damage done: the bacteria are still provided sugar and the teeth should be cleaned. And if you’re going to eat chocolate, then know that most brands of non-milk chocolate are lower in overall sugar than milk chocolate.

Sticky and Gummy (Candy, Carmel Apples, and the Like).

Try to stay away from sweet treats that are sticky or gummy. These types of sweets are more difficult to remove–some hardier-types can hide between the teeth even after a vigorous brushing (for instance, if you are going to consume popcorn balls you should floss immediately because some of the kernels can become tightly wedged between the teeth)—and the long length of time it takes to dissolve or remove the sugar from the mouth gives the bacteria more time to consume the sugars and produce harmful acids.

Have a wonderful start to the holiday season, and enjoy the sweet treats, but remember to enjoy them in moderation, and to clean your teeth whenever possible.

Dental Emergencies While on Vacation. Plus, Travel Tips.

October 12th, 2018

Usually our dental health is not our first thought when we prepare for vacation. But the truth is that a dental emergency can happen at any time, and it would be entirely unfortunate to have to undergo a sore tooth or other mouth issue that could arise while you are on a beach somewhere, or at the top of a mountain. You could have to cancel the rest of your vacation if the situation was dire enough. That’s one reason why it’s important to have regular checkups; a good time to have checkup is right before you go on vacation. Your dentist at Premier Smile should notice a potential problem before one occurs; even if a patient has a mouth disease and that disease has not yet evolved to be symptomatic. One tip to remember is to keep your Premier Smile dentist’s phone number in the contacts on your phone so that you can call in the case of emergency.

Another travel tip is to remember to keep your toothbrush clean by storing it in either a toothbrush container built for travel or in a sealed-shut plastic sandwich-type bag. Your toothbrush gets clean at home because you rinse it after use and then leave it out to dry out. When you travel, you should place it in the container until you arrive and then you should remove it from the plastic bag/container to dry out.

If you forget your toothbrush—it’s easy to do—then you can use a washrag or even the tip of your finger. Simply apply a small amount of toothpaste to either a clean washrag or finger and scrub all the surfaces of your teeth. If you’ve also forgotten toothpaste, then a firm swish-out with water and a scrubbing sans toothpaste will work to rid your mouth of some bacteria, however as soon as you are able you should pick up a toothbrush and toothpaste.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule your next appointment for a routine checkup then call your dentist at Premier Smile today.

Fluoride: Nature’s Cavity Fighter

September 8th, 2018

People are becoming wary of chemicals, especially chemicals that get added to food and water. And in most cases, it’s a good thing to be wary of certain chemical additives; however, one such additive (considered a mineral) that should not be grouped with others is fluoride. Fluoride does get added to most community water supplies (In fact, fluoride has been added to water supplies in the United States for over seventy years). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has deemed the addition of fluoride to water supplies to be one of the ten great health achievements of the twentieth century. But fluoride is added to water supplies and certain fluoride toothpastes because it helps to prevent cavities in both children and adults. It helps the outer surfaces of the teeth (the hard, protective surface is called the enamel) be more resistant to acid attacks from the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Fluoride is added to toothpaste and into community water supplies because it helps to rebuild weak tooth enamel—tooth enamel gets broken down and weakened for any number of reasons (It especially breaks down naturally as we age)—and the rebuilt enamel resists tooth decay.

Remember that it’s important to brush your teeth twice every day, and for two minutes. You should brush all the surfaces of your teeth, and, for adults and children over the age of six (children who are unable to spit out the toothpaste should not use an adult toothpaste) you should use a fluoride toothpaste with the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval on its packaging. A child who is too young to spit out toothpaste should be supervised while he or she brushes. A child who is unable to spit out toothpaste should use no more than a slight amount of toothpaste (Generally speaking, the amount of toothpaste required should be the size of a pea, and children younger than three should use toothpaste in an amount no larger than a grain of rice).

Remember also to schedule your next appointment with your dentist at Premier Smile. A regular dental checkup is an important component to quality oral health.

Cavities and Medication

August 4th, 2018

Did you know that it’s possible to get cavities later in life? It’s true. Too often we consider youth to be the only time during which we are prone to cavities. But, unfortunately, it’s also possible to get cavities later in life, especially after we’ve aged past middle age, and the number one cause is often dry mouth. There are other reasons, too—aging is a process that affects all aspects of our bodies. (Too often we consider the teeth to be different than the rest of the body).

Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging, and it is possible to have the condition treated. But it is also important that you check the side effects of your medications, and, in the event that there’s a possibility to adjust medications to alleviate dry mouth as a symptom, you should consult your primary physician. But know that it is a possible side-effect for more than 500 different medications; these medications are varied, but include medications for asthma, high cholesterol, pain medications, anxiety and depression medications, high blood pressure, and even common antihistamines. Your dentist at Premier Smile will be able to recommend several different methods to help alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth.

Remember when you experience the symptoms of dry mouth to keep hydrated. You should carry a water bottle with you when you go out, and drink water even at the times when you’re not thirsty. You can also use sugar-free gum—make sure it’s sugarless and without hard granulated crystals—to keep your mouth from going completely dry. And avoid drinks such as coffee and alcohol.

Remember that’s it’s very important to keep your teeth clean even when you’re older. You should brush your teeth twice daily—for at least two minutes—and floss at least once. And it’s imperative that you remember to visit your dentist, regularly, so that your dentist at Premier Smile can both clean your teeth and determine any possible changes in the mouth long before those changes become difficult problems.

Vacation and Dental Health: Prepare for Anything…

July 10th, 2018

When you are on vacation, the number one dental tip you should always try to remember is to keep to your regular dental routine of brushing twice and flossing once. Remember, your mouth does not realize you are going on vacation, and in fact it’s while on vacation that many of us eat those undesirable goodies, drink sugary beverages, etc. So, remember to keep to a routine and keep your teeth and gums clean. In addition, here’s a few more tips to keep your mouth healthy while on vacation.

Keep to Regular Dental Visits

Regular Dental Visits are important for many reasons, but before you go on vacation it’s important to remember to go in to Premier Smile for a routine check-up. Your dentist will be able to determine problems long before they become physically apparent to you. Not only does this allow you peace of mind while on vacation, but it also provides your dentist with up-to-date information on the current state of your mouth. If you have a dental emergency while on vacation, and you know the number to Premier Smile, then your dentist can help walk you through the problem; sometimes, a dental emergency can wait until you get home for treatment, while in other cases you may need to go in for an emergency dental treatment.

Tooth Brush Tips:

The toothbrush can be one of the most confounding-to-pack items. But it doesn’t have to be. To keep it simple, pack your toothbrush in a simple plastic sandwich bag; the bag will help protect the tooth brush from dirt and grime and it can also be easily opened and stored once you get to your destination. If you forget your toothbrush, you can get away with a simpler cleaning, placing a small amount of toothpaste on the tip of your clean finger or on a damp, clean rag, and brush. And while this does work to clean the mouth the effectiveness of the cleaning is subpar to a cleaning from a bristled toothbrush, and you should try to find a replacement toothbrush soon.

Teething: When to Expect a Baby’s First Tooth

June 9th, 2018

Probably you don’t need to know the signs and symptoms of a teething baby. The most obvious sign that a child’s first tooth is coming into his or her mouth are irritability and restlessness. The baby may have difficulty sleeping at night, and he or she may seem distracted and confused during the day. It’s easy to see why this entirely natural process is irritating and possibly even painful: a baby is born with all twenty of his or her baby teeth already below the gum line, and when those teeth sprout they literally push up through the gum tissue.

When to Expect a Baby’s First Tooth

A baby will typically begin to sprout his or her teeth between the ages of 6 and 12 months; he or she could begin sooner or even later than that, but this is a good guideline. Once the baby has begun the teething process he or she will continue to sprout all twenty teeth by the time he or she is around three years old.

Normal Baby Teething Symptoms

A baby who is teething will be naturally fussy. They will have trouble sleeping occasionally, and the loss in sleep could escalate his or her fussiness during the day. It is also normal for a baby to have a decreased appetite while teething.

Not Normal Symptoms

A fever is not a common symptom of teething. A baby’s fever could be caused by any number of reasons and should not be ignored. Also, diarrhea and a rash are not direct signs of teething alone, and if the condition persists you should contact your baby’s pediatrician.

Alleviate Symptoms of Teething

Oftentimes a baby’s symptoms can be alleviated or at the very least lessened in intensity by applying a cool cloth to the gum tissue; place your finger inside the cloth and gently massage the baby’s gums. A clean teething ring can also bring some comfort to a teething baby.

When a baby develops teeth it’s time for his or her first visit to the dentist. Oftentimes, bringing a child to the dentist early in his or her life will lessen the potential anxieties of going as they get older.  Call Premiere Dental today!

National Mouth Guard Awareness: Take Care of That Healthy Smile

May 10th, 2018

Sports are fun and highly valued in our communities even though participation in them comes with certain risks of injury. Mouth injuries and sports, unfortunately, go hand in hand: baseballs, basketballs, soccer balls, hockey pucks, and people’s elbows, knees, helmets, etc., all are potential tooth dislodgement devices. Luckily, however, your dentist at Premier Smile can custom fit a mouth guard that, if properly worn, will lessen the risk of injury.

A mouth guard minimizes the risk of a broken or cracked tooth, because the mouth guard helps to cushion the blow of a strike. But this only works if the mouth guard is worn properly. Oftentimes we see athletes with mouth guards in the corners of their mouth, chewing on the ends. They may not even realize they are doing it, but if they were to get hit that mouth guard isn’t going to protect their teeth.

When to Wear a Mouth Guard

A Mouth Guard should be worn in any sport—although not every sport requires one—where there is an inherent risk of injury to the teeth. From a very early age children should be encouraged to wear mouth guards when participating in certain sports; the earlier the better so that the child gets used to the mouth guard early. Sports such as Football and Martial Arts, Hockey and Lacrosse, usually all require the use of a mouth guard to participate. But that isn’t to say that someone can’t have major dental damage when they fall doing gymnastics or catch an elbow by another kid at a soccer game.

Types of Mouth Guards

Any mouth guard can be custom fitted by your dentist at Premier Smile. If you purcase an entirely customized mouth guard, it can be created and molded for that perfect comfortable fit—kids who wear braces may appreciate the comfortable feel of a custom fit mouth guard. You can also use the standard “boil and bite” style of mouth guard. But make sure if you choose this style of mouth guard that you precisely follow the manufacturer’s instructions to achieve that perfect fit.

If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment to have your child fitted with a mouth guard, call Premier Smile today.

Proper Nutrition And Dental Health

April 8th, 2018

We all have probably heard that consuming overly-sugary foods and beverages can lead to tooth decay, but did you also know that your mouth is likely to be the first place to indicate signs of poor nutrition? It’s true. Evidence of poor nutrition is evident, usually, within the mouth before it shows in areas of the body. Everything you eat and drink has an impact, no matter how small or how brief, on your dental health.

Nutrition depends on many things; to consider nutrition per the recommended guidelines developed by the Department of Agriculture, a person’s nutrition depends on age, gender, level of activity, and other inherent health factors. This means that calories and other dietary restrictions are based on several different factors, and that no two people are exactly alike, but everyone’s diet should have balance and moderation. For instance, unless a person has certain dietary restrictions that prevent it, people should consume lots of fruits and vegetables. Also, grains are important—of course, again, this depends on dietary restrictions—and foods such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and brown rice are an especially important part of our diet. Dairy should be low-fat and limited to moderation, and foods that are rich in protein such as fish and skinless meat—remember that certain meats can be hard on the body and should be consumed in moderation—but also protein-rich foods such as legumes—i.e. beans and lentils.

While a diet is an incredibly important aspect to full body health, quality dental health depends also on several other factors that include: the frequency a person eats—regular snacking is not recommended, because it’s hard to keep the teeth clean—the combinations of foods a person consumes in one sitting, and any other conditions—gastrointestinal problems and systemic diseases such as diabetes—which may alter the way our bodies process food.

Remember, our mouths are one of many of the components to full body health, and oral health is not only about just twice daily brushings one once daily flossing—although these are very, very important components.

Oral Care For Your Baby

March 5th, 2018

A baby needs his or her gums and initial teeth cleaned as frequently as his or her parents. It’s not true that because a baby is going to receive a new set of adult teeth that the health of baby teeth can simply be ignored. Plaque begins to form on a baby’s gum line as soon as he or she takes that first bit of milk or formula into his or her mouth. To clean a baby’s gums, even before his or her baby teeth have sprouted, use a soft, damp cloth and gently massage the baby’s gum line. You can begin to do this just a few days after birth, and continue with it until a child has sprouted all his or her baby teeth.

When a child gets his or her first tooth then it’s time to brush. Use a tiny amount of toothpaste—a toothpaste that’s meant for small children (if you have any questions as to the types of child toothpastes then talk to your child’s dentist at Premier Smile)—the amount of toothpaste used should be in an amount that’s comparable to a grain of rice—small. Massage the child’s tooth or teeth with a child-sized toothbrush twice a day. Keep a tooth brushing routine and the child will begin to adopt the habit as they grow.

As the child gets older, and he or she has a mouth full of teeth, you can begin to up the dosage of toothpaste—in an amount no larger than a pea—and he or she can help you brush his or her teeth. As the child gets older and more autonomous you can have the child brush his or her own teeth, but until the child is autonomous enough to handle the entire process, alone, you should still be present to supervise.

Also remember that a child’s first dental visit should happen early. Plan on bringing your child into Premier Smile so that he or she may not only have their teeth cleaned and examined, but he or she will also experience the dentist’s office; hopefully, in giving them a proper introduction to the dentist they will be less likely to develop a fear or anxiety.

Is Sparkling Water Hard on Tooth Enamel?

February 4th, 2018

Water is always a choice. Water keeps your whole body healthy. Water cleans your teeth, and most water contains fluoride, and fluoride is extremely beneficial to dental health. But when you drink sparkling water, water that has an added carbonation to add a fizz—an added something that provides a satisfying feel similar to drinking soda—does that added carbonation and acidity affect your dental health? In particular does it harm the enamel? (Remember that enamel is the hard outer-covering on the tooth).

According to research, enamel is not overtly affected by the acidity of sparkling water. In fact, researchers found that sparkling water doesn’t have any more negative effects on tooth enamel than regular water. But, one thing not included in the study is the addition of flavorings into the sparkling water. For instance, many acidic flavorings are added to sparkling water—grapefruit and lime to name just a few—and these flavorings do have higher levels of acidity, which then do have a negative impact on tooth enamel. That doesn’t mean you have to stay clear of all flavored drinks. Soda pop, even diet soda, is especially hard on teeth and many flavored waters are much better for your mouth—and for your entire bodily health—than sodas. Soda, unfortunately, is bad for our mouth, and waters that have sugar added—these are supposed to be labeled sweetened waters (still make sure to check the label to be sure there’s no sugars added)—are equally as bad. Remember, drink plenty of plain water, because it has so many great benefits for bodily health. If you wish to drink a sparkling water, or even to indulge in a sugary drink (although it would be better to eliminate sugary drinks all together) then indulge in them sparingly. Try to have one with a meal, or at a snack time; try not to get into the habit of drinking carbonated waters all day long.

It may be time to book that next appointment at Premier Smile! Remember that regular trip to the dentist’s office is a part of practicing good oral health.

February is Childrens Dental Health Month: What to Know!

January 29th, 2018

As an adult, your oral care routine tends to remain fairly static for a large part of your life. Brush and floss. Rinse, perhaps, if you’re fond of it. And, unless you need prosthetics, that’s about all you’ll ever do. But, what about your kids? Toddlers? Adolescents? What sort of routine should they follow? Is it the same as yours? And, should it change from time to time? Since it’s February, and Children’s Dental Health month is upon us, let’s take a quick dive into “what’s-what” from toddlers to teens when it comes to oral care.

Infants/Toddlers:
Use a warm washcloth or gauze pad to wipe your child’s gums after feedings. While most infants don’t begin sprouting teeth until around month six, you’ll still want to keep their gums free of oral bacteria that can develop from normal feeding.
Before your child’s first birthday, visit the dentist for an initial check-up
Around month six, and with the arrival of a child’s first teeth, ask your dentist if it’s the right time to start brushing. For tips on how to make this first step in oral care fun, check out our article on toddler tooth-brushing training tips!
Pre-schoolers:
By this age, your children will be brushing like a mad person. Be sure they learn not to brush too hard. Teach by example, and they’ll keep this good habit their entire lives.
Once a child starts to have teeth that touch, you can introduce flossing. This is extremely variable, and not really related to age, so work with your dentist on this one.
Begin experimenting with disclosing tablets so your child can see how effective their brushing is as they learn to wield a brush on their own.
Grade-schoolers:
Brushing and flossing should be the norm by this time in a child’s life. Experiment with a variety of floss options to find one that works for your child. Rotate between floss picks as well, to what works for your kids.
Once a child learns to spit (this time varies widely) an alcohol mouth rinse could be used if warranted. Ask your dentist, but at this age, there isn’t often a need.
Teens:
Everything changes when kids become teenagers. Orthodontic appliances of all sorts come into play, and oral care can start to seem like a burden. Some kids also start consuming high carbohydrate and acidic beverages, so brushing and flossing are obviously required, and mouthwashes can be used particularly for kids with braces.
Proper prosthetic care is important to keep one’s mouth smelling and feeling fresh, so, yes … brushing the retainer becomes part of the routine.
Be sure your kids are getting up-to-date lessons on brushing technique from their dentist and/or hygienist.
So, as you can see, setting an oral care routine for your little ones is mostly about prepping them for brushing, the middle years are about getting them into the habit of doing things on their own, and (to a degree) the teenage years are, at least a little bit a fallback to having to be a bit of a watchdog on your kids behalf. They’ll gladly, and sometimes vehemently disagree with you as to how to take care of their teeth … your fun is in learning how to encourage, support and provide foresight without being too much of a parent while doing it! And, of course we are always here to lend help and support!

Halitosis

January 6th, 2018

Halitosis is the word for chronic bad breath. And if you are suffering from halitosis, then there’s no quick and easy remedy; mints and mouthwashes and extra brushing won’t alleviate the problem. Halitosis is not the same as morning breath, and it’s not bad breath caused from potent-smelling foods like garlic, onions, or tuna fish. It’s a possibly long-term condition, and because halitosis can oftentimes be a sign of a more serious condition, it should be checked out by your dentist at Premier Smile, immediately.

Causes of Halitosis

Halitosis could be a sign of a more serious condition, including a possible underlying dental issue; something not yet symptomatic. Halitosis could signal a cavity, or a pocket of thriving bacteria and the beginnings of gum disease—remember that in the initial stages of gum disease there are very few, if any, symptoms. Halitosis could also be the cause of an infection within the mouth, nose, or throat. Bacterial caused conditions such as strep throat could be the cause of halitosis. Other conditions such as a sinus infection could bring on halitosis, because bacteria feed on the mucous produced from the infection. Serious conditions, such as kidney disease, diabetes, and chronic acid reflux are also potential causes of halitosis—a good reason to get yourself checked!

What to do about Halitosis

Halitosis is not a forever condition, and in fact your dentist should be able to determine the cause of it after a checkup and a cleaning. If you are experiencing bad breath, you should first examine your everyday oral care routine: are you brushing twice daily for two minutes and flossing at least once? Are you drinking plenty of water—dry mouth is also an underlying cause for halitosis. If the answer is yes, then it’s time to pay a visit to your dentist at Premier Smile. If it turns out that the halitosis is dental caused, you will have your answer after an examination, but if it’s not caused by a dental condition, then your dentist can advise you as to how to proceed.

Happy Holidays!

December 5th, 2017

The holiday season is a hard time for teeth; if for no other reason than the perpetual snacking: parties, an office get-together, gift boxes of candies, platters of cookies and other sugary treats, champagne and/or sugary ciders (beverages like Martinelli’s sparkling cider are often overlooked as being bad for teeth). The holiday season is a lot of fun. And, no, you don’t have to entirely abstain from sugary foods over the holiday season, but you do need to be mindful, and you will need to continue your daily oral care routine of brushing at least twice—sometimes more but we’ll get to that in a moment—and flossing at least once.

Being Mindful

There are so many delicious food options during the holiday season that it can be overwhelming. Remember, your teeth need adequate time to recover from eating and drinking beverages—all except for plain water. If you are snacking on delicious food all day everyday throughout the next month or so, then your teeth, and the natural systems your mouth has to fight against cavities—i.e. saliva—won’t be given adequate time to do the job.

Have a plan. If you are going to be attending a holiday party in the middle of the day—i.e. that yearly potluck-style party at the office where everyone brings in platters of cookies and other baked goods, candies—then pack with you a toothbrush and toothpaste. Clean your teeth after such an event. Yes, your mouth can handle quite a lot, but don’t overdo it. Brushing after the midafternoon party, for approximately two minutes, you can get your mouth back into shape.

Remember to avoid chewing hard candies, always. Not only can a hard candy potentially crack a tooth, it can remain stuck in the gaps between teeth and on a tooth’s surface, doing its sugary damage for long periods before finally being dissolved by saliva.

We hope you have a happy holiday season, and we hope that through all your enjoyments you will be mindful of your eating habits and keep to a quality oral care routine.

Wisdom Teeth

November 7th, 2017

Wisdom teeth are appropriately named, because they are a set of molars that don’t grow up through the gums until later in life. Usually, wisdom teeth begin to sprout when a person is between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one, although it varies—some people get them sooner, others later. Wisdom teeth can sometimes be helpful, because that extra set of molars helps us chew our food. Unfortunately, many people need to have their wisdom teeth removed, because there isn’t enough space for them in the mouth.

Problems of Wisdom Teeth

Oftentimes, wisdom teeth don’t have the room to grow. Because the molars develop so much later than other teeth, oftentimes well after a mouth has fully developed—sometimes after a dental appliance, such as braces, have already aligned the teeth—there isn’t room for these extra molars. And there’s no easy way to predict how the wisdom teeth will grow in the mouth. Sometimes wisdom teeth can become impacted (impacted means that a tooth is trapped beneath the gum line, possibly even in the jaw). If wisdom teeth grow too closely to other teeth, it’s possible that food debris can get trapped in the spaces between. Sometimes these tight spaces can be very difficult to keep clean. Sometimes they grow so close to the neighboring molar that it becomes difficult, if not practically impossible, to floss. And when the spaces between teeth are not cleaned, bacteria thrive; and, when bacteria are allowed to thrive, a mouth can suffer from conditions such as infection and gum disease. Also, when wisdom teeth grow too close to their neighboring molars, they can damage those other teeth, destroying the roots, or even damaging the bones in the jaw that support those teeth.

Removal

When wisdom teeth overcrowd, or when they do damage to a mouth, they should be removed. Your dentist at Premier Dental will be able to determine if there is a potential issue. You and your dentist can discuss possible treatments, or, when wisdom teeth don’t require immediate removal, a plan to monitor their growth. If you have any questions about wisdom teeth, your dentist at Premier Dental is ready to answer them.

Halloween

October 5th, 2017

Halloween. It’s that time of year again! Now, obviously, your dentist is not going to recommend you binge out on candy. No person’s teeth can handle an overabundance of sugars. You might be wondering, however, why is sugary candy so, so bad for your teeth? The answer involves bacteria. Bacteria love the abundance of sugars in candy, and while they devour the sugars in your mouth they produce an acid that wears at tooth enamel and creates cavities.

Chocolate

Chocolate is one of the best candies for teeth, because the excess debris that gets left behind is more easily washed away naturally by saliva. The better the chocolate than the lower the artificial sugar content—at least, that’s usually true (dark chocolate has considerably less sugar than milk chocolate).

Sticky Candies and Hard Candies

No, no, sticky candies. Sticky candies make it difficult for the mouth to wash away the sugar. They stick to the surfaces of the teeth and encapsulate the tooth like a sugary cap. Not good.

Sticky candies are essentially setting up bacteria colonies. When chewed, hard Candies can easily chip or crack a tooth.

Halloween Treats

There are many Halloween-time extras that are delicious; delicious, but bad for your teeth. Caramel apples are a wonderful tasting Halloween treat, however the caramel that surrounds the apple is very bad for your teeth. Caramel may be the worst sticky treat you can chew. Caramel is terrible for your teeth. If you do partake in a caramel apple, make sure that you both brush and floss your teeth soon after. Popcorn balls are another seasonal favorite. Popcorn balls are usually held together by some type of sticky, sugary substance—somewhat comparable to caramel. Popcorn balls are also usually hard and can damage teeth in a way similar to hard candy. Also, the corn kernels may get stuck between teeth or in the spaces between a tooth and the gum line; if you do eat a popcorn ball, then make sure you brush and floss.

Stay safe this Halloween, and keep to your good oral health practices.  If you need to make your next appointment, make sure to call Premier Smile today.

Why We Floss

September 10th, 2017

We all know that flossing is important. But why? Why, daily, should we have to slip that strand of floss between our teeth, clean out the space down to the gum line? Don’t a toothbrush’s bristles get far enough into those narrow spaces? The number one reason to floss is to help to rid the surfaces of the teeth from harmful bacteria that can develop plaque, which, if allowed to thrive, will then harden into a substance called tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by twice-daily brushing and flossing. Bacteria that are allowed to thrive can cause chronic conditions such as gingivitis or the more severe periodontal disease. Bacteria allowed to thrive can be responsible for halitosis (bad breath).

How to Floss

Flossing is relatively simple, and if you are someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience (it’s estimated that over thirty percent of adults who are over the age of thirty don’t floss—at all) with a week’s worth of practicing you will have mastered the skill. First, start out with a strand of floss about 12-18 inches in length. (It doesn’t matter which type of floss you use; floss comes in numerous sizes, colors, and flavors—they all work!). Wrap the ends of the floss around your index fingers and work it into the space between two teeth. Slide the floss between the teeth keeping your hands at opposing angles that make the floss bend around the tooth—it should look like the letter C. It’s easiest to begin at a tooth at the edge of the mouth, or a tooth in the very center, so that you will remember which teeth you have already cleaned.

If you have issues with dexterity, there are appliances which can be used with just one hand. One such product is a soft plaque remover, which resembles something like a soft toothpick, and the other appliance is a flossing aid, which traps the ends of the floss between two prongs, and the flossing aid can be maneuvered over the spaces between the teeth, using just one hand.  To schedule your next dental checkup, call Premier Smile today.

September Newsletter

September 1st, 2016

Click here for newsletter: Premier Sept 2016 web

The Benefits of Fluoride

August 4th, 2016

The Benefits of Fluoride, Family Dentist Omaha

Why is it that so often when we speak of healthy teeth we also mention fluoride?  It’s because fluoride fights cavities naturally, being a natural mineral found in lakes, oceans, rivers, etc.  Because of it’s beneficial properties, in most places its also added to the drinking water.

Fluoride protects the teeth by making the outer surface of a tooth (this surface is called the enamel) more resistant to the acids in our foods and beverages, which reduces the chance of chronic oral problems such as tooth decay.  Our tooth enamel breaks down with age, with the foods we eat, with sugary beverages, etc.  Fluoride then helps rebuild a weakened enamel to the threat of tooth decay.

While fluoride is found in most water supplies in the United States—about seventy-five percent—it’s also found in most toothpastes.  A quality fluoride toothpaste is an essential to the battle against tooth decay.  Dentists recommend a fluoride toothpaste, because when fluoride is applied to the surfaces of the teeth there is a twenty-five percent greater chance at not contracting cavities—this, of course, is variable due to other factors such as diet, etc.

Make sure to brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss at least once everyday.  Children of any age may use a toothpaste with fluoride, however there are amount restrictions with the age and ability of the child.  For children who cannot spit out the toothpaste, a very small amount of toothpaste, no more than the size of a grain of rice should be used.

When a child is able to spit out the toothpaste reliably, the amount of toothpaste can be upped to an amount similar to the size of a pea.  There are also mouthwashes that contain fluoride, however a child under the age of six may be more likely to swallow the mouthwash than to swish it about his or her mouth, so mouthwashes should only be used by adults and older children, as mouthwashes can contain other substances which are not healthy if ingested completely.

Regular check ups with your dentist—recommended twice yearly—and a consistent schedule of oral hygiene should keep your mouth healthy and free of gum disease.

Please contact Premier Dental for all of your dental needs today!

Mrs. Hen Goes to the Dentist!

June 6th, 2016

It's not everyday we have the opportunity to work on a hen in the dental chair, but Dr.Ebke did one fine day in May. Meet Emily T., a local preschool teacher who goes above and beyond in her career each and every day. Emily came to a regular scheduled dental visit with Mrs. Hen. Now you may understand why we were a bit confused when she brought Mrs. Hen along to her appointment. Well, one of Emily's students had a huge fear of coming to see the dentist. So after talking with her students they decided that Mrs. Hen would come scope it out and report back to them the next day. We even took pictures for the students and included our Lil' Farley Flossisaurus dinosaur friend. Be sure your child visits with Lil' Farley at his/her next visit. Emily T. was chosen as our May Patient of the Month. Emily had this to say about her experience, "I had some major dental anxiety when I first started at Premier Dental, and Dr Ebke did everything she could to help me through that. I now enjoy visiting the dentist and love the organized, personal atmosphere." We had so much fun with Mrs. Hen, Thank You!

Mouthguards

June 5th, 2016

Throughout the seasons both kids and adults participate in team sports which can be a detriment to our teeth.  What do baseball/softball, football, hockey, basketball and boxing all have in common?  All these sports contribute significantly to the amount of dental injuries dentists see every single year.  The problem with most of these injuries is that it’s almost entirely preventable with the proper use of a mouth guard.  Mouthguards are required in some sports and not in others, but it has been proven that mouth guards significantly reduce the amount of dental injuries.

One reason that mouthguards often are not put into proper use is that they can be uncomfortable.  On the youth football field, you will often see the kids chewing on the edges of mouthguards instead of seating them firmly against their teeth.  However, if the mouthguards were more properly fit they would be more comfortable.  A poorly fit mouthguard can make it difficult to breath, because it either is fit too far back on the teeth toward the throat, or, in the case of a loosely fit mouth guard, it may require the use of both the upper and lower teeth to hold the mouth guard in place, thereby closing off the mouth for air.  Obviously this can make breathing difficult when someone is working hard on the playing field.

There are three different types of mouthguards.  Firstly, and the least most recommended mouthguard, are stock mouthguards, which can be purchased at most sporting goods stores.  Stock mouthguards cannot be molded to the teeth.  Secondly, the most common type of mouthguard, referred to as a boil-and-bite mouthguard, is molded to the teeth after it has been softened in boiling water, and, once softened, the person who will be wearing the mouthguard, will bite down into the mouthguard where the material will form around the teeth.  The last type of mouthguard is a custom-made mouthguard, a mouthguard which has been built by a qualified dentist in accordance with the dental history and needs of the patient..  Regardless of the style of mouthguard that you choose, if you are concerned with a proper fit, visit your dentist.  Your dentist can help you to achieve a proper fit and hopefully it will do its job in preventing any possible sports-related dental emergencies.

If you are looking for a custom mouthguard please contact Premier Dental today!

The Right Toothbrush

April 10th, 2016

There are hundreds of types of toothbrushes.  Toothbrushes range in shape, firmness, features, and even mechanical or manual.  With so many options, what toothbrush will work best for you?  One option is to visit your dentist, or ask at your next appointment.  Your dentist can direct you to a toothbrush that will work great for your mouth.  But, what if you are not able to visit the dentist soon, and you’re standing in front of an entire aisle of toothbrushes, trying to decide on a type?  Here’s a few things to consider if you are looking for your next, best toothbrush.

Firstly, consider the firmness of the bristles.  Toothbrushes often come in bristle hardness determined at firm, medium, and soft.  Most people will want to use a medium to soft bristled toothbrush, as a firm-bristled toothbrush may do damage to the teeth and the gums.  Then consider the head shape.  Toothbrush head shape and bristle shape differ widely by brand.  Pick a toothbrush that you’ll feel comfortable using, and also look for the ADA—American Dental Association—seal on the package, as this will indicate that this brush meets or exceeds the standards of the ADA.  Also, if you are choosing between a mechanical brush and a manual one, there are a few things to consider.  Firstly, if you are someone who has difficulty using a toothbrush to clean all areas of the teeth, then maybe a mechanical toothbrush, which usually has some type of spinning or vibrating head, will help you to clean the surfaces of the teeth.  A mechanical toothbrush is also a good choice for children, because a child may find the toothbrush to be fun to use, and it will hopefully increase the likelihood of developing a good brushing routine.

A toothbrush isn’t everything, however.  Even if you have the best toothbrush equipment made, you can still brush your teeth and gums too hard, removing enamel and damaging gum tissue.  So, brush regularly, clean the surface of the teeth, removing that unwanted plaque, but don’t overdo it.  If you have any questions about toothbrushes, or the proper way in which you can use them, make an appointment with your dentist.

Visit Premier Smiles for all of your oral health care needs! Omaha's Best Dentist!

Dental Care For Children

December 6th, 2015

Dental Care For Children Omaha NE

Did you know that it is important to start cleaning a child’s teeth as early as infancy?  Bacteria, brought about by the sugars in the milk, can build up in a child’s mouth before teeth have even begun to sprout from the child’s gums, so it is important at this young age to clean the gums with a damp rag regularly.  As soon as a child’s teeth begin to appear they can begin to decay.  Getting a child in the habit of quality oral care is also important at this stage; good habits can begin early and be lasting for the child.

A child should sprout his or her first tooth between the ages of six and eight months‑some children, however, wont get their first teeth for twelve months or more.  When a child has his or her first tooth it is important to begin to clean the tooth with a child’s size toothbrush.  Use a small amount of toothpaste that contains fluoride—think pea-sized amount—on the toothbrush and brush the tooth or teeth both back and forth (sawing motion) along the tops of the teeth and in circular motions over the fronts of the teeth.  At this age it is still important to brush a child’s teeth twice everyday, morning and night.

After the age of three, and the child has begun to spit out their toothpaste into the sink, it is a good idea to teach them to brush his or her own teeth.  Make sure that the child does not swallow the toothpaste and it is best to continue to supervise his or her progress.

Another important aspect of dental care for children is to have visited the dentist by their first birthday.  Not only is it important to have a child’s teeth cleaned and checked, the first dental visit begins a relationship in the child’s mind with the dentist.  The world is full of adults that are fearful of the dentist, and if a child is exposed to the dentist early, and he or she has a positive experience, he or she will be on a path to good oral care for a lifetime.

Did you know that it is important to start cleaning a child’s teeth as early as infancy?  Bacteria, brought about by the sugars in the milk, can build up in a child’s mouth before teeth have even begun to sprout from the child’s gums, so it is important at this young age to clean the gums with a damp rag regularly.  As soon as a child’s teeth begin to appear they can begin to decay.  Getting a child in the habit of quality oral care is also important at this stage; good habits can begin early and be lasting for the child.

A child should sprout his or her first tooth between the ages of six and eight months‑some children, however, wont get their first teeth for twelve months or more.  When a child has his or her first tooth it is important to begin to clean the tooth with a child’s size toothbrush.  Use a small amount of toothpaste that contains fluoride—think pea-sized amount—on the toothbrush and brush the tooth or teeth both back and forth (sawing motion) along the tops of the teeth and in circular motions over the fronts of the teeth.  At this age it is still important to brush a child’s teeth twice everyday, morning and night.

After the age of three, and the child has begun to spit out their toothpaste into the sink, it is a good idea to teach them to brush his or her own teeth.  Make sure that the child does not swallow the toothpaste and it is best to continue to supervise his or her progress.

Another important aspect of dental care for children is to have visited the dentist by their first birthday.  Not only is it important to have a child’s teeth cleaned and checked, the first dental visit begins a relationship in the child’s mind with the dentist.  The world is full of adults that are fearful of the dentist, and if a child is exposed to the dentist early, and he or she has a positive experience, he or she will be on a path to good oral care for a lifetime.

And if you have a medical flex savings account, now is the time to use it or you lose it.

Halloween: Candy, costumes, and more!

October 27th, 2015

Halloween: Candy, costumes, and more! - Holiday Family Dentist Omaha NE

All Hallows' Eve, more commonly known as Halloween, is a yearly event celebrated on October 31, and one that is anticipated by the young and young at heart all over the world. Some scholars claim that Halloween originated from Celtic festivals that honored the dead or that celebrated the harvest, while others doubt that there's any connection at all to Samhain (a Gaelic harvest festival.) Regardless of its origin, our team at the dental office of Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke hopes that Halloween is fun and enjoyed by all of our awesome patients!

Trick or treat?

In North America, Halloween is predominantly celebrated by children who dress up in costumes, which range from scary to cute, who then go around the neighborhood knocking on doors asking "trick or treat", and they are given candy in return. Trick-or-treating is a time honored tradition, and though many parents groan at the pounds and pounds of candy collected by youngsters and fear for the health of their teeth, there are a few things you can do to help their teeth stay in great shape until the candy is gone:

  • Limit the amount of candy they can consume each day
  • Have them brush their teeth after eating candy
  • Avoid hard, chewy candies as they can stick in hard to brush places
  • Keep candy out of sight to reduce temptation
  • Don't buy candy too far in advance to limit pre-Halloween consumption
  • Help or encourage your children to floss

Halloween Fun

Halloween isn't just about gorging on candy; there are other events associated with this festive day including carving jack-o'-lanterns, painting pumpkins, decorating sugar cookies, bobbing for apples, going to haunted houses, or just curling up on the couch with a bowl full of popcorn and watching some classic, scary movies.

Halloween Around the World

Some countries, like Australia, frown upon Halloween, claiming it is an American event and not based in Australian culture, while others like Italy have embraced the fun and celebrate much as Canadians and Americans do. Mexicans have been celebrating this fun day since around 1960, and it marks the beginning of the Day of the Dead festival. Some countries in Europe have come late to the party, but since the 1990s, countries like Sweden, Norway, and Germany have started celebrating Halloween as well, and finding children in costumes or having ghosts hanging in windows has become commonplace.

Halloween is about fun; stepping outside our normal lives and donning a costume or gathering with friends to knock on doors and ask for candy is as much a part of our culture as hot dogs and barbecue on Labor Day. Have a safe and happy Halloween from the team at Premier Dental!

What's on your fall reading list?

October 6th, 2015

What's on your fall reading list? - Pediatric Dental Care Omaha NE

How better to spend the fall months than inside by the fireplace with a warm cup of cider and a book in hand? Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke and our team at Premier Dental 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, NE 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!

Is dairy crucial to my child's oral health?

September 29th, 2015

Is dairy crucial to my child's oral health? - Pediatric Dentist Omaha NE

Healthy eating, combined with regular physical activity, plays a vital role in your child’s health and well-being. Dairy foods are naturally nutritious, packed with ten essential nutrients that help your child feel good for life. But did you know that dairy is also great for your child’s dental health? Our team at Premier Dental will tell you that, in addition to providing large amounts of much-needed calcium, dairy products also help fight cavities! Dairy products have a specific role to play in dental health as they contain a unique combination of special anti-decay nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, and the protein, casein. Cheese is especially useful, as eating a small piece of cheese after consuming sugary foods or drinks can help protect teeth and reduce the risk of tooth decay.

If you’d like to know more about the importance of dairy products in your child’s diet, or about any aspect of your child’s dental health, feel free to ask Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke at your next appointment!

Proper Brushing Techniques

August 11th, 2015

Proper Brushing Techniques - Teeth Care, Family Dentist Omaha NE

Brushing your teeth properly removes the food particles and bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. However, you do not want to scrub your teeth or gums heavily. A heavy hand can lead to tooth and gum erosion, as Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke and our staff see all too often.

You should also use a soft bristle toothbrush to avoid damaging the surface of your teeth. Make sure the head of the brush fits in your mouth, because if it is too large you will not be able to reach all tooth surfaces. Follow these steps to ensure you are brushing properly.

  1. Use a small amount of toothpaste on your brush. The recommendation is a pea-sized amount or thin strip on the bristles.
  2. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the surface of your teeth, angling towards your gums. Use a circular motion on all exterior tooth surfaces, and avoid back-and-forth “scrub” brushing.
  3. Once you have cleaned the outer surfaces, hold the brush vertically and clean the inner teeth surfaces — the side of your teeth that face your tongue. Do not forget the inner surfaces of your front teeth.
  4. Finally, finish by cleaning all the chewing surfaces of your teeth. You need to maintain a gentle touch, but make sure you get into the full depth of your molars. The entire process should take about two minutes.

Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke and our staff recommend changing your toothbrush every three to four months for best results. Do not forget to clean your tongue, which helps remove excess bacteria from your mouth. Special brushes are available just for cleaning your tongue, and they are easy to use.

Proper care of your teeth also requires flossing on a regular basis. Flossing can be performed before or after you brush. Following up with a quality mouthwash will provide you with even more protection. Do not be afraid to ask the Premier Dental team for tips on proper brushing and flossing.

Welcome, Dr. Ebke!

July 29th, 2015

Welcome, Dr. Ebke! - Family Dentist Omaha NE

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Stephanie Ebke to the Premier Dental team!

Dr. Ebke grew up in the rural town of Daykin, Nebraska and has longtime family ties to the field of dentistry. As a teen, she admired the work her uncles did; one as a dentist, the other as an oral surgeon. After graduating from Fairbury High School, she received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. She went on to attend the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Dentistry, where she received her Doctor of Dental Surgery. Dr. Ebke states, "I am excited to be a life-long learner, and I believe continuing education is important, in order for doctors to remain up-to-date in an ever-evolving field. It allows us to provide patients with the best treatment options available."

During Stephanie’s downtime, she enjoys biking, running, snow skiing, reading, traveling, and of course, cheering on the Huskers! Spending time with friends and family is a top priority as well. When she gets home, she looks forward to being greeted by Josie, her Shiba Inu.

Dr. Ebke is passionate about dentistry and using the knowledge and skills gained through education to help her patients. She loves hearing everyone’s unique story and building lasting relationships. Whether that means achieving a brighter smile, relieving pain, or maintaining an optimal level of oral health, she looks forward to giving her absolute best to her patients. For her, the ultimate reward is helping her patients achieve their oral health goals. So if you see Dr. Ebke during your next visit to Premier Dental, please extend her a warm welcome.

Premier Dental Husker Ticket Giveaway!

June 19th, 2015

Have you heard the news? Dr. Beninato and our team here at Premier Dental are giving away a pair of Husker tickets to one lucky winner! And not just any tickets - they're on the 50 yard line for the October 10th game vs. Wisconsin!

There are three different ways you can enter for a chance to win:

1) Refer a friend or family member to Premier Dental
2) Leave us a review on Google+, Yelp, or Angie's List
3) Submit an in-office video testimonial

We'll be accepting entries through August 31, 2015. If you have any questions, just ask any Premier Dental Associate!

Good luck to all who enter!

Premier Dental Husker Ticket Giveaway! - Contest Omaha NE

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