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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.

Why Premier Dental Hosts 4th Annual Candy Buy Back...

November 2nd, 2017

Holidays and Sugar
Halloween has come and gone, yet the candy lingers. We know the amount of sugar presented to kids at this holiday and most is absurd, and we know that excess sugar leads to tooth decay and a whole host of other issues (you can read about : Ten Ways Sugar is Hurting Your Kids ). Unfortunately, many of our American traditions involve copious amounts of sugar!
  • Birthdays = Cake
  • Easter = Chocolate Eggs & Jelly Beans
  • Christmas = Cookies & Candies
  • Independence Day = BBQ (full of sugar!) & Ice Cream
  • Thanksgiving = Pumpkin Pie
  • And of course, Halloween = Candy
Learning Moderation: Spacing out the candy stash for a specific amount of time can help parents keep within the 3-6 teaspoons of sugar a day recommended by the American Heart Association*. The typical U.S. child eats around 20 or more teaspoons a day, so getting your kids within the recommended amounts most likely means you will have to take sugar out of the rest of your kids meals and snacks. Think: no juice, no soda, no sugar snacks, no honey, no syrup those days. This might be hard, but it will teach not only moderation, but also trade-offs, which are a big part of life.
Giving/Sharing: Keeping only the candy your children really love, and giving the rest away, will reward them twofold: First, the brain enjoys things more when it is not overwhelmed by too many choices and when the so-so options are weeded out. (We actually get less enjoyment when our candy stashes are peppered with mediocre candies.) Give away any candy that is not in your kids' top 10 sweets, and they will be even happier with what is left. Second, giving candy away will also teach charity and sharing.
Premier Dental is hosting their 4th annual Halloween Candy Buy Back on November 6th, 2017. Kids are encouraged to bring in their candy and receive cash and register for prizes. The candy is donated to the U.S. service men and women! It's a definite win-win.  Premier Dental has also partnered with two local schools, Rohwer Elementary and Sandoz Elementary to collect candy and donate the money to the school. The kids get a prize for donating, the school earns money and the candy is out of the hands/mouths of kids.

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.

Vaping and Dental Health

July 9th, 2017

Like their cigarette counterparts, it appears there are adverse health effects involved with vaping. Vaping is the act of inhaling vapor from an electronic cigarette. The solution that causes the vapor is usually made up of diluents (a term meaning some chemical was used to dilute the mixture), flavorings—different flavors are one of the touted benefits of e-cigarette use—and nicotine.

Now, inside the e-cigarette the solution is heated up by what’s called an atomizer—this heats the solution to create the vapor the user breathes in. E-cigarette solutions also come in different nicotine doses, so, naturally, people also tout that as being another advancement to healthier nicotine use. But, while things are not yet definitive on the adverse health effects of vaping—whether vaporizers are just as harmful as tobacco—what looks to be certain is that vaporizers are contributing to gum disease.

Studies show that nicotine does harm to the oral tissues. Studies also show that even though vaping claims to be different, it doesn’t matter how the nicotine is delivered. Nicotine reduces the amount of blood that can flow throughout the veins in your body. In example, long term use of nicotine can be responsible for heart disease and stroke.

This restriction of blood can kill off some of your gum tissue. Now, there are claims that vaping has enhanced oral health. But the truth seems to be that vaping only helps to mask the symptoms of oral disease. See, when gum disease strikes, there’s a flow of blood to the gums that makes the gums swell. However, when someone is using a vaporizer, and blood flow is restricted by the nicotine, the gums wont swell with blood, and your dentist may or may not be able to discern that there’s an underlying issue like gum disease. Remember also that gum disease allowed to get worse could develop into the much more severe periodontal disease. And Periodontal disease is much harder to treat, with treatment that, depending upon the severity, is much more invasive than a simple gingivitis treatment.

If you are concerned if vaping is doing harm to your mouth, or, if you just need to schedule your next appointment, call Premier Smile today.

Chewing Gum

June 22nd, 2017

Chewing gum in one form or another has been around for centuries. The ancient Greeks, the Mayans, and the Native Americans used chewing gum—or natural things such as tree sap which was developed to be used in the same manner as chewing gum.

But there’s different types of chewing gum. Obviously, chewing gum with sugar is bad for our teeth. Essentially, sugary chewing gum is grinding sugars into our teeth, adding a sugary salvia film to the outsides of our teeth, which then leads to a build of bacteria which causes plaque. So, knowing we need a sugar-free gum, here are a few of the reasons why gum chewing can be beneficial.

Chewing gum stimulates our mouths to produce saliva. If you chew after easting, this increase in salivary flow can help to keep the teeth clean. But don’t mistake gum chewing for brushing and flossing. There is no substitute for a good quality oral care routine of brushing well twice daily and flossing once.

Check the label of your chewing gum. Most chewing gums are made of few ingredients that include some type of sweetener—for sugar free gum the sweetener used will be usually artificial, however there are certain brands with organic non-chemical ingredients, as well.
There will be some type of softener used, and oftentimes these are vegetable oils or glycerin. And then most commercial gums will have some flavor that has been added, and possibly even a coloring (there are natural dyes and colorings on the market; the other options are usually chemical, including red and yellow dyes).

Now, chewing gum is not a be-all-end-all, and other things such as drinking water (just plain water, no lemon, nothing added, as anything added may just contribute to excess sugars within the mouth, which then contributes to excess bacteria and the development of plaque). after a meal can be equally, if not more so, beneficial than chewing gum. Also, chewing gum repetitively has been shown to wear down teeth.

If you need to make your next appointment, make sure to call Premier Smile today. Remember to come in for a regular checkup once or twice yearly.

Dry Mouth

April 16th, 2017

Saliva is important to clear away food and other debris from the mouth, and it neutralizes acids caused from harmful bacteria. Saliva is our bodies natural defense against things like tooth decay and gingivitis. Dry mouth (we’re talking about the condition of perpetual dry mouth, not the more common and fleeting dehydrated sensation we all experience) is the cause of an inadequate flow of saliva. Usually the condition is a side effect from certain medications like antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers, etc. (there are many others).

Symptoms of a dry mouth vary, but the most common are: a sore throat, a burning sensation somewhere in the mouth, or a person might have trouble speaking for long periods of time, and they may find their nasal and throat passages also feel dried out. If the soft tissues within the mouth become dried out, they can become enflamed and irritated, and more susceptible to infection. Other side-effects of dry mouth include bad breath, and, if a patient wears dentures, the lack of saliva will cause the dentures to adhere loosely to the gums.

There is a relief from the condition. Sometimes just increasing the amount of fluids can alleviate the symptoms. Sugar-free candies and sugar-free gums are effective at increasing saliva. Remember also that caffeinated drinks—coffee and soda—and alcoholic beverages can cause slight dehydration, and should be used sparingly, if at all, if a patient is suffering chronic dry mouth. If fluids don’t immediately take care of the problem, then your dentist may prescribe an artificial saliva—it’s an over-the-counter medication that will help to keep the oral tissues moist, and help to keep the teeth clean of debris. Also, make sure to keep to a strict routine of brushing twice daily and flossing once. It may also be beneficial to have additional fluoride during this time, because the fluoride will help to fight tooth decay.

Remember to keep with your regular dental checkups, twice yearly. Your dentist will be able to monitor your dry-mouth condition; your dentist will also be able to guide you to the appropriate medications or at-home treatments as to how to solve your dry-mouth condition.

If you have any questions about dry mouth, or just need to schedule your next appointment, call Premier Dental and make your next appointment today.

Raising Children's Oral Health Awareness in February!

February 17th, 2017

Premier Dental may be coming to a school near you! We have planned several school visits to promote Children's Dental Health Month and Oral Health Awareness! February has been named National Children's Health Month by the American Dental Association (ADA) in an effort to promote better dental health for children all over the country.

"What children eat and when they eat it may affect not only their general health, but also their oral health," said Dr. Piper Larson of Premier Dental. "Americans are consuming more and more sugary food and drinks than ever before. Energy drinks and junk foods have gradually replaced nutritious beverages and foods for many. February is a great opportunity for us to provide community support in the battle against sugar."

According to the NCCIH, about 30% of teenagers consume energy drinks on a regular basis. Many energy drinks contain as much as 25-50 g of simple sugars. There is also the safety factor that is question with these drinks.  Large amounts of caffeine and other additives pose other health risks as well.

Here at Premier Dental we like to refer parents and kids to the American Dental Association Guidelines to help reduce the risk of tooth decay:

  • Limit snacking between meals to healthy, low sugar options.
  • If you are going to consume sugary drinks or foods do so with meals when saliva production is high and this can help neutralize acid production.
  • Stick to sugarless gum after eating to increase saliva flow and assist in removing food particles from the mouth.
  • Think about what your child is drinking and increase their intake of water.
  • Stick to regularly scheduled dental appointments.

At Premier Dental and Premier Pediatric Dentistry we encourage all patients, regardless of age, to follow these guidelines along with daily brushing and flossing.

New Year New You Giveaway!

January 27th, 2017

We love to give things away--so we have decided to give away a package of health and beauty. You could win a new Fit Bit Charge, $200 Trader Joe's Gift Card, $200 Scheels Gift Card, $100 Indulgence Salon & Spa Gift Card along with a basket of goodies! The basket includes a fitness mat, water bottle, beach towel, exercise bands and much more!

How do you win? All you need to do to be entered is tell your friends and family about us. When they come in to visit us we will enter you into the drawing. Be sure they tell us that you referred them! And we promise we will provide them with the best customer service and dental care we can! Other ways to be entered: Review us on Google and/or Yelp and submit an in-office video testimonial. There is no limit on the number of entries you may have! Contest runs through March 31st, 2017.

January Patient of the Month

January 13th, 2017

Congratulations to Lacia C. our January Patient of the Month! Lacia had  this to say about Premier Dental, "Premier Dental has been, by far, the best dental experience that me and my family have had! From the moment you walk through the door excellent customer service is seen throughout the entire visit. We couldn't be more pleased and will continue to recommend Premier Dental to all of our family and friends!"

November Patient of the Month

December 12th, 2016

Congratulations Greg for being our December patient of the month! We surprised Greg at work with a cake and it was his birthday! We love when things work out like that! Congrats Greg & thank you for being one of our great patients!

"The professionalism and customer service focus makes every visit a pleasure. Discomfort and pain do not seem to exist at Premier Dental, as they take steps above and beyond to minimize or eliminate any problems of this nature. I have been coming to Premier Dental for over 4 years now, and it would be impossible to sway me to go to another Dental office for any services. I do not dread or fear my visit to the Dentist now, thanks to the fine staff and procedures of Premier Dental. Another very admirable thing with Premier Dental is the commitment to the community and services they provide for the community by being an active partner in multiple programs and promotions throughout the year. For me this adds to my value of being a customer at this fine establishment. I look forward to many years of good eating (we all like food) and health with ongoing visits at Premier Dental! "-Greg N

9 Tricks for Halloween Safety

October 26th, 2016

Halloween can be a spooky fun time for kids and their families. Below is mnemonic to help you prepare for Halloween safety:

Hazards can be avoided on Halloween by taking the following precautions.

Adults or older children should accompany young ghosts and goblins on their Halloween hauntings.

Light-reflecting costumes or orange reflecting tape will ensure everyone can be seen by drivers.

Look both ways before crossing the street, and obey all traffic safety rules. Walk, don't run, to avoid fractures to little skeletons.

October can be cold and damp; find a flame-retardant costume that provides protection from the weather.

Work your own neighborhood. There will be fewer tricks among the treats from people you know. Avoid any areas of the neighborhood you are not familiar with.

Eyes work best when not blocked by masks or patches. Best to choose face paint when you can instead of masks which may obstruct a child's vision.

Every piece of candy should be checked by a parent for tampering. Throw away all unpackaged goodies.

Never go trick or treating alone, and always say thank you!

Stop by and see us Monday, October 31st! All kids in costumes will receive a treat!

National Hygiene Month--Let's Get to Know Kim S.

October 18th, 2016

Kim’s main focus is to have a little fun in this thing called life. Kim has been in the dental field for 21 years and her philosophy on dental care is preventative, preventative, preventative. She recommends fixing it when it is small, so it’s not a big deal later. Her favorite thing about being a dental hygienist is not only getting to know families and helping them understand dental health, but she loves when she can help a patient with dental anxiety overcome their dental fears.
Kim worked for 6 years as a dental assistant before entering the Dental Hygiene program at Iowa Western Community College. Kim graduated in 2003 and joined Premier Dental in July of 2015. When choosing a dental office, Kim wanted an office that had progressive thinking, is patient focused, has updated technology along with being professional yet fun.
When not in the office Kim enjoys spending time with her husband Todd and daughters, Brooke and Hillary. She also enjoys walking her dog Sadie, traveling, outdoor activities (hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, running, boating, jet skiing) and cheering for the Hawkeyes. Kim dreams of traveling the US in an RV and seeing all the National Parks.

What Is A Cracked Tooth?

October 11th, 2016

Did you know that our teeth can be easily damaged? True story, teeth need to be well cared for and protected. But, there’s also unavoidable circumstances which can lead to tooth damage. Consider these symptoms: you feel sharp pain when you bite down, chewing, and the pain is only on one side of the mouth; the pain could either be localized to a tooth or area around the tooth, or the pain could be pervading throughout the teeth, gums, jaw, etc. on one side of the mouth. What then (in a healthy mouth, a mouth that hasn’t sustained recent injury, a well-cared for, cleaned mouth) could the pain be caused from? It’s possible that the problem could be a cracked tooth.

Causes of a cracked tooth

Teeth crack for the obvious reasons like injuries, or chewing on hard foods, but there are a few, lessor known reasons, some you may not realize are even happening within your mouth. Tooth grinding is one cause, and many people may not realize that they grind their teeth while they sleep. Also, you may chew foods with uneven pressure. It could also just be that your aging, that past fillings, etc. are breaking down, and the tooth’s structural integrity is no longer supported.

How to tell if a tooth is cracked

It’s difficult to know if painful symptoms are caused by a cracked tooth, because a crack may be too fine to see, or it may be in a location not easily found without the proper dental equipment. Regardless, it’s not something you will want to suffer through. Symptoms like these most often won’t just go away, and it could greatly affect your quality of life. It’s absolutely important to pay a visit to your dentist if you are in pain. If it’s determined to be not the cause of a cracked tooth, but of something more serious and more difficult to treat, early treatment is important.  If it is a cracked tooth, your dentist may treat it with a variety of methods, depending upon the severity of the damage.

Remember, don’t suffer through dental pain. Call us TODAY (402) 718-8737 to schedule your appointment today!

What are the benefits of a custom mouthguard?

September 22nd, 2016

Millard West Wildcats starting quarterback, Giavonni Guido is sporting a custom made mouthguard from Premier Dental. Giavonni is a junior at Millard West who decided to try a custom mouthguard during summer training. He had this to say about the guard, "I love this new guard, it fits and feels so much better than the old one."

Custom mouthguards are really the best way to get a "good fit". Most of us have seen the athletes that run around with the mouthguard hanging out of their mouth, top of mind is Steph Curry. This is typically due to an ill fitting mouth guard. And we probably do not need to tell you this, but the mouthguard only works when it is properly fit in your mouth.


Benefits of a Custom Mouthguard

  1. Custom fit design ensures proper fit
  2. Proper fit ensures comfort, stability & protection
  3. Maximum benefit of mouthguards comes with proper fit
  4. They can be made to match your school colors & include your mascot

The American Dental Association recommends you wear a mouthguard whether you participate in football, basketball, hockey, boxing, gymnastics, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, track and field, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, skydiving, soccer, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, or wrestling. A properly fitted mouthguard protects the space between the jaw and the base of the skull, this helps protect the brain from concussions because the jaw bone is prevented from slamming into the skull and creating shock waves to the brain.

Call us TODAY (402) 718-8737 to schedule your appointment for a custom mouthguard.

September Newsletter

September 1st, 2016

Click here for newsletter: Premier Sept 2016 web

Cold Sore Solutions That Actually Work!

August 30th, 2016

Whether you call them cold sores or fever blisters, if you're among the more than 40% of Americans who regularly experience this inflammatory viral nuisance, you know they're anything but a joy to deal with. You've also probably heard of countless ways to deal with them, from over-the-counter remedies to treatment options that span generations. So what really works?

Well quite honestly what "works" when it comes to cold sores is management. And, specifically preventing, treating and eliminating the transmission of this most annoying of viruses. At Premier Dental we offer laser treatment for these viruses.

If you catch the lesion in time with laser treatment, you can prevent the cold sore from breaking out. As soon as you feel that tingling sensation that warns you of an oncoming sore, schedule an appointment for a laser treatment. If you already have a full blown sore, the laser will take away the discomfort and help it to dry up and heal much faster.

The herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores cannot be cured. After you get infected, the virus stays in your body for the rest of your life. If you get cold sores often, laser treatment can reduce the number of cold sores you get and how severe they are. It often happens that people will get cold sores that reoccur in the same spot every time. After being treated with a laser multiple times, there is a good chance that sore won't appear again in that spot.

What are the benefits of using a laser in treating cold sores?

  • Laser energy destroys the virus that causes the sore
  • Relief is immediate and profound
  • Helps prevent sores if treated once the lip starts tingling
  • Arrests the progression of the lesion after treatment
  • Treatment takes about 5-10 minutes and without anesthesia
  • After treatment, sores reoccur with less intensity and frequency at the same location

Cold Sore Prevention

The number one and number two causes are a weakened immune system, and exposure to rapidly changing weather. To tackle the weather, always keep your preferred brand of lip moisturizer with sunscreen on hand to protect your lips from weather's effect on your lips. And to boost your immune system, be sure to get enough sleep and find ways to combat stress in your life. Also, as with most things in life, what's good for our waistlines is good for our immune system. Here are some good dietary suggestions for cold sore sufferers:

  1. Eat Raw, Alkalizing Foods: Fruits and vegetables are super-good for you.
  2. Cruciferous Vegetables: Clinical studies are beginning to suggest that veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and kale are of great benefit to cold sore sufferers.
  3. Avoid Arginine: Cold-sores need the amino acid arginine to grow, so if you can limit the excess intake of this amino acid, you may be able to keep frequent outbreaks at bay. Nuts, chocolate, oats, and some protein shakes are high in arginine.

Cold Sore Treatment and Remedies

Preventing a cold sore from appearing is indeed your best medicine, and if you pay attention to what your body tells you, it is possible to dramatically reduce outbreaks. When a cold-sore does gift you with its presence, here are a few things you can do to minimize its pain, size and duration.

  1. Laser It! At the first sign of tingling, call Premier Dental at 402-718-8737 and schedule a 10 minute appointment for laser treatment.
  2. Ice It! Can't get to the office right away, when you feel that first sign of tingling wrap an ice cube in a paper-towel and place it on your lip where you feel the cold-sore coming on. Often two back-to-back applications of an ice cube until it melts can help reduce the pain and swelling that accompanies the sore.
  3. Slather? Not Now, But Later. Cold sores love warm, moist environments, and this is precisely the environment you present to a cold-sore when you slather it in cream for days on end. You're best to let it dry out to the point where it is no longer painful, and then begin applying cream or lip balm to minimize splitting. As the cold sore resolves itself, it's best to keep your lips moist to prevent bleeding, which also aids in the healing at this stage.

Eliminate Transmission of Cold Sores

Avoid sharing food utensils, towels, toothbrushes, or any other item that could come in contact with your mouth. Also, be sure to avoid touching the cold sore and then later touching your eyes or genital area. In fact, your best course of action is to avoid touching your mouth at all during an outbreak, and not again until the scab has dropped off completely. And healed over. This can take some weeks, as you know. Kissing, and other aspects of intimacy that involve your mouth should be avoided entirely. Wash your hands often-this cannot be stressed enough to avoid spreading the virus.

Having a cold sore is not the end of the world. Nine out of 10 of all people get at least one cold sore in their life, so there is no need to hide in the closet. Understand your triggers, find a solution that works, don't spread the virus, and stay healthy!

Premier Dental's Third Annual Dentistry from the Heart

August 25th, 2016

Dr. Dan Beninato will host Premier Dental's Third Annual Dentistry From The Heart (DFTH) event – providing a FREE day of dental care to more than 125 residents.

Dentistry From The Heart patients travel from across Nebraska and Iowa every year to Premier Dental for the annual free day of dentistry, happening on Saturday, August 27th, 2016.

In 2001, Dentistry From The Heart started with New Port Richey dentist Dr. Vincent Monticciolo as a way to giving back to the community and provide aid to the growing number of Americans without dental insurance. Since its inception, Dentistry From The Heart has grown to include over 200 annual events worldwide and provided more than 100,000 people with free dental care services.

Annually, Dr. Beninato and his team of dentists, volunteers and sponsors provide patients with a free extraction, filling or cleaning. This is the third annual event for Dr. Beninato, who has donated over $90,00 worth of free dental care to more than 200 patients. The goal this year is to treat 190 patients and give away $75,000 in free dental care. Services will be provided on a first come first serve basis, guaranteeing the first 125 patients to be seen.

“It is our favorite day of the year at Premier Dental,” said Dr. Beninato. “The services provided by Dentistry From The Heart helps more than just a patient’s teeth, it gives them a renewed reason to smile.”

If you are looking for a way to help out in the community and pay it forward join us on Saturday, August 27th between 9 am and 2 pm for the American Red Cross Blood Drive. To register please visit www.redcross.org/give-blood and enter donor code PremierDental. All presenting donors on Saturday who register with an email will receive a $5 Amazon gift card from the American Red Cross!

Help spread the word and Free smiles this Saturday, August 27th, 2016 from 8am until 3 pm with registration beginning at 7:30 am at Premier Dental located at 17110 Lakeside Hills Plaza, Omaha, NE  68130. For more information please visit www.dentistryfromtheheart.org. CONTACT:  info@premiersmile.com

Dentistry From The Heart is a registered non-profit organization that provides free dental work for people those in need. Every year, Dentistry From The Heart events contribute millions of dollars in free dentistry and help more than 100,000 patients across the United States and around the world. For more information, visit www.dentistryfromtheheart.org

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!

July Newsletter

July 14th, 2016

Click here to view our latest newsletter: Premier July 2016

What Is Gum Disease?

July 4th, 2016

Often we hear terms like gum disease or gingivitis, but what do those terms actually mean?  How are the diseases caused? What can we do to prevent it?  Believe it or not, our mouths are full of bacteria (Remember that not all bacteria are bad!), and these bacteria form a sticky layer on the surfaces of teeth, which is called plaque.  Plaque is a problem.  Plaque is not easy to get rid of, although regular brushing—twice every day—and regular flossing—once everyday—should help to keep the plaque on the teeth at bay.  However, plaque that has not been removed from the surfaces of the teeth by regular brushing and flossing, hardens into a substance called tartar.  Tartar can not be removed by brushing and flossing alone, and it must be removed in a cleaning by your dentist.

Gingivitis is caused by a tarter build up on the teeth for a prolonged period of time (this is one of the many reasons why regular dental visits are so important!).  The bacteria on the teeth cause an inflammation of the gums.  This inflammation is called Gingivitis.  When it happens the gums are bright red and bleed easily.  The symptoms of Gingivitis can be cured with regular habits of brushing and flossing, and a visit to your dentist for a cleaning—your dentist may even recommend a mouthwash.

While gingivitis is considered gum disease, a more serious form of it is called periodontitis.  Periodontitis is the condition resulting from an untreated case of gingivitis.  With periodontitis, the gums separate from the teeth and the spaces left in the separation become infected.  Periodontitis can lead to damage to the teeth, gums, bones in the jaw, even necessitate the removal of teeth.

Obviously the methods to prevent these diseases are simple and well known: brush, floss, visit your dentist.  However, even a healthy individual, who performs his or her oral health flawlessly each and every day, could succumb to the symptoms of gum disease.

There are other preventable factors. Consider cutting down on sugary foods and drinks; try not to snack consistently throughout the day; stay away from tobacco.  You may also be taking medications that limit your saliva output (saliva washes debris from the surfaces of teeth), and you may be genetically predisposed to these conditions.

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!

Teeth Whitening Omaha NE

May 10th, 2016

cosmetic dentist omaha ne, Teeth Whitening Omaha NE A bright white smile means confidence.  But there’s factors in our daily lives which can degrade our teeth’s whiteness.  The foods we eat are a primary factor.  Liquids such as wine, coffee, and tea can stain the teeth.  These liquids all contain powerful, staining pigments that attach to the outsides of the teeth—the enamel.  This staining will change the color of the teeth over time.  Also, those of you that use tobacco, besides having other danger health risks to consider, will stain the teeth.  It’s the nicotine in the tobacco, which once its been given oxygen, turns a yellowish shade that stains the surface of the teeth.  Also age can play a factor, as well as which medications you take: high blood pressure medications and antihistamines—just to name a few—can have a side effect of a discoloration of the teeth.

Teeth Whitening Omaha NE

So what do you do if all that brightness has left your smile?  It’s simple, you visit your dentist.  Your dentist may recommend one of several different treatment options.  The first of which is a simple whitening toothbrush that can be used at home.  Whitening toothbrushes have small particles that act as sandpaper and abrade the teeth as you brush.  The second option is a take-home tray, or a whitening strip—whitening strips are now more commonly found in the aisle of the grocery, although make sure to purchase one with the ADA Seal to ensure that the products been tested to be safe.  The take-home trays, in which you’ll fill molds that fit over the surfaces of your teeth with whitening chemicals, bleach the enamel of the tooth.  The third, and most commonly thought of, is an office visit in which you get your teeth professionally whitened.  This is also called bleaching the teeth, because bleaches are applied to the surfaces of the teeth.  The rest of the mouth will be protected from the bleach.

If you’re looking in the mirror and your smiles dimmed, regardless of the reason, visit your dentist to bring back that bright white, confident smile.

Visit Premier Smiles for all of your Teeth Whitening needs! Omaha's Best Dentist!

Premier Dental Has New Technology for Oral Cancer Awareness Month!

April 4th, 2016

If there was a quick and painless method to identify pre-cancerous cells in the mouth of someone you loved, would you want them to try it? What if that person were you? The truth is, as uncomfortable as it may be to even think of the word Cancer, detecting it early is certainly the key to eradicating it. At Premier Dental it's part of our mission to provide the best diagnostic tools available to our patients. That's why we're proud to utilize a tool that, when combined with your regular oral exam, can assist in detecting oral abnormalities that cannot be seen with the naked eye. It is called OralID.
This revolutionary diagnostic tool works by emitting a safe blue light into the oral cavity that "excites" the tissues in your mouth causing them to give off a fluorescent glow under the light. Under the light, healthy tissues appear as a bright green, while suspicious regions exhibit no color at all - helping in the visualization of early oral abnormalities.

When used in conjunction with your normal exam, OralID is extremely helpful because it can detect abnormalities from the surface through to the basement membrane (where premalignant changes typically begin), and into the connective tissue - areas where the eye simply cannot see. The entire exam takes about two minutes.

Oral cancer screenings are recommended annually for all adults aged 18 and older, and every six months if you are a smoker, regular user of alcohol, or if you chew tobacco.
As your dental health care team, we want to help you be on the lookout for symptoms of abnormal conditions in your mouth. One of the most serious problems we ever encounter is oral cancer, which affects about 37,000 Americans every year. It is a particularly dangerous form of cancer because it may produce very little discomfort in its beginning stages and go undiagnosed for a long time.

What should I be looking out for?

•A sore or lesion in the mouth that doesn't heal within two weeks
•A lump or thinkening in the cheek
•A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil or lining of the mouth
•A persistent sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat
•Difficulty chewing, swallowing, moving jaw or tongue
•Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth
•Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
•Chronic hoarseness

What Should I do if I Have One of the Above Symptoms?

These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, but the also indicate the possible presence of oral cancer. Please contact our office immediately to have the doctor examine you.

If you haven't had your periodic cleaning and examination in over six months, please schedule your appointment today! We'll be happy to perform an oral cancer screening as part of your visit.

Root Canal or Extraction?

March 30th, 2016

Patients today have more options than ever before to treat their teeth. Understanding your choices and their impact on your future dental health and lifestyle is important. Read on to learn why nothing is as good as your natural tooth and get simple tips for saving your teeth!

Saving a natural tooth through endodontic treatment (root canal) should always be the first choice for the best health and cosmetic results. There are many advantages to saving your natural tooth:

  • Efficient chewing
  • Normal biting force, so you can continue to eat your favorite foods
  • Maintains a natural appearance
  • Limits the need for more costly, ongoing dental work

What to avoid

  • Never choose extraction because you think it will be cheaper! When a natural tooth is extracted, it must be replaced with an artificial tooth to prevent other teeth from shifting, and to prevent future dental problems. The cost of a denture, bridge or implant, plus the extraction, often is higher than the cost of an endodontic procedure that would save the tooth for years to come. Most dental insurance plans cover endodontic treatment.
  • Never choose extraction because you think root canal treatment will be painful! Modern techniques and effective anesthesia make root canal treatment virtually painless. In fact, discomfort after the procedure is generally greater with tooth extraction. Patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as "painless" than those patients who have not had a root canal.
  • Never choose extraction because you think it will be quicker! Endodontic treatments generally require one to two visits lasting less than an hour each. An extraction requires one visit, but the denture, bridge or implant will require several additional visits with your dentist.

And the winnner is.......

March 23rd, 2016

...the Stika Family! We were able to surprise Mr. & Mrs. Stika with an all-inclusive vacation for 2 to the Valentin Imperial Maya Resort, Mexico! By referring a friend/family member and submitting an in-office video testimonial the Stikas were entered into our giveaway that ran from Oct. 1st, 2015 through Feb. 29th, 2016. You can view Kelli's video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl2LBuqo1Zg.

Premier Dental team members, Ashli & Shelby were able to surprise Kelli & Mark at Mark's work with punch, cake and balloons! Ashli was super excited to let them know they won, she stated, "Kelli was really hoping to win! When Kelli was in the office she often inquired about the trip, wondering how she could win, and when we would be announcing. She even told us she had been tanning in hopes of winning!" The Stikas have twin 2 year olds, so they are very much looking forward to a vacation! We think it may have been Kelli's positive thinking and preparation (tanning for the trip) that helped their name get randomly selected! Congrats Kelli & Mark.

Here is a link to the video of when we presented Kelli with the trip www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-Ppl4DGn-s

February 2016 Newsletter

February 16th, 2016

2016 Feb Newsletter

Mouthwash-Oral Health

February 7th, 2016

In addition to your normal routine of brushing twice daily and flossing at least once, mouthwash could be an important component to your oral health.  Mouthwash freshens breath, but it can also be used for a variety of other reasons.  Mouthwash can help to prevent tooth decay, prevent or fight gingivitis, even slow the speed at which tartar builds upon the teeth, and, best of all, most mouthwashes are available without a prescription.  The main thing to look for in a quality mouthwash is the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal on the packaging.  The ADA Seal means that the product has been tested, and, not only does it work as advertised, but it’s also safe to use.  The ADA tests the product under predetermined guidelines for effectiveness and safety.

sleep apnea treatment omaha ne

Mouthwash-Oral Health

If you are unsure if you need a mouthwash, consult your dentist.  There are two types of mouthwashes: therapeutic and cosmetic.  Cosmetic mouthwashes leave the mouth with a pleasant taste and also control or reduce bad breath.  It wont deal with the causes of bad breath—bacteria within the mouth, and it wont help to prevent cavities, plaque, or gingivitis.  Therapeutic mouthwashes will help control bacteria, even reduce plaque, cavities, and fight gingivitis.  Some therapeutic mouthwashes also contain fluoride, which will help to prevent tooth decay.  If you are using a therapeutic mouthwash to prevent bad breath for any prolonged period of time, it may be important to visit your dentist to determine the underlying cause of the bad breath.

It doesn’t matter which action you perform at the sink in a normal tooth cleaning routine.  You can brush, floss, or swish with a mouthwash first, it’s the culmination of the three actions that will clean the teeth.  The manufacturer may also recommend on the packaging the proper time to use the product.  Also, it’s important not to give mouthwashes to children under the age of six, because they may swallow the rinse, and some rinses contain fluorides, which shouldn’t be swallowed.  And, always follow the manufacturers instructions on how much mouthwash you should use.

Teeth Whitening

January 6th, 2016

A smile that reveals a mouthful of bright white teeth is a confident smile.  A white smile is a sign of good oral health; a sign that someone brushes their teeth twice daily and flosses.  But our smiles can loose their brilliant sparkle even with terrific oral care.  Our teeth are effected by many different things.  Food and drink can stain teeth: coffee, tea, and red wine are primary, everyday culprits, because they all contain intense color pigments that can attach to the enamel of the tooth.  Tobacco, smoked and smokeless, stains teeth—The nicotine and tar in the tobacco turns teeth a brown to yellow color.  One factor that we are all unable to control is that when we age our enamel on our teeth breaks down, and the softer underside called dentin shows through—dentin has a slightly yellowish pigment.  Medications such as antihistamines and some high blood pressure medications can cause a darkening of the teeth.

Teeth Whitening Omaha NE | Best Dentists Omaha NE

You don’t have to quit drinking coffee or red wine to have white teeth.  Teeth whitening is a simple process that can be done in a variety of ways both at home and at the dentist’s office.  Your dentist can help you decide which type of whitening process is best for you.  A simple solution is a whitening toothpaste.  Whitening toothpaste works because of the abrasives inside the toothpaste that scrub the surfaces of the teeth.  Toothpaste can only clean the surface of the teeth and it wont actually change the color of the teeth.  Peroxide gels that are placed in a tray that fits your teeth or whitening strips are another option.  These two methods can be used at home at the discretion of your dentist.  Also, in office visits, which usually only require one office visit.  In the office your dentist will protect your gums and apply a bleach to the teeth.

While there are no drastic side effects to tooth whitening, some people may experience tooth sensitivity, because the peroxide in the whitener penetrates the dentin of the tooth and irritates the nerve.

If you are interested in teeth whitening, please schedule an appointment with one of our  today!

Dental Infections

December 15th, 2015

Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke and our team at Premier Dental will tell you that dental infections can be very serious; sometimes, they develop into a life-threatening situation. Cavities are caused by acid-generating microorganisms that deposit themselves on teeth surfaces. Over time, acid erodes tooth enamel, compromising tooth strength. The major culprit or cause of cavities is sweets, but even diet soda plays a substantial role in tooth erosion, largely because the phosphoric acid it contains alters the oral pH. Cavities can pave the way for other, more serious infections to develop.

Types of infections

Pulpitis

Pulpitis is an inflammation of the tooth pulp. It typically occurs when cavities get deep enough to allow infection to reach the pulp. When this happens, bacteria travel through the pit or fissure that the cavity created. It can also develop from a fractured tooth. The symptoms may include moderate pain that comes and goes. Pain may intensify when cold liquids touch the pulp.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a consequence of chronic gingivitis, which occurs when the supportive bone structure of the tooth erodes, causing the periodontal tooth ligament to detach from the tooth. Kids between the ages of 12 and 17 and adults over age 30 are most likely to develop this disease. In severe cases of periodontitis, a periodontal abscess may form. Symptoms of the infection typically include redness, sensitivity to touch, and swelling.

Pericoronitis

Pericoronitis is an infection that occurs when food particles and other microorganisms get trapped under gum flaps. It typically happens when impacted wisdom teeth erupt. Pain at the site of the infection is a common symptom. You should try to prevent food particles from lodging in the gingivitis flaps.

Dental abscesses

A dental abscess is one of the most serious dental infections anyone can get. It begins at the base of the tooth, but without treatment can spread rapidly. When the abscess is more severe, the bacteria spread, often very rapidly, and cause severe facial swelling, pain, and discomfort.

The best way to minimize the risk of developing a dental infection is by practicing good oral hygiene, making sure that food or other particles aren’t trapped between the teeth for too long, flossing, using oral rinses that bear the ADA seal of approval, and seeing the dentist regularly. If or when there are any symptoms of infection, even if the only symptom is pain, be sure to visit the dentist. Early intervention may prevent the infection from escalating into something far more severe, painful, and costly to treat.

To learn more about dental infections, or to schedule an appointment with Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke, please give us a call at our convenient Omaha, NE office!

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.

Oral Health Concerns Specific to Pregnant Women

November 10th, 2015

Oral Health Concerns Specific to Pregnant Women - Dentist for Pregnant Women, Family Dentist Omaha NE

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, Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke and our team at Premier Dental 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 Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke for routine dental checkups and cleanings during pregnancy. However, it is very important to inform Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke 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, NE 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.

Teeth Grinding

November 3rd, 2015

Teeth Grinding - Custom Night Guards Family Dentist Omaha NE

If you are waking up with jaw pain, tension headaches, or facial pain, you may be suffering from a condition known as bruxism. This means you could be grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep. Some people aren’t even aware they are grinding or clenching their teeth at night, until a visit to us reveals significant tooth enamel loss. Fortunately, there is a non-invasive and effective solution for teeth grinding, and the tooth enamel damage it can cause, in custom-fabricated nightguards.

Causes of teeth grinding

Tension, stress, and anxiety experienced during the daytime can carry over to an individual’s sleep, and lead the person to grind his or her teeth together or clench the teeth unknowingly. Sleep apnea is another condition that can result in bruxism. Regardless of the cause, however, frequent clenching and teeth grinding wears down the chewing surfaces of the teeth, reduces tooth enamel, and can result in a cracked or chipped tooth, crown, or filling.

Nightguards for teeth grinding

Custom nightguards are fabricated to fit like a glove and protect your teeth from the adverse effects of bruxism. Nightguards are created through a non-invasive process that simply takes an impression of the bottom and top rows of teeth. The result is a nightguard that is flexible, comfortable, and personalized to your mouth.

Benefits of nightguards

Nightguards are helpful to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of dental damage incurred as a result of teeth grinding. They can reduce the discomfort associated with a sore jaw, headaches, tooth sensitivity, ear pain, and facial pain that many patients experience as a result of clenching or grinding of their teeth. In severe cases of bruxism, patients can develop loss of hearing, jawbone misalignment, and TMJ. Therefore, customized nightguards can help prevent the progression of teeth grinding into these more serious conditions.

At-home tips to reduce or prevent teeth grinding

Although it’s important to wear your nightguard faithfully if you grind your teeth at night, you can follow a few self-care tips to help to prevent your teeth grinding from worsening.

  • Reduce tension and stress. Whether you take a warm bath before bed, listen to soothing music, or exercise, practice stress-relieving activities to wash away the tensions of the day.
  • Avoid alcohol. In some patients, alcohol increases teeth grinding tendencies.
  • Avoid caffeine. In some individuals, caffeine increases the likelihood of teeth grinding.
  • Focus on relaxing jaw muscles. Make a conscious effort to keep your jaw relaxed. A warm washcloth against your cheek, sticking your tongue between your teeth, and avoiding chewing pencils, pens, and gum are all ways to train the muscles of your jaw to stay relaxed.

If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth at night, visit Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke and our team at Premier Dental for an evaluation at our convenient Omaha, NE office.

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!

The Secret to Fresh Breath

October 20th, 2015

The Secret to Fresh Breath - Family Dentist Omaha NE

Bad breath: We’ve all dealt with it. You’ve been around people who have it and, like it or not, you have had it yourself. It can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but how do you know if you have it? There is actually a simple test you can do to see if you have bad breath.

Wash your hands well, then put your finger in your mouth, way in the back. Scrape a little saliva from the back of your tongue, and then dab it on the back of your hand. Wait for one minute, then hold your hand to your nose and sniff. Is it fresh as a daisy? Or do you need to keep reading and learn how to freshen your breath?

How Bad Breath Starts

There are several ways that bad breath starts. Knowing the causes of bad breath is a solid start toward the cure.

  • The bacteria in your mouth: Bacteria is always in your mouth. It covers your gums, hides between your teeth, and hangs out on your tongue. As it multiplies, it produces toxins that cause the foul odor in your mouth.
  • Your bad habits: If you smoke cigarettes, a pipe, or cigars, or chew tobacco, you are not only harming your mouth and body, you are creating some really smelly breath.
  • Your tonsils: If you still have your tonsils, they can be the cause of bad breath. They are pitted, so smelly substances can collect in the pits and lead to bad breath.
  • Stomach issues: A stomach virus, ulcer, GERD, and other stomach issues could be the cause of your bad breath. A low-carb diet can put your body into a state of ketosis, which causes very bad breath.
  • The foods you eat: Garlic, onion, and other pungent foods will linger with you … on your breath.

Tips for Busting Bad Breath

Achieving fresh breath isn’t difficult, but it does require a little work. Try these tips for fresher breath and a healthier mouth.

  • Brush your teeth after every meal. You can also pick up a tongue scraper to use a couple of times a day to remove any lingering bacteria on your tongue.
  • Floss once a day to remove food particles between your teeth as well as plaque. Your mouth will thank you.
  • Gargle with special mouthwash to banish bad breath. The oxygen in it will kill the bacteria in your mouth that is causing your bad breath, and leave you fresh as a daisy!
  • Drink water to avoid dry mouth, which is a common cause of bad breath.
  • Ease your tummy troubles with antacids and other remedies. Ginger tea is a great tummy tamer.
  • Chew gum that contains xylitol. Saliva keeps your mouth moist, and chewing gum makes you salivate. Bye bye, bad breath!
  • Eat yogurt. It contains “good” bacteria that helps balance your gut and gives you a healthier mouth.
  • Soothe your sinuses. Sinus infections can cause you to have bad breath. Actually, it is the post-nasal drip that causes the foul odor. Cure the infection and your breath will improve.
  • Avoid all tobacco products (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff).
  • Eat a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.

And don't forget! Get regular dental checkups at Premier Dental.

Halloween Candy Buy-Back!

October 8th, 2015

We will be holding our Halloween Candy Buy-Back event on November 2! Plan to join us to earn some extra money and help us give our troops a holiday treat!

Halloween Candy Buy-Back! - Holiday, Family Dentist, Candy Buy Back Omaha NE

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!

Win a Trip to Mexico!

October 5th, 2015

Want to win an all-inclusive trip to Mexico? Well, Premier Orthodontics is giving one away! Entering is easy! Just:

1) Refer a friend

2) Become a new patient

3) Submit an in-office video testimonial

This contest will run through February 29, 2016! As a Premier Orthodontics associate for more details!

Win a Trip to Mexico! - Contest Family Dentist Omaha NE

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!

Fewer Adults are Visiting the Dentist

September 15th, 2015

Fewer Adults are Visiting the Dentist - Family Dentist Omaha NE

Our team at Premier Dental recently learned that in the decade between 2000 and 2010, the amount of adults who regularly visited their dentist declined, according to research released by the American Dental Association's Health Policy Resources Center (HPRC). In fact, the HPRC found that the percentage of adults who had regular checkups every six months declined from 41 percent in 2003 to 37 percent in 2010. The largest decline in dental care occurred in the 35- to 49-year-old age group. That’s down from 43 percent in 2003 to just 38 percent in 2010.

There is some good news, however. While adult visits may have decreased, children's visits were on the rise, particularly among low-income families. More low-income children are visiting the dentist now than they were ten years ago. And the HPRC notes that between 2000 and 2010, dental visits among low-income children increased in 47 states.

Have you ever wondered why the American Dental Association and Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke recommend that you come in for a dental checkup and cleaning every six months? While daily oral hygiene habits are essential to good oral health, professional dental cleanings at Premier Dental ensure your and your child’s teeth are treated to a deeper level of cleaning. In addition to a thorough cleaning and teeth polishing, regular visits at our Omaha, NE office 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 for symptoms of any oral disease. We will also check old fillings and restorations, as these can wear away over time from constant chewing, clenching, or grinding at night.

If you are predisposed to oral diseases due to age, pregnancy, tobacco use, or medical conditions such as diabetes or dry mouth, Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke may recommend you visit our office more often than every six months.

If you are overdue for your next checkup and cleaning, please give us a call to schedule an appointment!

Are dental implants painful? What You Need to Know

September 8th, 2015

Are dental implants painful? What You Need to Know -  Dental Implants Omaha NE

Whether it is the result of tooth decay, gum disease, or injury, millions of people suffer tooth loss. Dental implants provide a strong replacement tooth root for fixed replacement teeth that are designed to match your natural teeth. Of course, there is one question all patients have about dental implants: are they painful?

Dental implant placement is performed under local or general anesthesia and is not considered a painful procedure. However, if the surgery is more complicated and involves bone or tissue grafts, there may be slightly more discomfort and swelling. At the same time, every patient has a different threshold for pain, so what may bother one person may not bother another. If you experience any pain from dental implants, there are several things can do to relive it.

Relieving Pain from Dental Implants

1. The initial healing phase can last up to seven to ten days. Over-the-counter painkillers such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Motrin work well to alleviate any pain or discomfort you may experience. However, only take these if instructed to by Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke.

2. Once you leave our Omaha, NE office, you can reduce inflammation and any swelling to your cheek or lip by holding an ice-pack on your face over the implant area.

3. Your gum will be tender for the first few days. We often recommended that you bathe your gums with warm salt water.

4. Steer clear of crusty or hard foods for the first day or two. Ice cream, yogurt, and other soft foods are ideal as your gums will be tender.

5. Dental implants are a relatively straightforward oral procedure. Many people take time off from work to have dental implant surgery, and then return to regular activities. However, if you are feeling any pain or discomfort, there is nothing wrong with taking the day off, relaxing, and putting your feet up.

There is typically no severe post-operative pain with dental implants. When most people return for a follow-up appointment about two weeks later, they often say that getting a dental implant was one of the least painful procedures they’ve experienced.

Labor Day: Our favorite holiday to rest!

September 1st, 2015

Labor Day: Our favorite holiday to rest! - Holidays, Family Dentist Omaha NE

Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday each September here in the United States, is a holiday devoted to the American working community. The purpose of the holiday is honoring the country's workers and their contributions to the strength of our country as a whole.

How Labor Day Started

There is actually some debate as to the origins of Labor Day. It is uncertain whether Peter McGuire, a cofounder for the American Federation of Labor, or Matthew Maguire, who was the secretary of Central Labor Union of New York, had the great idea. However, the Central Labor Union's plans were what launched the first Labor Day in America.

The First Labor Day

The very first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5th, 1882. The Central Labor Union then held annual celebrations on September 5th for what they called a working man's holiday. By the year 1885, the Labor Day celebration had spread to many different industrial areas, and after that it began spreading to all industries in the United States.

Labor Day Today

Labor Day today is a huge United States holiday during which we honor the country's workers with a day of rest and relaxation or a day of picnics and parades. This holiday is truly one to honor the many people who work hard to contribute to the economic well-being of our great country!

Our team at Premier Dental hopes all of our patients celebrate Labor Day, and every holiday, safely and happily. Whether you stay in the Omaha, NE area, or travel out of town, have fun, and don't forget to brush!

It's been years since my last appointment; what should I expect?

August 25th, 2015

It's been years since my last appointment; what should I expect? - Dentist, Family Dentist Omaha NE

Feeling apprehensive or guilty for not visiting a dentist in over a year is common, but coming back to receive dental care is easier than you may think. Our dental team at Premier Dental provides caring, non-judgmental, personalized service, and knowing this you can truly feel at ease making your first appointment back.

During your first appointment back, we will focus on three prominent dental issues including gum disease, cavities, and wear and tear by utilizing a full mouth series of X-rays, a hygiene appointment, and a comprehensive exam.

The full mouth series of X-rays are taken every three to five years, or as needed. A full mouth series may be a panoramic X-ray and bitewings (a set of four that checks for cavities) or a set of X-rays that views the entire anatomy of every tooth. The set of X-rays will depend on your individual needs.

Your hygiene appointment will begin with a review of your medical history, personal concerns and questions, and an evaluation checking for any infection. After any necessary diagnoses are made, the appropriate level of cleaning is proposed and completed if time allows.

A comprehensive exam serves as a review of what the hygienist has already covered. Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke will again review your medical history and dental concerns, and confirm any periodontal diagnosis. An evaluation of any decay, breakdown or broken fillings, or areas that are at risk for future problems will also be reviewed.

After the appointment, a team member at Premier Dental will review any recommended treatments, payment options, insurance coverage, and scheduling. The time spent at your first visit back is an important step in the right direction, and we are committed to making this visit as comfortable and easy as possible! Come see us in Omaha, NE.

Is sedation dentistry right for me?

August 18th, 2015

Is sedation dentistry right for me? - Sedation Dentistry, Family Dentist Omaha NE

At Premier Dental, we are well-aware of the 25 million Americans who fear having to visit the dentist. Dental phobias are known to range anywhere from feeling mildly nervous to experiencing sweaty palms and even a racing heartbeat upon entering a dentist’s office. This anxiety can sometimes be so severe that it prevents people from visiting a dentist for years, postponing dental procedures that often result in costly problems down the road.

For those of our patients who have dental anxiety or dental phobia, it may be time to look into sedation dentistry, a safe and effective option for patients who are anxious or afraid, have a bad gag reflex, limited jaw opening, or for those who have a difficult time getting numb.

Sedation dentistry, a term that we use to refer to the use of anesthesia during treatment to put patients into a relaxed state, comes in many forms of sedation, from simply easing anxiety, to “conscious sedation,” which places patients in what we call a “twilight sleep.” Sedation dentistry at our Omaha, NE office allows our patients to drift through their appointments—including complex dental work—as well as feel completely relaxed throughout their visits, without any discomfort or pain. Sedation dentistry can turn a nerve-wracking visit into a comfortable and enjoyable one.

Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke and our team will be more than happy to discuss any concerns, issues, or fears you may have before or during your visit, and will be able to tell you if you are a candidate for sedation dentistry.

By talking with Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke about sedation dentistry, you can feel more comfortable and relaxed during your next visit to Premier Dental. Give us a call today!

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.

Does getting a dental implant hurt?

August 4th, 2015

Does getting a dental implant hurt? - Dental Implant, Dental Sedation, Family Dentist Omaha NE

Getting a dental implant is a surgical procedure and everyone’s pain tolerance level is different. Therefore, what one person may perceive as pain is only a slight discomfort for another person. The general consensus about pain and dental implants is that the majority of people feel discomfort, not pain.

A dental implant is a complex procedure. Let’s take a look at what may cause discomfort:

  • Some people may find that having the IV put in is uncomfortable, especially if the healthcare worker has to try more than once. If you have a fear of needles or if you have anxiety about the procedure, we can prescribe a sedative, which you take before you arrive.
  • Of course, during the dental implant surgery, you will be asleep. Therefore, you will not feel any pain or discomfort at all.
  • When you awake from the surgery, your mouth should still be numb. In many cases, we can give you a “block” – it is basically a 24-hour pain medication, so you will not feel any pain or discomfort at all.
  • We will also provide you with a prescription for a strong pain killer, and you will most likely sleep while you are taking them. If you are still in pain, do not take more than is prescribed without calling us first. You will need someone to stay with you for 24 hours after the surgery, and they will be instructed on how to give you any prescription medication. The anesthesia tends to make people a bit loopy and forgetful the first 24 hours.
  • After the first 24 hours you may feel some discomfort. The most important thing you can do is take your pain medication regularly, whether you are taking the prescription medication or an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil.
  • You should not need pain medication for more than the first few days.

Most people do say there mouth is sore and they have to be careful what they eat, so it’s best to stick to soft foods. If you have any additional questions, please contact our Omaha, NE office and speak with Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke.

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.

What's the connection between gum disease and diabetes?

July 28th, 2015

What's the connection between gum disease and diabetes? - Family Dentist Omaha NE

People who have diabetes are usually familiar with many of the other health risks they face, including damage to the nerves, eyes, heart, and kidneys. But did you know that if you have diabetes you also have a much greater chance of developing gum disease? It's true, and like other diseases related to diabetes, the risk potential severity of gum disease is directly related to how well blood sugar is controlled.

The Causes

In diabetics, there are two primary mechanisms that increase the risk of developing gum disease, also called periodontal disease:

  • Bacterial growth: Bacteria love sugar including the glucose found in blood and bodily fluids. Elevated levels of sugar in saliva can provide a very hospitable environment for bacterial growth. The risk may be elevated if your gums bleed.
  • Circulatory changes: In diabetes, the blood vessels become thick, making it more difficult for blood to carry oxygen to the gums and to carry away harmful waste products. This decrease in circulation can weaken the mouth's natural resistance to decay. If you smoke, circulation can become even more compromised, significantly increasing your risk of periodontal disease.

Preventing Gum Disease

If you're diabetic, the number-one key to preventing gum disease is to make sure you do all you can to keep your blood sugar under control. In fact, studies show diabetics who have excellent control of their blood sugar levels have no more risk for gum disease than those who don't have diabetes. Here are some other tips to keep your gums healthy:

  • Floss your teeth gently, curving the floss so it can gently reach just below your gum line to remove plaque and food particles. Rinse your mouth when you're done flossing.
  • Use a soft-bristle brush to brush teeth twice daily, using small circular motions. Avoid pressing too hard on tooth surfaces.
  • Brush your tongue gently to remove germs that can hide there.
  • Use an anti-bacterial mouthwash to kill germs that are hard to reach.
  • Keep track of how well your blood sugar is controlled and let Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke know at each visit.
  • Be aware that having diabetes may mean it takes you longer to heal after undergoing oral surgery.

Most importantly, be sure to visit our Omaha, NE office for regular checkups and tell Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke about your diabetes so you can be sure to get the care you need. Follow these steps, and you can enjoy healthy teeth and gums for years to come.

Which whitening is right for you?

July 21st, 2015

Which whitening is right for you? - Teeth Whitening, Family Dentist Omaha NE

Many of our patients at Premier Dental have been asking us about brightening their teeth lately, and today we thought we would discuss the options available to you to put the sparkle back in your smile!

Over-the-counter products – You’ve probably seen over-the-counter whiteners such as whitening strips on store shelves. While whitening strips may work for some, they do have certain restrictions. For example, they are not nearly as effective when crowns or fillings are involved. Teeth that are stained gray instead of brown or yellow typically don’t respond as well to these types of whiteners. Whitening strips typically save you money but take longer to work and also require discipline on your part to keep them in place for the right amount of time each day.

Whitening at our office – This type of whitening can be done right at Premier Dental. A whitening agent is applied directly to teeth and a special light helps accelerate the whitening process. This may be accomplished in one session or take several appointments. You should expect to spend anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes at each session. If you have a mix of natural teeth and fillings or crowns, Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke may recommend bonding or veneers on your natural teeth instead of regular bleaching. Teeth whitening at our office 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.

At-home whitening – If you choose this option, Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebkewill take a mold of your teeth and create a custom-fit whitening tray. Gel whitening solution is poured in the mouthguard-like tray, and the tray is worn for a pre-determined amount of time, generally from a couple of hours a day to every day during the night, until you’re back in our office for an evaluation.

Give us a call at our convenient Omaha, NE office to schedule an appointment! Whiter teeth are one just one visit away at Premier Dental!

Eating and Invisalign®

July 14th, 2015

Eating and Invisalign® - Invisalign Dentist, Braces Omaha NE

One of the greatest advantages to using Invisalign is that it provides maximum results with minimal impact on your everyday life. Invisalign is comfortable, easy to insert, and simple to remove. Because you can remove Invisalign aligners, you can enjoy all your favorite foods and beverages without worries about getting food stuck in the wires and brackets of traditional braces.

Eating and Invisalign

While the aligner is durable and strong, you should remove it before you eat or drink beverages, as the chewing action inside your mouth can break, crack, or distort the aligner. Even minute damage to the Invisalign tray will prevent it from aligning your teeth properly. Furthermore, eating with Invisalign in your mouth can be quite messy.

Beverages and Invisalign

Repeated exposure to hot liquids may also cause the Invisalign aligner to distort. This distortion changes the shape of your aligner in a way that will affect how it straightens your teeth. Contact our Omaha, NE office if your Invisalign aligner has distorted after consuming a hot beverage.

Fluids can settle inside the aligner to “bathe” the teeth. Bathing teeth in acidic fluids can be especially problematic, as the acids can wear away tooth enamel. Exposure to acidic fluids is not normally a problem, as saliva neutralizes and buffers the acid then washes it away. Wearing an aligner, however, prevents the saliva from doing those jobs, increasing your risk for tooth decay.

Colored drinks may also change the color of your teeth. Most discoloration is temporary but stubborn stains may occur.

To prevent discoloration and tooth decay, brush your teeth after every meal or beverage before putting in your Invisalign aligners. If you do not have access to clean water, chew sugar-free gum to remove bacteria, acid, and food particles from your teeth. As a last resort, you may leave your aligners out for an hour or two until you can brush and floss properly. Before inserting Invisalign, rinse the aligner in lukewarm water or use the Invisalign cleaning kit.

Contact our Omaha, NE office for more information about eating and Invisalign.

Teeth Whitening For a Bright Summer

July 7th, 2015

Teeth Whitening For a Bright Summer - Teeth Whitening, Family Dentist Omaha NE

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 Premier Dental!

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, NE office to schedule an appointment!

Happy Fourth of July

June 30th, 2015

Happy Fourth of July - Holidays Omaha NE

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.

Drs. Beninato, Larson, Berry, and Bost and our team at Premier Dental wish you a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Can my body reject my dental implant?

June 23rd, 2015

Can my body reject my dental implant? - Dental Implants Omaha NE

According to the International Congress of Oral Implantologists it is rare that your body will reject your dental implants. However, this does not mean that your dental implant will not fail. A successful dental implant is one that is placed in healthy bone and is properly cared for after the surgery takes place.

There is only one major reason why a dental implant would be rejected: a titanium allergy. The majority of dental implants are made with titanium because it has proven to be the most biologically compatible of all metals. On average, less than one percent of potential dental implant recipients reported an allergy to titanium.

Dental Implant Failure

The most common cause of dental implant failure in the upper and lower jaw is bacteria. Everyone has bacteria in their mouth. If you have bacteria in your jawbone at the time of your dental implant, it can spread from implant to implant, causing dental implant failure.

If you do not take proper care of your dental implants, that could also cause them to fail. You also have to take proper care of the implant and keep your mouth clean. The development of excessive bacteria around the implant and in surrounding tissues can lead to implant failure.

Teeth grinding is another reason dental implants fail. When you grind your teeth, it can move the implants out of position. Therefore, you should wear a mouthpiece when you go to sleep if you know you grind or clench.

If you take care of your implants by practicing good oral hygiene and visit our Omaha, NE office, you should not have any problems with your new dental implants. As always, ask Drs. Beninato, Larson, Berry, and Bost about any questions or concerns you have about you dental implants.

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

Join us for Dentistry from the Heart and a Blood Drive!

June 12th, 2015

Summer is upon us, and exciting things are happening here at Premier Dental! We're excited to bring our community together for a great event.

Dr. Beninato and our team are excited to be hosting a Dentistry from the Heart event on Saturday, July 18th. From 8a.m. - 3p.m., we'll be providing free dental care to families in need. Patients ages 19 and older will have a choice of a cleaning, filling, or extraction. All treatment is first come first serve. Just be sure to bring your photo ID and a list of current medications and health information!

We're also teaming up with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive the same day from 8a.m. - 3p.m. - you can click here to schedule a donation appointment time. The code to register is Premierdental. Any blood donors who are not currently patients will receive a free exam and x-rays! Current patients who donate will receive a free gift. You will also have the opportunity to sign up to be an organ donor if you are not already one.

It should be a fun day of stepping up and helping others in our community! We'll even have Casey, the Storm Chasers mascot, and Q 98.5 broadcasting live from the office from 10a.m. to noon. Anyone interested in volunteering at the event can email us.

We had a great time at last year's Dentistry from the Heart event, and can't wait to see you July 18th!

Healthy Summer Foods

June 2nd, 2015

Healthy Summer Foods, family dentist omaha ne

It’s summer—that wonderful time of year when fresh and delicious produce abounds. Drs. Beninato, Larson, Berry, and Bost will tell you that your teeth, gums, and tissues all rely on an appropriate mix of vitamins and minerals to maintain good oral health no matter what time of year. In previous studies, nutrients in fruits and vegetables such as dietary fiber, potassium, and antioxidants have all been associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and cancers, including oral cancer.

Here are four foods we want you to enjoy this summer to ensure a healthy mouth:

Watermelons and Strawberries

Watermelons have high water content, which dilutes the affects of the sugars they contain and stimulates the flow of saliva. In addition, research shows that eating foods full of water (watermelon is 92 percent water) helps keep you satiated on fewer calories. Finally, in addition to containing skin-protecting lycopene, eating watermelon can help you stay hydrated during the summer months, which not only keeps your memory sharp and your mood stable, but also helps keep your body cool.

Strawberries are juicy and delicious, and they’re also considered a superfood. Nutrient-rich and packed with antioxidants (such as vitamin C, which can help with cancer prevention), strawberries also promote eye health, help fight bad cholesterol, and regulate blood pressure.

Apples

Did you know consuming apples can help you attain whiter, healthier teeth? It’s true. Biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, and in the process, lowers the levels of bacteria and other harmful acids, leading to a lower likelihood of tooth decay. Apple consumption can also boost your immune system, reducing cholesterol and helping you avoid Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's diseases. Finally, eating an apple a day has been linked to heart health, including a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a delicious and healthy snack and can help you ward off cancer. The yummy red fruit contains lycopene, which helps protect your skin from sunburn. Tomatoes can also help you fight heart disease due to the niacin, folate, and vitamin B6 nutrients they contain. They’re high in crucial antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin A, which work to prevent DNA damage.

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