Do You Have Sensitive Teeth? Here’s What You Need to Know

Tooth sensitivity ranges from a mild, fleeting pang while brushing or flossing your teeth to excruciating pain when drinking an iced beverage or biting down on an ice cream bar. Sometimes, tooth sensitivity is a fleeting problem caused by a temporary condition, but it can also signal a serious problem. Here’s what you need to know:

What Causes Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth have a variety of causes, but the main ones include brushing too hard, brushing with the wrong type of toothbrush, cracks in your tooth enamel, grinding your teeth while you sleep, cavities, infected tooth pulp, and gum disease. Some people experience temporary tooth sensitivity after a routine dental tooth cleaning procedure, after a tooth whitening session, or after experiencing minor dental trauma such as biting down too hard on a piece of candy. Fortunately, treatments exist designed to minimize or eliminate tooth sensitivity.

Treatments for Sensitive Teeth

The treatment for sensitive teeth will depend on the root cause of the problem. It may be as simple as changing your toothpaste, your toothbrush, or your manner of brushing. If appropriate, your dentist may apply an in-office treatment involving placing a protective layer over the affected teeth. Your dentist may also recommend applying a desensitizing agent or provide you with a list of over-the-counter products you can use at home. You may need a root canal for persistent pain that cannot be successfully treated any other way.

How to Prevent Sensitive Teeth

The best way to prevent tooth sensitivity is to always practice good oral hygiene. You should brush and floss at least twice per day without fail as well as use an antibacterial mouthwash. Wear a mouthguard when playing sports, and make sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Consider using an oral irrigation system if flossing makes your gums bleed.

Because tooth sensitivity can be a sign of a dental health issue such as the onset of gum disease or an infection of the pulp in the interior of the tooth, you should always make an appointment with your dentist if unexplained tooth sensitivity doesn’t subside within a couple of days. 

 

Please don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment or for more information on how to deal with tooth sensitivity or other dental health issues.

Bad Habits That Are Destroying Your Teeth

The importance of regular brushing, flossing, and bi-annual dental cleanings cannot be stressed enough, however, even if you are adamant about following these recommendations, the health of your teeth may still be in danger because there are certain habits that can cause a great deal of damage to your teeth.

Stop These Habits Now, They Are Destroying Your Teeth

1. Your Teeth Are Not Tools

Stop opening bottles and tearing bags with your teeth. This habit can cause a chunk of a tooth to break off or a tooth to crack. Both of these dental issues could result in the need for extensive dental care. If a tooth cracks, it may need to be bonded or a crown might need to be placed. So, keep your teeth healthy by having scissors and a rubber, non-slip jar gripper lid opener nearby.

2. Chewing Ice

This habit is extremely detrimental to the teeth. It is the combination of the hard surface of the ice and its freezing temperature that wreaks havoc on the teeth. Chewing on ice can crack and/or chip the tooth enamel, causing an increase in sensitivity to temperatures as well as to certain foods. If you are an ice cruncher, try eating carrot sticks instead. Otherwise, you may end up needing a crown or dental bonding to address the damage your teeth have sustained.

3. Brushing Too Aggressively

Some people seem to think that the harder you brush, the better, however, this is not true. Brushing your teeth too hard can lead to just as many problems as not brushing your teeth at all can, especially as we age. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush and/or applying too much pressure tends to irritate the gingival tissue (gum), which can cause this tissue to swell. In addition, this aggressive brushing and use of a hard toothbrush can increase tooth sensitivity. You can solve this problem by switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush and using very little pressure while you brush.

If you have been practicing these habits and notice your teeth are damaged or that you are experiencing sensitivity, contact Korte Family Dentistry today at 402-489-3115 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Allen Korte. If you prefer, you can use the online form to request an appointment: To access this form, please click here.

Oral Cancer: Important Signs You Should Know

About 53,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. Yet, many people are unfamiliar with the signs of the disease, which can be incredibly dangerous for those who are at risk. Early diagnosis is vital to treatment and preventing major health concerns due to the spread of the problem. Here is a look at some of the signs of oral cancer everyone should know.

You have a sore that seems to never heal.

Getting the occasional abscess on your gums due to a bad tooth or having a small abrasion in your mouth is normal. However, if you find an opening, sore, or bump in your mouth that is not healing and it is continuously oozing or bleeding, it is best to have it checked out. This can be a sign of a concentrated form of localized oral cancer.

You have problems with swallowing or chewing.

Issues with swallowing or chewing can also be a sign of oral cancer, but they can also be symptoms of other conditions. In any case, it is best to discuss this symptom with your dentist and have them take a closer look.

Your gums look thicker or lumpy than what they should.

If you pay close attention to your mouth, especially your gums, you will notice when there is a change. Some changes are mild and temporary, but you should never see your gums look like they have thickened or appeared lumpy; this could be a sign of oral cancer. These areas of your gums may also be tender to the touch.

You have loose teeth but there is no reason that you could see.

Some people develop loose teeth due to bone loss, aging, or even decay. However, if you find that you have one or more loose teeth and you cannot find any reason why they should be, oral cancer could be to blame. Cancer can cause inflammation of the soft tissues and the bones that hold teeth in place, which can cause them to loosen.

Contact Us About Oral Cancer Treatment in Lincoln, NE

Early diagnosis for oral cancer can lower your chances of developing severe issues. Reach out to us right away at Korte Family Dentistry if you believe you have spotted a sign of oral cancer in your mouth.

5 Things You’re Doing Wrong When You Brush Your Teeth

The basis is good oral hygiene is brushing your teeth. You brush your teeth every day, but are you really brushing properly? Here is a look at five things you could be doing wrong when you brush your teeth.

1. Not brushing long enough.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day. If you’re not brushing your teeth for at least two minutes, you are not effectively removing all the plaque and food particles from your mouth.

2. Not using the best toothpaste.

The choice of toothpaste varieties has greatly multiplied over the years. From toothpaste with baking soda for whitening to fluoride toothpaste and natural toothpaste with charcoal incorporated, there are a ton of choices, but you have to make sure you are using the best product. It is best to look for a product that has the stamp of approval from the ADA.

3. Not getting brisk with your brushing.

Make sure you really get in there and put some effort into doing your brushing. A slight swipe with the brush will not suffice; you should be briskly brushing to remove residue.

4. Not cleaning your toothbrush when you get done.

If you were to look inside your mouth with a microscope, you may be surprised at just how much stuff is hanging out in there. Germs, bacteria, and other microscopic pathogens fill your mouth, and they get on your toothbrush. Clean your toothbrush well when you’re done brushing, and replace your toothbrush every three to four months.

5. Not getting all angles of your teeth.

Pay attention to all angles of your teeth while you brush. You should brush the bottoms where your teeth meet, the fronts of your teeth, and the backs of your teeth. A lot of people spend more time brushing the front of their teeth than anywhere else, which can lead way to problems in other areas.

Trust the Pros at Korte Family Dentistry for Your Oral Health Care

Brushing your teeth properly is only one component of taking care of your oral health. Trust the professionals at Korte Family Dentistry for your routine dental exams, hygiene appointments, and more.

3 Reasons Mouthwash Is an Important Part of Your Oral Care Routine

 

Some people use it religiously, and some people don’t necessarily care if they ever use it. Mouthwash is one of those oral care products that some individuals swear by and some never use it at all. However, most dentists agree that quality mouthwash is a nice addition to your oral care routine. Here is a look at why that is the case.

1. Mouthwash helps freshen your breath.

The primary reason a lot of people use mouthwash is because it helps to freshen the breath. Yes, the strong minty flavor helps to cover any odors, but most importantly, rinsing with mouthwash helps to eradicate those bad-breath-causing germs so your breath smells fresher. A lot of people suffer from bad breath because they do not adequately clean their tongue when they brush, and gargling with mouthwash can pull bacteria out of the small fissures in the surface of the tongue.

2. Mouthwash prevents the buildup of plaque.

Plaque buildup occurs because the substances you drink and chew can stick to the enamel of the teeth. If there are tiny and invisible layers of plaque already on the tooth enamel, more plaque will accumulate there. By using mouthwash, you are sloughing away and breaking down those existing plaque layers on the tooth enamel, which means mouthwash helps to prevent the undue buildup of plaque. Additionally, this action can help deter tooth decay from developing.

3. Mouthwash helps dislodge food particles before brushing.

A lot of people choose to use mouthwash after they brush their teeth, which is perfectly OK. However, using the rinsing aid before you brush is actually going to do you the most good. The swishing fluid will dislodge stubborn food particles between the teeth so they come out easier when you do use your toothbrush. It is even helpful to use mouthwash before you floss for the same reasons.

Make sure you are buying a dentist-recommended mouthwash that contains fluoride and ingredients that are good for your oral health. If you would like to know more about how mouthwash can help you have a healthy smile or which mouthwash you should use, reach out to us at Korte Family Dentistry for advice.

Preventing Children’s Cavities

There’s a common misconception that cavities are a rite of passage. Many parents incorrectly believe that it’s perfectly normal for children to get cavities. unfortunately, this can lead to a blasé attitude about children’s dental health. In reality, cavities never have to occur. If you take some simple precautions when your children are young, they may never have to have a cavity filled in their entire childhood.

Dental Sealants

Ask your dentist about getting dental sealants applied to your children’s teeth. This new and innovative dental treatment works wonders in preventing children’s cavities. Essentially, dental sealants are a thin, invisible coating that keeps bacteria from being able to eat into your children’s teeth. They are completely non-invasive and painless for your child. The treatment itself is similar to receiving an oral rinse. Dental sealants are safe for children of all ages. Your dentist can provide you with more details.

Regular Dental Checkups

Did you know that your child should have their first dental checkup even before their first tooth appears? The reason is that oral bacteria can affect gums as well as teeth. With regular dental checkups you and your child’s dentist can be proactive in tackling any dental issues that may arise. Talk to your family dentist about when you should make your first appointment for your child. Remember that when you teach your child to visit the dentist regularly, they will likely keep that habit their entire lives. This can ensure a lifetime of good dental health for your child.

Good Nutrition

Preventing children’s cavities is partially about good nutrition. Children’s teeth need vitamins and minerals to grow strong and healthy. Pay careful attention to your child’s diet to make sure they’re getting the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals they need. In general, you want to limit sugary snacks and drinks. Juices are good, but remember that natural sugars can damage teeth just as much as processed sugars. When you practice good nutrition in the entire household it becomes easier to ensure your child is eating properly, too.

Use these tips to help keep your child from getting cavities. Keep in mind that cavities don’t have to be a part of life. With proper care and attention, your child never has to get a cavity.

Benefits of Composite Fillings for Pediatric Cavities

Cavities in childhood are common because children just aren’t as attentive when they brush and floss and some kids simply do not like to brush their teeth. For a long time, amalgam fillings were the typical type of filling material for pediatric cavities. However, a composite filling has quickly become the most preferred option for a lot of parents and dentists. Here is a look at some of the benefits of composite fillings for pediatric cavities.

Composite fillings are shaded to match your child’s teeth.

Amalgam fillings have a dark grey color, which makes them very visible in contrast to the color of the teeth. Even once a filling is repaired, amalgam fillings can make it look like your child’s tooth or teeth still have damage, and that can be bothersome to a self-conscious child. The composite filling material is tinted by the dentist so it matches the color of your child’s tooth as closely as possible. The finished result is a repaired tooth that looks like there is nothing wrong with it at all.

Composite fillings do not contain metal compounds.

Even though amalgam dental fillings have been deemed as safe in studies, they do contain metal components, such as silver and mercury. Some parents are uncomfortable with the idea of introducing foreign metals into their child’s mouth. On the other hand, composite fillings are made out of ceramic and resinous compounds; they do not contain any metals.

Composite fillings are highly resilient and can last for years.

Amalgam fillings are exceptionally durable, but that does not mean composite fillings are not strong and resilient. Composite fillings can actually last for many years if they are done properly. For example, your child may get a composite filling in one of their first molars and that filling will last them well into adulthood as long as good oral hygiene practices are followed.

Many parents do not realize that they have a choice when their child needs a cavity filled, but most dentists do offer either amalgam or composite fillings. If you need a bit of guidance about the types of fillings available for pediatric cavity fillings, reach out to us at Korte Family Dentistry for advice.

 

Kids Play Sports? Here’s What You Need to Know About Protecting Their Teeth

If you’re like most parents, you understand the importance that exercise plays in your child’s life, especially these days when it seems that even kids spend a great deal of their day in sedentary pursuits. Naturally, you encourage your child to participate in the sport or sports of their choosing, but you may also worry about damage to their teeth in the event they become injured while playing sports. Although there are strategies available designed to help protect your child’s teeth while playing sports, these types of injuries are very difficult to prevent — that’s why it’s important to know exactly what to do if your child unexpectedly loses a tooth during the middle of a game.

Here’s what you need to know:

Mouth Guards Can Help

Mouthguards are the first line of defense when it comes to preventing dental injuries while playing sports, but they may do more harm than good if they don’t fit properly. Instead of purchasing a mouth guard that’s been mass-produced by a company that manufactures athletic products, talk to your child’s dentist about having a mouth guard custom-made.

What to Do if a Tooth Gets Knocked Out

The first thing to do if a tooth gets knocked out is to resist the urge to panic. If you can find the tooth, pick it up by the roots, and re-implant it in the socket if possible. However, if it’s dirty or muddy, place it in a glass of milk and take it with you to the dentist. However, you don’t need to worry about finding the tooth or re-implanting it if it’s a primary tooth — re-implanting these just interfere with the development of the permanent teeth coming in behind them. Use a cotton ball or a clean cloth to stop the bleeding.

It’s important that you get to the dentist as quickly as possible after the injury. It’s a good idea for you to have your dentist’s contact information stored on your smartphone as well as the contact info for your local emergency dentist.

Regular dental screenings can also help identify potential issues that might make your child more vulnerable to dental injuries. Please don’t hesitate to call us at your convenience to learn more about protecting your child’s teeth or to schedule an appointment for an examination and screening.

Girl after teeth whitening appointment

How to Prolong Professional Teeth Whitening Results

If you’re like most people, you probably really appreciate the effects of a professional teeth whitening treatment. After all, everyone looks and feels better when their smile is white and bright. Naturally, you’re going to want to prolong the whitening effects of your professional treatment for as long as possible, and the following several strategies are designed to help you do that.

Avoid Foods and Beverages That Stain Teeth

Blueberries and blackberries are among the worst culprits when it comes to staining teeth, so avoid or limit these foods as much as you can to maintain your bright smile. Other foods that stain include balsamic vinegar, grapes, tomato sauce, and soy sauce. Coffee, colas, tea, and red wine also stain teeth.

Use a Straw

If you’re like most people, there are certain beverages you just aren’t all that willing to give up — and you don’t have to. If you’re a blueberry or blackberry lover, for instance, you already know that these berries pack a substantial nutritional punch as well as taste absolutely delicious. You can avoid the stains they may leave by blending your favorite berries into a smoothie and drinking them through a straw. You can do the same thing with red wine, cola, and even coffee or tea.

Stop Smoking

Tobacco use causes serious stains on teeth, so now is the perfect time to finally quit for good. As an added bonus, stopping smoking now will reduce your risk of developing oral cancer at some future point.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene will also help prevent stains from recurring on your teeth. If possible, brush after every meal or snack. If this isn’t practical, make sure to thoroughly rinse your mouth out with water.

Ask Your Dentist to Recommend a Tooth Whitening Toothpaste

Your dentist may recommend an at-home whitening toothpaste in order to prolong the effects of your whitening treatment.

Schedule Touch-ups

Regular touch-ups, after your whitening procedure has been performed, helps keep your smile bright and white.

Please feel free to call us at your convenience to schedule an appointment to discuss our tooth whitening treatments as well as any of your other dental needs.

3 Tips for Preventative Dental Care

Keeping your teeth strong and healthy with preventative dental care is among the most effective ways to lower your risk of dental problems. This means taking steps to ensure that you have teeth that are in good condition through a combination of at-home care and professional dental care. Keep these tips in mind for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Schedule Routine Dental Visits

Preventative dental care involves having your teeth professionally cleaned and examined twice a year. Your dentist can check your teeth and gums for signs of decay, inflammation or other problems that should be treated. Professional cleanings remove harmful plaque and tartar from your teeth, which helps them stay healthy by reducing the risk of tooth decay. During your dental visits, you can also have fluoride treatments done to provide your teeth with even more protection from tooth decay.

Brush and Floss Regularly

When you’re at home, you should be brushing and flossing twice a day or more often as needed. This helps prevent plaque from building up on the surfaces of your teeth and raising your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. You should use a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid damaging your teeth and gums, and make sure that you’re cleaning all areas of your teeth. Flossing helps eliminate bits of food from between your teeth, so that bacteria won’t end up infecting your gums.

Choose Healthy Foods

Eating fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as cheese, can help keep your teeth healthy. Some foods have calcium that keeps your teeth strong, while others cause you to produce more saliva that helps wash food particles and bacteria off of your teeth. You should avoid eating and drinking foods and beverages that are harmful to your teeth, such as sugary foods, starchy foods and soft drinks. If you do eat foods that aren’t good for your teeth, drink water and wait about a half-hour before brushing.

If your family is due for dental cleanings and exams as part of preventative dental care, please contact Korte Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment.