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.

dentist-helping-patient

The Benefits of Fluoride

When you visit our dental office at Korte Family Dentistry in Lincoln, Nebraska, we may offer you a fluoride treatment. What is fluoride and how does this benefit your teeth and oral health? Let us explain what fluoride provides for your smile when used as a part of your overall dental care.

What Fluoride Does for Teeth

Fluoride is a chemical that occurs naturally in the environment. When you are provided with a fluoride treatment, this gives you a coating of chemical ions. A reaction with sodium helps boost cavity protection from fluoride, according to the American Dental Association. The use of fluoride treatment on teeth also helps to strengthen the enamel of the teeth. This is beneficial to protect against decay. In fact, the ADA states you can reverse tooth decay in its early stages.

woman-brushing-teeth

How to Get Fluoride Treatments

People of all ages need fluoride as a part of a natural diet. This is vital to the protection of your teeth, which is why community water facilities add fluoride to public water systems. We recommend that you drink water from the faucet to gain the fluoride, and as a healthier beverage compared to juice or soda. Does bottled water contain fluoride? No, so you will need to make sure that you are getting fluoride into your diet in another way to protect your teeth.

For starters, you can also brush your teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride. Another way of getting fluoride on your teeth is with fluoride treatments that you can get right here at our Nebraska dental office. At Korte Family Dentistry, we offer fluoride treatments as part of our dental exams and teeth cleanings.

Choose Fluoride Treatments in Lincoln, NE Today

To request a fluoride treatment for you or your family members, start with our routine dental exam. We will provide you with this treatment as part of this exam once your teeth are thoroughly cleaned and polished. Call Korte Family Dentistry at 402-489-3115 to schedule an appointment today with our Lincoln, NE dentist. We are currently accepting new dental patients. In addition, we offer an array of other dental services including bonding, bridges, crowns, and extractions.

Cosmetic Dentistry FAQ

At Korte Family Dentistry in Lincoln, NE, our dental team gets a lot of questions about cosmetic dentistry. We believe so strongly about what the power of a healthy and attractive smile can do for you in your career, confidence, and relationships—that’s why we’re proud to answer your questions about our popular cosmetic dentistry services.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cosmetic Dentistry in Lincoln NE

What are some of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures?

At our Lincoln dental clinic, we offer a variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures including bonding, teeth whitening veneers, and implants. Our knowledgeable dentists can help you determine which type of procedure is the most appropriate for your needs and goals.

beautiful girl smiling outside

Who can get cosmetic dentistry?

In general, we encourage anyone who is concerned about the appearance of their smile to consult with us about cosmetic dentistry. This includes people with missing, cracked, broken, or discolored teeth. Certain oral health issues, such as cavities or tooth infections (abscess), may need to be addressed prior to your cosmetic appointment.

Even children may be eligible for some of the more conservative cosmetic dental procedures.

Is cosmetic dentistry good for the health of my teeth?

The main goal of cosmetic dentistry is to make your teeth look better, which can directly improve the way you feel about yourself as you go about your daily life. But what many people don’t realize is that cosmetic dentistry can also be good for your oral health, too!

For instance, removing and replacing unhealthy teeth or eliminating empty spaces in your gums with implants can reduce the risk of infection.

How long do services like teeth whitening and veneers last?

Most people who get their teeth professionally whitened can expect up to two years of noticeable brightness, with touch-ups recommended about once per year. How white your teeth get and stay, however, depends on several factors including genetics and whether you consume staining foods like tea, coffee, and wine.

Veneers—material placed over the teeth to improve appearance—can last for many years if you maintain good oral health habits!

Will insurance cover my cosmetic dentistry procedures?

This depends on the type of procedure you’re getting and your insurance policy. Our friendly front office team can help you figure out a payment option that works for you.

Could Cosmetic Dentistry Be the Thing You Need to Upgrade Your Smile—And Your Confidence?

Let us help you turn your smile into something to smile about! If you’re interested in cosmetic dentistry and live in or around Lincoln NE, contact Korte Family Dentistry at (571) 333-8558.  Our experienced dental team would be happy to help you learn more about our amazing services and how they can help improve both the look and health of your smile.