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March is National Nutrition Month!

March 5th, 2014

While you don’t have to wait to start eating right, March is the month the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics asks everyone to pay special attention to what goes into our bodies. The Academy has designated the month of March for focusing the public’s awareness on what they eat.

What Not to Eat

The academy points out that the foods you eat have a direct effect on the health of your teeth and specifically on tooth decay. Bacteria rely on carbohydrates to thrive. That is why Dr. Laura Hannon and our team at Smile Brightly tell our patients to cut back on both candy and sweets. They consist of simple sugars that feed the bacteria in your mouth and enhance tooth decay.

It’s the hidden sugars that will cost you, though. Get in the habit of reading labels on food and looking for products with added sugar. This includes ingredients that end with the suffix “ose.” When it comes to nutrition, these foods offer little value beyond satisfying that sweet tooth.

What You Should Eat

Turn to foods that not only taste good but are good for your teeth too. Dairy products, for example, provide the body with nutritional items that support tooth enamel. Foods high in protein feature phosphorus, a nutrient critical to oral health.

You can’t really go wrong by adding color to your diet, either. Fruits and vegetables make for a colorful plate and a healthy meal. Use some caution with acidic fruits like oranges or even tomatoes, because the acid can erode tooth enamel. It is better to include these foods in a meal instead of eating them by themselves.

Remember, good nutrition is something you should worry about all year long, not just when celebrating National Nutrition Month. March just serves as a fun reminder that eating right is a proactive step in managing your dental health.

We encourage you to give us a call at our Portage, IN office to learn more!

DR. LAURA HANNON, DDS. SEEKS TO RAISE RECORD AMOUNT OF CONTRIBUTIONS DURING 2014 SMILES FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN!

February 28th, 2014

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Help improve a child’s life by having your teeth whitened. Sound easy? That’s because it is. The 3rd annual partnership with Smiles for Life Campaign begins today, which means dental patients throughout Northwest Indiana can visit Dr. Hannon’s office, which is a participating Crown Council member. The campaign runs from March until June, and 100% of the proceeds from teeth whitening done at Dr. Hannon’s office are donated to children’s charities, both locally and around the world. Patients love the unique opportunity to improve the lives of children in need while enhancing their own smiles.

This is a wonderful and easy way for members of the community to help make a real difference in a child’s life. Dr. Hannon offers a safe and caring environment for her patients. She finds her partnership with Smiles for Life rewarding by extending a helping hand to the children in our community.
Half of the contributions raised by Dr. Hannon’s office will be donated to Hannah’s Hope which is a not for profit organization that aims at assisting children with special needs obtain various therapies and costly medical equipment that is so desperately needed. Hannah’s Hope works with organizations that provide these services, as well as providing monetary assistance to pediatric brain research. The other half of donations will be going to the Smiles for Life foundation for distribution among other children’s charities. Stay tuned to see how much we are able to raise together this year. Better yet participate! We invite patients and non patients alike.
For more information on Hannah’s Hope as well as Hannah’s story visit http://www.hannahshope.org

Patient’s who would like to be involved please contact Dr. Laura Hannon’s office at 219-763-6646 or email our office at patientcare@smilebrightly.com.

Is there a correlation between my dental and cardiovascular health?

February 26th, 2014

YES!  Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, underscoring the importance of good oral health care. Cardiovascular disease remains American’s leading killer, claiming more lives than the rest of major causes of death, according to our friends at the American Heart Association. In fact, an estimated 80 percent of American adults currently have some form of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease.

Studies suggest that people with gum disease are believed to have an elevated risk of heart attack and stroke. Since most patients are not regularly visiting a heart specialist, their regular visits to our Portage, IN office can help detect early warning signs of heart issues, prevent gum disease, or at the very least catch it at its early stage. We’d also like you to know your numbers: blood pressure (less than 120/80), cholesterol (less than 200) and BMI (less than 25).

There are many benefits to visiting Smile Brightly in addition to maintaining your dental health. If it has been a while since your last visit, please give us a call!

Wisdom Teeth Emergencies: Causes and treatment

February 19th, 2014

When you think of a dental emergency, you may picture teeth that have fallen out or severe tooth pain. But it is not uncommon for wisdom teeth to develop conditions or problems that require urgent care from Dr. Laura Hannon and our team at Smile Brightly. Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that erupt in the late teen years to early 20s. Spacing and crowding problems often cause impaction and infections, which is why many people elect to have their wisdom teeth removed. If you are experiencing discomfort or pain related to your wisdom teeth, call our office to schedule a wisdom teeth consultation.

Perisoronitis and Infections

You may develop perisoronitis if you have a partially-erupted wisdom tooth that has become inflamed. Often, inflammation is caused by food lodged beneath the gum. Here at Smile Brightly, we can gently search for and remove food debris, as well as clean the affected area and treat it with antibiotics. Do not avoid treatment, however, as untreated perisoronitis can lead to infection, which ultimately places your health at risk.

Crowding and Impaction

When your wisdom teeth erupt, they may cause overcrowding of your teeth, which can have a negative effect on their alignment. This can make it harder for you to clean your teeth properly, and it also increases the chances for developing tooth decay and other oral health problems in the future. For some people, the wisdom teeth never erupt, becoming impacted beneath the gum and causing problems with the neighboring teeth.

If you have an impaction or wisdom tooth crowding, make an appointment with our office soon. We will be happy to evaluate the progress of your wisdom teeth, as well as their effect on the rest of your jaw. Depending on our analysis, we will then discuss your options for treatment and whether extraction might be right for you.

Complications from Wisdom Tooth Extraction

If you have recently had your wisdom teeth extracted, blood clots will have formed in the open sockets the teeth previously occupied. In most cases, the gums heal normally, assuming you follow post-surgical care instructions. However, a small percentage of wisdom tooth extractions do not heal according to plan. If you continue to experience pain or other unusual symptoms following a wisdom tooth extraction, please give us a call. We’ll do everything we can to minimize discomfort and help you heal safely and quickly.

Remember, our team is here to support your dental health in every capacity. We are dedicated to providing excellent service before, during, and after all wisdom tooth procedures, so you can rest assured that your oral health is in good hands.

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