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Flossing

April 8th, 2014

Flossing
Thinking about skipping out on flossing? Sure, your teeth may feel clean, but lurking in the crevices and depths of your mouth are billions of bacteria, just waiting to create havoc on your teeth and gums. At Smile Brightly, we know that, in addition to professional hygiene cleanings, brushing and flossing are the best ways to keep decay-causing bacteria at bay.

It doesn’t matter when you floss; just do it!

No excuses! Flossing first allows you to brush away dislodged food debris afterward. Brushing first allows you to loosen plaque between the teeth, making it easier to floss more effectively. Try doing both at the same time! (Just kidding; don’t try that at home.)
The important part of flossing is doing it, and doing it right. That means using a fresh strand of dental floss each day (reused floss is gross), and carefully pulling it back and forth between all of the teeth.
Think you can fib your way out of flossing? It turns out, we can tell if you’ve been flossing or not, so don’t try to hide it. We won’t be mad, just as long as you promise to start flossing on a daily basis. It’s for your own good, and ours, since looking at plaque-covered teeth every day is kind of gross for us, too.

April is National Facial Protection Month

April 2nd, 2014

The Importance of Facial Protection

Americans from all walks of life should mark April as National Facial Protection Month on their calendars. The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, Academy for Sports Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have combined forces to sponsor this annual campaign, which aims to educate and remind us of the importance of protecting our face and teeth against impacts and injuries.

Wearing a helmet can save your life and prevent devastating physical damage in a variety of situations, from playing football to riding a bicycle. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, helmets reduce the risk of various head injuries by as much as 85 percent. Whether helmet laws apply in your area or not, Dr. Laura Hannon and our team at Smile Brightly want you to make sure you and your loved ones wear helmets with the appropriate safety ratings for specific activities. (A sticker on or inside the helmet will usually indicate this rating.) Helmets can also help save your teeth if they come with an attached faceguard, an essential addition for football players and others involved in contact sports.

Preventing Dental Injuries

A mouthguard can protect you against a variety of dental injuries, such as cracked, broken, or knocked-out teeth. The American Dental Association states that mouthguards play an essential role in preventing up to 200,000 dental injuries each year, and many states mandate their use for sports activities such as football and hockey. The Academy for Sports Dentistry warns, however, that these mouthguards must be custom-fitted as precisely as possible to prove effective. Have a professional-quality mouthguard molded and fitted by our team at Smile Brightly for better protection than a generic store-bought or “boil-and-bite” variety can offer. These cheaper versions tend to wear out quickly, interfere with proper breathing, and provide uneven degrees of cushion against impacts. Always have a fresh mouthguard fitted for each new sports season.

Choose the right combination of helmet, faceguard, and mouthguard to protect your teeth and face this April, and tell your friends to do the same! To learn more about mouthguards, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Laura Hannon, please give us a call at our convenient Portage, IN office!

Which whitening is right for you?

March 26th, 2014

Many of our patients at Smile Brightly 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 Smile Brightly. 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, Dr. Laura Hannon 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, Dr. Laura Hannon will 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 Portage, IN office to schedule an appointment! Whiter teeth are one just one visit away at Smile Brightly!

My teeth feel great. Do I still need to see the dentist?

March 19th, 2014

Absolutely. Checking in with Dr. Laura Hannon on a regular basis—usually every six months—is essential to keeping your smile looking its best. At Smile Brightly, we are proud to offer a number of preventive procedures to ensure the health of your mouth and the beauty of your smile. Your smile is just as important to us as it is to you!

Another good reason to visit our Portage, IN office is to check for hidden issues in your mouth you may not even realize you had. Bacteria, tartar, and cavities are known to form in the hard-to-reach crevices of your mouth and may only be detected through a professional exam. If left untreated, these cavities and decay can get worse, requiring more extensive treatment, and costing you even more time and money down the road. During your routine exam, Dr. Laura Hannon and our team will also check to make sure your fillings or other dental restorations you may have had are in good shape.

Preventing problems before they start is the key to optimal oral health. If it has been more than six months since your last visit, please contact our Portage, IN dental office to schedule your routine checkup! See you soon!

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