General ServicesSmiles By Design prides itself on helping you create your perfect smile. We believe that communication is essential in making a successful visit to our office. It is our goal to not just do our job, but to communicate with you about the overall well-being of your smile. Below is a list of some of our General Services.
The best way to remove decay-causing plaque is by brushing and cleaning between your teeth every day. Brushing removes plaque from the tooth surfaces.
Brush your teeth twice a day, with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth, allowing you to reach all areas easily. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which helps protect your teeth from decay. When choosing any dental product, look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, an important symbol of a dental product’s safety and effectiveness.
Cleaning between the teeth once a day with floss or interdental cleaners removes plaque from between the teeth, areas where the toothbrush can’t reach. It is essential in preventing periodontal (gum) disease.
By taking care of your teeth, eating a balanced diet and visiting your dentist regularly, you can have healthy teeth and an attractive smile your entire life.
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums.
- Move the brush back and forth gently in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- Brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- Use the “toe” of the brush to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, using a gentle up-and-down stroke.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
- Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers.Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.
- Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.
- When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
- Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions.
- Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth.
- Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth.
Dental sealants act as a barrier, protecting the teeth against decay-causing bacteria. The sealants are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often.
Sealants are easy to apply, and it takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. The teeth that will be sealed are cleaned. Then the chewing surfaces are roughened with an acid solution to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. The sealant is then ‘painted’ onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a special curing light is used to help the sealant harden.
As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, we will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.
Fluoride is a natural mineral that hardens and protects teeth by neutralizing the acid that causes decay. Several decades ago, scientists found that adding fluoride to drinking water significantly decreased the number of cavities in children and adolescents. Most of us get fluoride from toothpastes and fluoride rinses. Children and some adults receive fluoride treatments from the dentist. Fluoride is inexpensive, safe and effective
Benefits of Fluoride:
- Fluoridated water can reduce tooth decay by 50% to 60%
- Fluoride gels given at your dentist’s office twice yearly can reduce decay by 40%
- At least a 25% reduction in cavities can be expected from use of fluoride toothpaste
Dental treatments with fluoride can help prevent tooth decay and even help your teeth rebuild areas of decay in both children and adults. Fluoride also reduces the amount of plaque bacteria in your mouth, which also lessens the chance of tooth decay.
- In children, fluoride works by hardening the enamel portion of the teeth, reducing the risk of decay. For most children, fluoride can be applied beginning at age three as part of a regular dental checkup.
- In adults, fluoride can dramatically reduce temperature sensitivity to hot substances along the root surfaces of the teeth – a common problem in older adults. Fluoride treatments can also help adults by stopping the progress of newly formed cavities.
Some adult and adolescent patients with either very sensitive teeth or a large amount of decay can benefit from home fluoride gels and tablets prescribed by your dentist. These are more powerful than the fluoride products purchased over the counter. Studies have shown the growing incidence of adult tooth decay is reduced by systemic (tap water) and topical fluoride treatments.
- Parents should monitor the fluoride intake of children younger than six years, The first six years of life are an important period for tooth development. Overuse of fluoride during this period can result in a condition that may appear as white lines or spots on the teeth. Monitoring fluoride sources by parents can reduce the incidence of white spots while preventing early tooth decay.
- Birth to one year – brush or wipe teeth with tap water after feedings and before bed. Offer tap water for thirst. Water should be sterilized until the baby is four months old.
- Young children one to 12 years – Offer four to six small glasses of tap water each day. Introduce fluoride toothpaste at age three. Brush teeth twice daily with a tiny amount of toothpaste ( the size of a match head). Toothpaste should never be swallowed.
- Older children 12 to 19 years old – Drink four to six glasses of tap water daily. Brush teeth twice daily with a match-head-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
- Adults – Drink at least four to six glasses of tap water daily. Brush teeth with no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste each day.
Too much Fluoride:
- Fluoride taken in large amounts, such as eating a tube of toothpaste or drinking a bottle of fluoride rinse, is toxic and can make you very ill. If you think that your child has swallowed a lot of fluoride, get emergency medical assistance at once.
- Never swallow toothpaste or rinse that contains fluoride.
- Watch your children when they are using fluoride.
- Keep fluoride products out of reach of children.
Bottled and Filtered Water:
Most disposable water filters do not remove fluoride from drinking water. To be sure, contact the manufacturer. Most bottled water does not contain fluoride. It’s best to check the label.
Rely on Your Dentist:
To find our if you and your family are getting enough fluoride, consult your dentist. Your dental professional can best advise you whether you need fluoride treatments. The use of fluoride along with brushing, flossing, regular dental checkups and a diet low in sugars can result in strong, healthy teeth.
There has been a steady rise in the amount of sugary drinks consumed every day by children and adults. It is not unusual for children to drink six to seven cans in a day. The average American gets more than 23 pounds of sugar from soft drinks yearly. Contrary to popular belief, diet or “sugar-free” pop can be just as harmful to your teeth because of its high acid level.
Soft Drink Tooth Decay Process:
- When drinking soft drinks and other surgary liquids, you’re exposing your teeth to something over time that even with good brushing and flossing, can break down the hard enamel that protects your teeth. Tooth decay is caused from tiny bacteria that, when exposed to sugar, produce acid. The acid causes enamel and any exposed root surfaces to soften and decay.
- Exposure time
- Previous cavities, crowns or fillings
- Reduced salivation (i.e. with medication, radiation or dry mouth)
- Individual susceptibility
- Home care
- No dental care
- Not enough fluoridation
- Crowding of the teeth
- Deep pits and grooves in the teeth
- The hard outer coating of the teeth gets eaten away during tooth decay and leaves tooth surfaces looking darkly stained, soft and a leathery consistency. Some teeth even get tiny holes at the gum line. When left untreated, tooth decay can lead to larger cavities, root canals, crowns and possible tooth loss. Beyond tooth decay, excess sugar consumption can lead to obesity, diabetes, calcium-robbed bones, kidney stones, osteoporosis and overall poor health.
- Limit the amount of soda and other sugary liquids you drink, especially when wearing braces or retainers.
- Drink other alternative to soft drinks, such as water.
- Read labels for sugar, which can also be called high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, glucose or dextrose
- Ask your dentist about prescription fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel.
Soft Drinks with High Acid Content:
- Orange Minute Maid Soda
- Hawaiian Fruit Punch
Soft Drinks with High Sugar Content:
- Grape Minute Maid Soda
- Orange Minute Maid Soda
- Mountain Dew
“Keep a stiff upper lip” or “get a grip!” That’s often the advice we get—and give—on how to cope with stress.
If you take it literally, the result could be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaws. It’s called bruxism, and often it happens as we sleep, caused not just by stress and anxiety but by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite or teeth that are missing or crooked. Symptoms include a dull headache or a sore jaw.
You could haveminn teeth that are painful or loose from severe grinding. This can lead to fractures in your teeth.
Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep.
If stress is the cause you need to find a way to relax! Physical therapy, muscle relaxants, counseling and even exercise may help reduce tension.
Don’t make your teeth the brunt of your stress.
Everybody loves a bright white smile, and there are a variety of tooth whitening products and procedures available to help you improve the look of yours.
Many people are satisfied with the sparkle they get from brushing twice daily with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, cleaning between their teeth once a day and the regular cleanings at your dentist’s office. If you decide you would like to go beyond this to make your smile look brighter, you should investigate all of your options.
You can take several approaches to whiten your smile:
- In-office bleaching
- At-home bleaching
- Whitening toothpastes
You Are Invited
You are invited to visit Lincoln’s premier destination for dental artistry. We pride ourselves in helping you create your perfect smile. With intra-oral cameras and flat screen televisions in every station, we allow you to view our work and examine your x-rays as we communicate with you about the best way to enhance and maintain your smile.
The operation rooms, which have no doors, are designed to be as comforting and engaging as possible. The tall, locally built custom cabinets that Dr. Fulton and her husband designed block any noise a door would usually keep out. TV screens angled for easy viewing serve both entertainment and practical medical purposes, as patients can see x-ray results and are encouraged to participate in the decision making process.