6 Tips for Taking Care of Your Teeth This Summer

Summer is a time when people let loose, go on vacation, attend family get togethers and go to barbecues. Some of these activities can impact your dental health. Seeing the dentist in Bellbrook, OH and following these tips can help you take care of your teeth this summer.

1. Stay Hydrated

Saliva is good for your teeth. Adequate saliva helps keep your teeth clean by washing away the bacteria. Saliva also helps you maintain good breath. If you don’t stay hydrated, you could have a hard time producing adequate saliva. Whether you’re outside doing yard work or playing at the beach, it’s important to stay properly hydrated.

2. Floss After Eating Stringy Barbecue Foods

Barbecues are known for their fabulous food, including veggie trays with fresh celery, stringy pulled pork, and corn on the cob with silky strands hanging from the ends. Stringy barbecue foods can get caught between your teeth. Bring floss with you to the next barbecue, and when you’ve got a minute, excuse yourself to go clean your teeth.

3. Keep Up With Dental Hygiene On Vacations

Bring everything you need to maintain your oral hygiene when you’re away on vacation. Don’t plan to buy what you need when you arrive, because you may not find it – especially if you’re out of the country.

4. Limit Sugary Drinks

Sodas sure do feel great going down on a hot summer day! Unfortunately, sugary drinks can contribute to tooth decay and poor dental hygiene. Whenever possible, stick to fresh water or carbonated water with no sugar.

5. Incorporate Healthy Foods Into Your Diet

Next time you go to an outdoor event with unhealthy foods, be sure to incorporate any healthy foods that are available to eat as well.

6. Avoid Chewing on Ice

Ice is yummy and refreshing, especially on a hot summer day. It can also be hard on your teeth. Avoid chewing on ice to protect your tooth enamel and avoid chips and other problems.

To take care of your teeth, see the dentist for preventative dental care in Bellbrook, OH. Call Bellbrook Family Dentistry today to make an appointment.


4 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Oral Health this Winter

Are you happy with your oral health? If not, there are many things you can do to change that. Good oral health starts with you. By developing good habits and by using the tools at your disposal to keep your teeth clean, you can enjoy good oral health for many years. Below are four smart things you can do to improve your oral health this winter.

1. Resolve to Eat Less Sugar

Sugar contributes to dental decay, cavities and problems like gum disease. By eating less sugar, you can help protect your teeth. Now that the holidays are over, it may be a good time to cut back on sugar intake and focus more on foods that are good for your body. Some tips for cutting back on sugar:

  • Look for sugar-free alternatives to the normal foods you buy.
  • Stop drinking sodas and instead drink water.
  • Develop a list of healthy low-sugar snack foods, such as boiled eggs and nuts and seeds.

2. Make Your Appointment with the Dentist Before You Forget

You should be seeing the dentist twice per year, so your first appointment of the year should be coming up soon. To get your teeth cleaning on the books, make an appointment for teeth cleaning in Bellbrook, OH. Call your dental professional to make this happen.

3. Switch to an Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes can be more effective at preventing plaque and tartar. Electric toothbrushes also have a range of features that can help keep your teeth healthy, including built-in timers that help you know when you’ve been brushing your teeth for two minutes, and sensors that can tell you when you’re pushing too hard while brushing. Switch your manual toothbrush to an electric toothbrush to start taking better care of your teeth.

4. Brush Up Your Oral Hygiene Routine

Next time you go in to the dentist, ask your dental professional to show you how to brush your teeth and how to floss. You may think you’re doing it correctly, but it’s easy to develop bad habits with these important dental hygiene routines.

Have questions about things you can do to improve your oral health? Talk to your dentist in Bellbrook, OH to find out what else you can do to make improvements to your oral hygiene routine.

3 Qualities to Look For In a Pediatric Dentist

When you’re in need of a pediatric dentist in Bellbrook, OH, it’s important to find a professional with qualities that make a difference – qualities such as relevant experience, good communication skills and strategies for working with children. Below, we’ll outline what to seek out when you look for a dentist for your child. Knowing what to seek out and how to find it can help you find a dentist that will make your child feel comfortable and safe during dental appointments.

1. Experienced

The more that a dentist works with children, the easier it becomes for the dentist to anticipate what children want and how to work with them. To find out how much experience a dentist has with children, give them a call. You may need to set up an appointment to speak with the dentist in person or over the phone. When you’re able to talk with the dentist, ask questions such as:

  • How long have you been working with kids?
  • How often do you work with children?
  • How have your strategies for working with children changed over the years?

2. Good Communicator

Your child will be reliant on you to brush their teeth for them for the first several years. It’s important to find a dentist who can tell you how to brush your child’s teeth effectively. The better the dentist is at communicating with you about your responsibilities to care for your child’s teeth, the easier it will be for you to learn your role.

While you’re on the phone with the potential dentist, evaluate their communication skills. Ask yourself if you could picture them giving you important information about your child’s dental care.

3. Has Strategies for Working With Children

One more thing to ask the dentist about when you’re talking on the phone: find out what kind of strategies they use to keep children comfortable at the dentist office.

Having effective strategies will be important when you bring your child in for a pediatric dental cleaning in Bellbrook, OH. A dentist who knows how to put kids at ease can make the experience a much more pleasant one for you, your child and everyone involved.

Which Foods Are Good for Strengthening My Child’s Teeth?  

Since diet and teeth go hand in hand, a child’s oral health is directly affected by the foods and beverages that he or she consumes. Sugary foods and beverages feed the bacteria in the mouth that wreak havoc on the teeth and gums, while acidic foods and beverages weaken tooth enamel. Although, at some point, a child will consume these foods and beverages, in addition to biannual dental cleanings in Bellbrook, OH, parents can use other foods to help strengthen their child’s teeth.

5 Foods That Can Strengthen a Child’s Teeth

One of the best ways parents can help strengthen their child’s teeth is by incorporating foods beneficial to oral health into his or her diet.

1. Firm Raw Vegetables

Eating firm raw vegetables (e.g., celery, carrots) can help remove food debris and reduce the number of bacteria on the teeth. In addition, carrots cause an increase in saliva production, which reduces a child’s risk of developing cavities. Celery provides a substantial amount of the antioxidant vitamins C and A, both of which can improve gum health.

2. Apples

Although apples have a relatively high sugar content, apples also consist of water and fiber. While a child eats an apple, his or her mouth begins producing saliva, which helps rinse away the bacteria responsible for the development of cavities. In addition, the apple’s texture stimulates the child’s gums.

3. Avocados

The flesh of the avocado is loaded with prebiotic fiber, which feeds the probiotic bacteria in the mouth. The probiotic bacteria help oral health by reducing the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth.

4. Chicken Legs, Thighs and Wings

While many people think a skinless chicken breast is the healthiest piece of chicken, when it comes to the teeth, drumsticks, wings and thighs come out on top. These parts of the chicken are most beneficial because they contain high amounts of collagen, which is crucial for gum health. The benefits of collagen can also be obtained by making a stock or bone broth using drumsticks, wings and thighs.

5. Spinach

This vegetable is chock-full of vitamins and minerals that can improve a child’s dental health. Since most children are not in any rush to eat a bowl of Popeye’s favorite food, consider incorporating spinach into a child’s diet by adding it to pasta sauces and smoothies.

While these foods do strengthen the teeth, to ensure good oral health, daily brushing and flossing is still necessary. Furthermore, biannual cleanings remain a vital aspect of maintaining strong, healthy teeth and gums.

If you are looking for an experienced dentist, and you reside in the Bellbrook, Ohio, area, contact Bellbrook Family Dentistry today to schedule an appointment with Dr. John Harmeyer or one of his experienced, caring and dedicated dental professionals. To book an appointment, please call (937) 848-7741 or request an appointment using our online form.

Bellbrook Family Dentistry’s address is 4291 Sugarcreek Drive in Bellbrook, Ohio.


The Myths and Facts about Fluoride

Over the years you’ve probably heard many things, good and bad, about fluoride. But how do you know what’s true and what’s not? Today we are going to set the record straight by going over some of the most common myths and facts about fluoride. Then, if you need more information or if you have any other dental questions, you should contact a dentist in Bellbrook, OH for assistance.

Myth #1: If you drink fluoridated water, you will experience fluorosis.

Fact: Only if you drink high amounts of fluoride, will you experience fluorosis. In the United States, any amount of fluoride added to the water is so low, that the chance of developing fluorosis is extremely rare.

Myth #2: Fluoride is dangerous for kids.

Fact: Fluoride isn’t dangerous for kids if it is used as intended. Drinking fluoridated water will help strengthen your kids’ teeth and will help prevent future tooth decay. If your kids develop tooth decay, they might end up needing a filling or tooth extraction in Bellbrook, OH.

Myth #3: Drinking water with fluoride in it causes cancer.

Fact: There have been many studies conducted about this issue and the research shows no indication that fluoride causes cancer or any other health problems for that matter. In fact, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Institute of Medicine have both endorsed fluoride as being safe.

Myth #4: Fluoride causes autism and the risk of autism.

Fact: Numerous studies and research don’t show any evidence that drinking fluoridated water causes or increases the risk of autism.

Myth #5: Europe doesn’t allow fluoride in their water, so the United States shouldn’t either.

Fact: European countries do use water fluoridation systems. Salt fluoridation is the method European countries use.

Myth #6: If you use toothpaste with fluoride in it, you don’t need additional fluoride sources.

Fact: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states the amount of fluoride contained in your toothpaste isn’t enough to protect your teeth from tooth decay. For maximum protection, you should use fluoride toothpaste and drink fluoridated water.

If you need a dentist in Bellbrook, OH, or any of the surrounding areas, please Contact Bellbrook Family Dentistry today. We are committed to providing you with the highest quality dental care in a comfortable and relaxing environment.

What Is Bone Loss, and How Does It Affect My Smile?

Bone loss can occur when you lose a permanent tooth and put nothing in its place. So, if you’re having a tooth extracted, or if you’ve lost a tooth due to trauma or disease, talk with your dentist in Bellbrook, OH, about your options for replacement. Immediate replacement can help you avoid the damage that can occur due to bone loss.

How Does Bone Loss Happen?

Bone loss is a natural occurrence that happens when a tooth socket remains empty over a period of time. Your body begins to reabsorb the bone, causing a cup-like indentation in the gums where the tooth used to be. Because there is no tooth in place to add pressure, the bone simply recedes.

Over time, this can cause problems with your surrounding teeth as they begin to spread out and reposition. Eventually, you may begin to have difficulty biting, chewing, or speaking as a result.

How Does Bone Loss Affect My Smile?

Bone loss can cause a malocclusion, including an open bite. This is when your upper and lower teeth no longer come together when your mouth is closed. An open bite may cause a speech impediment and may make it difficult for your teeth to bite and tear food. It can also cause the teeth surrounding the empty socket to shift and spread, causing unsightly gaps in your smile.

Can Bone Loss Be Prevented?

Your dentist can help you avoid bone loss by placing a dental implant into the empty socket left behind by the lost or extracted tooth. Once an artificial tooth is in place, this will prevent the bone beneath the tooth from receding.

If you’re concerned about a tooth that’s missing or that may need to be extracted, schedule an appointment with Bellbrook Family Dentistry today. Our experienced clinicians are happy to sit down with you to discuss your smile goals. And we’ll go over all your options for tooth replacement if your permanent tooth can’t be saved. We can help prevent bone loss in Bellbrook, OH, and we’re only one phone call away. Contact us today to set up a time that’s convenient for you.

6 Little-Known Facts about Dental Insurance

As you probably already know, dental insurance is extremely important if you don’t want to carry the burden of paying for your preventive and dental treatments out of your own pocket. However, understanding dental insurance can be quite confusing and there are many hidden facts contained in that infamous small print most people aren’t aware of. That’s why we are going to give you some little-known facts about dental insurance before you visit a dentist in Bellbrook, OH.

Fact #1: Dentists Charge the Same for All Patients

Dentists charge the same dental fees for all their patients, regardless of the patient’s insurance coverage. The problem is that sometimes the fees paid by your insurance company might be lower than the fee your dentist charges. It all depends on the benefits included in your policy. That means the patient must pay the difference.

Fact #2: Dental Insurance Doesn’t Usually Pay 100% of Everything

Dental insurance is meant to supplement your payments. It doesn’t usually cover 100% of everything you need. So if you need family dentistry in Bellbrook, OH, it’s best to contact the dental office to see if what you need is covered first. If not, you can talk about your options for paying out of pocket.

Fact #3: The Truth about Dental Fees

When a patient must pay some of the dental fees because they aren’t covered by their insurance, dentists will usually tell their patients the fees they are being charged are above the usual and customary fees. What that means is your insurance benefits are not high enough to cover them.

Fact #4: Insurance Company Down-Coding

It’s common practice for an insurance company to use what’s called down-coding. For example, down-coding is when an insurance company will only pay for a composite filling at the lower rate of a silver filling. So they tell you they pay for composite fillings, and that’s true, but they only pay up to the amount a silver filling would cost. That means you end up paying the difference.

Fact #5: What You Think Is Covered and What’s Really Covered

Many insurance companies will tell you you’re covered up to 80% or 100%. However, any dentist will tell you that most insurance plans only cover about 40% to 60% of any given fee. Everything is determined by how much your employer actually paid for the plan. If your employer paid less for the insurance, you in return will receive less in benefits. The words “up to” are used broadly to skim over the fact that your benefits are actually lower than you have been led to believe.

Fact #6: The Truth about Using Preferred Providers

An insurance company will sometimes encourage you to use a “Preferred Provider.” This is because an insurance company’s preferred providers are the ones who have agreed to lower their fees to get more patients. However, those preferred providers will frequently use cheaper materials, foreign dental labs, and other cost-cutting measures to make up the cost for the lower fees. This will generally, but not always, result in lower quality dentistry that will have to be redone sooner rather than later.

What’s Next?

If you need dental services, please Contact Bellbrook Family Dentistry today. We are committed to providing you with the highest quality dental care in Ohio.

Wisdom Teeth and Your Teen 

The teenage years can be a pain. This is especially true for teens who have impacted wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that erupt near the back of the mouth. They’re the last in a long line of permanent teeth, and they occur on both the upper and lower jaw. Sadly, they can make you feel anything but wise. When it’s time for your teen to begin feeling their wisdom teeth, yourdentist in Bellbrook, OH, can help.

When Do Wisdom Teeth Erupt?

Wisdom teeth usually put in an appearance during the late teenage years, but they can stow away up until your mid-twenties. Sometimes, they grow in normally, without causing unnecessary pain or chaos. More likely, however, they need to be extracted. This is because there’s simply not enough room left for them to erupt without crowding your other teeth.

What Is an Impacted Wisdom Tooth?

An impacted tooth is one that’s hovering below the surface of the gum and can’t break through for some reason. With wisdom teeth, it’s usually because there just isn’t enough room. Or sometimes, the wisdom tooth is situated at an angle below the gum, and it’s bumping into the tooth in front of it. Impacted wisdom teeth can be painful, and even if they manage to grow in, they’re usually too closely situated to other teeth. This makes them hard to clean, which can lead to decay.

What Can Your Dentist Do About Wisdom Teeth?

With regular dental checkups, your teen’s dentist can spot problematic wisdom teeth before they begin to erupt. These teeth are diagnosed through X-rays of your child’s mouth that show the exact position of the teeth and whether they have enough space to erupt normally. If not, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon who can remove the teeth while they’re still beneath the gums. In this way, they never have the opportunity to crowd other teeth.

If your teen is experiencingwisdom teeth problems in Bellbrook, OH, call Bellbrook Family Dentistry today. Our friendly and experienced team can put your worries to rest by diagnosing and treating problematic wisdom teeth before they have the chance to become painful. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

How to Protect Your Little One’s Teeth this Holiday Season

The holidays are a time of great fun – but they can also be hard on teeth! Kids can be especially vulnerable to dental problems around the holidays, because of the temptation to eat sweets and candy. You can protect your child’s teeth this holiday season. By making an appointment with the dentist in Bellbrook OH, and by taking the following precautions, you can ensure that your child has good oral hygiene once the holidays are over. Here’s what you need to know.

Keep up With Their Oral Hygiene Routine

Do you ever forget to have your child brush their teeth at night? Ever send them to bed without telling them to brush and floss? This is not the time of year to let that happen! While it’s never a good idea to let ordinary oral hygiene routines slide, it’s an even bigger problem at the holidays. Set an alarm on your phone to go off every night before bedtime, so that you and your child will remember tooth brushing every evening.

Limit their Intake of Sugar

Don’t give your child uncontrolled access to cookies, cakes and sugar around the holidays. When your child asks if they can have holiday cookies, tell them how many they may take. If your child is given chocolates or candies by a relative, tell your child what times of day are acceptable for eating these candies. Avoid giving your child candies in their stocking, since they’re probably getting candies in many other places at this time of year.

Have Them Drink Water

Encourage your child to drink water with snacks, after snacks, and after meals. Drinking water helps wash away the bacteria and bits of food left in your child’s mouth, and that can help keep your child’s mouth clean. Want to make drinking water more fun? Give them a cute sippy cup they love, or a special water bottle that’s all theirs.

Schedule a Dental Checkup

Schedule a dental check up in Bellbrook OH immediately following the holidays. During your child’s checkup, the dentist will get rid of any plaque that may have built up on your child’s teeth during the holidays. The dentist will also let you know if your child needs a filling or if they need to make changes to their oral hygiene routine.

Call today to make an appointment.

Surface-Level Cavities 101: What They Are & How They’re Treated

Did you know that as many as 92 percent of adults actually have a cavity in their teeth right now? Most of these people probably have what is referred to as a surface-level cavity. Without question, cavities are some of the most common oral health ailments, but they are also perfectly treatable when they are tended to with dental fillings in Centerville, OH early in their development. Here is a look at what a surface-level cavity is, how it is treated, and what the outlook will be for the long term.

What is a surface-level cavity?

A surface-level cavity is a point of decay on a tooth that only affects the outermost layer of enamel. Teeth are made up of primarily three layers: enamel, dentin, and pulp. These cavities can occur because of bacteria collecting or accumulating in the area that does not get sloughed away with regular brushing. The majority of cavities among people who visit the dentist regularly are surface level because the decay does not have a chance to sink further into the tooth.

How is a surface-level cavity treated?

Surface-level cavities do need to be promptly treated because left unattended, the decay will spread and can potentially reach into the dentin or pulp. The dentist will use a tiny drill to remove the decayed material, and then enclose the opening with a tooth-colored filling.

What happens after a surface-level cavity is treated?

Once the cavity is treated, the decay will stop growing. The filling acts as a sealer in the area to prevent bacteria from getting into the enamel. Some fillings are so effective that they last a lifetime with the proper care and dental hygiene efforts. However, after several years, a filling may have to be replaced by a dentist.

Need a Tooth Filled in Centerville, OH?

A cavity may be common, but the longer a cavity is left untreated, the more likely it will be that a Centerville, OH dentist has to take more intense action to preserve your tooth. If it has been a while since you have had a checkup to examine your teeth for cavities, reach out to us at Bellbrook Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment.