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.

Your Little One Has a Hard Time Brushing Their Teeth? 4 Tips

It’s so important for children to learn to brush their teeth well. Unfortunately, many small children don’t have the coordination to brush their teeth thoroughly and properly.

Many kids also struggle to brush their teeth for long enough – they just don’t have the patience! As a parent, there are many things you can do to help your little one learn to brush their teeth. Here’s what we suggest.

1. Sing a Song to Show How Long

It’s normal for small children who brush their own teeth to lose interest in brushing their teeth before their teeth are fully clean. Tooth brushing should last about two minutes.

To show your child how long they should be brushing their teeth, find a song your child enjoys that lasts two minutes. Play that song on your phone or stereo every time your child brushes their teeth. Tell them tooth brushing is finished when the song ends.

2. Ask Them to Practice In Front Of You

Ask your child to show you how they brush their teeth. When they practice tooth brushing in front of you, your child will automatically show you what needs to be improved about their process.

Take the time to correct any problems that you’re noticing with your child’s tooth brushing – whether they’re not getting in the back of their mouth, or they’re just not spending enough time in one spot.

3. Have the Dentist Show Your Child

Your child’s dentist can also show your child how to brush their teeth. Ask your child’s dentist in Bellbrook OH to show your child the best way to brush their teeth. Get instruction from your dentist every time you go.

4. Take a “Turn” Brushing Their Teeth

Your child may insist on brushing their own teeth, but until your child is about 7 or 8 years old, you should be brushing their teeth at least once per day. This is because many children lack the manual dexterity to brush their own teeth until they’re at least 7 or 8. So if your child wants to brush their own teeth, let them take a turn – then take a turn yourself.

Make An Appointment for A Checkup

Take your child for a dental checkup in Bellbrook OH to get more advice about toothbrushing. Call Bellbrook Family Dentistry today to make an appointment.

What Causes Bleeding Gums?

When you are brushing, flossing, or admiring your smile in a mirror, the last thing you want to see is bleeding gums. If you do, this may be a sign something is amiss and needs to be corrected. While it could be due to something simple, it could also be a sign indicating a more serious condition. As for the common causes of bleeding gums, here are some to keep in mind the next time you visit your dentist in Bellbrook.

Vitamin K Deficiency- When bleeding gums result from a Vitamin K deficiency, it can mean you are not eating enough leafy green vegetables, drink an excessive amount of alcohol, or perhaps suffer from a nutrient malabsorption condition such as Crohn’s disease.

Brushing Too Hard- If you are using a toothbrush with hard bristles, switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush will probably eliminate your bleeding gums. If the problem is too much force or associated pain, consult with your dentist in Bellbrook.

Hormonal Changes During Pregnancy- When this occurs, your gums will become sensitive to plaque and bacteria, creating the condition known as pregnancy gingivitis.

Improper Flossing– If you have just started flossing, have not done so in several days, or are flossing multiple times per day, this can cause your gums to bleed.Try increasing your flossing to see if that alleviates the problem.

Use of Blood Thinners- If you suffer from certain bleeding disorders and are on blood-thinning medication, this can lead to easier bleeding at your gum line.

Poor-Fitting Dentures- Should you have dentures or other dental appliances that do not properly fit inside your mouth, your gums can become irritated in numerous spots and bleed quite frequently. Help for dental problems in Bellbrook is available at your dentist’s office.

Vitamin C Deficiency– When you don’t eat enough citrus fruits and potatoes regularly, you can develop a Vitamin C deficiency that leads to a condition known as Scurvy, which over time can cause your gums to bleed very easily.

While it is likely proper brushing and flossing, along with seeing your dentist in Bellbrook on a regular basis for checkups, will eliminate the plaque that eventually turns into tartar and causes gum disease, don’t take anything for granted. Should you be experiencing persistent gum bleeding or other related issues, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

What Is a Dental Abscess?  

Just like other parts of your body, your mouth can develop infections when there is an over-accumulation of bacteria. The result is commonly a dental abscess, which can be a concerning dental situation. Here is a closer look at the dental abscess, why the situation is serious, and how the condition may be treated by your Bellbrook dentist.

Dental Abscess Explained

A dental abscess is a type of bacterial infection that can create a pocket of pus near a tooth. An abscess can have a number of causes but is usually related to some form of tooth trauma or decay. A periapical abscess actually occurs near the root of a tooth where it is not visible. However, most often an abscess will be located in the gums nearby to the affected tooth’s root, so you may spot a small pimple or what appears to be a white-tipped bump. You may also notice:

  • Swelling and inflammation of the gums surrounding certain teeth
  • Excessive toothache
  • Unusually bad or foul breath
  • Fever
  • Dry mouth

The Dangers of Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is considered to be a dental emergency that should be treated as soon as possible. An infection in the mouth has a high likelihood of getting into your bloodstream, which can lead to a list of other health complications. In the most severe circumstances, an abscessed tooth can be a life-threatening situation because the infection spreads throughout the body.

How Dental Abscesses Are Treated

Typically, the dentist will prescribe a round of oral antibiotics to address the infection. You may also be given topical medications or pain medications to help if you are experiencing a great deal of pain. It is rare for a dentist to pull or treat the affected tooth until the infection has been controlled. However, once the infection has subsided or at least improved, you may need further dental care to tend to what issues may have caused the infection to start with.

Find Treatment for Dental Abscess in Bellbrook, OH

Any form of infection related to your teeth is a serious situation that should be properly addressed by an experienced dental professional. If you suspect that you have an abscessed tooth, please reach out to us at Bellbrook Family Dentistry in Bellbrook, OH to schedule an appointment.