Diet and Tooth Decay

What is tooth decay?

What you eat, and how often you eat can affect the development of tooth decay. Tooth decay “also known as a cavity” happens when plaque come into contact with sugar in the mouth, causing acid to attack the teeth. Plaque is a sticky layer of bacteria that forms over your teeth throughout the day.  If the plaque is not removed daily, it can harden and turn into “calculus” which can no longer be removed with a toothbrush.

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Custom Athletic Mouthguards

Athletic Mouthguards

What is an Athletic/Sport mouthguard?

A mouthguard is a flexible custom fitted device worn over teeth during athletic and recreational activities to protect them from damage. A good-fitting mouth guard may be especially important if you wear braces, have fixed anterior bridgework or just want to protect your teeth/smile from potential trauma.

Mouthguards can prevent damage to the teeth, the brackets and/or other fixed appliances from blows and physical contact. Mouthguards can also act as a barrier between teeth/braces and the cheeks, as well as between the lips and tongue. This barrier limits the risk of soft tissue damage.

What are the benefits?

  1. Prevents cuts and bruising during impact between the lips and teeth
  2. Protects against chipped or broken teeth, root and bone damage, movement of teeth, and tooth loss.
  3. Provides support that can prevent fracture or damage to the lower jaw.
  4. Mouth guards also absorb the shock during physical contact and can prevent serious injuries such as jaw fracture, brain trauma/hemorrhage, concussion and neck injuries by helping to avoid instances where the lower jaw jams into the upper jaw. 

Who should wear a mouth guard?

The American Dental Association recommends the use of a mouth guard for 29 sports/exercise activities. These include ice hockey, lacrosse, field hockey, football, acrobatics, basketball, boxing, disc golf, gymnastics, handball, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting and wrestling. Essentially, whenever there’s a chance of contact with other players or hard surfaces, wearing a mouth guard makes sense.

How can I have a custom athletic guard made for myself or my children? For professional advice about how to protect your teeth during athletic activities, talk to your dentist about selecting a mouthguard that will provide the best protection for your particular needs. Please contact us at 920-233-6001 or email to [email protected] with any questions, or to schedule a consultation.

Oshkosh Smiles – Replacing Your Toothbrush

Frayed Toothbrush

It’s easy to know when to replace worn-out shoes or faded clothes, but how often should you change your toothbrush? Before you brush again, ask yourself whether it is time for a new toothbrush.

How often should you change your toothbrush?

The American Dental Association recommends that you replace your toothbrush approximately every three months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. When in doubt, look at your toothbrush bristles. If they are frayed, they won’t clean your teeth as thoroughly.  Clinically research shows that a new toothbrush can remove more plaque than one that’s worn out.

Change your Toothbrush when you are feeling under the weather

You should also consider getting a new toothbrush if you have recently been sick. This is because germs can hide in the toothbrush bristles and lead to reinfection. Even if you haven’t been sick, fungus and bacteria can develop in the bristles of your toothbrush over time, which is why they need to be replaced frequently. 

Maintaining Your Toothbrush

Storing a toothbrush in a closed container can cause bacteria to build up, so it is best to let the bristles of the toothbrush fully dry between each usage. If you’re traveling, consider using disposable toothbrushes during the trip.

Get into the habit of buying new toothbrushes for everyone in the family several times per year. How often you change your toothbrush has several factors, but it’s always best to have a new, fresh toothbrush waiting in the bathroom cabinet for each family member.

Oshkosh Smiles – Gum Disease

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a serious infection of your gums. It can damage the tissue and bone that support the teeth. If left untreated It can cause severe dental problems and tooth loss.

Most people don’t even realize that they have periodontal disease until it is too late. That’s why it is important for you to visit your dentist and dental hygienist regularly for cleanings and check-ups. At these appointments, we can check for signs and symptoms of gum disease and diagnose it early. Some common symptoms people face are bad breath, red/inflamed gums, bleeding, and tender gums, and sensitive teeth.

The earlier we can treat the gum infection, the better chance the patient has to keep their mouth clean and healthy.

What types of periodontal disease are there?

There are two major types of periodontal disease called gingivitis and periodontitis. The most common form that people have probably heard of is Gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. In fact, over half of adults the united states have this form of gum disease and don’t even realize it.  With gingivitis, there is typically not a significant amount of bone loss, and fortunately, it can be reversed. However, if left untreated gingivitis can quickly turn into periodontitis which Is a more severe form of gum disease.

Periodontitis is an irreversible form of gum disease. The damage to the tissue and bone has already happened, and the bone loss around the teeth cannot grow back.  Once the gum disease turns into periodontitis, the teeth can often become loose and sensitive. Periodontitis can progress very quickly after it reaches this stage, which is why it needs to be treated differently than a regular, healthy mouth. 

How do I treat periodontal disease?

Gingivitis (the early stage of gum disease) can be treated with a slightly more aggressive dental cleaning than a person with a healthy mouth would receive. We may recommend that a patient with gingivitis come in for one extra dental cleaning a year until we can reverse the disease process. Gingivitis is mainly treated at home and the success rate is mainly based on the patient’s home care.  The most important things a person should be doing at home include: brushing two times per day and flossing daily. We typically recommend an antibacterial mouth rinse for a person with gum disease, to help limit the amount of bacteria present in the mouth. With daily flossing, and brushing two times a day for two minutes, most cases of gingivitis can be reversed in a couple of weeks.

Periodontitis (The more aggressive form of gum disease) is irreversible, but it can be maintained. Treatment for periodontitis includes a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing. Once the scaling and root planning is completed, we recommend that the patient stay on a three-month periodontal maintenance cleaning program. A periodontal maintenance cleaning is a more aggressive cleaning that goes below the gumline. Patients with a history of periodontal disease need deeper cleanings because periodontal “pockets” have formed and bone loss has already occurred. A pocket is the space between the tooth and gum tissue where plaque and calculus form. While more intensive, this cleaning process is essential to restore and maintain gum and bone health. If the bacteria is left untreated, it can lead to inflammation, infection, tooth loss and can cause other serious health issues.

Our main focus here at Oshkosh Smiles is to help patients keep their mouths healthy and happy. Education is the first step in making our goal happen. If you have any concerns about your gum health or think you may have gum disease, please contact our office at 920-233-6001 to schedule a consultation.

Oshkosh Smiles – Dental Payment Options

The team at Oshkosh Smiles Family Dental realizes unforeseen circumstances arise that can make it difficult to pay for dental treatments. This video outlines your dental payment options.

“What payment options do you have for your office?”

At Oshkosh Smiles, we value our patients and understand that unforeseen circumstances can happen in your lives. That’s why we are willing to work with our patients when it comes to payment and financial arrangements.

Most dental offices require payment in full the same day as your services. Here at Oshkosh Smiles, we allow patients to pay their balance within 3 months without penalty. We also understand that this may not be a long enough payment period for some patients, which is why we also accept care credit at our office.

“What is CareCredit?”

CareCredit is different from a regular credit card. CareCredit is a zero-interest healthcare credit card specifically used towards your wellness. A lot of people are “scared” by the term credit card. However, CareCredit only pulls what is considered a “soft” credit score and has little to no effect on your score. It would be similar to you opening up a new checking account at a bank.

 Not only is it a zero percent interest option, but it gives you a longer period of time to pay than a regular credit card does.  Here at our office, we can give patients 6,12 or 18 months to pay their full balance over 200 dollars without any interest charges.

“Benefits of CareCredit”

Not only can you use your care credit card at our Dental office, but you can use it at many other businesses as well. Some examples are the pharmacist, dermatologist, vet, chiropractor, eye doctor, specialists, and cosmetic surgery. Best of all, you can use it for every member of your family.

We appreciate our patients and that is why we want you to be informed of all of your options when it comes to your dental care. CareCredit is a great option for many of the patients we treat.

Drs. Hanneman and Dustrude Establish Endowed Scholarship

Marquette Scholarship

Oshkosh area dentists Dr. Mike Hanneman and Dr. Karen Dustrude (husband and wife) have established a dental scholarship at their alma mater, the Marquette School of Dentistry.

Drs. Hanneman, who earned his DDS in 1982, and Dustrude, who earned her DDS in 1983, established their private dental practice in Oshkosh in 1982. Over the next 20 years, the partners earned a reputation for providing high-quality dental care, serving thousands of patients in the Oshkosh area.

The couple established the dental scholarship to specifically encourage young people of Northeast Wisconsin, a region where less than 22 percent of the population holds a bachelor’s degree, to pursue careers in dentistry. The endowed scholarship in their name will help honor their scholarship wishes in perpetuity.

The Marquette School of Dentistry is most grateful to Drs. Hanneman and Dustrude for this gift that encourages students to achieve a doctorate in dental surgery (DDS) degree.

“An endowed scholarship of this kind is of significant benefit to us as we strive to encourage Wisconsin scholars to pursue advanced degrees in the professional sciences”, states Jay Rabideaux, Development Director for Marquette University. Drs. Hanneman and Dustrude are helping to create a culture of philanthropy for others in their generation to follow.

As dental professionals and Marquette alumni, the couple feels compelled to give back. “We all have budgets and commitments, but we all need to give back to the school that taught us our skills”, states Dr. Karen Dustrude. “It’s important to us that our donations are enough to make a difference for Wisconsin scholars”.