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Grand Rapids, MI 49525

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Posts for: July, 2019

By North Park Family Dental
July 29, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth decay  
FactorsBesidesOralHygienethatInfluenceYourRiskforToothDecay

Tooth decay is one of the world's most prevalent diseases — and one of the most preventable. We've known the primary prevention recipe for decades: brushing and flossing daily, and dental cleanings and checkups at least twice a year.

But consistent oral hygiene isn't enough — you should also pay attention to your overall health, diet and lifestyle habits. Each of these areas in their own way can contribute to abnormally high mouth acid, which can soften enamel and open the door to tooth decay.

Lower saliva production is one such problem that can arise due to issues with your health. Among its many properties, saliva neutralizes acid and helps maintain the mouth's optimum neutral pH level. But some health conditions or medications can reduce saliva flow: less saliva means less neutralization and chronic acidity.

You can also inhibit saliva flow with one particular lifestyle habit — smoking. Tobacco smoke can damage salivary glands. Nicotine, tobacco's active ingredient, constricts blood vessels, leading to fewer antibodies delivered by the blood stream to mouth tissues to fight disease.

A diet heavy on acidic foods and beverages can also increase mouth acidity. It's not only what you're eating or drinking — it's also how often. If you're constantly snacking or sipping on something acidic, saliva doesn't have a chance to complete the neutralizing process.

In addition to your daily oral hygiene practice, you should also make changes in these other areas to further lower your risk of tooth decay. If you're taking medications that cause dry mouth, see if your doctor can prescribe a different one or try using products that stimulate saliva. Quit smoking, of course, as much for your mouth as for the rest of your health.

On the dietary front, reduce your intake of acidic foods and beverages, especially sodas, energy or sports drinks. If you've counted on the latter for hydration, switch to water instead. And limit acidic foods to mealtime rather than throughout the day.

It's all about maintaining a healthy pH level in your mouth. Doing so along with good oral hygiene will help you better avoid destructive tooth decay.

If you would like more information on preventing tooth decay, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Decay: How to Assess Your Risk.”


By North Park Family Dental
July 19, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental visit  
YouMayNeedtoPostponeanUpcomingDentalVisitifYouHaveShingles

Chicken pox is a common viral infection that usually occurs during childhood. Although the disease symptoms only last a short time, the virus that caused it may remain, lying dormant for years within the body's nervous system. Decades later it may reappear with a vengeance in a form known as herpes zoster, what most people know as shingles.

A shingles outbreak can be quite painful and uncomfortable—and it's also not a condition to take lightly. Occurring mainly in people over fifty, it often begins with an itching or burning sensation in the skin. This is often followed by a red rash breaking out in a belt-like pattern over various parts of the body, which may later develop into crusty sores. Symptoms may vary from person to person, but people commonly experience severe pain, fever and fatigue.

Besides the general discomfort it creates, shingles can also pose major health problems for certain people. Individuals with other health issues like pregnancy, cancer or a compromised immune system may experience serious complications related to a shingles outbreak.

In its early stages, shingles is contagious, spreading through direct contact with shingles sores or lesions or through breathing in the secretions from an infected person. This characteristic of shingles could affect your dental care: because the virus could potentially pass to staff and other patients, dentists usually postpone cleanings or other dental treatments for patients with shingles, particularly if they have a facial rash.

If you're diagnosed with shingles, most physicians recommend you begin antiviral treatment as soon as possible. You should also let your dentist know if you have shingles, which may put off any scheduled treatments until your doctor determines you're no longer contagious.

There's one other thing you can do, especially if you're over 60: obtain a shingles vaccine, available from most physicians or clinics. The vaccine has proven effective in preventing the disease, and could help you avoid this most unpleasant health experience.

If you would like more information on shingles and its effect on dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


By North Park Family Dental
July 09, 2019
Category: Oral Health
NBAPlayersInjuryPointsOutNeedforMouthguards

Basketball isn't a contact sport—right? Maybe once upon a time that was true… but today, not so much. Just ask New York Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. While scrambling for a loose ball in a recent game, Smith's mouth took a hit from an opposing player's elbow—and he came up missing a big part of his front tooth. It's a type of injury that has become common in this fast-paced game.

Research shows that when it comes to dental damage, basketball is a leader in the field. In fact, one study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) found that intercollegiate athletes who play basketball suffered a rate of dental injuries several times higher than those who played baseball, volleyball or track—even football!

Part of the problem is the nature of the game: With ten fast-moving players competing for space on a small court, collisions are bound to occur. Yet football requires even closer and more aggressive contact. Why don't football players suffer as many orofacial (mouth and face) injuries?

The answer is protective gear. While football players are generally required to wear helmets and mouth guards, hoopsters are not. And, with a few notable exceptions (like Golden State Warriors player Stephen Curry), most don't—which is an unfortunate choice.

Yes, modern dentistry offers many different options for a great-looking, long lasting tooth restoration or replacement. Based on each individual's situation, it's certainly possible to restore a damaged tooth via cosmetic bonding, veneers, bridgework, crowns, or dental implants. But depending on what's needed, these treatments may involve considerable time and expense. It's better to prevent dental injuries before they happen—and the best way to do that is with a custom-made mouthguard.

Here at the dental office we can provide a high-quality mouthguard that's fabricated from an exact model of your mouth, so it fits perfectly. Custom-made mouthguards offer effective protection against injury and are the most comfortable to wear; that's vital, because if you don't wear a mouthguard, it's not helping. Those "off-the-rack" or "boil-and-bite" mouthguards just can't offer the same level of comfort and protection as one that's designed and made just for you.

Do mouthguards really work? The same JADA study mentioned above found that when basketball players were required to wear mouthguards, the injury rate was cut by more than half! So if you (or your children) love to play basketball—or baseball—or any sport where there's a danger of orofacial injury—a custom-made mouthguard is a good investment in your smile's future.

If you would like more information about custom-made athletic mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Athletic Mouthguards” and “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry.”


By North Park Family Dental
July 03, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: porcelain veneers  

Are you embarrassed to smile? If you want a beautiful smile, porcelain veneers is the way to go, and the results can be life-changing. veneersVeneers are wafer-thin, ceramic shells that are placed over teeth to enhance your smile. Led by dentist, Dr. Robert Dame, North Park Family Dental (located in Grand Rapids, MI) offers state-of-the-art veneers to the patients they serve. Read on to find out how porcelain veneers can improve your smile.
 

Fix Your Smile Problems

Porcelain veneers have become very popular due to their versatility. These porcelain shells can treat many cosmetic dental issues at the same time. They fit over the front surface of your teeth changing their shape, length, and size. Veneers are routinely used to repair weakened teeth, fractured teeth, and crooked teeth. They're also used to close gaps between teeth. Veneers can make an imperfect smile look flawless.
 

Strengthen Your Teeth

Porcelain veneers can strengthen your damaged or worn-down teeth and protect them from further damage. This is possible due to the durable porcelain material that composes dental veneers as they cover your teeth. Porcelain veneers are as strong as tooth enamel and are extremely resistant to wear and fractures.
 

Whiten Your Smile

Porcelain veneers can give you bright-white teeth instantly. These shells are placed over your teeth changing their color. Nothing is more beautiful than a white smile. Now that's something to smile about. Dark-colored drinks and foods don't stain veneers as they do real teeth because unlike the enamel on your teeth, porcelain isn't porous.
 

Get a Natural Look

Veneers are natural looking and will give you a total smile makeover. Ceramic mimics much of the translucency of natural teeth, making dental veneers virtually indistinguishable from enamel. Your veneers will have the same natural look, feel, and luster as your teeth. Other materials, such as composite resin used in the dental bonding procedure, are opaque and don't offer the same naturalistic results as porcelain veneers.


Look More Youthful

Bad teeth can make you look old before your time. Porcelain veneers will make you look younger than your age - but that's not the only benefit. With porcelain veneers from your dentist in Grand Rapids, you will also look smarter and wealthier too. In terms of anti-aging, it's vitally important to spend a bit more making sure your teeth are in tip-top shape.


Ready for a smile makeover? Start your journey right now! Call your dentist North Park Family Dental at (616) 361-7265 now to schedule a consultation in Grand Rapids, MI and get the smile you deserve. Porcelain veneers have the power to change your look and improve your life! We want you to live your best life!