Westfield's Dental Department

Posts for: October, 2016

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
October 23, 2016
Category: Oral Health

When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?

For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.

Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.

Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:

  • It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
  • A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
  • Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!

Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!

If you would like more information about flossing and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
October 11, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

How a teeth whitening treatment from Westfield can brighten your smile

You’ve enjoyed your coffee for years, maybe used tobacco a little too. Now, your smile is paying the price. You don’t have to live with a teeth whiteningdull, yellowing smile. You can brighten your smile up to 8 shades whiter, and the results can last up to an astounding 5 years! You need to think about a teeth whitening treatment from your dentists, Dr. Kenneth Krause and Dr. Katie Krause at Krause Dental in Westfield, IN. They can help you say goodbye to years of stains!

Lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking coffee or red wine, and even eating highly pigmented foods like blueberries can stain your teeth. One of the biggest culprits to make your teeth look dull and yellow is aging. As you age, your tooth enamel becomes more transparent, allowing you and others to see through to the layer underneath, called dentin. This dentin is naturally yellow in color, so the result is teeth that have a yellow cast.

Thanks to modern, state-of-the-art teeth whitening methods, you can say goodbye to years of stains. Your dentists in Westfield offer several effective teeth whitening treatments to renew your smile. Consider:

An in-office teeth whitening treatment if you want a whiter, brighter smile quickly; your dentists apply professional strength bleaching gel to your teeth and use a high-tech whitening light to enhance the effect. The entire process takes about an hour, making it the perfect choice for your busy schedule.

A take-home teeth whitening kit if you want to whiten your teeth in the privacy and convenience of your home; your dentists supply you with a kit containing professional strength bleaching gel and custom trays which you wear for short periods when the time is right for you.

Either teeth whitening option will give you the dazzling white smile you’ve been waiting for. It’s time to say goodbye to years of stains and take back your brilliant smile. Your new smile is just a phone call away from your dentists at Krause Dental in Westfield, IN. Make your smile beautiful by calling today!

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
October 08, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: braces   oral hygiene  

Braces can be a long, involved process, but gaining a more attractive smile and better oral health is worth it. Sometimes, though, braces can produce unintended short-term consequences.

Brace brackets and wires do the work of moving teeth to better positions. They can, however, hinder the wearer's hygiene efforts to remove plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles, from tooth surfaces. Plaque buildup increases the risk of dental disease and other ill effects.

One such effect while you're wearing braces is the formation of tiny spots that look pale and chalky on otherwise smooth and polished enamel. These are white spot lesions (WSLs), where acid has remained for too long on the tooth enamel. They occur because acid-producing bacteria escape removal during brushing and flossing due to the braces hardware.

We want to try to prevent WSLs while wearing braces, and not just because they're unattractive. You're actually looking at enamel erosion, which could lead to cavity development at those weakened spots.

Although difficult for you as a braces wearer, daily brushing and flossing is crucial to WSL prevention. You'll need to take more time to be sure you're reaching all around the wires and brackets. You can improve your effectiveness with special brushes for braces and floss threaders or water irrigators. You can also help keep acid levels low by cutting back on acidic foods and beverages, especially sodas, coffee or spicy foods.

Even if you develop WSLs we can treat them effectively, especially if caught early. One way is by aiding enamel re-mineralization through saliva stimulation (the mouth's acid neutralizer) or applying fluoride to the teeth to strengthen enamel. We can also use caries infiltration, a technique that injects tooth-colored resin below the surface of the lesion. This strengthens the weakened enamel and gives the area the appearance of translucence like normal enamel.

While you're wearing braces, focus diligently on keeping your teeth clean of plaque and keep up your regular cleaning visits with us. If you notice any unusual discolorations or abnormalities, see us as soon as possible. Stopping WSLs from developing will help ensure your teeth are healthy and attractive after the braces come off.

If you would like more information on dental care with braces, 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 “White Spots on Teeth during Orthodontic Treatment.”