My Blog
By Green Bay Family Dental
November 21, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   nutrition  
HereIsWhatYouCanDotoHelpYourKidsSnackHealthieratSchool

In addition to daily oral hygiene and regular dental visits, a tooth-friendly diet can boost your kid's dental health and development. You can help by setting high standards for eating only nutritious foods and snacks at home.

But what happens when they're not home—when they're at school? Although public schools follow the Smarts Snacks in Schools initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, those guidelines only recommend minimum nutritional standards for foods and snacks offered on campus. Many dentists, though, don't believe they go far enough to support dental health.

Besides that, your kids may have access to another snack source: their peers. Indeed, some of their classmates' snacks may be high in sugar and not conducive to good dental health. Your kids may face a strong temptation to barter their healthy snacks for their classmates' less than ideal offerings.

So, what can you as a parent do to make sure your kids are eating snacks that benefit their dental health while at school? For one thing, get involved as an advocate for snacks and other food items offered by the school that exceed the USDA's minimum nutritional standards. The better those snacks available through vending machines or the cafeteria are in nutritional value, the better for healthy teeth and gums.

On the home front, work to instill eating habits that major on great, nutritional snacks and foods. Part of that is helping your kids understand the difference in foods: some are conducive to health (including for their teeth and gums) while others aren't. Teach them that healthier foods should make up the vast majority of what they eat, while less healthier choices should be limited or avoided altogether.

Doing that is easier if you take a creative, playful approach to the snacks you send with them to school. For example, if you send them to school with their own snacks, add a little excitement like cinnamon-flavored popcorn or cheese and whole wheat bread bites in different shapes. And make it easier for them with bite-sized snacks like grapes, baby carrots or nuts.

You can't always control what snacks your kids eat, especially at school. But following these tips, you may be able to influence them in the right direction.

If you would like more information on helping your child develop tooth-friendly snacking habits, 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 “Snacking at School.”

By Green Bay Family Dental
November 19, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures

Find out why children should start seeing their dentist by one year old.

The first time your child smiles, rolls over, or walks are all important milestones. Another important milestone is when your child’s first tooth comes in. The first tooth often erupts around your child’s first birthday, which also means it’s the perfect time to turn to our Green Bay, WI, dentists Drs. Heidi Eggers-Ulve and Dr. Eric Ulve for their age one dental visit.

What is the importance of an age one dental visit?

Just as you have to take your little one to the pediatrician regularly for wellness checkups to monitor their development and make sure they are healthy, the same rules apply to dental care. It’s best to wait no longer than your child’s first birthday to schedule their age one dental visit with our Green Bay, WI, team. If your child’s teeth come in much younger, you may want to call us and see if you should bring your child in for a checkup before they turn a year old.

Our dental team sees a lot of young children with decay. By starting their dental visits early on and making these checkups a priority you can protect your child’s smile from decay and other problems. This is also an equally important visit for parents. Through these visits, we can also educate parents about what causes decay, how to properly brush and floss their child’s teeth (as well as proper technique), as well as bottle and thumb-sucking habits that could impact the health of your child’s teeth.

What will happen during an age one dental visit?

There are many aspects to this first checkup and you may be surprised to discover that during this first visit, we aren’t going to spend much time in your child’s mouth. This visit is about establishing rapport with new families and children that come through our doors. We will spend time talking to you and your child, making sure that your little one gets comfortable and acquainted with the dental chair.

We will also take a peek inside their mouth to make sure that everything looks good, but we will only clean their teeth if we see any plaque, food, or tartar build-up. We will also get to know your current child’s routine when it comes to breastfeeding or their diet to determine if any habits could be increasing their risk for decay so we can alter these habits.

It’s important to make your child’s oral health a priority from the very beginning to protect against unwanted dental cavities, gum inflammation, and damaged teeth. To schedule your child’s age one dental visit with our Green Bay, WI, family dentistry team then call Pediatric Dentistry of Green Bay at (920) 432-2961.

By Green Bay Family Dental
November 11, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Baby Tooth  

A child getting their permanent teeth is an exciting sign that they’re getting older, but what if they lose their baby teeth too soon? Will it affect how their permanent teeth grow in, and can anything be done about it?

Fortunately, the orthodontics team in Green Bay, WI, at GB Family Dental are here to answer all your questions. Our dentists Dr. Heidi Eggers-Ulve and Dr. Eric Ulve, have decades of experience treating complex problems like premature loss of baby teeth.

What Are Baby Teeth?

Primary teeth—more commonly known as baby teeth—are your child’s first set of teeth. Typically, they start coming in between 6 to 12 months of age, and they should have all of their primary teeth by age 3. 

We all lose our baby teeth, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t necessary. They serve several vital roles in a child’s development, including:

  • Helping to learn proper chewing
  • Assists with speech development
  • Helps strengthen and grow jaw muscles

More importantly, they’re placeholders for their permanent teeth, making room for them to grow. Adult teeth would be much too large for babies and young children, so our bodies grow baby teeth first while our permanent teeth grow beneath our gums. 

When Should Children Lose Their Baby Teeth?

On average, children lose their first tooth around age six. This change happens as the permanent teeth “erupt,” causing the baby teeth to detach from the root, which reabsorbs, allowing the adult teeth to grow. 

What Causes Premature Loss of Baby Teeth?

Losing baby teeth too soon is usually caused by tooth decay, which has its own set of causes, including:

  • Cavities
  • Injury
  • Prolonged bottle-feeding
  • Prolonged breastfeeding
  • Continued pacifier use

Luckily, early tooth loss is often preventable with practices like twice-daily tooth brushing, daily flossing, and avoiding bad habits from developing. 

What Happens if My Child Loses a Baby Tooth Prematurely? 

If your child has experienced early tooth loss, be sure to seek orthodontics care in Green Bay, WI, at GB Family Dental. Without the placeholder, the permanent teeth below can drift, leading to crooked teeth and crowding as they grow. Addressing the issue as soon as possible is crucial to avoid this. 

Dr. Eggers-Ulve and Dr. Ulve will install a space maintainer over the gap to allow the surrounding teeth to keep their position and prevent drifting. 

Make Sure Your Child Has Healthy Teeth for Life 

Premature loss of baby teeth is preventable through good oral hygiene practices and avoiding bad habits like prolonged bottle-feeding. Still, it does happen, and Dr. Eggers-Ulve and Dr. Ulve are here to help.

For orthodontics care in Green Bay, WI, that will make your child feel comfortable and get their teeth back on track, GB Family Dental is your only choice. Call (920) 432-2961 today to schedule a visit!

By Green Bay Family Dental
November 11, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   gum disease  
KickingtheSmokingHabitBoostsYourHealthIncludingTeethandGums

Quitting smoking is hard. The love affair between your brain and nicotine chains the habit to your daily life. But it's still worth the effort to quit to save your health from disease—including those that impact your teeth and gums. And, there's no time better to launch your "kick the habit" project than the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout day this November 18.

As to smoking's impact on your teeth and gums: Two-thirds of America's 32 million smokers contend with gum disease. A smoker's risk for tooth decay is also higher, as well as their prospects for implant failure.

So, why is smoking hazardous to your oral health?

Primarily, nicotine constricts oral blood vessels, which in turn reduces the nutrients and antibodies reaching the teeth and gums. Your mouth thus struggles to fight bacteria that cause tooth decay or gum disease.

Inadequate blood circulation can also hide signs of gum disease like swollen, reddened or bleeding gums. Instead, a smoker's gums may look deceivingly healthy, although you may have a gum infection that could be well advanced when it's finally diagnosed.

Gum or bone grafting also depends on good blood flow, or the grafts may not fully regenerate new tissue. The situation's similar for an implant: Its titanium post needs bone to grow and adhere to its surface to acquire sufficient strength and stability. But slow wound healing due to poor circulation can interfere with this process and cause an implant to fail.

For your mouth's sake, as well as the rest of your body, quitting smoking could help you avoid these problems. But as an ingrained, addictive habit, your body needs to "unlearn" it to stop it. Here are some ideas to help make that process easier.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy. Under your doctor's guidance, you can take medications that deliver nicotine to the body without smoking, and gradually reduce its concentration. This approach can be costly, however, and cause unpleasant side effects.

Brand fading. With this technique, you continuously switch to cigarette brands with less nicotine. This gradually acclimates your body to lower concentrations of the chemical, and eventually wean off it entirely. Here's an online site listing nicotine strength by brand.

Don't do it alone. Quitting smoking doesn't need to be a solo act. Developing relationships with those who don't smoke or who are also quitting can make it easier. One way is to attend a smoking cessation group for support and encouragement from others who're also trying to quit.

Above all, speak with your doctor or dentist to learn more about what you can do to stop smoking. It can be difficult, but the rewards—especially for your oral health—are well worth it.

If you would like more information about smoking and oral health, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Strategies to Stop Smoking.”

UnlikeBradPittYouDidntMeanToChipYourToothWeCanStillFixIt

It's not unusual for serious actors to go above and beyond for their roles. They gain weight (or lose it, like Matthew McConaughey for True Detective). They grow hair—or they shave it off. But perhaps nothing tops what Brad Pitt did to assume the character of Tyler Durden in the movie Fight Club—he had his dentist chip his teeth.

While a testament to his dedication to the acting craft, Pitt's move definitely falls into the category of "Kids, don't do this at home." Fortunately, people deliberately chipping their teeth isn't a big problem. On the other hand, accidentally chipping a tooth is.

Chipping a tooth can happen in various ways, like a hard blow to the jaw or biting down on something too hard. Chipping won't necessarily endanger a tooth, but the missing dental structure can put a damper on your smile.

But here's the good news: you don't have to live with a chipped tooth. We have ways to cosmetically repair the damage and upgrade your smile.

One way is to fit a chipped or otherwise flawed tooth with a dental veneer, a thin wafer of dental porcelain bonded to the front of a tooth to mask chips, discolorations, gaps or other defects. They're custom-made by a dental lab to closely match an individual tooth's shape and color.

Gaining a new smile via dental veneers can take a few weeks, as well as two or more dental visits. But if you only have slight to moderate chipping, there's another way that might only take one session in the dentist's chair. Known as composite bonding, it utilizes plastic-based materials known as composite resins that are intermixed with a form of glass.

The initial mixture, color-matched for your tooth, has a putty-like consistency that can be easily applied to the tooth surface. We apply the composite resin to the tooth layer by layer, allowing a bonding agent in the mixture to cure each layer before beginning the next one. After sculpting the composite layers into a life-like appearance, the end result is a "perfect" tooth without visible flaws.

Unlike Brad Pitt, it's pretty unlikely you'll ever find yourself in a situation requiring you to purposely damage your teeth. But chips do happen—and if it happens to you, we have more than one way to make your teeth as good as new.

If you would like more information about repairing dental flaws with veneers or composite bonding, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”





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