Lansing, MI Dentist
Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
919 Chester Rd
Lansing, MI 48912
Call (517) 487-6333
What do burnt eggshells, crushed bones, brick dust and ox-hoof ashes have in common? Are they things you discovered in your kid's pocket? Ingredients in a witches brew? Funky organic compost materials?
It may be hard to believe — but they're all substances that were once used to make toothpaste, from ancient Egyptian concoctions through 18th century British blends. But don't worry: You won't find any broken crockery or ashes inside a modern tube! Today's toothpastes are scientifically formulated to be effective in removing plaque, which helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease (not to mention bad breath.) So what makes them work so well?
One class of ingredients found in all toothpastes is abrasives — also called cleaning and polishing agents. These slightly grainy substances make the mechanical action of brushing more effective. But unlike crushed bones, or the harsh, gritty particles of yore, today's abrasives are designed to remove stains and bacterial films without damaging tooth structure.
Next come detergents, which account for the foam you see when you brush vigorously. Detergents (sometimes called “surfactants”) help to break up and wash away materials that would otherwise be difficult to dissolve. An ingredient called sodium lauryl sulfate, which is also found in many shampoos, is probably the most common detergent used in toothpastes.
Fluoride, first included in toothpaste in 1914, is another common ingredient. In fact, all toothpastes that carry the seal of the American Dental Association contain it, typically in the form of sodium fluoride, stannous fluoride or sodium monofluorophosphate. It has been proven to make tooth enamel stronger and more resistant to decay.
In addition to these primary components, toothpastes generally contain flavorings to make them more palatable, and binders and preservatives to hold them together and keep them from drying out. Special-purpose toothpastes — like those designed to whiten teeth, prevent tartar, or help reduce sensitivity — have added ingredients.
But regardless of what's in your toothpaste, there's one thing you should remember: It's not the paste (or the brush) that keeps your teeth and gums healthy — it's the hand that holds it! Brushing once or twice a day, using a soft brush with the proper technique (and your favorite toothpaste!) is probably the most important thing you can do at home to enhance your overall oral health.
If you have questions about toothpastes or oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Toothpaste — What's In It?”
Dental Care for Toddlers: Give Your Child a Lifetime of Smiles
When your toddlers teeth start erupting into their mouth it is really time to step up their home care if you haven’t already. First, give toddler plenty of good-for-you foods and beverages to keep his or her teeth healthy and strong. It is very important to avoid sugary snacks for your toddler. It is not good for their overall health or their dental health. It is important to extablish a good habit of limiting sugary snacks to immediatley following a meal. Toddlers should no longer be using a bottle or a pacifier. Continued use can have detrimental effect on their developing jaw. Sippy cups should be used on a limited basis and only contain water if the toddler is allowed to drink from it between meals.
Baby teeth are susceptible to decay as soon as they break through the gums. Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler suggests you start good tooth brushing habits early with your toddler. You should brush twice a day, always before bed and then whatever other time works best for your schedule. Be prepared to help your toddler. He or she won’t have the motor skillsto brush on their own until around eight years old. Let your toddler brush and maybe even try tooth brushing gamesto make cleaning teeth a more fun. Sing songs or tell a story for the two minutes and it won’t seem like such a long time.
You should not use regular adult or child tooth paste with your toddler. Use water only or fluoride-free toothpaste until your child won’t swallow it (probably not before two). When he or she is older and won’t swallow the tooth paste your toddler can start using a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste.
Brushing technique is important too!You want to teach good brushing techniques to help establish good habits for your toddler. Have your toddler stand on a step stool in front the mirror and brush his or her teeth with your hand over theirs hand. That helps them to learn the proper motion and to get all areas of their mouth. Use a circular motion and hold the brush at a 45-degree angle when brushing the sides of the teeth. On areas that don’t have teeth you should still lightly brush the gums. It is also important to brush the tongue.
Regular dental visits are important in the toddler years to prevent any problems from happening. Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler recommends that your toddler visit her office twice a year for a professional dental cleaning, exam, and any needed radiographs.
Chewing tobacco is a known cause of oral cancer, yet many a Major League Baseball player has been seen walking onto the field with a round tin visibly poking out of his back pocket. That was before this year. Recognizing the influence big-leaguers have on their young fans, MLB players agreed to a new contract that limits their use of chewing tobacco and their ability to carry it around their fans. The 2012 season is the first to be played under the new rules, which were championed by Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.
One player who used smokeless tobacco heavily is Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. The former Padres slugger earlier this year endured 14 hours of surgery to remove a cancerous growth from the inside of his right cheek and graft a nerve from his shoulder to replace a facial nerve damaged by the tumor. This was Gwynn's second cancer surgery in less than two years.
When it comes to oral cancer, the importance of early detection can't be stressed enough. Unfortunately, this form of cancer is not usually detected until a late stage so the overall survival rate is poor, with only 58% surviving five years after treatment. Yet when oral cancer is detected while a lesion is small, survival rate exceeds 80%. That's why an oral cancer screening is always part of your dental check-up or regular cleaning appointment at this office.
During this screening we will examine your face, neck, lips, mouth, tongue and the back of your throat for any suspicious lesions (sores or ulcers) or lumps. Of course, if you notice any unusual lesions, or color changes (white or red patches), anywhere in your mouth that do not heal within two-three weeks, please come in to see us as soon as possible. And if you need help kicking a tobacco habit, we can advise you on how to get it.
If you would like more information about oral cancer, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Cancer.”
Dental Care for Babies: Give Your Child a Lifetime of Smiles
Your children are precious, and so are their constantly evolving smiles. Proper oral care begins even before you see that first tooth emerge. It is important to know how to properly take care of your child’s smile at every age – from brushing your toddler’s teeth to eating for better oral health. As children grow from toddlers to teens, their dental care needs continue to evolve. Between contact sports and sugar-laden sweets and sodas, it is important to know how can you protect their teeth and preserve their smiles.
Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends bringing your child to the dentist before his or her first birthday. At your child’s first dental visit, your dentist will:
At the office of Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler we take it at a pace that will work well for your child. The first visit is normally just an exam by the Doctor. Once you child is age 2-3 years old we will start professional cleaning appointments with our hygienist.
How do I Begin Care for my Child’s Teeth?
Putting your baby to sleep with a bottle in his or her mouth may be convenient in the short term, but it can harm the baby’s teeth immensely. When the sugars from juice or milk remain on a baby’s teeth for hours, they may eat away at the enamel, creating a condition known as “bottle mouth”, which is associated with pocketed, pitted or discolored front teeth. Parents and childcare providers should help young children develop set times for drinking during the day, as well, because drinking from a bottle throughout the day can be equally as damaging to young teeth.
Cleaning a child’s teeth should begin when the first tooth is visible because teeth are susceptible to decay as soon as they appear in the mouth. Wipe your baby’s teeth and gums clean after every feeding with a soft, damp washcloth or gauze pad. A leading cause of tooth decay among young children is known as “baby bottle syndrome,” which is when an infant is allowed to drink from a nursing bottle containing milk, formula or fruit juice during nap time or at night and the baby falls asleep with the bottle in his or her mouth. Prolonged exposure to the sugars and acids in liquids that pool around the teeth can cause discoloration and decay in teeth. Even babies can have problems with dental decay when parents do not practice good feeding habits at home.
It is vital to maintain proper dental hygiene for your child from the day he or she is born because it will set the groundwork for appropriate oral health. Visit Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler for more advice and for regular dental checkups. It is never too soon to protect your child’s teeth! Call us today to ensure your child is getting the best care possible.
Don't ignore tooth pain hoping it goes away. No matter how mild or fleeting it may be, it's a sign that something's wrong. Healthy teeth shouldn't cause discomfort because the parts containing the nerves — the interior pulp and the dentin around it — are shielded by dental enamel and gums.
Here are some common reasons that teeth ache:
As you can see, it's risky to discount tooth pain and “wait ‘til it goes away.” Our office can help you determine the origin of your pain and the best course of action to resolve it. When in doubt, it's always better to err on the side of caution!
If you would like more information about tooth pain and ways to prevent or treat it, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Tooth Pain? Don't Wait!” and “Sensitive Teeth.”
Don’t Fear the Dentist, Learn to Overcome Your Dental Anxiety
Some people do not look forward to dental appointments. However, it is important to understand that most dental procedures are not painful. Instead, just being examined can make people feel stressed and uneasy about their trip to the dentist. If you fear the dentist, you are not alone. What is important is that there is nothing to fear about going to the dentist for check-ups and procedures because advancements in dentistry allow your dentist to provide the care you need without the pain and discomfort that you may be afraid of. Today, procedures are easy to perform and you will exhibit minimal to no pain at all.
Why do I have a Dental Anxiety?
The causes of dental anxieties are numerous and include factors both related and unrelated to dentistry. Past experiences will also influence the anxiety you may feel. This not only includes physically painful dental visits and treatments, but also psychologically uncomfortable experiences, such as being humiliated by dental professionals, family, friends or others. Be assured that Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler can help you overcome your anxiety over past dental experiences. Her team of caring professionals will make you feel at ease every step of the way.
Some patient’s fear of going to the dentist or getting dental procedures done is so severe that they may lose sleep at night and worry excessively about what might happen at the dentist’s office. Dental anxiety is common and it is stated that up to 15 percent of Americans avoid seeing a dentist due to their fear.
Some other reasons contributing to dental anxiety and dental phobia include:
How do I overcome my Dental Anxiety?
If you have a dental anxiety, you should always communicate with your dentist. The best thing you can do to get over your dental anxiety is to talk with your dentist about it. If you are anxious about something, come right out and talk to Dr.Holly Scott-Hetchler about it because she will take the time to hear your fears and help make you comfortable. We offer many options such as relaxation gas or oral medications to calm your nerves.
During a procedure, talk with your hands. It is often difficult to speak with your mouth while you are undergoing treatment, so talk to your dentist before your procedure on how you will communicate if a problem arises or you feel discomfort. A simple raise of the hand could signal discomfort, allowing your dentist to adjust the anesthesia appropriately. Additionally, you can benefit from distracting yourself. Let your mind wander and try focusing on another thought or a feature that stands out in the office. Letting your mind wander can help ease some of your anxiety.
Talk to Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler for more information on how to eliminate your dental anxiety so that you can receive the care you need once and for all.
When it comes to having a cavity filled, it’s important to know that you have options as to what kind of filling you can have. It is a good idea to have a consultation with your dentist, as to what treatments and materials are used for your dental care. Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler considers materials to use on an individualized basis, taking into account the size and location of your cavity. Cosmetic considerations, how long the filling could last, insurance coverage and out of pocket costs are some other factors you might want to consider. We encourage you to talk with your Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler, so that together you may choose the material that’s right for you. Everyone is different and what is right for one person, may not be right for another.
Here are some common dental filling options:
It's no surprise that plenty of teenagers go in for an orthodontic evaluation and come out wearing braces. But sometimes, an observant orthodontist may notice that an adult's smile could use a little bit of improvement, too. Even an adult like — Tom Cruise?
That's exactly what happened to the star of Top Gun, Rain Man and the Mission Impossible franchise. Cruise, then 39, was taking one of his children for orthodontic work when it was pointed out that the leading man's teeth were also out of alignment. So he opted for braces too.
“Yes, Tom Cruise has braces,” said his publicist when the star appeared, sporting his new orthodontic appliances. “To him, it's no big deal.” Cruise chose to get the relatively inconspicuous ceramic type, with only a thin wire visible in front of his teeth. He wore them for about a year and a half, having them temporarily removed when it was time to make a movie.
Ceramic braces are a popular choice among adult orthodontic patients, many of whom find that less noticeable orthodontic appliances fit in better with their personal or professional lifestyle. Clear aligners also provide a virtually invisible option. We can help you decide which appliance would best meet your needs. But the first step is a thorough evaluation of your periodontal health.
Is it Risky Business to get braces as an older adult? Not usually — but if you do show signs of periodontal disease, which is more prevalent in adults than teens, it's important to bring it under control before beginning your orthodontic treatment. There are also a few medical conditions, such as heart-valve disease, severe uncontrolled diabetes, and leukemia, which might preclude treatment.
For most people, however, orthodontics offers a great way to improve your appearance and boost your self-confidence — even if you're not a movie star. It is estimated that three-quarters of adults have some form of orthodontic problem; and studies have shown that orthodontic treatment can enhance an adult's career opportunities and social life.
So, if you're looking for a better smile at any age, don't hesitate to contact us or schedule an appointment to discuss your treatment options. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”
Is Your Diet Helping, or Hurting Your Oral Health?
We are often told that it is important to maintain a healthy diet in order to keep our bodies healthy as well. Many of us often undergo weight loss programs, which include both exercise and dieting, but did you know that your diet could also reflect the health of your teeth and gums? Your body is like a complex machine, and the foods that you choose to fuel your body, and how often, can affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums.
The foods that you choose to eat come into contact with the germs and bacteria in your mouth. If you do not brush your teeth, plaque, which thrives on the starches and sugars found in many of the foods you might consume, will accumulate on your teeth. Additionally, when plaque combines with the sugars and starches, an acid is produced that attacks the enamel on your teeth, eventually causing decay.
Choose a Healthy Diet
It may seem like an easy task to choose a healthy diet, but fruits, milk, cereals, bread and some vegetables contain sugars and starches that can harm your teeth. It is also important to limit the consumption of carbonated sodas, sweet fruit drinks and sugary snack foods. You may not need to avoid these foods, but you will need to keep in mind that a well-balanced diet is important, as well as brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily.
Here are some healthy tips to consider when altering your diet:
For a healthy mouth, enlist the following healthy foods into your diet:
Food to Watch Out For
Foods that cling to your teeth promote tooth decay. So when you reach for a snack be sure to avoid soft, sweet, sticky foods such as cakes, candy and dried fruits. Instead of these snacks, choose dentally healthy foods such as nuts, raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese and sugarless gum or candy.
If you consume the following list of foods, do so in moderation, and be sure to practice good oral health care:
In addition to eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar, it is important to maintain a proper dental regime. Talk to Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler and her team for more information on what to eat for a tooth friendly diet, and how to maintain a good oral health care regimen.
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