Lansing's Dental Discussion

Posts for: December, 2014

TVDesignerNateBerkusIsThankfulforChildhoodPreventiveDentalTreatments

Prior to his first appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show, interior designer Nate Berkus knew immediately that he was not there to pick sofa colors and paint chips. Instead, he was there to lift people up through the way they live. And boy, did he do just that. Over the next eight years, Berkus completed 127 makeovers and became one of America's most beloved go-to guys for inspiration on the latest design trends.

During a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine, Nate discussed his career as well as his oral healthcare. He credits his dazzling all-natural smile — no cosmetic dentistry here — to the treatments he received as a child from his dentist. “I'm grateful for having been given fluoride treatments and sealants as a child.” He then added that, “healthy habits should start at a young age.” Nate is still in the habit of brushing his teeth two or three times a day. As for flossing his teeth, he credits his dentist with the advice he still follows: “Floss the ones you want to keep.”

Many parents and caregivers may not be aware of the important role fluoride treatments play in protecting children's teeth. Fluoride has the unique ability to strengthen tooth enamel, the hardest substance found in nature. Depending on where you live, you may have fluoridated tap water. You may also have fluoride in your toothpaste, depending on the brand you use. Both of these are beneficial, but sometimes we recommend additional fluoride treatments based on the specific needs of your children. Why? The concentrations of the topical fluorides we typically apply are much higher than what is found in toothpastes, and we apply them for a longer period of time. For example, we often apply them for four minutes per treatment session.

To learn more about fluoride treatments, contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can conduct a thorough examination, discuss any questions you have as well as what treatment options will be best for you or your child. Or to learn more about fluoride treatments now, you can continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Topical Fluoride.” And to read the entire interview with Nate Berkus, please see the Dear Doctor magazine article “Nate Berkus.”


By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
December 19, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: fillings  
FrequentlyAskedQuestionsaboutInlaysandOnlays

Q: I’ve never heard these terms used in dentistry. What are they?
A: In the decorative arts, an inlay refers to a small piece of distinctive material that’s set into a larger matrix: a mother of pearl accent worked into the lid of a wooden box, for example. In dentistry, it means something similar: a filling (or restoration) that’s fabricated in a dental laboratory, and then set into a tooth in an area that has been damaged or lost.

Q: What’s the difference between inlays and onlays?
A: An inlay is made to fit in between the cusps (small points or ridges) of a back tooth (molar or premolar), and it covers only a small region of the biting surface of the tooth. If the restoration covers one or more of the cusps, it’s an onlay.

Q: Why would I need to have one of these restorations?
A: When a tooth has suffered damage (from decay or trauma, for example), and the affected area is too large to fill with a simple filling — but not large enough to need a full crown (cap) — then an inlay or onlay may be just right. Both of these procedures are considered “indirect fillings,” because the restoration itself is custom-fabricated in a laboratory and then bonded to the tooth in the dental office.

Q: What is the procedure for getting an inlay or onlay?
A: It’s similar to having a crown placed, in that it typically takes more than one office visit — yet an inlay or onlay involves less removal of tooth structure than a crown would require. On the first visit, after the area has been anesthetized (usually with a numbing shot), any decay is removed, and the tooth is shaped to receive the restoration. Next, a model of the tooth is made (either with putty or in digital form), and the tooth receives a temporary filling. The laboratory uses this model to create the actual inlay or onlay, which may take a few days; it is then permanently attached to the tooth on a second visit to the office. However, with today’s advances in CAD/CAM (computer aided design/ manufacturing) technology, some inlays or onlays can be made in the office and placed in the same visit.

Q: What else do I need to know about these tooth restorations?
A: Both inlays and onlays are strong and long-lasting restorations that need no more care than you would normally give your teeth: namely, regular brushing and flossing, and periodic checkups at our office. But because they don’t require the removal of a great deal of natural tooth material, they are considered relatively conservative treatments. After a thorough dental examination, we can recommend the type of tooth restoration that’s most appropriate in your individual circumstances.

If you’d like to find out more about inlays or onlays, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers” and “The Natural Beauty of Tooth Colored Fillings.”


By Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler
December 18, 2014
Category: Dental Education
Tags: teeth whitening  

After your professional dental whitening appointment, you'll probably be so pleased with the results that you won't want to stop smiling. But in between smiles, it's a good idea to think about the future—how can you protect your newly whitened teeth so that they will stay bright and beautiful for many years? Here are some tips from Lansing dentist Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler on how to keep your teeth pearly white.Teeth Whitening

Eat Better Foods
One of the best things you can do for your newly whitened teeth is to watch what you eat. Teeth become discolored over time because of constant contact with foods and drinks that cause or promote staining. They wash over the teeth and residue sticks to the surface that causes yellowing over time. So if you want to protect your teeth, avoid the following items as much as possible:

- Tomatoes
- Red Wine
- Coffee
- Soda
- Blueberries and raspberries 

It’s a good idea to limit your consumption of any food that can leave a dark stain behind. If you do eat these foods, be sure to brush or rinse afterwards. When you drink beverages, use a straw whenever possible and talk to Lansing dentist Dr. Scott-Hetchler about other ways to avoid contact with your teeth, such as wearing a mouth guard or plastic retainer.

Brush with a Whitening Paste
Now that your teeth are gorgeous, you have to invest in a good toothpaste that will help maintain the new color. There are plenty of whitening pastes on the market that not only brighten but also protect the enamel of your teeth. You can also brush with a paste made of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda for a natural solution.

Keep Up with Your Visits
Regular dental cleanings at the office of Lansing dentist Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler are crucial to protecting your teeth and maintaining your new smile for a long time into the future. Call (517) 487-6333 or visit http://www.hollydds.com to schedule your next visit for cleaning and polishing your teeth.


By Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler
December 17, 2014
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

 

Explore Your Teeth Whitening Options

 
One of the most common requests that Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler gets at her Lansing MI dentist office is “can you make my teeth look whiter?” Patients want a whiter smile because it gives them more confidence with smiling and talking with others. It has significant social effects, as the vast majority of Americans believe that a better looking smile is a key element of your attractiveness. Explore the various teeth whitening options that you have at your disposal so that you can make a decision that’s just right for your needs.
 
Over the Counter (OTC) Solutions
Over the counter whitening solutions abound in retail stores and pharmacies across the country. They offer a way to slowly whiten the teeth using strips and bleaching gels. OTC teeth whitening solutions can be effective in some cases, but it’s important that you follow the directions closely to experience results. Some patients experience gum irritations when they don’t use the products properly. If you choose a good whitening product, noticeable whitening results can be achieved in a matter of weeks.
 
Professional Whitening Solutions
When you want a long-lasting solution that doesn’t require too much of your time, your best bet is to visit Lansing MI dentist Dr. Scott-Hetchler for a professional tooth whitening session. The dentist uses a high-grade whitening solution and dental tools to change the color of your teeth by up on 10 shades. Dr. Scott-Hetchler takes special care to ensure that your gums and teeth aren’t irritated by the whitening gel. 
 
Another option that dentists offer is a whitening kit that you can use at home. It’s not as fast and effective as in-office whitening, but some patients see significant results after using this at-home whitening treatment.
 
Schedule a Consultation
Whichever solution you’re considering, it’s worthwhile to schedule a teeth whitening consultation with Lansing MI dentist Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler to talk things over. You can ask for an appointment time with her online at http://www.hollydds.com or call the office directly at (517) 487-6333 to speak with one of her friendly receptionists.

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
December 16, 2014
Category: Dental Education

Your Lansing dentist offers up helpful advice for how to protect your smile while on the field.

With football season in full swing, you might have heartily cheered on Michigan State as the Spartans beat out Penn State in the regular season finale, or watched the Lions down the Bears on Thanksgiving. Maybe you or your child even play football during the fall and winter seasons. If so, how much thought you have put into protecting your smile while on the field? If you haven’t, it’s OK. Luckily, it’s never too late to start protecting your smile from potential damage. Your Lansing dentist wants to make sure your teeth remain healthy even when your head is in the game.

Always wear your helmet

Luckily football is one sport that makes helmets a mandatory part of the game. Having strong and durable gear is the most important part to protecting your body and your smile. Before playing, always examine your helmet to make sure there is no damage. If your helmet already has a fracture or crack, it’s less likely to offer the full protection you need to cushion your face and smile from a violent tackle.

Sport a mouth guard

Sure, you might think this seems like overkill, but it’s important to have different layers of protection just in case something happens. After all, if a serious blow causes your helmet to break, you could still be susceptible to a dental injury. That’s where a mouth guard comes into play. A mouth guard offers just another level of coverage while out on the field.

If you or your child has already purchased a mouth guard from the local pharmacy and it doesn’t seem to fit as tightly or properly as it should, then call your Lansing dentist. We can create a custom-made mouth guard that fits you and your smile just perfectly. Let us know that your mouth guard will be used for football, and we’ll make sure to provide you with the best protection possible to maintain that beautiful smile.

If you are interested in getting custom mouth guards or you have a dental emergency, never hesitate to pick up the phone and call us right away. Our number one goal is to keep your smile healthy and happy.


By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
December 04, 2014
Category: Oral Health
VannaWhiteTalksDentistry

Vanna White has been a household name for the last 27+ years and is best known as the first female co-host of the game show, Wheel of Fortune. She radiates a warm, friendly, down-home appeal and says when describing herself, “what you see is what you get!” While this is quite true, there is so much more to her. She has received a star on the famous Hollywood Walk Of Fame, has starred in an NBC movie and written a book. She is even featured in The Guinness Book of World Records as TV's most frequent clapper, and most recently started her own line of yarn called Vanna's Choice with half of the proceeds going to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. And while any one of these accolades could serve as the highlight of a lifetime for most, for Vanna they fall slightly short. Her favorite job is being mother to her son, Nicholas, and daughter, Giovanna.

The following are excerpts taken from an exclusive interview in Dear Doctor magazine, the premier oral healthcare resource for patients and consumers.

What is the secret to her dazzling smile?
Vanna's oral healthcare routine is the same today as it has been since her childhood — and one everyone can follow. She brushes her teeth at least twice a day (morning and at bedtime) and flosses her teeth daily. She also has strong feelings about flossing. “I think that flossing is the most important thing. I believe that dental floss helps a lot as it keeps your gums strong and looking younger.”

What about bleaching, has she done it?
Absolutely! Vanna bleaches her teeth once or twice a year to help retain her naturally white teeth and to offset any discoloration from coffee and an occasional glass of red wine. “I have done over-the-counter and professional bleaching, but I do like the trays my dentist made because they fit perfectly.” She also states, “Anything you can do professionally is probably better because I would assume that a dentist's ingredients are stronger than over-the-counter products.”

Has she had any cosmetic dentistry?
When it comes to answering a question about cosmetic dentistry, Vanna is just as open and honest as she is about everything else — a trait for which she is known. “I had a bridge put in probably 30 years ago, where I had a tooth pulled and there was a space. And I did have a little tiny chip on one of my front teeth years ago that my dentist fixed. But that is it. Again, I feel very fortunate to have good teeth. The braces [from her childhood] straightened them out and there has been no need for any cosmetics since then.”

Does she do anything to protect her teeth?
While she admits to occasionally forgetting to use her nightguard, a protective mouthguard worn during sleep, she firmly believes in their need. “I do sleep in a nightguard because I grind my teeth. I have a filling in the back that probably has been filled five times from grinding.” She added, “Both of my children do have mouthguards that they wear for their sports.”

Want a smile like Vanna's?
Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss your questions about bleaching, cosmetic dentistry or mouthguards. You can also learn more about Vanna by reading the entire interview in the Dear Doctor article, “Vanna White — The Smile Defining America's Favorite Game Show — Wheel Of Fortune.”




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