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The Importance of Good Nutrition for Good Oral Health

March 14, 2018

The Importance of Good Nutrition for Good Oral Health Every March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrates National Nutrition Month to raise awareness on the importance of eating a healthy diet for overall health. At our dental office in Sheboygan, we want to do our part and take this opportunity to also share the oral health benefits of eating a well-balanced diet. Nutrition Can Be Confusing While we know the basics to eating well include things such as avoiding too Read More...

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The Importance of Good Nutrition for Good Oral Health

national nutrition monthEvery March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrates National Nutrition Month to raise awareness on the importance of eating a healthy diet for overall health. At our dental office in Sheboygan, we want to do our part and take this opportunity to also share the oral health benefits of eating a well-balanced diet.

Nutrition Can Be Confusing

While we know the basics to eating well include things such as avoiding too much fast food and eating more vegetables, the ins and outs to really optimizing your nutrition can get convoluted and confusing. Things have changed from the days of the Food Guide Pyramid released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1992. In fact, they’ve changed twice. Currently, the USDA recommends following the MyPlate recommendations for dietary guidelines. However, it’s still not quite that simple. The MyPlate model is individualized based on age, gender, height, weight, and daily activity level. So proper nutrition isn’t so clearly defined anymore. Head on over to the MyPlate Checklist to find your ideal balance, but essentially a lot of the basics still stand, including eating plenty of:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole Grains
  • Lean Proteins
  • Dairy

What Does This Have to do with Your Mouth?

Following a well-balanced diet has been proven to keep you healthy and help protect your body from serious diseases. It turns out, what you eat also affects the health of your mouth, too. If you choose nutrient-rich foods and follow your MyPlate recommendations, you’re taking steps to keep your oral health in great shape. However, if your diet is poor, you’re putting your mouth at increased risk for dental problems.

Oh, Sugar!

Your dentist in Sheboygan really doesn’t like sugar, and with good reason. This sweet stuff can wreak havoc on your teeth. When sugar is introduced to the mouth, acid levels surge. It’s this acid that attacks tooth enamel, wearing it down and leaving teeth exposed to bacteria and at risk for decay and cavities. A reduction in enamel may also increase tooth sensitivity or give teeth a dark, dull appearance.

But Wait, There’s More!

Although sugar tends to get all of the attention when it comes to talking about food and oral health, there are hidden sugars you should be aware of. Carbohydrates, while not typically sweet in taste, break down into simple sugars as we eat them. These sugars are just as dangerous as the stuff found in sugar-packed treats. Try to get into the habit of reading nutrition labels to reduce both your sugar and carbohydrate intake, as well as your fat, cholesterol, and sodium consumption.

Our Sheboygan dental office prides ourselves as being active members of your healthcare team, and we’re to help get you healthy any way we can. Schedule your appointment with us today.  

Don’t Forget About Your Pet’s Oral Health

dog with toothbrushThe team at our dental office in Sheboygan is committed to providing our neighbors with top-notch dental care so that each and every patient not only has a healthy smile, but a beautiful one too. However, there are some members of our community whose dental health is often overlooked…we’re talking about our beloved pets. And while we’re not currently accepting patients of the fuzzy kind, we still find it important to share some of the best ways to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.

Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

You make sure to brush your teeth twice a day, everyday as recommended by your dentist in Sheboygan. The same type of care is also important when it comes to the oral health of your pet. You can use a toothbrush designed just for your animal or simply a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger and some pet-friendly toothpaste. Never use a human toothpaste on an animal.

Once you have all the necessary tools to brush your furry friend’s smile, the technique is very similar to brushing your own pearly whites. Hold the brush or your finger at a 45 degree angle and gently scrub in small circles. Pay attention to the side of the teeth that touch the cheek as that area often accumulates the most tartar. Brushing should occur two or three times a week for Fido, and twice a day for yourself.

Give Your Pet Things to Chew

Just like eating tooth-healthy snacks such as apples or cheese can scrub away plaque on your teeth, providing your pet with toys or treats to chew on can do the same for theirs. However, your vet may recommend foregoing the typical hard bone and choosing a dental treat instead. Hard bones, while delicious for dogs, can cause tooth damage. You can also find tons of fun toys that help strengthen teeth and reduce plaque all while playing.

Know the Signs of Disease

Animals can also be affected by dental disease, and as their owner, it’s important that you know what to look out for so you can get to a vet as soon as possible. Typical signs of a problem are very similar in pets and in humans. Keep an eye out for:

  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Swollen gums
  • Loose teeth

If you notice any of these symptoms in your animal, schedule an appointment with your vet. But if you notice them in your own mouth, call your Sheboygan dentist.

Has it been awhile since your last dental visit? Call our Sheboygan dental office. We’re always accepting new human patients and would happy to see you.

American Heart Health Month & Its Link to Dentistry

heart health monthYou may be wondering why your dentist in Sheboygan is choosing to talk about heart health. As a dedicated member of your medical team, we’re not only concerned with keeping your teeth and gums healthy, but rather we’re committed to keeping your whole body healthy. And it just so happens that your oral health plays a key role in overall wellness, including heart health. So during this American Heart Health Month, we want to provide all of our patients with important information on how keeping your smile in tip-top shape can help you maintain a healthy body.

How Does Dentistry Play a Role?

As research continues to advance what we know about heart disease, a strong correlation between oral health and heart health has been discovered. This link begins with gum health and, more specifically, gum disease. Gum disease is essentially an infection in the gum tissue that can lead to tooth loss. But perhaps what’s more concerning is that this infection has a direct route to the bloodstream. If it spreads, your body will produce excessive amounts of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is one of the known indicators of cardiovascular disease. Elevated levels of CRP can lead to some serious health issues including:

  • Inflamed arteries
  • Blood clots
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes

How to Avoid Gum Disease

The best way to avoid gum disease and the dangerous effects it can have on your heart is to prevent it by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. It’s also crucial to visit your Sheboygan dentist twice a year to remove buildup that your toothbrush just can’t touch.

Know the Signs

One of the scariest things about gum disease is that it can develop rapidly before you even suspect a problem. It is treatable and success is more likely if caught in the early stages. Knowing this, you should be aware of some early signs of gum disease so that you can seek treatment early. Some things to look out for include:

If you recognize any of the signs above, or it’s been more than six months since your last dental cleaning, call our dental office in Sheboygan to schedule an appointment. Your smile and your heart will thank you.

5 Signs That It’s Time to See a Sheboygan Dentist

man with tooth painWhile we always recommend visiting your dentist at least every six months, there are times when people fall out of the habit and miss a few appointments. Oftentimes a move to a new city or even a fear of the dentist can make it all too easy to pass on seeing the dentist as often as you should. However, the team at our Sheboygan dental office want you to know that there are a few signs and symptoms that you shouldn’t ignore…

It’s Like a Desert In Here!

Experiencing dry mouth isn’t only uncomfortable, it’s also concerning. Having periods of occasional dryness is normal, especially with some forms of medication. However, if it becomes an ongoing issue and you just can’t seem to quench the dryness, you may want to see your dentist. Chronic dry mouth leaves the mouth exposed to bacteria and increases the risk for decay.  

There’s An Unpleasant Smell

Sometimes bad breath is unavoidable (think a garlicky pasta dish). But when bad breath becomes chronic, it can be concerning. Bad breath that doesn’t go away is a symptom of gingivitis, or early gum disease. If gingivitis isn’t treated quickly and effectively, it can easily progress into gum disease and lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems.

Red & Puffy Gums

Any gum discomfort or discoloration should raise some red flags for you. Gums are supposed to be a healthy shade of pink, painless, and are definitely not supposed to bleed. Any inflammation, soreness, or blood when you brush or floss are all signs that your dentist will want to know about as soon as possible. These symptoms may indicate gum disease which, if left untreated, can lead to whole body problems such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.

You’re Feeling Sensitive

We don’t mean emotionally sensitive, but rather the zinging surge of pain associated with tooth sensitivity. Whether you notice an increase in sensitivity with eating hot or cold foods or while brushing, it’s something you should bring to the attention of your dental team. Sensitivity may be caused by something as simple as brushing too hard, but it can also be a sign of eroding enamel receding gums, both of which need professional treatment to fix.

You Have a Toothache

The most obviously sign that it’s time to schedule an appointment with a dentist in Sheboygan is suffering from the unique pain of a toothache. The uncomfortable feeling of tooth pain isn’t something you should ignore, and it probably won’t go away on it’s own. Getting in to see a dentist is the best way to determine the root of the problem and get you some relief.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, we recommend scheduling an appointment at our dental office in Sheboygan sooner rather than later. Many of these dental concerns can be treated easily and successfully if caught early. Don’t let the problem continue to worsen. Call to schedule a visit today.

Are You Wasting Money on Whitening Toothpastes?

woman holds toothpasteWe all want to have a bright white smile. And to get it, we often turn to the toothpaste aisle at the local grocery store where there are boxes and boxes of toothpastes that claim to whiten teeth. But the one thing you want to know before you buy is if whitening toothpastes actually work. That’s why we’re here! Join the team at our Sheboygan dental office as we uncover the truth about whitening toothpastes.

The Good News

Whitening toothpastes can be effective at diminishing or removing surface stains that cause our teeth to look discolored. A dull smile as a result of smoking or drinking too much coffee, tea, or soda can see results from using a whitening toothpaste. However, regular use is crucial in order to see an improved appearance. Make sure to use the whitening toothpaste twice a day for several weeks for the best results. While whitening toothpaste can work, there are a few things you should be aware of.

  • Not all whitening toothpastes are created equally. Choose one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
  • Whitening toothpastes aren’t without risks.

The Not-So-Great News

Even though whitening toothpastes can scrub away stains to give us a whiter smile, they can scrub away stuff our teeth need in order to stay protected. Whitening toothpastes typically contain abrasive ingredients which work to rub stains away. However, these same abrasive ingredients can wear away tooth enamel if not used responsibly. A lack of protective enamel leaves teeth exposed to bacteria, and the chance of cavities or tooth sensitivity increases. Furthermore, thinner enamel tends to show more of the dark inner tooth, or dentin, giving teeth a even more discolored appearance — exactly the opposite of the look we were trying to achieve in the first place.

The Other Options

There are other smile whitening solutions available that aren’t whitening toothpastes. Consider doing the following to get a brighter looking smile:

  • Maintain dental cleanings with your dentist in Sheboygan
  • Rinse your mouth with water after drinking tooth-staining coffee or tea
  • Quit smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Snack on cheese, apples, celery to help gently scrub your teeth between brushings

If you’re truly looking for the biggest bang for your buck, we encourage you to call our Sheboygan dental office to schedule an appointment to discover the best professional tooth whitening treatment for you.

What You Need to Know About Your Teeth and The Common Cold

young man with a coldIt’s official: We’re in the peak of cold and flu season. While we all try our best to avoid the stuffiness, coughs, and sore throats that tend to accompany the flu or common cold, there are times when germs take hold and make us sick, no matter what we do. At our dental office in Sheboygan, we never want our patients or neighbors to get sick, but we know the inevitable happens. And when it does, we want to educate everyone on some ways your go-to medicine of choice can damage your smile.  

Hidden Dangers

Medicines designed to help ease symptoms of the common cold such as cough syrups or cough drops are great at making you feel a bit better. But they tend to come with hidden dangers that can affect your oral health. Ultimately, the ingredients in many popular over-the-counter medications can lead to tooth decay and cavities.

Sugary Sweetness

Medicines usually contain some sugars to mask the bad taste. But these sugars are dangerous to teeth. When sugar enters the mouth, bacteria begin feeding on them and release acid as a byproduct. This acid wears away tooth enamel, which is meant to protect teeth against decay. Without their protective coating, teeth are at increased risk for decay and cavities.


Another common ingredient in many cough medicines is alcohol. However, alcohol reduces saliva production and may cause dry mouth. This is concerning for your dentist in Sheboygan. Saliva is needed to rinse away sugars in the mouth and the acid produced by feeding bacteria. Without it, these sugars and acids are left behind to damage smiles by decaying teeth.  

Tips to Help

Does this mean we’re suggestions that you should tough out a cold and not take any medicine? Definitely not. But we are suggesting a few ways you can help limit the potential of your medicine causing oral health problems.

  • Trying taking the medication as a pill instead of a liquid. This will decrease or eliminate your teeth’s exposure to the dangerous ingredients.
  • Don’t take cough syrup right before bed. If you take your medicine after you brush your teeth, the sugar is left in the mouth all night long, greatly increasing your risk for decay
  • Take liquid medicine with food. Saliva production increases as we eat. So if you take your medicine when saliva production is highest, it can help rinse away the sugar and alcohol.

The team at our Sheboygan dental office hopes you can avoid getting sick this season. But if you do get sick, follow our tips above to protect your smile as you work on feeling better.

Chocolate’s Surprising Dental Health Benefits

woman eats chocolateWhen it comes to talking about food choices that are good for your teeth, your dentist in Sheboygan has some not-so-surprising go to selections such as veggies, cheeses, and dairy products packed with calcium. But it may surprise you to hear that our dental office in Sheboygan is also a fan of chocolate.

Fight Cavities, Eat Chocolate!

Recent research conducted on the oral health effects of chocolate have caused dental professionals across the world to take a closer look at the sweet treat. It probably comes as no surprise that dentists typically shy away from sugar-packed snacks such as chocolate. But several studies have shown a positive benefit between consuming dark chocolate and lower amounts of decay.

It’s Not Magic, It’s Science!

It may seem like magic that something so delicious may actually have a host of health benefits, but there’s a solid scientific explanation behind why dark chocolate is actually good for teeth. To better understand the science behind the benefits, we need to take a closer look at what makes up our favorite dark chocolate snacks.

The Good Stuff

The compounds found in dark chocolate, or more specifically the cocoa bean husk, have antibacterial and plaque-fighting properties. One of the main components of dark chocolate, CBH, may even find its way into over-the-counter dental products in the future thanks to the positive research on its beneficial effects. Studies surrounding CBH support the idea that this ingredient may be better at fighting decay than fluoride treatments. But don’t go and pass up the fluoride just yet. More research is needed to truly determine the entire host of CBH benefits.

How Does It Work?

Usually when we eat foods with a lot of sugar content, we leave our teeth exposed to the dangers of the sugars. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars and produce acid as a byproduct. This acid eats away at protective enamel and leaves teeth susceptible to cavities. However, the compounds in dark chocolate counteract the high sugar content and the damaging effects that go along with it by releasing their antibacterial properties and fighting off plaque.  

Not Just Any Chocolate Will Do

Keep in mind that these studies look at the benefits of dark chocolate. Milk chocolate as well as white chocolate have a higher sugar content, and eating too much of either may contribute to higher rates of decay.

Following a well-balanced diet can do wonders in helping you keep your mouth healthy and cavity free. Add in a few dark chocolate indulgences, brush and floss regularly, and maintain hygiene appointments at our Sheboygan dental office for the best preventive approach to good oral health.

Can All This Holiday Stress Affect Your Oral Health?

holiday stressEvery year around this time, we begin the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Coordinating schedules, braving the crowds at the grocery store and in the mall, cooking meals, and all the craziness that comes along with preparing for the holidays is bound to increase stress levels. But during a time when we’re supposed to be enjoying friends and family, stress is that last thing we want to get in the way. After all, as everyone at our dental office in Sheboygan knows, stress can wreak havoc on not only our overall health, but oral health as well.

A Little Clench & Grind

During times of increased stress, we tend to subconsciously clench our teeth tightly together or grind them against each other. While this may seem like no big deal, if done repeatedly over a long period of time, grinding and clenching can cause damage to both the teeth as well as the jaw joint. Putting constant force on the teeth can lead to chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth, while habitually engaging jaw muscles may cause TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder can be painful and may lead to long term problems. So if you’re experiencing any popping, clicking, or locking in the jaw joint, we recommend contacting your Sheboygan dentist.

Gum Disease

Usually we talk about gum disease being caused by an improper hygiene routine or missing regular visits with your dentist. However, recent research has also shown a positive link between stress and the development of gum disease. Gum disease is a serious condition that not only affects your mouth, but your whole body as well. If left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss, heart disease, and pregnancy complications, along with a host of other health problems.

Take It Easy for Health’s Sake

To help protect your body and oral health during the stressful holiday season, we encourage you find ways to help yourself relax. Check out the following tips for a few things to try.

  • Breath it Out. Something as simple as setting aside a few moments to take a few deep breaths can really help lower stress. Practicing deep breathing exercises has been proven to lower blood pressure and reduce overall anxiety levels.
  • Work it Out. Hit the gym, go for a walk, do some yoga. Whatever you choose to do, just get your heart pumping and sweat it out. Physical exercise can do wonders to decrease stress, and all the other health benefits don’t hurt either.
  • Sleep it Off. It can be difficult to get enough sleep during non-crazy times of the year. And during the holidays it can be even harder. Remember to schedule in time to make sure you’re catching enough zzz’s. Giving your body a chance to relax can keep you healthy so you can actually enjoy everything the holidays have to offer.

From all of us at our Sheboygan dental office, we hope you have a great holiday season with limited stress and anxiety and packed full of friends, family, laughs, and great memories.

The Great American Smokeout

Great American SmokeoutThe mission of the American Cancer Society is to eliminate cancer as a widespread health problem through research, service, and education. One of their larger events of the year, the Great American Smokeout, occurs on the third Thursday in November. This annual event strives to encourage all tobacco users to designate a quit date and work towards a smoke-free life. The mission at our dental office in Sheboygan is to help our neighbors live a healthy, happy life, and not using tobacco is directly related to us fulfilling that mission. So this November, we’re going to highlight a few benefits of quitting as well as a few tips to help.

Smoking & Oral Health

Most people are aware of the various health issues that go along with smoking. And those are absolutely serious. But your dentist in Sheboygan focuses more on the many oral health problems that tend to accompany years of tobacco use. Some of these concerns include:

  • Dry mouth and, in turn, decay
  • Slowed healing time after dental treatment

Tips to Quit

Quitting smoking isn’t easy, and sometimes people try several times before they stop once and for all. And that’s ok. Whether this is your first try or your twentieth, we believe in you and want to help by providing a few of the best tips we’ve found to help you quit.

  • Gather a support system by recruiting friends and family to help you manage cravings. Having a solid support team is one of the key ingredients to a successful quit plan.
  • List out your reasons for quitting and refer back to them whenever you feel yourself start to slip. Reminding yourself of the money you’ll save or the health you’ll get back can snap you out of a potential fallback.
  • Be aware of your triggers and work to either avoid them or change your habits surrounding them.
  • Keep healthy options handy to keep your hands and mouth busy. Chew sugar-free gum or snack on crunchy carrots to help satisfy your cravings.

If you’re looking for help to finally quit smoking, or perhaps you’re ready to get your mouth healthy after quitting, we welcome you to call our Sheboygan dental office to schedule an appointment. Even it’s been awhile since you’ve been to the dentist or you’ve been a smoker for years, you don’t need to worry about a lecture with us. We believe that supporting you through your journey is much more helpful to getting you healthy.

Overcoming Dental Fear, Anxiety, or Phobia

woman afraid of dentistIt’s Halloween, which typically means all things spooky and eerie will come out of the woodwork to try and scare you. While the team at our dental office in Sheboygan understands the creepiness behind ghosts, goblins, and zombies, there is one thing that many people fear all months out of the year that we’d like to help with: the dentist.

Reasons Behind Dental Fear

Before we can work to overcome a fear, we must first try to identify why the fear exists. Fear of the dentist is no different. Some of the most common reasons behind dental fear include fear of pain, embarrassment, losing control, or a negative past experience.

Overcoming Your Fear of the Dentist

Believe it or not, just by choosing to read this blog, you’ve taken a step towards overcoming your dental fear. The next steps may be a bit more difficult, but we know you can do it.

  • Start by calling dental offices that are recommended to you by friends or family. Get a feel for the personality of the office over the phone, without ever stepping foot in the office.
  • After you’ve spoken to all your prospective dental offices, schedule a new patient appointment at the one that made you feel the most comfortable.
  • Bring a friend or family member with you to your appointment. Having a bit of trusted support can go a long way.
  • Consider something to distract you such as an mp3 player with headphones.
  • Most importantly, we encourage you to speak with your dentist in Sheboygan about your fears to help ensure calm and comfortable dental visits.

You’re Not Alone

We understand that trying to explain your fear of the dentist to someone who doesn’t feel the same way can make you feel alone. But dental fear is much more common than you may think. In fact, dental phobia affects 5-8% of Americans, all of which avoid regular dental care because their fear is just so strong. But that’s not all. According to the Dental Fears Research Clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle nearly 20% of Americans will only see the dentist when it’s absolutely necessary, such as when there’s pain.

We Believe in You

Avoiding regular dental visits can allow serious oral health problems to sneak up on you, requiring more in-depth treatment. That’s why the team at our Sheboygan dental office encourage all of our patients to maintain dental cleanings and checkups twice a year. But doing something that may scare you so deeply can be hard. That’s why we’re all dedicated to learning about you, your fears, and your dental goals so we can cater your treatment to you and keep you calm and relaxed throughout your entire visit.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Sheboygan that understands your dental fear, will work with you to overcome and that fear, and will provide you with nothing but compassionate, gentle care at every single visit, we welcome you to give us a call to schedule an appointment. We’ll be honored to see you!

The Importance of Good Nutrition for Good Oral Health

March 14, 2018

The Importance of Good Nutrition for Good Oral Health Every March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrates National Nutrition Month to raise awareness on the importance of eating a healthy diet for overall health. At our dental office in Sheboygan, we want to do our part and take this opportunity to also share the oral health benefits of eating a well-balanced diet. Nutrition Can Be Confusing While we know the basics to eating well include things such as avoiding too Read More...

Bloom Family Dental News

  • image
    Don’t Forget About Your Pet’s Oral Health
    Learn More
  • image
    American Heart Health Month & Its Link to Dentistry
    Learn More
  • image
    5 Signs That It’s Time to See a Sheboygan Dentist
    Learn More
  • image
    Are You Wasting Money on Whitening Toothpastes?
    Learn More
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