Bloom Blog

Oral Cancer By The Numbers

April 17, 2018

Oral Cancer By The Numbers It’s scary when anyone mentions the word cancer, and oral cancer is no different. A serious and sometimes life threatening disease, oral cancer affects thousands of Americans each year – yet awareness and education regarding its seriousness isn’t often talked about. This Oral Cancer Awareness Month, the team at our dental office in Sheboygan wants to help change that by providing you with some startling statistics about the disease, as well as key signs to Read More...

Bloom Family Dental News

  • 4 Things You Need to Know About Calcium
    Learn More
  • The Importance of Good Nutrition for Good Oral Health
    Learn More
  • Don’t Forget About Your Pet’s Oral Health
    Learn More
  • American Heart Health Month & Its Link to Dentistry
    Learn More

“I have always felt very comfortable with Dr. Bloom working on my teeth. He does a great job of putting people at ease.” –Sarah K.

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4 Things You Need to Know About Calcium

foods with calciumWhen most people think of calcium, they often associate it with building super strong bones. While that’s certainly part of its benefits, the team at our dental office in Sheboygan also knows that calcium is crucial for a strong smile, too. But before you start diving in to a calcium-rich diet, consider some important facts to keep your body, and mouth, healthy.

Know How Much Calcium You Need

Your recommended level of calcium intake depends on your age and your gender. The following chart from the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) shows just how much calcium each age group needs each and every day.

  • 0-6 months = 200 mg for both males and females
  • 7-12 months = 260 mg for both males and females
  • 1-3 years = 700 mg for both males and females
  • 4-8 years = 1,000 mg for both males and females
  • 9-18 years = 1,300 mg for both males and females
  • 19-50 years = 1,000 mg for both males and females
  • 51-70 years = 1,000 mg for males, 1,200 mg for females
  • 71+ years = 1,200 mg for both males and females

Too Much Calcium Is a Real Thing

While you should always try your best to get your recommended daily intake of calcium, there’s no need to go overboard. In fact, your Sheboygan dentist wants you to know that ingesting too much calcium can have adverse effects on your oral and overall health. Excess calcium can lead to gum disease, plaque deposits, and has even been studied to potentially increase the risk for heart disease. Just like most things in life, calcium is best in moderation. Make sure to follow the recommended amount for your age and gender.  

Mix in Some Vitamin D

Even if you’re getting your recommended intake of calcium daily, it may not be enough to keep your bones and teeth strong. In order for calcium to be absorbed into the body properly, it needs an adequate amount of vitamin D, too. Your body needs both vitamin D and calcium to function, so read the nutrition labels on your food and provide yourself with a nice mix of the two.

Look Past the Dairy Aisle

The most common way to get calcium is to eat or drink dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and cheese. And while those are excellent sources of calcium, and usually vitamin D too, there are plenty of other non-dairy options to explore including:

  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Soymilk
  • Orange juice
  • Calcium-fortified cereal

Our Sheboygan dental office strives to keep our patients as healthy as possible, and not just their smiles. That’s why we encourage each and every one of them to eat well balanced meals and get enough calcium and vitamin D. That, along with maintaining bi-annual dental visits and brushing and flossing regularly, will help keep their smiles and bodies strong, for life.

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.

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.

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.

Alcohol

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.

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!

How Do I Find a New Dentist?

smiling male dentistNobody necessarily wants to embark on the journey of finding a new dentist. But occasionally, it’s just what we have to do. Longtime dentists retire, jobs require us to move, and a variety of life’s situations sometimes make it necessary to seek out a new dentist. However, finding the right new dentist can be a difficult process. With so many practices in your neighborhood all offering similar services, how do you know which dentist to choose? Follow this handy guide below to help find the best dentist in Sheboygan for you.

Ask for Recommendations

When starting your search for the right dentist, begin by asking friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. See which dental offices in Sheboygan they visit, ask what they like about their dentists, and find out whether or not they’re located conveniently to home or work. Compile a list of options and hit the internet to do some research on your own. Look at each office’s website, see what services are offered, read up on the doctor and team, and don’t forget to check out their reviews either on their website or on online review platforms like Google. This will help you narrow your list to a few options.

Make Some Calls

Once you have your list of prospective dentists, pick up the phone and start calling them. During these conversations, be open to asking questions that will provide you some insight into the practice philosophy, treatments offered, and overall personality of the office. Some of the basic questions you can ask include:

  • “What is the dentist’s level of training?”
  • “What type of amenities does the practice offer to make treatment more comfortable?”
  • “What should I expect during my first visit?”
  • “How do you handle insurance and financials?”

Schedule an Appointment

After your initial call with each office, you should have a pretty good idea of which practice stands out to you the most and which may be a good fit. The next thing you should do is schedule a consultation or new patient appointment. There’s no better way to ensure you’ve found your new dental home than to get into the office and check it out. During your visit, note things like cleanliness, friendliness, time-sensitivity, and thoroughness. After this first visit, you should know whether that dentist and office is best for your needs, or that you need to keep looking.

If you’re searching for a new dentist, we invite you to call our dental office in Sheboygan. We’ll answer any questions you may have and provide you with any information that will help make your decision easier.

What Does Your Smile Say?

young woman smilingA healthy smile is definitely a powerful tool. It can change the mood in a room. It can convey confidence and professionalism, even if you’re not feeling it. You can hear someone smiling over the phone, without even seeing their face light up. My dental office in Sheboygan knows the importance of a great first impression because it needs to leave a lasting impression. That’s why we make sure your teeth and gums are healthy so that your smile is one you’ll be proud to share with everyone.

Your Personality is Showing

A smile projects a more positive vibe, friendly and approachable attitude, along with inherent leadership skills. It’s been shown that humans will smile more depending on who is at the other end of the conversation. During our initial contact with other people, our first impressions and assessments are usually made within seconds. Most of the time this is all being subliminally so we’re not even aware we’re doing it.

Your Teeth Tell A Story

Hippocrates believed that every person belongs to one of four different types of temperaments. And believe it or not, your teeth determine what group you belong to. This is known as Morphopsychology-Visagism and it’s the possible connection between your personality and your teeth shape. Your dentist in Sheboygan wants to know what category you belong to!

  1. Melancholic/Sensitive = Oval-Shaped Teeth

Personality traits include: Artistic, perfectionist, organized, reserved, timid, and abstractive

  1. Sanguine/Dynamic = Triangle-Shaped Teeth

Personality traits include: Impulsive, extroverted, communicative, enthusiastic, and eager

  1. Choleric/Strong = Rectangular-Shaped Teeth

Personality traits include: Intense, objective, explosive, intense, passionate, and entrepreneurial

  1. Phlegmatic/Peaceful = Square-Shaped Teeth

Personality traits include: Conformist, discreet, diplomatic, mystic, and spiritualized

Sharing your smile with the world is important in so many ways. It conveys your intent and personality. Your smile even has the ability to boost another person’s mood, making them more happy in the process. My Sheboygan dental office wants to help you put your best smile out there and ensure your true confidence and charisma always shine through.

5 Favorite Treats That Can Crack Teeth

biscottiThere are a lot of things that can cause tooth damage. We’ve seen cracked teeth from sports injuries, loose teeth caused by clenching and grinding, and there’s always the chance for us to treat someone for a simple cavity. But at our Sheboygan dental office, it’s also pretty common for us to have patients come in with tooth damage caused by eating. There are several types of foods that are most often responsible for these types of cases, so we’ve put together a list of some of the top culprits for you to help you avoid tooth damage from foods.

  • Popcorn – Notoriously viewed as the #1 worst food for teeth, popcorn can seem harmless, but the danger tends to hide within the puffy, airy, buttery treat. We’re talking about the kernels. These sneaky, hard bits of popcorn can cause some serious damage if bitten on, so snack away carefully.
  • Baguettes – When we talk about bread, we typically think about soft, easily chewable sandwich bread. But there’s another type out there that isn’t so easy to nibble. Baguettes have a hard, crispy texture that’s hard to rip and difficult to chew and it can cause some problems for teeth and dental restorations.
  • Olive Pits – Any type of food that naturally contains a pit or a seed, like olives, is dangerous to your teeth. While oftentimes the pit is removed, there are occasions when it’s not. Since we may not know when the pit is gone, we recommend eating these types of foods with caution as to not quickly bite down and crack a tooth.
  • Candy – It’s pretty well known that candy isn’t great for teeth, but some types of candy are worse than others. Sticky candy like caramels aren’t only tough to chew, they can loosen fillings and other dental restorations. Hard candy isn’t much better. Although it’s meant to be sucked down and softened to a manageable size, sometimes we become impatient and start chewing right away. This can break teeth.
  • Ice Cubes – Ice cubes are hard by nature and can be useful when helping to cool down a drink. But we should never chew on them. Eating ice can cause teeth to chip or even to sustain tiny cracks. These cracks may remain unnoticeable, but over time, they’re a great place for bacteria to hide and eat away at enamel creating cavities.

We want our patients to enjoy what they eat, so we’re not asking you to avoid these foods altogether. We’d just encourage you to use caution when eating them to reduce your risk of damage. If you do happen to crack a tooth with a popcorn kernel or lose a filling thanks to a caramel, give our dental office in Sheboygan a call. We’ll be glad to help.

Oral Cancer By The Numbers

April 17, 2018

Oral Cancer By The Numbers It’s scary when anyone mentions the word cancer, and oral cancer is no different. A serious and sometimes life threatening disease, oral cancer affects thousands of Americans each year – yet awareness and education regarding its seriousness isn’t often talked about. This Oral Cancer Awareness Month, the team at our dental office in Sheboygan wants to help change that by providing you with some startling statistics about the disease, as well as key signs to Read More...

Bloom Family Dental News

  • image
    4 Things You Need to Know About Calcium
    Learn More
  • image
    The Importance of Good Nutrition for Good Oral Health
    Learn More
  • image
    Don’t Forget About Your Pet’s Oral Health
    Learn More
  • image
    American Heart Health Month & Its Link to Dentistry
    Learn More
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