Dental fear? 5 Ways to Make Going to the Dentist Mentally Easier for Yourself

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So many people fear going to the dentist that psychologists have difficulty quantifying it. People are afraid for many different reaso
ns. Some fears may stem from past experiences that were negative, some people just simply fear anything that may bring them pain and others just don’t like the unknown. Here are five ways to mentally prepare yourself for whatever that trip to the dentist may bring.

Understand that Being Fearful is Normal

It is estimated that anywhere from 9-15% of people avoid the dentist due to anxiety and fear. Although some people are generally more anxious than others, it is completely normal to be fearful of the unknown, especially a dental procedure that you’ve never had. It can ease the nerves a little just knowing that you’re not alone.

Find a Dentist You Trust

Make sure you go to a dentist that makes you feel comfortable and that cares about you as a person rather than just your teeth. There aren’t very many dentists that specialize in dealing with dental phobias, but dentists with certain personality types may make you feel more comfortable than others.

Know Your Procedure

If you are familiar with your dental procedure rather than being blindsided by what’s happening, that can ease anxiety or reduce fears. Make sure to ask your dentist or hygienist all of the details that you want to know in advance.


Try to Distract Yourself During the Procedure

Ask your dentist to play music or having a TV on (if available) can distract you from the procedure. If those options aren’t available, you can always try counting the ceiling tiles or other methods of distracting yourselves.

Try Relaxation Techniques

If you find yourself getting extremely anxious, you can try special breathing techniques or focusing on the sound of your breathing to ease your anxiety. If those don’t sound like something that would relax you, you can always find additional relaxation techniques online.

If you have any fears at all about coming to our office or your procedure, please call to talk with us!

5 Benefits of Preventative Care Dentistry

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Every time you step foot in a dental office, you hear some common dental advice: “brush twice a day,” “floss daily,” and “eat less sugar.” But your question may be, “Why do all of that?” We have five benefits of good preventative care to share with you today.

Cut Down on Cavities

Flossing and brushing regularly keep plaque from building up on your teeth and in the cracks and crevices of your teeth. Less plaque means less decay and less decay means less cavities.

Avoid Gum Disease

Plaque can build up along the gum line without effective brushing and flossing. This can lead to gum irritation and the formation of bacteria that leads to gum disease. More serious forms can lead to periodontal disease and advanced gum disease has been linked to heart disease.

No Bad Breath

Brushing and flossing regularly can cut down on bacteria in
the mouth that can lead to bad breath. Bad breath can cause someone to feel uncomfortable in their own skin or make others around them uncomfortable.

Save Money and Time

We all need more money and time in this life. With good preventative care and regular dental check-ups, you can avoid more serious issues. Extensive treatment for serious issues can land you with unexpected bills and spending more time at the dentist to get those problems taken care of.

Make sure you are following good dental health practices daily to reap the benefits of good preventative care.

Tips on Taking Your Child to the Dentist the First Time from Real Moms

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Taking your child on their first trip to the dentist can be either a truly enjoyable experience or a complete nightmare. We solicited tips from real moms to gain some insight on what you can do to ensure your child’s first trip to the dentist is a successful one.

Mom #1: “The night before my children’s first dental visit, we read them the Little Critter’s ‘Just Going to the Dentist.’ This mentally prepared both of my children for what they were about to experience the night before.”

Mom #2: “I know it sounds silly, but we played dentist. I explained what tools the dentist might use. Then had them practice opening their mouth wide and gently tapped on their teeth with the end of a spoon. They were pretty relaxed and their first visits went very well.”

Mom #3: “Dentistry is done a bit differently here (in England), but they encourage us to take our babies as soon as we can so they can get used to the idea. Our dentist had my children sit in our laps while he counted their teeth, etc.

Mom #4: “When I took my daughter to the dentist the first time, the toothbrush scared her, so I stood beside the dental chair and held her hand. Just being in close proximity can calm their nerves.”

 
Most moms recommend preparing your children in advance of the visit and not waiting until your child can sit still. If they visit the dentist at an earlier age, they will be more comfortable with visits as they grow older. If you have any other tips, we would love to hear them!

Preparing for a Dental Emergency

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Having a dental emergency? Thousands of dental emergencies—from injuries to a painful, abscessed tooth—take place every day. Would you know what to do if your child broke a tooth or had a tooth knocked out while playing outdoors? What if you had a bad toothache in the middle of the night and couldn’t get to the dentist until the next day? Knowing what to do can lessen the pain and save a tooth that might otherwise be lost.

Keep our dental office phone number and our emergency number (see bottom of this page!) where we can be reached after hours with other emergency numbers, such as your family doctor and fire and police departments. Some families post these numbers on the refrigerator or inside a kitchen cabinet door near the phone.

Toothache: Rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss or an interdental cleaner to remove any food or other debris that may be caught between the teeth. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller on or near the aching tooth, nor against the gums; this could burn gum tissue. If the toothache persists, see the dentist. Don’t rely on painkillers. They may temporarily relieve pain but your dentist should evaluate the condition.

Knocked-out (avulsed) tooth: This is a common dental emergency! First, try to find the tooth! This may not be as easy as you think if the injury took place on a playground, basketball court or while skateboarding, so try to stay calm. Hold the tooth by the crown and rinse the root in water if it is dirty. Don’t scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If it’s possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket while you head to the dentist. If that’s not possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk, saline or saliva and bring it to the dentist. Time is critical for successful re-implantation, so try to get to your dentist immediately. If it is over 60 minutes, the success of re-implantation is poor.

Broken tooth: Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area. Use cold compresses on the outside of the cheek to help reduce the swelling.

Tongue or lip bites or wounds: Clean the area gently with a clean cloth and apply cold compresses to reduce any swelling. If the bleeding can’t be controlled, go to a hospital emergency room or clinic. You may be able to reduce bleeding from the tongue by pulling it forward and using gauze to put pressure on the wound.

Objects caught between teeth: Never use a sharp instrument to remove any object that is stuck between your teeth. Try to gently remove the object with dental floss.

Possible broken jaw: Apply cold compresses to control swelling; immobilize the area, get to the hospital emergency room immediately.

Keep a Great Smile in 2017!

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new-years-eve-1905142_640You are making resolutions for lots of other areas of our life, so make a resolution to keep your smile healthy in 2017. We encourage you to make a resolution to get your teeth cleaned regularly this year (if you don’t already). Here are some great reasons why!

A Bright Smile

Regular dental cleanings help remove stains that build up on our teeth over long periods of teeth. Coffee, tea, wine, tobacco, and dark sodas can lead to stains on your teeth that can sometimes leave them looking darker or like they have cavities. Get those embarrassing stains removed!

Keep Breath Fresh

Regular teeth cleaning along with healthy habits at home can keep your breath fresh and odor free. Gum disease is a culprit of bad breath and can be prevented or treated with regular trips to see you dentist.

Prevent Cavities

Plaque is the white film that builds up on your teeth and can lead to cavities if left unattended. Regular dental cleanings can help remove plaque in areas that you are not getting very well with your regular brushing and flossing before it leads to cavities.

Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease begins when plaque builds up on your teeth and if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. If you visit the dentist regularly, gum disease is often prevented. If not, your dentist can help treat it and assist you with developing good oral hygiene habits before it leads to tooth loss.

Improve Overall Health

Many studies have shown that regular dental cleanings can lower your risk of cardiovascular diseases among other illnesses. Another great reason to visit your dentist!

If you haven’t set up your dental appointments for the year, call today to increase your chances of getting days and times that work best for you. Keep up your healthy habits for a great smile in 2017!

Three Things You Can Do Right Now to Have Whiter Teeth

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Your dental hygienteethwhiteninge is your path to social life. We want to make sure your smile doesn’t hinder you in that area. Here are three things you can do right now to make sure we keep those pearly whites as white as possible.

What Causes Yellow Teeth?

Underneath the surface of the enamel on your teeth is a brown substance called dentin. Although coffee, tea and cigarettes get a bad wrap, the culprit could be the result of thinning enamel. As people age, the enamel thins naturally. However, sometimes the loss of enamel can be caused by certain acids you consume, such as candies, certain fruits, and soda.

What Can You Do to Whiten the Enamel?

Professional whitening in the dental office is the best option. While it may be a little more expensive up front, the results last longer and can be achieved much more quickly than take home or store whitening kits. Best results often occur with one treatment, but if your teeth are extremely stained, you may have to come in more than once to get your teeth as white as you want them.

The next best option is purchasing a take home whitening kit from your dentist. The results aren’t achieved as quickly as an office visit; however, your teeth can get nearly the same results. This type of treatment involves a custom mouthpiece, and several weeks of wearing it to get best results.

The most inexpensive option is over-the-counter whitening products. These have lower concentrations of active ingredients. These products generally don’t achieve the same results as professional products but can be a great way to brighten your smile at a slower rate.

Choose one of these options and make it a priority over the next several weeks to have a white Christmas! If you choose a dentist in-office visit, make sure to schedule your appointments quickly. They fill up fast with the approaching holiday season.

Trick or Treat or Cavities?: Best Halloween Candies for Your Teeth

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pumpkin-1739407_640No candy is actually good for you. Sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth allowing them to flourish on your teeth. This leads to tooth decay, plaque, and eventually cavities. While it’s not likely that children will not eat candy at all, it is possible to make better decisions about the candy that we consume. The following list of Halloween candies and foods will hopefully help you make better decisions about your candy.

Dark Chocolate/Milk Chocolate

If you have the option of dark chocolate, it is the better option when it comes to chocolates. It contains less sugar and some studies say it’s good for your heart. Any kind of chocolate is a better option when it comes to the sticky candies that stick right to your teeth and often stick there for a good while after you eat them.

Sugarless Gum

If your child winds up with any sugarless gum in their Halloween stash, gum is a great option. Chewing stimulates saliva which can protect the teeth against food sticking to them. Sugarless gum may also help get rid of some of those pests that are found sticking to your teeth.

Candy Bars with Nuts

Candy bars that contain nuts can sometimes contain a little less sugar than a candy bar that doesn’t. The nuts also keep the sticky parts of the candy bar from sticking to your teeth as much.

Powdery Candy

This may come as a surprise, but sugary candies such as a pixy stick are better for your teeth than sticky candies such as gummy candies. Although they contain a lot of sugar, most of it will likely go down rather than hanging out on your teeth.

Again, there are no good candies for your teeth, but we hope you’ll consider these best options for your teeth when consuming the candy stash. Enjoy your Halloween!

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice!

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pumpkin-1030817_640It’s the season for pumpkin everything once again. We have everything from pumpkin drinks to pumpkin soups around this time of year. When it comes to your teeth, pumpkin has many great benefits. Pumpkins miracle dental ingredients include:

Zinc

Zinc plays a vital role in healing wounds in the body, so when it comes to your mouth, zinc keeps your gums healing properly and prevents plaque build up. A zinc deficiency can lead to bleeding gums and increase risk of gum disease. One of the best sources for zinc in the pumpkin can be found in its seeds. A quick online search will reveal a variety of pumpkin seed recipes that will satisfy any taste.

Vitamin A

Like zinc, Vitamin A promotes healing and the formation of saliva in the mouth which aids in washing down food and bacteria that otherwise have a tendency to stick to your teeth. Saliva is your body’s natural defense against tooth decay and it’s importance to the health of your teeth cannot be underestimated.

Vitamin C

A single cup of pumpkin can provide you with one fifth of your daily dose of vitamin C. Vitamin C not only fends off infections and boosts immunity in the rest of your body, but also your mouth. A correlation exists between your immune system and gum health as each one can influence the other.

Magnesium

We hear a lot about calcium’s role in forming and strengthening the enamel on your teeth, but when paired with magnesium, a harder enamel coating is formed on the outside of your teeth which can prevent the formation of cavities. Yet again, the seeds of the pumpkin are the best place to find this important mineral in the fall.

Fiber

Pumpkin contains a good amount of fiber which can help with weight loss and the regulation of the body’s digestive system. Fiber is another nutrient that can increase saliva production in the mouth. Raw pumpkin and pumpkin seeds contain an admirable amount of fiber, but canned pumpkin actually contains the greatest amount of fiber.

This fall, find some new ways to enjoy pumpkin to increase health of your teeth and your overall body.

Ready for Braces?

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Stlaugh-536287_640atistics show that nearly 75% of all children will need some type of teeth or jaw alignment in their life. Considering this, here are some aspects to consider to determine whether your child is ready for braces or not.

Actual Need

The first thing you need to consider is whether your child actually needs braces. Look for visibly crowded and crooked teeth. These issues become apparent as your child’s adult teeth come in. Other less apparent warning signs may include finger/thumb sucking and abnormal wear on the teeth. Look for areas in the teeth that don’t close completely. These are things we will be looking for during your child’s regular cleaning.

Responsibility

Every child develops different both physically and mentally. Many parents wonder whether their child is ready for braces once a need has been established. Proper care of your child’s braces or Invisalign is important to maintain the health of your child’s teeth. Talk with your child about the responsibility of cleaning their teeth properly and eating foods that contribute to the health of their teeth.

Timing

Generally speaking, the preferred time for braces is during the teenage years when all adult teeth have come in. However, there are some treatments that are completed during earlier years. For example, widening the palate may be used to make room for adult teeth that have not yet descended while the child is still young.

As you consider the time for braces, remember that every child is different. Make sure to consult with a dentist or an orthodontist to determine the right time to begin a teeth alignment treatment with your child.

There’s No Place Like Home in a Small Town

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A lot of people in Indiana want to live in bigger cities or find a place to simply blend in, but in Rensselaer, Indiana, that is not our way of life. We value our families, our jobs, our faith and the beautiful place we call our home.

Living in a small town has its pros and cons – just like living in a big city – but we believe the pros far outweigh the cons. Here’s why.

Sense of Community

We have a sense of family and a close-knit community. If someone has a crisis, everyone can quickly learn of it and join in to help. Small communities rally around each other in a time of need. Also, when you go out, you’re sure to see someone you know!

The Stars!

When you live in or near a big city, you’ll notice that the night sky doesn’t look quite the same. When you are looking at the night sky in Rensselaer, without all of the city lights, nothing can compare to the beauty!

Big Cities = More Traffic

We get to spend more time enjoying life with our families and less time sitting in traffic. And for those of us who enjoy an extremely short drive to work, we may even get to spend our lunch break at home, or running errands so we don’t have to do it after we end the work day.

Less Stress

Smaller towns enjoy a slower-paced lifestyle, which means a better quality of life in today’s world. We enjoy less stress, which can improve our overall mood and longevity. If you live in the big city, you’ll constantly be bombarded with the noise of horns, loud cars and people talking, among other distractions.


We have a quiet town and we love it! Please share your love of Jasper County with someone today!

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    Monday: 7:30am-4:30pm

    Tuesday: 7:30am-4:30pm

    Wednesday: 7:30am-2:00pm

    Thursday: 7:30am-6:00pm

    Friday: 7:00am-2:00pm

    Saturday: By Appointment Only

331 East Amsler Road, Rensselaer, IN 47978

219.866.7117

Hillcrest@HillcrestDental.net