The Dental Center of South Bend (Dentistry and Braces for Children and Teenagers)
1005 East LaSalle Avenue, South Bend, IN 46617

Dental Care Basics

Mastering the Basics of Dental Care

At our dental practice, we are committed to helping our patients keep their teeth for as long as possible. This requires adherence to certain best practices in managing dental health. Regular examinations, dental cleaning appointments and taking proper care of your teeth at home are all important parts of the process. Our dental team will work with you to make sure that you know the basics of dental care and to ensure that you receive the right services to help your family keep their natural teeth for as long as possible.

Along with regular visits to our office, you can do much of the hard work of taking care of your teeth at home. This includes brushing, flossing and eating healthy food. According to the health care experts at the Mayo Clinic, your dental health can have a major impact on your overall state of physical health. Your mouth is the entry point by which food reaches your stomach and air reaches your lungs. Poor dental hygiene can result in systemic illnesses that could affect your long-term state of health.

All About Plaque and Tartar

Plaque is a major contributor to tooth decay and gum disease. Created when bacteria inside your mouth attack sweet or high-starch food and drink, plaque is an acidic film that can damage your tooth enamel and can cause irritation of the gums. Regular brushing and flossing will remove most plaque from your teeth to reduce the risk of cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.

Plaque that is not thoroughly removed through brushing, flossing and teeth cleaning will harden into a substance called tartar or calculus. This hard, white substance generally accumulates behind and between teeth at the gumline. Tartar deposits are a risk factor for developing gum disease, which can pose real risks to your overall state of dental health.

Warning Signs of Gingivitis and Gum Disease

Some of the most common early warnings of gingivitis include bleeding gums, pain or discomfort in your gums, loose teeth and a change in your bite. Inflammation and a change in the color of your gums may be indications that you are developing gingivitis or periodontal disease. Gingivitis and gum disease can also cause bad breath, which can prove embarrassing in social situations. Taking steps to address gingivitis in the early stages will sometimes allow you and your dentist to reverse the effects of this dental condition.

In advanced stages, gum disease can result in the loss of permanent teeth and can cause the bone in your jaw to become less dense. This can not only affect the stability of your teeth but can also make it difficult for your jaw to accept dental implants later in your life. By working with our team of dental care professionals, you can ensure that you receive effective treatment for gum disease and associated issues that this dental condition can create.

Combating Cavities and Tooth Decay

Plaque is a leading cause for tooth decay among patients of all ages. Tooth decay and cavities can cause pain and damage to the structure of teeth. Removing plaque by brushing, flossing and regular dental cleaning will help to prevent cavities and the discomfort they can cause.

Some of the most common warning signs that you may have a cavity include the following:

  • Visible discoloration or holes in your teeth
  • Pain, especially when biting or chewing
  • A toothache that starts suddenly and persists for several days or weeks

During your dental examination, our team will check your teeth for any signs of decay or cavities. If you do have damage to your teeth caused by tooth decay, we can provide you with fillings or crowns that will keep your teeth strong and functional for many years to come.

Caring for Your Teeth at Home

Brushing your teeth is the first and most important step in managing dental hygiene at home, but there are also many other things to do that can help you maintain proper oral health.

Brushing:
Most experts recommend using a new toothbrush every three months or when it starts to show the first signs of wear and tear, whichever comes first. Electric toothbrushes can make it easier to brush more effectively. If you choose a regular toothbrush, however, it is best to select a soft-bristled brush to prevent damage to your teeth and gums. Brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day is a good way to remove plaque and to promote the healthiest teeth and gums.

Flossing:
Flossing is also important for removing plaque and food debris from between teeth. This will reduce the amount of plaque on your teeth and will allow you to enjoy fresher breath and healthier gums.

Mouthwash:
If desired, you can also use antibacterial mouthwash products to help your teeth to feel cleaner and to reduce bacterial growth inside your mouth.

Healthy Foods and Drinks:
Avoiding overly sweet and starchy foods and brushing your teeth immediately after eating will provide even more protection against the effects of plaque on your teeth.

Why Dental Checkups Are Essential

During your dental appointment with our office, we will check for issues with TMJ disorder, damage caused by grinding teeth at night and signs of oral cancer. We can also perform teeth cleaning to remove any built-up tartar or plaque from your teeth and to leave your breath as fresh as possible. We will work with you to make sure that your teeth are healthy and strong and that you enjoy the best possible dental health for yourself and your family.

Keeping Your Teeth Healthy For Life

At our dental practice, we work with you to determine the best solutions for keeping your teeth healthy and for addressing any issues that that may arise. Our team is committed to the highest standards of dental excellence in South Bend. We can provide exams, teeth cleaning and a variety of other services necessary to improve the health of your teeth and gums. Give us a call today to request an appointment and to begin your family’s journey to a lifetime of better dental health.

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Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Did very well at getting my daughter to get to know you better before you just took her to do her teeth
Skyaira P.
Gerri was fantastic. Great experience!
Margaret S.
The hygienist and denist are always very nice and understanding. Great experience for my special needs daughter and me.
Lydwine W.
The staff was friendly and great with my three year old.
Braelyn W.
Great staff! Friendly, helpful and great with children.
Braylee M.
I’m pleased with the results of Miles braces
Miles W.
The dental hygienist and the dentist were fabulous with my 4 year old. So calm and patient. She had a great experience.
Natalia M.
We were in and out and the staff was Wonderful.
Sophia V.
love everything!
Emerald A.
I love the employees always nice and pleasant.
Tessa L.
Genesis got a filling and she was very comfortable and content and I was nervous for her but I was made feel at ease.
Genesis H.
All of the ladies are so kind and gentle with the children and they are super friendly and knowledgeable!
Noah W.
My kids love going to this dentist! I appreciate how patient they are with my children and everyone is very nice. I am very happy with Smile Safari!
Lee W.
So polite & friendly !
Lilly H.
Love how they talk to before they do anything to your child or ask questions about things you watching out for at home
Rihanna K.
Very helpful!
Frederic D.
Staff were very knowledgeable and came to aid in a reasonable amount of time.
Noah S.
Just an excellent place
Alexis F.
Service is great.
Broc D.
You guys were awesome and made my four year old feel at home. She went back and got two fillings without me and didn’t even get upset. The staff is amazing and so considerate.
Estellise B.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
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We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

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Office Hours
  • Monday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (574) 367-7146
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