Do you often experience chronic pain or discomfort in your jaws? If yes, chances are you might be suffering from TMJ. Temporomandibular disorders can cause discomfort and pain in the jaw point, which is known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ). TMJ can cause pain in the surrounding tissues as well. The nature of symptoms ranges from slight discomfort to severe pain.

Causes and Treatments for TMJ DisorderAs it turns out, every dentist has a different method of treating TMJ. Having the basic knowledge of TMJ’s causes and the treatment options can prove to be beneficial for you if you’re seeking relief from TMJ disorder.

The Symptoms You Need to Look Out For

The joint at the intersection of the lower part of the skull and the lower jaw is called the temporomandibular joint. The function of this joint is to allow horizontal and vertical movement of your jaw. When you feel pain in this joint and the muscles around it, it’s said you’re suffering from TMJ disorder. One of the major symptoms of this disorder is the clicking sound of the jaw. It is caused when the disk inside the joint shifts. At times, this clicking sound is loud enough to be heard by people standing near you. This is a very common symptom and there’s really no need to seek treatment for it. However, treatment is recommended when the clicking sound is accompanied by discomfort and pain, or if it feels that your jaw gets stuck when you open or close your mouth.

Another common symptom of TMJ is muscle pain. If you feel the muscles of your temples and cheeks are causing you discomfort, especially in the morning when you wake up, you need to consult a dentist. The stiffness that you feel in the morning is usually caused by the chronic habit of teeth clenching during sleep. In order to keep your teeth from coming into contact forcefully during sleep, it is recommended to get an occlusal night-guard designed for your teeth.

The third symptom of TMJ is experiencing sharp pain in the joint itself. Like all the joint pains, this one too is classified under arthritis. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this kind of pain and you have to control it by taking painkillers, undergoing physical therapy, and a soft diet.

Deciding on the Right Treatment

Although the pain in your jaw joint may indicate that you are suffering from TMJ, there is a possibility that the pain is caused by other parts of your body, considering that jaw joints share the same network of nerves with teeth, sinuses, and neck and back muscles. That’s why before assuming that you have TMJ disorder, visit a dentist for a proper diagnosis.

There are generally two methods for treating TMJ. The first one is less invasive and includes orthopedic procedures, like physical therapy, exercise, light stretching, and massage to strengthen the joint muscles. The second method is a little more aggressive. It includes treating bad bites and malocclusions to treat the pain you feel in your jaw joint or surrounding muscles. This method involves invasive procedures, like teeth reshaping and crowning.

For a reliable diagnosis and treatment, contact The Gentle Dentist today if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your jaw joint.  Please visit our website at or call us at 586-247-3500. We look forward to hearing from you!



Categories: TMJ Pain

Macomb County Dentist Lists Reasons for Tooth Sensitivity

Macomb County Dentist Lists Reasons for Tooth SensitivityDoes drinking hot or cold drinks cause you to wince in pain? Or do you find brushing or flossing to be unpleasant?

Keep ready to learn why you could be experiencing this discomfort and what you can do to find relief.

  1. You Brush With Too Much Force

Your tooth sensitivity could be the result of brushing your teeth with too much force or using a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard . Consistently brushing in this manor can remove protective layers of your teeth and expose microscopic openings , exposing your nerves. When these openings come in contact with hot and cold temperatures or acidic foods, it will cause dental discomfort. Try to brush more gently or switch to a softer tooth brush.

  1. You Have Too Many Acidic Food in Your Diet

If your nerves are exposed, as mentioned above, acidic foods such as tomato sauce, citrus fruits, and many junk foods can irritate these nerve endings, causing pain. Try avoiding acidic foods and see if that stops the tooth sensitivity discomfort.

  1. You Grind Your Teeth in Your Sleep

Although tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body, if you’re a tooth grinder, this can break down the enamel and expose the dentin layer, which exposes the nerve endings. Consult with your dentist about having a mouth guard made and wearing it at night to prevent grinding.

  1. Youre Using the Wrong Toothpaste or Mouthwash

Many toothpastes have tooth-whitening chemicals in them and some people are more sensitive to these chemicals.  If you are experiencing any sensitivity, check your toothpaste to see if it contains any whitening agents. If it does, switch to a different toothpaste and see if the discomfort is relieved.

Similar to toothpastes, certain mouthwashes contain alcohol and other chemicals that can make your teeth more sensitive. Use a neutral fluoride rinse or skip the mouthwash altogether.

  1. You Have Periodontal Disease

Receding gums, which is a symptom of periodontal disease (gum disease) can cause tooth sensitivity while brushing or eating and drinking. If periodontal disease is the problem, it is important to treat the disease as soon as possible before more serious problems develop such as damage to the bone and even tooth loss.

  1. Plaque Build Up

Plaque can cause damage to the tooth enamel, exposing the dentin layer and nerve endings.  Be sure to have a professional cleaning every 6 months to remove any plaque build up.

  1. You Recently had Dental Work Done

If you have recently had work done on your teeth, it is not unusual to experience tooth sensitivity. However, experiencing sensitivity long after the procedure could be the sign of an infection.

Looking for a Macomb County Dentist to Help Treat Your Tooth Sensitivity?

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, the best way to determine the cause of your discomfort is scheduling a dental exam.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Macomb County area, Dr Antolak from The Gentle Dentist may just be your new dental home.

Contact Dr Antolak by Calling 586-247-3500




Categories: Mouth pain

By: Jessica Wendt, RDH – The Gentle Dentist

Commonly “Feared” Dental ProceduresIf you are scared to go to the dentist, you are not alone. It is estimated that about 30-40 million Americans have some type of dental anxiety or phobia. This can stem from negative past experiences, pain, embarrassment, or a feeling of not being in control. Some people are even scared to have a simple healthy mouth teeth cleaning. Yet, most of the time it is the more extensive dental work that causes people to be extremely nervous. Many times patients do not fully understand what is being done so their mind is left to wander. Some commonly feared dental procedures will be addressed below and tips on how to cope.

  • Root Canal – The dreaded root canal. These two words alone cause most people to cringe but why? Most of the time it is because of a past experience where a root canal was painful. A root canal needs to be performed on a damaged or an infected tooth where the nerve is dying off. It is a procedure where the nerve tissue in the root of the tooth is removed and the nerve space is filled with a substance to seal it off. The tooth will then have a permanent filling placed and may also need to be crowned. If the tooth does have an active infection, it may be harder to get the tooth fully numb or it may require more anesthetic than normal. In some cases, a round of antibiotics a few days prior to the root canal appointment can lessen the infection, which in turn will lead to better numbness for the tooth. With proper anesthesia, a root canal should feel no different than a regular filling.
  • Tooth Extractions – No one usually looks forward to having a tooth extracted. Extractions tend to be a dentist’s last resort because having a full set of teeth is important for many reasons. A tooth may need to be extracted if it is beyond repair, painful, and a source of infection. Also, wisdom teeth may need to be electively extracted if they are impacted or very hard to keep clean. If an extraction is a must, the dentist will give adequate anesthesia so no pain is felt. There will be pressure at times, but there should not be any pain. If there is pain, make sure there is a signal that can be given so the dentist can stop and give more numbing medication. There may be some minimal post-operative bleeding, but do not let this alarm you. The dentist will give you warning signs on when to contact him or her for continued bleeding or pain.
  • Dental Implants – Dental implants are becoming more common in modern day dentistry to replace missing teeth. However, most people squirm at the idea of it. A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed in the bone. The bone will heal and integrate into the threads of the post. Once this healing takes place, the post can be restored with a crown making it look just like a natural tooth. The fear usually comes because an implant requires dental surgery, but most patients are unaware that the bone around the teeth does not have nerve endings. The dentist will still give adequate anesthesia to numb the gum tissues where the post will be placed, but the bone itself will not be in any pain so to speak. From patient testimonies, it sounds like dental implants feel just like a normal tooth if not better, and there usually isn’t a noticeable difference between the two.

What to do for moderate to extreme dental fear?

If just numbing the tooth is not enough to calm your nerves, there is more a dentist can do to help ease dental anxiety. Most dentists have nitrous oxide gas in the office to help with relaxation. It was commonly referred to as laughing gas, but most people tend to relax and not laugh when they are on it. The gas is mixed with oxygen and then is inhaled by the patient through a nosepiece. It does produce a mild sedative effect, which wears off within five minutes after it is done being used.

For more extreme fear, some dentists offer either oral conscious sedation or IV sedation. These types of sedation do require a driver to and from the dental appointment. The oral conscious sedation is administered through a series of anxiety-reducing medications taken the night before and day of the dental procedure. In IV sedation, the anxiety medication is given in an IV in your arm. You will be very sleepy and relaxed, but will still be able to respond to verbal commands if necessary. Both types do create an amnesia effect in which patients have little to no memory of the procedure.  For additional information on sleep sedation, please visit our website at or call us at 586-247-3500. We look forward to hearing from you!



Categories: Dental fear

Ditch the Dental AnxietyIf the thought of your regular dentist visits gives you anxiety, you’re not alone. Surveys show that 9 to 15 percent of Americans, around 40 million people, face anxiety when it comes to their oral health. The severity may range from anxiety and stress to full blown panic attacks at the thought of going to their dental appointments.

Some common reasons people may get anxious at the thought of going to the dentist include:

  • Fear of Pain. Many people are afraid that cleanings or procedures will cause discomfort or pain. In a survey of people who haven’t seen a dentist in over 12 months, 6% of people said fear of pain was the reason.
  • Control Issues. For chronic sufferers of anxiety, situations where there is a loss of control is a major trigger. This is true for people who fear elevators, airplanes, and yes, leaning back in that dental chair.
  • Past Experiences. Many people get anxious going to the dentist due to bad prior experiences. They may have had a painful experience in the past, and haven’t gone back, or seen the improvements made in the field of dentistry to help prevent those experiences.
  • Many people feel embarrassed at the thought of someone closely examining their mouth, making them feel like all their faults are under a microscope. Oftentimes there is a particular dental issue that makes them feel self-conscious and unwilling to face a dentist. This forms a vicious cycle because avoiding dental exams may exacerbate the problem and make the person even more embarrassed than before.

Those are all normal reasons for feeling anxious, but they shouldn’t stop you from taking care of your oral health. For those people who are anxious at the thought of pain, there are methods to help reduce or eliminate those painful experiences. Many procedures are now done with lasers dentistry which can provide short, pain-free healing times. Making a point to maintain an oral health routine can help reduce sensitivity in the gums and the potential for pain, as well.

As far as feeling embarrassed, it’s important to understand that your dental team is not there to judge you. They care about your general health and understand that you’re nervous. Your dentist has seen many of the issues you may be embarrassed about and treated those issues with compassion. After all, they wouldn’t have picked a field based on a passion for helping people if they saw it any other way. Speak up about being nervous or embarrassed, and without a doubt, you will be treated with compassion rather than judgment.

If those reasons weren’t enough to help you ditch the dental anxiety, remember that your kids learn from watching you. You may be taking your kids to their regular dental visits, but if they see you blanching at the thought of going to your dental appointments, they may start to fear their own appointments. As adults, they may feel that same dental anxiety and embarrassment that you’re currently fighting. As parents, we want better for our kids and I’m sure we’d never want them to deal with the same fears and anxiety.

Remember, you’re not alone!  Your dental team can help you with any dental anxiety you may have. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment, and see just how caring your dentistry can be, at (586) 247-3500!




Categories: Dental fear

By: Jessica Wendt, RDH

The Gentle Dentist - Ow! My Aching Jaw!Do you wake up frequently with headaches? Does your jaw click or pop when you open wide or are chewing? Do you have muscle tension in your temple region or in your cheek muscles? If you answered yes to one or all of these questions, then you may be clenching or grinding your teeth. Bruxism, which is considered excessive teeth grinding and/or jaw clenching, is rather common and affects up to 30-40 million Americans. Teeth grinding can occur at night during sleep or during the day, or both. Bruxism can be something that is done temporarily during a stressful season in life. However, long-term bruxism that is a habit can be symptomatic and negatively affect dental health.

The cause of bruxism can be due to many factors. It could just simply be a habit as some dental professionals see it as. It could also be caused by stress, anxiety, or anger. When the teeth and jaw do not line up properly, this can trigger teeth grinding as well. Rarely, it can be caused by a side effect from certain depression medications or from an uncommon disease affecting the nerves and muscles in the face. Smoking, heavy alcohol use, caffeine, and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea may also contribute to grinding.

No matter the cause, excessive grinding and clenching can cause uncomfortable symptoms. The most common symptom of bruxism is headache. The headache is usually on the sides of the forehead in the temple region but it can also mimic a tension headache. According to Colgate, other symptoms include tight or painful jaw muscles, contractions in the muscles, ear pain, long lasting pain in the face, and clicking or popping in the jaw joint.

Dentally, there can be damage to teeth and broken fillings from the excessive force being applied to them. Your dentist may notice an enlargement in your facial muscles. (Dr. Antolak always likes to reference the former Detroit Tiger, Plácido Polanco, when he was up at bat due to his bulging cheeks!) If you feel some of these symptoms, but want to confirm that you are in fact grinding, it is beneficial to ask your spouse or someone you share a room with if they hear a teeth grinding or chattering sound when you sleep at night. Often those who grind their teeth may have dreams that their teeth are falling out or breaking.

Bruxism can be treated to help lessen symptoms. It is always important to minimize stress and anxiety as much as possible when dealing with teeth grinding and clenching. Your dentist can also fabricate a custom-fit mouth guard for you that will help to take pressure off of your jaw joint, and it serves to protect your teeth from grinding on each other as well. If your bite is misaligned, your dentist can perform a bite adjustment procedure where microns are taken away from your teeth so that they come together in harmony.

With advances in technology, a 3-dimensional scanner called cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) could be helpful in diagnosing jaw joint disorders. According to Hubar and Caballero in Decisions in Dentistry, jaw joint disorders may be related to bone changes in the jaw joint itself. CBCT scans will help reveal degenerative changes in this region.  We at The Gentle Dentist in Shelby Township have this 3-dimensional scanner to better serve its patients. Dr. Antolak will be attending a dental course in Orlando this April on CBCT scans and will be learning how to better read and understand scans of the jaw joint and airway.

If you have any of these issues with your jaw please give us a call and we can recommend treatment and behavioral modification.  The technology is useless unless the dental team knows how to treat or recommend care for you.  This is a complex diagnosis and treatment can be complex.

If you want to learn more, please call us at 586-247-3500 or visit our website at Also, a reminder that we are still running our Smiles for Life promotion where you can professionally whiten your teeth and all proceeds go to charity. Call today to schedule!



Categories: Bruxism

By: Jessica Wendt, RDH

Ask the Gentle Dentist: Should I Use Mouthwash?Who doesn’t love that feeling of minty fresh breath that comes from swishing with mouthwash? Even though most people would answer “yes,” the question is whether mouthwash is for everyone and should it be used daily.  Mouth rinses, like most things in dentistry, are not “one size fits all.” There are hundreds of mouth rinses on the market with each one designed to meet specific dental needs.  Some are considered cosmetic (no true health benefit) while others are therapeutic (contain health benefits).

Cosmetic mouthwash may leave a pleasant taste, but its benefit will be temporary. There is no chemical agent in these mouthwashes that actually kill the bacteria that cause bad breath, so the benefit is considered solely cosmetic. On the other hand, therapeutic mouthwash contains active ingredients that help reduce conditions like cavities, plaque, gum inflammation, and bad breath. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), look for active ingredients listed as: cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine, essential oils, fluoride, and peroxide.

Each of these ingredients has a different benefit to offer. A fluoride mouth rinse is beneficial for those prone to cavities. It helps to prevent decay by remineralizing enamel in the teeth. Whitening mouthwashes may contain peroxide, which helps to reduce staining and lighten the color of teeth. Chlorhexidine and essential oils are used to control plaque and gingivitis, while cetylpyridinium chloride is added to reduce bad breath according to the American Dental Association. Most therapeutic mouth rinses are available over the counter, however some require a prescription especially those that contain chlorhexidine.

Even though using mouthwash has its benefits that were discussed above, there are also risks that should be considered. There has been an ongoing debate on whether there is a link between mouthwashes that contain alcohol and oral cancer. The ADA states that a recent review failed to find a strong association between the two since mouthwash isn’t ingested. However, alcohol-containing mouth rinses are not advised for those with dry mouth because it can worsen the condition. Also, alcohol in mouthwash can increase tooth sensitivity for some and can irritate existing canker sores. Some mouth rinses may cause your oral tissues to slough, or shed, at a faster rate than normal leaving stringy saliva leftover in your mouth. Dr. Antolak has noticed this with Crest ProHealth mouthwash. It is also important to note that children under the age of 6 should not use mouthwash because of the risk of swallowing it.

Mouthwash is not considered a cure for any oral condition, but it can be a helpful aide. It should never be used in place of brushing and flossing. If good oral hygiene habits are in place and cavities, gum disease, and bad breath aren’t present, then using a mouthwash isn’t really necessary. You can use one if you would like, but some dentists may tell you to spend your money elsewhere. As a dental hygienist, I do not use a mouth rinse on a consistent basis because of my regular brushing and flossing habits. There are times when I have used a fluoride mouthwash to prevent cavities and a whitening mouthwash to brighten my smile, but I do not use them on a long-term basis. However, some people do benefit from long-term mouthwash use and their dentist may recommend them to do so.

It is always advised to ask for your dentist’s recommendation on if you should use a mouth rinse, and if so, what type to use. When selecting a mouthwash, always check to make sure it has the ‘ADA Seal of Acceptance.’ This means that the mouth rinse company has provided scientific evidence to the American Dental Association that proves the safety and effectiveness of their product. Also, make sure to read the specific instructions on your selected mouthwash because some need to be used before you brush and some need to be used after brushing. It is important to swish with the rinse for the specified time as well otherwise it may not be as effective.

To learn more about our office, please contact us at 586-247-3500 or visit us at We are always accepting NEW patients!



Categories: Oral Health

Should I Get Dental Implants - Yes or No?Healthy teeth are extremely important for a healthy individual. The teeth are not only crucial for biting and chewing food but also deeply influence a person’s personality and confidence. Furthermore, they also provide structure to the face.

A person can have severe damage to their teeth or even lose their teeth for several reasons. Decay or diseased gums or an accident can be some of the causes for tooth loss. People used to wear dentures or fixed bridges to compensate the missing teeth. But dental implants have become a better option, since they provide better adjusting and close to a natural feel. This permanent solution can help in overcoming the problem of the missing tooth.

When a missing tooth is not replaced and is left unattended, it can cause damage to the jaw. And if several teeth are missing the damage can be greater and the remaining teeth are also negatively influenced.

Like any other medical procedure, the doctors and the patient need to consider whether the dental implants are the best choice, and should the patient get the dental implants at all. Following are the advantages and disadvantages of dental implants that can help you decide if the procedure is for you or should you consider another alternate.

The Procedure for Dental Implants

The procedure for dental implants is comprised of several steps. Several specialist dentists will perform this procedure over a course of time. First, the dentist will insert the dental implant, a titanium screw. The dentists wait for the dental implant to fuse with the jawbone. Once the dental implant is completely fused, the dentists will put together the replacement tooth with the screw.

The Advantages of Dental Implants

The obvious advantages of dental implants are:

  • Dental Implants look more aesthetically pleasing.
  • They Look More Natural
  • Teeth replaced with dental implants don’t damage neighboring teeth unlike other procedures.
  • The jaw bone is protected from degenerating because dental implants have properly replaced the missing tooth, even the roots.
  • There are no chewing and speaking difficulties with this procedure.

The Disadvantage of Dental Implants

The dental implants are a great solution for tooth loss but there are some downsides to the procedure as well that need to be considered.

  • There can be surgical complications like damage to the sinus cavity or some nerves. The likelihood of complication is very slim when the surgery is performed by experienced professionals.
  • Since the procedure is performed in steps it takes a long time of up to 6 months.
  • If proper dental care is not taken, infection can happen.
  • Healing is delayed due to certain conditions, such as diabetes.
  • Dental implants are an expensive procedure.

The Bottom Line

Dental Implants are often the best treatment for tooth loss. Highly qualified and experienced dentists can help with making the decision regarding whether you should get dental implants or not.

Helping your child conquer their fear of the dentistTaking your child to the dentist is important to maintain healthy teeth and start healthy oral hygiene habits. However, your child may not care about the benefits of the dentist. Instead, he or she may show fear of the dentist. With the unfamiliar sounds, objects, and a stranger working in their mouth, who can blame them? It is our mission to have children conquer any fear they may have, so they are more apt to visit the dentist as a part of their regular routine in adulthood. In this article, you will find some tips that we find beneficial in helping children conquer their fear of the dentist.

Don’t Wait Too Long

The sooner your child can visit the dentist, the better. This will allow your child to feel a sense of comfort and familiarity the more often they go. Some parents may think that children do not need to visit the dentist on a regular basis due to them having baby teeth (they’re going to fall out anyway, right?). Wrong! It is best for a child to visit a dentist whenever their first tooth breaks through.

Be Careful of Your Words

Be sure not to mention any words that may be alarming to your child. Any talk about pain, shots, etc. should be avoided at all costs. The dental staff will be able to use the correct terms, and in a way that is not scary for your child. We want their experience to be positive, happy, and more importantly, educational on why it’s essential to maintain a healthy smile.

Role Play

It may benefit your child if you play “dentist” with them. We suggest allowing them to be the dentist, giving them a toothbrush, and having them count your teeth. You can reverse roles, and pretend to use a mirror to see their teeth better, etc. Make sure you DO NOT make any alarming noises (that may mimic a drill, for example). Playing dentist on a stuffed animal may also be beneficial. The primary goal is to have them become comfortable and prepared for what they can expect when they visit the dentist.

Be Prepared for Fussing

Dentists have seen it all. Fussy kids, tantrums, you name it. Expect your child to whine, fuss, cry and wiggle. Most importantly, remember to remain calm! The dental staff and dentist are professionals and will be able to guide you and your child if need be. They may ask for you to sit with them, hold their hand, or other ways that may provide comfort to your little one.

Teach Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits

The most important factor is for your child to learn healthy dental habits. Making sure they know visiting the dentist is something that has to be done, not an option, is crucial. They need to know that having strong teeth will allow them to eat, have a beautiful smile, and prevent cavities.

If you would like any more information about bringing your child to the dentist, or conquering any dental fear, give us a call at The Gentle Dentist! We can be reached at 586-247-3500. We would love to help guide your child in creating healthy oral hygiene habits!

Many people have a fair amount of anxiety when it comes to taking care of their oral health. While this may stem from a bad experience in the past, many times it’s just that people don’t like others poking around in their mouth! Even though this makes sense and it certainly isn’t the most exciting party of the year, visiting your dentist regularly is an important step in maintaining your oral health and even your overall health.

Because taking care of your oral health is so important to stay on top of, it can be even more important to have a dentist that you trust to take care of this work for you. When you have a dentist that you trust and don’t mind visiting, it makes it that much easier to make the appointments for your bi-annual check-ups or anytime you have a tooth bothering you. As it can certainly be difficult to choose the best dentist for you, it’s important to take some time to do a little bit of searching if you are unhappy with your current dentist or are new to the area. To help you evaluate your options, here are some things you should look for in a dental professional.

  1. Experience

This may seem like a no-brainer but it’s smart to go to a dentist who has a wide range of experiences from dental school all the way to their practice. Choosing a dentist with a breadth of experience will help you to feel more confident going to them if you ever have any concerns that are outside of the normal course of routine dental work.

  1. A Pleasant Office

Even though you may not plan to spend much time at the dentist’s office, choosing a dentist with a modern office that you don’t mind visiting will help to ensure that you have even less excuses if you find yourself making up reasons to postpone your visit! If you want to get an idea of how modern your potential dentist’s office really is, schedule a consultation appointment and pay attention to your surroundings. Doing some searching online can also help you evaluate how comforting an office may be as many dental providers will have some photos of their space posted online.

  1. Full-Service Dentistry

While you may just be looking for someone to clean your teeth and check for cavities as of now, you never know what work may need to be done down the line. Choosing a dentist who provides a full range of services from restorative work to cosmetic dentistry such as teeth whitening will help to ensure you won’t need to look for a specialist when you go to have less common procedures done.

These are just a few things to look for when evaluating a new dentist for you and your family. If you are new to the metro Detroit area or are just looking for a new dental service provider, check out the professionals at today!

Shelby Twp Dentist Gives Tips for Healthy Summer SmilesIn Michigan we are just weeks away from the end of the school year. And with summer just around the corner, there will be less routines such as evening homework, early bedtimes and hectic mornings rushing to the bus stop.

However, there is one routine you need to keep in place for your children this summer – oral hygiene.  Here are a few summer oral health tips to keep your kids’ developing teeth from any damage.

Keep Oral Hygiene Routines

As stated earlier, you must stay with your oral hygiene routine throughout the summer fun. Resist the temptation to skip brushing before a late bedtime.  Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day is still important. But with all of the excitement of summer actives, don’t be surprised if you have to remind your children to brush and floss more than once.

Stick to Healthy Foods and Avoid Sugars

With the kids home all day and their friends coming and going, there certainly will be an increased amount of snacking.  But be sure to keep healthy options ready and available. Make it easy for the kids to reach for fruits and vegetables instead of candy and other sugary foods.

Also, limit sugary pops, lemonades, and other fruit juices. It is alright to enjoy these drinks once in awhile but try drink mainly water and milk.  Not to mention, water will ultimately keep the kids more hydrated than sugary beverages. If they do enjoy a soda once in awhile, immediately follow that drink with a glass of water to help wash the teeth and remove any sugary residue.

Make your Back-to-School Dental Visit Early

Parents often schedule checkups in August or September, right before school starts. Instead, schedule a check-up as soon as summer begins. This way, the kids will have a clean bill of dental health for summer.

Plus, you will beat the back-to-school rush and prevent your child from missing class due to dental visits.

Avoid Dental Emergencies

With summer comes pool time, bike rides, sports and other fun outdoor activities.  But sometimes this fun and excitement can also create a sudden dental emergency

First, be sure to enforce common safety rules. No running on slippery pool decks and wear a helmet when biking. For sports, you may want to invest in a mouthguard to prevent injuries.

Try to keep an emergency dental care kit at home and in your vehicle at all times. Items in this kit can include, gauze, a container with a lid (in case you need to preserve part of a broken tooth), and pain reliever.

Schedule Your Summer Checkup with a Shelby Twp. Dentist

Summer sun brings summer fun. But don’t forget to eat healthy and maintain oral hygiene.

If you are looking for a Shelby Twp. dentist to perform a summer checkup for you and your family, contact Dr. Antolak from The Gentle Dentist today at 586-247-3500. Or visit us at our website at to learn more about our Shelby Twp dental practice or to read additional dental hygiene tips.



Categories: Dental Hygiene

Having a toothache certainly isn’t an enjoyable experience. Tooth pain can be subtle to the point it’s easy to ignore, or it can be excruciating to the point where you can’t eat or drink without experiencing severe pain. No matter where you are on the spectrum, if you have unexpected tooth pain, there is probably something going on in your mouth that you need to have taken care of. While there are many causes, here are some of the most common reasons you may be experiencing tooth pain.

  1. Cavities

Cavities are one of the most common reasons why people experience tooth pain. Since a cavity is really tooth decay that has gotten severe, it is no wonder that having a cavity can cause a large amount of oral discomfort. While you may not feel pain from a cavity at first, you will certainly start to feel it if it is allowed to grow. If you suspect you have a cavity, it’s wise to get in to see your dentist as soon as possible. Left untreated, cavities can quickly turn into much more painful and costly issues.

  1. Brushing Too Hard

Brushing everyday, twice a day, is recommended and a great way to stay on top of your oral health. If you end up brushing a little bit too hard over a long period of time, you may start to feel the effects. Brushing too hard can eventually cause your gums to recede. As your gums cover up the roots of your teeth, you will certainly begin to feel pain when you eat and drink if the roots become exposed. If you suspect your gums may be receding from brushing too hard or you have noticed them begin to get smaller while experiencing tooth pain, get in to see your dentist as soon as possible.

  1. Nighttime Tooth Grinding

Grinding your teeth is a common issue many people have while sleeping. When your jaw clenches in your mouth all night and your teeth grind against each other, you can expect to feel some discomfort the next day. If this happens frequently, your teeth can wear each other down and you will eventually feel some tooth pain. If you think this may be happening to you, get in to see your dentist to learn about the options for tooth grinding.

  1. Cracked Teeth

We tend to think of our teeth as nearly indestructible, but this isn’t the case. Teeth can crack from eating hard items, grinding teeth, or due to an injury. If you think you may have cracked your tooth and are feeling the effects, get in to see your dentist to get things taken care of.

If you have unusual tooth pain for any reason, get in to see your dentist to get things figured out. If you are looking for a great dentist in Metro Detroit, visit today to make your appointment!



Categories: Mouth pain

Benefits of Spring Cleaning for Your Teeth

While it may not seem like it when you step outside, the reality is that winter will soon come to an end and spring will be here before we know it. To help stay on top of things before the seasons change, it’s best to start planning all your spring activities around the house to make sure nothing gets left undone. While this may typically mean cleaning out the attic, basement, or getting your boat ready to launch (yay!), this could also mean some personal items that need to get done.

Benefits of Spring Cleaning for Your Teeth

If it’s been a while since you paid a visit to your dentist or you have a tooth bothering you, let the change in seasons give you the opportunity to get in and see your dentist! By getting your semi-annual dentist check up out of the way, you can get on to the more exciting parts of spring and even the beginning of summer! If you need a little bit more motivation to get into the dentist’s office this spring, here are just a few of the benefits to getting your spring dental cleaning done sooner rather than later!

  1. A Clean Mouth

This one may be a little bit obvious but a big benefit to heading to the dentist this spring will be a super clean mouth. Even though you may be doing a great job of brushing and flossing on a daily basis, only your dental professionals can really give you that professional cleaning that keeps your mouth looking and feeling as healthy as it can be.

  1. A Thorough Check Up

Even if you don’t feel any discomfort in your teeth or gums, it is best practice to have your dentist examine your oral health a few times a year. By taking a look around, your dentist and other dental professionals will be able to spot problems you may not necessarily feel, or see problems that could be prevented instead of treated down the road.

If you do feel some discomfort in your teeth or gums, getting in to see your dentist early in the spring will help to ensure any problems you do have won’t get any worse. By getting ahead of your oral health issues, you can avoid much more serious procedures down the road!

  1. Whiten Up Your Teeth

Aside from keeping your mouth healthy and identifying any issues, your dentist can also help you bring back your vibrant smile. Even the best in oral hygiene can leave some room for stains and discoloration due to drinking coffee, soda, or smoking. If you want to have a sparkling white smile for spring time, make your appointment now to get in and have your dentist professionally whiten your teeth!

These are just a few reasons to get in and see your dentist this spring. To learn more about general dentistry and to get in touch with the best Shelby Township dentist, schedule a dental appointment today!



Categories: Dental Hygiene

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