Monday, March 20, 2017

How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies

Have you ever had that dream when your teeth start falling out? Would you know how to handle it if reality imitated the dream?

Real life dental emergencies happen, sometimes at the most inconvenient times. If you’re armed with a few tips to handle a few common dental emergencies, you can do a lot to minimize the damage and even save a tooth!




  • Knocked-out permanent tooth? Keep it moist. Without forcing it or touching the roots, try reinserting the tooth. Alternatively, hold the tooth in your cheek, in a glass of milk, or in a tooth preservation product. Get to your dentist as soon as possible. 
  • Cracked or chipped tooth? Save any broken pieces and rinse them and your mouth with warm water. Apply a cold compress to any swollen or sore areas of the face and mouth. 
  • Toothache? Rinse your mouth with warm water and try to floss around the sore areas. A lodged piece of food can often be the culprit. Do NOT apply pain relievers directly to the area. 
  • Abscess? Pimple-like swelling on the gums? Because this is a potentially dangerous infection, call your dentist right away. Draw the infection out by rinsing with a mild salt water solution several times a day. 
  • Broken braces or wires? If a broken wire is causing discomfort, try to use a pencil eraser to reposition the wire. You can also cover the wire the dental wax. Do not try to cut the wire. Call your dentist for a repair. 


To address your dental emergencies, try gentle dental in Howell, Michigan. We have time in our schedule set aside to treat emergencies and can put you in contact with dentist in an emergency after hours. Give us a call today!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

5 Rules for Dental Work during Pregnancy

Not sure if you should keep your regular dentist appointment now that you’re pregnant? Need help figuring out what’s safe and what’s not at the dentist’s office if you’re pregnant?

The world becomes infinitely more complicated the moment you find out you’re pregnant. Luckily, when it comes to the dentist and pregnancy, there are 5 simple rules you can follow to keep yourself and baby happy and healthy.

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  1. Don’t cancel your regular appointment. Exams and cleanings are perfectly safe during pregnancy. In fact, some of the hormones produced during pregnancy tend to cause gum sensitivity, bleeding, and increased risk of gum disease, so it’s important to go to the dentist during your pregnancy to prevent infection. 
  2. Tell your dentist everything. Your dentist and hygienist should know that you’re pregnant, any medications you’re taking, and any special medical advice your doctor has provided for your pregnancy. If they know the details, they’ll take better care of you!
  3. Avoid x-rays if possible. Regular check-up x-rays can and should be postponed until after you have your baby. However, if you need any dental procedures during pregnancy that require an x-ray, wearing the appropriate protection will keep baby safe. The very small risk of x-ray exposure is much smaller than the risk of postponing necessary dental work. 
  4. No elective dentistry. Any elective or unnecessary procedures can wait. Preventative or corrective dentistry is important to do to keep you and baby healthy, but elective procedures like whitening treatments or replacing older metal fillings are better put on hold. 
  5. Be comfortable. As the baby grows, if you need to visit the dentist, bring whatever you need to be comfortable whether that’s a pillow or some tunes!


If you require a more serious procedure like a root canal, you’ll want to work with your dentist to minimize medication you receive while making sure you’re totally comfortable.

It’s important for your and baby’s health to minimize your stress by not experiencing unnecessary, excessive pain.

If you follow these easy rules, you’ll have nothing to worry about when it comes to dentistry and pregnancy. For gentle dental in Howell, Michigan during your pregnancy, give us a call. We can answer any questions you have about dental care and procedures while you’re pregnant and after baby arrives!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

3 Quick Tips to Improving Your Dental Routine

Are you looking for a way to improve your dental routine so you can have better checkups?

Do you want to make sure you get a clean bill of health every time you see your dentist, and take care of your teeth in between appointments?

You know how important it is to take care of your teeth, and there are some things you can start doing right away to make your checkups less painful and less stressful for you.


  1. Eat better – A good diet isn’t just good for your waistline – it’s good for your mouth, too! Your diet can have a huge impact on the health of your gums and teeth. Carb-heavy foods usually have high sugars; try switching to more fruits and vegetables.
  2. Switch your toothbrush regularly – Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, make sure you’re changing it every few months or whenever the bristles start to fray. You should also get one sooner if you’re getting over a cold or the flu to prevent re-infection. 
  3. Read the labels on your dental products – Not all products are created equally. When you buy new toothpaste, make sure you take a few seconds to read the label. The American Dental Association has a list of recommended toothpastes. These toothpastes typically contain fluoride, which helps to minimize the oral bacteria that causes cavities, in addition to strengthening tooth enamel.


If you want some more advice on how to amp up your dental routine, call Dr. DiStefano’s office! Our team of friendly, highly trained dental professionals will give you the best care personalized just for you.

We also offer a variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures so you can improve your smile even more.

Visit our website or call us today to get started!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Why Do We Visit the Dentist Every 6 Months?

Do you have trouble remembering to schedule your dental exams?

Do you wonder why you have to go twice a year, even if you’re not experiencing problems with your teeth?

There’s a reason you trust your dentist to take care of your teeth, and it’s because you don’t always do a good enough job, even if you’re diligent about keeping your health top-of-mind.

According to the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, “More than 50 years ago, […] few people took good care of their teeth. There were no guidelines for how often you should see a dentist. Many dentists focused on fixing problems rather than preventing them.”

After that, the different dental and health organizations decided there was a need to set standards for preventive dentistry, and came up with the “twice a year” rule that we use today.

However, you should take your own personal health habits and personal hygiene into account when you schedule your appointments. For example, if you’ve recently had a procedure or cosmetic dentistry work done, you might want to see your dentist more than twice a year to make sure you’re staying healthy.

If you’re part of a high-risk group of people that includes smokers, pregnant women, diabetics, people with current gum disease, people with a weak immune system, or people to tend to build up plaque, you should see your dentist more frequently.

To schedule an appointment with a member of our team today, give us a call or visit our website! We provide standard cleanings, x-rays, and a variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Your Holiday-Ready, White Smile Guide

The holidays are coming, the holidays are coming! Are you ready for the pictures, the smiles, the getting up close and personal with distant relatives? If you’re looking for quick, easy, effective tips to brighten up your smile just in time for the festivities, read on.

As your providers of gentle dental in Howell, Michigan we have the tips for whiter teeth.

As you prepare for and head out to holiday parties, avoid teeth staining agents as much as possible. Things like red wine, dark juices, coffee, and black tea stain your teeth and should be kept to a minimum for a whiter smile.

If it’s snack time or the end of a meal, eat to clean. Crisp, fibrous foods like celery, carrots, apples, and even popcorn actually clean your teeth while you eat so they’re a great way to end a meal.



For a stain fighting, bacteria neutralizing boost, gargle apple cider vinegar before brushing. The vinegar will work to remove stains and kill bacteria for fresher breath and stain prevention.

To prevent staining, do everything you can to get all the bacteria out of your mouth when you’re brushing. That means brushing your tongue or using a tongue scraper.

Maintain the peak of effectiveness while brushing by replacing your toothbrush or brush head every three months. Effective brushing means a whiter smile!

And don’t forget our team, practicing gentle dental care in Howell, Michigan. Regular cleanings will keep your teeth whiter and healthier! If you’re looking to kick the whitening up a notch, we have the tools and techniques to help. Give us a call and set up an appointment today.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The DOs and DON’Ts of Holiday Eating

Are you a sucker for a sweet holiday treat? Worried what that plate of grandma’s fudge is going to do to your pearly whites?

Come holiday time, we are basically bombarded by sugar in all shapes in sizes. As the source for gentle dental in Howell, Michigan, we have a few tips to keep your teeth safe this season!


  1. DO treat sugar as the enemy and have a dynamic strategy to defeat it. Try your best to limit the amount of sugar you eat. Spend less time eating sugar by hitting the dessert tray just once and avoiding hard candies you have to suck for a while. Indulge in holiday goodies that aren’t sugar-laden like an extra serving of mashed potatoes, or a savory dip. 
  2. DON’T make your teeth into the family handyman by using them for odd jobs. Nuts? Use a nutcracker and not your teeth. Don’t test your chompers by attempting to open a bottle with them. And don’t use your teeth to tear open the packaging of your kids’ new toys.
  3. DO be prepared, especially if you’re travelling. Make sure you pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss for the whole family if you’re spending the holidays away. Also, keep your dental insurance information handy, just in case. Even if you’re only stepping out for the evening, having travel toothbrushes can help you stick with your brushing habit if you stay out late. 
  4. And DON’T forget about your gentle dental professionals in Howell, Michigan. We’re here for you whether you need a cleaning, regular dental work, or care after a dental emergency.


Remember, if you haven’t got your six month check up scheduled for the new year yet, there’s still time! Pick up the phone and give us a call or visit our website to find out more about our gentle dental procedures.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Wearing a Retainer for Snoring

Is your partner’s snoring keeping you awake at night?

Are you the one who gets elbowed and kicked over and over at night because you’ve started snoring?

Snoring is a big problem for many Americans! Snoring can be attributed to a number of health issues such as weight gain, depression, diabetes, and heart disease.

Did you know that wearing a simple mouth guard at night could put a stop to closed airways that lead to snoring and sleep apnea?

Wearing a retainer or mouth guard at night has many benefits including:

  • Keeping your jaw in a comfortable position
  • Opening your upper airways for better breathing at night
  • Helps to prevent wear from teeth grinding
  • Can relieve tension from jaw clenching
  • Helps prevent snoring

If you suffer from one or many of these problems listed above, a mouth guard could change the way you sleep!

Visit your Howell family dentist and ask about how a mouth guard can help you or your partner. Snoring can also be a sign of other health issues, so make sure you speak with your primary physician. Together, your doctor and your dentist can help you stop snoring and get better sleep, making you more energized and productive during the day.

To find out more, visit our website and schedule an appointment at Dr. DiStefano & Associates!