My Blog

Posts for: June, 2017

By Ronald L. Schoepflin, D.D.S.
June 23, 2017
Category: Oral Health

A woman as gorgeous and funny as Sofia Vergara surely planned to be a model and actress from the get-go, right? Wrong! Sofia’s first career choice actually was to be… a dentist! That’s right, the sexy star of TV’s Modern Family actually was only two semesters shy of finishing a dental degree in her native Columbia when she traded dental school for the small screen. Still, dental health remains a top priority for the actress and her son, Manolo.

“I’m obsessed,” she recently told People magazine. “My son thinks I’m crazy because I make him do a cleaning every three months. I try to bribe the dentist to make him to do it sooner!”

That’s what we call a healthy obsession (teeth-cleaning, not bribery). And while coming in for a professional cleaning every three months may not be necessary for everyone, some people — especially those who are particularly susceptible to gum disease — may benefit from professional cleanings on a three-month schedule. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to having professional teeth cleanings — but everyone needs this beneficial procedure on a regular basis.

Even if you are meticulous about your daily oral hygiene routine at home, there are plenty of reasons for regular checkups. They include:

  • Dental exam. Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease are much easier — and less expensive — to treat in the earliest stages. You may not have symptoms of either disease early on, but we can spot the warning signs and take appropriate preventive or restorative measures.
  • Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is not just a concern of the middle aged and elderly — young adults can be affected as well (even those who do not smoke). The survival rate for this deadly disease goes up tremendously if it is detected quickly, and an oral cancer screening is part of every routine dental visit.
  • Professional teeth cleaning. Calcified (hardened) dental plaque (tartar or calculus) can build up near the gum line over time — even if you brush and floss every day. These deposits can irritate your gums and create favorable conditions for tooth decay. You can’t remove tartar by flossing or brushing, but we can clear it away — and leave you with a bright, fresh-feeling smile!

So take a tip from Sofia Vergara, and don’t skimp on professional cleanings and checkups. If you want to know how often you should come in for routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”

By Ronald L. Schoepflin, D.D.S.
June 08, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: fluoride  

We've known for a long time that fluoride strengthens tooth enamel against decay. We've also learned that fluoride consumption early in life pays later dividends with healthier teeth.

But while fluoride has generally proven safe, too much ingested by young children could cause enamel fluorosis. This condition produces a mottled or streaked appearance in teeth ranging from faint white patches to darker, pitted staining. Fluorosis doesn't harm teeth, but it does make them less attractive.

To prevent this, it may be necessary with your dentist's help to monitor your infant's or young child's fluoride intake and keep it in check. That will depend in large part on where you live, as well as your child's hygiene and eating habits.

Like three-quarters of public water systems, your local utility may be adding fluoride to your drinking water. The amount is governed by federal guidelines, which currently recommend fluoride amounts of no more than 0.70 parts per million of water. The fluoride levels in your water could have an impact on your child's total fluoride intake. You can find out for sure how much fluoride is present in your water by contacting your water utility company.

Another major fluoride source is toothpaste and other hygiene products. You can control your child's fluoride exposure by limiting the amount of toothpaste on their brush. Children under two only need a “smear,” while those between two and six need only a pea-sized amount.

Processed foods can contain fluoride if fluoridated water was used in their production. In this case, replace as much of the processed food items in your family's diet as you can with fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods.

Along this line, if you have an infant you want to pay particular attention to feeding formula, especially the powdered form you mix with water. If you're concerned about the amount of fluoride in your water consider other infant feeding options. Besides breast-feeding in lieu of formula, you can also use ready-to-feed pre-mixed with water (usually lower in fluoride) or mix powdered formula with bottled water specifically labeled “de-ionized,” “purified,” “demineralized,” or “distilled.”

This can be a lot to keep up with but your dentist can advise you. Fluoride is still a potent weapon against tooth decay and a safeguard on your child's current and future dental health.

If you would like more information on the relationship between fluoride and your child's dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Development and Infant Formula.”

By Ronald L. Schoepflin, D.D.S.
June 01, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Find out if dental implants are the right choice for replacing your missing implants

While losing a tooth as a child was an exciting time, it’s certainly less exciting and much more stressful as an adult. After all, once our permanent teeth come in we just assume that they are there for life. Of course, there are so many issues that can befall your oral health and take with it one or more teeth. If this has happened to you, don’t despair. Our Port Orchard, WA, cosmetic dentist, Dr. Ronald Schoepflin, is here to tell you how dental implants could help.

“Aren’t I too old?” We hear this phrase a lot from patients of all ages who want to get dental implants. Of course, it’s never too late to get the restoration you need to complete your smile. Everyone from young adults to seniors can benefit from dental implants if their mouths are healthy enough for this treatment. Age is just a number, especially when it comes to getting dental implants.

“I’ve heard they are expensive…” Most people want to be financially smart, even when it comes to their health. Of course, replacing a missing tooth or teeth is a must if you want to protect your oral health from serious complications. How you choose to replace that tooth is entirely up to you. Just remember: while the upfront costs of dental implants might concern you a bit, these restorations are designed to last a lifetime. So while you may pay less for bridges and dentures upfront, they are only meant to last a few years before they will need to be replaced. In the long run, you could actually save money with implants.

“Isn’t the treatment painful.” Our goal, as your Port Orchard, WA, general dentist is to make sure that the treatments you get are as comfortable as possible. While you will have to undergo surgery in order to get your implant, this is all performed under local anesthesia, so the area is completely numb before we treat you. We will also check-in with you throughout the process to make sure that you aren’t feeling any discomfort. If you are still nervous about this surgery, talk to us about whether sedation dentistry could also ease those nerves.

Do dental implants sound like the perfect treatment option for you? If so, then call Schoepflin Dental Excellence in Port Orchard, WA, today to book your initial consultation. Let’s chat about dental implants!