Why It’s Important for Your Child to Floss

Adequate oral hygiene is more than just eliminating bad breath. Practicing the right techniques can also help your child remain healthy, pain-free and feel more confident about themselves. Parents need to be adept when it comes to proper brushing techniques to work on with their little ones. The habits you teach your kids will likely stay with them the rest of their lives. It can be challenging to unlearn habits that we pick up before we are old enough to know why we do them.

Brushing alone won’t keep your child’s mouth completely healthy though. While tooth brushing is necessary, it only cleans about 1/3 of the total tooth surface area. Flossing is an absolute necessity if you or your child are to have a healthy smile for years to come. Try to brush with them two times a day and if possible floss each time. Just make sure you pick a time to floss that can be done consistently every day.

You can help your child prevent a host of lifelong oral ailments by showing them that flossing and brushing every day is just a fact of life. Remember to always lead by example. Kids, infants and every other age in between will follow the direction of their parents. By continually ensuring that you as a parent are following great hygienic techniques and procedures you can undoubtedly encourage your child to do the same.

It is imperative to reinforce proper oral care for children when they are still in the midst of premature age. By starting these oral practices early on, your child will form a habit that will benefit them for the remainder of their life.

Being observant of your child’s oral health is essential. There are some simple things you can watch for that show he or she may not be getting enough oral care:

  • Bad Breath – Throughout the day, food can get easily stuck between their teeth. This provides a breeding ground for unhealthy bacteria to multiply and thrive. The buildup of bacteria will not take long to emit a foul odor. If your child has bad breath that smells not far off from rotten eggs, then they may have excessive bacteria buildup due to a lack of regular flossing.
  • Bleeding Gums – Despite what many of us have heard from our own parents, bleeding gums are not an indication that you are flossing correctly. There is never a time when it is normal for gums to bleed. When improper oral hygiene goes on long enough, the gums become swollen due to infection and will bleed easily when brushed or flossed. Bleeding gums are often an early indication of gingivitis, otherwise known as gum disease. It’s important to minimize the growth of bacteria by flossing so that your child does not become susceptible to gum disease later in life.

More Openings For Your Busy Family!

We try to make visiting the dentist as easy as possible, so our team of doctors splits their time between two offices; one in Carmel, and one in Indianapolis. We know how difficult it can be to get the whole family into the office during regular business hours, which is why we have opened our scheduling from 7am to 7pm on Mondays in Indy and Wednesdays in Carmel.

Schedule A Visit For Your Family Today!

Please feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience to schedule your next visit! Our friendly staff would love to help you out! For our new patients, we have opened up online access to the necessary forms so that you can get back to your day with minimal delay. Here at Newman Family Dentistry, our goal is to take the stress out of your family dental appointments!

Maintaining Dental Health for the Summer

Summertime is such a great season, and we’re sure we love it as much as you do! The days are longer, the sun is shining, we spend more time in the outdoors, the kids are on summer break, and summer vacations await us! With all this excitement it’s easy to forget about scheduling time for taking care of your smile and oral health! There are a few simple things you can do during your busy schedule this summer that your mouth will thank you for come fall and winter!

Don’t Forget To Pack A Toothbrush And Floss!

When we’re excited about a big vacation, it’s easy to forget simple things like a toothbrush and floss. Sometimes we justify not flossing while on vacation or skipping a day or two when we forget our favorite brush. Don’t let this happen to you! Storing an extra set of dental cleaning supplies in your luggage is a great way to avoid this mistake. Another travel hack is to ask the hotels front desk for an oral hygiene pack, they often carry them, and they’re usually free of charge!

Dental Checkups And Cleanings For Kids & Students

Even though most of us grown-ups are still just as busy during the summer, the children in our lives usually have a lot more time on their hands. Scheduling this spare time for your family to get semi-annual cleanings done, check-ups and any necessary dental work done is a great way to start out the new school year right! Completing as much of this work during the summer months means that your kids are less likely to have to miss valuable class time instruction, homework time or interrupt our carefully planned out school day schedules.

College Students Need Summer Visits Too!

For you parents with kids in college, summer is a great time to get them into our office for a visit as well. Students who are able to get their regular dental visits done at home in the summer, will also likely be home in the winter for the other semi-annual checkup. We encourage you not to let them visit their local college town dentist. While they may be perfectly qualified to help your son or daughter, maintaining consistent contact with your home dentist means that they have access to a dentist who truly understands their history and knows what procedures will be in the best interests of your child. The college years are often when your kids first begin to let go of healthy oral hygiene.

Schedule Your Appointment Early!

Our summer appointment openings always fill up fast so contact us today so we can do our best to your family in for your cleanings and checkups!

Overcoming Dental Anxiety

If the thought of going to the dentist makes your pulse race and your blood pressure sore you may have some dental anxiety. It’s not an unusual or unheard of term. In fact even rational or realistic individuals experience dental anxiety. This is often what keeps some of us from getting routine dental exams. Although dental anxiety is very real it is important to address it because letting it prevent you from visiting the dentist is really not the best solution. Ignoring it will only get worse and will make your dental health suffer.

We are not always perfect at brushing our teeth or flossing and over a period of time plaque or tartar can build up even when we are brushing regularly. Often dental anxiety happens due to some past experience. Whatever it may be here are some solutions that may help.

  • Meet and talk with your dentist. Your dentist and/or dental hygienist can ease your worry about your dental visit. They can tell you what the procedure really entails so you know what to expect.
  • Wear headphones. This can help block out sounds. Be sure to discuss this with your dentist before your appointment.
  • Request a numbing agent. Everyone’s pain threshold is different. Don’t be afraid to ask for some a numbing gel or a local anesthesia to minimize pain. Your dentist will only proceed when you are comfortable so you have nothing to worry about.
  • Bring a friend. It may be really beneficial to you to have a friend or loved one near you to comfort and help reduce your dental anxiety.
  • Ask for some anti-anxiety medication. Whether you ask our office or your doctors some anti-anxiety medication may help to reduce dental anxiety during your appointment. Be sure to do this before the day of your appointment.
  • Arrive early. Sometimes it may just take a little extra preparation in arriving early to ease and manage any anxiety you may feel.

By using some or all of these tips we know your dental anxiety will improve and your confidence increase. It is important to also have a dental home. A place you can go to and know you will be treated with courtesy and respect. At Newman Family Dentistry in Indianapolis and Carmel we are here to make your experience a pleasant and comfortable one. We know that you may experience dental anxiety and we want you to come to us with any concerns you may have. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Teeth and Gum Problems Associated with Diabetes

If you are one of the millions of Americans living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, you’re probably aware that it can cause other problems with your overall health! But did you know that uncontrolled diabetes can also lead to a whole host of dental problems, as well?

It’s true! If and when diabetes (of any type) is left uncontrolled and dental care is not tended to, the combination can result in a few different dental conditions such as the following:

Gum Disease: Due to a decreased blood supply to the gums, diabetic dental patients may be more at risk to develop gum disease. Symptoms of gum disease include: red, swollen, and bleeding gums. If left untreated for an extended period of time, gum disease can turn into a serious mouth infection called periodontitis that can result in missing teeth.

Dry Mouth: Due to reduced saliva production, a common symptom of diabetes is an unquenchable thirst. While this isn’t a dental problem in itself, dry mouth can actually cause a variety of other problems like dental decay. Dry mouth can even worsen the effects of gum disease, and may cause more frequent tooth cavities!

It’s no secret that the risks for gum disease and other dental problems are heightened as a diabetic, and proper dental care is absolutely essential. Use these tooth care tips to keep your teeth healthy for years to come:

  • Brush twice daily. Frequent brushing removes plaque that causes dental decay.
  • Manage your diet! A healthy diet may lead to controlled diabetes and better dental (and overall!) health!
  • Keep up with exams! It is recommended that the average patient be seen for a dental cleaning twice yearly. However, if you are a diabetic, more frequent exams may be recommended to check dental health.
  • Tell our dental team! Quality dental care starts by being upfront with our dental team! Be sure to mention you are a diabetic at your appointment!

Visit Newman Family Dentistry in Carmel and Indianapolis for a diabetes related dental checkup today! Our team of highly experienced and professional dentists is proud to ensure that maintaining your dental health is a stress-free priority.

Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea

Few people are fond of the noisy, elephant-like CPAP machine – a clunky tool used for sleep apnea treatment. Fortunately, there is an effective alternative to the CPAP machine, simply called an oral appliance. If you live in the Indianapolis or Carmel area, you can treat sleep apnea without the CPAP machine by visiting Newman Family Dentistry. This article discusses the benefits of using oral appliance therapy as an alternative to CPAP treatment.

Sleep apnea poses potentially deadly risks, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Fortunately, sleep apnea is a treatable condition. However, when patients treat sleep apnea with a CPAP machine (a continuous positive airway pressure machine), they run into a myriad of other problems:

  • It doesn’t let them move around comfortably, making it difficult to fall asleep, and making it more likely to awake with aches and pains.
  • It can be noisy, which is bothersome to the patient and their sleep partner.
  • When traveling, the CPAP machine can be a nightmare. It’s bulky and can be fragile, so it must be painstakingly transported with care.
  • The straps and facial seal of the CPAP machine are ugly, uncomfortable, and cause pimple breakouts, rashes and dryness.

Because of problems like these, sleep apnea patients often remove their CPAP masks after only a few hours into the night, and many patients discontinue CPAP treatment altogether. These patients remain at risk for high blood pressure and heart attack, but still have to pay the bill from using a CPAP machine.

Compared to CPAP treatment, oral appliance therapy is comfortable, easy and effective. Like the CPAP machine, it doesn’t require surgery, and it treats sleep apnea. However, it has many more benefits, including:

  • Comfort. Instead of covering half the face and restricting head movement with a hose, oral appliances are easily worn in the mouth. Patients adjust to oral appliances much more easily and quickly.
  • Easy transport. Oral appliances are about the size of a mouth guard. They easily fit in a small case that could be carried in a backpack or pocket.
  • High success rate. Oral appliance patients don’t have to tolerate air being pushed down their throat, and they don’t wake up with a dry, stuffy nose and a rash around their mouth. Since all these issues are avoided, it’s much easier to have success with oral appliance therapy.

If you’re looking for sleep apnea treatment using oral appliance therapy in the Indianapolis or Carmel areas, there is a solution! Contact us at Newman Family Dentistry today for a consultation.

How Stress Can be Affecting Your Oral Health

We all deal with stress every single day. Sometimes that stress can be caused by life changing events or just day to day activities that can be overwhelming at times. No one loves to handle stress and it is a daily concern for most of us. Put simply, stress affects your health. Did you know it can also affect your oral health? The possible impact on your dental health can include:

● Mouth sores including canker and cold sores
● Clenching or grinding your teeth
● Not taking daily care of your teeth
● Eating a bad diet
● Bad habits like chewing your nails, ice pencils, etc
● Gum disease

Just what you need isn’t it? Another list of reasons of how stress is affecting your body. But if you know what to do there is no need to fear these dental challenges. That is why we are here.
Here are some solutions that can help a little stress of yours go away.

Mouth Sores

Canker and cold sores can hurt and are annoying. They usually don’t last very long, but to relieve some pain here are some solutions.

Canker sores – Try to avoid spicy foods. Use some over the counter medication if needed and contact us with a medicated rinse that will help heal it further.
Cold sores – These can be caused by emotional stress, fever, or sunburn. Start treatment as soon as possible because it can spread. There is over the counter medication or medication that can be prescribed by your dentist.

Teeth Grinding

Stress can cause some individuals to grind their teeth, during the day or night and often subconsciously. Grinding your teeth can lead to problems with your jaw. A night-guard can help stop or minimize the action.

Poor Dental Hygiene

Being under so much stress can affect your mood and in turn can cause you to skip flossing or brushing. It’s clear if you don’t take care of your mouth your overall oral health is going to suffer. Stress can also lead to unhealthy eating habits. Those unhealthy foods will affect your teeth and put you at risk for tooth decay and other problems. A solution that might help is to remind yourself of the importance of dental hygiene and eating healthy. When you feel better physically you will feel better emotionally and mentally. We know that is easier said than done but take it one day at a time. Sometimes seeking support from a family member, friend or dentist is an even better solution. When we take care of ourselves it starts to show in all aspects of our life including in our smile.

Gum Disease

It’s easy to see that long-term stress can cause dental plaque build up but even short-term stress can cause problems. Any stress you are feeling can add to the likelihood of bleeding gums or gingivitis which can gradually progress to serious gum disease. Solution- seeing your dentist regularly, eating a balanced diet, and good oral hygiene at home can help keep gum disease at bay. Brush at least twice a day and floss daily. Use an antibacterial mouthwash rinse twice daily to also help reduce plaque-causing bacteria.

We Can Help

We know that stress can be a lot to handle at times and we understand that it can be overwhelming. If you are experiencing any dental issues related to stress we can help. Newman Family Dentistry is a place you can be comfortable at and don’t have to worry about judgement. A place where you can let your dental stress go away and let us help you find the solutions you need. Call us today!

What to Consider When Choosing a Family Dentist

Choosing a family dentist can be difficult. Each family is unique and has individual needs that are sometimes hard to meet. It is important that you and your family are able to trust the family dentist that you choose. Without trust, not much of a relationship can be built. It is good to get referrals from friends when choosing what dentist is right for you and your loved ones. But your doctor or pediatrician can also be a good resource when making this choice for your family.

It is important that you choose the right family dentist. Follow through with the things that are important to you and your children. Everyone wants great dental care but having a pleasant experience every single time is important as well. When you find the dentist that is right for you every visit can be like that.

Here are some things to consider:

●Look for a dentist with whom you can establish a good relationship with. But it is also important that he/she has the proper training and experience and that they are able to address any concerns you may have right away and inform you of potential problems and solutions.

●Choose a dentist that has worked with both children and adults. Ask friends and neighbors if they know of the particular dentist you are looking in to. Looking on a dentist’s website is a really good start and going through their online biography will give you an idea about their experience. Reviews written by patients is also a good way to find out more.

● Look for a dentist and staff who are patient, gentle and kind. Looking for a family friendly environment such as games and toys in a waiting room is a good start. The more comfortable your children are the better the experience will be. A good dentist who is kind and will encourage your children can shape their whole attitude towards dental visits and dental care in general. It is a good sign when your child has a good experience and asks when their next dental appointment is.

●Of course a comfortable and warm office setting is important as well as you will be spending a lot of time there. It is important that you and your family are able to relax. The staff in that office is also very vital. They should show patience and understanding to any needs you may have and try to accommodate you as much as possible.

There are many things that go into choosing a family dentist and there are many things to consider. Let Newman Family Dentistry help take away the guesswork. We can meet the dental wants and needs of your family in both Indianapolis and Carmel, IN.

Avoid Painful and Expensive Dental Issues with Preventative Dentistry

If you do not take care of your teeth now, you could end up spending countless dollars for dental procedures over the next decade. Dental treatments like dental implants and root canals are expensive and invasive dental procedures. Simple changes to your dental routine could make a difference in preventing such issues from occurring. Practicing preventative dental care is the best way to avoid these costs and save your smile!

What is Preventative Dentistry?

Improving upon your daily dental hygiene practices will aid in reducing the buildup of plaque that leads to tooth decay and other dental problems. To begin a preventative dentistry plan, you need to focus on at-home care, chair-side dental cleanings and treatments, and professional dental advice. Some patients have conditions that increase their risk of gum disease and tooth decay. It is important to work with our dental team to create a unique patient treatment plan designed to prevent serious problems. Plan on scheduling at least two dental visits and cleanings in our Indianapolis dental office yearly to prevent major dental problems.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

Once we examine your teeth and gums, it will help us determine what needs to be done to fix existing issues and prevent future problems. Here are some things you can do at home to protect your teeth and gums:

  • Use Fluoride – If you want to prevent tooth decay, plan on using toothpaste with Fluoride. Fluoride treatments are done in our dental office for patients in need of additional care. Fluoride is the best method to strengthen your teeth and protect them against decay.
  • Flossing – Daily flossing is another vital part of oral health. It is important for you to focus on flossing gently below the gum line to remove the bacteria that gathers around the tooth. Once you remove the bacteria, finish your cleaning with mouthwash to prevent gum disease.
  • Use a mouthguard – Do you have problems clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth? A mouthguard is one of the best ways to protect teeth from having the enamel removed. If you play sports, mouthguards are one of the best devices to use to protect the mouth from injury.
  • Healthy eating – A healthy diet can go a long way to improve your oral health. Avoid eating too much sugar and carbohydrates as they encourage the growth of bacteria. Increase the amount of calcium-rich foods you eat to help improve your oral health.

Contact us today to schedule your cleaning and examination and be on your way to preventing tooth decay!

Getting the Most Out of Your Tooth-brushing Routine

Are you diligent in brushing your teeth daily? How often do you change your toothbrush? Simple things like brushing your teeth can easily become a second thought when you become busy with the day-to-day routine of life. Failure to care for your teeth at home can lead you to the dentist’s chair where you may need to undergo multiple dental procedures to restore your teeth to their healthy condition. Preventative dentistry in Indianapolis is designed to reduce the risk of serious oral health issues and help you maintain a healthy, radiant smile. Here are some of our favorite tooth-brushing tips to give your teeth and gums a fighting chance against bacteria and plaque:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes. Plan on spending approximately 30 seconds for each quadrant of the mouth.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to reduce the risk of vigorous brushing, which strips the enamel from the teeth and causes the gums to recede.
  • Always use ADA-approved toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride helps to reverse tooth decay and aids in strengthening the enamel of the teeth.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months to reduce the amount of bacteria on the toothbrush. A good rule of thumb is to toss the toothbrush when you see the bristles starting to curl and fray.
  • Store your toothbrush in an open area where it can completely dry out before you use it again.
  • Never share your toothbrush as it leads to a higher risk of disease sharing.
  • Keep your toothbrush in a different area from the toilet.
  • Rinse your mouth with water periodically throughout the day, especially if you are unable to brush after eating a meal.
  • Schedule annual cleanings to reduce the risk of plaque buildup and gingivitis.

Powered Versus Manual Brushes

We often have patients ask us about powered toothbrushes and their ability to clean the teeth and gums compared to manual toothbrushes. Several studies have found that powered toothbrushes can reduce the risk of plaque by 21 percent. We do recommend using powered toothbrushes for children as they can struggle to reach the back of the mouth and clean the teeth. Another benefit of electric toothbrushes is how easy they make it to clean all of the teeth without placing too much pressure to remove bacteria.

We encourage all patients to come into our Carmel, IN, dental office or our Indianapolis office for a consultation. We want to help reduce the risk of serious oral health concerns and keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.

Finding The Best Dentist in Indianapolis

Whether you’ve just moved to Indianapolis or you’ve been here for a while, finding the right dentist is as important to feeling comfortable in your city as finding the right school for your kids, the best grocery store for your wallet, and the best gym that’s not too far from your house. You want a dentist that has a great education, plenty of experience, and positive patient reviews.

Here at Newman Family Dentistry, we know what makes our patients feel cared for, and we’ve been in the family business long enough to be good at what we do!

We’d recommend looking for some of the following to help you decide whether we’re the right fit for your family.

1. Check out our experience. Our three Dr. Newmans (brothers Marc, Don, and Mikel) have a lot of education and experience in various treatments. As the first graduate in the family, Dr. Don Newman graduated from Indiana University School of Dentistry and bought his first practice in Indianapolis, then a second practice in Carmel. Dr. Marc Newman then graduated with a Ph.D. in Dental Surgery and joined the practice, followed by Dr. Mikel Newman, who is a leading expert in tongue-tied or lip-tied infants who have breastfeeding difficulties.

2. Read our patient reviews. We know you’ll find a lot of satisfied patients who have something positive to say about our practices. It’s important to us that each patient feels cared for and gets all their questions answered. We want our patients to be life-long patients.

3. Get to know us. We want to be involved in our communities to make them a better place, and we understand what having a healthy family means. We want our patients to have healthy lives outside of our offices, so watch for Dr. Don volunteering as a pre-K baseball coach, or supporting some of our local sports teams with his family. You may also see Dr. Marc and his wife walking their dog, kayaking in Eagle Creek, or tasting their favorite local restaurants. Dr. Mikel can be found speaking at elementary schools to teach the kids about oral health, cheering for the Hoosiers, or jogging and hanging out with his two brothers.

As a family-run business, Newman Family Dentistry wants you and your family to feel welcome and stay healthy with the best dentists in Indianapolis, so give our office a call and schedule an appointment today!

The Doctors and Their Offices

Newman Family Dentistry