By James Pechloff, DDS
September 16, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Oral Hygiene   oral health  

What's the most fun thing about back-to-school time? For many of us, it's the shopping! Those cool backpacks and colorful sneakers put smiles on a lot of young faces. While you're out buying new school supplies and freshening up your kids' wardrobes, why not freshen up their oral health supplies as well?

For example, it might be time for a new toothbrush. The American Dental Association recommends replacing toothbrushes every three to four months, or more frequently if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won't do as good a job cleaning teeth. And with all of the cartoon characters and superheroes available on toothbrushes, picking one out can be just as fun as choosing a new lunchbox or notebook!

While you're at it, check your kids' supply of dental floss as well. If they've run out, they might not have told you. As important as flossing is, it's not every kids' idea of fun. If you're having trouble getting your kids to use a spool of floss, why not try a disposable little tool made just for flossing? Flossers are super-easy to use, and these, too, come in all kinds of fun shapes and colors.

Here's an important item for the school athletes in your house: a mouthguard. Sports-related dental injuries account for more than six hundred thousand emergency room visits each year. If your child wears braces, a mouthguard may be particularly important. So please contact us about a custom-made mouthguard for your child — or if you have any other questions about oral health and hygiene. And have a safe and healthy return to school!

By James Pechloff, DDS
September 01, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Some people are lucky — they never seem to have a mishap, dental or otherwise. But for the rest of us, accidents just happen sometimes. Take actor Jamie Foxx, for example. A few years ago, he actually had a dentist intentionally chip one of his teeth so he could portray a homeless man more realistically. But recently, he got a chipped tooth in the more conventional way… well, conventional in Hollywood, anyway. It happened while he was shooting the movie Sleepless with co-star Michelle Monaghan.

“Yeah, we were doing a scene and somehow the action cue got thrown off or I wasn't looking,” he told an interviewer. “But boom! She comes down the pike. And I could tell because all this right here [my teeth] are fake. So as soon as that hit, I could taste the little chalkiness, but we kept rolling.” Ouch! So what's the best way to repair a chipped tooth? The answer it: it all depends…

For natural teeth that have only a small chip or minor crack, cosmetic bonding is a quick and relatively easy solution. In this procedure, a tooth-colored composite resin, made of a plastic matrix with inorganic glass fillers, is applied directly to the tooth's surface and then hardened or “cured” by a special light. Bonding offers a good color match, but isn't recommended if a large portion of the tooth structure is missing. It's also less permanent than other types of restoration, but may last up to 10 years.

When more of the tooth is missing, a crown or dental veneer may be a better answer. Veneers are super strong, wafer-thin coverings that are placed over the entire front surface of the tooth. They are made in a lab from a model of your teeth, and applied in a separate procedure that may involve removal of some natural tooth material. They can cover moderate chips or cracks, and even correct problems with tooth color or spacing.

A crown is the next step up: It's a replacement for the entire visible portion of the tooth, and may be needed when there's extensive damage. Like veneers, crowns (or caps) are made from models of your bite, and require more than one office visit to place; sometimes a root canal may also be needed to save the natural tooth. However, crowns are strong, natural looking, and can last many years.

But what about teeth like Jamie's, which have already been restored? That's a little more complicated than repairing a natural tooth. If the chip is small, it may be possible to smooth it off with standard dental tools. Sometimes, bonding material can be applied, but it may not bond as well with a restoration as it will with a natural tooth; plus, the repaired restoration may not last as long as it should. That's why, in many cases, we will advise that the entire restoration be replaced — it's often the most predictable and long-lasting solution.

Oh, and one more piece of advice: Get a custom-made mouthguard — and use it! This relatively inexpensive device, made in our office from a model of your own teeth, can save you from a serious mishap… whether you're doing Hollywood action scenes, playing sports or just riding a bike. It's the best way to protect your smile from whatever's coming at it!

If you have questions about repairing chipped teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin” and “Porcelain Veneers.”

By James Pechloff
August 22, 2017
Tags: Hygiene   Habits  

It’s time we put your daily dental routine under the microscope.Oral Hygiene Habits

Sure, caring for your smile should be easy, and yet there are so many people who just don’t know the first thing about what keeps teeth and gums healthy. It’s okay; there is no need to worry. Our Wauwatosa, WI, dentist, Dr. James Pechloff, is here to provide some helpful advice for maintaining the best oral health possible.

Quit Smoking

This is a habit that can have some pretty detrimental short- and long-term effects on your oral health. Most people know by now that smoking is bad for your health, but it can also lead to everything from chronic bad breath and cavities to gum disease, infections, delayed healing and oral cancer. If you are a smoker or a tobacco consumer, ditching the habit altogether will improve your oral health by leaps and bounds.

Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Most people don’t realize just how much sugar is in their diet. Even if you don’t drink sodas or eat dessert that often you may be shocked to find out that sugar is hiding in a lot of the everyday foods you consume whether they be seemingly healthy salad dressings or that small cup of yogurt. A good rule of thumb, thanks to the American Heart Association, is to not consume more than 37.5 grams (men) or 25 grams (women) of sugar per day. Read those food labels more carefully and your smile will thank you.

Visit the Dentist

While your at-home dental care is so very important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums, this should never take the place of visiting our Wauwatosa general dentist every six months for routine cleanings. If you are someone who is prone to decay and is at risk for gum disease, you may need to come in more regularly for professional cleanings. Talk to us to find out how regularly you should be getting dental check-ups.

Don’t Forget to Floss

While brushing is a habit that no one should forget, flossing is something that surprisingly few people actually do. If you aren’t flossing once a day then you are doing your smile a great disservice. How else do you expect to remove plaque from between teeth? Your toothbrush won’t be able to reach and clean those hard-to-reach spots, but floss can. Floss at least once a day, preferably at night before going to bed, to remove plaque from between teeth and along the gum line.

Do you have questions about your at-home oral care routine? Need to schedule your routine checkup? Whatever your needs might be, it’s time you called our Wauwatosa, WI, dental office and schedule an appointment with Dr. Pechloff.

By James Pechloff
June 13, 2017
Tags: Gum Disease  

If you practice good oral hygiene (brushing at least twice a day and flossing every day), you are ahead of the game in terms of protecting yourGum Disease teeth and gums from decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease ranges from mild (gingivitis) to severe (periodontitis), and affects close to half of all American adults over the age of 30 according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Although periodontal disease is more prevalent than dentists would like, it is not inevitable. Dr. James Pechloff in Wauwatosa, WI, recommends a professional dental cleaning twice a year and more often if periodontal disease is present.

Gum Disease Prevention and Treatment in Wauwatosa, WI

If left untreated, gum disease gets progressively worse over time, and can ultimately lead to tooth loss. Tooth loss may be the most common and well-known side effect of poor periodontal health, but studies have found that in addition to putting your teeth and gums at risk, the inflammation that comes along with periodontitis can also put you at risk for other potentially serious health complications like heart disease and stroke. Gum disease-related bacteria and infections can also pose risks for patients with certain health problems like diabetes and HIV/AIDS.

Tips for Healthy Teeth and Gums

The good news is that with a few lifestyle changes and modifications, you can take control of your oral health at any age. There are several steps that you can take:

  • Floss every day
  • Visit the dentist at least two times per year.
  • Eat a healthy diet and avoid overconsumption of sugar
  • Do not smoke
  • Talk to your dentist if periodontal disease runs in your family

Find a Dentist in Wauwatosa, WI

Good oral hygiene is just one factor in helping to prevent gum disease. Even if it has been years since your last dental appointment, it is never too late to take control of your periodontal health. Contact our office today by calling (414) 475-5505 to schedule an appointment for a professional dental exam and cleaning with Dr. Pechloff.

By James Pechloff
May 04, 2017
Category: Dental Conditions

Choosing the best dentist for you can be a confusing process. Should you go with a cosmetic dentist? One who focuses on restoration or implant dentistry? Do your kids need a special, pediatric dentist? A family dentist encompasses all of these things and more. Find out more about family dentistry and if you could benefit from a family dentist with Dr. James Pechloff in Wauwatosa, WI.

What is family dentistry? 
Some dentists choose to specialize in certain branches of dentistry or age groups. Family dentistry focuses on serving all of the members of your family, whether it is the baby’s first dental appointment or your grandmother who is being fitted for a denture.

Do I need a family dentist? 
A family dentist makes juggling family life easy. Rather than taking extra days off of work to drive the kids to one dentist’s office and grandma to another, you can schedule all of your family’s appointments at the same place and even on the same day, saving you extra trips, extra time off work, and the stress of organizing it all. Additionally, your family’s dental records are all kept in one place with a family dentist, allowing you easy access if necessary. Finally, a family dentist can see someone from the time they have their first appointment well into their adulthood. This means building a solid foundation for a successful dentist/patient relationship.

Some of the services your family dentist provides include:

  • Dental Bonding: Dental bonding is the application of a tooth-colored material using a special light, which bonds the material to the teeth to improve a patient's smile. Bonding is used to repair cracked, decayed and chipped teeth. Bonding is also used to close gaps between teeth and improve the appearance of discolored teeth.
  • Dental Crowns: A dental crown is a fixed prosthetic object that looks like a tooth and is attached to a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are used to restore chipped, badly decayed, cracked, discolored, damaged and weakened teeth. With proper care, crowns can last many years. Maintaining good dental hygiene will help your dental crown last longer.
  • Cosmetic Fillings: Fillings are used to treat decay/cavities and repair broken or cracked teeth. Cosmetic fillings are dental fillings that match the color of the rest of the teeth. Cosmetic fillings will make your teeth look like new again.

Family Dentistry in Wauwatosa, WI
Patients of all ages should see their dentist at least twice a year for examinations and cleanings. Parents should schedule their child’s first dental appointment by the time they turn three years old, or if the patient has any concerns about their child’s teeth, whichever event comes first. Patients should maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine at home to keep their teeth healthy and clean by brushing twice daily and flossing at least once.

For more information on family dentistry, please contact Dr. James Pechloff in Wauwatosa, WI. Call (414) 475-5505 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Pechloff today!

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