General Dental Care

Dr. Mader believes beautiful smiles begin with good dental care. When you become a patient, your hygienist will provide you with information on dental wellness. Dr. Mader's office is conveniently located in South Bend near University Park Mall. Dental wellness is general dental care for you to continue between routine check-ups. Good oral hygiene keeps your teeth healthy in between dental visits.

Exceptional Dentistry is providing our patients with good dental care information. The following information explains how dental plaque forms, proper brushing and flossing techniques, and the benefits of fluoride. If you have well water at home, the fluoride information is invaluable to you and your family. Dr. Mader explains the benefits of fluoride and how fluoride has been the wonder-drug of dentistry.

Dental Plaque

Dental plaque forms on your teeth every day. The bacteria in the plaque react with the sugar in your diet to form an acid which attacks tooth enamel ultimately causing cavities. It can also irritate gum tissue causing inflammation (gingivitis) which may lead to periodontal disease. If you want your teeth to last a lifetime, you should remove plaque at least twice a day after meals.

How To Brush Your Teeth

Brushing Your Teeth Place the bristles of the tooth brush onto the biting edge of the teeth and apply gentle pressure. The brush will help guide the bristles to the correct 45 degree angle, aiming the bristles into the gum line. Use small, circular motions, keeping the tips of the bristles more or less in the same place. This will ensure that the bristles remove plaque from under the gum line and in between teeth - the high risk areas where gum disease starts. Spend about 10 seconds on each tooth. Concentrate on brushing each tooth individually.

Use Circular Strokes Again, with small, circular strokes, remove plaque from all outer surfaces of lower and upper teeth (the surfaces that lie against the inside of your cheek). The longer bristles of the tip will reach between teeth and behind the last molar tooth, areas where plaque can be most difficult to remove. Clean the upper and lower side teeth (alongside your tongue and palate) in the same manner.

Clean Behind Your Teeth To clean behind the front teeth, turn the tooth brush as shown and use the tip. Applying the same circular brushing action, make sure you can feel the bristles at the gum line and between the teeth.

Use the longer bristles of the tip to remove plaque from behind the last molar.

Brush Back and Forth

Use a back-and-forth stroke to brush the biting surfaces on both upper and lower molars. Make sure you extend to the last molar (at the very back of your mouth).

Proper Flossing

The nylon bristles of a tooth brush penetrate the inter proximal space and gum margin. However, dental floss is essential for optimal cleaning in these areas. Use about 18 inches of floss, wrapped around your middle fingers.

Flossing Your Teeth With your thumbs, guide the floss gently and carefully between upper teeth, using a back-and-forth motion. For lower teeth, use index fingers. Avoid snapping the floss against delicate gum tissue. Curve the floss around each tooth in a "C" shape and gently guide it up and under the gum line. Move it up and down the side of each tooth, scraping away plaque. Use a new section of floss for each tooth.

Gingivitis If you have gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), it is normal to experience a little bleeding when you first start to floss. As your gums get healthier, the bleeding will stop. If bleeding persists, contact us.

Well Water

Do you have well water? Granger and many Michigan communities lack fluoride in their water supplies. Fluoride does not naturally exist in Michiana's well water supply. Children under 16 who drink well water need a fluoride supplement to develop cavity resistant teeth. As your children's baby and permanent teeth form within their jaw, the teeth absorb fluoride during developmental years; most teeth eventually succumb to decay during adulthood. A simple daily vitamin will tremendously decrease the likelihood of decay.

Adults do not need fluoridated water because the teeth are completely developed by age 16-18. They do, however, need professional topical fluoride treatments. Two treatments per year decrease the chance of decay by 40%! Americans consume nearly twice the sugar we did 15 years ago. The prevalence of dental decay is actually rising in America. Dr. Mader's office recommends regular fluoride treatments twice a year to keep your teeth free of cavities.


Fluoride is the wonder-drug of Dentistry!
The topical application of fluoride has been investigated since the early 1940's. Numerous clinical studies have evaluated the cavity of protection offered by topical application of specific fluoride products. Most of the early caries (cavities) studies involved the permanent teeth of children. The clinical results in studies involving adults, however, are positive; and the same protective mechanisms that are active in children also apply to adults.

A recent National Institute of Dental Research survey found that adults had an average of 23 decayed and filled tooth surfaces, with 30% of adults having more than 30 decayed or restored surfaces. Recurrent or secondary decay around fillings represents a major dental problem. Surveys demonstrate that 40%-50% of replaced fillings were caused by recurrent cavities.

As we grow older, many of us suffer from gum recession. This means root surfaces become exposed, providing a new group of susceptible areas not generally found in children. In the U.S., adults living longer and keeping a greater number of their teeth; therefore, the incidence of root cavities in the adult population is steadily increasing. On another related issue, tooth sensitivity (hot or cold sensitivity) now affects one in seven adults, some 40 million Americans, at one time or another.

The latest research has demonstrated that properly applied fluoride not only inhibits cavities by forming more acid resistant surface layer, but it also works by reversing or re-mineralization by saliva, fluoride relieves tooth sensitivity by initiating a rapid mineralization of the exposed root surfaces.

The bottom line is that adults benefit from fluoride treatments!