dental hygiene

Patient Testimonial Spotlight

March 31st, 2014

We're excited to start April with some great feedback from a patient. As you know, we send out Post Appointment Surveys following your visits to our office. Not too long ago, we received this reply, and we wanted to share it with you!

Thank you to everyone who has left us feedback, we value it so much!

My Experience: This was the first time I had been to the dentist in years due to excessive fear of dentists. The last time I went the dentist was terrible, he cut my gum open and just let it bleed and did not numb the area, further I am terrified of needles. I can't say what a refreshing experience this was enough. The staff were friendly, the place was very neat, nobody judges you and for a person for such high anxiety what a relief. I still have a long way to go and wish I had gone to this location before things got bad, but so far excellent! I have a few trips back due to my own anxiety issues with dentists and will update. Very impressed. Thank you!

Experience With Team: Excellent, the receptionist was so kind and friendly, spoke to me with respect and kindness (even got a little welcoming present which was such a nice touch)! The dental assistant was also excellent, explained everything she was doing and had no problems at all answering all of my questions (I had a lot) and she was kind and non judgmental. I was also very impressed with the dentist, she explained all my options and told me what was going on without any comments or attitude for not seeing a dentist in so long, although I have quite a bit of work to be done she made me feel at ease and I will not be as anxious for my next appt. Overall for a dental visit it was excellent, my fear of dentists cannot be described and at this point I am willing to go through with the treatments (still scared but feel I am in good hands). I do feel I need to keep reminding the staff of my fear but that is probably my issue, not theirs. Plus the dentist fit me in even though I gave little notice and wrote the appointment down, she was very busy but still took time to see me.

Favorite Thing About Practice: The staff making you feel at home, treating the patients as #1 with respect, the focus on the patients and not talking and to each other making the patients feel unwanted. Showing obvious concern about my anxiety and giving reassurance. I would have gone years ago if I had known, reducing the amount of work needed to be done.

Rating: Great!

Additional Comments: Thank you so much for making such a difference in my opinion of dentists and my fear. I have no doubt that in several months my teeth will be in good shape (and white). For a dental visit it couldn't have been better and I will be a lifetime patient If all goes well after this treatment plan (which will be hard for me) especially since I never want to have to have these things done again. I want to smile. Thank you to the entire staff for making the experience a good one!!

Study: Oral infections lead to more hospitalizations

November 19th, 2013

Our team at Gentle Dental will tell you that good oral hygiene is important, not only for looks, but for general health as well. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a variety of dental and medical problems such as gum disease, bone loss, heart disease, strokes, and infection. In fact, we recently read a nine-year study which reported a spike in hospitalizations due to dental infections since 2008. Previous studies have shown that oral problems are responsible for hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits annually. The new report, however, published in the September 2013 issue of the Journal of Endodontics, focused on patients who were hospitalized due to periapical abscess, an infection that results from bacteria invading the pulp of the tooth. Periapical abscess is a common result of untreated tooth decay that, if untreated, can be dangerous if it spreads.

Besides periapical abscesses, we want you to know about other common dental infections, which include:

  • Dental caries (cavities that form on children’s teeth)
  • Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
  • Periodontitis (gum tissue around the molar teeth, or any erupting tooth that becomes swollen and infected)
  • Pulpitis (inflammation or infection of the pulp, which is the center of the tooth)

Although these infections can be caused by poor dental care and not visiting our office on a regular basis for checkups, they may also affect people with underlying medical conditions such as autoimmune disorders. In some cases, infections can progress to the point which swelling becomes life threatening. Regular checkups and cleanings at Gentle Dental can easily prevent these infections and other mouth problems and give you peace of mind.

If you have any questions about this study or to schedule your next appointment, please give us a call at our convenient Ann Arbor office today! Dr. Dagostin, Dr. Hwang, Dr. Lacin, Dr. Lechner, and Dr. Wang, as well as our entire team, look forward to working with you!

Which Type of Mouthwash is Best?

November 2nd, 2012

Taking care of your oral health involves a daily regimen of brushing, flossing, and rinsing to prevent tooth decay and bacterial infections. Though you may have asked us which toothbrush to use, few patients ask about mouthwash.

However, different mouthwashes you might choose will have varying effects on your oral health. So which type is best for you?

Gum Health

Antiseptic mouthwashes are designed to reduce the majority of bacteria on and near the gum line. Using an antiseptic mouthwash can help decrease your chances of developing gingivitis. If possible, look for a mouthwash with antibacterial or antimicrobial ingredients.


Fluoride is beneficial for oral health and can help prevent tooth decay. If you drink a lot of bottled water without fluoride, we may recommend that you purchase a rinse with fluoride in it.

Bad Breath

Although mouthwash is designed to prevent bacterial build-up within the mouth, many people use it to combat bad breath. Most mouthwashes will help eliminate the bacteria that cause bad breath, and some are specifically designed to do so.

However, if bad breath is a chronic problem that requires daily treatment with a mouth rinse, contact our office to discuss your symptoms.

American Dental Association Approval

The ADA reviews mouth rinses for safety and effectiveness. A mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Approval will meet strict criteria, and will have scientific evidence or clinical studies that support the claims of the manufacturer. If possible, select a mouthwash that bears the ADA Seal of Approval to ensure you are using a quality rinse.


If you are unsure as to which mouthwash is right for you, contact our office or ask our dentist or dental hygienist at your next appointment. Also, be sure to keep mouthwash out of the reach of children, as it contains alcohol and other substances that could be harmful to them. Avoid letting children under age six use a mouth rinse, and discontinue use if you experience a burning sensation in the soft tissues of your mouth.

Tooth Discoloration: Common Causes and What You Can Do To Stop It

October 11th, 2012

Looking back at childhood photos, you may notice picture after picture of yourself with a mouthful of shiny white teeth. When you look in the mirror today, you wonder what happened to that beautiful smile. Many adults struggle with tooth discoloration and find it embarrassing to show off their teeth in a smile. Once you identify the cause of your tooth discoloration, there are treatment options that can restore your teeth and your confidence..

What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

There are a host of factors that may cause your teeth to discolor. Some are directly under your control, and others may not be preventable. Here is a list of common reasons that teeth become discolored.

• Genetics: Much of your dental health is determined by genetic factors beyond your control. Some people naturally have thinner enamel or discolored teeth.
• Medications: Several medications lead to tooth discoloration as a side effect. If you received the common antibiotics doxycycline or tetracycline as a child, your teeth may have discolored as a consequence. Antihistamines, high blood pressure medications, and antipsychotic drugs can also discolor teeth. If you think a medication may be leading to tooth discoloration, talk to your dentist. Never discontinue the use of a medication without consulting your doctor, however.
• Medical Conditions: Genetic conditions such as amelogenesis or dentinogenesis cause improper development of the enamel, and can lead to yellowed, discolored teeth.
• Poor Dental Hygiene: Failing to brush your teeth at least twice a day or regularly floss may lead to tooth decay and discoloration.
• Foods and Tobacco: Consumption of certain foods, including coffee, tea, wine, soda, apples, or potatoes, can cause tooth discoloration. Tobacco use also causes teeth to turn yellow or brown.

Treatments for Tooth Discoloration

There are a variety of treatments available to individuals with discolored teeth. One of the easiest ways to reduce tooth discoloration is through prevention. Avoid drinking red wine, soda, or coffee and stop using tobacco products. If you drink beverages that tend to leave stains, brush your teeth immediately or swish with water to reduce staining.

After determining the cause of tooth discoloration, our dentist can suggest other treatment options. Over-the-counter whitening agents might help, but in-office whitening treatments provided at our office would be more effective. When whitening agents do not help, bondings or veneers are among the alternative solutions for tooth discoloration.

If you are worried about your teeth becoming yellow or brown, think carefully about your diet and medication use. Talk to your dentist to identify substances that may be causing the problem. After treatment for tooth discoloration, you will have a beautiful white smile you can be proud to show off.

When is the Best Time to Floss?

September 21st, 2012

At our dental office, we prefer our patients to practice good oral hygiene between office visits. Part of that process includes flossing, which is the process of cleaning between the teeth to remove food and debris from the areas that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. When food is allowed to remain between the teeth, it provides a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause periodontal disease.

Should You Floss Before or After Brushing?

According to the American Dental Association, you can floss either before or after brushing, according to your own preference. By flossing first, you can brush away dislodged food debris afterward. On the other hand, brushing first allows you to loosen plaque between the teeth, making it easier to floss more effectively.

Whichever you choose, the most important goal is to floss thoroughly. That means using a fresh strand of dental floss each day, and carefully pulling it back and forth between all of the teeth. Do not skip flossing because your teeth look or feel clean.

When to Floss

Unlike brushing, you need only floss between your teeth once per day. Although you may choose to do it in the morning or afternoon, many prefer to floss at night to prevent food and debris from remaining in the crevices of the teeth overnight. This could prevent the build-up of plaque too, which is a cause of tooth decay.

Help with Flossing

If you have questions about your flossing technique or what type of floss is best for your teeth, contact our office. The staff will be more than happy to assist you in perfecting your home hygiene regimen. In most cases, you can choose between interdental cleaning picks or flexible floss strands to perform your daily flossing routine. If you have permanent oral appliances or restorations, be sure to follow the flossing instructions provided to you, and contact our office with any questions.

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