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Dental News and Advice from Erlanger Kentucky

Darlene Henry DMD and her team are dedicated to helping each patient achieve the beautiful, confident smile that lasts a lifetime. We often write useful and practical content to help our patients in the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati region have happy, healthy smiles. Please email us any feedback or questions at [email protected]

High Acidity Drinks and the Impact They Have on Your Oral Health

Do you need that cup of coffee to get you motivated in the morning? Do you enjoy that glass of wine at night to relax? How about that cocktail on a fun evening out with friends? Were you aware that many of these beverages are actually harmful to your teeth? As your dentist in Erlanger, I have some tips on drinks you should be aware of, those you should stay away from, and how to protect your teeth from the cavities that is often caused by beverages that are high in acid.

Why are Certain Beverages Harmful to My Teeth?

Most people understand that drinks that are high in sugar pose a threat to your teeth of developing tooth decay and cavities. However, you may not realize that drinks that are high in acid are also problem. This is because acid breaks down tooth enamel, which also leads to cavities.

So, how about soda or sports drinks that are both high in sugars and acidity? These present a double whammy for your teeth since sugar fuels that bacteria that produce the acids that cause tooth decay. Drinking beverages high in sugar and acid accelerates the process of enamel breakdown leading to tooth decay.

Beverages to be Aware of

Which drinks should you have in moderation, and which should you avoid? Well, we know you’re probably not likely to give up your morning fuel; however, reducing your intake of coffee or tea to one cup a day is helpful. Same with your glass of wine, moderation is best, and try to enjoy some water with it.

Sodas and sports drinks should really be avoided. You may also be surprised to learn that fruit juices such as orange juice and lemonade are also high in sugars and acidity. Many fruit juices are marketed as “heathy drinks” even though they often contain as much sugar as soda.

If you drink soda or juice, wait 30 minutes after consuming them and brush your teeth if possible. This will reduce some of the harmful effects.

Water is Your Best Bet

Drinking water throughout the day is really the best protection for your teeth and the healthiest option for your body. Water keeps your mouth hydrated and helps to wash away excess food debris left from your meals.

If you have questions about how your nutrition affects your oral health, feel free to give my office a call. We’re always happy to help!

About Dr. Darlene Henry

If you’re looking for high-quality dentistry delivered with a personal touch, look no further than Dr. Darlene Henry. For nearly 30 years, Dr. Henry has been focused on providing her patients with exceptional dental care in a warm and welcoming environment.

If you would like to contact Dr. Henry, she can be reached by calling 850-344-8500 or online through her website.

Brush Up On Your Oral Hygiene – Technique & Toothbrush Tips

Did you know that most people only brush their teeth for about half the length of time they should? When considering how easy it can be to let our technique slip, brushing and flossing incorrectly can leave teeth vulnerable to serious smile problems. Although most of us have been brushing and flossing our teeth since we were children, it’s time to brush up your skills to keep your teeth healthy and shining bright. In this post, I’d like to offer some helpful tips on brushing and to talk about an innovative new electric toothbrush that makes taking care of your teeth at home the easiest it’s ever been.

What Is The Best Way To Brush My Teeth?

Brushing is a crucial part of your oral hygiene routine. To make sure you’re doing this correctly, watch this short tutorial video, and follow the suggestions below:

  • Turn your toothbrush to a 45-degree angle when making contact with your teeth and gums.
  • Use short, side-to-side strokes when you brush.
  • Brush gently – using too much pressure can cause gum recession and other dental problems.
  • Brush twice a day, for two minutes each time – set a timer on your phone or play a quick song to make sure you brush long enough.
  • To make the most out of your oral hygiene routine, brush after breakfast and before bed.
  • Use a toothpaste with fluoride in it – stannous fluoride is particularly great since it’s naturally antibacterial and helps control oral bacteria.
  • Brush your teeth, gums, tongue, and cheeks to keep your entire mouth fresh.

And, since brushing only cleans a little over half of the surface of your teeth, be sure to floss at least once a day, although twice is better – consider switching to a satin style dental tape if flossing is uncomfortable.

How Can The Oral B Genius Toothbrush Help My Smile?

Since electric toothbrushes take the work out of brushing, these are a popular at-home tool for patients.  Personally, I like the Oral B Genius toothbrush, because of its many features, including:

  • Smart Functionality – The Oral B Genius 8000 is a “smart” toothbrush that uses a helpful app to make brushing correctly easy for every patient.
  • Position Detection – The position detection feature is linked to your smartphone and guides you to brush each region of your teeth for the proper amount of time.
  • Pressure Sensor – The pressure sensor will give you a visual alert you when you’re brushing too hard, keeping teeth and gums safe.
  • Timer – The programmed timer makes sure you brush long enough to give your teeth the attention they deserve.
  • Round Brush – The rounded brush head is designed with the same intelligence as dental tools – its rounded head surrounds more of each tooth for a deeper clean.

Brushing correctly and using a quality toothbrush like the Oral B Genius are vital aspects of your oral healthcare, just like seeing your dentist regularly is. If it’s time for a visit, schedule an appointment with me to get the deep clean and compassionate professional care you deserve!

Skip The Soda And Say Yes To Seltzer Water

A healthy lifestyle is important to you, so you’re sure to see your doctor at least once a year for a checkup, you eat a salad every day for lunch, and you maintain the right balance between work and your life at home. But there’s one habit you’re having a hard time breaking – eliminating soda. The fizzy drink is hard to say no to, and I understand how tempting it can be. But did you know that soda can be detrimental to your smile for more reasons than you might expect? That’s why I’d like to share my favorite alternative (that’s just as tasty) – seltzer water.

How Does Soda Impact Your Smile & Overall Health?

Although this beverage is popular, it can be harmful. Soda can negatively affect your smile – and your entire body – in the following ways:

  • Tooth Decay & Cavities – Most patients know that soda is laden with sugar that leads to tooth decay and can exacerbate gum disease.
  • Calcium Deficiency – Since the caffeine in many carbonated beverages leaches calcium from your bones throughout your entire body, it can make your teeth weak, too.
  • Diabetes – The same sugary taste that causes cavities can eventually lead to diabetes if you indulge with soda too often. Remember – there is a connection between diabetes and tooth loss, and since I want to keep your smile bright and healthy, it’s best to avoid this beverage.   Even diet soft drinks are a problem because the artificial sugar satisfies and perpetuates a ‘sugar addiction,’ by tricking our brains. Although these sugar substitutes are better than real sugar, they should also be avoided if possible.
  • Crash & Burn – Even if you don’t have blood sugar problems, soda can cause you to crash and burn because of its high glycemic index number – its liquid nature is quickly absorbed, giving you the instant (but short term) pick-me-up you may be searching for, but leading to a crash just a short time later.

How Is Seltzer Water Better Than Soda?

Since seltzer water is fizzy and is naturally unsweetened, it’s one of my favorite alternatives to soda. And, many brands of this fizzy treat are naturally packed with minerals that can make a positive impact on your smile. You can enjoy seltzer water in many ways – try some of these great recipes to make yourself more familiar with this excellent, smile-friendly beverage.

To recap, try seltzer instead of soda to keep your smile happy, and come see me for a professional exam and cleaning. It’s my goal to keep your pearly whites radiant, so schedule your appointment today!

How Preventive Care From Your Dentist In Erlanger Keeps You Healthy

You take good care of yourself – you eat organic produce from Whole Foods, you alternate between yoga and interval training at least four times a week, you reduce your stress by meditating, and you floss twice a day. You do all this because you know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to your health. You’d love to find a dentist in Erlanger who shares your philosophy, and you’ll be pleased to know that I do. In fact, I believe that the best dentistry is no dentistry, and that preventive dental care is essential to a healthy smile, and a healthy body. In this post, I’ll teach you about the importance of preventive oral healthcare, as well as what you can do at home to keep your smile bright.

What Is Preventive Dental Care?

Preventive dentistry is the practice of caring for your teeth and gums to keep them healthy. This means maintaining a good oral hygiene regimen at home (like brushing and flossing properly), and seeing your dentist at least twice a year for professional exams and cleanings. You and I will work as a team to prevent cavities, gum disease, and enamel problems in my office and at home. I’ll also use the methods below on a case by case basis:

  • Fluoride Treatments
  • Dental Sealants
  • Dental Sleep Apnea Therapy
  • Nightguards for Bruxism (grinding)
  • Sports Mouthguards
  • Oral Cancer Screenings
  • TMJD Treatment (jaw dysfunction)


Why Should I See You For Preventive Care?

As your holistic dentist in Erlanger, I believe that overall health starts in the mouth, and then radiates throughout the rest of the body. I take the time to consider your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and the effects these components have on your smile. By looking at your entire picture of health, I’m able to provide the most comprehensive dental care in Erlanger.

Why Is Preventive Dental Care Important For Me?

Preventive care is the most important aspect of ensuring a healthy smile, and a healthy body. Maintaining good oral health helps by:

  • Preventing dental problems like cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss.
  • Reducing your risk of heart disease by treating gum inflammation and infection.
  • Preventing premature birth and low birth weight if you’re trying to conceive.
  • Allowing for early detection and treatment of oral cancers.

What Preventive Dental Care Tips Will Keep My Smile Bright?

Although I love restoring smiles to their former glory with life-like dental implants, tooth-colored fillings, and root canal therapy, I’d much rather help you stay ahead of dental problems with preventive care. I recommend these strategies to keep your smile healthy:

  • 2×2 – Brush gently for two minutes, twice a day, and floss while you’re at it. Need to brush up on your technique? Watch these tutorial videos on brushing and flossing to make sure you’re doing this correctly.
  • Eat Healthy – Limit sugar in foods and beverages (like sodas and fruit juices) and enjoy high-protein snacks. Make water your beverage of choice, and load up on leafy greens and dairy products that are chock full of calcium for strong teeth and bones – say cheese, too, since this savory treat helps reduce your risk of cavities.
  • See Your Dentist Twice a Year – There’s no substitute for professional oral healthcare. Since professional dental exams can diagnose 120 health conditions, I can see if there are bigger issues that are affecting more than just your smile when I take care of you every six months.

Now that you know that my dental philosophy is about preventing problems before they start, and how we can work together to keep your smile healthy, schedule your appointment today!

Stop the Pain of TMJ in Erlanger

If you experience pain or limited mobility of your jaw, you could be suffering from a disorder of the temporomandibular joint. When the temporomandibular joint functions incorrectly, your quality of life can significantly decrease. Simple tasks, like chewing and speaking, can be painful, while you also deal with many other uncomfortable symptoms, such as your jaw popping or clicking. When living with TMJ in Erlanger, you need treatment to regain your quality of life. Dr. Darlene Henry and her team offer effective treatment for temporomandibular disorders.

What are TMJ Disorders?

Disorders of the temporomandibular joint are quite common, with more than 3 million cases of TMJ disorders diagnosed each year. The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. When the joint functions incorrectly, it can lead to a localized pain disorder, known as temporomandibular joint syndrome, more commonly known as a TMJ disorder. TMJ disorders can occur in anyone; however, they are most commonly diagnosed in those 19 to 60 years of age.

There are several causes of the disorder, such as injury to the teeth or joint, as well as a poorly aligned bite. In some cases, underlying conditions, like bruxism or arthritis, can cause decreased function of the joint. Those who are under high levels of stress, have poor posture, or chew gum excessively can develop the disorder.

What are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorders?

The symptoms of the condition are quite diverse. Most often, there is pain, tenderness, or swelling near the joint. However, other common symptoms include clicking, popping, or a grating sound when opening and closing the mouth. It is not uncommon for the jaw to lock in an opened or closed position. When the condition is left untreated, you may develop headaches, popping or ringing in the ears, ear pain, and sore muscles of the jaw or neck.

How are TMJ Disorders Treated?

To stop the painful symptoms of the condition, you need TMJ therapy in Erlanger. Treatment usually involves various aspects, such as daily exercises, stress reducing techniques, and an oral appliance. The primary focus of treatment includes reducing the strain and pressure on the joint while also increasing mobility.

Custom-made oral appliances are used, such as a splint or mouthguard, to reposition the jaw. By wearing the devices, the jaw is placed into a more natural position and trained to stay in that position over time. This is also effective for treating bruxism, which can amplify the symptoms of the disorder.

In addition to oral appliances, home exercises and stress reducing techniques are used to improve the flexibility of the joint. Botox injections are also beneficial as they help to relax the muscles of the jaw. Depending on the exact cause of your condition, other treatments may also be recommended. For example, if a poorly aligned bite is the cause, orthodontics may be recommended.

Where Can I Get TMJ Treatment?

If you are ready to restore your quality of life and stop the pain of TMJ, Dr. Henry and her team can help. Contact her office today to schedule your consultation.

New Year, New Smile with Your Cosmetic Dentist Near Crestview Hills

Are you ready to start the new year with confidence? If so, it is the perfect time to invest in yourself with your cosmetic dentist near Crestview Hills. Start the year off right with a beautiful new smile with effective cosmetic procedures. Dr. Darlene Sand Well combines art and science to create flawless smiles so you no longer have to feel self-conscious about your teeth. With the appearance of your teeth playing a large role in your outlook on life, it is time to revamp your life with a newly inspired smile.

Why Choose Cosmetic Dentistry?

There are several factors that can influence the appearance of your teeth, such as genetics, poor lifestyle habits, and lack of oral hygiene. No matter the cause of your imperfect smile, the appearance of your teeth is often how others base their first impressions. As a result, most adults find they limit their social and career engagements because they just are not confident about their smile.

In the past, many had no choice but to live with a less than beautiful smile. Now, everyone can benefit from an attractive smile. Due to various advancements, cosmetic procedures are more affordable and less invasive. As a result, people from all walks of life at turning to cosmetic dentistry to revitalize their smiles.

Dr. Darlene Henry is a trusted and experienced cosmetic dentist, which is why many patients travel from Crestview Hills to her office. In addition to a doctorate of dental medicine degree, she also has served on a national level for the ADA and served on the Kentucky Board of Dentistry. She provides the high-quality services you need to love your smile.

After performing an initial consultation, she may recommend one or more cosmetic procedures to transform your smile.

  • Teeth Whitening: Tooth discoloration causes your smile to appear dull and aged. With a professional whitening treatment, the enamel is deeply penetrated to lift away tough stains. You will achieve drastic, lasting results for a youthful, bright smile.
  • Bonding and Tooth Contouring: Teeth that are chipped, cracked or abnormally shaped often become an eyesore in your smile. Bonding and contouring is a simple way to give your teeth a shapelier and more attractive appearance.
  • Porcelain Veneers: Benefit from a complete smile transformation by bonding thin shells to the front of the teeth to hide cosmetic flaws, like chips, cracks, minor alignment issues, and discoloration. You will have a shapelier, proportionate, and whiter smile that will last for years.
  • Gum Contouring: If you have a “gummy smile” or gums that have been damaged due to periodontal disease, gum contouring will give you a more attractive gum line to smile brightly.
  • Botox: Botox is a minimally invasive way to reverse the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You will turn back the hands of time for a youthful appearance.

Your Cosmetic Dentist

If you are ready to start the new year with your best foot forward, it is time to schedule a consultation for cosmetic dentistry. We are committed to inspiring lives, one smile at a time.

Key Differences between Dentures and Dental Implants in Erlanger, KY

Are you missing one or more teeth? Tooth loss is certainly not uncommon — in fact, the majority of American adults past the age of 35 have lost at least one tooth. What to do about the gaps in your smile? Finding a solid replacement is crucial for your continued oral and overall well-being. If you’ve lost several or a whole row of teeth, you may be comparing dentures vs. dental implants in Erlanger, KY. Dr. Henry offers both. Let’s take a look at some of the key differences between the two.

Dental Implants: The Comprehensive Tooth Replacement

Nothing replaces one or more missing teeth as well as dental implants. The solution provides unsurpassed stability for a crown, bridge, or denture. And because a dental implant provides stimulation for the jawbone, your mouth stays healthy, whole, and youthful-looking for a lifetime.

Non-implant supported prosthetics — like a fixed bridge or denture — only do half the job of tooth replacement. Our bones need stimulation to thrive. Without replacing the tooth’s root, the jawbone will gradually degenerate, and the prosthetic will require refitting to keep up with the changing shape of the mouth.

Still unsure of the differences between a full or partial denture and dental implants for tooth replacement? Some others include…

  • Dental implants eliminate the need for messy, often ineffective denture adhesives.
  • You can eat what you like with dental implants — even corn on the cob and fresh apples are possible with the support provided by the jawbone.
  • When properly maintained, dental implants can be expected to last the wearer’s lifetime. Dentures require replacement every six or seven years.
  • Teeth restored with dental implants fit well from day one. Ill-fitting dentures lead to oral sores, poor nutrition, and low self-confidence.

Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

While it’s clear that dental implants are the best method of replacing one, two, or a whole row of missing teeth, not everyone is a good candidate for the procedure. Patients should be in good oral and overall health to have a successful dental implant procedure. In eligible candidates, dental implants have a 95 percent success rate.

Dental implants need plenty of healthy gum tissue for successful anchoring. People who have serious cases of periodontal (gum) disease are not viable candidates for dental implants. Additionally, patients with diseases affecting the immune system (like HIV/AIDS, advanced cancers, and uncontrolled diabetes) should not undergo the surgical dental implant procedures.

Dentures Replace Multiple Missing Teeth

Patients who are ineligible for dental implants, or who wish for a more affordable option in tooth replacement, may opt for dentures. They are a good alternative that restores a patient’s ability to eat, speak, and smile with confidence once again. Dr. Henry offers full and partial dentures in Erlanger, KY.

Let’s Discuss Your Tooth Replacement Today

Whether you’re already dealing with missing teeth, have an ill-fitting denture, or are on the brink of tooth loss, finding a sturdy replacement is crucial for your oral and overall health. Please contact our office to request an appointment with Dr. Henry today!

Why To Choose CEREC in Erlanger, KY For Dental Crowns

Nothing ruins a beautiful meal with friends quicker than the telltale crack of your tooth, sensitivity to follow, and then the unwelcome news that you need a dental crown. How will you ever fit a crown procedure into your busy schedule? With two long appointments needed to complete the procedure, it takes two days out of your work schedule that you don’t have. Well Dr. Darlene Henry has great news for you. She utilizes revolutionary technology in her practice that allows her to complete your crown in only one appointment! Here’s why you should choose CEREC in Erlanger, KY for dental crowns.

What is CEREC Technology?

CEREC uses 3D imaging to scan a picture of your damaged tooth. Dr. Henry will use CEREC technology to custom design and shade your new tooth, which will be created from the milling machine located in Dr. Henry’s office. The whole process takes only an hour or two, and CEREC uses only the highest quality porcelain to fabricate your crown, so you can rest assured that you’ll be receiving a restoration that you can trust and rely on.

What are the Benefits of a CEREC Crown?

For most patients the biggest benefit CEREC offers is the time it saves. The old crown treatment process involved two long appointments, one for preparation and one for placement.

Patients were also wearing a temporary crown while their permanent restoration was being fabricated. Many patients encountered issues with their temporary crowns breaking or falling out, which meant additional trips to the dentist. The whole process could take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to complete. This wait time is no longer necessary with CEREC one-day appointments!

With 3D imaging, patients also don’t have to endure the messy impressions dentists would have to take of their teeth. The entire crown treatment process is much more comfortable and efficient for patients who choose CEREC.

Dr. Henry and her team understand how valuable your time is and how hectic your schedule can be, and this is why she’s invested in this revolutionary technology. With CEREC you can receive the treatment you need in a fraction of the time it used to take to complete a dental crown.

If your tooth needs a crown, don’t delay in getting your treatment done as it can result in further damage to your tooth. Instead, contact our office and learn how CEREC technology can help you. We’ll be happy to schedule your next appointment for you!

Welcome Our New CEREC System to the Office!

I’ve recently made the decision to upgrade my same-day dental restoration system.   My team, patients, and I are in love all over again!   Using superior quality dental porcelain, I’m able to give patients the high quality restorations they’ve come to expect in just one visit. I’ve been using CEREC Brand for many years, but the new system allows me to feel like a true artist as I craft detailed, custom dental restorations that restore smiles to their natural strength. I love seeing the results, but the best thing about this new and improved CEREC system, besides the cool music it plays while capturing the NO-IMPRESSION image, is hearing how happy my patients are.

Literally from the first day we had the new system in place, we’ve had amazing results. When we make a significant investment in new materials, we often have the opportunity to try the product first. During our trial period with the new CEREC system, Alan, one of our lab technicians, confessed he’d been putting off dental restoration.  So, we sat him right down in the big comfortable chair to try out the new CAD/CAM system. Alan was stunned with the quick, painless results, and that the restored tooth felt better than the one he’d had his whole life.  Alan plans to continue his treatment, and we couldn’t be happier, Alan! See you soon.

On my last visit to the nail salon, my manicurist reminded me of her experience with me.   Her front tooth veneer fractured and she needed a quick fix. The veneer was great, but she wasn’t 100% happy with it.   When the veneer broke, we used the CEREC system to repair her damaged veneer in just one visit. She said she still can’t believe how good it looks and feels, or that this high quality restoration was completed in just one, painless visit.

Visit Us Soon

At my dental practice, I want patients to feel great about their smile because their teeth are healthy and strong. Our new CEREC system allows me to help patients restore their dental health quickly, painlessly, and beautifully. I hope you’ll let my team help you get the healthy smile you deserve. Call today for a consultation.

Summer Smiles

The sunshine and warm weather of summer puts a smile on our faces, and makes us all want to go outside and have fun. One of the best summer pastimes is lounging by your local pool, especially if you have children. Taking your kids to the pool and letting them swim is a great way to pass summer hours, get them out of the house, and sneak in some relaxation time for yourself.

Recently, a patient shared a summer swimming experience with me. One summer she took her children to the pool for a relaxing family afternoon. As she lay pool side soaking up the sun, her daughter expertly swam laps. She felt so proud of her little fish. Then, her daughter wasn’t swimming anymore. The patient’s daughter pulled herself out of the pool, holding her mouth and crying. She miscalculated the distance to the wall and chipped her teeth. In the blink of an eye, their relaxing afternoon turned into a dental disaster.

That’s how easily accidents can happen, generally, when you least expect them. Fortunately, dental accidents like these can be repaired. My patient’s daughter has a smile as good as new and you would never know she’d chipped her teeth. If you or your loved ones need help restoring your smile, I will work with you to determine the right fix, and get it done fast. Summertime is for family fun and relaxation. Don’t let fear of a potential dental accident stop your summer fun. Accidents happen, let me worry about how to get your smile back in line.

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