Common Dental Emergencies and Conditions in Elderly

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Mature man in cap looking for dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

Geriatric Patients and Dental Emergencies

Elderly patients are at higher risk of infection and complications from dental problems. It is important to recognize the signs of a dental emergency and seek professional treatment as soon as possible.


Below are the most common dental problems that lead to dental emergencies for elderly patients.

Elderly woman example for dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE


Toothaches can be caused by moderately sized cavities or from exposed dentin. Patients can take ibuprofen and Tylenol to help manage their discomfort. If there is swelling, a cold pack can be applied to help reduce swelling until the patient can receive treatment.

If the toothache only occurs when the tooth is exposed to cold liquids, it is likely dentinal hypersensitivity. Although this condition is reversible, it is a good idea to see a dentist to rule out anything more serious. Clove oil can be applied to temporarily relieve some of the sensitivity until a patient can see their dental provider.



broken filling about dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

Broken Filling or Crown

Over time, dental work can wear out and chip or break off. This can become serious if bacteria enters the inner part of the tooth and the tooth becomes infected. Until they can be seen by a dentist, wax can be placed into the broken part of the tooth to help cover any sharp edges. They may take over the counter anti-inflammatories and apply clove oil if the tooth is sensitive.


Cracked tooth about dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

Cracked or Broken Tooth

Cracks and fractures can occur from hard foods or an accident such as a fall. Not all fractures are serious or require emergency treatment, but if the area is causing pain, patients should see a dentist as soon as possible. They may take ibuprofen and tylenol as needed to manage pain until they can be treated. If a large piece of the tooth broke off and they still have the fragment, it can be placed in milk or water and brought to the dental appointment. If there is bleeding where the tooth was fractured, light pressure may be applied with clean gauze or cloth. Ice packs can be applied to reduce any swelling of the face.


dentures illustration about dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

Broken Denture

Depending on the severity of the damage, our lab may be able to repair the denture within 24 hours. If the denture is damaged beyond repair, they may need a new denture.

If they are unable to see a dentist immediately, they may purchase a denture repair kit at a pharmacy. This will temporarily hold the denture together until permanent repairs can be made. Trying to repair a denture at home does pose some risk to damaging it further, so if they can wait until their dental appointment, it is generally better to have it repaired professionally.


infected tooth illustration about dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

Dental Abscess or Infection

Severe pain can be a sign of a dental abscess. It is important to call a dental office to schedule an emergency appointment as soon as possible. Use ice to help reduce swelling, but avoid using heat. Heat will intensify the pain. If you notice a pimple on the gum tissue near the tooth, you may drain it using a sterile needle. This will temporarily relieve the pressure. Give the patient  ibuprofen and tylenol until their appointment to control the inflammation and pain.


missing tooth illustration about dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

Loose or Dislodged Permanent Tooth

Try to only handle the dislodged tooth by the crown (white part) to avoid damaging it further. Rinse it using water, milk or saline. You may reinsert the tooth into the socket. Once it is in place, the patient may gently bite against a piece of gauze to keep the tooth stable. If you are unable to reinsert the tooth, place it in milk to keep it viable until you arrive a the dental office. Be sure the patient sees a dentist as soon as possible.


Mature woman looking for dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums when brushing can be a sign of gingivitis or periodontal disease. Abrasion of the gum tissue from brushing aggressively or eating crunchy foods can cause bleeding gums. If the gums do not heal within 1-2 weeks, you may need to make a dental appointment to examine the area.

The best way to avoid dental emergencies is by receiving routine dental care. It is important to have a dental exam at least twice a year to make sure teeth and gums stay healthy.


10 Most common dental conditions that affect the elderly population:

Gingivitis example about dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

#1 Gingivitis

More than 500 different species of bacteria can be found in the oral cavity. Many of these bacteria are necessary to maintain health. When an imbalance of good and bad bacteria occurs, the body responds by creating inflammation. In the mouth, this usually presents with red, swollen gums. Usually with regular professional cleanings and improvements in daily plaque removal, this inflammation can be resolved.


Tooth Decay and periodontal disease about dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

#2 Chronic Periodontitis

If the inflammation in the gums goes untreated and become chronic, the bone which surrounds the teeth can be compromised. This leads to tooth mobility and eventually tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. This condition typically has very few symptoms, and does not hurt until it is in the very advanced stages. Treatment for this condition includes a deep cleaning under local anesthesia followed by regular maintenance cleanings every 3-4 months to control the inflammation and stabilize bone levels. If patients have already lost significant bone around teeth, replacing teeth is necessary. Patients would benefit from taking a probiotic to help regulate the balance of good and bad bacteria in the body as well as supplementation of vitamin D if needed. Avoiding refined sugar in the diet, staying hydrated and quitting tobacco products will help improve immune function and positively impact periodontal disease.


Tooth Decay xray about dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

#3 Tooth Decay

Geriatric patients often take a variety of medications for pre-existing medical conditions. Many of these medications cause dry mouth. Saliva is one of the body’s natural protective mechanisms for the teeth. It contains enzymes which neutralize acids from the food we eat, maintaining an ideal pH level in the mouth to support enamel strength.

As we age, muscles in the face lose elasticity. This prevents a natural self-cleansing mechanism of the muscles moving against the teeth while we chew from occuring. This results in food particles becoming trapped against teeth and contributes to tooth decay.

Patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may have difficulty remembering to brush and floss their teeth, leading to cavities.

Patients with a history of bone loss around the teeth may have exposed root surfaces. This part of the tooth’s structure is more porous and susceptible to tooth decay. Arthritis causes limited dexterity in the hands, make brushing and flossing difficult.

The solution to this is improving oral hygiene habits, avoiding excessively sugary foods or drinks between meals, using fluoride mouthrinses and visiting a dental provider regularly for checkups and cleanings.


Elderly man with bad breath looking for about dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

#4 Halitosis (Bad Breath)

There are a number of different reasons why patients may suffer from chronic halitosis. Failing dental restorations with recurrent decay or infection, chronic gum disease from an overpopulation of harmful bacteria, stomach or GI issues, dehydration and poor oral hygiene are all common causes. Patients should see a dental provider regularly for checkups and cleanings to rule out tooth-related causes. If halitosis persists, they should see their physician to rule out any systemic causes.


Oral Thrush example about dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

#5 Candida or Oral Thrush

This is a fungal infection caused by overgrowth of candida albicans. It is more likely for patients with reduced immune function. Severe cases can be treated with antifungal medications. Milder cases may be managed with probiotics and coconut or sesame oil-pulling.


broken dentures example about dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

#6 Poorly-fitting Dentures

When patients have had teeth removed, the bone in the jaw begins to dissolve over time. This causes dentures to stop fitting properly. Patients with poorly fitting dentures have difficulty chewing and speaking. Reduced chewing makes eating healthy foods difficult, which has a negative impact on managing other health problems or preventing inflammatory conditions.


Red Tongue glossitis about dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

#7 Red and Ulcerated Soft Tissue Under Poorly-Fitting Denture

Movement and rocking of a poorly-fitting denture during chewing causes sores and allows food to become trapped underneath the denture and irritate the soft tissues during meals. Patients with poorly fitting dentures should see a dentist to make adjustments to their denture or place a more permanent tooth replacement option for them.


painful red tongue example about dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

#8 Red Tongue (glossitis)

A shiny, painful red tongue may indicate that a patient has a vitamin B12, folic acid or iron deficiency. It can be related to other medical conditions as well like the herpes virus, undiagnosed celiac disease or allergies to medications.


Non healing Mouth Sores examples about dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

#9 Non-healing Mouth Sores

This could be from a chronic source of irritation like a poorly-fitting denture or something more serious like oral cancer. Sores that do not show improvement or healing in two weeks should be evaluated for a biopsy.


Angular Chelitis exmample about dental care for geriatric patients in Lincoln, NE

#10 Cracked, Dry Skin in Corners of Mouth or Angular Chelitis

This can be from an overgrowth of candida, inflammation from bacteria or vitamin B or iron-deficiency from poor nutritional absorption. The cause should be evaluated by a physician.

Importance of Dental Health in Elderly Population


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What does it mean to have a healthy mouth?

According to the latest research, these are the things we discuss with elderly patients:

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  • Taking Probiotics
  • Taking Vitamin D/ Vitamin C
  • Flossing Daily
  • Brushing
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Not drinking anything with acids: pop, sport drinks, juices
  • Getting professional cleanings
  • Eating fresh, unprocessed foods

elderly couple image for oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE

The challenges we encounter as dental professionals is that only a few patients actually do these things. We see dental problems every day. Following those guidelines for a healthy mouth becomes a real challenge among some of our elderly patients.

Our dental professionals spend time with elderly patients focusing on:

  • Connecting the importance of dental health to overall health.
  • Giving tips on how to help elderly patients have optimal dental health and how to recognize a potential problem at hand.


the human body in correlation of oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE

Dental and Overall Health Connection Explained

Lately, in the news, we have heard many messages about dental health and the relationship to overall health.

According to the latest research, it is more than that. It is about our mouth being a main source of bacteria: good, bad, and a mis-balance that can lead to acute or chronic Inflammation which in turn, can affect overall well-being.


Inflammation in the Mouth

More than 500 species of bacteria can be found in the oral cavity of a healthy mouth. They can be beneficial or harmful to the health of your mouth. The “good” bacteria, also referred to as probiotics, can aid in digestion, synthesize vitamins, and protect our mouths from the “bad” bacteria. The bad bacteria is often what causes diseases as well as various mouth-related health problems. Some of which may include bad breath, gingivitis, periodontitis, cavities, and plaque build-up.

Taking note of the bacteria and toxin levels in our mouths isn’t just crucial for the health of our mouths, but our entire bodies. Infections and bacterial overgrowth in the mouth can affect the entire body, moving throughout and causing other health problems such as heart disease, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, and low birth weight.

diagram about infected gums and the body for oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE

The mouth is a window into our body

Taking good care of teeth and gums is not only about preventing cavities, gum disease or bad breath. It is about preventing inflammation in our mouth and preventing overall health problems associated with this inflammation. The most common signs we see in the oral cavity that are associated with an increase of systemic inflammation are gingivitis, periodontal disease, and generalized cavities.

mouth linked overall health diagram for oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE

Dental and Overall Health Connection Explained

Research is showing a relationship between periodontitis and other inflammatory conditions like RA, celiac disease, thyroid disease, heart disease, atherosclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. These conditions share autoimmune characteristics, but which came first? Is there a causal link between them?


The answer is not yet clear.

We do know that in patients with uncontrolled periodontal disease or decay, we see an increase in certain conditions:

Those conditions correlated with an increase in oral inflammatory markers.

  • Endocarditis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Respiratory:
    Bacteria can be aspirated into the lungs and cause bronchitis, emphysema, and pneumonia.
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • GI problems

Elder male patient on topic of oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE

What occurs as people age?

The top three things affected in geriatric patients and oral health.

  • Decreased Dexterity: Inability to brush and floss.
  • Dry mouth due to medications taken.
  • Ill fitting dentures.

If any of the conditions mentioned happen, there is a mis-balance of bacteria leading to more harmful bacteria. Therefore, increasing the likelihood of certain conditions:

  • Dry mouth
  • Periodontal disease
  • Candida in the mouth
  • Ulcers

hydration examples for oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE in Lincoln, NE

Decreased salivary flow is a common side effect of most medications.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over 400 commonly used medications can contribute to dry mouth.

Let’s go over some common dental problems we see in elderly patients. I will also give you ideas of easy ways that you can help the elderly prevent and recognize dental problems. Basically, it’s helping them decrease the bad bacteria and increase the good bacteria.

Some of them may apply and some may not…


Problem #1 | Decay on teeth:

Decay on teeth or failing dental work


See a dentist because most cavities do not hurt and actually have no symptoms unless, it reaches the nerve of the tooth. Many teeth have nerve space that shrinks over time and cavities may never hurt unless there is an abscess that forms.

  • Brushing daily to prevent more cavities.
  • Using a special toothbrush for patients with poor dexterity.


tooth decay illustration for oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE

Tooth Decay xray for oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE

Problem #2 | Acute Inflammation-Gingivitis:

Presents due to plaque accumulation around the gum-line which is constantly forming on the teeth


Gingivitis is easily reversible by controlling the plaque. Brushing thoroughly twice daily, flossing, and receiving professional cleanings regularly can reverse gingivitis within just a few days.

  • Brushing daily to prevent more cavities.
  • Using a special toothbrush for patients with poor dexterity.


Gingivitis example for oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE


Problem #3 | Chronic Inflammation-Chronic Periodontitis:

Chronic inflammation is due to an imbalance of bacteria leading to bone loss


To treat Periodontal disease

  • Complete the deep cleaning treatment at the dentist office.
  • Regular daily plaque control at home, including brushing and flossing.
  • Using a special toothbrush for patients with poor dexterity.
  • Take probiotics, vitamin D, and drink lots of water.
  • Have maintenance cleanings at the dentist office every 3-4 months to keep periodontal disease in remission.

Tooth Decay and gum disease for oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE

Problem #4 | Bad Breath:

Overpopulation of bad bacteria from failing dental work or gum disease.


Using coconut oil for coconut oil pulling

The antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of the medium chain fatty acids/triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil make it a perfect solution to inactivate microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses.

  • Listerine is not a good choice as it dries mouth even further.
  • Drink more water.
  • Tongue scraping.
  • Take probiotics.
  • See a MD for GI problems.


doctor helping elderly woman for oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE


Problem #5 | White patches in a mouth/Candida

Fungal infection caused by overgrowth of candida albicans. More likely to occur in patients with reduced immunity.


Depending on the severity

  1. Severe Cases treated with antifungal prescription
  2. Not so severe treated with coconut oil as it can dramatically reduce white patches.
  • Tongue Scraping
  • Taking Probiotics


Oral Thrush example for oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE


Problem #6 | Red ulcerated areas under dentures

Ill fitting denture


See a dentist to adjust partial or denture. Orabase or orajel can help with areas of sensitivity or pain.


Red Tongue glossitis for oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE


Problem #7 | Ill-Fitting Denture

Bone loss due to wearing dentures and not having implants.


  • To keep partials as long as possible to allow retaining of HEALTHY natural teeth.
  • To avoid dentures for the elderly.
  • To learn about implant retained dentures and Hybrid Prosthesis.


bone volume after tooth loss for oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE

It is never too late.

The Story of Dan:

When Dan came to see Dr. Brad Alderman, he was complaining of soreness in his mouth and had a desire to extract his remaining teeth. From talking to his friends and family, Dan knew he did not want traditional dentures. Dan was looking for a permanent replacement of his teeth. He wanted to have something that would look and feel like the natural teeth he used to have.

Dan story image for oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE

Besides wanting a permanent solution for replacing his teeth, his health was affected by his remaining infected teeth. Dan’s physician suggested removing the teeth as soon as possible to eliminate the bacteria and inflammation. Dan’s doctor was positive that removing the diseased teeth would improve Dan’s health.

Dan proceeded with the hybrid prosthesis. In his recent check-up appointment, he stated: “It took about two weeks after the implant placement for my implant bridges to feel better. After two weeks, I started having more energy, and the general drowsiness was gone. I had an easier time controlling my diabetes and my doctor confirmed it with a blood test. I enjoy eating with my new teeth, and it is great to know that I do not have to use any denture glue or need a cup to put my dentures in overnight.”


Problem #8 | Red Tongue

Increase in bacteria and inflammation. Caused from folic acid, B12, or iron deficiency.


Visit dentist and physician to verify cause of red tongue.

Problem #9 | Oral sore that does not heal

Oral cancer or ill fitting denture


See your dentist to verify the next step such as a biopsy.


painful red tongue for oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE


Problem #9 | Oral sore that does not heal

Oral cancer or ill fitting denture


See your dentist to verify the next step such as a biopsy.


Oral Cancer can occur Anywhere in the Mouth for oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE


Problem #10 | Corners of a mouth dry

Inflammation leading to redness and cracks on the corner of the mouth. Usually due to deficiency in vitamin D and C.


  • Check in with a physician to check on deficiency and cause.
  • Vitamin C deficiency is the most common. Apply Vaseline to the corners of the mouth.
  • Check for an ill fitting denture. Patient may be over closing due to poor fitting denture.


Angular Chelitis for oral hygiene in the elderly in Lincoln, NE



What is the best teeth whitening system for fast results?

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 Do You Want To Get Your Teeth White, Fast?  

You May Be Wondering What Is The Best Teeth Whitening System For Fast Results?

You may have seen the Crest commercial for Crest 3D White Strips that features two women talking about whether or not their smile can pass the “Tissue Test.”

The commercial has been airing for several months. If you have not seen it yet, you can check it out on YouTube.

Is The Crest “Tissue Test” Giving Patients Realistic Expectations For Whitening? NO 

While it is great for patients to feel motivated to improve oral hygiene habits and utilize whitening products to keep their smiles beautiful, this particular commercial propagates the idea that an unnatural level of whiteness indicates health. It also suggests that patients whose teeth are not at this “ideal” shade, should be embarrassed.

In the commercial, Crest is encouraging people to compare the shade of their natural teeth to a piece of facial tissue. The message is that if your teeth cannot pass the “Tissue Test,” you need to buy their products. This commercial leads people to have an unrealistic standard for a shade that is achievable from whitening their natural teeth. The “Tissue Test” is not a viable representation of realistic outcomes from using over-the-counter or prescription whitening products. Trying to achieve the same color as a tissue will lead patients to spend money on products that simply cannot deliver the promised results leaving them broke, frustrated and self-conscious about their smiles.

The truth is, natural teeth come in a variety of shades. Not everyone needs to have the same shade of teeth in order to have a beautiful, “white” smile. Whitening products are safe to use as directed, but if they are used excessively or improperly, they can lead to severe tooth sensitivity.

Let’s get real and give you real results.sensitive teeth best teeth whitening options Lincoln NE dentist


Teeth Whitening Process at Nebraska Family Dentistry

What Factors Determine How White My Teeth Can Realistically Become By Using Bleaching agents?

There are many factors that determine how white an individual’s teeth may become from using tooth whitening products. Some of these factors are manageable and some are not. It is difficult to promise patients that their expected outcome will be achievable because of these factors.


  • Initial Tooth Shade

One of the factors that can determine the ability of teeth to whiten is, initial tooth color. Patients who naturally have a more yellowed hue to their teeth typically have a greater response to the whitening agents than those with grayish or brown hues. Gray discoloration can be seen in individuals who have taken certain medications at varying points in the development of their tooth enamel. Tetracycline is associated with gray staining. Brown stains are often from overexposure to fluoride found in natural water sources during development. These types of factors can influence the outcome of whitening treatments.


  • Unique Whitening Potential

Every person has a certain level of lightness that can be achieved. It is impossible to whiten teeth beyond this level. This varies between individuals and is controlled by genetics and determined by the “value” our teeth have naturally. When we whiten teeth, we cannot change the hue or value of the teeth, we can only brighten it.

Best Teeth Whitening before and after


  • The Strength Of Whitening Agents and Active Ingredients

Over-the-counter whitening products have lower concentrations of active ingredients. These types of products will take longer to yield results and will need to be re-applied frequently to maintain results. Professional whitening systems have higher concentrations of active ingredients and provide a more controlled method of application.

Teeth whitening solutions with higher concentrations of active ingredients will give faster results. Typically, over-the-counter products have hydrogen peroxide listed as the main active ingredient at 9-15% strength. Professional systems use carbamide peroxide at varying percentages, up to 45%. 


Best Teeth Whitening before and after example in Lincoln, NE


Why Do Zoom Whitening Gels Cause Sensitivity?

Every whitening product on the market can cause sensitivity at varying degrees. One of the main reasons for this is that during bleaching, the tooth becomes dehydrated. When UV or LED lights are added to the active ingredient, this intensifies the dehydration and increases the sensitivity. Light-based whitening systems have been heavily marketed and this gives consumers the idea that lights are critical for better results. The truth is that teeth indeed appear lighter immediately after a Zoom whitening session due to the severe dehydration of the teeth. Once the tooth rebounds, this temporary extra-white shade only lasts for about 5-7 days.

Why Do  Crest White Strips Cause Sensitivity?

Crest White Strips do not dehydrate the teeth as intensely as Zoom systems and have a weaker concentration of active ingredients. Thus, the sensitivity with these products is usually due to the lack of control of the solution on the strips. The gel on the strips touches gum tissue, mixes with saliva  and  makes patients more likely to swallow it, leading to sensitivity of the soft tissues in the mouth.


Best Teeth Whitening before and after example in Lincoln, NE

What Systems Do We Recommend at Nebraska Family Dentistry?

Learn about Professional Teeth Whitening Process at Our Practice Here.

best whitening system for sensitive teeth

We use Opalescence brand whitening gels at a concentration of 35%. The reason why we choose to use this system is that the main ingredient is carbamide peroxide which is a slow-release whitening agent at a 35% concentration. The slow-uptake of this compound into the tooth increases patient comfort during application. Opalescence also has desensitizing agents (potassium nitrate and fluoride) within the solution to help prevent sensitivity.

  • Patients will see results in a shorter application period and only need to wear the trays for 30 minutes per session.
  • Trays are custom made. This prevents irritation and burning of gum tissue during whitening, which eliminates one of the main causes of discomfort during whitening treatment. Trays can also be used to apply sensitivity toothpaste between whitening sessions.

For patients who would like a more immediate result, in-office whitening treatment utilizing custom trays and a stronger concentration of whitening agents can be applied under the supervision of a dentist. The benefit of this method is that the patient gets the value of taking home their custom trays for future touch-ups after treatment.


How Often Will I Need To Touch-Up After Initial Whitening?

This varies between individuals. Drinking coffee, tea, red wine, tomato-based sauces and smoking can stain teeth faster between bleaching sessions. It is recommended to avoid such foods for at least 24-48 hours after you have finished bleaching your teeth to allow them to re-hydrate so they do not stain immediately. Using a whitening toothpaste can also help reduce surface stains between whitening sessions. The use of charcoal to whiten teeth has been gaining popularity because of the natural ingredients. There is limited research on the safety or effectiveness of this whitening method. It is likely to help remove surface stains from tea and coffee, but the ability of these products to bleach the teeth has not yet been proven.


teeth whitening illustration for best teeth whitening


Professional Whitening Did Not Give Me the Results I Wanted

When professional whitening does not deliver the results a patient desires, often this is due to the factors mentioned above and include teeth which are very translucent, have a grayish hue or severe discoloration from fluorosis.
Thus, teeth may not whiten to the desired brightness. The option for these patients is to place veneers on the teeth. Veneers allow us to completely change the color and shape of your teeth.

Learn more about Dental Veneers

Veneers before and after for whiter teeth


Does Charcoal Toothpaste Work For Whitening Teeth?

There is very little scientific evidence or clinical research to support claims of charcoal toothpaste efficacy or its safety as a whitening agent. Although charcoal tooth products can make teeth feel extremely clean and smooth, there are some disadvantages to using them on a regular basis. Charcoal is more abrasive than particles found in toothpaste. Repeated use could potentially erode tooth enamel, which can actually make teeth more prone to collecting stains. Enamel erosion can increase sensitivity and contribute to the recession of the gum tissue around the teeth. Gum recession can make teeth more prone to decay. Any time highly abrasive substances are applied to the teeth, enamel is eroded which can expose the inner layer of dentin beneath the enamel. This actually creates a more yellow tooth appearance over time due to the thinning of the enamel layer.

Ingesting activated charcoal tablets or other products has potential side effects. Diarrhea, vomiting, GI damage, black tongue and improper absorption of certain medications like digoxin, acetaminophen, theophylline, tricyclic antidepressants, diabetes medications and some birth control are just some of the potential side effects.

Learn more at

Is Charcoal Toothpaste Better Than Professional Whitening?

Charcoal toothpaste does not contain whitening agents and there is currently no data to support any claims that it can lighten tooth enamel. Due to the abrasive nature of charcoal, it may be effective at removing surface staining from coffee or smoking, but it will not bleach the teeth. There are also disadvantages of using charcoal toothpaste for an at-home surface stain removal method. If a patient desires a whiter, brighter smile, professional whitening is the only proven method to lighten tooth enamel.

I have sensitive teeth, can I do anything to decrease sensitivity?

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Learn more here:…d-best-solutions/

best teeth whitening options Lincoln NE dentist



Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia: What’s the Difference?

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Do you feel guilty about having dental phobia? 

Do know you are not alone. In this article, Dr.Kathryn Alderman explains the difference between dental anxiety and dental phobia as well as gives some interesting facts about famous people who did not like dentists.

Hello, my name is Dr. Kathryn Alderman founder, practitioner, and one of the founders of Nebraska Family Dentistry, a group of dental offices in Lincoln NE.

I founded the model of our dental practices based on my personal and professional experience as a dental patient, parent and practicing dentist. Have you been looking for excellent dental care, but are afraid of the dentist? Perhaps you are trying to live healthier and want to make dentistry a part of your healthy lifestyle.

Our dental offices have compassionate, caring professionals. All of our dental professionals are health oriented to encompass your overall well-being and would love to take care of you. We have dental office locations in South, East, West, North and Central Lincoln.

What is my story and how can I relate to all patients who are scared of the dentist?

As a young woman, I had a life experience that inspired my career in dentistry and created my passion for providing dental care in a kind and gentle manner.

I suffered extensive dental trauma and had to complete a lot of dental treatment. I used to be very scared of any dental work. Every appointment was a very intimidating experience for me. In the beginning, I wanted to be a medical doctor, but after experiencing exceptional dental care, I decided that dentistry was a field where I could make a difference. Working with nervous and scared patients just like myself, I decided to become a dentist so that I could make a positive impact by providing gentle dentistry to all patients. I could also help them to improve their overall health starting first, by improving their dental health.

Learn more about the importance of dental health for your overall health here.

Nebraska  Family Dentistry, Designed with You in Mind

It has been my life’s work to build an expert team of like-minded dentists who work together at Nebraska Family Dentistry offices to provide gentle dentistry and a comfortable environment for our patients.

Together with my partners, we have designed Nebraska Family Dentistry offices with your comfort and convenience in mind. We want you to feel comfortable and relaxed while in our care. Therefore, we offer multiple amenities to make your visit to the dentist more enjoyable while receiving dental care. We also know that your time is valuable. So, we offer scheduling options that work even with our busiest patients’ schedules. We want to make sure that Nebraska Family Dentistry’s friendly team strives to make each visit as comfortable as possible.

Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia: What’s the Difference?

Overcoming dental phobia oral sedation Lincoln,NE


Dental phobia and dental anxiety are common concerns for many patients. It is estimated that 45 million people suffer from anxiety related to dental treatment in the United States. This anxiety is often related to the fear of pain or needles causing discomfort. Some people have higher anxiety in general and these feelings can be intensified at the dental office.

Although the expressions dental phobia or dental anxiety seem interchangeable, it is important to distinguish between the two in order to help patients find ways to cope with them.

Dental anxiety: Anxiety in general, usually stems from a fear of the unknown. When treating patients with dental anxiety, we strive to be sensitive to their concerns and communicate clearly with them before, during, and after treatment so they feel that they know what to expect. We have found that this greatly improves most patients’ experience while in our care.

Patients with dental phobia may feel an extremely intense and irrational fear of situations and objects they perceive to be threatening. Many patients with dental phobia react to the sounds associated with treatment and have a strong fear of pain during the treatment.

Do you have any dental phobia or dental anxiety?

Discover Zen room Like A Day at the Spa 

Overcoming dental phobia oral sedation Lincoln,NE

We know that a cold and sterile dental office is not usually the coziest or most inviting space for anxious patients. For patients with anxiety and dental phobia, we offer a calming, quiet environment for their dental treatment in our Zen Rooms ( Located At the North location of Nebraska Family Dentistry—>Northstar Dental.)  We have seen that aromatherapy, soft music, blankets, and headphones can help ease anxiety during appointments.

If patients still have difficulty relaxing, sleep dentistry or sedation dentistry is also available. This technique uses sedative medications and pain relievers to give patients the option of conscious sedation dentistry. During appointments, patients are still awake and responsive but are in a very calm and relaxed state.

Famous People and  Dental Phobia

If you have dental phobia you are not alone.  Many famous people are known for their dental anxiety or even dental phobia

In the United States, it is culturally very important to have a healthy looking smile. Especially for, celebrities and politicians who are often photographed or appear on tv. Having dental problems or dental anxiety is very common and even those in the public eye suffer from these issues.

George Washington, our first president had bad teeth and famously wore dentures for most of his adult life.

Although Abraham Lincoln bravely fought to bring freedom to slaves during his presidency, he is rumored to have suffered from dental anxiety. Lincoln’s fear stemmed from a tooth extraction without anesthesia which was not available at the time when his dentist removed a part of his jawbone. As a result of his negative experience, it is reported that he self-administered his own chloroform for his future dental treatment.

Abraham Lincoln Dental phobia sedation dentistry Lincoln NE

John Adams, the author of the Declaration of Independence, started smoking at the age of 8 and ignored his dental health as an adult. As a result, he lost most of his teeth and chose not to replace them with dentures and spoke with a lisp.

It does not matter if you are a regular person hoping to advance in your professional life or personal life or if you are a politician or celebrity. Having a beautiful, healthy smile is an important way to improve your quality of life. Hiring managers may subconsciously judge people who have poor dental health or who are unable to smile and put forth a confident image in an interview.

People who do not smile frequently may seem less approachable to others in social situations. It is important for our social lives to be healthy and we can positively reflect that, with a healthy smile.

Howie and Dental phobia Overcoming dental phobia oral sedation Lincoln,NE

Howie Mandel and dental phobia

Howie Mandel used to suffer from severe dental anxiety related to the fear of germs. He suffers from OCD, which intensifies his dental anxiety. Howie chose to change his smile at the age of 57, with veneers. 

During the procedure of getting veneers, he was very anxious, but the dental team working with him worked hard to keep him comfortable by creating a sense of safety for him. Because of his fear of germs, they put their gloves on in front of him to show him that they touched nothing before they touched his mouth. After his experience, Howie believes that it is possible to overcome severe dental anxiety, and that it is important for patients to communicate their fears to their providers for a positive outcome.


alleviating dental anxiety and Dental phobia

Our gentle and caring Lincoln dentists have  a few suggestions on helping patients alleviate their anxiety:

  • Try to find the reason behind your anxiety. Be sure you talk to your dentist about it and call the office ahead of time to see if they seem sensitive to your fears and concerns.
  • When you feel confident you’ve found the reason for your dental anxiety, you can try a few things at your appointment to see which one works best for you.  Bring headphones and listen to music that will help you feel relaxed and happy.
  • Try not to schedule your appointment on a day that is already very busy or filled with important meetings.
  • Keep your communication with the dental team clear, letting them know of any triggers that will make you feel more anxious during your appointment.
  • Ask questions about future appointments. If you know what to expect, you may feel less anxious about it.
  • Have a clear agreement with your dentist about how you will let them know if you are uncomfortable or having pain during treatment.


Overcoming dental phobia oral sedation Lincoln,NE

If you are anxious about dental treatment, we are happy to see you in our office and help you overcome your fears. We hope to see you soon.”

 Your Compassionate and Gentle Dentists in Lincoln, NE

Silver-Mercury Amalgam Dental Fillings: Should they be replaced?

 mercury fillings and silver filling

Silver-Mercury Amalgam Dental Fillings: Should they be replaced?

Do you have silver-mercury amalgam dental fillings and wonder if you should replace them?

As a biological dentist, I am  concerned about the overall well-being of patients, and in this article, I will share my thoughts on the safety and health risks of  silver-mercury amalgam dental fillings:

Silver-Mercury Amalgam Dental Fillings- biological dentist Lincoln,NE

Amalgams-silver dental fillings were a popular material in the past, and are still used by many dentists today because they are easy to place, hold up for a long time and are inexpensive. Due to the overwhelming amount of research on the health risks of silver-mercury amalgam dental fillings, they should not be placed. If they have to be removed, it has to be done very carefully to avoid causing acute metal toxicity in patients. “

–    Kathryn Alderman, DDS

Your Biological Dentist in Lincoln, NE, and Member of The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT)


Amalgam-mercury- silver dental fillings reasons to replace your amalgam silver mercury dental fillings fillings

Silver-Mercury Amalgam Dental Fillings Composition

Mercury comprises about 50% of the most common filling in the world called silver-mercury amalgam. Amalgam also contains copper, tin, silver, and zinc. Due to the high mercury content, it is silver colored when first placed; therefore, the name, “silver” filling. After it has been in the mouth, the mercury begins to react chemically and the resultant corrosion products are black. The blacker the filling, the more tarnish has taken place.

Silver-mercury amalgam dental fillings have an electrical current, which can be measured. The higher the current, the faster mercury is being released. As of 1976, the new ADA sponsored (and patent holder) high copper amalgam started taking over the market. Mercury is released 50 times faster from high copper amalgam (around 30%) over the “conventional” amalgam of before that time.

Currently, silver-mercury amalgam dental fillings contain around 48 to 51% mercury by weight. Copper comes in second, with the high copper amalgam now leading the market. Copper can be from 24 to 33% of the amalgam. The higher the copper level, the faster both mercury and copper are emitted from the fillings. If a gold crown is anywhere in the mouth, mercury comes off faster.



Can Mercury leak from Silver-Mercury Amalgam dental fillings?

Yes, it is undeniably true that mercury vapor is released from silver-mercury amalgam dental fillings. Scientists have proven that mercury vapors are released from those fillings, putting patients at risk for developing health problems.  These mercury vapors readily pass through your cell membranes, across your blood-brain barrier, and into your central nervous system. This can cause psychological, neurological, and immunological problems.  Children and fetuses whose brains are still developing are most at risk, but anyone can be affected.

According to university studies done by Dr. Chew, over the first two years after placement, silver-mercury amalgam dental fillings release about 34 micrograms per filling (per square centimeter of filling exposed) per day. These tests were done on fillings sitting in pure water and tested daily. There are many things that increase the speed at which mercury comes out. As previously mentioned, other metals such as gold crowns, nickel crowns, and removable bridges will increase the speed of release. Chewing food also increases the emissions, dramatically. Hot liquids such as coffee also increase the release by thousands of a percent, but only for 10 or 15 minutes.

Abrasion from chewing gum increases the release by 1500% as published by the ADA. Abrasion during the grinding of teeth during waking or sleeping hours, called “bruxism,” also releases mercury vapor. Compression of the filling from chewing releases mercury into the mouth. The electrical charge on a filling gives us clues as to how fast mercury, copper and other metals are being released. The higher the current measured, the faster the mercury release. The total amount of mercury released is difficult to measure, but suffice it to say that the current measurements are adequate enough to know it can contribute significantly to disease processes. The actual total mercury release in a living human being with saliva (which has a much higher electrical potential with dissimilar metals than water) in a warm mouth with acidic foods, bruxism, chewing gum, eating foods and several hundred bacterial strains is greater than any of today’s estimates.


Periodontal Disease and Overall Health

Can you have toxicity from Silver-Mercury Amalgam dental fillings? 

Where does all of this mercury go? Into your body. Absorption of mercury from the area under your tongue and the insides of your cheeks are the fastest absorbers. These areas are in proximity to the fillings, so the efficiency of absorption is great. From these tissues, the mercury can destroy adjacent tissues, or travel to the lymphatic drainage system and directly into the bloodstream. From the bloodstream, mercury can go to any cell in the body, where it can either disable or destroy the tissues. Mercury can also move directly from the silver-mercury amalgam dental fillings into the lungs and or bloodstream. As previously described, every cell in the body can become a valid target.

Mercury and its compounds are adept at traveling through the “lipid-soluble” cells membranes. Cell membranes contain roughly 60% protein and 40% fat. Nerve cells are an exception, containing nearly 75% fat. These fat-rich membranes determine what enters the cell and what does not. Methylmercury is oxidized into the “ionic” form of mercury. This is a very destructive form of mercury. Methylmercury is the most dangerous form due to its ability to travel great distances and enter all cells. After the trip, it is converted into ionic form.

The ionic form is what disrupts internal structures and metabolic pathways that keep a cell alive, producing proteins, enzymes, and hormones that are the purpose of the existence of the cell. All of this travel and destruction is what defines mercury toxicity. Therefore, it should not be allowed to enter our body for any reason. 

Which health problems have been related to Mercury exposure?   Diseases Related to Chronic Mercury Poisoning

Mercury is non-radioactive, but it is a poisonous metal which affects the health in an aggressive manner. Chronic mercury exposure may cause various neurological and cutaneous symptoms. Mercury can damage all bodily systems. The immune, nervous and cardiovascular systems suffer the most injurious effects of chronic intoxication. There is also evidence that mercury may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease as well as other neurodegenerative diseases. In spite of the dental poisoning controversy, there are a certain set of classic symptoms that are observed in patients who have amalgam fillings:

nebraska family dentistry lincoln ne overall health


  • Psychological problems: irritability, insomnia, ataxia, loss of memory.
  • Gastrointestinal problems: diarrhea, colitis.
  • Cardio problems: high/low blood pressure, tachycardia, pains in chest, irregular pulse.
  • Neurological problems: regular headaches, dizziness, movement disorders.
  • Respiratory problems: shallow breathing, bronchitis, asthma.
  • Weakened immune system, leading to developing auto-immune conditions.

Clinical facts about Silver-Mercury Amalgam dental fillings and disadvantages to using it for fixing cavities. 

  • Silver-mercury amalgam dental fillings require more tooth removal than the new restorations that are available.  Since amalgams don’t bond to teeth, dentists have to make an undercut in the tooth to hold it in place. This can significantly undermine and weaken the tooth, potentially leading to a crack later on.
  • Silver-mercury amalgam dental fillings do not bond to the tooth structure and over time create a space between a filling and tooth structure allowing bacteria to sneak in and develop a cavity under the filling.
  • Dental amalgam also expands and contracts over time, working as a wedge inside the tooth and further weakening it over time. Additionally, as time progresses, this can lead to a cracked tooth.  Cracked Tooth Syndrome is very common in teeth with large amalgam fillings in them and are most often seen on back teeth.

Silver-Mercury Amalgam dental fillings biological dentist Lincoln NE

What is a mercury-free dentistry? Are white fillings safer than mercury fillings? 

Your comfort and safety are always our priority. As a result of the ongoing health controversy surrounding the use of mercury in amalgam fillings, our office policy is to provide mercury-free dentistry. When your restorations are being replaced due to decay, fracture or because they are ill-fitting, all of our dentists in Lincoln, NE will use safe materials.  Ceramic, porcelain or composite restorations are stronger, better looking and environmentally friendly.  

How much does it cost to replace Mercury fillings with white fillings? 

For patients with insurance, many times policies will cover a big portion of those restorations and pay an “alternative benefit,” which is the fee of the less expensive amalgam.  Personally, I have issues with insurance companies deciding which restoration material is ideal for my patients….but that’s another topic.

Amalgam-mercury- silver dental fillings before and after pictures

What are benefits of composite/ white dental fillings?  Are white fillings safe for your overall health?

Composite restorations like this one (middle tooth) are superior to silver fillings. The restoration reinforces the tooth with a strong bond and smooth, undetectable margins to prevent leakage and recurrent decay. 

Those fillings are significantly safer for your overall health in comparison to mercury/ metal fillings.

Commonly asked questions about Mercury-Free dentistry.

How does a Biological or Mercury-Free dentist differ from other dentists?

I love science, and my background is in biochemistry and chemistry. My motto as a biological dentist is “Show me the Science.”

Understanding the science, it allows me to practice dentistry with a deep understanding and concern for the physiology of the mouth and how it relates to the overall well-being of patients.

I continually explore and challenge myself to understand the safety of the materials used and procedures performed in dentistry.

Biological dentists are those who practice dentistry not only with an understanding and concern for the physiology of the mouth, but also how it relates to the rest of the body and their patient’s long-term health and well-being. These dentists demand a scientific explanation or evidence of the safety and benefit of every material and procedure performed for their patients. Their motto is “Show me the Science.”

Do I recommend replacing  Silver-Mercury Amalgam Dental Fillings?

Every time amalgams fillings are removed, the mercury vapor is released which is quickly absorbed into the lungs and bloodstream. I do not advocate removing amalgam dental fillings unless you belong to one of the groups listed here

If you choose to replace those fillings or they have to be replaced due to developing cavities, we follow a strict protocol on “Safe Removal of Silver-Mercury Amalgam Dental Fillings.”


Amalgam-mercury- silver dental fillings before and after

 Does mercury escape from the metal structure of the filling?

Yes,  mercury is a vapor that can be seen in electron micrograph photos. This electron photo shows mercury “vapor” coming from the surface of an amalgam filling.

Amalgam-mercury- silver dental fillings vapor


How can I determine if my fillings are causing damage to my body?

Some tests are available such as hair analysis, urine mercury, urine mercury porphyrin profile, fecal metal screen and blood tests ( for an acute mercury poisoning).

 Are there specific steps that should be taken in removing/replacing mercury fillings? 

Yes, all of our dentists at Nebraska Family Dentistry follow the protocol for safe removal  of mercury fillings called: “Safe Removal of Silver-Mercury Amalgam Dental Fillings.”

How can I learn more about mercury-free dentistry? 

Biological Dental Medicine Links

    • Consumers for Dental Choice raises awareness of mercury sources and working to protect the health of people in the USA and our environment.

I would like to schedule a consultation with a biological dentist, but I am not in Lincoln, NE. 

If you are looking for a biological or mercury-free dentist in the Nebraska area, please visit our offices. If you are not in Nebraska but would like to have a consultation with a biological dentist, we offer online consults. You can contact me directly with questions and schedule your consultation at


Check out the “Should I replace cracked amalgam fillings” video
How we remove Amalgam-Silver Dental fillings safely for your overall health:

The procedure of toxic filling removal includes the following actions:

  1. Keeping the filling cool:
    We remove fillings under a constant cold water spray to keep the temperature down and reduce the release of mercury vapor.
  2. Cutting the filling into chunks:
    The removal procedure involves cutting the filling into smaller chunks that can be easily removed.
  3. Using a high-volume evacuation (HVE):
    We use a high-volume evacuation system that helps collect and scavenge released mercury vapor. A suction tube remains in the mouth during the procedure, removing mercury and saliva.
  4. Using an Isolite:
    We use a non-latex Isolite to prevent swallowing or breathing of toxic mercury.
  5. Keeping the air pure:
    We have an air filtering system which cleans the air and collects mercury vapor.

Post-Procedure Treatment

After the removal of an amalgam filling, we recommend our patients have proper nutrition. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals to aid your immune system during the detoxification process.

In addition to consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables, taking Emergen-C, charcoal and eating cilantro have all been found to be helpful detoxification materials.


Wishing you health and happiness,

Dr. Kathryn Alderman

Your Mercury- Free Dentist


What Causes Sensitive Teeth and Best Solutions

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What causes sensitive teeth?

Do you have sensitive teeth? Teeth can become sensitive due to gum recession, which is the exposure of root surfaces above the gumline. This can happen due to grinding and clenching the teeth, brushing aggressively with abrasive toothpaste and medium or hard bristle toothbrushes, or a history of orthodontic treatment resulting in receded gums.

When aggressive toothbrushing techniques are used, it is possible to remove thin layers of dentin, which is the tooth structure that is exposed in recession. This allows liquids, acids, and air to move through the tooth through the dentinal tubules more easily, reacting with the nerve within the tooth.

Other reasons teeth can become sensitive are the erosion of enamel by acids from food, diet or stomach problems, gum disease, grinding teeth, whitening teeth or cracked teeth or fillings.


sensitive teeth after teeth whitening

Sensitive Teeth and Whitening

Many teeth bleaching agents contain peroxides which can cause sensitivity. Sensitivity from whitening usually goes away after stopping application for a few days. There are professional whitening products that contain desensitizing agents as well as methods you can use to manage sensitivity during your whitening at home. Talk to your Lincoln, NE dentist about any concerns you may have about sensitivity during whitening. 

Find out more about Professional Teeth Whitening for Sensitive Teeth at:



sensitive teeth discomfort after appointment

Sensitive Teeth and Recent Dental Work

Recent deep cleanings and placement of fillings or crowns can result in postoperative sensitivity. This should be short-term and is a normal part of the healing process. If this discomfort persists, talk to your Lincoln, NE dentist.


Find out more at:


cracked tooth cause for sensitive teeth

Sensitive Teeth and Cracked teeth or fillings

Chewing ice, biting into hard candies, or having large older fillings in the teeth can eventually lead to cracked or broken teeth. Cracks and fractures can allow bacteria from the oral cavity to enter the inner part of the tooth, leading to inflammation of the nerve.


night guard for sensitive teeth

Sensitive Teeth and Grinding / Clenching Your Teeth

Clenching and grinding can cause enamel to wear away as well as accelerate gum recession. Wearing a nightguard can help minimize damage to the teeth and dental restorations over time.


sensitive teeth and tooth decay

Sensitive Teeth and Tooth Decay

Tooth decay can expose the inner layers of your teeth to temperatures from foods and liquids and allow bacteria inside of the tooth. This can cause sensitivity and if untreated, more severe tooth pain. Practicing excellent home-care, eating healthy and seeing your dentist on a regular basis can help prevent cavities.


Is it normal to have Sensitivity after Dental Work?

Cavities and New Fillings Post Operative Directions on Managing Dental Pain


What can I do about sensitive teeth?

To prevent further recession or abrasion of teeth, it is a good idea to avoid abrasive kinds of toothpaste and instead use sensitivity toothpaste. Brushing gently with a soft or extra soft toothbrush will prevent burnishing the exposed root surfaces further.

Many healthy foods are high in acid like tomatoes and citrus. These acids can erode tooth enamel and irritate exposed dentin. It is a good idea to rinse with water after eating an acidic meal. Do not brush teeth immediately after eating sour foods, as this can cause further erosion. Wait at least 45 minutes to brush after a high acid meal.


sensodyne sensitive teeth and repair

Toms of maine for sensitive teeth

What kind of sensitivity toothpaste is best for sensitive teeth?

There are many brands of sensitivity toothpaste on the market. Sensodyne is made with potassium nitrate salts and fluoride, which have been shown to help desensitize teeth by blocking the dentinal tubules and preventing stimulation of the nerve. For patients who would like a natural, fluoride-free option for sensitivity, Tom’s of Maine has one of the best products on the market. Recent research has suggested a more rapid and long-lasting effect from the ingredient arginine and calcium carbonate than more commonly used potassium nitrates. Tom’s Sensitivity Rapid Relief toothpaste contains arginine and calcium carbonate.

Regardless of what sensitivity toothpaste is used, it is important to use it on a daily basis for best results. Labels on sensitivity toothpaste often state to only use them for a few weeks.This statement is only made to discourage patients from putting off seeing their dentist if they are experiencing dental pain. There are no health risks with continued use of desensitizing agents.

Gently brushing sensitivity toothpaste on for two minutes and not rinsing after brushing to allow the toothpaste to stay in place is the recommended application method. If patients have areas with more severe sensitivity, they may apply a small amount of paste with a finger and allow it to stay on the tooth.

Gentle Dentist for sensitive teeth

What can dentists do about sensitive teeth?

Depending on the reasons for sensitivity, your Lincoln, NE  dentists can apply fluoride varnish or prescribe rinses or toothpaste for you to use at home that contains higher levels of fluoride or potassium nitrates and arginine calcium carbonates. If the sensitivity does not go away, it is possible to bond composite material to the exposed dentin.

Best Dental Plans and How To Find Them

best dental plans banner

Best Dental Plans and How To Find Them

No dental insurance? No problem! Even if it’s been a while since you’ve seen the dentist, you don’t have to feel bad. It is crucial to find the best dental plans for you and your family, since avoiding the dentist could cost you more in the long run.

And that’s where we come in.

At the end of 2016, nearly 77 percent of Americans had some kind of dental insurance, according to the National Association for Dental Plans. However, that means that about 1 in 4 people had no dental insurance at all.

If you aren’t seeing the dentist regularly because you’re lacking dental insurance, we can help! Read on to learn more about our partners at Lincoln Dental Plans, how their plans help those without dental insurance, and what it means to be a member below.

The Best Dental Insurance Option For Those Without Dental Insurance

The options are limited for those who can’t afford dental insurance. You can pay for treatment out of pocket, but that gets expensive quickly. Alternatively, you may find the best dental plans within arms reach. However, in our experience, patients who don’t have dental insurance have trouble getting the dental treatment they need and deserve. So what’s the solution?

best dental plans for affordable dentistry

Not long ago, we began partnering with Lincoln Dental Plans. Lincoln Dental Plans is a Lincoln dental discount plan which offers free and discounted services to members. It’s ideal for anyone who doesn’t have dental insurance, since it lowers the cost of several different treatments.

The Trouble with Dental Insurance

Unfortunately, dental insurance isn’t built like regular health insurance. It won’t usually cover the entire cost of a particular treatment. Many times it will cover a certain percentage of your treatment, and the rest of the balance will be left to you.

It’s important to know that your dental insurance company isn’t necessarily looking out for your best interest. Although you may have out-of-pocket expenses, it’s crucial not to base your treatment decisions on what your insurance will cover. Doing so can be hard on your teeth, and besides, Lincoln Dental Plans offers a solution. No more need to base dental treatments on what you can afford!


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Benefits of Lincoln Dental Plans

There are plenty of benefits with Lincoln Dental Plans that you won’t find with dental insurance. For one, you won’t need to adhere to the tough necessities of a dental insurance plan. Alongside that, below are some of the main benefits of Lincoln Dental Plans.

Goodbye Monthly Premiums With Lincoln Dental Plans, you’ll no longer have to meet monthly premiums. Instead, members pay a single yearly fee and gain access to several free and discounted services all year long.

No More Waiting Periods You’ll have access to new procedures the very day you sign up for Lincoln Dental Plans. This is different than dental insurance companies which will often make patients wait for treatments. Again, even necessary treatments are often buried by waiting periods. There’s no need to wait for the treatment you need with Lincoln Dental Plans.

No More Paperwork Thankfully, once you sign up for Lincoln Dental Plans you won’t have to do any more paperwork. This is unlike dental insurance, which has patients doing and looking through paperwork all the time.

Discounted Common Dental Treatments The purpose of Lincoln Dental Plans is to make dentistry affordable again. We do this by offering discounts on common dental services, such as root canals, dental fillings, removal of teeth, dental crowns, deep cleanings ( Periodontal disease treatment) and many other services.


Dental Insurance vs. Lincoln Dental Plans

For many of our patients, Lincoln Dental Plans has changed the way they pay for treatment. With dental insurance they were often left high and dry. Others may not have had insurance at all. However, the best dental plans out there can even be similar or better, depending on your needs. Lincoln Dental Plans, in particular, is a great dental discount plan with many offerings that are unavailable from insurance:

 Dental InsuranceLincoln Dental Plans
Yearly maximum limit paid toward treatmentYesNo


100% Guarantee on Treatment CostsNoYes
Claims and EOBsYesNo
Limitations or Procedure DenialsNoYes
Waiting PeriodYesNo
A “Missing Tooth” ClauseYesNo
Yearly FeeYesYes


Becoming a Lincoln Dental Plans member is easy. All you have to do is make an appointment with your local provider, and ask them about Lincoln Dental Plans. Then, your dentist, hygienist, or other dental staff provider will help you decide the best dental plans depending on your needs. They’ll talk you through the different Lincoln Dental Plans, and ultimately they’ll help you choose a plan for yourself.


Annual Plan Benefits

All of X-rays

Comprehensive exams

2 Regular cleanings

23% off all treatment 

ldp nfd logo


Ready to become a member?
Schedule an appointment below with any of our partnering locations.


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Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Dental Plans


I need to have a root canal. What are the best dental plans for root canals and crowns?

Lincoln Dental Plans is our best recommendation if you see our offices regularly. With Lincoln Dental Plans, you’ll receive discounts on treatments like root canals and crowns.

Do all Lincoln Dentists take Lincoln Dental Plans?

At this time, only Nebraska Family Dentistry locations accept Lincoln Dental Plans. In order to utilize your membership, be sure to see our providers here in Lincoln.

Can I use two dental insurance plans?

In most cases, insurance companies will let you double up on insurance plans. It can sometimes reduce what you pay out of pocket. However, like anything it has certain caveats. For one, many dental insurance companies will include a “Non-duplication of benefits” clause in their contract with you. If your dental insurance has this, the secondary plan cannot cover anything if the primary plan has paid the same or more to cover a given treatment.

How To Stop a Cold Sore Fast

How To Stop A Cold Sore Fast

Are you prone to cold sores? If so, you’re right alongside about 90% of the US population. Learning how to stop a cold sore is crucial. However, it isn’t as tough as it can sometimes seem! This Lincoln dentist is committed to your wellbeing. So, today on the NFD Wellness Blog we’ll talk about how to stop a cold sore in its tracks, how to hide them and make them go away, and the virus that causes them.

90% of the population may seem high to many people. After all, a person would be hard-pressed to find that many people on the street with cold sores. However, that number represents the approximate percentage of people who have been exposed to the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1). HSV-1 is the virus which causes cold sores, and it’s closely related to HSV-2, also known as genital herpes.

So if 90% of the population has the virus, why don’t 90% of people have cold sores at any given time? The reason has a lot to do with what causes cold sores, and the mistake that most make when thinking about them.

how to stop a cold sore trigger

What causes cold sores on lips?

When we talk about how to stop a cold sore, there are a few things we should talk about before moving on. First, we should note that cold sores are always caused by HSV-1. This is because HSV-1 remains dormant inside the body until a cold sore is triggered. Certain things can trigger a cold sore. But at the end of the day, they’re all caused by HSV-1.

So how can 90% of people have HSV-1 if we only see a few cold sores out on the street? This is where triggers come into play. Because certain things predispose people to cold sores, people must be exposed to these things. So what are the things that can trigger a cold sore? There are a handful of underlying conditions, as listed below, that can trigger cold sores.


Exposure to Sunlight

Believe it or not, overexposure to sunlight can often trigger a cold sore breakout. The sun’s UV rays are hard on skin. This often leads to the development of cold sores.


Fevers are a part of the body’s reaction to sickness. When the immune system encounters certain foreign bodies, it heats up the body in an attempt to weaken and expel the foreign agent. When fevers arise, they often leave behind cold sores. For that reason, cold sores are often called “fever blisters.”

Hormone Changes

When a person’s hormones become imbalanced, it often brings about cold sores. The reason being is similar to both triggers listed above: Hormonal changes can be hard on the body’s immune system. This allows cold sores to slip through the cracks and form, in spite of the body’s hard work against it.

Viral Infection

Similarly, viral infections put the body’s immune system to the test. Both colds and influenza have been known to come along with cold sores for those with HSV-1.

Vitamin Deficiencies

Vitamin deficiencies are another common complaint of those with cold sores. Specifically, the immune system is at its best with healthy doses of Vitamin D and C. When the body doesn’t have enough Vitamin D or C, the immune system’s response can have a tough time keeping with preventing cold sores.

how to stop a cold sore fast

How To Stop A Cold Sore Fast, From the Experts

Unfortunately, there is no cut and dry way to stop a cold sore fast. But there are ways to prevent and conceal them that can work excellently. Below is how to stop a cold sore fast from your local family dentist, the Lincoln dentist’s perspective.

Use Abreva Using Abreva can significantly reduce the time it takes for a cold sore to heal. The antiviral agent called “Docosanol” is manufactured for this very purpose. In a clinical study, Abreva was shown to reduce cold sore length by up to two days.

Avoid Hot, Acidic, or Salty Foods and Drinks – Hot, acidic, or salty foods and drinks can irritate a cold sore, often causing it to last longer. To figure out how to stop a cold sore fast, you’ll definitely want to avoid these.

Don’t Touch – Touching a cold sore is another simple way to keep it alive and worsen the infection. Keep your hands off to help it heal!

Use Hydrogen Peroxide  Using hydrogen peroxide on a cold sore can dry it out and stop it from spreading or growing!

Apply Ice – Especially good for those with swelling, using a cold compress or ice will bring down the growth of a cold sore.

See The Emergency Dentist – A qualified Lincoln emergency dentist can use laser removal to reduce the length of a cold sore and prevent cold sores altogether!

Lincoln Emergency Dentist: Cold Sore Laser Treatment

If you’re looking for a cold sore treatment that’s sure to work, laser treatment might just be for you. Our emergency dentist can use a special laser on cold sores which fights HSV-1. The procedure itself only takes about 15 minutes. During this time, the emergency dentist heats up the cold sore to kill the virus. Not only will it kill the virus, but it’ll also help the cold sores heal more quickly, and prevent them from coming back for a longer period of time.

You can reach our emergency dentist at 402-840-9783. You can also schedule with any of our Nebraska Family Dentistry locations day or night here. below, or using the at the bottom of the page.

How can lasers treat cold sores?

While other cold sore treatments tend to treat the cold sore itself, laser cold sore treatment fights off HSV-1. By heating the cold sore’s temperature, the precise laser works to kill the virus and stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. The laser is highly concentrated, so the surrounding area remains completely safe.

The laser not only helps the cold sores heal, but it also prevents them from reappearing. This is because the laser attacks the virus, rather than just the cold sores. In addition, this method streamlines the healing process, giving patients immediate relief from the symptoms of a cold sore. By doing so, this treatment also causes cold sores to stop spreading, preventing the breakouts of loved ones.

The procedure itself only takes about 15 minutes, and is a single appointment. You can also claim cold sore treatment under some insurances – contact your insurance company to see if they do, or check out Lincoln Dental Plans.

Nebraska Family Dentistry Locations

Did you know that Nebraska Family Dentistry locations are scattered all across Lincoln? You can find excellent dental care all over the city of Lincoln! The following are Nebraska Family Dentistry locations:

Coddington Dental  (West Lincoln dentist ): 402-438-5555; 1320 West A St.

Lincoln Family Dentistry (Central Lincoln dentist) : 402-467-1000; 5500 O St.

Northstar Dental (North Lincoln dentist): 402-742-0000; 5800 N. 33rd St

Preserve Family Dentistry (East Lincoln dentist): 402-413-7000; 4303 S. 84th St.

Southpointe Dental (South Lincoln dentist): 402-423-3333; 7940 S. 13th St.


best ways how to stop a cold sore

Prevent A Cold Sore

Realistically, a huge component of avoiding cold sores comes in the form of prevention. Preventing a cold sore is truly the best strategy when it comes to how to stop a cold sore fast. To prevent cold sores, there are a handful of different strategies. However, they almost all revolve around taking care of your body and avoiding cold sore triggers. Below, we’ve listed how to prevent a cold sore next time.

The best way to prevent cold sores is to avoid the triggers which make them appear. These include the things listed below

What causes cold sores on lips? 

In general, doing anything to bolster your immune system can help you prevent cold sores. This includes supplementing any necessary vitamins, getting plenty of sleep, utilizing healthy stress reduction practices, and washing your hands often.


Strengthen Your Immune System

how to stop a cold sore with immune system

Strengthening your immune system will also help prevent cold sores. You can find more information about the immune system here, or check out some quick tips below:

Sleep – Getting plenty of sleep also benefits the immune system. Sleep is well-considered a health must. The body does most of its healing at night, so the immune system needs the sleep to repair the body.

Nutrition – Practicing good eating habits can seriously improve a person’s immune system. Eating iron-rich foods like fish or poultry, as well as probiotic foods like yogurt and sauerkraut will have a positive impact on the immune system. Avoiding things like soda, sugary foods and drinks will help benefit your gut and immunity. You can also try taking supplements of probiotics and other vitamins to bolster immunity.

Oral Hygiene – While some may not realize it, we do as a Lincoln dentist: the state of a person’s oral health has a lot to do with the health of their immune system. If a person doesn’t take care of his or her oral health, it’s common to develop a low-grade (or sometimes high-grade!) infection, which puts a general strain on the immune system.

how to stop a cold sore and conceal

When cold sore does happen, what is the best way to conceal the cold sore?

Once your cold sore has begun healing, you can use a highly concentrated heavy concealer to lessen its appearance. Follow these steps to conceal cold sore:

  • Use a concealer with a creamy, not liquid, texture.
  • Only use a small amount of heavy concealer.
  • Try using two different shades of concealer: A yellow-based concealer to neutralize redness, and a concealer that matches your skin tone. Start by dabbing the yellow concealer with a disposable makeup sponge. Then add a little bit of the skin-colored concealer.
  • After applying concealer, top it with a very light dusting of finishing powder.

how to stop a cold sore FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Stop A Cold Sore

What are some foods to avoid with cold sores?

When you have a cold sore, be sure to avoid anything spicy, salty, or overly acidic. These kinds of foods can all irritate the cold sore and cause it to heal more slowly.

When are cold sores no longer contagious?

A cold sore is most contagious if or when it ruptures. If a cold sore bursts, it becomes much more likely for it to spread. Unfortunately, cold sores remain contagious until they completely heal. If you can still see the cold sore, it’s still contagious.

What’s the quickest way to get rid of a cold sore?

While there’s no simple way to get rid of a cold sore fast, the steps below How To Stop A Cold Sore Fast, From The Experts is a great set of steps to speed up the healing process. By using Abreva, avoiding certain foods, keeping your hands off,

How common are cold sores?

Cold sores are relatively common. HSV-1, the virus that causes cold sores, is estimated to be carried by about 90% of the US population. This means 90% of the population have or will have at least one cold sore in their lifetime.

What are some good vitamin supplements for cold sores?

As we mentioned above, Vitamin C and D deficiencies are often associated with cold sores. For that reason, Vitamin C and D are great supplements to avoid and reduce the lifespan of cold sores. Other good supplements for managing cold sores are Lysine, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Zinc. Similarly, many will recommend eating foods rich in arginine, including oats, wheat, chocolate, nuts, and even pumpkin seeds. Good sources of Lysine include pistachios, black beans, lentils, tempeh, quinoa, and soy milk. You can find Vitamin B6 in fish, beef liver, potatoes, and avocados.

Is a cold sore on the roof of the mouth normal?

Yes! While it isn’t the most common place for a cold sore to form, it does happen from time to time. Don’t be alarmed if you develop a cold sore on your mouth.

How are cold sores spread?

HSV-1 spreads through skin contact. This means that when the affected skin touches any other part of a person’s body, it can spread. Common ways it spreads are through kissing, sharing drinks, food, etc., or from close contact.

What’s the difference between a cold sore and a canker sore?

It’s not uncommon for people to confuse canker sores and cold sores. However, they’re two entirely different conditions. Canker sores are small open sores which occur on the insides of the mouth and on the gums. This is unlike cold sores, which are typically outside of the mouth. Canker sores also look quite different from cold sores, appearing yellow or gray in the center. Cold sores, however, are typically completely red and appear filled with fluid. Another major difference is that canker sores are not contagious, unlike cold sores.

Is a cold sore the same thing as herpes?

As we mentioned above, cold sores typically come from Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1). Genital herpes is usually from a related classification, HSV-2. Still, it is possible to spread HSV-1 through oral sex. For that reason, it’s important to avoid oral sex during a cold sore breakout.

Can I still have dental treatment if I have a cold sore?

If you come in for laser removal of your cold sore, then yes! However, we won’t perform other dental treatments if a patient has an active cold sore. This is because an active cold sore carries HSV-1, and coming in for these appointments puts your dental professionals at risk. If you do have an active cold sore, be sure to reschedule your appointment.

Can laser removal work to stop a cold sore?

As we mentioned above, laser removal is a great way to stop a cold sore! Our emergency dentist is an excellent option for anyone looking to remove a cold sore.


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How To Reduce Snoring and Improve Sleep

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reduce snoring nfd banner

How To Reduce Snoring and Improve Sleep

When it comes to snoring, many people imagine a giant man with a booming nighttime snore. However, this image isn’t the reality. In fact, about half of the US population snores at least occasionally. This includes men and women of all kinds. Snoring is a widespread phenomenon, and many who snore aren’t even aware of it. But the loved ones of those who snore are almost always wondering how their partner can reduce snoring.

If you or a loved one snores, you probably already know how much of a nuisance it can be. In severe cases, it can seriously affect you and your partner’s sleep quality. And while many of us have lived with this habit, you may not have to! There are a handful of different ways people attempt to stop snoring for good. Read on to learn how to reduce snoring, improve sleep quality, and stop bothering your partner in the middle of the night.

woman reduce snoring

What is snoring?

If you don’t already know, snoring is the hoarse breathing you may hear when a person is sleeping. It can be anything from a quiet whir to a noisy snorting sound. Many people don’t realize they snore until they share a bedroom with someone. And when they do share a bedroom, it usually doesn’t take long for snoring to come up.

Snoring usually happens when a person enters a deep sleep, and the throat and palate, or roof of the mouth, muscles relax. When heavy breathing flows out through the mouth, it causes these relaxed muscles to vibrate. This produces the low, hoarse sound of snoring.


reduce snoring : Snoring risk factors

Snoring Risk Factors

Several factors can affect whether or not a person snores. Certain factors can also affect how loudly a person snores. For one, a person’s anatomy may be related to snoring. Some people have airways which predispose them to snore. If a person’s airway is naturally thin, their soft palate is thick, or their uvula hangs extra low, it’s easier for breathing to become obstructed. Similarly, those who are overweight may have excess fat at the back of the throat, causing them to snore.

Although there may not be a single thing causing a person to snore, there are a few risk factors that can contribute to it. Some of them are factors which are controllable, and others are not. Those that are can often be changed or influenced to reduce snoring.

Alcohol Intake

Heavy alcohol consumption relaxes the mouth and throat muscles. As a result, drinking in the evening can cause a person to snore.


As we mentioned above, anatomy has a lot to do with a person’s snoring habits. One example (aside from those listed above) is a person’s nasal makeup. If a person has a deviated septum, or chronic congestion, they will be much more likely to snore. A narrow airway, thick palate, or large tonsils can also make a person more likely to snore.


Gender is another risk factor for snoring. In general, men are more likely to snore than women.

Family Medical History

If your family has either a history of snoring or sleep disorders, then you may be genetically predisposed to snore.


A person’s weight can also impact whether or not they snore. In general, overweight or obese people are more likely to snore. They’re also at a higher risk for developing sleep disorders like sleep apnea.

Remember: even if you have some risk factors that you can’t control, there are always some you can control. For example, you may not be able to have an impact on your family’s medical history, but you can always improve your eating habits or your alcohol intake to reduce snoring.

reduce snoring

Is snoring bad for you?

In most cases, occasional snoring is nothing serious. However, recurrent snoring can impact a person’s sleep quality. They can also impact the sleep quality of others.

For that reason, many regular snorers will elect to see a doctor about their snoring habits. In some cases, snoring can also signify a bigger problem, as is common with sleep apnea patients. While it may not be accurate to say that “snoring is bad for you,” it’s possible that it isn’t inaccurate either.

If you are concerned about snoring or other sleep disorders, we recommend seeing a doctor. If you’re interested in seeing a sleep doctor in Lincoln, Nebraska, there are many to choose from!

how to reduce snoring at home

How To Reduce Snoring at Home

Unfortunately, patients can’t always stop snoring. However, it is possible to reduce snoring! Below are a few of our best tips on how to reduce snoring.

Change Your Sleep Position

Changing the position in which you sleep can reduce snoring significantly. If you sleep on your back, you can try sleeping on your side instead. This allows your tongue to rest on the side of your mouth rather than in your throat, and will also tend to minimize the snoring effect.

Clear Your Nasal Passages

Clearing out your nasal passages will increase the chances of breathing through your nose at night. Using nasal decongestants, vapor rubs, or a neti pot can all effectively help you keep your nasal passage clear.

Don’t Drink Alcohol

As we mentioned before, drinking alcohol can make a huge difference with snoring. Sleeping pills and other sedatives have a similar, relaxing effect on the body’s airway. All three of these substances will significantly increase snoring.

Drink Lots of Water

Drinking plenty of water can also help minimize snoring. When you’re congested, dehydration causes mucus to “gunk up” your nasal and oral passages. Congestion can definitely increase snoring. On the other hand, maintaining a good level of hydration can help keep your mucus wet, and keep your airways as clear as possible.

Elevate Your Head

Elevating your head 3-4 inches can ease your breathing and push your tongue forward. Sleeping on your back can cause your tongue to settle into the back of your throat, decreasing the airflow in your throat. However, when you sit up, it can sometimes help clear your airway and keep your tongue out of the way.

Lose Weight

As we mentioned above, being overweight is a risk factor for snoring. Losing some weight can clear some of the fat cells stored around your neck and clear your airway to minimize snoring.

See a Professional

If you’ve tried all of the above and none have worked, or you have greater concerns regarding your sleep habits, it may be best to see a doctor.

dentist explaining reduce snoring

Professional Methods To Reduce Snoring

While home remedies can be very helpful, some cases require professional help. If you’re concerned about sleep disorders or have a serious snoring problem, seeing a doctor is your best bet. Below are some of the treatments doctors can use to help you reduce snoring.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

A CPAP machine is commonly used for patients with sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. It goes over the patient’s mouth and helps their airway stay open through the night.

Custom Jaw Positioners

If your jaw is what’s causing you to snore, doctors or dentists can prescribe jaw positioners to keep your airway open at night.

Laser-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP)

This method utilizes a laser to modify the uvula. As you can likely infer, this is a common course of action for those whose uvula is enlarged and is affecting sleep quality.

FAQ how to reduce snoring

Frequently Asked Questions about How To Reduce Snoring

Can someone stop snoring permanently?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a hard and fast way to stop snoring permanently. However, there are a few ways to help reduce snoring. These are listed above, under How To Reduce Snoring At Home and Professional Methods To Reduce Snoring. These will help you tame your snoring.

What’s the best way to sleep if a loved one snores?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a perfect way to sleep through snoring either. However, there are some things you can try to improve your if you are having trouble sleeping. Some great ways to improve your sleep are to get up at the same time each day, exercise, monitor what you eat and drink, or try supplementing melatonin. If none of these help, it might be worth seeing a doctor or sleep doctor and asking for their advice. They’ll be able to listen to your particular symptoms and help you find the right solution.

reduce snoring patient

Is there a way to stop snoring naturally?

The best ways to stop snoring naturally are also listed above! They can be found under How To Reduce Snoring At Home and Professional Methods To Reduce Snoring.

What makes you snore?

As we explain above, snoring happens as a result of vibrating inside the airway. This happens in either the throat, soft palate, roof of the mouth. They vibrate as a result of deep sleep causing the muscles to relax.

Does a humidifier help with snoring?

While there isn’t any research to support that a humidifier helps with snoring, it wouldn’t hurt! Sometimes we snore because of congestion or sickness. Especially if that’s what’s causing the snore, a humidifier can loosen things up and help you breathe more easily. Try it out to see if it helps you stop snoring.

Can you have sleep apnea without snoring?

Yes, a person can still have sleep apnea if they don’t snore. There are two types of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea (CSA) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Snoring most commonly occurs in OSA cases, although not always. It’s possible to have snoring either way. For that reason, if you think you may have sleep apnea, it’s worth seeing a doctor, even if you don’t snore.

To share story and blog ideas, you can reach out to NFD Wellness Blog’s curator and editor Zachary Visconti at You can also email NFD‘s founder, Dr. Kathryn Alderman, at

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Best New Year Resolution?

best new year resolution from Lincoln,NE dentist

Looking for the best New Year’s resolution?

Cutting out sugar and added fructose from your diet could be the best new year resolution you could make this year.

Are you looking for the best New Year’s resolution? Another year has come and gone. For most of us, it feels like just yesterday that we were crafting the perfect New Year’s resolution list for 2017, and now it’s already time to start thinking about the next one!

Many of us hope for mental clarity, happiness, and motivation to help achieve our New Year’s resolutions in 2018. Experts suggest that to help achieve your 2018 New Year’s resolution goals, you may need to give up sugar, particularly hidden amounts of added fructose commonly found in the typical American diet.

Cutting out sugar and fructose are not typically on our list of New Year’s resolutions, but here are some benefits to trying it:

  • Feeling More Energetic
  • Looking and Feeling Better
  • Preventing Cavities and Periodontal disease
  • Feeling Less Sluggish
  • Living Longer & Having a Better Quality of Life


Best New Year Resolution Lincoln NE dentist

According to Statistic Brain, healthy eating was the top New Year’s resolution in 2017. In our opinion, the major contribution to healthy eating is limiting sugar intake in the form of added fructose. Added fructose intake accounts for a huge part of our diets, and it can be harder to avoid than most people imagine. The typical American diet is packed with hidden sugars, particularly fructose.

If you are trying to limit or eliminate sugar in your diet, you may start by cutting out fructose.  Today, we’ll discuss the best New Year’s resolutions, the health implications associated with diets high in fructose, and share 6 simple tips for cutting down the amount of fructose you consume.  


best new year resolution from Lincoln,NE dentist

The Scope of Sugar:

The science explains why sugar is so difficult to give up

Sugars are simple carbohydrate molecules. While sugars are essential for cell and organ function, our bodies have the ability to break complex carbohydrate molecules into simple sugars for use throughout the body. Therefore, our diet does not require any form of sugar to be added for healthy organ function.  American Heart Association (AHA) states that “our bodies don’t need sugar to function properly.”

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the average American consumes about 152 pounds of sugar, mainly added fructose per year. And this is only the average person – not just those who are consuming more sugar than their neighbor. That’s a lot of sugar!

It is important to note that all processed foods have added amounts of fructose. Fructose is not just in cakes, candy bars or donuts. Hidden amounts of sugar can be found in almost every processed food

Check out this video about why “Sugar is Killing Us” by Sikuvideo


High Fructose Diet and mental health:

A toxic combination?

Giving up sugar/added fructose could lead to more clarity in thinking and feeling happier. Whats the science behind it?

best new year resolution from Lincoln,NE dentist

Sugar and neurons
Neurons are very sensitive cells and are not well prepared for sugar level spikes. In fact, individuals with high sugar/added fructose diet are at risk of neuronal damage, and scientists are beginning to understand how high blood sugar might cause this.

A study by researchers from the Department of Neurobiology at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, showed that consumption of high levels of sugar/added fructose led to inflammation and neuronal damage and death of neurons in the brain,  supporting the claim that sugar/added fructose toxicity has a role in brain health.

High sugar diet and depression. 
Last week, Medical News Today reported on a study published in the journal Scientific Reports that identified a greater risk of depression among men who consumed significant amounts of sugar/ added fructose in their diets.

It is important to note that all/ processed foods have added and hidden amounts of sugar/ fructose.  For example, consumption of processed and fast food – including hamburgers, pizza, and fried foods – was found to be higher in both youngsters and adults with increased rates of depression.

High Sugar/Fructose  Diets and Alzheimer’s Disease

Research over the past few years has created a growing concern over the relationship between Alzheimer’s and high sugar/ fructose diet. 

In this study, researchers compared brain samples of those with and without Alzheimer’s. The researchers found that high sugar diet causes damage to a specific enzyme. This enzyme, called Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF), is partially responsible for the body’s insulin regulation. The researchers noticed that this damage played a role in the progression of Alzheimer’s. The team is now looking at other research possibilities to further prove this link

If you want to think more clearly, to stay motivated or to feel better, cutting sugar/added fructose is important as a part of your wellness program.


best new year resolution from Lincoln,NE dentist

High Sugar Diets and Dental Problems:

Tooth Decay and Periodontal Disease

Every human mouth is filled with good and harmful bacteria. The harmful bacteria are the ones responsible for tooth decay, cavities, and developing gum/periodontal disease. These bacteria feed on sugars. That means that when you consume high levels of fructose, you’re helping sustain the bad bacteria. If this occurs regularly, it can lead to serious tooth decay. In other words, sugar destroys tooth enamel or the outer layer of teeth. Tooth decay can also lead to future dental issues, including gum, or periodontal, disease. Our Lincoln dentist can help you to prevent and treat those dental problems.


Best new Year resolution Lincoln NE dentist

What About High Sugar/ Fructose Diet and Medical Problems? 

Although it’s delicious, high sugar diets/added fructose are responsible for a whole array of problems besides mental health. It’s linked to adverse effects in almost every part of the human body. It has particularly violent effects on the body’s inflammation response. People with diets high in sugar have increased levels of serum CRP, TNF-alpha, proinflammatory growth factors,  body fat, higher BMI, glucose intolerance, insulin sensitivity, and lipoprotein profiles.


best new year resolution from Lincoln,NE dentist

Cardiovascular Disease

Many studies have now confirmed a link between cardiovascular disease and high sugar diets/added fructose intake. One of these studies was a 15-year study conducted by Harvard. Researchers found that participants whose daily high sugar intake accounted for 25% or more of their daily calories were twice as likely to die of heart disease as those whose sugar/added fructose only accounted for 10% of their calories. 


Diabetes is another disease that most people know to be related to high sugar diets/ fructose intake. In the past few years, scientists have shown that this link is much more direct than we had once thought. 

It is important to note that not every person with diabetes has consumed too much sugar/ added fructose. But while that isn’t true, it is true that eating too much sugar can influence the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. That said, we know that eating too much sugar can influence the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.



Most people know that high sugar diets/ added fructose consumption has a lot to do with weight gain. As of this year, 36.5% of US adults are obese, and 70.7% of US adults are overweight. This news came to us in August from the Center for Disease Control. The numbers are quite alarming, putting obesity at an all-time high in America.

Liver Disease

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) affects approximately 30 million US citizens. While sugar consumption isn’t considered “directly related” to this issue, it is a major contributor.

The overconsumption of alcohol sugar causes a buildup of fat cells, which in turn can allow fat cells to build on the liver. Ultimately, this can lead to even more severe liver disease.

More information on negative effects of sugar here:

New Year's Resolution List to six tips for cutting out sugar

Ready to start the best New Year’s resolution? 6 Tips for Cutting Sugar/ Added Fructose from your diet.

Although we know that eating too much sugar is bad for us, cutting it out of our diets can be easier said than done. But don’t worry! We believe that with some practice and hard work, anyone can do it! Here are a few of our best tips for cutting down sugar/added fructose in 2018.

The easiest way to avoid high sugar diet/added fructose is to avoid any processed foods such as breakfast cereals, sauces (including ketchup and pasta sauce), flavored milk, wholemeal bread, and many products labeled as low fat, such as fruit yogurts.

Eating unprocessed and healthy foods is the easiest ways to avoid diets full of sugar/added fructose.


best new year resolution from Lincoln,NE dentist

1. Read Nutrition Labels

Trying to cut out sugar, but not sure where to start? Reading nutrition labels is a good starting point. Practice reading the nutrition labels for everything you buy and consume. If you’ve had trouble cutting out sugar before, this one can be a good New Year’s resolution on its own!

Be aware that most processed foods have added sugar and the names of sugars are often hidden. Most innocent looking foods may have high levels of hidden sugar, particularly fructose.

A good example of hidden sugar on the label of The Cream of Wheat. The amount of sugar is listed as carbohydrates, but most of it is added fructose and the total amount is 54 grams, which makes it an unhealthy breakfast.

best new year resolution from Lincoln NE dentist

It is almost impossible to avoid processed foods with added sugars. Again, the easiest way to reduce sugar intake is to eat fresh, unprocessed foods.

2. Learn the Names of Hidden Sugar

As you read through nutrition labels, you’ll see some recurring ingredients. A few of these are disguised sugars. Things like glucose, dextrose, fructose, corn sweetener/syrup, barley malt, rice syrup, and mean table sugar are all hidden forms of sugar. Look for these on nutrition labels before you buy! 

3. Use The Grocery Store Wisely

Your time at the grocery store is crucial! If you’re careful, you can avoid keeping sugary foods and drinks around the house. In particular, be sure to use the first two tips in conjunction with this one. By spending a little extra time at the grocery store reading nutrition labels and ingredient lists, you can sugar-proof your home! But be sure to buy something healthy and sweet for times when you’re craving something sugary. For instance, keep fresh fruit around the house. Then you can get into the habit of going for an apple, orange, banana, or otherwise instead of ice cream or other sweets!

best new year resolution from Lincoln,NE dentist

4. Set a Limit For Yourself

However, you measure them, setting personal goals or limits for sugar intake can be an effective way to cut out sugar. Many people will only allow themselves a certain amount of sugar per day. This approach requires a few extra moments reading nutrition labels. Try paying attention to the amount of sugar in anything you eat for a week at first, then see how you do!

5. Use Meal-Planning Apps as a Resource

Meal-planning apps can be a great resource, especially for those who are trying to limit sugar intake. Some apps make cutting out sugar easy by giving you the tools to count your consumption on the go. CalorieKing is a great place to start when it comes to nutrition apps and websites.

6. See a Nutritionist or Dietitian

If nothing else, you can always see a nutritionist or dietitian in Lincoln! Sage Nutrition in Lincoln, Nebraska works on nutrition habits, active and mindful living, and more. If you’re curious about their services, give them a call today!

New Year's Resolution List FAQ about cutting Out Sugar banner

Best New Year’s Resolution FAQs on cutting out sugar/added fructose from a diet

How much sugar is in fruit?

Wondering how much sugar there is in your favorite fruit? Well, it depends on what your favorite fruit is. In general, it’s good to keep in mind that fruits do tend to have a high level of natural sugars/fructose. With that being said, below are a few fruits and their average sugar contents per single piece.

Avocado – 1g sugar (And yes, avocados are considered a fruit!)
Apple – 19g sugar
Banana – 14g sugar
Orange – 9g sugar
Pineapple – 89g sugar (16g/cup)
Strawberry – 0.6g sugar


deciding on New Year's Resolution List

How much sugar is too much?

This will vary depending on several factors. For instance, men are typically allotted a little more sugar per day. Based on a 2000 calorie diet, doctors will usually recommend between 23 and 40 grams of sugar per day.


For reference, the average person usually consumes double their daily sugar limit. To truly know how much sugar you should be consuming, we recommend asking a medical professional.

How can I stop sugar cravings?

Ultimately, the best way to stop your sugar cravings is to consume less sugar. Sugarless gum makes a good replacement for sugary foods when you’re feeling the urge. You can also try setting goals for yourself. Keep track of your total sugar each day for a week, and each week reduce that number. That’ll help you cut out sugar in the long run.


New Year's Resolution List : using stevia plant sugar option

What’s the best sugar substitute?

Cutting out sugar often means finding the best sugar substitute. For most, the best sugar substitute is Stevia. It’s made from a plant and doesn’t have any added chemicals. It’s also been known to improve insulin sensitivity. 

How can I lower my blood sugar naturally?

If you are at risk for or have diabetes, you know it can be tough to lower blood sugar naturally. Try filling your diet with high-fiber and high-protein foods. Foods with lots of fiber and protein tend to keep a person’s blood sugar levels down in the long run. You can also try apple cider vinegar to help you feel full and reduce your blood sugar after a meal. However, if you do use apple cider vinegar, we recommend mixing it with some warm water, as it can be very potent on its own.


New Year's Resolution List lose weight

How does sugar make you gain weight?

Most people are aware that sugar makes a person gain weight. Sugar/added fructose is stored as energy or fat in the body’s fat cells. It also affects the way the body releases insulin. When you consume sugar, it causes a drop in blood sugar. As a result, the body craves more sugar, in order to replenish blood sugar.

What does high blood sugar feel like?

High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, has a handful of symptoms. These can include thirstiness, difficulty focusing, fatigue, urinating often, and headaches. Those with diabetes typically use a glucometer to test their levels. However, if you have these symptoms and aren’t diagnosed with diabetes, it’s worth seeing a doctor. High blood sugar impacts the body in a handful of ways. Higher risk of infection, reduced healing, reduced vision, and other, longer-term health effects are possible as a result of chronic high blood sugar.


best new year resolution from Lincoln,NE dentist

Final Word on the Best New Year’s Resolution 

Now that you have some good ideas for this year’s New Year’s resolution list, will cutting out sugar/added fructose make the top? For us, it will. Whatever you decide to add to your New Year’s resolution list, we believe in you. We believe in your success in 2018, and we hope you feel empowered to succeed all year.

Our dental professionals would be happy to visit your business, community group or school with interactive and powerful presentations on improving dental and overall health. Our most popular presentation is Live Longer & Better. 

Contact our community education coordinator at

best new year resolution from your Lincoln, NE dentist

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