Rebecca: Wonderful Dental Hygienist in Lincoln

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Q&A with Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln. 

Our hygienist in Lincon, Rebecca is an integral part of educating patients and helping them to feel comfortable at our office.  Rebecca has many years of experience working in a dental field and loves to educate patients on the relationships between a healthy mouth and the overall health.

Rebecca has answered some of the common questions asked by patients. Those questions often come up during dental exams, and she shares what patients ask dentists often.


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Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln, answers: Do you place amalgam fillings?

Hygienist: No, we don’t. Amalgam fillings can be hard on teeth. Amalgam or silver fillings are made out of metal and conduct heat. As a result, they tend to shrink and expand due to natural changes in temperature that occur inside a person’s mouth. Because of that, silver fillings tend to lead to a big number of cracked teeth. Amalgam fillings also contain 50 % of mercury, which is a risk for overall health.


Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln, answers: Can you have recurrent decay under a filling?

Unfortunately, dental fillings don’t last forever. Over time, fillings often break away slowly, allowing new bacteria to get inside. But we check on this every time someone visits us for an appointment. As long as a person sees a dentist regularly, decay under a filling shouldn’t be an issue. If it is, we’ll let them know and talk about what we can do.

Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln, answers: Are certain teeth more important than others?

H: (laughs) They’re all important! But I should say that six-year molars are the workhorse of our mouths. So they are pretty important.

Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln, answers: What makes six-year molars so important?

H: Six-year molars do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to chewing. They do the vast majority of the mouth’s chewing. It can be very debilitating to lose your six-year molars, and a lot of patients don’t realize that until it’s too late. Luckily we’re able to use crowns to protect them if they develop small cracks or fractures. That allows patients to keep them safe for a longer period of time.

Silver fillings often lead to having a cracked tooth syndrome, which can create tons of a toothache and sensitivity to biting.

Luckily we’re able to use crowns to protect them if they develop small cracks or fractures. That allows patients to keep them safe for a longer period of time.


dental hygienist in Lincoln

Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln, answers: That makes sense. How can you tell if a tooth cracks?

H: Well, there are usually a few signs. Sometimes you can look at a tooth and see the crack. But in many cases the crack won’t be visible to the naked eye, so you have to pay attention to how it feels. If it feels sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, is intermittently painful, or hurts for a split second when you bite down, it might be a cracked tooth.


Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln, answers: A tooth can also crack from grinding and clenching, right?

H: Yeah, that’s definitely possible. Grinding and clenching is called “bruxism,” and it’s really common. Most of the time it’s subconscious. It can definitely grind down or crack your teeth. In some cases of bruxism, we’ll even recommend a night guard for a person’s teeth. While it won’t stop a person from grinding their teeth, it will prevent further wear and tear on teeth and save the investment made on any restorations.


hygienist in Lincoln Rebecca

Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln, answers: How about chewing hard foods or chewing ice? I imagine that can crack a person’s teeth too?

H: Oh, absolutely. We see teeth crack from chewing ice now and again. It puts a lot of extra pressure on our teeth, especially if they have fillings already. When those fillings start to break down or pull away from the tooth, bacteria finds its way inside.


Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln, answers: What is super-eruption, and why should patients know what it is?

H: So our teeth rely on each other for stability and structure. When we lose adjacent teeth, our upper teeth may come down to fill the space of the missing teeth, called “super-eruption.” As a result, the tooth usually becomes sensitive, and ultimately, most people lose their super-erupted teeth. Losing teeth is really dangerous because it can have this type of a chain effect.

Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln, answers: The diet plays a key role in our oral health. What are some other things to supplement your diet that will help your teeth?

H: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and calcium are all crucial for healthy teeth and gums. Vitamin C boosts our natural defenses against bacteria by strengthening our gums and soft tissues. Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium and both strengthen our bones, including our teeth. Those who take Vitamin D on a daily basis are at a much lower risk of periodontal disease.


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Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln, answers: To switch gears a little, I wanted to talk about the major presence of chewing tobacco in Nebraska. As a hygienist in Lincoln, what can you say about chewing tobacco?

H: Chewing tobacco is a big no-no. Chew puts its victims at serious risk of periodontal disease and oral cancer. As a hygienist in Lincoln, I see a lot of people whose teeth are affected by the use of chew. The same goes for e-cigarettes. Both are widely consumed in Nebraska and are associated with serious health problems and a much higher risk of developing gum disease.


Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln, answers: How can you find oral cancer? I wouldn’t know where to start.

H: Oral cancer is most commonly found on the underside of a person’s tongue or the back of the throat.

Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln answers: In dentistry, it can be tempting to talk about the negative factors on a person’s oral health. On the flip side, what are some of the more positive things you can do for your teeth?

H: Well obviously brushing and flossing should be a regular part of a person’s routine. Frequent dental visits should too. Probiotics are also an easy way to help your oral health flourish. At all times, our mouths are full of good and bad bacteria. Consuming probiotics increases the good bacteria in our mouths, which fight off the bad bacteria. They also decrease overall inflammation in our body Being a hygienist in Lincoln allows me to talk to tons of people about the positive and proactive side of dentistry.

Check out healthy tips for overall Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle from Nebraska Family Dentistry 


hygienist in Lincoln

Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln, answers: Maybe it goes without saying, but how do you feel about pop?

H: Pop is a really easy source of sugar. It’s loaded with sugar and will take a toll on your teeth. Any type of pop is harsh on our teeth and overall health due to the high amounts of acid. If you have a glass of pop, it’s better to drink it quickly and to drink water after you’re finished. It’s even advisable to brush your teeth soon after drinking pop. As for overall health, it is better to stop drinking it all together.



Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln, answers: What’s the best way to treat cold sores and canker sores?

H: Cold sores and canker sores are different enough from each other. Cold sores are often caused in part by a weakened immune system. Eating a diet full of vegetables can offer your body the required vitamins and minerals. Using Vitamin C and probiotics daily can decrease the likelihood of both cold sores and canker sores.


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Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln, answers: What is TMD and how can someone treat a TMJ issue?

H: TMD stands for Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, and it just means that the Temporomandibular Joint, or the jaw, isn’t functioning correctly. Treating TMJ can be relatively straight-forward. The main things are being sure to take ibuprofen, sticking to chewy foods for 3-5 days, and considering a night guard if you suffer from bruxism.

Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln, answers: What’s the best way to treat sensitive teeth?

H: Sensitive teeth are super common. We usually recommend simply using a soft toothbrush in conjunction with a fluoride-rich toothpaste.


Rebecca, Our Hygienist in Lincoln, answers: Last but not least, who is your favorite cartoon character?

H: Mickey Mouse. You can’t really go wrong with the classics.

Southpointe dental is a dental practice in South Lincoln, Nebraska. This is our health blog for wellness tips, dental secrets, and surprise goodies. Be sure to follow along here, or check out the Nebraska Family Dentistry Wellness Blog here. You can reach the editor with story ideas, responses, or anything else at



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How Does a Night Guard Work?

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How Does a Night Guard Work?

Comfortable Night Guard

A night guard is a removable mouth guard, custom made to fit the wearer. It is a plastic device that fits both the top and bottom teeth to prevent them grinding against each other.

Night guards are most commonly worn during the night, but they also can be worn during the day. Night guards not only allow free motion and relieve tension in the face muscles, but they equilibrate the bite.

Night guards are designed to be comfortable and allow for normal breathing. They are available in different shapes, materials, and sizes, and you and the dentist will determine which type best fits your needs.

Night guards makes a huge difference in the quality of sleep a person is getting and in their overall health.

Night guards are worn in order to:

  • Keep the teeth from wearing down.
  • If you grind your teeth while sleeping, consider wearing a night guard in order to avoid cracking your teeth, wearing them down, or causing gum recession.
  • Improve breathing. A night guard is helpful in opening the airway, so it improves breathing and reduces snoring during sleep.
  • Eliminate or reduce jaw pain.
  • A night guard relaxes your face muscles so that their are less muscle contractions.
  • The night guard creates a space between the top and bottom teeth so that tension in the jaw is minimized and the threat of TMJ disorder is stymied.
  • Reduce popping and clicking of the jaw. The popping and clicking that occurs in the jaw can be reduced by wearing a night guard.
    TMJ therapy.
  • If you do have this jaw disorder, using a night guard will help keep the mouth slightly open so that the jaw is not locked up. A reduced opening of the jaw is caused by muscle spasms, and this in turn causes jaw discomfort and pain.
  • Protect the teeth during sport activities.
  • Night guards are helpful during sports activities because they prevent the teeth from grinding and clenching together.
  • Reduce stress.
  • A night guard is useful when stress causes you to clench and grind your teeth. In this way, night guards can be needed when driving a car, having problems at work, or really anytime you experience a lot of tension.


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    Nebraska Family Dentistry has multiple locations!
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Night Guard

Do you grind your teeth? You may need a night guard.

night guard Lincoln nebraska dentistBruxism is the grinding of the teeth. Many people have this problem. Usually, teeth grinding occurs during the early part of the night and can disturb sleeping partners. Bruxism can be mild or severe.

It can also be solely occasional or maybe very frequent. When people grind their teeth, they most likely wake up with headaches, earaches, or toothaches. This problem not only causes pain and irritation in the mouth, but it can also do substantial damage to the natural teeth or dental restoration.

In the worst case scenario, a person develops Tempormandibular Joint Disorder, which affects the lower jaw that is connected to the bone at the side of the head. In these cases, a night guard is a good way to prevent damaging your teeth or developing dental disorders.

Checking the Symptoms of Bruxism

When a person has Bruxism, they are grinding or clenching their teeth unconsciously. There are cases where it is evident during the daytime, but usually teeth grinding is occurring at night when the person is sleeping.

So many times a person is not aware of the fact that they are grinding their teeth. To help in determining whether or not you have Bruxism, consider if you experience the following symptoms when you wake up:

  • Dull headache or migraine
  • Earaches
  • Sore jaws
  • Any tooth sensitivity, like to temperature or when brushing
  • Sores inside the mouth
  • Inflammed gums
  • jaw pain
  • neck or shoulder pain
  • Dizziness

There Are Several Types of Night Guards:

  • Full and Partial Coverage

A full coverage night guard covers the entire upper and lower rows of teeth. This night guard will not modify a person’s bite, but they do protect the patient’s teeth from grinding. This night guard is the safest and most conservative, which makes it the most common.

A partial coverage night guard covers only some of the teeth, the ones that cause the problem. A partial night guard with reduce jaw clenching and teeth grinding, but it can modify your bite.

  • Soft and Hard

Most night guards are made of a hard heat-cured material of acrylic, which helps the mouth guard retain it shape and prevents the teeth from changing it. It is very durable, and it works perfectly for those who suffer from heavy teeth grinding and jaw clenching.

A different night guard is softer, and it is made of a thick poly-vinyl material. These night guards can be more comfortable. They are given to those patients who suffer only slightly from bruxism. Because they do not need an intensive solution, the soft protection is sufficient to solve their problem and to protect their teeth structure.

Also, if a person solely suffers from teeth clenching and does not suffer from teeth grinding, a soft night guard works best for them. The soft material works well to reduce the clenching force.

  • Repositioning Your Bite

Some night guards are designed to help a patient with their bite. These night guards can be either partial or full. To begin with, they are fitted to the patient’s teeth, and then they are gradually altered to move the teeth in a specific way.

  • Taking Care of Your Night Guard

After use, it is good to rinse your night guard with cool water. Once a week, a toothbrush and toothpaste should be used to give your night guard a deeper cleaning. Before putting away your night guard in its container, be sure to dry it thoroughly so that bacteria is prevented from growing.

Also, the container in which the night guard is kept should be cleaned with soap and water once a week. Your night guard should be taken to your dentist during your check-ups to ensure that it continues to work properly.

What is the cost of a night guard?

We make night guards at our office and charge $75 for a custom made, soft night guard. Call us or use online scheduling form to schedule your appointment. We make affordable night guards in Lincoln, Nebraska.


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