Dentist Blog

Posts for category: Oral Care

By Mark Makela D.D.S., PC
June 09, 2020
Category: Oral Care
Tags: oral health  

Keeping healthy teeth and gums takes a lifetime of care. One of the most important things you can do to maintain good oral health is to have a balanced diet. Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all of the food groups promotes healthy teeth and gums. Dr. Mark Makela in Petoskey, MI, focuses on teaching his patients how they can better take care of their dental health through preventative measures and good choices. If you are looking for a dentist in Petoskey, MI, consider Dr. Makela and his professional staff to you. Read on to learn more about nutrition and how it can help your oral health.

How Specific Foods Can Help With Your Oral Health

Nutrition is key when you want to live a happy and healthy lifestyle, it is also just as important for your oral health, eating a balanced and diversified diet is one of the best ways to take care of your teeth. Your diet should consist of a nutrient-rich variety of foods. High protein and calcium rich foods are essential along with foods that contain phosphorus and vitamin C.

  • Vitamin C containing foods: citrus fruits and veggies
  • Phosphorus containing foods: nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy and some lean meats
  • Calcium-rich foods: yogurt, milk and cheese are good staples to start with as well as soy products for those that are lactose intolerant

Foods You Should Avoid

Just as important is to avoid foods that may damage your teeth, such as sticky and overly sugary candies that can remain on your smile, feeding the bacteria and allowing it to thrive. Other foods to avoid include highly acidic and sugary soft drinks.

Learn More About Nutrition From Experts Near You

A healthy diet can be extraordinarily helpful to your health and well being. It can help you feel better, perform better, and maintain healthy teeth as well. If you would like to learn more about how nutrition can benefit your health, and you are looking for a comprehensive dentist in Petoskey, MI, call our office at (231) 347-2511 to set up an appointment with Dr. Makela today!

By Mark Makela D.D.S., PC
February 24, 2020
Category: Oral Care
Tags: Preventive Care  

Preventive care should be a important part of your dental routine. Preventive care involves regular visits with the dentist for an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning. Incorporating these things in your routine can help prevent various oral health concerns, such as cavities or gum disease. Dr. Mark Makela, the skilled dentist at our office in Petoskey, MI, can help you maintain optimal oral health through preventive dental care.

What is Preventive Dental Care?

Preventive dental care emphasizes the prevention of oral health problems that commonly affect many people. The goal is to prevent cavities, gum disease, and other issues from developing. The best way to prevent problems is by developing effective oral hygiene habits at home and visiting the dentist at our office in Petoskey regularly. Regular dental visits allow the dentist to identify potential problems early on so they can be addressed right away. Additionally, professional dental cleanings remove tartar buildup, which cannot be cleared away by brushing.

Developing Effective Oral Hygiene Habits at Home

In addition to regular dental checkups, there are many things you can do at home to maintain optimal oral health. Developing effective habits at home helps reduce the number of potential oral health issues needing to be addressed during dental visits. Examples of habits that can lead to a healthier mouth include:

  • Brush twice per day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste
  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles to gently brush the teeth
  • Floss between teeth daily
  • Limit sugary items in the diet
  • Avoid using tobacco products

It is extremely important to use a toothpaste with fluoride to prevent cavities from developing. Limiting consumption of sugary foods and drinks is also helpful for reducing cavities. Additionally, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brushing gently ensures you are not being too abrasive, which can slowly erode tooth enamel over time. Brushing too vigorously can also lead to receding gums. Finally, tobacco users are more likely to develop gum disease, which can ultimately lead to tooth loss. Avoiding the use of tobacco products can lead to a healthier mouth.

The importance of preventive care to your oral health cannot be emphasized enough. By preventing common oral health problems from developing, or catching them early, preventive care helps you maintain healthier teeth and gums. To schedule an oral exam with Dr. Makela, our experienced dentist, call our office in Petoskey, MI, at (231) 347-2511.

By Mark Makela D.D.S., PC
July 16, 2019
Category: Oral Care
Tags: Filling  

Zing! You feel a shot of pain when you drink something cold. Dental sensitivity is not normal. In fact, it often indicates the presence of dental decay. Dr. Mark Makela,your dentist in Petoskey, offers tooth-colored fillings to repair cavities and restore your tooth to optimal health and appearance. Today's fillings are realistic and durable. Best of all, they stop decay in its tracks.

Where does tooth decay occur?

Unfortunately, it happens both in baby teeth and adult teeth. While grooved molars and pre-molars at the back of the mouth decay more easily, front teeth can, too. Food residues (plaque and tartar) collect and degrade chewing surfaces, exposed tooth roots and interdental spaces.

Signs you need a filling

Dental sensitivity to sugar, heat, and cold is probably the number one sign. A toothache is another indicator, as well as:

  • A noticeable dark or rough spot on your tooth
  • A lost or chipped filling
  • Frayed strand floss when you're doing your daily hygiene
  • The texture or shape of your tooth looks or feels different

Additionally, your dentist in Petoskey can see and feel a cavity on oral examination and through digital X-ray imaging.

Treating tooth decay

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends several ways to ward off tooth decay:

  1. Make sure your daily diet is low in carbohydrates and processed sugars.
  2. Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  3. Floss around your teeth daily.
  4. Stay well-hydrated.
  5. See Dr. Makela every six months for a hygienic cleaning and comprehensive oral examination.

In essence, prevention of tooth decay is the best possible treatment. However, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research states that cavities remain the common chronic oral health problem in the United States.

So, Dr. Makela stays up to date on the latest treatment techniques. He uses quality filling materials to restore areas of decay. While some cavities may require metal amalgam, composite resin is appropriate for most situations. Composite resin is a tooth-colored mix of glass and plastic. It bonds directly to tooth enamel and requires less enamel reduction than amalgam.

Porcelain inlays or onlays--also called partial crowns--are ceramic fillings which repair larger cavities or replace multiple fillings. Glass ionomer is another modern material which delivers fluoride along with remaking and strengthening areas of decay on the tongue- or cheek-side of teeth.

Do you need a filling?

Only your dentist, Dr. Mark Makela, can tell you for certain whether you need a filling. Be sure to keep all your routine exam and cleaning appointments, and if you suspect any problem, please call our office in Petoskey, MI, right away at (231) 347-2511.

By Mark Makela D.D.S., PC
May 04, 2017
Category: Oral Care
Tags: Hygiene  

Are You Keeping Good Oral Hygiene Habits?


Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping the teeth and mouth clean to prevent dental problems. An effective dental hygiene routine is essential to avoid gum disease and preventing tooth decay. Dr. Mark Makela in Petoskey, MI offers a full range of dental services. Here are six habits to keep if you want to keep your smile healthy.

1. Daily Brushing

Brushing your teeth is an important part of your dental hygiene routine because it helps remove plaque and the food particles that bacteria feed on. For a healthy smile, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste. Don't brush your teeth more than three times a day. Brushing your teeth too much can wear down the enamel on your teeth.

2. Daily Flossing

Clean between your teeth at least once a day using an interdental cleaner. You can use dental floss or another product made for this purpose like floss picks, pre-threaded flossers, or interdental brushes that reach between the teeth. Flossing every day removes plaque and other debris that brushing alone does not reach.

3. Rinse Your Mouth

Using mouthwash can make a positive impact on oral health, so you should consider adding it to your dental hygiene routine. Mouthwashes are used to help prevent cavities, reduce plaque, freshen breath, kill germs, and prevent periodontal disease. A mouthwash does not replace the need for flossing and brushing.

4. Visit The Dentist

To maintain good dental health, the ADA recommends regular dental visits, at intervals determined by a dentist. Spend some quality time with your dentist and you will catch problems such as periodontal disease, cavities, or oral cancer at an early stage when they're treatable.

5. Get a Teeth Cleaning

Visit your dentist every six months for a professional dental cleaning. A dental cleaning removes the plaque and tartar buildup that regular flossing and brushing misses. Tartar is porous and rough and can lead to gum recession and gum disease. The only way to remove tartar is to see a dentist for a professional dental cleaning.

Regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy gums and teeth. To keep your oral health on track, call our office at 231-347-2511 to schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Mark Makela in Petoskey, MI. Regular visits to your dentist will get you on the road to good oral health. Remember, a healthy smile is a beautiful smile.