General Dentistry

Healthy Smiles for the Whole Family

At Neighborhood Smiles, our primary goal is to make sure all of our patients and their families’ smiles are happy and healthy. This means providing quality general dentistry services including teeth cleanings, regular exams and x-rays, patient education, and more. It is routine preventive care – your regular cleanings and exams – that is so important in preventing disease and decay, and catching any potential problems before they progress.

Take the first step toward a healthier smile and schedule a visit with your La Crosse dentists today!

Oral Hygiene

If you’ve ever been to the dentist (we hope you have), you’ve heard it time and time again…”Have you been flossing regularly?” While it may seem like beating a dead horse, we only stress flossing and oral hygiene so much because it really is the most important factor when it comes to your oral health.

Here’s some advice straight from the oral health professionals at Neighborhood Smiles on how to keep your mouth clean and healthy at home:

  1. Brush at least twice a day, ideally after eating or drinking. We recommend an electric toothbrush (Sonicare® is most recommended by dentists). Make sure to reach all the way to the back and brush the tongue.
  2. Floss every day, before your nightly brushing to remove plaque between teeth. Floss first, then brush to remove particles left behind.
  3. Rinse with mouth wash daily after you brush to kill more germs and bacteria, prevent gum disease, and promote fresh breath.
  4. Rinse with water after eating and drinking (when brushing is not available) to reduce plaque and decay by minimizing the time sugar and acid has in contact with your teeth.
  5. Eat a healthy balanced diet. A healthy diet for your teeth is similar to a healthy diet for your body. You should minimize sugar intake and highly acidic foods and drinks.

While we’re sure you’re doing your best at following our oral homecare tips above, you still need to visit your La Crosse dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. Our hygiene team has the tools and expertise to get into those hard-to-reach places and remove any plaque or tartar you’ve left behind. Not to mention a gentle, caring touch that will leave you with that fresh-from-the-dentist clean feeling, without the sore gums.

Tooth Colored Fillings

While we do our best to educate our patients and empower them to take an active role in their oral health, we realize that we’re all human, and sometimes things happen. Even we forget to floss sometimes (shh, don’t tell anyone). So if we do happen to find a cavity, don’t worry, we can fill the cavity and restore the tooth to health with a simple tooth colored filling.

Modern tooth colored fillings are a huge improvement from the metal fillings of the past. You remember – you may even still have some lurking in your mouth from dental works past. Metal fillings are not only an eye sore, but they are relatively unstable with changes in temperature, causing them to crack and break. And with trace amounts of mercury, they are potentially toxic to the human body. Tooth colored fillings are safe, stable, and blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth.

Don’t wait for decay to get worse. If you need a cavity filled, come see us at Neighborhood Smiles in La Crosse today!

Gum Disease

Did you know that nearly half of the American adult population suffers from gum disease, or that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults? Did you know that left untreated, gum disease can greatly increase your risk for serious systemic diseases like heart disease, lung disease, stroke and diabetes?

At Neighborhood Smiles, our skilled and trained staff along with dentists Dr. Carolyn Giannelli and Dr. Tim Matthews will help educate and help you towards improving the health of your gums to prevent gum disease. Please schedule an appointment if your gums are sensitive and bleeding during regular brushing and flossing, you should come see us right away before the problem gets worse.

Oral Cancer Screenings

As your oral health advisors, one of our most important jobs is to provide regular oral cancer screenings for our patients. Oral cancer is one of the only types of cancer that is increasing in the United States, and is our job to look out for abnormalities that may be potential signs.

Signs of oral cancer include (can be found on the lips, cheeks, tongue, gums, throat, or any surface of the mouth):

  • Swelling, thickening, lumps, rough spots, crusting, or erosion
  • Velvety white, red, or speckled patches
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Numbness or loss of feeling
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Persistent sores
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, change in voice
  • Ear pain

Risk factors for developing oral cancer include:

  • Smoking – Smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers
  • Chewing – Patients who dip, snuff, or chew are 50 times more likely to develop oral cancer
  • Alcohol – Oral cancer is six times more common in drinkers than non-drinkers
  • Family history of cancer
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • HPV

Detection of oral cancer in the early stages greatly increases patients’ chance at survival and recovery. If you fall into any of the above high risk categories or have noticed any of the above signs or symptoms, you should come see us right away for an oral cancer screening. It might just save your life.

Mouth Guards & Night Guards

If you or your little one is involved in any sort of contact sports, we highly recommend a custom mouth guard to protect them against oral injuries and concussions. While you can buy stock mouth guards from any sporting goods store, only a custom mouth guard from your trusted dentists in La Crosse offers the best, most comfortable fit (so they’ll actually wear it) and the highest level of protection against oral injuries, tooth loss, and concussions.

If you are a patient that clenches and grinds your teeth, we also offer custom night guards to help minimize damage to teeth, reduce stress on the TMJ, and prevent head and neck pain.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about our services at Neighborhood Smiles, or would like to schedule an appointment with your La Crosse dentists, Dr. Carolyn Giannelli and Dr. Tim Matthews, give us a call today at (608) 788-6939 or request an appointment online!