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Foods That Cause Tooth Decay | November 2019

When it comes to tooth decay, it’s important to know the main culprit – acid. 
Acid is what eats away at our enamel and causes cavities.
Acid can enter our mouths in one of two ways: either directly through what we eat 
(citrus fruits) or as a byproduct when oral bacteria consume the sugars that we eat.
Ultimately, a simple way to identify foods that cause tooth decay is to ask whether it’s acidic or sweet/starchy
Acidic foods include things like citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar, kombucha and sour candy.
Sweet/starchy foods include things like candy, soda or sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit, bread, cereal, pasta and crackers.
The longer these things interact with your teeth, the greater the chance for tooth decay to occur.
For example, sipping on soda throughout the day, or chewing a gooey caramel treat, increases the amount of sugar that coat your teeth. Bacteria love to feast on this sugar, creating an acidic environment and putting your teeth at risk for decay.
Conditions such as gastric reflux or bulimia can also create an acidic environment in the mouth which can be extremely destructive to tooth enamel contributing to tooth abrasion and wear.
To help protect your teeth against tooth decay:
- Reduce your consumption of sweets and refined starches
- Enjoy acidic foods in moderation or as part of a meal
- Decrease or eliminate your consumption of soda or sugar-sweetened beverages
- Swish with water after meals and snacks
- Maintain good oral hygiene to brush away plaque buildup (floss at least once a day
- and brush twice a day)
- -See your physician if you suffer gastric reflux or bulimia.
And, as always, make sure to visit us regularly so we can remove tartar buildup and assess for early signs of decay.  https://rwl.io/2iVBcfy
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies | October 2019

Let’s say you sprained an ankle. What are your first steps? Most of us probably would say something along the lines of plop down on the nearest couch, ice the ankle, elevate it, add some compression, and see a doctor if it’s a bad sprain.
But what about a dental  emergency, like a broken tooth? What’s your first step?
Don’t be surprised if you don’t know. Most of us aren’t that familiar with the recommendations. But after this post, you’ll be the go-to source if it happens.
So What, Exactly, is a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is any event that warrants immediate care to save a tooth, stop bleeding from the mouth, or relieve tooth or mouth pain. Some of the most common examples we see at Madsen & Hirsch Dental Care include a cracked or knocked-out tooth or a toothache.
Tips for Treating Common Dental Emergencies
We see our fair share of dental emergencies here in Madison, WI and we’re equipped to handle them all.
If you or a family member experiences any of these, call us as soon as possible, and we’ll let you know if you’ll need to see us.
Knocked-out tooth
For adults, place the tooth in the socket without touching the root; if that’s not possible, place the tooth between your check and gums, in milk, or in ADA-approved tooth-preservation solution. It’s crucial to keep the tooth wet.
For children with baby teeth, come to our office as soon as possible; do not try to place the tooth in the socket.
Cracked tooth
Rinse your mouth, and place an ice pack on your face to reduce the swelling. Wrap the tooth piece that has fractured off in wet gauze or a towel, and bring it to the office.
Use warm water to rinse your mouth, and gently floss to remove any food.
If you note any facial swelling (which may signal infection), come to our office or your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Bitten Tongue or Lip
Clean the area with a cloth, or rinse your mouth with water. Apply an ice pack to the area. If the bleeding doesn’t slow, come to our office or go to the ER.
Tips for Preventing Emergencies
Taking the right measures can keep your teeth safe. Here are a few easy precautions you and your family can take each day:
Use scissors or a tool, rather than your teeth, to open or cut items
Wear a mouth guard when playing high-impact sports, like football, basketball, and soccer
Wear a helmet when using a bike, scooter, or skateboard
Never chew hard foods, like ice and hard candy
Help young children keep toys and small items out of their mouths
Need More Information?
Give us a call or send us an email. Everyone at Madsen & Hirsch Dental Care is happy to answer any questions you have!

Get to Know Our Team | September 2019

We have had some exciting additions to our team the last few months and wanted to give our friends and clients a little more information about our new staff members.

Here at Madsen and Hirsch Dental Care, we carefully screen our new members to make sure they are caring, empathetic individuals who support our mission of providing high quality dental care in a caring, family like atmosphere.



Many of you have already met Kristin, our patient care coordinator and business assistant. She is that smiling friendly face you meet when you enter the office. She is always ready to help and assist you with billing and insurance concerns, appointments, and promoting great oral health. She is a Sun Prairie native, graduate from UW-Stevens Point with a B.A. in Communications. Did you know that Kristin is also a 3rd degree black belt? She also is a pickle enthusiast, cat lover, and her favorite move is “Labryrinth”.






Jaylyn is a new full time dental assistant.  She grew up in Arkansas and Wisconsin.  She currently resides in Portage where she just recently purchased her first home with her husband.  Jaylyn has a couple of years of experience in the dental field and is ready to learn even more here at Madsen and Hirsch Dental Care.  She is also an animal lover with her two Chihuahuas and a cat.  Jaylyn is quite an athlete in that she played softball for 8 years, used to run cross country and track, played soccer, basketball, and was a cheerleader.  She now enjoys derby car racing, snowmobiling, boating, jet skiing, fishing and riding motorcycles.





Rachel is a native Wisconsin gal who is currently living in Sun Prairie.  She is also a dental assistant.  Rachel has had dental assistant training but now gets to put her training to use here at Madsen and Hirsch Dental Care.  Rachel is a first time mom to a sweet baby girl born just this past May. She also has two dogs, Remi and Ella.  Rachel has traveled to 10 different countries.  Her favorite was Switzerland.  She loves to read and is looking forward to expanding her knowledge and skills in dentistry.


We are happy and excited to have these team members join us to provide a comfortable and high quality experience for our friends and clients.  We hope that you will welcome them and find them to be of great help and comfort as you visit our office for your dental needs.



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Do You Suffer from Bad Breath? | August 2019

… you wake up in the morning to sun shining, birds chirping and happily lean over to your significant other to say hello! Instead you are greeted by the horrible smell of morning breath. Or maybe you run into friends after work and suddenly become conscious of that bad taste in your mouth. We’ve all been there! Unfortunately, bouts of halitosis, or bad breath, are pretty much inevitable. Today we’re going to explain why that is, what causes that nasty smell and what you can do to keep bad breath at bay!
It All Starts With Bacteria
We’re not the only ones who need to eat to stay alive, so do the bacteria living in our mouths. When they snack on whatever’s left behind from our last meal, they release foul-smelling odors as a by-product, causing bad breath.
What you can do: Clean your teeth after every meal! Brush, floss and pop in a piece of sugar-free gum for good measure. This will eliminate food debris and bacteria from your mouth and prevent bad breath. A clean mouth is a fresh mouth!  Watch here to find all about bad breath:
Choose Breath-Friendly Foods and Beverages
Keep in mind that certain foods and beverages can make bad breath more likely, such as sugary foods and drinks, garlic, onions, coffee, and alcohol.
What you can do: Choose breath-friendly foods and beverages! Water washes away food debris and increases saliva flow in your mouth, protecting your teeth and mouth from bacteria. Healthy food choices such as carrots, celery and apples are high in water content and actually work as a natural toothbrush, scrubbing plaque bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth.
Good Oral Hygiene Can Reduce Morning Breath
Morning breath seems to be an especially pungent offender. Why is this? It’s mainly because of dry mouth. During the day, saliva works to wash away food debris and keep bacteria in check. When we sleep at night, however, our saliva production goes down, causing our mouths to become dry and allowing bacteria to proliferate. If you sleep with your mouth open, it can be even worse.  
What you can do: To make your morning breath less offensive, follow a good oral hygiene regimen. By brushing and flossing your teeth before bed, you’re giving bacteria less food to munch on, which will help your breath be better in the morning.
In addition, we highly recommend cleaning your tongue by either brushing it or using a tongue scraper, since this is where most bad breath-causing bacteria are found. Another tip is to keep water by your bedside. When you wake up at night, take a drink! Keeping your mouth moist will combat the spread of those smelly bacteria.
We’re here for you.
For the most part, bad breath is manageable. If you feel that your halitosis is severe and doesn’t get better when you follow the steps above, it can be a sign of something more serious such as gum disease, or decayed teeth.  Diabetes, sinus problems, gastric reflux or liver or kidney disease can also be factors. If this is the case, come in to see us so we can address the issue and find the proper solution. We are here to serve you!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


What Causes Tooth Discoloration? | July 2019

Ever look at a photo of yourself from only a few years ago and ask yourself, “Huh, were my teeth looking a bit brighter and lighter back then?” We definitely do. 
Coffee and red wine usually get the blame for teeth discoloration, but several other causes may be the culprit. 
Common Reasons for Tooth Discoloration
• Spotty Dental Routine
We’re definitely a little biased at Madsen & Hirsch Dental Care. But if you don’t brush and floss regularly, plaque can harden into tartar, leaving a yellow-brown color along your gums.
• Diet
Some of the foods we hold dearest to our heart, at least at Madsen & Hirsch Dental Care — like coffee on a Monday morning or an apple on a crisp, cool day — can stain our teeth. Besides coffee and red
wine, a few of the top offenders include tea, berries, grapes, tomato and soy sauces, soda, dark
juices, and white wine.
• Tobacco Use
Smoking and chewing tobacco can cause a slew of health issues, the least worrisome of which is
yellow teeth. That said, it’s one of the most common aesthetic complaints among tobacco users.
• Too Much Fluoride
Fluoride is a good thing, but like all good things, too much of it isn’t recommended. Consuming too
much of it, like in tap water in from natural fluoride deposits in wells when one is developing their permanent teeth, can leave streaks across or a brown outline on your teeth.
• Enamel Decay
Enamel is that hard shell that protects the inside of your tooth. But if it decays or doesn’t fully
develop, you may see a variety of stains and changes, including pits, white spots, or yellow-brown
streaks. If you suspect decay, schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible.
• Tooth Wear
As we age and if we grind and clench our teeth, the outer enamel wears away or thins which results in the next layer of teeth-the dentin- showing through.  Dentin is more yellowish in color.
What Helps Prevent Stains
Pardon our sounding like a broken record, but generally, the one great way to prevent teeth
discoloration is to take exquisite care of your teeth and your health. Here are some of our favorite
measures you can take right away to keep your teeth bright:
• Brush after eating or drinking
• Floss daily
• Pass on the sugary foods and drinks
• Add calcium to your diet
• Nix any tobacco use
• See us here at Madsen & Hirsch Dental Care on a regular basis.
We Can Help, Too
If you need some help adding more sparkle to your smile, we’re here for you, too. We offer a
number of whitening services, including in office Zoom Whitening and take home whitening.  Give us a call to learn more or to schedule your appointment!



Toothache! Now What! | June 2019

You’re at work, out of town, or just enjoying your weekend, and then you start feeling that low grade throbbing coming from your mouth.  Or maybe you wince at that sharp pain coming from your tooth when you drink your coffee or enjoy a cold drink.  You might bite into something and suddenly feel that piece of tooth that broke off, and then feel the pain.  Worst case scenario is when your face starts to puff up and you feel feverish, and then you know you are in trouble.

In all these cases, the best thing you can do is contact Madsen & Hirsch Dental Care immediately.  The dentist can determine whether you need to be seen right away or if your situation can be managed with antibiotics and over the counter pain relievers until you can get in to the office.  What you should not do is ignore the situation because in most cases this will lead to more extensive treatment or the loss of your tooth.

Here at Madsen & Hirsch Dental Care, our goal is to encourage preventive dental care so situations like this can be avoided.  With regular check -ups and having treatment done early, it becomes a lot easier to avoid painful and unexpected emergencies.   Sometimes people avoid the dentist because they are fearful or anxious.  If this is you, we are happy to work with you at your pace to make you comfortable, and have the availability of “sedation dentistry” to make you feel relaxed and secure while you have your needed dental work completed. 

Sometimes people avoid the dentist because it “costs too much.”   Dentistry can become expensive when it becomes an emergency situation.  Regular checkups and maintenance of your oral health can actually be quite cost effective when done preventively.  Many recent studies have proven that there is a link between your general health and the health of your teeth, so good dental care is a great investment.  Here at Madsen & Hirsch Dental Care, we will work with you to find the most affordable option for your situation.

So you have determined that you do have a dental emergency and you can’t get a hold of the dentist.  Maybe you are out of town or just unable to contact the dentist.  What do you do?

  • Keep the area as clean as possible.  Use a room temperature or slightly warm rinse to rinse away food debris.
  • If the tooth has broken and sensitive, you can use a product from a drugstore for a temporary filling but make sure the tooth is clean before using this.
  • Rinse with a solution of 1 Tablespoon of salt with warm or hot water especially if there is any sign of swelling.
  • Soaking a cotton ball or cotton swab (Q-Tip) in any of these extracts (vanilla, almond, peppermint, or lemon) will provide temporary pain relief to an aching tooth or mouth. Simply hold the extract-soaked cotton to the pained area for a short period of time.
  • Holding a warm tea bag to the area for short periods of time may also provide some relief.
  • Clove oil on a cotton swab or use of raw cloves are also effective home remedies for a toothache if applied properly. All you need to do is to take a few cloves and keep them in your mouth for some time such that it gets moistened and releases the oil upon bruising by your non-paining molars. Once it is done, all you need to do is to hold the moistened cloves against your painful or sore tooth for at least half an hour. You will then get relief.


These measures are all meant to be very temporary remedies until you can get to the dentist as soon as possible. 

The content on this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions