Category Archives: Dr. Jim’s Blog

Take care of your smile during the holidays

With two convenient locations to serve you, Fulmer Dentistry can help you take care of your smile during holidays.  Located in Kenosha and in Paddock Lake, we are close enough to serve you quickly and get you on your way to finish up that all-important holiday shopping.

For over 30 years, Dr. Fulmer has been helping Kenoshans with all of their dental care needs. “It is especially important during the holiday season for people to remember the essentials of good oral health,” he said. “Whether you are looking to get your teeth whitened or just want to schedule a routine checkup, so that your holiday celebrations will not be interrupted by dental issues, we are anxious to help you concentrate on smiling and laughing with your family.”

Dr. Fulmer’s staff will be happy to make your appointment for a routine cleaning.  In that visit, we will double-check to be sure you don’t have any cavities that might take the enjoyment out of your holidays.  We will remove built-up plaque and partially remove surface stains. We will apply a fluoride treatment and perform x-rays that Dr. Fulmer feels are necessary to ensure that you will not be bothered by unanticipated toothaches or other issues.

During your routine dental appointment, as a part of your regular dental hygiene plan, we will also check for cracked or damaged teeth and bleeding gums. This will prevent bad breath from becoming an issue and will help you avoid more serious oral health issues down the road.

It is easy during the holidays to break some rules as they relate to diet. This is true for food items relating to oral health as well. “Having a Christmas cookie with your kids once in awhile is not going to hurt you too much (from a dental perspective),” Dr. Fulmer said. “As long as you are committed to a program of daily tooth care and maintenance, you can go ahead and enjoy the holidays.” He did suggest trying to substitute sugarless treats and to avoid soda or coffee when possible. “You would be surprised how many great holiday treats there are that are not detrimental to your oral health.”

If you are looking to have a teeth whitening service performed before the holidays, it is important to call today to make an appointment. Kenosha residents know the value of a bright smile when meeting people over the holidays. That smile makes a lasting impression and gives you confidence during this season of parties and family gatherings.

Fulmer Dentistry offers an in-office bleaching service that usually requires just one appointment. Unlike treatments you might be tempted to perform at home, Fulmer Dentistry’s in-office whitening procedure uses a stronger agent to color the teeth. We are experts at using this more effective method which, if not applied professionally, runs the risk of damaging the teeth, gums or other areas of the mouth.

“It’s vitally important that the procedure not harm existing tooth enamel,” Dr. Fulmer stated. “I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. You can be confident that my experience will give you the professional care you expect and protect you from more expensive and potentially painful problems later on.”

In-office whitening also allows Fulmer Dentistry to isolate and treat, where necessary, areas of greater tooth sensitivity. “Our goal is to give you the whitest teeth possible,” Dr. Fulmer said. “The procedure should be virtually painless. It’s remarkable what a difference whiter teeth can make to a person’s outlook.”

During this holiday season, don’t overlook the important role healthy teeth play in making your holidays bright. At Fulmer Dentistry, our great staff is eager to help you celebrate. Contact us today for your pre-holiday appointment.

October: National Dental Hygiene Month

National Dental Hygiene Month

October has been proclaimed “National Dental Hygiene Month” by the American Dental Hygienists Association.

Here in Kenosha and in Paddock Lake, Fulmer Dentistry is promoting good dental hygiene as the most effective way for their patients to keep their teeth healthy and their smiles bright.

“A routine that is built around regular brushing and flossing is key to good dental health,” said Dr. Jim Fulmer. “Brushing for two minutes, twice a day, is a great way to reduce the potential for tooth decay, gingivitis and other dental-related diseases.”

Fulmer suggested that proper brushing technique can make a world of difference in keeping teeth healthy and clean. He said a proper toothbrush is one that has soft, nylon, rounded bristles that will not damage gums, scratch or irritate teeth.

The American Dental Hygienist’s Association recommends that you concentrate on brushing two or three teeth simultaneously while holding the brush at a 45 degree angle so the bristles gently touch both the gum line and the tooth.

Fulmer stressed that it is important to replace your toothbrush regularly.  “You should not keep a toothbrush longer than three or four months,” he said. “Even if it appears to be in good shape, unwanted, invisible microbes can grow on toothbrush bristles and handles. Many of these are harmless, but some can cause flu or other viruses.”

Flossing, in addition to brushing, is essential for people who are serious about proper dental hygiene. Flossing removes microbes and other food particles that are out of reach of normal brushing. “My patients understand that regular flossing helps reduce the risk, not only of tooth decay, but also other periodontal diseases,” Dr. Fulmer stated.

Proper flossing results in plaque removal at the gumline, where periodontal disease begins. “Some patients find flossing awkward or difficult,” Dr. Fulmer stated. “We discuss the many floss holders and other interdental cleaning devices that are available. We can always find something that suits the unique circumstances our patients bring to the office.”

Dr. Fulmer added that patients also need to appreciate the necessity of a thorough rinse following brushing and flossing. “A good antimicrobial mouth rinse helps eliminate bacteria that brushing and flossing cannot reach,” he said. “There are a lot of different rinses on the market. We can advise you on the rinse that will work best for you.”

There are other “tricks of the trade” that dental patients can use to keep their teeth clean and healthy. Chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks can help eliminate germs and reduce the potential for cavities. “Saliva helps eliminate food particles and neutralizes acids on teeth,” Dr. Fulmer said. “Sugar-free gum chewing helps stimulate the production of additional saliva.”

As Fulmer Dentistry joins dental hygienists, nationwide, in celebrating National Dental Hygiene Month, Dr. Fulmer encourages his patients to ask questions. “We love to discuss good dental hygiene practices,” he stated. “October is a great month to start a conversation that will help our patients keep bright smiles throughout the year.”

Baby Teeth Are Worth Saving

Baby Teeth Are Worth Saving

Dr. Jim Fulmer urges parents with little ones, who are at that age where they begin losing their baby teeth, to save them after they retrieve them from under their child’s pillow. According to Dr. Fulmer, baby teeth are worth saving.

“Those baby teeth could have great value later in life,” he stated. “They are a rich source of stem cells which can be used to grow replacement tissue if your child needs it for any reason.” These stem cells have been to shown to regenerate neurons, cartilage, bones and even some cardiac cells, which can be valuable in repairing damaged heart tissue. They have also been shown to be effective in treating Type I diabetes. This is effective because the stem cells recovered from baby teeth can be turned into pancreatic cells which can produce insulin.

“There is a time element in preserving the value of the tooth,” Dr. Fulmer said. “You need to get it to a company like Store-A-Tooth, within 48 hours if possible, to properly preserve it.” Store-A-Tooth provides a “Tooth Fairy Certificate” with every tooth, documenting receipt for your child.

Stem cells derived from baby teeth are easily accessible and can provide a minimally invasive, non-controversial way to obtain and store these calls for future use. Having one’s own stem cells available helps patients avoid immune reactions or transplant rejections. It also minimizes the potential for contracting disease from the cells of other donors.

Because the teeth are stored in a cryopreservation vault containing liquid nitrogen, the cells usually remain intact and usable for many years. Properly banked cells can be stored indefinitely. Human cells have been safely stored and used for 50 years.

“There is evidence that the younger the patient or the tooth, the more potent it is for stem cell harvesting,” Dr. Fulmer said. So it is important that you work with your dentist to move quickly to get the tooth into storage.

“Your child losing their baby teeth is just one of those special things that show your child is growing up,” Dr. Fulmer said. “You can take this opportunity to preserve the tooth and make the loss of the tooth a promising tool for the future. We’ll be happy to help.”

Make an appointment today with Fulmer Dentistry to have your child’s teeth checked.

Dental Tips for Back-to-School

Dental tips for back to school

Every child wants to look their best when they head back-to-school this fall. You picked up all their school supplies, bought new outfits, scheduled haircuts, but don’t overlook maintaining one of their most visible features, their smile. One of the first things that people notice about someone is their smile, and a good smile creates a positive self-image. Back-to-school time is the perfect time to incorporate good oral health habits into a child’s daily routine. Your child’s back-to-school checklist should include these dental tips:

Schedule regular dental visits

Seeing Dr. Fulmer twice a year during the school-age years is vital because this is the time where there is great change in the mouth, with kids losing baby teeth and permanent teeth coming in. One of the most common childhood diseases is tooth decay, and left untreated, it can impair a child’s ability to eat, speak, sleep and learn.

Establish daily brushing habits

Children should brush their teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and before bed. There is little time to spare for most families on school mornings, and sometimes kids eat their breakfast on the way to school. If that is the case, it’s not necessary to wait until after breakfast to brush their teeth. Brushing before breakfast will help ensure kids brush their teeth before heading off to school.

Eating healthy lunches and snacks

Pack a healthy lunch and snack for your child. Healthy lunch items and snacks include grains, raw vegetables, yogurt or fruit. If your child eats from the school cafeteria, review healthy, balanced food choices wit them before the first day of school. Cut back on sugary foods, soft drinks and juice, as the sugar can coat the teeth, promoting tooth decay. Instead of juice and soft drinks, teach your child to drink water.

Be safe in after-school activities

Athletics are fun and most parents go to great lengths to see that their children have all the best equipment in the various youth sports programs in Kenosha County. They want their children to not only enjoy the competition and recreation, but to be as safe as possible in doing so. Wearing a properly fitted mouthguard while participating in organized sports, is essential to protecting your children’s teeth. Fulmer Dentistry offers custom mouthguards in school and team colors.

Make an appointment today with Fulmer Dentistry to kick-off the school year with a great smile!

Why A Dentist Is Better Than A Tanning Salon For Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening

You can get the sparkle back in your smile with a variety of teeth-whitening methods. Teeth whitening is a fast, easy way to brighten teeth and enhance your smile. It is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can greatly improve how your teeth look. Regain confidence in your smile by scheduling your teeth whitening appointment with Fulmer Dentistry.

Not all teeth whitening treatments provide the same results. To get the best results possible, you will want to visit Dr. Fulmer for his in-office teeth whitening treatment. He will take the time to answer all of your teeth whitening questions and walk you through the process.

Dr. Fulmer utilizes state-of-the-art technology to bleach the teeth of his patients. This bleaching process typically only requires one visit and is completed in just one hour. Because Dr. Fulmer is supervising the procedure, a stronger bleaching solution is used than what’s utilized at a tanning salon, which is usually just an in-home kit and you would have to apply several applications. Unlike having your teeth whitened at a tanning salon, our in-office whitening uses a stronger agent to color the teeth, while protecting your gums and mouth from these agents. If you have sensitive gums, we will make sure that they don’t get more irritated.

It is important that the teeth whitening procedure not harm the existing tooth enamel that could bring new problems and costs later on. With Dr. Fulmer supervising the whitening process, you can rest assured that your dental health is in good hands and you will get the results that you expect.

Not only is Dr. Fulmer with you during the whitening process, as opposed to no one at a tanning salon, he is then able to deal with issues that may arise from the process such as tooth sensitivity immediately.

Whitening your teeth at a tanning salon may take several weeks to get the results that you want, while whitening your teeth at Fulmer Dentistry will take little over an hour to get a radiant, white smile. With proper dental care, you can maintain the brightness a lot longer by avoiding habits such as drinking coffee, and smoking cigarettes.

To have white teeth, it is important to see a professional such as Dr. Fulmer, instead of doing it yourself while you are tanning. Dr. Fulmer is eager to help you smile with confidence, as he takes pride in seeing all those happy smiles in Kenosha and Paddock Lake. For the best teeth whitening results, contact Fulmer Dentistry today to schedule your teeth whitening appointment.

Fulmer Dentistry Accepts CareCredit To Pay for your Dental Procedures

Fulmer Dentistry accepts CareCredit

Have you or a member of your family skipped a visit to the dentist because of cost? Maybe you decided against your employers dental insurance or they didn’t offer one? Fulmer Dentistry accepts the CareCredit healthcare credit card to pay for your dental procedures. CareCredit is a credit card for your healthcare needs. You can use it as your own dedicated health and wellness credit line and you can make monthly payments or pay your balance off at any time. Dr. Fulmer understands that unexpected financial expenses happen in life and he wants to make sure that your oral health is affordable to you.

What is CareCredit and how does it work?

CareCredit is a healthcare credit card that is accepted at over 175,000 providers nationwide. It is designed to help you finance your health, beauty and wellness needs. With CareCredit, you can pay for treatments and procedures for you and your family at the time of service. Then, you can make convenient monthly payments that work for you and your family.

What dental procedures are covered by CareCredit?

Being proactive about your oral health will have you smiling for years to come. Here are some of the many dental care procedures and treatments you can use your CareCredit healthcare credit card for you and your family.

How Can You Get a CareCredit Healthcare Credit Card?

Healthcare financing with CareCredit is easy! Apply on their website, and start using it like a credit card for your dental healthcare needs.

Before moving forward with any procedure, discuss the costs with Dr. Fulmer and if it is covered by Care Credit. Dr. Fulmer and his staff prides themselves in being responsive to your needs and are able to answer all of your family dental services related questions. Fulmer Dentistry plans to be around for many years to come. They understand that your continued comfort and impression are contingent upon a positive experience each and every time you visit. Call Fulmer Dentistry to schedule your next appointment.

Dr. Fulmer Discusses the Benefits of Dental Implants

A visit to the dentist isn’t always about a cleaning and oral check-up. Sometimes people come in for root canals, fillings, or other restorative dental work, such as a dental implant. Don’t worry, a trip to Dr. Fulmer’s office can be a relaxing, anxiety-free experience.Dental Implant

If you are worried about receiving a dental implant, don’t be. A dental implant is an effective, attractive, and secure way to fill gaps in your smile, while preserving your existing teeth. Not to mention, you will be able to smile more confidently once the procedure is complete. When teeth are lost because of disease or an accident (not wearing a mouthguard when playing sports), dental implants may be a good option.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

  • Implants offer firm support to your teeth, and won’t slip or shift in your mouth — which is important when you are eating or speaking.
  • Implant-supported dentures are more comfortable than traditional dentures.
  • Dental implants help keep the jawbone from shrinking.
  • Implants are a good value, because they can last a lifetime with good care.

Dental implants are an effective way to replace a single tooth or several missing teeth. Here are several reasons why you may want to choose dental implants:

  • You hide your smile because you have missing teeth.
  • You are dissatisfied with your removable partial dentures.
  • You wear dentures that are uncomfortable.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jawbone to replace the root of one or more missing teeth. Once in place, they allow Dr. Fulmer to mount replacement teeth to them.

There are two types of dental implants that the American Dental Association considers to be safe:

  • Endosteal Implants – These are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone. Once the surrounding gum tissue has healed, a second surgery is needed to connect a post to the original implant. The artificial tooth or teeth are then attached to the post individually or grouped together on a bridge or denture.
  • Subperiosteal Implants – These implants consist of a metal frame that is fitted onto the jawbone just below the gum tissue. As the gums heal, the frame will become fixed to the jawbone. As with endosteal implants, the artificial teeth are then mounted to the posts.

Dental implants are usually more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement options. Dr. Fulmer will discuss all of the costs with you and determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You will also need to commit to keeping the implants healthy. Meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits are critical to the long-term success of the implants.

Dr. Fulmer has performed hundreds of dental implant procedures and he has first-hand knowledge of how much easier the procedure has become for him to perform and for the patient to endure. Dr. Fulmer will conduct the implant procedure according to the highest standards in the industry. Call Dr. Fulmer to discuss if a dental implant is appropriate for you.

National Children’s Dental Month

National Children’s Dental Month

February was National Children’s Dental Month to raise awareness about the importance of good oral health. Parents and children are encouraged to brush their teeth for 2 minutes twice a day. There’s no need to wait until your baby’s teeth actually start coming in to lay the foundations of good oral health. Good nutrition and oral hygiene can start right away. Here are some oral health tips for your children.

1. Start Proper Dental Habits
You can gently clean your infant’s gums and teeth that are coming in with water-soaked gauze.

2. Teach your Children Good Dental Hygiene
Brushing your teeth regularly is critical to their oral health. Start brushing your child’s teeth with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, not more than a pea sized amount. Let your child do it at first and then follow up to teach them proper technique. By age six, they should be able to brush by themselves. Then you can introduce them to flossing.

3. Avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Don’t put your child down for a nap with a pacifier or bottle filled with anything but water. Sugary liquids can cling to their teeth and the potential for tooth decay dramatically increases.

4. Avoid Sugar and Cut Back On Juice
Limit your child to only 4 ounces of 100% juice a day. It will take your child’s saliva a minimum of 30 minutes to neutralize the acid that sugar creates. The more sugar that they have throughout the day, the higher the increase in their chances of tooth decay.

5. Make a Dentist Appointment
You may make your child’s first dentist appointment by the age of one and then regularly after that. Your dentist will be able to teach you how to prevent dental disease, check for cavities and properly take care of your child’s teeth.

Brushing your child’s teeth for two minutes at night and reading for 20 minutes before bed is a good way of building oral health habits and literacy habits. Here are some good books to read with your children before going to the dentist; ABC Dentist: Healthy Teeth from A – Z, Curious George Visits the DentistElmo Visits the Dentist, and The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums.

Teaching your children proper dental care techniques at a young age will result in a lifetime of bright smiles and happy teeth. If you have any questions about your child’s teeth, call Dr. Fulmer.


Reminder – Dr. Fulmer will be participating on the Rotary Club of Kenosha-West team in the Kenosha Literacy Council Hollywood Buzz Spelling Bee on Friday, April 8th. You can join in the fun too – here is more information:

Dr. Fulmer discusses what to expect before and after your root canal

Very few medical procedures evoke the kind of negative reaction that being told you need a root canal does, even though this procedure has become far less painful through the use of modern technology and medicines.

Root canals are necessary when the pulp in your tooth becomes inflamed or infected. Dr. Fulmer has performed hundreds of root canals and he has first-hand knowledge of how much easier the procedure has become – both for the dentist or endodontist to perform and for the patient to endure.

Every tooth in your mouth has pulp under the white enamel. It is a soft tissue and it contains nerves and blood vessels as well as connective tissue. Root canals remove infected pulp and provide great relief to patients with infected teeth. Your teeth will survive without the internal pulp because they can draw nourishment from surrounding tissues.

The inflammation or infection is rooted in many different causes. Sometimes it is as simple as tooth decay. Pulp can also become inflamed if your tooth has undergone one too many procedures. Faulty crowns and cracked or chipped teeth are also known to be the culprit in some cases.

You can put your mind at ease about the procedure by asking a lot of questions and doing some research of your own. Ask Dr. Fulmer what to expect. Why does the pulp in this tooth need to be removed? Are there alternatives? Can this wait? Usually, the procedure can be completed in one or two appointments, although in more complicated situations, return visits might be necessary. The procedure itself is not that different from having a routine filling done. The tooth is cleaned and disinfected before the pulp is removed. Afterwards, a filling or crown seals the tooth back up so you’ll be good to go.

On the day of your appointment be sure to wear comfortable clothing. White clothing always works best since some of the rinses used in Dr. Fulmer’s office contain bleach. You should also refrain from wearing heavy makeup.

Discuss with Dr. Fulmer your medication regimen. He may or may not advise a pain pill before your appointment, although the anesthetics used are generally adequate to control the pain. Be sure to discuss aspirin or other blood thinners – generally, it is advisable to discontinue taking those several days prior to your procedure.

If the infection requires you to take antibiotics in advance, it is crucial that you follow the instructions explicitly.

Avoid alcohol and smoking the day of your appointment. Also, do not eat a big meal immediately prior to your arrival.

Be sure you understand the costs involved. Find out how much of the procedure’s cost will be covered by your insurance if you have it.

Root canals are very common and Dr. Fulmer is an expert at maintaining your comfort throughout the procedure so you can remain pain free. If a successful root canal procedure is required to save one of your teeth, you could not be in better hands.

The worst part is over. You have followed Dr. Fulmer’s instructions and now you want to be sure your tooth stays healthy.

There are a number of steps you should take to ensure your tooth recovers fully.

First, it is normal to feel some tenderness around the affected tooth for a few days following the procedure. Having to keep your mouth open wide for an extended period can also result in some tenderness in the jaw area.

Both of these pains are best addressed with over-the-counter pain medications.

It is also not unusual for your tooth to feel a bit different from your other teeth after the root canal treatment. This too is normal and your body should adjust to it within a few days following the procedure.

If, however, the pain is intense and persistent, or if the tooth seems excessively abnormal following what would usually be considered a normal adjustment period, contact Dr. Fulmer immediately.

You should not eat until the numbness in your mouth wears off – usually within a few hours.

Don’t bite or chew with the affected tooth until the procedure it completed. This is important to keep in mind if a return visit is required. If you have a temporary filling, call Dr. Fulmer if it comes out prior to your appointment to install the permanent one.

Brush and floss your teeth as normal. But be careful around the newly treated tooth until you have adjusted to it completely.

Dr. Fulmer will conduct the procedure according to the highest standards in the industry. But he will rely on you to inform him if you have swelling, either inside or outside on your mouth. It may be normal, but he will want to know about it.

He will also want to know if you experience an allergic reaction to any of the medications used in the root canal procedure. You should also inform him if your bite feels uneven or if you continue to experience some of the symptoms that brought you in the first place.

Properly done root canal treatments can relieve your pain and restore your teeth to where you can be confident it will serve you for years into the future. Call Dr. Fulmer to discuss how a root canal treatment might be appropriate for you.

Make Dental Care Resolutions in 2016!

Dental care resolutions

Most everybody has made New Year’s Resolutions at one time or another. Even though our intentions are good and the resolutions are usually well thought out, all too often we do not stick to them. But here is one that is both easy and can make a huge difference in your life.

In 2016 you can make your life more enjoyable and pain-free by making (and sticking to) some easy dental care resolutions. Taking care of your teeth is vital to a happy smile and pain-free, comfortable teeth and gums make it possible for you to devote all of your attention on other important things in your life.

According to Dr. Fulmer, there are four basic resolutions you should make regarding the care of your teeth:

1. Commit to a regular schedule of brushing AND FLOSSING! Too many people think brushing alone will result in clean, healthy teeth and gums. Unfortunately, flossing is just as important to avoiding tooth decay, gum-related problems and many other painful yet avoidable dental issues.

Be sure to learn how to brush correctly. Get the proper brush based on your dentist’s recommendation of what is best for your teeth. If you have sensitive teeth, be sure to purchase toothpaste that is designed specifically not to wear off additional enamel.

You should brush at least twice a day – preferably in the morning and just before going to bed. Each time you brush, follow it up with a thorough flossing. If you have a meal where you know your teeth have captured a great deal of food, don’t hesitate to pause for a break to floss midday as well. Get that food out of your mouth before it starts to deteriorate and take your teeth with it!

2. Adjust your diet. Cut back on sugar as much as possible. Sugar is one of the major causes of tooth decay.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will help you build strong teeth and will help you with other diet-related resolutions you may have made as well. Bad nutrition is a major contributing factor to periodontal disease.

Excessive use of alcohol can also result in issues related to tooth decay. Studies have found that heavy drinkers, many of whom also smoke, are more likely to neglect basic dental care.

3. Speaking of smoking, just quit. Many people have already overcome this habit but there are still those who are struggling with it. In addition to the other many well-documented health issues that smoking causes, add periodontal disease to the list. Smokers have worse “pocketing” and more cavities than their non-smoking counterparts. Just another reason to finally give it up.

4. Visit your dentist regularly. Cleanings should be scheduled every six months. Issues that arise in the interim should be scheduled and addressed as soon as you are aware of them. You can begin the process by contacting Fulmer Dentistry!

Dr. Fulmer is eager to help you get off to the right start in 2016. He takes great pride in seeing all those happy smiles in Kenosha and Paddock Lake. He knows that you always want the best, pain-free dental care you can possibly get. Make a “happy smile resolution” this year and contact us today.