Posts for category: Oral Health
Is your smile is as healthy as it could be? Let’s find out!
We are human, so at some point along the way we are going to fall flat when it comes to properly caring for our smiles. Maybe you fell asleep before you could floss your teeth or you drank more sodas in a week than you care to admit; however, as long as you know how to care for your smile the majority of the time, this is what really adds up. Our Glenview, IL, family dentists are here to provide the ultimate tips for keeping your smile healthy and happy.
Brush and Floss Regularly
Nothing is more important than making sure you are brushing at least twice a day (ideally, after mealtimes) and flossing once a day. Brushing in the morning when you first wake up and then again right before bedtime can greatly reduce plaque buildup.
How long do you need to spend brushing your teeth? This is also a very important factor. If you don’t have an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer then set a timer yourself for about 2 to 3 minutes. This is how long you should be brushing each time you do.
Use the Proper Technique
What benefits can brushing and flossing possibly have if you aren’t doing it right? Proper form and technique are everything. Be gentle when brushing all surfaces (you don’t need to scrub or press down in order to remove plaque). Short, gentle strokes are all it takes. Remember to brush the front, back, and chewing surfaces of your teeth and leave floss to take care of the spaces between teeth. Before you finish, brush your tongue and roof of your mouth to fight bad-breath germs.
Whether you are dealing with dry mouth or you are prone to cavities, there are many factors that may warrant needing mouthwash or a medicated rinse in order to reduce the bacteria responsible for decay and gum disease. While over-the-counter mouthwashes only serve to temporarily hide bad breath, our Glenview dentists can recommend a proper mouthwash that will help promote an all-around healthier smile.
Manage Bad Habits
Do you use your teeth instead of scissors to rip apart plastic packaging? Do you grind your teeth at night? If you said “yes” these are habits that you need to not just be aware of but also know how to address to protect your teeth for the long run. Teeth should never be used for anything other than chewing food or speaking. Don’t use your teeth as tools, which could seriously damage them. If we suspect that you grind your teeth, we may recommend getting a custom night guard to wear while you sleep to protect teeth from excessive wear and tear.
If you ever have questions about your oral health or about the dental services we offer here in Glenview, IL, don’t hesitate to call our office today to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly, caring dentists. Turn to Family Dental for your smile needs.
Find out what situations warrant an immediate visit to our Glenview dental office.
Whether your child received a damaging blow to the mouth while playing sports or you were chomping on the end of your pen and noticed a piece of your tooth had chipped off, there are certain problems that require our Glenview, IL, dentists’ urgent attention. Putting off a dental emergency can spell big trouble for your smile. Don’t let it happen to you. Here are common dental emergencies and how you should handle them.
Cracked or Fractured Tooth
While not all cracks will warrant an emergency visit it’s always a good idea to give us a call and determine whether you need to come in now or whether we can see you in a day or two. Some minor cracks can be handled with non-invasive options like dental bonding. However, more severe cracks may require a dental crown.
If you have lost a permanent tooth the most important thing you can do is keep the tooth from drying out. Handle the tooth by the crown and try to gently place the tooth back into the socket. If the tooth won’t go back in then place the tooth in the side of your cheek or in a container of milk and head right to our office.
While dental pain may not seem like a cause for concern it’s important that you seek the source of your pain right away. Decay or an infection could be to blame, and these issues won’t clear up without a dental filling, crown or root canal treatment.
It’s necessary to note that while these practices are important to reducing pain and swelling, and could even save your tooth, it’s important that you don’t assume that these actions negate a visit to our office. It’s important that you seek immediate dental care if you are faced with any of these problems.
If you are experiencing a true dental emergency then it’s time you called Family Dental in Glenview, IL. Let us restore your smile so that it’s good as new again.
Exchanging passionate kisses with big-screen star Jennifer Lawrence might sound like a dream come true. But according to Liam Hemsworth, her Hunger Games co-star, it could also be a nightmare… because J.Law’s breath wasn’t always fresh. “Anytime I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable,” Hemsworth said on The Tonight Show.
Lawrence said the problem resulted from her inadvertently consuming tuna or garlic before the lip-locking scenes; fortunately, the two stars were able to share a laugh about it later. But for many people, bad breath is no joke. It can lead to embarrassment and social difficulties — and it occasionally signifies a more serious problem. So what causes bad breath, and what can you do about it?
In 9 out of 10 cases, bad breath originates in the mouth. (In rare situations, it results from a medical issue in another part of the body, such as liver disease or a lung infection.) The foul odors associated with bad breath can be temporarily masked with mouthwash or breath mints — but in order to really control it, we need to find out exactly what’s causing the problem, and address its source.
As Lawrence and Hemsworth found out, some foods and beverages can indeed cause a malodorous mouth. Onions, garlic, alcohol and coffee are deservedly blamed for this. Tobacco products are also big contributors to bad breath — which is one more reason to quit. But fasting isn’t the answer either: stop eating for long enough and another set of foul-smelling substances will be released. Your best bet is to stay well hydrated and snack on crisp, fresh foods like celery, apples or parsley.
And speaking of hydration (or the lack of it): Mouth dryness and reduced salivary flow during the nighttime hours is what causes “morning breath.” Certain health issues and some medications can also cause “dry mouth,” or xerostomia. Drinking plenty of water can encourage the production of healthy saliva — but if that’s not enough, tell us about it: We may recommend switching medications (if possible), chewing xylitol gum or using a saliva substitute.
Finally, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is a great way to avoid bad breath. The goal of oral hygiene is to control the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth. These microorganisms can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath — so keeping them in check is good for your overall oral health. Remember to brush twice and floss once daily, stay away from sugary foods and beverages, and visit the dental office regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.
So did J.Law apologize for the malodorous makeout session? Not exactly. “[For] Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, yeah, I’ll brush my teeth,” she laughed.
Hemsworth jokingly agreed: “If I was kissing Christian Bale I probably would have brushed my teeth too. With you, it’s like, ‘Eh. Whatever.’”
If you would like more information about bad breath and oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More than Just Embarrassing.”
Professional basketball player Lamar Odom is sometimes known as “the candyman” because of his notorious fondness for sweets. But when his sweet tooth finally caught up with him — in the form of a mouthful of decayed teeth — the six-foot-ten-inch, 230-pound hoops star admitted that he had been avoiding treatment… because he was afraid of going to the dentist!
It took two Kardashians (Khloe and Kim) and a painful toothache to finally persuade Odom to sit in the chair. Once he did, it was found that he needed a root canal, a wisdom tooth extraction, and several fillings. Yet the fretful forward sailed through the whole set of procedures in a single visit, and walked out with a big smile afterward. How did his dentists make that happen?
Put it down to the “magic” of sedation dentistry. With anxiety-relieving medications that can be delivered orally (in pill form or by gas) or intravenously (into the bloodstream), the techniques of sedation dentistry can help even the most fearful patients get the dental care they need. That’s good news for about 50 percent of the population, who admit they’re at least somewhat afraid of the dentist — and even better for the 15 percent who avoid dental care completely due to their fear.
Dentists have a number of ways to ease apprehensive patients through a dental visit. An oral anti-anxiety drug can be given in pill form about an hour beforehand. Nitrous oxide (sometimes called “laughing gas”), which is administered by a mask placed over the mouth or nose, may also be used to relieve anxiety. The calming effects of these medications help make any nervousness melt away — and in many circumstances, mild sedation is all that’s needed to ease the fear.
For lengthier or more complex procedures, intravenous (IV) sedation may be recommended. Unlike deeper (unconscious) sedation, IV sedation doesn’t cause “sleep.” Instead, it puts you in a comfortable semi-awake state, where you can still breathe on your own and respond to stimuli… but without feeling any anxiety. And when the procedure is over, you probably won’t have any memory of it at all.
IV sedation can be administered by dentists who are specially trained and equipped with the proper safety equipment. While sedation is being provided, you will be monitored at all times by a dedicated staff member; when it’s over, you will rest for a while as the medication quickly wears off. Then (as is the case with oral sedation), you’ll need another person to give you a ride home.
Does sedation dentistry really work? Lamar Odom thinks so. “I feel so much better,” he said when his 7-hour procedure was over. “I feel like I accomplished something.”
Over the last century dentistry has acquired the knowledge, techniques and treatments to prevent or minimize tooth decay. With this enhanced knowledge we’ve amassed a wealth of data about what increases dental disease development and what prevents it.
This has produced a balanced approach to identifying and treating disease-causing factors and incorporating factors that inhibit tooth decay. Known as Caries Management By Risk Assessment (CAMBRA), this approach first identifies each patient’s individual set of risk factors for dental disease and then develops a customized prevention and treatment plan to minimize their risk.
Rather than simply reacting to occurrences of tooth decay — “drill and fill” — CAMBRA anticipates and targets your susceptibility to decay. The primary factors can be represented by the acronym BAD: Bad bacteria, particular strains that produce acid, which at high levels erode enamel and expose the teeth to infection; Absence of saliva, or “dry mouth,” an insufficient flow of saliva that can’t effectively neutralize acid and restore mineral content to enamel; and Dietary habits too heavy in sugar or acid, which can result in bacterial growth and enamel erosion.
With an accurate picture of your particular risk level we can then apply countering factors from the other side of the balance — those that protect teeth from decay. In this case, we use the acronym SAFE: stimulating Saliva flow when needed or applying Sealants on chewing surfaces most susceptible to decay; Antimicrobials that reduce unhealthy bacteria levels and give healthy bacteria an opportunity to thrive; incorporating Fluoride, a chemical known to strengthen enamel, through hygiene products or direct application to the teeth; and an Effective diet, low in sugar and acid and high in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
There are a number of preventive and treatment measures that fall into each of the four preventive factors. Using the CAMBRA approach we can develop a treatment and prevention plan that incorporates measures that uniquely fit your dental health situation. With such a plan we can greatly reduce your risk of disease development and impact and better ensure a long and healthy life for your teeth and gums.
If you would like more information on managing dental disease prevention, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Decay: How to Assess Your Risk.”