Family Dental Center

Posts for: February, 2015

By Family Dental Center
February 27, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Jaw Correction  

Do you have a chin that sticks out too far, teeth that open up too much when you smile, or jaws that are so misaligned that you hardly want to smile at all? If you have maxillofacial problems like these, you're not alone, as many Americans today need Jaw Correctionoral surgery to correct the disproportionate asymmetries in their oral structures.

But at Family Dental Center, you can find full relief from whatever oral issues you might have, as Sean W. Cullinan, DMD, and his staff of helpful dental specialists make it their goal to correct whatever's ailing your mouth! One of the most frustrating dental problems Dr. Cullinan and his crew see in patients today involves the need for jaw placement correction. It is expertly handled at our practice, using tried and tested oral surgeries which boast an extremely high success rate.

The problem in many patients with poor jaw structure is that their jaws failed to grow at the same rate. Perhaps one side of their jaw grew slightly larger than the other, or the alignment was off from the other bone structures surrounding the mouth. While jaws that are poorly aligned can ruin a person's confidence in their smile, they can also lead to functional issues in the mouth. These involve the teeth as well as soft structures like the tongue, lips, and gums. 

But correcting jaw deformities doesn't necessarily require just oral surgery. Oftentimes, tiny wires or small rubber bands are placed in your mouth after surgery to keep your jaws stable, or small screws or plates are fastened to your jaws to promote greater range-of-motion.

Also, orthodontic appliances like braces can help fix minor instances of misaligned jaws by providing their own safe and effective solution. These devices use subtle jaw correction over time, until they have reached the desired position.

For more information on jaw correction in the Glenview, IL, area, give Dr. Cullinan or one of his trusted oral specialists a call today at (847) 998-1281 for the lasting relief every mouth deserves!

By Family Dental Center
February 27, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Plenty of parents use little tricks to persuade young ones to eat their vegetables, wash their hands, or get to bed on time. But when actress Jennie Garth wanted to help her kids develop healthy dental habits, she took it a step further, as she explained in a recent interview on Fox News.

“Oh my gosh, there's a froggy in your teeth!” the star of the '90s hit series Beverly Hills 90210 would tell her kids. “I've got to get him out!”

When her children — daughters Luca, Lola, and Fiona — spit out the toothpaste, Garth would surreptitiously slip a small toy frog into the sink and pretend it had come from one of their mouths. This amused the kids so much that they became engaged in the game, and let her brush their teeth for as long as necessary.

Garth's certainly got the right idea. Teaching children to develop good oral hygiene habits as early as possible helps set them up for a lifetime of superior dental health. Parents should establish a brushing routine with their kids starting around age 2, when the mouth is becoming filled with teeth. A soft, child's size toothbrush with a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste and plenty of parental help is good for toddlers. By around age 6, when they've developed more manual dexterity, the kids can start taking over the job themselves.

Here's another tip: It's easy to find out how good a cleaning job your kids are doing on their own teeth. Over-the counter products are available that use a system of color coding to identify the presence of bacterial plaque. With these, you can periodically check whether children are brushing effectively. Another way of checking is less precise, but it works anywhere: Just teach them to run their tongue over their teeth. If the teeth fell nice and smooth, they're probably clean, too. If not... it's time to pull out the frog.

And don't forget about the importance of regular dental checkups — both for your kids and yourself. “Like anything, I think our kids mirror what we do,” says Garth. We couldn't agree more.

If you need more information about helping kids develop good oral hygiene — or if it's time for a checkup — don't hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”

By Family Dental Center
February 12, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: smile makeover  

When you’re posting a profile photo on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media sites, which shot is likely to make the best impression in terms of “likeability,” “competence” and “influence”? One in which you’re smiling and showing some teeth, for starters, according to, a crowdsourcing website that helps people evaluate their head shots. If something about your teeth is holding you back from parting your lips when you smile for the camera, here are some tried-and-true options for doing something about it!

Picture-Perfect Color, Shape and Alignment

Improving the color of your teeth may be as easy as getting regular professional cleanings, which are necessary for removal of calculus — dark-yellow hardened buildup of bacterial plaque — and can polish out superficial staining caused by certain beverages and foods.

Actually changing the color of your teeth entails whitening/bleaching. Professional whitening achieves the fastest results because it uses the highest concentration of peroxide solution and custom-fitted trays. In-home whitening kits take longer to work but are less expensive. Results last anywhere from six months to two years.

For permanent whitening results, consider veneers or crowns. In addition to changing tooth color, they can also alter tooth shape, hide wear and even minimize gaps between teeth. Veneers are affixed to the front of teeth, while crowns cover the entire tooth.

Teeth that are chipped, cracked or have noticeable areas of decay, can be restored with bonding, in which a composite resin material is applied that is colored to match your natural teeth.

You can straighten misaligned teeth and no one even has to know you’re doing it. Barely visible and entirely invisible orthodontic appliances include clear braces, lingual braces (attached to the tongue-facing side of teeth) and clear aligners, which are removable for tooth brushing/flossing, cleaning the appliance, eating, and special occasions.

If you would like more information about enhancing your smile, 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 “Beautiful Smiles by Design.”