Top Tips for Your Smile Makeover

Many people dream of having a nicer and more attractive smile, and a cosmetic dentist in Reno can help you realize these aims with a smile makeover. Modern cosmetic dentistry techniques can correct a wide variety of common dental issues, and often it is simply a matter of taking the plunge and deciding to go ahead with a smile makeover.

Do Your Research on Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
It can be a good idea to carry out some research on your own, into the different techniques that might be suggested by a dentist in Reno. Typical treatments can include teeth whitening, porcelain veneers or dental bonding, dental implants and gum recontouring. Becoming familiar with the terminology will help tremendously when you have your initial consultation.

Find a Good Cosmetic Dentist
Choosing a well-qualified and experienced cosmetic dentist can make all the difference to having a successful smile makeover. Ask friends and family if they have any recommendations, and read online reviews. Make sure you feel comfortable working with your chosen dentist, especially if you intend to have an extensive or complicated smile makeover.

Book a Consultation
Once you have chosen a dentist in Reno, book a consultation to meet them and their dental team. You should get a tour of the dental office and be able to see all the equipment. Ask plenty of questions, and make sure you understand all the processes suggested. It is likely your dentist will take x-rays and perhaps photos to help plan treatment.

Listen To Your Dentist
Your dentist will almost certainly have lot of suggestions about your smile makeover, and it is important to listen closely to them and to any advice. For example, you may need some treatment beforehand to help improve your dental health, and smokers will be advised to quit. Any suggestions or instructions are well worth following as they will help ensure the success of treatment. It is also important to be committed to following a good preventative dental care regime afterwards, to help maintain your beautiful new smile.

Do You Need a Root Canal Procedure?

When a tooth is seriously decayed or has become infected, a root canal procedure can be done to repair the tooth and save it. During the procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, while the remainder of the center of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and then carefully sealed to prevent infection.

“Root canal” is the term for the natural space within the tooth’s center. The tooth’s nerve is in the root canal, as is the pulp (or pulp chamber), which is the soft area within the root canal. Because the tooth’s nerve isn’t vital to a tooth’s health, removing it doesn’t prevent the normal functioning of the tooth.

Removing the nerve and the pulp is necessary in some cases to address irritation, inflammation and infection stemming from severe decay, damaged or deep fillings, cracked or chipped teeth or facial trauma. When the nerve tissue and pulp become damaged, bacteria begin to form within the pulp chamber. This can lead to a serious infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess can form when the infection spreads past the ends of the tooth roots.

Additionally, severe infections can lead to bone loss around the tip of the root or holes in the tooth that drain the infection into the gums or through the cheek into the skin. It can cause swelling that spreads to the face, head, or neck.

Sometimes, the only signs you need a root canal procedure are more minor. They can include tooth pain when applying pressure or chewing, discoloration (darkening) of the tooth, tenderness and/or swelling of the gum tissue, or a pimple or blemish on the gums that is recurring. Acute sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures that does not abate with time can also be a sign.

Talk to your dentist or endodontist in Bartlett, IL about your concerns. Your dentist will know what to do so you may make the best decisions for your long-term tooth health.

Making Your Dental Veneers Last

A popular way to enhance your smile is with dental veneers. These natural-looking porcelain shells are made specially to cover stained teeth. They are able to close gaps and hide cracked or chipped teeth. Although they are simple and relatively painless, you’ll want them to be long lasting. Here are some tips to make the average lifespan of your dental veneers longer.

Prosthesis hygiene
Brushing and flossing with veneers should never be neglected. These hygiene activities help remove plaque, prevent dental caries, and avoid gum problems. You can do so by using a soft manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush. Make sure you clean the edges of the veneers and don’t press too firmly. Clean your teeth after each meal and before going to bed is a good habit to develop.

Gentle Toothpaste
Use a gentle whitening toothpaste helps remove stains on teeth surfaces. Using such toothpaste can eliminate plaque without scratching them with abrasive ingredients. Your dentist may recommend a special toothpaste formulated for veneers. This toothpaste is great for stain removal without using the harsh components found in some brands.

Excellent habits
Your dentist will provide guidelines about things to avoid that is potentially harmful to your veneers, such as smoking. Using a non-alcohol based mouthwash is also recommended, as the alcohol can loosen the bonding material used to attach your veneers over the long run.

Consistent check-ups
Visit your dentist every half a year for checkups and teeth scaling is vital. This will not only help maintain the longevity of veneers but also improve your overall oral health.


Dentist in Bartlett for porcelain veneers

Get a Dazzling Smile with Veneers

Veneer is an excellent option to create a startling smile. These porcelain shells fit right over your natural teeth to mask a range of cosmetic problems.

How are the veneers applied?
Once you and your dentist determine that the veneers are a right fit, a small amount of tooth enamel will be removed. The removing of tooth structure is needed so that veneers can be mounted correctly. An impression of your dentition will be taken and sent to a dental laboratory for the veneers to be custom made according to the patient. When ready, you will be called back to your dentist to have the veneers cemented to your teeth with a special dental adhesive.

What are the benefits?
It is difficult for others to notice the veneers because they look very natural. They are shaped in such a way to complement your smile. Veneers are great as they resist stains from food and drinks such as coffee, red wine, and tobacco. They are also an excellent choice because they fit nicely over your teeth, without needing extensive procedures.

What are the disadvantages of using veneers?
There are patients experiencing increased tooth sensitivity after getting veneers. This is due to the removal of the enamel surface. As veneers are permanent and cannot be undone, you have to be sure before proceeding. Another thing to note is careful selection of the color of the veneer. This step is important so that your smile isn’t overly white or unnatural.

Are veneers suitable for everyone?
Veneers are great for hiding defects such as gaps, chips, cracks, or uneven teeth. However, veneers may not work for patients with weak teeth as a result of extensive restorations, decay, or fractures. Patients who grind their teeth or clench their jaws are also poor candidates of veneers, as the porcelain will be subjected to damage.

How about maintenance?
Veneers can last up to ten years or more with good maintainence. Practicing proper dental hygiene is vital to avoid dental decay underneath the veneers. Avoid the habit of biting on fingernails or chewing on hard objects, which may break the thin veneers. Brushing and flossing are encouraged, and regular dental checkups are important in maintaining good oral health.


Dentist in Bartlett, IL

Combining Procedures for a Smile Makeover

There are many procedures within the arena of cosmetic dentistry that can transform your smile into one you’ve always wanted. Sometimes only one procedure is needed, and other times multiple treatments provide a better solution. Scheduling a consultation with a qualified and experienced cosmetic dentist is the best way to begin your smile makeover process.

When you meet your cosmetic dentist for the first time, be prepared to list the things you dislike about your smile and the outcome that you’d like to see. The dentist will perform an examination and possibly X-rays to get the best views, and then address the concerns you have about your smile. The dentist will recommend the procedures that will best help you achieve your goals.

You may be advised to undergo more than one procedure with your smile makeover. Here are some of the most common treatments:
Teeth whitening is the most popular treatment through cosmetic dentists. Stained, discolored, dingy teeth can be renewed in a variety of ways such as laser treatments or bleaching trays. Your dentist will suggest the best method to give you the results you’d like in the timeframe you desire.

Porcelain veneers involve bonding thin shells to the fronts of your teeth to hide chips, stains, gaps, cracks and more. Veneers instantly transform your smile with durable results.

Dental implants are an increasingly popular alternative to dentures or bridges. They provide a secure and permanent replacement for missing teeth, blending perfectly with your smile.

Filling replacement is possible when you are dissatisfied with your old unsightly metal fillings. Instead of silver showing in your smile, tooth-colored composite resin is used to replace the existing filling.

Invisalign clear aligners provide a different approach to straightening your teeth than traditional metal braces. Your teeth will gently move into better positions without the embarrassment of highly visible wires and brackets, as well as avoiding the hassles of cleaning and altering your diet.

Combining cosmetic dental procedures for your smile makeover can help you address all of your concerns and allow you to end up with the happiest results.

Benefits of Family Dentistry

Dental issues are part of life for all ages. Sometimes there aren’t problems, but you still need to see a dentist regularly for prevention, checkups and cleanings. The chances that you or someone else in your family requires dental care of some kind is high, so it’s smart to have a family dentist who can treat everyone in your family. Even though the differences may be subtle between family and general dentists, there are some important reasons to consider finding a family dental practice.

Treating every family member
Whether you have infants, school-aged children, teenagers, or senior adults in your family, every single member is treatable by a family dentist. These professionals are trained and experienced in caring for patients in any age group, while general dentists may not be as comfortable or capable in treating every age. Avoid having to find different dentists for different family members by choosing one family dentist who can treat all of you.

Consistent care
It is helpful to only have to research and choose a dentist once. Find a family dentist who you like and trust, and then all of your loved ones can obtain the same consistent care at a single place. There is no need to explain family history or situations over and over, because your family dentist will know each member of your clan and their oral health.

Familiar relationship
Each of you will establish and maintain a relationship with your family dentist and the staff, so you’ll all feel comfortable with the professionals and the office. Communication is easier when you feel like you know the people caring for you, and the staff will get to know your personalities and the best ways to care for each person in your family individually.

Find a family dentist close to your home to increase the convenience of appointments. Some dentists schedule block appointments so several of you can visit the dentist at the same time. Family dentists are often flexible with their payment terms and may even offer lower rates for more family members.


Family dentist in Bartlett IL

Seeing the Future of Your Smile Makeover Utilizing Technology

If you’re looking into a smile makeover, you may have difficulty imagining what your smile will look like at the end, especially if you need extensive dental work. If you’ve looked in the mirror and seen nothing but an unattractive mouth for years, picturing yourself with a mouth full of healthy teeth can be a challenge. Fortunately, with the advancements of dental technology, there are ways to help you see the future of your smile makeover.

Digital dentistry pairs advancements in materials and technology to allow dental patients to be the recipients of beautiful and natural smile makeovers. Computers can take digital models of the entirety of your mouth, including the soft tissues of the cheeks, gums and tongue. These models are created utilizing special lights that allow the computer to optically scan the mouth and send that information to a computer.

Advanced computer software can then stitch the images together to create one whole model of your mouth. This model can then be printed with a 3D printer to provide an accurate and vivid reproduction of your mouth. Your cosmetic dentist can use this same software to virtually correct your dental problems and to provide additional physical models to represent each stage of treatment and to show what will be the end result.

Some software can take photos of you smiling broadly and insert the virtual end result smile, allowing you to see what your own future smile could be. Seeing these images can help you with the encouragement to move forward with your smile makeover, and to fully anticipate and enjoy the results to come.


Smile makeover dentist in Bartlett Illinois

A Look at No-Prep Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are very thin, tooth-colored wafers that can be made from porcelain or dental composite resin material. They are permanently bonded to your natural tooth’s surface in order to give your smile an even, uniform look and a beautiful smile. Dental veneers can correct problems such as crooked, gapped, misshapen, stained, discolored teeth, or teeth that are cracked, chipped or too short.

Standard dental veneers are applied after the cosmetic dentist removes a millimeter or more of the enamel of your natural tooth. This makes room for the bulk of the veneer wafer so that it won’t look artificial on top of the tooth. This step is where many patients are dissatisfied with the procedure; they don’t want to remove any of their enamel, because it can’t re-grow and removing it is permanent.

Because of this concern, a new type of dental veneer has been created known as a “no-prep” or “minimal preparation” veneer. This type of veneer is extremely thin, so thin that your cosmetic dentist doesn’t need to grind away any of your enamel, or at least a smaller amount than with standard veneers.

In many cases, if a patient’s natural teeth are spaced well and have a good shape, an extremely small amount of the teeth will need to be ground down to accommodate the minimal preparation veneer. Your cosmetic dentist will be able to determine the right amount to remove based on your particular teeth and on your smile goals.

If you’re wondering if your teeth make you a candidate for no-prep veneers, contact your cosmetic dentist today. Your specific smile needs will be addressed so you can move forward with the smile you’ve always wanted.


Cosmetic dentist in Bartlett IL

The Basics About Caring for Dental Veneers


Hiding all sorts of dental flaws, veneers provide a great way to renew your smile. These thin porcelain shells bond directly to the fronts of your teeth and are colored to make your smile look natural and appealing. They are stain resistant and do not cause gum irritation or slippage. Known as a durable solution, veneers can last up to ten years with good care. Here are some suggestions for maintaining your veneers.

Caring for your dental veneers is actually simple. If you are experienced in performing oral hygiene on your natural teeth, then you are ready to care for your veneers. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably after each meal, using a soft toothbrush and gentle circular motions. Use a non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste to avoid wearing down your veneers. Floss your teeth at least once a day to remove food particles and plaque. That’s all it takes to keep your veneers clean and shiny!

Avoid chomping on extremely hard foods like jaw breakers or ice. You should achieve the maximum life span of your veneers if you are selective about what you eat and avoid especially hard foods that can crack or chip your veneers. Using common sense when it comes to your diet will help your veneers last longer.

Another key element to get the most out of your veneers is having regular dental checkups. You should return to your dentist for a follow-up visit one week after getting veneers to make sure everything fits properly and that your mouth is adjusting well. Then schedule checkups every six months, just as you should have been doing with your natural teeth, for examinations and cleanings. Your dentist will look for any damage to make sure your veneers are lasting as they should, and may occasionally polish your veneers to keep them looking great.


If you live in the Bartlett IL area, contact our office today to learn more about porcelain veneers.

Some Fast Options for Smile Makeovers

Are you looking to improve your smile but you don’t have a lot of time? Have you heard that smile makeovers are invasive and time-consuming? There are many options available to you for your smile makeover that are relatively short and sweet. If you are in good health but want to make improvements to your smile, these fast and easy options may be right for you.

Teeth bleaching (also known as whitening) is an extremely popular and very simple therapy for quickly brightening your smile. Many common foods and drinks we consume daily can slowly dim your smile by discoloring or staining your tooth enamel. Having your teeth whitened by your dentist can lighten your teeth by as many as ten levels in a single office visit, saving you time and effort.

Composite bonding can repair small problems like cracks, chips or irregular shapes in one visit. Bonding is done by hand by your dentist and requires excellent technique and materials, as well as the skill needed to match your natural tooth color.

Perhaps you need a little more extensive work done to achieve your dream smile, but you don’t have the time. Your dentist may be able to offer you a “snap-on” smile. This is a thin appliance that is placed on top of your natural teeth using nothing but your teeth as an anchor – no adhesives are necessary. These snap-on teeth can be made to mimic a celebrity’s teeth, or just better, straighter, whiter versions of your own. They can stay in all day during your regular activities, allowing you to get the benefits of a beautiful smile without the time of a more invasive treatment.

Talk to Bartlett IL teeth whitening dentist Dr. Hofmeister today about the treatments you can have done in a single office visit. Your friends, family and coworkers might not be able to immediately identify what “work” you had done, but you can rest assured everyone will notice your change in attitude and your gorgeous smile.

The Cons of Over-the-Counter Home Teeth Whitening Kits

Everyone wants to have a whiter, healthy smile. Home teeth whitening has become an extremely popular means to achieve those pearlier whites in the past couple of decades. In many cases, over-the-counter whitening kits are effective and safe. However, there are some disadvantages and risks to using over-the-counter home whitening kits:

  • Off-brand whitening kits often contain dangerous concentrations of bleach or peroxide. This can cause erosion of the tooth enamel, and irritation to the sensitive gums and soft tissues of the mouth.
  • Because many kits contain trays that do not adhere properly to your teeth, gums can become irritated and chemicals can leak out and be ingested causing stomach problems.
  • Poorly fitted trays and varying concentrations of chemicals from lower quality kits may also result in unwanted discoloration of teeth or uneven results.
  • Exposure to excessively harsh chemicals in off-brand kits can also cause gum shrinkage and oral infections.

When considering at-home whitening, it is best to stick to name brand kits to ensure the quality and safety of the treatment. Many popular brands of kits are both safe and efficient when used as directed. In any case, you should not consider at-home whitening if any of the following apply:

  • You have deep, untreated cavities.
  • You are pregnant.
  • You suffer from gum disease.

The safest and most effective method for whitening your teeth is to have treatment by a dental professional, either in-office or with professional take-home trays. A qualified dentist can whiten your teeth up to ten shades in as little as one office visit. Consult with your dentist before pursuing any type of whitening treatment to ensure you will achieve the whiter smile you desire in the safest and quickest manner possible.


Teeth whitening dentist in Bartlett, IL

Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments Offered by Your Family Dentist

Everyone wants to have a whiter, healthy smile. Home teeth whitening has become an extremely popular means to achieve those pearlier whites in the past couple of decades. In many cases, over-the-counter whitening kits are effective and safe. However, there are some disadvantages and risks to using over-the-counter home whitening kits:

  • Off-brand whitening kits often contain dangerous concentrations of bleach or peroxide. This can cause erosion of the tooth enamel, and irritation to the sensitive gums and soft tissues of the mouth.
  • Because many kits contain trays that do not adhere properly to your teeth, gums can become irritated and chemicals can leak out and be ingested causing stomach problems.
  • Poorly fitted trays and varying concentrations of chemicals from lower quality kits may also result in unwanted discoloration of teeth or uneven results.
  • Exposure to excessively harsh chemicals in off-brand kits can also cause gum shrinkage and oral infections.

When considering at-home whitening, it is best to stick to name brand kits to ensure the quality and safety of the treatment. Many popular brands of kits are both safe and efficient when used as directed. In any case, you should not consider at-home whitening if any of the following apply:

  • You have deep, untreated cavities.
  • You are pregnant.
  • You suffer from gum disease.

The safest and most effective method for whitening your teeth is to have treatment by a dental professional, either in-office or with professional take-home trays. A qualified dentist can whiten your teeth up to ten shades in as little as one office visit. Consult with your Bartlett IL dentist Dr. Hofmeister before pursuing any type of whitening treatment to ensure you will achieve the whiter smile you desire in the safest and quickest manner possible.



Foods that Contribute to Whiter Teeth

It’s part of life that your teeth will likely become dull and yellowed as you age and consume foods that contribute to teeth staining. However, you don’t have to go through life with a tainted smile. There are many options available these days for either at-home or professional teeth whitening. If you choose to brighten your smile, you’ll want to make sure you maintain the look as long as possible. Eating certain foods can help you naturally achieve the goal of a dazzling smile.

Citrus fruits
Lemons, oranges, pineapples and other citrus fruits contain natural acids that help whiten teeth. Their tart flavor also promotes saliva in your mouth, which creates a natural rinse and polish over your teeth.

Rich in vitamin C, strawberries can help prevent gum inflammation and other periodontal issues. They also contain malic acid as well as ellagitannins, which are antioxidants that help banish bacteria in your mouth.

Chewing crunchy fruit like apples helps scrub your teeth to get rid of plaque and germs. Apples also have lots of malic acid, an ingredient in some toothpastes, which increases saliva to clean teeth and remove stains.

An extra benefit of pineapples is bromelain, a compound that has cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps eliminate unsightly stains naturally.

Mineral ingredients like calcium and phosphorus give cheese an edge in strengthening your teeth. Cheese also contains protein that protects tooth enamel, and lactic acid that protects against tooth decay. Hard cheeses promote saliva production to clean your teeth.

High in fiber, broccoli can help lower inflammation in your mouth and body. Crunching on raw broccoli cleans and polishes your teeth, and the iron content helps protect your teeth from damaging bacteria and acid.


Teeth whitening dentist

Endodontics or Root Canal Therapy

A tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma may need endodontic treatment, also called root canal therapy, in order to save the tooth. Although it may sound like a scary procedure, advances in dentistry have made it a much less painful or upsetting process than it used to be. This treatment is worth it to restore your smile as naturally as possible.

How do you know you might need endodontics? You may experience pain in the tooth, sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages, or swelling in the area. Severe cases may have a discharge of pus near the tooth. However, not all cases of a badly damaged tooth result in noticeable symptoms. That’s one reason it’s important to maintain regular checkups with your dentist, who will pick up on problems with a tooth that you may not realize is damaged. Examination and testing such as X-rays can help diagnose a tooth that is in dire need of repair.

When possible, dentists strive to save your real tooth. Sometimes the best way to do that is through root canal therapy, which involves removing the damaged tooth pulp from the interior of the tooth. Using local anesthesia to make you comfortable, the dentist or endodontist uses special tools to enter the root canal, remove the pulp, and clean the area thoroughly. Once the tooth is ready, a crown is usually placed on top of the existing tooth to protect it from future damage and to complete the process. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed if an infection was present to help ensure that you are in the best of health.

Endodontic treatment is often compared by patients to simply getting a regular tooth filling. The procedure is usually completed in one office visit and it won’t be long before you are back to your normal routine, with a fully restored natural tooth in your smile.


Root canal dentist in Bartlett, IL

Services Offered at Your Family Dentist

Family dentists can do so much for you and your family. A family dentist is able to perform any other task another dentist can do, but they’re able to perform them on your entire family. The convenience of this service to each member of your family will save you time and trouble. Your family dentist obtains everyone’s complete dental histories, and gives the best treatment possible based on an experienced review of those records.

Because a family dentist recognizes that your time is very valuable, appointments can often be made in blocks so that services can be offered to each member of your family on the same day, near the same time. You can make one trip and be finished with your routine dental checkups, x-rays, cleanings and preventative care for six more months!

Family dental offices also offer cosmetic dentistry services like teeth whitening or porcelain veneers. Dental crowns, dental bridges, fillings and other bonding work can easily be accomplished there. A family dentist also offers root canal treatments, extractions or emergency care.

Your family dentist wants to be a friend of your family for life. Having a dentist who has seen your children’s teeth through their formative years and into adulthood is of huge benefit to your children. As long as your children remain in the area, they will never have to search for another dentist. They will have formed a trusting and comfortable bond with the family dentist, ensuring that good oral hygiene habits will continue into adulthood, as will routine preventative care.

Sedation dentistry is likely to be offered at your family dentist, especially to any patient with a phobia or other anxiety about dental appointments. Even younger patients can benefit from sedation dentistry, allowing them to calm their bodies and to comply with requests by the dentist, keeping everyone safe during treatment.

You are the priority to your family dentist. The relationship that is formed with you and your family is one that your family dentist wants to see last a lifetime.


Family dentist in Bartlett, IL

What is Air Abrasion?


At some point, most people will probably have at least one cavity. Traditionally, dentists have drilled out the decay and placed a filling to repair the tooth. With air abrasion, a new cavity removal tool, patients can achieve a more pleasant experience for handling tooth decay. The idea of cavity removal that didn’t involve drills or anesthesia is appealing to the majority of dental patients.

Using a special hand piece, air abrasion works by blowing tiny abrasive particles and clean air onto the tooth’s surface to gently remove decay. Once the cavity is gone, your dentist can apply restorative materials to the tooth. Air abrasion works best for smaller cavities. The precision and accuracy of the air abrasion tool enables your dentist to treat decay at an early stage, which allows for more conservative therapy.

Another benefit of air abrasion is patient comfort. Many people dislike the traditional sounds and smells associated with dental treatment. Cavity repair with air abrasion reduces heat and vibration, making the process less unpleasant for those in the dental chair.

Dentists often recommend air abrasion for:

  • Cavities that are just beginning
  • Removal of spots or stains
  • Teeth being prepared for veneers, inlays, or onlays
  • Young children

To begin, your dentist will probably provide protective glasses and then isolate the tooth that needs the repair. During the procedure, you may experience gritty-tasting particles in your mouth from the air abrasion tool. This residue is harmless and your dentist will thoroughly rinse the area before completing the restoration.


General dentist in Bartlett, IL

Should Teens Whiten Their Teeth?

More and more teens, especially girls, are asking parents for permission to whiten their teeth, using either products from the drugstore or with the assistance of a dentist. When a teen is free from braces, there is a desire to have the best, brightest smile possible, and teeth whitening is at the top of the list. Parents find themselves wondering if it’s safe or even acceptable for a teen to take this kind of cosmetic step.

Dentists agree, tooth whitening is safe for teens. Drugstore products like whitening gels, strips or trays have a lower concentration of chemicals than treatments found at the dentist’s office. These products are safe when used for no more than their recommended durations, although professional treatments will act faster and last longer.

The main concern for younger patients is that their teeth are also “young,” meaning that the pulp inside the tooth that supplies the blood, nutrients and nerve of the tooth is larger and closer to the surface than in adult teeth. This can mean that the younger tooth is a more sensitive tooth, and that any sensitivity side effects that come from teeth whitening would be exacerbated in the young patient.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommended recently that full-mouth whitening be discouraged in any patients who don’t yet have all of their permanent teeth. Children who whiten a mix of adult and baby teeth can end up with teeth that are mismatched.

Another concern about at-home whitening for teens is that they might not follow all of the instructions, leading to sensitivity or pain. Any whitening treatment should be discontinued at the advent of any pain or discomfort. Whitening is safest when performed under the supervision of a trained dental professional.

Dental exams can determine if the teen has any issues, such as red or swollen gums or decayed teeth that have to be taken care of prior to whitening. Whitening a tooth that is unhealthy can lead to uneven color and the chemicals used can irritate already problematic gums.


Teeth whitening dentist in Bartlett IL

Children and Family Dentistry Practices

Family dentistry is all about relationships. A family dentist can care for your teeth for your entire life, from infancy to long past retirement. Because your dental needs change as you age, a family dentist offers comprehensive dental care for patients of any age.

A family dentist is especially sensitive to the unique sensory and emotional needs of children. Good oral hygiene is established in childhood, and a family dentist realizes that if you begin a child’s oral care with positive experiences at the dentist, that child will have a lifetime of good oral health. With that in mind, a family dentist will offer you and your entire family a positive experience and atmosphere, taking a gentle approach to dental visits.
A family dentist can offer the same kinds of services that a general dentist can:

  • Oral health check-ups
  • Regular dental cleanings
  • Fluoride treatments
  • X-rays
  • Sealants
  • Treatment of cavities/fillings
  • Treatment of gum disease
  • Tooth extractions
  • Orthodontics
  • Cosmetic dentistry procedures such as teeth whitening

Children will also benefit from understanding that their parents receive the same oral care that they themselves are receiving. An anxious or fearful child will tend to relax if an adult has “gone first.” Knowing the family dentist is there for the entire family and the wide range of services required over a lifetime can be very comforting. Over time, children will learn to feel more comfortable in the familiar atmosphere of the family dentist.

A family dentist understands how to care for a child’s baby teeth and for his or her adult teeth. There is a focus on preventative care, hoping to prevent any dental complications down the road. This dentist will ensure that your child knows how to brush properly and will emphasize the importance of daily routines such as regular flossing. With proper habits, the child who is a patient of a family dentist will grow up into an adult at that same practice, and will be more inclined to avoid issues such as cavities, gum disease, infections, and bone loss.

Early Childhood Cavities

Cavities during early childhood, often called “baby bottle tooth decay,” affects kids up to age three (or as long as they continue using a bottle). It is a result of poor oral hygiene accompanied by habits that increase the child’s risk of tooth decay. Not only do poor habits learned during childhood often last into adulthood, the same things that caused cavities during childhood will probably cause cavities in adult teeth as well.

What causes early childhood cavities?

  • Sugars and carbohydrates in the child’s diet
  • Drinks containing sugar, like milk, formula, and fruit juice
  • Frequent feedings
  • Bacteria transferred from caregiver to child
  • Letting the child sleep with a bottle containing anything but water

How can early childhood cavities be prevented?

  • Giving the child a pacifier instead of a bottle for sleep times
  • Filling bottles only with water if you must give a bottle during sleep times
  • Making sure your child has fluoride in their diet, often through your water supply. If not, ask your dentist about other ways to expose your child to fluoride.

What other ways can I help my child’s teeth healthy?

  • Clean your baby’s gums.
  • Once teeth have started erupting, brush your child’s teeth twice daily using a small amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • After your child can brush, monitor the process so the child doesn’t swallow fluoride toothpaste and to make sure the teeth are getting clean.
  • Help your child floss daily until about age 8 to 10, when most children should be able to do it correctly on their own.
  • Take your child to the dentist for checkups every six months after the first tooth appears, usually at about one year of age

Helping your child avoid “baby bottle tooth decay” and learn good dental hygiene will likely help your child throughout life.


If you need a family dentist that treats kids, contact our office today.


Preventing Gum Problems

Having sore, swollen, or bleeding gums can be painful as well as alarming. Everyone’s gums become tender or bleed at some point, but experiencing gum issues regularly indicates you may require treatment. There are a variety of steps you can take to prevent gum problems. Try these suggestions, but if you have persistent trouble with your gums you should let your dentist know so that they can be examined.

Brush your teeth at least twice daily, and use proper brushing techniques. For example, brush gently in a circular motion without scrubbing vigorously. Select a soft-bristled toothbrush that will be easier on your gums.

You should floss your teeth every single day. It may be the most important way to prevent gum problems, because it gets rid of plaque and bacteria in hard-to-reach areas and along your gum line.

Drink water
Especially after eating, drinking water helps to rinse food off your teeth and gums so that there is less opportunity for bacteria to attack.

Eat healthy
Choosing a well-balanced diet can lower your risk of gum problems. Be sure to incorporate vitamin C and calcium, which both assist in maintaining health gums.

Avoid hot or cold items
Be careful about drinking extremely cold or hot foods and drinks. Your gums can become irritated by extreme temperatures, and it can be especially painful if you consume these items with already sensitive gums.

Don’t use tobacco
Cigarettes and other tobacco products have proven to be damaging to your teeth and gums. Do your best to stop using tobacco products, and your mouth will reap the benefits.

Stress raises levels of a hormone called cortisol in your body. High levels of cortisol have been linked to increased inflammation throughout the body, so it stands to reason that trying to relax can benefit even your gums.


Family dentist in Bartlett IL

Make Your Brushing Count

While most people understand the importance of brushing twice a day, they may not realize that how you brush is also critical to protecting your oral health. Brushing is designed to remove food and bacteria from your mouth. The technique you use and steps you take play an important part in your success. At your checkups, your hygienist can offer suggestions to help you maximize your home care routine.

Brushing Tips

  • Place your toothbrush under running water to soften the bristles. Then, apply a small dab of fluoride toothpaste to the brush.
  • Plan to brush for at least two minutes. Set a timer or sing a song like “Happy Birthday” in your head to devote adequate time on this task.
  • Choose the right tool. Pick a toothbrush that has soft bristles and has a comfortable handle so that you won’t have an excuse not to brush.
  • Gently brush your teeth in a circular motion and spend 5 to 10 seconds on each tooth. Start on one side of your mouth and work your way across to reach all your teeth.
  • Cover all your bases. Make sure to brush your teeth, gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth.
  • Get into the groove. Don’t brush too harshly because it can damage your gums and weaken tooth enamel. If you don’t brush firmly enough, though, you may not remove the bacteria and debris from your teeth and gums.
  • Remember to care for your toothbrush. Always rinse it after you finish. Also, you need to replace your toothbrush or brush head every two to three months.

General dentist in Bartlett IL

The Best and Worst Foods for a Healthy Smile

What you eat impacts your overall wellbeing, including your dental health. Although most individuals realize that eating only candy and sweets would destroy their smiles, many people would be surprised about other foods that make the “worst” foods list. Selecting foods from the “best” list can have a positive impact on your whole-body health, not just your teeth. Read through these suggestions for a better understanding of healthy and not so great choices:

Snack Options to Limit:

Treats such as chocolate bars, gummy bears, and licorice contain sugar, which feeds the bacteria in your mouth, generating acidic wastes that rot your teeth.

Starchy foods like bread and potatoes
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that the bacteria in your mouth also love carbohydrates. As well, starches become sticky, and when they combine with plaque, can create a mess that will lead to tooth decay or other issues.

Cakes and cookies
Made with sugars and starches, these sweet treats can produce the perfect storm of potential damage to your teeth.

Good Foods Choices:

Sugarless Gum
Chewing gum made with Xylitol, a natural sweetener, will help clean debris from your mouth and increase saliva production, making it more difficult for plaque to stick to teeth.

Fruits and Vegetables
Crunchy options like carrots and apples are good sources of fiber, and they help curb your appetite so you won’t snack as much between meals.

Dairy Products
Low-fat choices like yogurt and certain cheeses contribute calcium, which helps keep teeth healthy and strong.


Family dentist in Bartlett IL

What Are the Differences between General and Pediatric Dentists?

Some people mistakenly believe there is no real difference between a general dentist and a pediatric dentist. In fact, choosing a good pediatric dentist who has been specifically trained to treat children’s teeth can be very beneficial. A pediatric dentist will know how to put anxious or nervous children at ease. This can help ensure they have a positive experience which can shape their attitude towards lifelong dental care.

Pediatric dentists have first qualified as general dentists but have been chosen to undergo an additional two or three years training in treating infants, children, teenagers and children with special needs. This specialized training will have included a residency program. During this time a pediatric dentist in Bartlett will have learned how to correctly diagnose issues and provide preventative dental care, how to teach oral hygiene to young children, and how to manage children’s behavior during their dental visits. In addition they will have been taught about the growth and development of children’s teeth, jaws and facial structures, and will have studied sedation techniques.

Children have unique oral health issues, and pediatric dentists have been trained to identify any possible risks. Some of these can be due to oral habits such as thumbsucking or pacifier use, while others can be down to parental influence, particularly diet. A typical visit to a pediatric dentist in Bartlett is likely to include an examination and teeth cleaning, as well as fluoride treatments if required. Your dentist can diagnose any problems such as cavities or broken teeth. They are also trained to help identify issues with tooth alignment and bite problems and can monitor and treat dental health issues due to gum disease, or to other general health problems such as diabetes.

Special Needs
Most general dentists are not trained to provide the level of care required by children with special needs. These children may have mental or physical challenges. A pediatric dentist can ensure they receive the best level of oral health care, as their issues often require a dentist with specialized knowledge.


Family dentist in Bartlett IL

Common Oral Surgery Procedures in Bartlett IL

A specialization area of dentistry is oral surgery, which involves diagnosing and treating functional or aesthetic issues of the teeth, gums, jaws, neck, and head. Some dentists are able to perform oral surgeries, but often it is advised to seek treatment from an oral surgeon who is well-trained and experienced in the sometimes tricky aspects of intricate surgeries. Here are some of the most common types of oral surgery.

Jaw surgery
Often surgery is the best way to correct various problems associated with the jaw. There are a number of issues surgery can address, or reasons behind the need for this type of intervention. Some typical cases are incorrect bite (malocclusion), trauma, teeth grinding or clenching that causes tooth wear, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, incorrect jaw position, misproportioned facial appearance, or problems using the jaw for eating or speaking.

Dental implants
A very popular type of oral surgery is replacing missing teeth with dental implants. This procedure involves surgically inserting a titanium rod in the site of the missing tooth root. The jaw bone will fuse together with the implant, and then later the procedure can be completed by placing a crown on top of the post.

Tooth extractions
Another very common reason for oral surgery is extracting teeth that are causing some type of problem in your mouth. This may include impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth, severely damaged teeth from decay or trauma, primary teeth that haven’t fallen out appropriately, or orthodontic treatment that requires tooth removal to achieve the desired results.

What to Tell Your Family Dentist in Bartlett IL

Your oral health is an important component of your overall health and can impact your entire body. Because of this impact, it is of vital importance that your family dentist has comprehensive knowledge of your medical history, as well as any other concerns or issues you may have that could affect your dental treatment. The following are some items you should discuss with your family dentist:

  • Tell your dentist if you have been diagnosed with any diseases or illnesses.
  • Provide a list of all medications you take, including both prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
  • Tell your family dentist if you have any known allergies, or if you are pregnant.
  • Report any sleep issues you may be having, or if you have been snoring.
  • Discuss any changes you have become aware of in your teeth or gums. Examples of the type of changes to share would be bleeding, bumps in your mouth, possible new cavities, and sensitivity to hot or cold.
  • Disclose if you smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Tell your dentist if you have bad breath.
  • Discuss if you have noticed you are grinding or clenching your teeth, or are having tension in your jaw or neck muscles.
  • Express any fears or anxiety you may have of dental treatment.
  • Share details of any previous dental issues you have experienced, or treatments you have undergone.
  • Discuss your expectations. Maybe you are hoping for a brighter smile or straighter teeth. With this information, your family dentist can determine the best course of action to achieve your goals.

The relationship you form with your family dentist is important. Entrusting your oral health to your dental professional requires an honest dialogue regarding all aspects of both your dental and overall health history. With the proper information, your family dentist can provide you with the excellent care you deserve.