Learning About Smile Makeovers

shutterstock_66213397You may benefit from a smile makeover if you are embarrassed about your smile. Unsightly teeth and gums can make a person unwilling to smile, but there are many options available through cosmetic dentists to make you smile again.

What does a smile makeover include? The answer is different for every patient, since each person has unique problems with their mouth. A smile makeover is often a combination of treatments that work together to correct problems. Some common issues that patients seek help for include crooked, chipped, gapped, missing, or discolored teeth. These types of problems can be solved with procedures like dental veneers, implants, teeth whitening, crowns, bonding, braces, and contouring. A reputable cosmetic dentist will listen to your concerns about your smile, determine what types of treatments will address the issues, and help you decide which ones to pursue.

Some smile makeover treatments take longer than others to complete. For example, orthodontic braces can take up to a couple of years to fully correct your smile. Implants require several months to complete the process. On the other hand, treatments such as veneers and crowns take only a couple of appointments or less. Teeth whitening and bonding are usually performed in only one visit. How quickly your smile is transformed really depends on the types of dental work decided upon by you and your dentist for your particular case.

Once you decide to pursue a smile makeover and have the procedures done, you will likely be able to enjoy your new look for years to come. Many cosmetic dentistry procedures are very durable and often even permanent, so the results are worth it to get the smile you’ve always wanted.

Smile makeover dentist in Bartlett, IL

Helpful Hints for Whiter Teeth

whitening-zoomTeeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures available today. A beautiful white smile is a symbol of health and youth. Your dentist in Bartlett, IL can provide professional in-office tooth whitening, or if you prefer you can whiten at home using custom-made bleaching trays. Afterwards, you’ll want your smile to look good for as long as possible.
The following tips will help your teeth look their best:

Limit Your Intake of Heavily Colored Foods
Darker colored beverages such as red wine, tea and coffee, and highly colored fruit juices will all stain your teeth. Wherever possible use a straw, as this will cut down the contact these liquids have with your teeth. Afterwards, rinse your mouth with plain water to help get rid of the residues. Highly colored foods can also stain your teeth, including tomato-based sauces and juicy berries.

Quit Smoking
Smoking discolors teeth and increases your risk of gum disease. It’s best to quit completely, but if you can’t at least try to cut down.

Stay Well Hydrated
Plain water is great for staying well hydrated and helps rinse away any excess food particles after eating, improving oral health and reducing the risk of tooth stains.

Use Baking Soda
Baking soda is well known to help lift some surface stains on teeth. It’s possible to buy toothpaste already containing baking soda, but otherwise you can make your own whitening paste simply by mixing up a little baking soda, salt and water.

Make Healthy Food Choices
A balanced diet will provide your teeth and gums with plenty of nutrients to stay strong and healthy. In addition, eating certain foods can help improve your smile. Crunchy fruits and vegetables, for example apples, carrots and celery, have a high water and fiber content. Eating these foods will help remove some surface stains as their fibrous quality has a slight scrubbing action on your teeth.

None of these solutions are a substitute for professional dental care with your dentist in Bartlett, IL, and for proper daily dental care at home.

Dental Sealants Can Help Prevent Tooth Decay

whitesmileUnfortunately studies show that tooth decay in children is increasing, and it’s not unusual for kids to have one or more fillings or to require more extensive procedures. Some dentists have reported that children as young as two can have between six and 10 cavities. Tooth decay is a serious problem and dental sealants can help prevent it.

The American Dental Association (ADA) approved the use of dental sealants more than 35 years ago so this procedure is tried and tested. Dental sealants consist of a very thin plastic coating that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, filling in all the grooves and fissures so bacteria cannot penetrate. This procedure helps prevent tooth decay as the grooves in back teeth can often trap bacteria and food and can be difficult to clean, increasing the risk of cavities.

Your dentist in Bartlett will usually apply dental sealants to the permanent molars, and the procedure is best carried out as soon as the adult teeth erupt. Sometimes dental sealants are used to protect baby teeth to prevent them from being lost too soon.

The procedure to apply dental sealants is quick and painless. First your dentist will thoroughly clean and dry the teeth. An acidic solution is painted onto the tooth surfaces to slightly roughen the tooth, increasing the bond between the sealants and the tooth. The acidic solution is washed off and the teeth are dried once more before the dental sealant is painted on. Sometimes your dentist in Bartlett, IL might use a special light to help harden the sealant. Teeth can be used normally at the end of treatment.

Dental sealants usually last between five and 10 years but can be replaced when they become chipped or worn. This treatment is very effective at helping to prevent cavities and is likely to be recommended for children with newly erupted adult teeth.

Stress and Your Oral Health

Everyone knows that stress can take a toll on the body. Headaches, stomach pain, and feeling edgy are common by-products of excessive tension in your life. Many people don’t realize that stress can also significantly affect your oral health. During times of high anxiety, you may experience the following oral health issues:

tmjIncreased risk of gum disease
Even if your situation is only short-term, stress can boost plaque production. When plaque levels rise, you may contend with gingivitis, the early form of gum disease. Learning positive coping strategies for managing your anxiety can reduce the damage to your oral health.

Improper oral hygiene
Often, personal care falls by the wayside when you are really stressed out. If you don’t take care of your teeth and gums, you could end up dealing with issues like gum disease or tooth decay. Continue to brush twice a day and floss frequently to protect your whole mouth.

Flare-ups of mouth sores
Fatigue and stress can lead to canker sores as well as outbreaks of fever blisters. Small ulcers that develop on your soft tissues, canker sores can cause a great deal of discomfort. A result of the herpes simplex virus, fever blisters can definitely pop up during times of emotional stress.

Grinding and clenching
Often an unconscious habit, clenching and grinding your teeth can become exacerbated by stress. Not only can this cause painful symptoms like headaches and facial pain, but clenching and grinding can also result in tooth fractures and uneven tooth wear.

We care about your oral health at Bartlett Family Dental – If you live in the Bartlett IL area and you need a new family dentist, contact our office for an appointment.

Trends in Cosmetic Dentistry

cosmeticdentalDentistry is no longer just about pain control and oral hygiene. It doesn’t only include traditional dental care, but also many treatments that achieve the goal of cosmetic improvements. There are lots of reasons that cosmetic dentistry is appealing to patients. Some of these are decay, tooth loss, enamel loss, weak gums, teeth grinding, crooked teeth, improper bite, and oral trauma. To deal with these problems, let’s learn about some treatments that help.

Tooth loss is more common than most people think. From accidents to tooth decay to other issues, once missing teeth occur it’s time to think about restoration options. Dental implants provide permanent, comfortable, and natural results. Typically made of titanium, implants are attached directly to the jaw during surgery. The implants fuse with the jaw and when healing is complete, an artificial tooth is attached on top to complete the restoration.

Damaged teeth can be corrected with dental bonding, in which a putty-like material is applied to the tooth’s surface and bonded with a special light. Bonding restores chipped or fractured areas so that they look as good as new.

For patients who aren’t interested in braces or more extensive dental work, contouring is a painless way to correct crooked, damaged, or unevenly spaced teeth. In just one visit, the dentist can alter teeth by removing small amounts of tooth structure to change the length, position, or shape of teeth. Significant results can be achieved with minimal reduction. Chips and fractures can be smoothed, and angles can be rounded to improve smiles.

Veneers and whitening
Dental veneers can be attached to the fronts of teeth to hide various flaws, providing long-lasting smile improvements. There are a variety of teeth whitening methods available through cosmetic dentists, which can dramatically change tooth color and brighten smiles.




A Guide to Dental Veneers

smile-1When you’d like your smile to look healthier and brighter, and you’d like to feel better about yourself, dental veneers might be the answer. These cosmetic restorations can enhance the beauty of teeth no matter how bad they appear before you get them.

Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are attached to the fronts of your real teeth to recreate the look of natural teeth, but improve their appearance. When the veneers are applied, a small amount of your enamel must be removed to create room for the veneer. This allows the veneers to fit well and provide better tooth function.

Some common reasons that people get veneers is to transform the color, contours, or shape of their teeth. Veneers also cover gaps, chips, fractures, and minor misalignments of the teeth. Some of the great things about veneers is that they provide strength and resilience compared to your tooth enamel. The color can be selected so that it is just the shade you desire, and the porcelain resists stains so they remain as bright as the day you got them.

An important thing to know about veneers is that it is a permanent treatment. Adjustments and replacement veneers may be needed at some point, but you can never go without veneers completely since a portion of the tooth enamel was eliminated. Also, you will likely wear temporary veneers for a short time while your permanent veneers are created in a lab. Once you have your final veneers, maintenance involves regular brushing and flossing as you would your natural teeth. Your dentist may recommend a less abrasive fluoride toothpaste. You will also be warned to avoid placing excessive stress on your veneers, such as chewing ice or biting your fingernails, since they can be broken in some instances.

If you are looking for a way to improve your smile in a painless and quick method, dental veneers are a great option for most people with healthy teeth who just want to enhance their smile.


Find a cosmetic dentist in Bartlett IL – Contact our office today!

The Truth about Gum Disease

whitesmileAre you one of the 80% of adults in the United States who have some level of gum disease? Also called periodontal disease, gum disease forms in the area between your gum line and your teeth. It leads to inflamed tissue and receding gums. The deeper the space is that forms as your gums recede, the more severe your case of gum disease is. It can lead to serious issues if left untreated. Gum disease is a common problem that you should know how to prevent, recognize, and obtain treatment.

Stages of gum disease
Gingivitis if the first stage of gum disease and causes swollen gums that easily bleed. Practicing good dental hygiene like brushing and flossing can prevent and help reverse gingivitis, which usually doesn’t lead to loss of teeth or gum tissue. The next stage, periodontitis, is more serious and happens if you leave gingivitis untreated. The gums will recede and infected pockets form in the gaps. Without treatment, your gums, tissues, and jaw bones may break down. It’s likely that your teeth will loosen and possibly fall out.

Treatment options
The main goal is to control the chronic infection that damages your gums. Treatment depends on the stage of your gum disease. Sometimes it can be cleared up simply with proper dental hygiene and regular professional teeth cleanings. Oral medications may be prescribed, or even medicines that are inserted right into the infected tissue. In severe cases, gum surgery is required.

Consequences of untreated gum disease
In addition to loss of teeth, untreated gum disease gets worse and worse. It has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, and to difficulties controlling blood sugar in diabetics. Pregnant women have an increased risk of delivering babies with low birth weights. Any way you look at it, the smartest and easiest ways to prevent gum disease is to properly brush and floss your teeth, eat a nutritious diet, and see your dentist for regular checkups.


Dr. Hofmeister is a dentist in Bartlett, IL that can help treat gum disease.  Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

What is Preventative Dentistry, and why is it Important?

whitesmilePreventative dental care simply means scheduling regular checkups and professional cleanings with your dentist, and making sure you spend adequate time brushing and flossing each day. It is the easiest and cheapest way to help keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy, and it helps decrease the likelihood of needing any costly restorative dental work, or emergency dental care.

The Importance of Regular Dental Checkups
Regular dental checkups are the best way for your dentist to detect any small signs of disease, usually before they have caused any unpleasant symptoms. Small cavities are easily and cheaply filled, and the early signs of gums disease can soon be treated before there is any lasting damage to your gums. This type of regular maintenance can also provide peace of mind, as you are less likely suffer from toothache.
Your dentist will want to take dental x-rays at regular intervals, usually every two years, but this can vary according to your dental health. These x-rays show hidden areas of your mouth, such as the contact points between teeth that can often develop cavities.

Professional Dental Cleanings
Professional dental cleanings are carried out by a hygienist, and remove all the hardened plaque from your teeth. Hardened plaque is called tartar or calculus and contains bacteria that produce toxins. If tartar is not regularly removed then it will infect the gums, and will cause inflammation and gum disease. Regular cleanings help prevent this from happening, and keep your breath fresh. Your hygienist is also the best person to give advice on how to improve your brushing and flossing techniques, and can point out any areas of your mouth you might be missing during cleaning.

Once your teeth and gums are in reasonable condition, then regular preventative dental care can help keep them that way. This prolongs the life of your teeth, and will ensure your smile always looks its best.
Schedule your next dental checkup at our Bartlett, IL dental office.

What Makes a Good Pediatric Dentist?

kid_imageGeneral dentists treat kids, but not all of them specialize in this age group. Dentists who exclusively treat the unique oral health needs of children are called pediatric dentists. They focus on dentistry from infants through teens. Pediatric dentists receive specific training in children’s dentistry and have experience dealing with the challenges of this younger age group.

It is especially important to take children to the dentist during the formative years of their smile. You should schedule your child’s first appointment around the first birthday, and then maintain regular checkups every six months. This will allow the dentist to examine your child’s mouth for any issues, teach hygiene tasks, and professionally clean the teeth. However, one aspect of dental care should not be overlooked: you should ensure your child has a positive experience with the dentist so that there is less chance of fear and dental neglect. That’s when a good pediatric dentist comes in handy.

This dental specialist has the skills necessary to work with nervous kids who are often unable to sit still during a checkup, as well as handle anxious parents. Look for a pediatric dentist who is friendly, welcoming, fun, and interacts well with children. Pediatric dental offices are often filled with appealing art, colorful decorations, fun activities, rewards, and dental tools geared toward youngsters. These dentists know what it takes to keep kids interested and content during appointments. All of these things contribute to building a good rapport with the dentist, and having a successful lifelong attitude toward dental visits.


Kids dentist in Bartlett IL

Visiting an Endodontist for a Root Canal

There are a number of reasons you may find out you need root canal treatment. Some of the common issues that require treatment include severe tooth decay, chipped tooth, inflamed tooth pulp, oral swelling, severe cold or hot sensitivity, or a dying tooth that wasn’t treated sooner. If you experience any of these issues, a trip to your dentist is in order. You might then be referred to an endodontist for further treatment.

An endodontist is a specialist who has completed additional training after general dental school. This specialty area focuses on treating issues with the pulp of your teeth. Endodontists are trained to perform all aspects of root canal therapy, from routine procedures to the most complex. Sometimes this type of treatment is the only way to save your tooth, so it’s important to have it done correctly.

Root canal treatment means that the endodontist will remove the pulp portion of your tooth, which is in its interior, and then place a filling in your tooth. This procedure is necessary when the tooth can’t be restored any other way because of infection or decay that has reached the nerve of your tooth. It may take one or more visits to complete your root canal, depending on the severity of the problem. At your initial visit, the doctor will tell you what will be required to complete your treatment and if any preparation is needed such as taking antibiotics beforehand to treat infection.

During the procedure, local anesthetic will be used to numb your tooth. You also may need X-rays. Once your tooth is numb, the endodontist will drill to the center of your tooth and remove the pulp and any infected tissue. The tooth will then be dried and thoroughly cleaned. Finally a temporary or permanent filling will be placed, depending on your case. Although this treatment may sound scary and has a reputation of being painful, improvements in the procedure have made it comparable to having a regular cavity filled. Minimal discomfort and recovery time is usually the situation when you obtain proper treatment from an experienced endodontist.


Root canal treatment at our Bartlett dental office.

Improve your Oral Health with Dental Implants

oldercoupleOne of the best options today for replacing missing teeth is dental implants. They are made of strong material such as titanium, and are surgically inserted directly into your jaw bone. This means that they are a permanent solution to restoring your smile, and look and feel completely natural. Here are some specific areas in which dental implants can improve your life.

Since they are permanently fused with your jaw bones, implants look and feel very natural. They blend right in with the rest of your smile, restoring your smile’s function and appearance.

Having implants avoids the discomforts often associated with dentures. You can chew normally, and are able to maintain the same diet as with all your natural teeth.

Implants give you back the ability to smile confidently. There are no missing, decayed, or broken teeth negatively affecting your smile. With implants, you can rest assured that your teeth are secure and attractive.

All of your remaining teeth are left intact and unaffected by having implants, so your long term oral health is improved. Also, implants are permanent so you may brush and floss your teeth normally.

Unlike with other appliances, implants do not involve any messy adhesives or cause concerns that your teeth will slip or fall out. You don’t have to be inconvenienced by taking your restoration in and out for maintenance.

Your teeth play a role in how you speak, so improperly fitting dentures are known to affect the speech of patients. When dentures slip, you might stutter or whistle when you talk. Permanently attached implants don’t slip, so your speech remains the same.

Implants typically last from 10 to 15 years with proper care, or even longer. They have one of the highest success rates of all tooth replacement options.


We offer dental implants at our Bartlett, IL dental office – schedule your appointment today!

The Basics about Pediatric Dentistry

kid_imageYou are wrong if you think your child’s dental care can wait until the permanent teeth erupt. Around your child’s first birthday, it is time to begin seeing a dentist. Many parents and kids alike prefer going to a pediatric dentist, who specializes in oral health care for children. You and your child will learn the best ways to maintain and protect the teeth and gums. Here are some basics that your dentist will likely share with you about childhood oral health.

It is important to learn the most effective ways to keep your child’s mouth clean. Removing plaque and food particles will reduce the risk for tooth decay. Your dentist will show you how to properly brush your child’s teeth, which you can expect to do as a parent until your child is several years old. You can then teach your child to brush themselves, although you must continue to supervise and help as needed. Flossing should not be neglected, because it’s a key part of the dental hygiene process. Parents need to continue to assist with flossing for a longer time, since it can be difficult for kids to do.

Applying dental sealants to your child’s teeth is a great way to provide protection. The purpose is to seal the tooth so that it is harder for bacteria and plaque to get inside and cause decay. The risk of tooth decay is significantly lowered with the application of sealants. Your dentist will apply the material to the teeth and allow it to dry, which is not a lengthy or painful process for your child, but goes a long way in helping to avoid cavities.

Bad habits
Your dentist will help identify any habits that your child has that may be detrimental to oral health. There are risks with habits such as falling asleep with a bottle, pacifier use, and thumb sucking. Your dentist can provide helpful hints on how to eliminate bad habits so that your child’s dental health is at less risk.



Dentist for kids in Bartlett, IL

Teeth Whitening Options

If you smile doesn’t shine as brightly as you would like, teeth whitening can transform your appearance. Several options exist for people who want to enhance their smiles with teeth whitening. Drugstore kits, at-home whitening, and in-office whitening are all ways to give your pearly whites a pick-me up.

Whitening Toothpastes
When you use toothpaste, it contains mild abrasives that remove surfaces stains. Some whitening toothpastes also include carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide that will lighten the enamel a shade or two. Unfortunately, whitening toothpastes don’t produce lasting results.

Over-the-Counter Kits
Various companies make whitening strips and other products that claim to whiten your teeth. Though these kits may remove some discolorations, a higher level of a bleaching agent is needed to generate long-term changes. Additionally, drugstore whitening kits can weaken tooth enamel or damage gum tissue if not used properly. It’s advisable to go with dentist-recommended options.

At-Home Whitening
Some people desire professional results but on their own schedules. Custom take-home trays allow you to whiten teeth when it works for you. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and send the models to a dental lab that will produce the trays you will wear. Apply the whitening gel and keep the trays in as directed. You may notice a difference in your smile right away, but the final results usually appear in two to three weeks.

In-Office Whitening
The quickest way to lighten stains is with in-office whitening. In one appointment, your dentist can brighten your smile up to 10 shades. You can come in at lunch time and leave with a dazzling new appearance. For in-office whitening, your lips and gums are protected, a bleaching agent is applied to the teeth, and a special ultraviolet light is used to activate the whitening gel.



Teeth whitening dentist in Bartlett IL

Simple Ways to Protect Kids’ Teeth

kid_imageKids don’t always play it safe or make the best decisions when it comes to protecting their teeth. Tooth decay and mouth injuries are just a couple of things parents must worry about for their kids, whether it’s the elementary school or college years. Here are some simple ways that parents can teach their kids to protect their teeth.

Limit sports and energy drinks.
Sports and energy drinks are both heavily marketed toward today’s youth. It is true that sports drinks help replace electrolytes during exercise, but many people drink them too much or outside the exercise realm. Experts have deemed sports drinks to be unnecessary in the lunchroom or as a snack on the playground. The high acid levels in these drinks can erode tooth enamel, with energy drinks determined to cause twice as much damage. It is recommended to save sports drinks for very strenuous activities, and instead stick with water for hydration and refreshment without the negative effects.

Insist upon mouthguards.
Parents should provide mouthguards for kids in nearly any sport, even if it isn’t considered mandatory by the school or team. Mouthguards can prevent chips, fractures, or knockouts of teeth, as well as protect the soft tissues of the mouth. According to research estimates, 3 million teeth were knocked out in youth sports in 2011. Dentists suggest that athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to sustain oral injury. Inexpensive basic mouthguards or the boil-and-bite variety are available at sporting goods stores, or customized mouthguards can be purchased through your dentist.

Say no to oral piercings.
Although it applies primarily to teenagers and older, the Academy of General Dentistry advises against oral piercing for active people. Those with piercings should remove them before participating in sports, because puncture wounds can lead to infections related to increased blood flow and breathing rates during exercise. If your child is considering and oral piercing, make sure you discuss the risks and need for removal during physical activity.


Dentist for kids in Bartlett IL

Dealing with Dental Plaque

dental-cleaning2From a young age, we are taught to fight plaque. Considered a dreaded enemy of teeth, dental plaque is a clear, sticky substance that sticks to surfaces in your mouth. Initially, this film is easily removed when you brush, but if left alone, the plaque releases acid that will erode enamel. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar, which only a dental professional can eliminate.

The following bad habits can contribute to plaque build up:

Lack of brushing
Although no one else may notice if you don’t brush religiously, your teeth will suffer. Make twice-a-day brushing part of your regular routine.

Infrequent flossing
If you only brush and don’t take time to floss, plaque gets left between teeth and can create dental health issues like cavities and gum disease.

Forgoing Dental Visits
Even with good home care, you may not remove all the plaque from your teeth. Once it forms tartar, a hardened substance, your dentist will need to remove it. Neglecting dental visits can increase your chances of tooth decay, and even tooth loss, so schedule checkups at least once a year at a minimum.

Dietary Choices
Before toothbrushes and toothpaste existed, certain foods were known to naturally fight plaque and promote oral health. Apples, celery, cucumbers, carrots, and other raw fruits and vegetables help remove plaque when you eat them.

Feeding Your Sweet Tooth
Simple carbohydrates like sugar provide a breeding ground for the bacteria in your mouth. When you indulge in candy or other sweets, bacteria have a guaranteed food source.



Family dentist in Bartlett IL

Stages of the Smile Makeover Process

smile-4A smile makeover offers ways to improve your looks through a variety of procedures both big and small, as needed for your circumstances and goals. You don’t have to be a celebrity to undergo this kind of transformation. Smile makeovers are performed by cosmetic dentists all over the country and to people in all walks of life. Here are some important stages of the process that you’ll experience to gain your new look.

The first step is to meet with your cosmetic dentist to discuss what you dislike about your current smile, and the goals you have with a new one. Your dentist can help determine if your goals are in line with your facial structure, skin, eyes, and features. Also, you will provide your full medical history and identify any health concerns.

Next you will receive a complete oral examination. Your dentist can determine any conditions that contribute to your current smile and come up with ways for improvement. Your dentist will want to know about any factors that might affect your smile, such as previous injuries, periodontal disease, and nutritional impacts. This is a good time for you to ask questions as he gets to know you and your case better.

Treatment plan
After your dentist has carefully examined you and created a recommended treatment plan, you will learn about the suggested procedures. You will learn all about the potential treatments and expected results.

The most exciting part of the process is actually getting the procedures done that will help accomplish your goals. This may include preliminary dental work, temporary restorations, and implementation of the treatment plan.

Once the final restorations have been placed and you have recovered from the dental procedures, you will be advised on how to properly maintain your new look. Any minor adjustments can be made, and you will be able to begin your new life with your new smile.



Smile makeover dentist in Bartlett, IL

Do Energy and Sports Drinks Ruin Your Teeth?

Advertisements have successfully convinced many adults and kids that energy drinks will pump you up, and sports drinks will heighten your performance. They’ve been sold on the idea that these drinks are better for you than soda, and their popularity has skyrocketed. Not everyone is on the bandwagon, however, and one of the reasons is the possible negative affects on your teeth.

The main impact is a result of the high acidity levels in the drinks. Acid can erode your tooth enamel, which is the glossy outside layer of your teeth. Some studies go so far as to suggest that you are basically bathing your teeth with acid. Experts say that damage to tooth enamel can’t be reversed, and without a good layer of enamel your teeth will become sensitive and more likely to decay.

Researchers are still studying the effects of energy and sports drinks on your teeth. So far, studies haven’t consistently proven exactly what can happen. However, many experts suggest that since there is evidence that tooth damage may occur, it seems smart to heed the suggestions about how to minimize the effects of these drinks on your teeth. Here are some suggested ways to reduce potential tooth damage:

Cut down on your consumption of sports and energy drinks.
Chew sugarless gum after drinking these items, because it will stimulate saliva production. Choose gum containing xylitol because it has been shown to protect tooth enamel.
Rinse your mouth with water after consuming these types of drinks. This will help wash away residue from the drink, and also increase saliva production. Saliva flow naturally helps the acidity levels in your mouth to return to normal.
Wait an hour after having these drinks before you brush your teeth. This will avoid spreading the acid onto the surfaces of your teeth and increasing the erosive action.


Family and general dentist in Bartlett IL

Can Seniors Get Dental Implants?

denturesTo restore missing teeth, many people turn to dental implants as an effective and long-lasting solution. Titanium implants are surgically inserted into the jaw to create an artificial tooth root, and then a crown is placed on top to complete the restoration. Some people may wonder if this technology is advisable for senior adults. This is what the experts have to say.

There is not an age limit for receiving dental implants. The only way to know if you are a good candidate is to discuss your situation with a qualified dentist.

Medical history
The main factor that might impact a senior’s ability to qualify for dental implants is medical history. The dentist will use a patient’s medical history to make sure the patient has a good chance for successful implantation, as well as not overly high risks for infection. Some conditions that decrease implant success include previous strokes and heart attacks, which are more common among seniors.

Bone condition
At any age, a patient’s jawbone much have adequate height, width, and mass to anchor an implant properly. It is not uncommon for people to lose bone mass with age, which means that elderly patients may not qualify. Sometimes a bone graft is an option though, so bone condition doesn’t automatically rule a patient out.

Ability to heal
Because an implant is inserted into the jawbone, it is vital that it heal correctly and completely. Seniors with medical conditions like diabetes may not heal as well as other patients, so dentists will want to make sure the patient does not have an impaired ability to heal.

Dental implants require maintenance to be successful. That means practicing good oral hygiene and maintaining dental checkups to ensure progress. Seniors must be capable and willing to maintain their implants.



Dentist in Bartlett, IL for seniors and dental implants.

The Difference between Composite and Amalgam Fillings

When you have a cavity, your dentist will have to remove the decay and repair the tooth with a filling. For years, the only option for tooth restorations was amalgam, or metal, fillings. These fillings stabilized the tooth and were relatively inexpensive and easy for dental practitioners to use. Currently, many dentists have started choosing composite fillings instead.

Amalgam fillings contain several different metals, but they are over 50 percent mercury, a potentially toxic material. Normal chewing and grinding can release some amount of the chemical into your system. Overexposure to mercury can lead to problems such as kidney dysfunction, neurological impairment, birth defects, and other serious issues. The FDA still considers amalgam fillings a safe option for tooth repair.

Tooth-colored fillings offer several advantages to amalgam fillings. With metal-free fillings, your dentist can remove less of the healthy tooth structure, which protects the tooth’s strength. All-white restorations create an natural-looking repair whereas amalgams turn dark over time and then stand out in your mostly white smile. Though metal fillings can leak or crack from normal wear and tear, all-white fillings bond to the tooth and form a solid surface.

Usually, the dentist can fill your cavity in one appointment. The doctor will remove the decayed area and clean the remaining tooth surface. Then, he or she will tint the composite material and fill in the tooth. A curing light will harden the new filling, and the dentist will polish the tooth to finish the process.


Family and Cosmetic dentist in Bartlett IL

Diet Tips to Keep Your Smile in Tip-Top Shape

fruits-vegiesOver the years, millions of people have tried diets like South Beach, Atkins, Jenny Craig, and Weight Watchers to lose weight, look good, and improve their wellbeing. The foods you eat also impact the health and appearance of your teeth. Follow these suggestions to maintain a gorgeous, white smile:


  • Choose light-colored foods and beverages. Red wine, black coffee, and other dark options can cause staining, which dulls your smile’s brilliance.
  • Avoid sticky, chewy candy. If you need something sweet, try sugar-free gum or chocolate instead. Taffy, caramel, and other gooey choices can stick to your teeth and increase the chances of cavities forming in the grooves and crevices.
  • Limit consumption of acidic foods. Fruits like strawberries, apples and melons aren’t as hard on your teeth as lemons, limes, and oranges, which can weaken enamel.
  • Cut down on sugary foods and beverages. When you have a choice, select water, milk, or unsweetened tea over sports drinks or sodas.
  • Get plenty of dairy. Calcium helps keep bones, including teeth, strong, so snack on cheese cubes in the afternoon or have a glass of milk with dinner. Green vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach are also great sources of calcium.
  • Set a time limit for indulging. Consuming sugary, starchy, or acidic food and beverages over several hours is worse on your teeth than enjoying a few treats all at once. After you finish, make sure to thoroughly rinse your mouth.



General dentist in Bartlett, IL

Will People Know I have a Dental Implant?

dental-implantsIf you are considering getting a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, you might wonder if it’s going to be noticeable. It stands to reason that it should be less obvious than having a hole in your mouth where your tooth is missing, but you also probably don’t want it to stand out as not being your real tooth. You’re in luck, because dental implants replace missing teeth by providing a natural and attractive restoration.

The technology of dental implants has proven to be a successful way of restoring your mouth’s appearance and function. They can replace one or multiple teeth, and adjacent teeth are not affected. Usually made from titanium, implants are small screws that are surgically placed into your jaw. A dental crown is then attached to the top of the implant. Over time, your jaw bone fuses with the titanium implant so that it feels like a real tooth.

Properly done, dental implants not only feel like your natural teeth, they also look real. Your dentist will fit the implant exactly into your mouth so that it is secure and comfortable. The color of the restoration will also be matched to the rest of your teeth, and the size of the crown will be coordinated with the position and shape of your other teeth.

You can rest assured that your dental implant should look and feel like it was always there. Others won’t notice you have an implant, but you can be certain to reap the benefits of this effective dental restoration.



Dental implants dentist in Bartlett, IL

Cosmetic Dentistry Not Just for Women

smileOften, advertising for cosmetic dentistry focuses on women. Photos in magazines and on Web sites show attractive females with gorgeous smiles. Although these campaigns often target women, men can benefit from cosmetic dentistry too.   Professionally and personally, men have just as many reasons as women do to look their best. Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. Having a vibrant, white smile can create a perception of self-assurance, intelligence, and warmth. Men who have cosmetic dental enhancements can enjoy the benefits of looking younger and feeling more confident.

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Dental Advice for Seniors

oldersmilingcoupleMost people assume that senior adults all properly take care of their teeth by the time they reach that age. That isn’t always the case though, since older people face different oral health issues than they did in their younger years. It’s important for seniors to maintain a smart oral care routine so that their mouth will stay healthy their entire lives. Here are some tips to help accomplish that goal.

Brush regularly
Seniors have a higher risk of receding gums and resulting problems like cavities and tooth loss. Brush your teeth at least twice daily with a soft bristled toothbrush, and rinse with mouthwash. Also floss your teeth daily. These tasks remove food and plaque from both your natural teeth and dentures, as well as below the gum line. Be sure to brush your dentures daily too.

See your dentist
Visit your dentist for regular checkups twice a year, whether you have natural teeth or dentures. Your dentist will check for gum disease, oral cancer, as well as clean your teeth and adjust your dentures if needed. Also, make sure you tell your dentist about any medical conditions, medications, allergies, or recent operations you may have had. This will alert him to any potential drug interactions or side effects that might affect your oral health.

Recognize warnings
Be aware of warning signs that you have a problem, such as red or bleeding gums when you brush. That can indicate an infection or other issue. Also tell your dentist if you have red or white patches inside your mouth, or sores that don’t heal within two weeks, because these may be signs of oral cancer.

Follow denture recommendations
Use the correct amount of denture cream or adhesive. If your dentures are uncomfortable or require using more than one tub of cream every three weeks, have your dentures evaluated by your dentist. An adjustment or replacement may be necessary.



Dentist in Bartlett IL for senior citizens

What You Should Know about Your Child’s Dental Health

kidsIf you have kids, you want the best for them. Part of your role as a parent is to make sure they grow up healthy. Proper oral health care assists in your child’s overall wellbeing. To ensure that they have vibrant smiles that will last a lifetime, you need to have the correct information about dental care for children, so it’s important to learn fact from fiction.

Fiction: Baby teeth aren’t important.
Fact: Primary teeth actually serve as placeholders for permanent teeth as well as allowing for normal speech and chewing function. If baby teeth are lost early because of decay, your child may experience crowding or misalignment when permanent teeth erupt.

Fiction: Thumb sucking won’t hurt my child’s teeth.
Fact: While it’s cute to see a baby or toddler sucking his or her thumb, you need to work on curtailing this habit by the time your child enters kindergarten. If thumb sucking continues after that point, the permanent front teeth may not come in properly.

Fiction: Kids don’t need to floss.
Fact: The earlier you teach children to floss, the more likely they will be to continue this important oral hygiene step. As well, flossing baby teeth can help prevent cavities.

Fiction: My child doesn’t need a checkup until kindergarten.
Fact: Most dentists recommend bringing your child in for a first visit by age three. At this appointment, your doctor can examine your child’s mouth and create a positive feeling about dental visits so that your child feels safe and comfortable.

Fiction: I don’t need to help my child with brushing.
Fact: Although you may think your kids are doing a good job, they may not be able to brush the hard-to-reach areas on their own. At the very least, you should do a quick check after brushing is completed.

Pediatric dentist in Bartlett IL