What to Expect at Your Child’s Dental Appointment

Dentist in Homewood

Dentist in HomewoodThe American Dental Association recommends all patients to schedule  routine six-month check-up exams. This is particularly important for growing children.

At your visit, we will screen your child’s mouth for tooth decay and gum disease. Regular professional dental cleanings are essential for a healthy mouth. During your child’s dental cleaning, we will gently remove any buildup of plaque or tartar to help prevent tooth decay.

During this visit, our team will spend time discussing proper brushing technique and oral hygiene with your child. Depending on your child’s age, we may also teach them about the correct use of floss and mouthwash. Our team members are friendly, patient, and great with kids, and will answer every question.

We may recommend fluoride be applied to the teeth as part of your child’s treatment. Topical fluoride is used to strengthen enamel and make teeth more resistant to tooth decay.

Sealants are highly effective in preventing tooth decay and cavities on your molars and premolars. These areas are the most susceptible to cavities due to the anatomized grooves.

Typically, children get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. These sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.

The process of applying sealants is easy and fast. The application steps are as follows:

  • Your child’s teeth are thoroughly cleaned
  • The teeth are dried
  • A liquid solution is put on the chewing surfaces of the teeth
  • The solution is cured using a special curing light

Sealants act as a barrier and protect the enamel from plaque and acids. They may last for several years before a reapplication is needed. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay.

Sealants are not a substitute for brushing your teeth. It is important to maintain proper oral hygiene and keep up with professional dental cleanings. Also, sealants do not protect between the teeth, so it is essential to continue to floss daily.

Without proper dental care, children are susceptible to oral decay. Healthy smiles should not stop at our dental office. Our experienced and caring team will educate you and your child on how to make good food choices and how to properly brush and floss at home.

Our expert dentist and knowledgeable team have the experience and qualifications to care for your child’s teeth, gums and mouth throughout various stages of childhood. For more information or to request an appointment, contact our office today.

A few words about… Your Breath

Dentist in Homewood, IL

Homewood IL DentistManufacturers sell us many products by claiming that they freshen our breath. In their ads, they present attractive models with fabulous smiles happily swishing with this or that or having a mint or piece of gum, enjoying life, confident that their breath is fresh. One even claims to kill the germs that cause bad breath.

Sure, their products freshen your breath….. for about 20 minutes! That’s it. Even the most clinically effective mouthwash only works for about 20 minutes. Then the germs are back and in full force. Toothpaste is just as powerless. It’s futile to expect the chemicals in either to help much. So, what helps get rid of bad breath? Lets look at the causes.

Bacteria do contribute to bad breath, so it is important to keep your gums and teeth clean and healthy. Good hygiene is paramount. Clean means less bacteria and less odor. Professional cleanings help a lot by getting rid of tartar that attracts bacterial plaque while also reducing inflammation and gum disease. Home hygiene is very important too. Brushing with a Sonicare electric  toothbrush and flossing and using a WaterPik all help keep bacteria to a minimum while keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

Research shows that scraping your tongue helps too. It reduces the amount of bacteria in your mouth. Brushing your tongue, however, doesn’t help. We have tongue scrapers for you. Stomach acid can contribute to bad breath too. If you think you have Reflux, GERD, or bulimia, go see your doctor. He or she can diagnose it and treat it in a timely fashion.

One of the most important factors in fighting bad breath is water. Most of us are chronically dehydrated. We don’t drink enough water. Caffeine and alcohol dehydrate us even more. A dry mouth allows bacteria to flourish, contributing to bad breath, gum disease and tooth decay. The alcohol in mouthwash can dry your mouth too. So instead of using mouthwash, drink more water.

Chewing gum, especially gum with Xylitol, does help with bad breath in a couple ways. First, it scrubs your teeth and gums while you chew, thus removing some of the bacterial plaque and food deposits which cause bad breath. Second, it increases saliva flow, which moistens the mouth and buffers the acids that plaque produces. That helps reduce the potential for decay and gum disease while it helps freshen your breath. Xylitol helps by slowing the growth of plaque. Bacteria ingest it like sugar, but can’t metabolize it, so they don’t reproduce as fast.

To review…..
Drink more water; keep hydrated.
Get your teeth cleaned professionally.
Brush and floss and use a WaterPik.
Scrape your tongue.
Chew gum or mints with Xylitol.
Skip the mouthwash.

Contact our office to learn more.

The Importance of Oral Health Care While Pregnant

Dentist in Homewood, IL

Dentist Near MeAre you or a loved one currently pregnant or considering becoming pregnant? Congratulations! Since May is the month of Mother’s Day, we wanted to share some vital information.

Pregnant women experience major hormonal changes. For some, the mouth may be affected, causing what is known as “pregnancy periodontal disease.” Even those with great oral hygiene habits can be affected by this inflammation of the gums that causes swelling, tenderness, and sometimes minor bleeding of the gums during brushing or flossing. Research has shown a connection between periodontal disease and pre-term low birth weight babies. Before and during pregnancy, it is important to practice optimal oral health.

Pregnant woman may also have increased risk of tooth decay. Morning sickness, in particular, can cause increased acid exposure in your mouth, which can eat away at the strong, white protective layer called enamel. The American Dental Association recommends that if you are having frequent vomiting from morning sickness, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to neutralize the stomach acid on your teeth.

While you are pregnant, be sure to continue following great oral hygiene habits and keep your regularly scheduled dental appointments. We may recommend increasing frequency of professional cleanings and exams during your pregnancy to help counter these effects.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns involving your oral health. We look forward to seeing you soon.