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Posts for: August, 2017

By Today's Dentistry
August 23, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Your daily habits could decrease your chances of developing decay or gum disease.oral hygiene

While everyone can agree that it’s important to give your teeth and gums the proper care they deserve, some people have no idea how to really go about it. Yes, most people understand the importance of brushing and flossing but don’t realize that technique matters or that other factors play into their oral health. From the office of our Chicago, IL dentist Dr. Mark Gamalinda, find out what could really protect your smile from issues.

Quit Smoking

Whether you are an occasional smoker or heavy cigarette user, tobacco products of any kind can wreak havoc on your smile. While there are many studies that discuss the health issues involved in smoking you may not realize that smoking can also cause a host of oral health problems, from chronic bad breath and decay to gum disease, infection, reduced healing and even oral cancer. If you want to really improve your oral health then it’s time to talk to our Chicago general dentist about ways to ditch the habit.

Your Diet

Just as what you eat affects your general health it can also affect your oral health, as well. If you eat a diet that is rich in sugar, starches and processed foods, sodas, sports drinks and fruit juices then chances are very good that you will deal with decay, gum disease and enamel erosion. If you want to keep teeth, gums and bones healthy and strong, then you’ll want to eat more vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy.

Swap Out Toothbrush Heads

Your toothbrush isn’t meant to last forever, but most people put off buying a new toothbrush. However, frayed bristles can be too harsh for enamel and can lead to scratches or excessive wear and tear. The best thing you can do is replace your toothbrush head once you notice the bristles starting to splay out (usually about every three to four months). You should also replace your toothbrush head after an illness since the bristles can harbor bacteria.

Don’t forget that your trip to the dentist every six months is important for a healthy smile. If it’s time for your upcoming cleaning, then call Today’s Dentistry in Chicago, IL.

By Today's Dentistry
August 16, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

During his former career as a professional footballer (that's a soccer star to U.S. sports fans) David Beckham was known for his skill at “bending” a soccer ball. His ability to make the ball curve in mid-flight — to avoid a defender or score a goal — led scores of kids to try to “bend it like Beckham.” But just recently, while enjoying a vacation in Canada with his family, “Becks” tried snowboarding for the first time — and in the process, broke one of his front teeth.

Some fans worried that the missing tooth could be a “red card” for Beckham's current modeling career… but fortunately, he headed straight to the dental office as soon as he arrived back in England. Exactly what kind of treatment is needed for a broken tooth? It all depends where the break is and how badly the tooth is damaged.

For a minor crack or chip, cosmetic bonding may offer a quick and effective solution. In this procedure, a composite resin, in a color custom-made to match the tooth, is applied in liquid form and cured (hardened) with a special light. Several layers of bonding material can be applied to re-construct a larger area of missing tooth, and chips that have been saved can sometimes be reattached as well.

When more tooth structure is missing, dental veneers may be the preferred restorative option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells that are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. They can not only correct small chips or cracks, but can also improve the color, spacing, and shape of your teeth.

But if the damage exposes the soft inner pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment will be needed to save the tooth. In this procedure, the inflamed or infected pulp tissue is removed and the tooth sealed against re-infection; if a root canal is not done when needed, the tooth will have an increased risk for extraction in the future. Following a root canal, a tooth is often restored with a crown (cap), which can look good and function well for many years.

Sometimes, a tooth may be knocked completely out of its socket; or, a severely damaged tooth may need to be extracted (removed). In either situation, the best option for restoration is a dental implant. Here, a tiny screw-like device made of titanium metal is inserted into the jaw bone in a minor surgical procedure. Over time, it fuses with the living bone to form a solid anchorage. A lifelike crown is attached, which provides aesthetic appeal and full function for the replacement tooth.

So how's Beckham holding up? According to sources, “David is a trooper and didn't make a fuss. He took it all in his stride." Maybe next time he hits the slopes, he'll heed the advice of dental experts and wear a custom-made mouthguard…

If you have questions about restoring damaged teeth, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma and Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “Children's Dental Concerns and Injuries.”

By Today's Dentistry
August 01, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral appliance  

What do dentures, retainers and nightguards have in common? Along with orthodontic aligners and athletic mouthguards, they’re all types of removable dental appliances. They also share another commonality: each one depends on the wearer caring for it to ensure its longevity.

The most important thing you can do for your appliance is to clean it regularly. Don’t use toothpaste, though, even with dentures: while your natural tooth enamel can handle the abrasive particles in toothpaste, your appliance’s materials may not. Toothpaste can create tiny scratches that can harbor disease-causing bacteria. Instead, use liquid dish detergent or hand soap with warm water.

Although boiling water may disinfect your appliance, it’s not advisable to use. Even hot water can distort plastic components and warp the appliance’s fit in your mouth. Likewise, don’t use bleach, which can fade the plastic color used to resemble gum tissue and break down the material’s composition. When you clean your appliance, use a brush — but not the one you use for your natural teeth. Use a soft toothbrush, a nail brush or a specialized brush for appliances like dentures.

You should also protect your appliance from damage. Some appliances like dentures have parts that can break if they’re dropped on a hard surface — like the porcelain in your sink. To prevent this, place a towel in the sink to cushion the appliance if it accidentally slips from your hand during cleaning. And when the appliance isn’t in your mouth, don’t keep it on a low table or night stand where small children or pets can easily get their hands (or paws) on it.

And one more thing: don’t wear your denture appliance around the clock — take it out, for instance, while you sleep. Leaving dentures in interferes with the acid-neutralizing and antibacterial function of your mouth’s saliva, which could increase your risk of disease (and bad breath).

Appliances can be an expensive investment in your dental health. By following these guidelines you’ll help protect that investment for years to come.

If you would like more information on caring for your dental appliance, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “10 Tips for Cleaning Your Oral Appliance.”