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Posts for: April, 2018


Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.

“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into cavities. How did this happen?

Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.

While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.  Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.

This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”

Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:

  • Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
  • Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
  • Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.

Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.

“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”

If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”

By Today's Dentistry
April 23, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental implants can renew a tired, broken smile. Thanks to their versatility, they can help patients in many different situations and workdental implants alongside other cosmetic and restorative dentistry procedures to restore your smile and help you look and feel your best. But how can dental implants help you? What can you expect from your implants? Answer these important questions and more with Dr. Mark Gamalinda at Today’s Dentistry in Chicago, IL.

What is a dental implant? 
A dental implant replaces a missing tooth and its root to restore its functionality and appearance. The implant itself is made up of three pieces: the fixture, the abutment, and the prosthetic tooth. Dentists implant the fixture into the jawbone to act as a replacement root. The prosthetic tooth is a tooth-shaped restoration made from porcelain. The abutment may be attached or separate from the fixture and connects the fixture to the prosthetic tooth.

What kinds of dental implants are available?

  • Single Tooth Implant: This procedure requires one implant to replace one missing tooth. The implant stands on its own and does not require the help of surrounding natural teeth to anchor into place.
  • Multiple Tooth Implant: A multiple tooth implant also stands on its own and utilizes two implants on either side of a bridge-like restoration. The bridge fits onto the implants and replaces several teeth in a row.
  • Implant-Supported Dentures: Implant-supported dentures use four or more implants spread over the arch to stay in place. Unlike traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures can remain permanently in the mouth without the need to remove or soak them nightly.

Dental Implants in Chicago, IL 
Dental implants are made to last and, with the proper care, will replace your tooth’s root for a lifetime. While the prosthetic tooth may require maintenance or replacement eventually, the implant’s fixture remains in place for the rest of your life. Implants’ non-removable nature means that they require no more care than your natural teeth, with careful brushing twice daily and flossing between each tooth at least once a day. In addition to your at-home oral care routine, seeing your dentist twice a year for routine examinations and cleanings will help keep your teeth healthy and free from decay.

For more information on dental implants, please contact Dr. Gamalinda at Today’s Dentistry in Chicago, IL. Call (773) 334-1801 to schedule your appointment for a consultation with Dr. Gamalinda today!

By Today's Dentistry
April 14, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Even after losing a tooth in an on-court collision with an opposing player, Isaiah Thomas didn’t slow down. The Boston Celtics point guard completed the play…and the rest of the game. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of his dental problems — it was just the beginning.

Over the next few days, Thomas had a total of ten hours of oral surgery to treat problems with multiple teeth. He got a temporary bridge, and will receive a permanent one at a later date. He also got fitted for a custom-made mouthguard to prevent re-injury.

We’re pleased to see that Thomas is getting appropriate dental treatment. But it’s unfortunate that he didn’t get the mouthguard sooner; this one piece of inexpensive safety gear could have saved him a lot of pain and trouble. If you think mouthguards are strictly for full-contact sports, Thomas’ troubles should make you think again. In fact, according to a 2015 study in the journal Sports Health, the five sports with the highest overall risk of tooth loss are basketball, football, hockey, martial arts, and boxing. Plenty of other also involve the risk of dental injury.

The study also notes that some 5 million teeth are avulsed (knocked out) each year in the U.S. alone. Countless others are loosened, fractured or chipped. What’s more, it is estimated that the lifetime cost of treating an avulsed tooth is between $5,000 and $20,000. The cost of a custom-made mouthguard is just a small fraction of that.

Where can you or your child get a custom-made mouthguard? Right here at the dental office! These high-quality items are professionally fabricated from a model of your actual teeth, so they fit much better than an off-the-shelf one ever could. They offer superior protection, durability and comfort — because, after all, no mouthguard can protect you if it’s too uncomfortable to wear.

Thomas’ season is now over due to a hip injury, but at least he will now have time to rest and get his dental problems taken care of. Let’s hope his story will inspire more athletes — both professional and amateur — to prevent similar problems by wearing custom-made mouthguards. Whether you compete on a school team, enjoy a pick-up game after work, or play in the big leagues, a dental injury is one problem that you don’t need.

If you have questions about custom-made mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.