07Jan

Every once in a while, it is a good idea to take a look at your oral hygiene routine, and make any tweaks or adjustments necessary; we all fall into bad habits sometimes! Today, our Tinley Park dentists are sharing some simple things that you can do to improve your day to day oral hygiene.

Use the right toothbrush: the ADA recommends that patients brush their smiles twice a day—once in the morning and once before bed. You can ramp up your oral health routine by ensuring that you’re using the right tools to refresh your smile.

Talk to your dentist about what type of bristle appropriate for you. Most people will do well with a soft-bristled brush; in fact, firmer bristles may cause inadvertent enamel damage and thinning.

It’s also important that the head of your brush is small enough to reach your back molars. The back of your smile is an ideal environment for bacteria to accumulate and become entrenched.

Prioritize water during the day: remember that patients who suffer from chronic dry-mouth are likely to experience increased instances of cavity development as well as gum disease. You want to make sure that you’re drinking enough water throughout the day, in order to promote saliva production in your mouth. You can also help your smile by rinsing your mouth with water after every meal and snack.

Incorporate a mouth rinse into your routine: rinsing with water is a great start, but some patients will additionally benefit from incorporating a specially-formulated rinse into their oral hygiene routines. There are many types of mouth rinses on the market today: whether you want to strengthen enamel, fight bad breath, or combat dry mouth. If you don’t know what’s best for your smile, just ask your dental team for guidance.

For even more guidance, and personal recommendations, give our Orland Park dentists a call, today! 

29Oct

For many of us, this time of year especially fun, and indulgent. There’s candy everywhere!

Our Tinley Park dentists encourage you to take the time now to make a plan for consuming Halloween treats. What are some things that you can you do protect your smile from damage this time of year?

Get some of the candy out of your house

Let’s be honest: sometimes we find ourselves chomping on sugary treats that we don’t even enjoy that much. There are a number of ways to get some of that excess Halloween candy out of your house. Maybe pick out a few of your favorite treats to keep around, and donate the rest around town.

Enjoy sweets at specific times

With some simple planning, you can minimize how much candy affects your smile. Here’s the thing: oral bacteria are going to be feeding on the sugars in your mouth for about 20 to 30 minutes after you finish eating or drinking (anything other than water). So, by limiting your indulgent period to once or twice a day, you’re actually giving bacteria fewer hours in the day to grow.

Use water to refresh your smile 

It’s always important to stay hydrated, but it is especially so when we are going to be eating a lot of sweets. Keep a water bottle handy, and sip throughout the day. You can also get into the good habit of rinsing your smile with water after every meal or snack.

As with many things in life, consuming sweets is best done in moderation. Our Tinley Park dentists are happy to give you additional information about optimizing your oral health routine. The best way to get started is to give our office a call, or to submit an inquiry through our Contact Us page.

We hope that you have a happy and healthy Halloween this year! 

15Oct

Your dental enamel is the outermost layer of your tooth, and consequently it’s responsible for protecting your tooth as a whole. Unfortunately, enamel can become damaged in a number of ways and for a number of different reasons. That’s why our Tinley Park dentists are here with some information to help you avoid enamel problems.  

A number of different issues can thin and weaken enamel:

  • Sugary and acidic treats: we all know that sugary snacks and drinks are harmful to oral health because they allow oral bacteria to feed and grow. And, as a byproduct of this process, bacteria release acids which soften dental enamel.
  • Abrasive substances: chewing on hard candies, ice, mints, and cough drops can create weak spots in your enamel. Additionally, using a toothbrush that is too firm, or a toothpaste that is too abrasive, will wear away your enamel layer over time.
  • Bruxism: patients with bruxism regularly grind or clench their teeth. The tooth-to-tooth contact caused by bruxism creates enamel damage over time.

As your dental enamel is diminished you may notice:

  • Yellow or dull enamel: dental enamel is whiter and brighter than the dentin that it covers. So, as your enamel thins, more of your dentin will show through to the surface of the tooth, and your entire smile can start to look yellow and dull as a result.
  • Sensitive teeth: enamel does not contain dental nerves, which is why we are able to eat, drink, and clean our teeth without discomfort. However, when your enamel isn’t strong, irritants are able to get through it reach the sensitive dentin and dental pulp below.
  • Cavities and dental damage: just as irritants are able to get through diminished dental enamel, oral bacteria too bypass unhealthy enamel to become entrenched in dentin and dental pulp.

No matter what your smile looks like right now, our Tinley Park dentists can help you get it to where you want it to be. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Contact Us for a Complimentary Smile Consultation