29Sep

Sometimes taking protecting your smile means caring for the parts of it that are hidden and harder to see. This is the case with wisdom teeth: although you may not see your wisdom teeth affecting your smile, they are quite impactful. Keep reading to learn more from our Orland Park wisdom tooth dentists.

What are wisdom teeth?

A wisdom tooth is essentially a third molar—you may have wisdom teeth on the upper right, lower right, upper left, and lower left corners of your smile. Some people are even born without wisdom teeth.

Are they harmful?

A wisdom tooth itself is not necessarily harmful for your oral health; the problem is that few of us have enough room for our wisdom teeth to naturally and comfortably sit in our mouths. This leads to all kinds of potential problems when your wisdom teeth do try to come in:

  • Teeth that are impacted, or stuck in the jawbone
  • Teeth that come in at odd angles due to lack of space (the pressure from these teeth can even cause your existing dental alignment to shift).
  • Partially emerged wisdom teeth that are difficult to clean (leading to cavities and periodontal disease)
  • Pain around the site of the wisdom tooth

Wisdom tooth removal is designed to locate your wisdom teeth and then either pull them, or surgically extract them from your jaw tissue. The type of treatment that is right for you will depend on how many wisdom teeth you have, where they are located, and how much space you have along your jawline.

Timely wisdom tooth removal can help you avoid discomfort as well as expensive dental treatments down the road. Our Tinley Park dentists remove wisdom teeth in both adolescent and adult patients. Please feel free to call our office if you have any questions! 

15Sep

Our Orland Park dentists are here to help you make good choices for your smile every single day. To that end, in this article, our team is sharing some information about how specific foods affect oral health. Today we are talking about refined carbohydrates in particular; let’s get started!

Here are some examples of commonly consumed products that are high in sugar and refined carbs:

  • white rice
  • refined bread
  • commercial cereals
  • pizza dough
  • chips
  • sweet breakfast pastries and desserts
  • candies
  • soft drinks
  • many fruit juices

One simple thing that you can do is to try and swap these foods for healthier alternatives. Here are some options:

  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • whole grain bread, dough, and pasta
  • brown rice
  • beans, lentils, and peas
  • whole fruits, rather than processed fruit products

It is also a good idea to rinse your mouth vigorously after you eat or drink something with refined carbohydrates. This will help to remove dental debris, and it will prompt saliva production.

Our Tinley Park dentists understand that it can be difficult to cut sugar and processed substances from your diet entirely. Start off by just making a few strategic swaps in your diet, and talk to your dental team about things that you can do to boost your smile’s ability to fight bacteria day to day.  Your dental team may recommend special tools like a waterpik, or bacteria-fighting mouth rinses to meet your needs.

Every day we coat our smiles in the foods and drinks that we consume. When we don’t take a critical look at our diets, we can overlook diet-related dental damage. If you want to learn more about how various affect your smile, or if you would like to schedule a personal consultation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team

01Sep

Just as your daily habits can affect whole body health—fluctuating weight, headache, breathing issues, etc.—the thing you do day to day can also impact your oral health. This article from our Orland Park dentists will give you some information about common daily habits, and how they affect your smile. We hope that this info helps you make positive changes in your daily routine!

Daily Habit: not drinking enough water

Whether you are chronically dehydrated, or regularly reaching for sugary soft drinks, energy drinks, and fruit juices, your body is not getting the hydration it needs to function optimally. Unfortunately, this prevents your body from producing enough saliva, and, since saliva neutralizes bacteria and remineralizes enamel, a lack of it puts your smile at risk. A patient with chronic dry mouth are at an increased risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.

Daily Habit: picking at your smile

Many of us have gotten into the bad habit of using toothpicks to clear food particles a dental debris from our smile. Toothpicks, both wooden and metal, can cause inadvertent damage to your smile, especially to your oral tissues and gums. That is why our dental team strongly recommends that you use floss, rather than toothpicks, to refresh your mouth throughout the day.

Daily Habit: chomping on hard treats

If you are someone who regularly chew on hard candies, ice, and mints, our dental team is here to encourage you to make a healthier decision for your smile. Every time that we chew on hard or abrasive substances, we risk developing small—invisible to the naked eye—cracks and chips in dental enamel.

If you would benefit from more guidance on ways that you can optimize your daily routine (and weed out bad habits), please feel free to contact our Tinley Park dentists!  

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