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! 

01Oct

We are entering the time of year when it seems like just about everyone has a cold or the flu. When we are under the weather, we are far too likely to let our regular oral hygiene habits slip. That is why our Tinley Park dentists are here with some information that can help you care for your smile even when you’re not feeling your best.

Keep reading to learn more about some commonly experienced symptoms, and what you can do about them.

Post-Nasal Drip

Post-nasal drip occurs when an excess of mucus from your sinuses runs into your throat. This unpleasant sensation can also lead to a sore throat, and it is commonly associated with bad breath. Make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water, as well as brushing and flossing as recommended. You can also gargle with salt water or a specially-formulated rinse to refresh your mouth.

Vomiting

Whether you have the flu or food poisoning, vomiting is never fun, and it’s never good for your smile. In fact, the acids from your stomach can burn your throat and weaken your teeth. It’s best to vigorously rinse your mouth, rather than brushing your teeth, after vomiting, as your enamel may be temporarily weakened due to acid exposure.

Dehydration

When you are not feeling well it is more important than ever to make sure that you are drinking enough water. Staying hydrated supports your immune system generally. However, it also helps to prevent dry-mouth, an environment in which bacteria thrive. Take the time rinse your smile regularly throughout the day, and keep water next to your bed—even the smallest sips help! 

If you want even more information about dental care during illness, our Tinley Park dentists are here to help—just give us a call!

 

Contact Us for a Complimentary Smile Consultation