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Archive for April, 2017

Gum Disease: Not a Normal Part of Aging

Monday, April 24th, 2017

dentist 60611As patients get older, they may think that gum disease and subsequent tooth loss is an inevitable part of aging. However, that is not the case. While your risk of developing gum disease may increase as you get older, there are still steps that you can take to prevent this potentially devastating oral disease.

A solid home oral hygiene routine and regular routine preventive care from your dentist are the two primary pillars of gum disease prevention efforts, just as they are in younger patients. Your day-to-day oral hygiene habits help to keep the presence of oral bacteria in check, and additional professional care, such as cleanings from a dental hygienist, will eliminate any plaque and tartar that build up despite your regimen of brushing twice each day and flossing daily.

Furthermore, when a dentist is monitoring your teeth and gums at regular, relatively brief intervals, it’s easier to catch oral diseases in their earliest stages, when they are most likely to respond well to non-invasive treatment. For example, early stage gum disease (known as gingivitis) usually can be addressed with a thorough professional dental cleaning. However, advanced periodontitis may require gum surgery or even tooth replacement if the bone is compromised as well as the gums.

Many patients are keeping their biological teeth well into their 80s and 90s and beyond, and with proper care, there’s no reason you can’t join them. Just check with your dentist to make sure that you’re doing everything possible to protect your oral health as you age.

If you think that you don’t need to maintain a thorough oral hygiene regimen and see your dentist twice each year just because you’re over 60, think again. Gum disease and tooth loss are pathological process at any age. Make sure that you continue to follow up with your routine care every six months and continue to brush and floss as directed.

Contact our office to schedule an appointment if you need to get back on track with your oral health care.

Invisalign: The Clear Alternative for the Working Professional

Friday, April 14th, 2017

Invisalign clear braces ChicagoWorking professionals who want to realign their crooked smiles might understandably be reluctant to consider conventional braces that detract from their appearance, potentially interfering with their professional relationships. These individuals can get the results they desire with a method that is less intrusive on their smile’s appearance: Invisalign.

This innovative orthodontic treatment system uses clear plastic trays to reposition the teeth by applying forces to them in a similar fashion to standard brackets and wires. But clear braces such as Invisalign are barely noticeable to a casual observer. This treatment system should have no impact on your presentation as a professional.

Spending too much time in the office is another concern for orthodontic patients who are in the workforce. They don’t want to have to spend too much time away from their offices waiting for the dentist to make adjustments to their braces. With Invisalign clear braces, the patient does much of the work. You’ll swap out the trays according to the schedule provided by your dentist. Therefore, you’ll only need to schedule periodic appointments so that your provider can monitor your progress.

In addition to changing trays when indicated, you must also be conscientious about wearing the trays for the recommended amount of time each day, at least 22 hours. However, you can remove the trays at mealtime – meaning that you don’t have to worry about getting food stuck in your braces at that important business lunch – and when it’s time to brush and floss.

Invisalign is also more comfortable than conventional braces, because it lacks the sharp-edged brackets and wires that can injure the soft tissues of your mouth. While this benefit may not specifically relate to your professional life, it’s still a nice feature of the treatment.

Are you interested in improving your smile with clear braces, such as Invisalign? Schedule a consultation at our office to learn more about this treatment option and whether it might be suitable in your case.

4 Important Steps to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

dentist 60603Keeping your smile healthy and beautiful rewards you in multiple ways, both psychologically and physically. There are two main things that you need to prioritize in order to keep your teeth and gums in top-notch shape: performing a robust oral hygiene routine each day and seeing your dentist at least twice a year for routine check-ups and professional cleanings.

Your day-to-day oral hygiene regimen is the backbone of promoting your oral health. You should be brushing twice a day, for two minutes each session. The technique you use is also important. Be sure to pay close attention to the gumline as you brush, holding the brush at a 45-degree angle in order to most effectively remove plaque buildup in that area. Don’t brush too aggressively, as doing so can wear down your teeth and contribute to gum recession. You may want to consider using an electronic toothbrush with a built-in timer to give an extra boost to your routine. You should also be flossing daily in order to dislodge plaque and bacteria from the surfaces where teeth meet, which are hard to reach with your toothbrush alone.

Even if you are incredibly conscientious about your brushing and flossing maintenance, you still need to see your dentist for professional care at least every six months. When a hygienist cleans your teeth, he or she will have a better angle on some areas of your smile that are challenging for you to clean thoroughly. Additionally, the dentist can identify problems in their earliest stages if you have exams twice a year rather than at longer intervals.

In addition to the basics of home and professional dental care, a nutritious diet can go a long way to keeping your smile in good shape. A wide variety of nutrients is needed to protect the oral tissues, just as the rest of the body needs vitamins, minerals and other sources of nutrition from fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources and dairy.

Another step that you can take to protect your smile is to quit smoking if you are a smoker. This habit may contribute to inflammation in your gum tissue (not to mention leaving a tell-tale yellow trace on your teeth). You’ll gain numerous health benefits when you give us your cigarettes.

Want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to preserve a healthy, attractive smile? Call our office to speak to one of our knowledgeable professionals for answers to your oral health questions.