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Posts for: February, 2015

By All Smiles
February 23, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth decay  

Did you know that tooth decay (dental caries) is the second most frequently occurring disease — surpassed only by the common cold? It can start as soon as toddlers sprout their first teeth and by middle age, more than 90% of adults are affected by the problem! Fortunately, you can significantly lower your risk for decay. The key is to nurture health-promoting (protective) factors in your mouth while discouraging those that are disease causing (pathologic).

The top two traditional steps can't be stressed enough:

Good Oral Hygiene. Diligent brushing and flossing, along with routine professional cleanings, help limit a buildup of bacterial plaque (biofilm). This whitish film is attractive to decay-producing bacteria (among the many types of bacteria — including beneficial ones — that normally live in the mouth). These microbes like to snack on sugars and carbohydrates (perhaps part of that bagel you had for breakfast or the midafternoon candy bar), and in the process they produce acid. A healthy oral environment has a neutral pH — a perfect balance between acids and bases. But in a more acidic environment, minerals in the protective enamel of your teeth start to dissolve, exposing the dentin and root surfaces underneath that are even more vulnerable.

Sensible Diet. Keep decay-producing bacteria in check by limiting your intake of sugars and carbohydrates; the bacteria need these nutrients to grow and reproduce. Choose products containing natural sugars, such as those in fruits and vegetables, over those containing added sugars, such as sodas and candy. Be aware that Xylitol, an “alcohol sugar” used in some chewing gums and dental products, can actually help reduce pathogenic bacteria. And don't forget that frequent consumption of acidic foods and beverages, such as sipping coffee during the day, can create an acidic environment in your mouth that can contribute to decay by eroding tooth enamel and weakening its defenses.

Individual Risk Factors

You also may have individual risk factors as well that our office can help you identify and address. For example, the shape of everyone's teeth varies and some of us have more valleys, tiny grooves and pits than others. These likely places for bacteria to congregate can be the most difficult to reach with a toothbrush, but invisible sealants can be applied to prevent bacteria from reaching those areas.

If you would like more information about tooth decay and prevention, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Tooth Decay” and “Tooth Decay — How To Assess Your Risk.”

By All Smiles
February 19, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implants  

Discover more about dental implants in Worth, IL and whether they are right for you.

When we become adults the days of tooth fairies and leaving teeth under pillows are over; however, tooth loss still happens when we get older. There are countless reasons why you may lose a permanent tooth. Luckily, there are also options to help replace that missing tooth or teeth and restore your smile. Find out if getting dental implants in Worth, IL is the best choice for you and your oral care needs.

About Dental Implants

When you are missing a tooth you certainly have multiple options for replacing it; however, dental implants tend to be the preferred treatment method since it offers the most permanent and long-term solution for replacing a permanent tooth. A dental implant looks like a tiny titanium post, which your Worth, IL dentist will surgically place into the jawbone of the socket where your missing tooth once was. This spot will then be closed up and allowed time to heal.

Over the course of several months the bone and tissues surrounding the implant will begin to meld and grow around it, making it a permanent structure. This not only preserves the strength and density of your jawbone but also promotes the growth of new healthy cells. This is the only tooth loss treatment that offers this type of facial structure and bone preservation.

Once this is complete, we will uncover the implant and place a metal connector known as an abutment, on top of the implant. The abutment serves as a foundation from which to securely hold the dental crown to the implant. After the abutment is put on we often wait a few more weeks before placing on the dental crown to ensure that everything has healed properly.

Dental Implant Candidates

Since dental implants are rather time-consuming and require multiple surgeries we often tell our patients that it can take up to a year or more to get their restoration. Since there is a lot of recovery time, all candidates need to be healthy. This means you shouldn’t have uncontrolled gum disease or decay and you should have any chronic health conditions like heart disease or diabetes under control with medication.

Those who have suppressed immune systems, as well as smokers, should not opt for dental implants, as this impedes the healing process. Furthermore, smokers have an increased implant failure rate.

The only way to truly find out whether dental implants are right for your smile is to schedule a consultation with your Worth, IL dentist today. During your consultation at All Smiles we will examine your teeth and gums, as well as discuss your smile goals and treatment options with you. Book your initial consultation today!


Lashinda Demus holds the U.S record in the 400 meter hurdles, with a time of 52.47 seconds, the third fastest ever recorded. While her twin 5-year-old boys cheered her on, she brought home a silver medal from the 2012 London Olympics. But when it comes to her full set of upper and lower braces, there's no silver to be seen!

Demus is a top-ranked competitor, a wife and a mom — and an adult who is currently in orthodontic treatment. With her orthodontist's approval, she chose clear ceramic braces. These are just one of the treatment options available to adult patients, many of whom prefer a less noticeable style of orthodontic appliance.

As many as three-quarters of adults are thought to have some form of orthodontic problem. Common issues include teeth that are crowded too closely together, or ones that have drifted too far apart after an extraction or other tooth loss. It is believed that straightened teeth are easier to clean and better for chewing — they can also improve an adult's social life, and even his or her career prospects!

Some grown-ups may hesitate to consider orthodontic treatment because they remember the “railroad tracks” they saw in junior high school. In fact, there have been many changes in orthodontic appliances in the past few years. Two popular choices for adults are colorless braces (the kind Demus wears) and clear orthodontic aligners.

Colorless ceramic braces are made of high-tech composite materials. They resist staining, and are less noticeable because their translucent appearance blends with the teeth. Often, a single wire is the only part that's plainly visible. Sometimes it's even possible to place them on the lingual (tongue) side of the teeth.

Clear aligners are an alternative to braces that are available to adults and teens. Instead of wires and attachments, these consist of a series of transparent, removable trays that are placed over the teeth and worn 20 hours per day. Over a period of six months to two years, the teeth are gradually straightened as you progress from one computer-designed tray to the next. Best of all, you can remove the trays completely to clean your teeth, and for important occasions.

Which one is right for you? It depends. While aligners have been successful in treating mild to moderate spacing issues, more difficult problems with the bite may require a more traditional form of braces. Also, there are a few health problems which might need to be attended to before orthodontic treatment is begun. The best way to learn about your options is to come in for a consultation. But remember: if you want a better smile, it's never too late.

If you would like more information about orthodontic choices, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics For The Older Adult” and “Clear Orthodontic Aligners.”