Chicago Dentist · Cosmetic Dentistry · dental health · General · Oral Health · Preventitive · Uncategorized · wellness

10 Things To Keep Your Teeth Thankful

It’s the time of the year where we all think a little longer about what we’re thankful for. Whether it’s having a warm place to sleep, a good job, food in our bellies, or having our favorite people around for the holidays. Everyone has something that fills them with gratitude, but have you ever wondered what your teeth are thankful for?

 

Our teeth do a lot for us on a daily basis. Between being the starting point for digestion and maintaining your facial structure -day or night, your teeth are always on the clock. Which means you should be too when it comes to taking care of them. Here are 10 helpful tips and tricks for keeping your teeth happy, healthy, and thankful this Thanksgiving!

 

  1. Body (1).pngBrush your teeth twice a day: This is crucial for keeping your teeth thankful as well as intact. When you go to bed without brushing you’re wallowing the bacteria on your teeth to sit and harden all night. This can lead to plaque, tartar, and even gum disease. This is why it’s super important to brush your teeth in the morning and before you go to bed for at least 2 minutes each time.

 

  1. Flossing at least once a day: It’s as important as brushing. The bristles on your toothbrush aren’t small enough to get into those little spaces between our teeth. When you don’t floss plaque starts to build up in those little crevices. The longer it sits there the harder it is to remove and then it becomes easier to develop gum disease. Flossing can be difficult, especially with children, ask us about recommended alternatives to traditional floss string.

 

  1. Minimize acidic drinks: Beverages such as fruit juices and sodas all have very low PH balances. Which means they are more acidic and break down the shiny, smooth layer of protection on your teeth called enamel. It’s your enamel’s job to protect your teeth from plaque and tartar. When the acid eats away at it you lose that protection and it doesn’t grow back. It’s best to limit these drinks to special treats and drink lots of water immediately after.

 

  1. Beware of sugary foods: Whether its candy or foods that have a high amount of sugar in them, the bacteria in our mouths pair with that sugar and turn it into acid. The acid then eats away at your enamel, which we covered in No.3. It’s important to limit these foods as well as drink water after, you also want to wait 30 minutes before brushing after you eat or drink sugary things. This helps avoid grinding the acid deeper into your enamel.

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  1. Avoid tobacco: Not only can smoking and chewing tobacco turn your teeth yellow, but it also puts you at a higher risk of tooth loss, developing gum disease, and oral cancer. Tobacco damages the gum line around your teeth leaving pockets where bacteria, plaque, and tartar easily build up. Once those pockets are festering, the bacteria starts to eat away at your bone structure.

 

  1. Only use your teeth for chewing: A lot of people have the bad habit of opening bottles, cracking nuts or seeds, ripping open packages, and doing other things with their teeth. This can lead to cracked or broken teeth and even mouth sores. Remember to only use your teeth for chewing and if you have a cracked or broken tooth call your dentist right away. Teeth don’t fix themselves!

 

  1. Research before poking the hole: An oral piercing, much like any piercing, can make you feel great about yourself but have you thought about the potential harm? Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria and when you introduce a healing wound to it, there are endless amounts of infections you could get if the piercing is not taken care of properly. There is a risk of uncontrollable bleeding and nerve damage. You are also at risk for chipping or breaking teeth, and swallowing or choking on balls or studs if they come loose. Be sure to do the research and only go to a licensed and reputable piercer.

 

  1. Protect your teeth: Injury can happen in any physical activity which is why it’s very important to wear a mouthguard if you play any sports. The mouthguard protects your tongue, teeth, cheeks, lip lining, and gums from serious injury. Ask us about which mouthguard works best for your sport.

 

  1. Drink water: Water has lots of benefits not limited to keeping us alive. When you drink water between meals and brushing it helps to rinse away some of that harmful bacteria. It also helps to prevent dry mouth while strengthening your teeth and gums!

 

  1. Visit your dentist at least twice a year: Seeing your dentist twice a year is crucial to your dental health. Get cleanings, check for gum disease, and make sure everything is working the way it’s supposed to.

 

Floss and Company
7110 West Archer Avenue
Chicago, IL 60638
Phone: (773) 586-5522

 

Chicago Dentist · dental health · General · Oral Health · Oral Surgery · Preventitive

Teeth Friendly Snacks For The School Year

YAY – it’s back to school season!!! It’s parent’s favorite time of year and kids least. It’s time to pack your kid’s more healthy snacks for school! Did you know that 42 percent of children who are ages 2 – 11 develop a cavity in their baby teeth? Healthy snacks can benefit more than just your overall health, it’s your teeth too!

The first thing to remember, you are your child’s example! Teach them healthy habits from the start, from eating well to taking care of your own teeth, and going to the dentist regularly. Teach your child proper brushing and flossing techniques, brush 2x a day and floss daily.

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Have you ever wondered what plaque is? It’s a soft sticky film that builds up on your teeth and it forms regularly. Plaque contains bacteria, which produce acids that invade tooth enamel and can damage your gums. It contains millions of bacteria that love the food and drinks you consume every day. Do you know who plaque’s best friend is? If you guessed tooth decay you are correct!

If dental plaque isn’t removed within a couple of days it hardens into tartar. Regular brushing and flossing cannot remove tartar, only a dental professional can. Fun fact: 68 percent of adults have tartar! They even deposit faster with age!

What Causes Dental Plaque and Tartar?

The bacteria in your mouth thrive off of saliva, food, and fluids. Plaque loves carbohydrates, simple sugars, soft drinks or candy. It hides between teeth and under the gum line, brushing cleans your surfaces of your teeth and your tongue and flossing removes plaque between your teeth.

Plaque is your worst enemy, it hides between your teeth and gum lines and there’s no way to avoid it entirely, that’s why it’s important to have a good oral routine. It can also lead to bad breath, gingivitis, cavities, and other dental issues.

3 Things To Remember For Back To School

  1. Visit your dentist every 6 months
  2. Brush twice a day and floss daily
  3. Pick the right snacks

Make brushing and flossing fun! You can use a sticker calendar and have your child place a sticker after they brush and floss. Also, you can let them choose their favorite color toothbrush or a themed one with their favorite character. Make it fun for you too, play a song for two minutes and brush together!

#ProTip: look for a kid-friendly floss holder, they make flossing more comfortable for small mouths.

Teeth-Friendly Snacks

  • Cheese cubes
  • Celery sticks and baby carrots
  • Apples and pears
  • Nuts

Snacks To Limit

  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Fruit Roll-Ups
  • Candy
  • Chewy granola bars

 

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Schedule your cleaning sooner rather than later and get the kiddos in before school starts!

Floss and Company
7110 West Archer Avenue
Chicago, IL 60638
Phone: (773) 586-5522

Chicago Dentist · dental health · Oral Health · Preventitive

8 Other Ways to Use Toothpaste

Ahhh, it’s July. It’s prime tourist season, where are you and your family going this summer? Or are you having a laid back summer and just staying home with the kids? Doing art projects with your kids is fun but can leave your house a bit of a mess. Prices add up, and the total is a bit intimidating. If you are looking to save a few bucks, look for an all in one product. Such as toothpaste, obviously it’s used to brush your teeth but did you know that it can be used for so much more?

8 Other Ways to Use Toothpaste

  • Remove pimple/ zit
  • Treat poison ivy
  • Clean smell from hands
  • Remove gum from hair
  • Remove carpet stains/ crayon marks
  • Clean sneakers/ leather shoes
  • Clean foggy headlights
  • Shine jewelry

If you’re thinking “WHAT? That can’t be true!’ Well believe it, it’s a life hack! Toothpaste contains baking soda. Hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol which can help dry your pimple out. The menthol can also temporarily reduce swelling and pain. Toothpaste also helps with poison ivy, because it helps with soothing away the itch. It’s important to remember, don’t use toothpaste on broken skin as it can cause further damage.

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Just spent the day filleting your freshly caught fish? Good fish, bad smell! Wash your hands with a bit of toothpaste, it makes your mouth smell fresh and it works on your hands too. Nobody wants their hands smelling like fish all day!

Have a long day? Fell asleep with gum in your mouth? You don’t need to cut your hair off, just use toothpaste! Toothpaste is designed to break down the sugars, making it easier to remove gum from your hair. Just one of those summer days when your kid decides it’s a good idea to draw on the walls with crayons. Put some toothpaste on the wall and start scrubbing with a brush, rinse with water, and wow you have a brand new wall! This also works for carpet stains.

Bring your favorite sneakers with you to your summer camping trip and can’t get the dirt off? Grab your old toothbrush and start brushing them. Clean it off with a damp cloth and you’re all set to go. If your car headlights are foggy with dirt, put toothpaste on a sponge and scrub. It’ll make them look brand new!

After time, your ring or jewelry might lose its natural shine. Pick up an old toothbrush, apply toothpaste and brush your jewelry. Use a damp cloth to pick up any of the residue.

No matter what your summer plans are, these are good household #hacks to have. It’s also important to note that if your skin gets worse stop using immediately. Don’t forget – DON’T apply toothpaste to broken skin.

Last thing- remember to use your toothpaste on your teeth!! Brush twice a day and floss once. With summer here, enjoy snacks and drinks in moderation. Stay hydrated!

Floss and Company
7110 West Archer Avenue
Chicago, IL 60638
Phone: (773) 586-5522

Chicago Dentist · dental health · Oral Health · Preventitive

Defining A True Dental Emergency

What is a dental emergency? If you feel pain, call! You don’t want it to get worse than it already is.

Also, getting a tooth knocked out is an emergency too! If this ever happens, the sooner you get to the dentist the better chance of your tooth being saved.

Did you know over 5 million teeth get knocked out every year! Whether it’s sports related or accidental. Speaking of sports, with the Stanley Cup and NBA playoffs are going on, don’t try to mimic your favorite moves without using a mouth guard.

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Prevention is Key!

It’s summer, a good time to learn a new sport or play in leagues. Any contact sport is best played with a mouth guard. You never know what to expect, an elbow to the mouth, falling to the floor, unable to catch your fall and a ball/puck to your mouth. A mouthguard can’t protect you sitting in your gym bag! Discuss with your dentist which option is the best for your activities.

What To Do If Your Tooth Gets Knocked Out

When your tooth is knocked out, other things are in danger as well. Nerves, blood vessels, and tissues can also be damaged from the trauma. After it’s been knocked out, you want to pick it up by the crown and not the root. Rinse the tooth gently, but not the root because you could be scrubbing away the periodontal ligament or the cementum which is important to hold your tooth in the socket. Soap and chemicals are damaging to the cells remaining on the root and will most likely make the tooth impossible to reattach and save.

Another thing you can try is putting the tooth back in the socket. Sounds weird right? But it can help keep the tooth moist, giving it a better chance to be reattached. Another option to try is to leave it in a cup of milk because of the biological compatibility and low bacteria count, the milk can help preserve the tooth.

The most important thing to do is to call your dentist office ASAP! Your dentist will be able to determine if your tooth can return to full function or not. The longer you put off the dentist the higher the risk of permanent tooth loss If your tooth cannot be saved, your dentist will go over dental bridge and implant options.

Dental Emergency vs. True Dental Emergency

Is there a difference? Absolutely! Not to confuse you, but in both scenarios, you should see your dentist regardless! Let’s clarify the difference and explain anything that is unclear.

Signs of a True Dental Emergency

  • Tooth Loss
  • Extreme Pain
  • Tooth Abscess or Pus
  • Swelling
  • Cracked or Chipped tooth

Losing an “adult” tooth is a dental emergency and needs quick action to save the tooth. With pain, you should call your dentist, especially with extreme pain that doesn’t lessen or go away with over the counter medicine. That could be a sign that something more significant is wrong. Pus is a sign of infection and you could need antibiotics. It’s important to get treatment right away to help the pain and infection go away. If left untreated a tooth abscess may lead to continuous dental problems. If you see swelling on your gum line or jawline it can also be a sign of an infection. Cracked or a chipped tooth is one of the most common dental emergencies. A cracked tooth exposes your nerves, which can cause more pain and if left untreated, the crack may get worse resulting in tooth loss.

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Things happen and can’t be controlled, but it’s important to be able to identify what’s wrong. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your dentist right away.

You can never plan for a dental emergency, but you can always have your bi-annual cleanings scheduled and our number saved in your phone!

Floss and Company
7110 West Archer Avenue
Chicago, IL 60638
Phone: (773) 586-5522

Cosmetic Dentistry · gum disease · Preventitive

Movie Snacks vs. Your Teeth

Do you prefer to watch movies at home, drive-in theaters, or theaters? Regardless of your preference, drinks, and snacks pair well with your movie. Lots of good movies are out or soon to be released, be sure to learn the effects it will have on your teeth.

Popcorn

Walking into a theater, you immediately smell the freshly popped butter popcorn. We all know it’s hard to resist, but something we don’t know is popcorn packs a surprise… The kernel! Be careful this can actually crack your tooth! It’s also easy to get caught in between your teeth and the sharp edges can scratch your gums.

Another thing to know is popcorn creates lactic acid in your mouth. This is damaging to your enamel if not cleaned properly. If a kernel gets stuck in your mouth it can irritate your gum tissue and bring more bacteria that can lead to tooth decay.

Favorite Snacks

As you go through the line for snacks and drinks at the movie theater they have candy right next to the register for any last minute decisions/cravings. Typically, there are chocolate, sour candy, or hard candy. Sticky candy gets stuck in between teeth putting your teeth at a higher risk of decay. Sour and hard candy such as Skittles and Jolly Ranchers are highly acidic.

Sugar doesn’t directly create a cavity, the process is a chain reaction. Everyone has bacteria in their mouths, some beneficial but some are harmful. Sugar feeds the bacteria that cause cavities. As the bacteria feed on sugar, it produces acid, and that acid attacks your tooth enamel.

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Soft Drinks

Soda is bad for your teeth. No news here, but did you know some sodas are worse than others? Not all sodas are created equally. Some have more acid while some have more sugar. Let’s take a look at two popular sodas, Coca- Cola and Mountain Dew.

Coca- Cola vs. Mountain Dew (link to video)

In this video, the young scientist drops a molar in a bottle of Mountain Dew and another into a bottle of Coca-Cola and leaves it soaking for almost three weeks. He notes that Mountain Dew has a pH of 3.1 while Coca-Cola has a pH of 2.5 meaning Coca-Cola is six times more acidic than Mountain Dew.

He weighed each tooth before soaking them and found out that the Coca-Cola tooth lost 7% of its mass while the Mountain Dew tooth lost 14% of its mass. Mountain Dew contains organic citric acid and Coca-Cola has phosphoric acid. In conclusion, he found out that citric acid eats away at enamel more than phosphoric acid.

Other Drinks To Be On The Lookout For

  • Coffee and Tea – They can stain your teeth and if you add sugar or vanilla it causes more harm.
  • Sports Drinks – They are high in sugar and acid that erode your enamel. Some drinks also have a high amount of sodium, which can tally more than a bag of potato chips.
  • Citrus – They are highly acidic and can wear away at your tooth enamel.
  • Alcohol – Reduces saliva production which can lead to dry mouth and increases your risk of gum disease.

Wow, that was a lot to take in! Are you feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry we’ll give you three #ProTips to help you have healthy long lasting teeth and enjoy your movie. The first thing to know is saliva is your teeth’s natural protector! Saliva contains minerals such as calcium and phosphate which strengthen your teeth. This process is called remineralization.

#ProTip 1. is MODERATION. We all know soda and snacks aren’t good for our teeth or physical health but also hard to resist. Instead of consuming the most your body can, take time and challenge yourself to follow the suggested serving size.

#ProTip 2. WATER. Carry a bottle with you at all times. Take a sip and swoosh it around to re-hydrate your mouth and flush away sugar and acid after snacking.

#ProTip 3. ORAL HYGIENE. Remember to brush twice a day and floss daily. Also, make sure to visit your dentist every 6 months for your check-up because without a true exam you don’t know what’s hiding in or around your pearly whites!

Floss and Company
7110 West Archer Avenue
Chicago, IL 60638
Phone: (773) 586-5522

dental health · gum disease · Preventitive

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know April is Oral Cancer Awareness month? About 53,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer and nearly 10,860 people die annually. It is twice as common in men as women. Oral cancer can affect any part of the oral cavity. Which is the lip, tongue, mouth, and throat. Through visual inspection, your dentist can detect abnormalities at an early stage resulting in less extensive and more successful treatment.

5 Myths and The Actual Facts

  1. Oral Cancer is rare.

Fact: More people are diagnosed with oral cancer than stomach cancer.

  1. I’m too young to get oral cancer.

Fact: It’s now more common for our younger patients to develop oral cancer because of the link to human papillomavirus (HPV.)

  1. I don’t smoke so I can’t get oral cancer.

Fact: Smoking does increase your risk for oral cancer but it isn’t the only factor. Drinking alcohol, HPV, and genetics play a role in developing the disease.

  1. No pain, no problem.

Fact: Not all cancer spots can cause pain.

  1. I will know when I have oral cancer.

Fact: It’s not easy to identify, it can go undetected in your tonsils, lymph nodes, and the base of your tongue.

Causes

The exact cause of oral cancer is unknown, but here are some things that can put people more at risk.

  • Tobacco of any form – cigarettes/ e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco.
  • Alcohol
  • Excessive sun exposure on your lips
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Weakened immune system

Signs and Symptoms or Oral Cancer

  • Mouth sore that doesn’t heal
  • White or red patches in your mouth
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing and moving the jaw and tongue
  • Jaw swelling
  • Lump in the neck
  • Constant bad breath

A lot of these signs and symptoms can be caused by other things, schedule an appointment if any of these conditions go on for more than two weeks.

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Prevention

Stop using tobacco or don’t start. It exposes the cells in your mouth to dangerous cancer-causing chemicals. Drink alcohol in moderation. Excessive alcohol can aggravate cells and make them more susceptible to cancer.

Protect your lips from the sun! Constant exposure increases the risk of cancer. Be sure to use chapstick with SPF!

Last but not least, see your dentist regularly! It’s recommended to have an exam and cleaning every six months. Schedule yours today!

Floss and Company
7110 West Archer Avenue
Chicago, IL 60638
Phone: (773) 586-5522

 

Chicago Dentist · Oral Health · Preventitive

Spark Joy In Your Smile

As you get ready for your day, look in your mirror, smile and ask yourself “does this spark joy?” This can be part of your spring cleaning routine. It’s time to get rid of any clutter, throw out broken or non-working items, and remember to get a breath of fresh air – literally or figuratively.

Make your smile spark joy!

Obviously, we have teeth to chew our food but they do much more than that. They shape your face and help you speak, healthy teeth and gums are just as important as a healthy body.

Teeth Whitening – Nothing sparks joy like a sparkling smile. It’s a completely safe, life brightening process that can positively change your physical appearance and enhance your mental health.

Veneers– Do you want to make your teeth more attractive? If you want to fix crooked, discolored, uneven, and unsightly teeth, the solution is porcelain veneers!

Dental Implants– Fill the missing gap in your smile. Implants involve putting a new “root” into the bone of your jaw. The success rate is high because they feel and look like your natural teeth.

Orthodontics – Always wanted that straight smile? You might also have the option to straighten your teeth with a clear aligner. That means you can eat all the foods you want and not worry about it being stuck in your braces because they are removable!

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Oral Health and Overall Health

Your teeth are more than just how you and others see them. How does oral health affect my heart? The bacteria infects your gums causing gingivitis that leads to periodontitis. It can also get into your bloodstream. Our gums protect our teeth and bone. If they aren’t properly cleaned and maintained it can lead to tooth loss as well as other medical complications.

What exactly is gum disease? Some signs are bleeding gums when you brush and floss, persistent bad breath, and your teeth look longer because your gums are beginning to recede. The only for sure way to know if you have gum disease is a visit to your dentist.

Does gum disease go away on its own? No, brushing and flossing will not make it go away. The best way is getting it professionally cleaned, your dentist can deep clean below your gum line to remove the built-up plaque and tartar. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults. It’s treatable, don’t ignore it!

Can impacted wisdom teeth affect my health? They are the last teeth to come in and there isn’t enough room for them to erupt normally. Most people have four, two on top and on the bottom, Because they are hard to clean, they are more likely to have tooth decay and gum disease, Some people are lucky enough to not get painful symptoms. Others might have swelling around the jaw, tender, or bleeding gums, bad breath, or trouble opening your mouth.

Can I prevent my wisdom teeth from erupting sideways? No, the best way to monitor your teeth us by going to your 6-month dental check-up. X-rays can show if your wisdom teeth are impacted or not before you suffer from any symptoms.

A spring cleaning is more than just your closets and cabinets. Be sure to clean out your mouth too! Schedule your appointment today to spark joy in your smile.

Floss and Company
7110 West Archer Avenue
Chicago, IL 60638
Phone: (773) 586-5522

 

 

Chicago Dentist · gum disease

Show Love To Your Oral Health

Whether you choose to deny it or not, it’s the month of love. February is American Heart Month. Did you know there’s a connection between your heart and oral health? If you plan on stuffing yourself with a ton of sweets, you should be careful! Your teeth need love as well, don’t forget about them.

Yes, it’s true, gum disease increases your risk for heart disease. Lack of care for your teeth and gums can lead to gum disease. If it’s not treated, plaque and bacteria can make its way to your bloodstream and travel through your body to your heart which can lead to blood clots or possibly heart attacks.

Tips For Healthy Living

Valentine’s day – Date night, some people might say they go hand-in-hand. But If you don’t think so, use this tip for whenever you go out and eat.

  • Keep some floss in your bag or pocket. The quicker you get rid of the food particles and bacteria the better! Also, water is the best drink for your teeth, it rinses away acids from your teeth. Pro Tip: order water with your meals.
  • Dark chocolate is actually good for your teeth! Well, in moderation of course. It contains less sugar than milk chocolate and can help with preventing cavities and tooth decay. Chocolates that have a chewy sugary center will more likely cling to your teeth. Yes, you might like those better, just try to eat a couple rather than the whole box. Candy
  • Gummy candy, you want to try to avoid those! They are the worst candy for your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth set off a chemical reaction that turns the sugar into an acidic form then it eats away at the enamel of your teeth. This is known as demineralization. Also, gummy candy sticks to your teeth. When you think about saliva you might be grossed out but when it comes to your mouth, it’s a good thing. It neutralizes acids that come from sugars and protects your teeth.

Alternatives to gummy candy: Xylitol is a sugar replacement that bacteria won’t recognize and doesn’t attack and turn it into acid like they do with sugars. Save your teeth from an attack and read the ingredients!

It’s always a good time for sweets! – WRONG. For some of us, we can’t say no to candy. Eat them after a meal to limit the exposure of sugar and bacteria! Be sure to wash them down with water.

Love is in the air! Did you know that kissing helps prevents cavities? It stimulates saliva and breaks down plaque to get rid of bacteria.

Love Your Teeth

  • Brush twice daily
  • Floss daily
  • Schedule bi-annual teeth cleanings

Those are the basics! Here are a few changes that might benefit you:

  • New toothbrush – your toothbrush should be replaced every 3 months! Use soft bristles, don’t be rough with your gums and teeth. Brush.png
  • New floss? There a bunch of floss out there, don’t be afraid to try something new! Or if you are new to flossing try something and fall in love with how it makes your mouth feel!
  • Toothpaste – Are you loyal to a certain brand? If you can never settle on a certain brand, look for one with an ADA seal! They help remove the plaque from your teeth and protect them from decay and gum disease.
  • Time – sleep in too long or too tired at night to brush your teeth? It’s recommended to brush your teeth for two minutes. Make this change, your mouth and dentist will love you for it! Use a timer while brushing or play your favorite song! It’ll make the time fly by.

Are you wondering if this check-list applies to you if you have dental implants? The answer is: YES, they feel and function like your natural teeth. Which means there shouldn’t be a change in your dental routine.

Treat your heart how it deserves to be treated! Limit your sugar intake, walk or take the stairs rather than the elevator, and take care of your teeth and gums.

 

Floss and Company
7110 West Archer Avenue
Chicago, IL 60638
Phone: (773) 586-5522

 

Chicago Dentist · dental health · Oral Surgery

6 Common Dental Habits

Is it cliche to have a New Years Resolution? Probably, but there are a few habits you’d like to kick to the curb! It’s common for people to want to start living a healthy lifestyle. Why not be completely healthy and improve your dental health too? Poor oral health can put you at risk for heart disease.

6 Habits That Harm Your Teeth

Nail biting can chip or crack teeth. It can even fracture the enamel on your teeth from chewing on hard surfaces. Also, it has an impact on your jaw and as a result, you can develop TMJ. Do you realize how dirty your fingers are? Even though we wash our hands, it’s hard to keep them clean. Nail biting also leads to gingivitis, there is a lot of dirt under our fingernails we aren’t aware of.

Are you grossed out yet? Need tips to stop the biting? Cut them short! If you prefer the longer nail look, paint it with bitter-tasting nail polish. If you don’t like color, you can always opt for a clear coat! Because nail biting is often stress-induced, get a tiny stress ball or something to fidget with to keep your hands busy.

Chewing on ice can break your tooth or filling. Ice and your teeth are both fragile and when you push them both together one will break. Most times its the ice, but from time to time it can be your teeth. Slow down the chewing and try drinks without ice so you won’t be tempted. If you insist on ice, drink with a straw and a lid to keep the ice out of sight.

Teeth as tools may seem convenient at the time but are not good for your teeth. They aren’t supposed to open bags, rip tags off, hold things, or open bottles. They are strong but using them as tools can result in cracks and fracture or even worse, oral and facial injuries. Biting or chewing metal can cause serious damage. We have real tools made especially for things so you don’t have to use your teeth. Such as bottle openers, scissors, and bags. Teeth are for chewing and smiling!

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Hard brushing can cause damage to your gums. Soft bristles are the best for your gums. This can be tricky because it’s good to brush twice a day, but how do you know if you are brushing too hard? A sign is a frayed toothbrush, yes that’s common with an old toothbrush. But it starts to fray within the first three months, relax on the brushing. If you also begin to notice your gums receding, soften up on the brushing! Don’t squish the bristles against your gums! Think about brushing as a gentle massage, slow and steady win the race!

Smoking and use of other tobacco products increase your risk of oral cancer. It can turn your teeth yellow or brown. You are also at risk for tooth decay, gum disease, bone damage, and tooth loss. Over time your gums get weaker and will have trouble properly holding your teeth in place.

Not visiting your dentist is a no-brainer! It’s important to see your dentist every 6 months to avoid issues. Regular dental cleanings prevent tartar from eroding your teeth which helps prevents cavities and gum disease. Besides having your teeth professionally cleaned, you get checked for other abnormalities that could be a larger health issue.

Repeat this to yourself: New Year, New me. Cross things off your list, spice up your oral routine, go crazy at the gym, and eat healthy trendy foods. And most importantly, share how important a solid oral health routine is. Smile at all camera opportunities, and show the benefits of a healthy smile.

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Floss and Company
7110 West Archer Avenue
Chicago, IL 60638
Phone: (773) 586-5522

 

 

Chicago Dentist · dental health · Preventitive

Be A Breath of Fresh Air This Holiday Season

It’s the season to get together! Do you always avoid one family member because their breath stinks? Or do people avoid you? Either way, nobody wants to be “that” person at gatherings. As time goes on, people don’t forget who the culprit is. Don’t let it be you!

Typically, we all wake up with bad breath because there is no constant saliva flow as we sleep. Saliva helps wash away bacteria growth. A reminder to why we brush and floss before we go to bed and when we wake up.

Did you know that over 40 million people in the U.S have bad breath? Most of the time you aren’t able to smell your own breath! Because of the embarrassment, often times we don’t mention it when we smell others breath.

What is Bad Breath?

It’s your oral bacteria which are living, eating, and breeding organisms. You know how all living things need food and needs to dispose of it? That’s what is happening in your mouth! Use this as motivation to start a better dental routine!

What Causes Bad Breath?

  • Smoking and Chewing Tobacco
  • Poor Dental Hygiene
  • Dry Mouth
  • Diet

The worst cause is smoking because it reduces saliva flow. Dry mouth occurs when your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva. It is your mouth’s natural defense and without it plaque and bacteria build up faster. Certain drinks like alcohol and coffee dry your mouth out as well. Sugary foods and drinks are bacteria’s favorite, it helps them grow/multiply faster. It’s important to brush and floss to help prevent plaque build-up.

You might want to keep a closer eye on your tongue as well. Your tongue doesn’t have a smooth surface; food debris, bacteria, and dead cells can be trapped there. Over time, a coating forms across and as it gets thicker, your odor becomes stronger.

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This year, don’t be the one with the breath that clears a room! Have a solid oral hygiene routine, a good one that includes dental cleanings every six months! If you are stuck on what to bring for your gathering try peppermint bark. It’s a nice breath refresher for anyone that needs it!

Pro Tip: Use dark chocolate chips – it’s good for your teeth (in moderation)!

If you are questioning, “How in the world is dark chocolate good for my teeth?” The answer is dark chocolate contains polyphenols which helps fight the growth of bacteria in your mouth, reducing risk of tooth decay. It can also offset bad breath!

Have a great holiday season!

Floss and Company
7110 West Archer Avenue
Chicago, IL 60638
Phone: (773) 586-5522