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Ways to Keep Your Mouth Healthy, From Your Niles Dentists

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Are you looking for ways to maintain proper oral-healthy on a daily basis?  Well, our Niles Dentist team has some oral-health tips for you.

Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are the ABCs of oral health, but they’re only the beginning. A marvelous mouth takes more than squeezing paste out of a tube — think improving your toothbrushing technique, ditching the daily soda habit, and saying good-bye to cigarettes.

David Leader, DMD, an assistant clinical professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, outlines eight oral care musts for a healthy mouth.

1. Pay a visit. If you’re prone to ditching the dentist, you’re among the roughly 50% of adults in the United States who don’t see a dentist yearly because of dental phobia, finances, or just plain neglect. But spend some quality time with your dentist (twice a year, the American Dental Association advises), and you’ll catch problems such as decay, gum disease, trauma, or cancer at an early stage when they’re treatable, not to mention more affordable to take care of.

2. Count the years. Toddlers and older adults tend to fly under the dental health radar, but they need mouth maintenance just like the rest of us. Children should see a dentist by the time they’re 1, and until they are coordinated enough to tie their own shoes they’ll need help cleaning their teeth. Older folks have their own oral issues. Arthritis can make brushing and flossing challenging, and as people age, the amount of saliva they produce decreases, which means more tooth decay and also discomfort for those who wear dentures.

3. Can the soda. Fizzy is fun but also part of the reason soda is so bad for your teeth. Two ingredients — phosphoric acid and citric acid — give soda its “bite” but also eat away at the surface of your teeth. Although the occasional soda won’t hurt, a can or more a day makes your tooth enamel softer and more susceptible to cavities. Switch to water instead, adding flavor with sliced citrus or crushed berries or mint leaves.

4. Don’t sugarcoat it. Sugar is a major culprit in tooth decay. It fuels bacteria and acidity in your mouth, causing plaque to form and eat away at your enamel and gums. Your pearly whites are hit with up to 20 minutes of acid production for every sugar fest you indulge in, from sweetened coffee in the morning to ice cream at night. To avoid being among the 20% of people in the United States who face tooth decay every time they look in the mirror, try to cut down on sugary treats, and aim to brush and floss after every meal or snack.

5. Pack it in. You’ve heard it before: Quit smoking. But this time, it’s your dentist talking. The nicotine and tar in cigarettes not only turn your teeth an unsightly shade of yellow, they eat away at your gums. Smoking creates a ripe environment for bacteria and plaque on your teeth and along the gum line. That harms tissue, degrades the bone that supports teeth, and, eventually, increases your risk of tooth loss. Even worse, tobacco chemicals can lead to oral cancer.
6. Use the right toothbrush. You want a brush with soft bristles. With the right technique, it should last two to three months. It’s ready to be replaced when you notice bent bristles, but don’t wait that long. Even a straight bristle tip can become blunted instead of rounded and cause injury to the teeth and gums.

7. Practice proper technique. Although you probably know you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, if you’re like most people, you don’t give much thought to how to do it. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, pointed toward the gum line, and use gentle, short, circular motions. Brush each tooth 10 to 15 times, but don’t overdo it. Overly aggressive brushing can damage teeth and erode your gum line.

8. Finesse flossing. It’s simple: Flossing fosters healthier teeth and gums. But like brushing, there’s a right and wrong way because flaws in your flossing can cause friction and damage the gum line. Wrap about a foot of floss around your index fingers, keeping about two inches between your fingers to work with. Unroll a fresh section of floss for each tooth, and keep the floss tight against the tooth to break up plaque while leaving your gums in good shape.

Article Source: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/eight-ways-to-keep-your-mouth-healthy

If you live in the Niles area and are looking for a dentist, please visit our website for more information: http://www.hb-dentistry.com

Our office is located at:
9101 Greenwood Avenue, Suite 302
Niles, IL.  60714

Call us at  847-296-4030.
Follow us on twitter:  @hbdentistry

What Hurts, What Helps? Dental Tips from our Niles IL Dental Office

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Are you curious to what oral-health routines impact your life the most?  Here are some more tips from our Niles IL Dental Office.

The outer surface of teeth, called enamel, is designed to last a lifetime. “Enamel is the hardest substance in the body,” says dentist Leslie Seldin, DDS, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. Some wear and tear of tooth enamel is inevitable. But Seldin says there’s plenty you can do to keep your enamel strong. Start with these eight steps.

1. Limit Sugary Soft Drinks and Foods

Sugar leads to the production of acids in the mouth, which soften and eventually wear away at enamel. Chewy candies that stick on your teeth are particularly damaging. So are soft drinks. Along with sugar, soft drinks may contain citric acid and phosphoric acid, making them even more acidic. Artificially sweetened soft drinks are a smarter choice than sugary soft drinks. But sugarless sweeteners are acidic and may erode enamel over time. The best choice when you’re thirsty: a glass of water.

2. Help Yourself to Foods That Protect Enamel

Calcium in foods neutralizes acids in your mouth. Calcium is also an essential mineral needed to keep bones strong. Milk, cheese, and other dairy products all help protect and strengthen enamel, says Pamela L. Quinones, RDH, president of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy to help keep fat and calories to a minimum. If you frequently drink orange juice, O.J. with added calcium may be the best choice. Calcium buffers the normal acidity of orange and other citrus juices.

3. Avoid Over-brushing

Brushing too vigorously can wear down enamel. “Always use a soft brush and brush gently,” says Seldin. Hold the brush at about a 45-degree angle to your gums and move it back and forth in short strokes, about the distance of one tooth. Don’t brush immediately after eating sweets or citrus fruits. Acidic foods temporarily soften enamel and may make it more susceptible to damage from brushing. Wait for up to an hour after you eat, giving your enamel time to re-harden. Then brush your teeth.

4. Treat Heartburn and Eating Disorders

With severe heartburn, stomach acids may escape up into the esophagus. If those acids reach your mouth, they can erode enamel. The eating disorder bulimia, in which people vomit food after they eat, is another threat to enamel. If you have symptoms of heartburn or bulimia, talk to your doctor about treatment.

5. Beware of Chlorinated Pools

When swimming pools aren’t chlorinated properly, the water may become too acidic. Tooth enamel exposed to pool water can begin to erode. In a study by the Centers for Disease Control, 15% of frequent swimmers showed signs of enamel erosion, compared to only 3% of people who don’t swim. Check with the recreation center or gym where you swim to make sure the pool’s pH is checked regularly. While swimming, keep your mouth closed to avoid exposing your teeth to chlorinated water.

6. Be Alert to Dry Mouth

Saliva helps wash away food and bacteria that can lead to cavities. Saliva also neutralizes acidic foods. People with xerostomia, or very low salivary levels, often show signs of enamel erosion. Drink water often to keep your mouth clean and moist. If you exercise strenuously, be sure to rehydrate during and after your workout. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless hard candy can stimulate saliva production. Some medical conditions and certain medications can cause dry mouth. If dry mouth persists, talk to your doctor.

7. Avoid Grinding Your Teeth

Some people grind their upper and lower teeth together, especially at night. “Over time, grinding can wear down the enamel surface and destroy teeth,” says dentist Richard Price, DMD, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. “If you notice yourself clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist.” Custom-fitted tooth guards can help protect teeth from damage.

8. Get Regular Check-ups

To keep your enamel strong, see your dentist every six months for a check-up and teeth cleaning. Your dentist can spot signs of trouble, such as cavities or tooth grinding, before they do extensive damage to your enamel. Your dentist will also make sure that you’re getting the right amount of fluoride to protect your teeth. Fluoride hardens and protects tooth enamel. If your water supply is not fluoridated, ask your dentist if you need to take extra steps to protect your teeth. Your dentist may recommend fluoride supplements, mouthwashes, or coatings for your teeth.

Article Source: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-2/tooth-enamel-damage?page=1

If you live in the Niles area and are looking for a dentist, please visit our website for more information: http://www.hb-dentistry.com

Our Niles Dental office is located at:
9101 Greenwood Avenue, Suite 302
Niles, IL.  60714

Call us at  847-296-4030.
Follow us on twitter:  @hbdentistry

Bad Breath Tips from your Niles IL Dentist

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Worried about bad breath or other oral-health issues? You’re not alone and your Niles IL Dentist has some tips for you.  Forty million Americans suffer from bad breath, or halitosis, according to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Bad breath can get in the way of your social life. It can make you self-conscious and embarrassed. Fortunately, there are simple and effective ways to freshen your breath.  Ask our Niles IL Dentist any other oral-health questions you may have.  

“Remember to brush, rinse and floss thoroughly”, says our Niles IL Dentist.

1. Brush and floss more frequently.

One of the prime causes of bad breath is plaque, the sticky build-up on teeth that harbors bacteria. Food left between teeth adds to the problem. All of us should brush at least twice a day and floss daily. If you’re worried about your breath, brush and floss a little more often.  But don’t overdo it. Brushing too aggressively can erode enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to decay.

2. Scrape your tongue.

The coating that normally forms on the tongue can harbor foul-smelling bacteria. To eliminate them, gently brush your tongue with your toothbrush. Some people find that toothbrushes are too big to comfortably reach the back of the tongue. In that case, try a tongue scraper. “Tongue scrapers are an essential tool in a proper oral health care routine,” says Pamela L. Quinones, RDH, president of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. “They’re designed specifically to apply even pressure across the surface of the tongue area, removing bacteria, food debris, and dead cells that brushing alone can’t remove.”  

3. Avoid foods that sour your breath.

Onions and garlic are the prime offenders. “Unfortunately, brushing after you eat onions or garlic doesn’t help,” says dentist Richard Price, DMD, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. “The volatile substances they contain make their way into your blood stream and travel to your lungs, where you breathe them out.” The only way to avoid the problem is to avoid eating onions and garlic, especially before social or work occasions when you’re concerned about your breath.

4. Kick the habit.

Bad breath is just one of many reasons not to smoke. Smoking damages gum tissue and stains teeth. It also increases your risk of oral cancer. Over-the-counter nicotine patches can help tame the urge to smoke. If you need a little help, make an appointment to talk to your doctor about prescription medications or smoking cessation programs that can help you give up tobacco for good.

5. Rinse your mouth out.

In addition to freshening your breath, anti-bacterial mouthwashes add extra protection by reducing plaque-causing bacteria. After eating, swishing your mouth with plain water also helps freshen your breath by eliminating food particles.

6. Skip after-dinner mints and chew gum instead.

Sugary candies promote the growth of bacteria in your mouth and add to bad breath problems. Instead, chew sugarless gum. “Gum stimulates saliva, which is the mouth’s natural defense mechanism against plaque acids which cause tooth decay and bad breath,” Quinones tells WebMD.  

7. Keep your gums healthy.

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common cause of bad breath. Bacteria accumulate in pockets at the base of teeth, creating bad odors. If you have gum disease, your dentist may recommend a periodontist, who specializes in treating gum disease.

8. Be alert to dry mouth.

Lack of saliva promotes tooth decay and can cause bad breath. If your mouth is dry, drink plenty of water during the day. Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy, which helps stimulate saliva. Use a humidifier at night if the air is dry. If your mouth is still unusually dry, talk to your dentist or doctor. Dry mouth is a side effect of certain medications.

9. See your doctor.

If your bad breath continues despite your best efforts, see your doctor. Bad breath can be a symptom of medical conditions such as a sinus infection, postnasal drip from allergies, lung infections, diabetes, or liver or kidney diseases.

If you live in the Niles area and are looking for a dentist, please visit our website for more information: http://www.hb-dentistry.com

Our Niles Dental office is located at

9101 Greenwood Avenue, Suite 302

Niles, IL.  60714

Call us at  847-296-4030.
Follow us on twitter:  @hbdentistry

10 Toothbrushing Mistakes From Your Niles Dentist

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Toothbrushing is such an ingrained habit, few people think twice about it. But as with any habit, you can get sloppy, and that can lead to cavities and gum disease. Hear from your Niles dentist about the 10 toothbrushing mistakes you’re making. Continue reading:

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 1: Not Using the Right Toothbrush

Consider the size of your mouth when picking a toothbrush, says Richard H. Price, DMD, the consumer advisor for the American Dental Association. “If you are straining to open wide enough to let the brush in, the brush is probably too big,” he says.

”The handle has to be comfortable,” he says. It should feel as comfortable as holding a fork when you eat.

“The more comfortable it is in your mouth and your hand, then the more likely you will use it and use it properly,” he says.

Which is the better toothbrush: Electric or manual?

“It’s an individual preference,” says Michael Sesemann, DDS, president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and an Omaha dentist.  “A person who brushes well with a manual will do as well as a person who brushes well with an electric.”

Price agrees. “It’s not the toothbrush, it’s the brusher.”

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 2: Not Picking the Right Bristles

Some toothbrushes have angled bristles, others straight. So is one type better? Dentists say no.

”It’s more related to technique than the way the bristles come out,” says Sesemann.

What is important when buying a toothbrush? Bristles that are too stiff can aggravate the gums. The ADA recommends a soft-bristled brush.

”Bristles should be sturdy enough to remove plaque but not hard enough to damage [the teeth] when used properly,” says Price. He doesn’t recommend “natural” bristles such as those made from animal hair or boar bristle.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 3: Not Brushing Often Enough or Long Enough

Softly brushing your teeth at least twice a day is recommended. ”Three times a day is best,” says Sesemann.

With too much time between brushings, he says, bacterial plaque will build up, boosting the risk of gum inflammation and other problems.

Brushing should last at least two minutes, says Sesemann. Three minutes is even better, says Price.

Most people fall short of both time lines, says Sesemann. “It’s an arbitrary number, but it’s just so people take the time to clean all the surfaces.” He often recommends people divide the mouth into quadrants and spend 30 seconds a quadrant. Some electric toothbrushes include built-in timers.

To make the two minutes go faster, Sesemann says he ”multitasks,” fitting in a little TV viewing as he brushes.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 4: Brushing Too Often or Too Hard

While brushing your teeth three times a day is ideal, more may not be, says Sesemann. “More than four toothbrushings a day would begin to seem compulsive.”

Excessive brushing could expose the root of the tooth to irritation, and that could in turn irritate the gums. Brushing vigorously can also erode tooth enamel. The trick is to brush very gently for two to three minutes.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 5: Not Brushing Correctly

”Long horizontal strokes along the gumline can lead to abrasions,” says Sesemann. “Aim your bristles at the gum line at a 45-degree angle and do short strokes or vibrations.” Softly brush up and down your teeth, not across your teeth. The strokes should be vertical or circular, not horizontal.

Be sure to brush outer and inner tooth surfaces, the chewing surfaces, and your tongue.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 6: Starting in the Same Place Each Time

Many people start brushing the same part of their mouth over and over, dentists find.

“Start in a different place so that you don’t get lazy in the same area of your mouth,” says Price. He reasons that by the time you get to the last quadrant of your mouth, you’re bored with brushing.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 7: Skipping Inner Tooth Surfaces

Most people forget to brush the inner surfaces of teeth — the surface that your tongue presses against.

“The plaque you can’t see is just as important to remove as the plaque you can see,” says Price.

The most commonly skipped area, dentists say, is the inner surface of the lower front teeth.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 8: Not Following Up With a Rinse

Bacteria can grow on an un-rinsed toothbrush. Then, the next time you brush your teeth, you may actually put old bacteria back in your mouth, says Laurence Rifkin, DDS, a dentist in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Rinsing the toothbrush after you brush will help remove any leftover toothpaste, too.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 9: Not Letting the Toothbrush Dry

“If you have a toothbrush that’s perpetually moist, it will cultivate more bacteria,” says Sesemann.

“If the bristles stay soggy, you can misshape them as you use the brush,” Price says. “Or it might be a breeding ground for bacteria.”

It’s a good idea to shake out the moisture, then recap it with a cap that allows air in, he says.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 10: Not Changing the Toothbrush Often Enough

The American Dental Association recommends getting a new brush every three or four months, or even sooner if the bristles look frayed.

But rather than go by a strict timeline, Price says a visual inspection of the bristles is better. “Once the bristles lose their normal flexibility and start to break apart, change your toothbrush,” he says.

“Look more at the state of the bristles than the time period,” he says.

Some brushes have colored indicators that alert you when they need replacing, says Price.

Article Source: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-10/brushing-teeth-mistakes?page=1

 

Check Out Your Niles Dentist’s YouTube video!

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Please take time to view you Niles dentist video on YouTube! This is one of many informative videos to come from Doctors Hagopian and Baghosian. If you are currently living in the Niles, IL area and are looking for a dentist, please do not hesitate to call our office for an appointment today.