Posts made in June 2018

Do You Believe These Dental Health Myths? – Pt. 2

woman thinkingIn our last post, we debunked four dangerous dental health myths. Here are five more myths you may have believed:

Sugar is primary cause of cavities. In reality, all carbohydrates contain sugar that can break down your teeth. Starchy foods like crackers and chips are just as bad for your teeth as sugary candy.

You get sensitive teeth when your enamel wears away. While enamel erosion does cause tooth sensitivity, it can also be caused by a host of other problems like gum recession and even the use of certain whitening products. If you are experiencing sensitivity, you should talk to your dentist about possible solutions.

Gum disease is only a dental issue. Gum disease can be a sign of other diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and even some cancers. It is best to look into all of the possibilities when seeking treatment.

Whiter teeth are healthier teeth. While it is true that unhealthy things like smoking or junk food can stain your teeth, there are plenty of totally normal ways our teeth can become discolored. Certain medications, the natural process of aging, and even healthy foods and drinks can darken your teeth. Luckily, teeth whitening in Arlington Heights, IL, can be a great cosmetic fix.

If your teeth feel healthy, you don’t need a checkup. A lot of dental issues can only be spotted by a trained professional in the early stages. You might not even notice anything wrong, but your dentist can catch an issue before it becomes painful and expensive to fix. Visit your dentist for an exam and cleaning every six months to ensure that your smile in the best condition possible.

Do You Believe These Dental Health Myths? – Pt. 1

a woman with question marks over her headThere are many misconceptions out there when it comes to caring for your teeth. In the quest for good oral health, we’re here to set the record straight on these dental health myths.

The harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth. The reality is that excessive brushing is just as bad as not brushing enough. Use a soft-bristled brush and a gentle brushing motion to avoid wearing away the enamel on your teeth.

Sugar-free gum is the same as brushing. While sugar-free gum is good for your teeth, it cannot replace brushing. Chew sugar-free gum between meals to protect your teeth, but make sure you are brushing twice a day to avoid tooth decay.

If your gums bleed when you floss, leave them alone. Bleeding gums are caused by inflammation of the gums. This inflammation is caused when bacteria builds up in the places where you brush doesn’t reach. If you floss on a regular basis, the inflammation with go down, and the bleeding will stop over time.

Your dentist won’t know you’ve been slacking on brushing if you brush well before your appointment. Unfortunately, your dentist can see if you’ve been neglecting your oral health no matter how well you brush before the appointment. You can’t undo the damage you’ve done to your teeth by ignoring your dental health.

These are just a few of the dental health myths that have been circulating over the years. In our next post, we’ll debunk some more myths. In the meantime, be sure to schedule your appointment with our dentist in Skokie or one of our other locations.

The Effects of Alcohol on Your Teeth

Clinking glasses of red wine in hands on rustic wooden planks backgroundMany adults enjoy an alcoholic beverage now and then. What you may not know, is that alcohol can have an adverse effect on your oral health. As with best things, it is best to consume alcohol in moderation or not at all, because this is how it can hurt your teeth:

Sugar Content – All forms of alcohol contain sugar because sugar is what facilitates fermentation. Like the bacteria that ferment alcohol, the bacteria in your mouth also lives on sugar. These sugary alcoholic drinks can lead to tooth decay. If you drink, stick to drinks with lower sugar content. Dry wine tends to have less sugar, so stick with that.

Dry Mouth – Drinking alcohol decreases the flow of saliva in your mouth. Saliva is your mouth’s natural cleaning agent and is responsible for flushing bacteria from your mouth. Instead of washing bacteria away, drinking alcohol causes it to cling to your teeth and damage your enamel. Be sure to drink plenty of water between drinks to replenish the saliva in your mouth, or chew sugar-free gum.

Stains – Dark-colored drinks like red wine can stain your teeth. Choose lighter colored drinks, or follow your drinks with water or sugar-free gum to prevent stains.

Keep your teeth as healthy as possible by scheduling regular visits with your dentist in Skokie and the surrounding areas.

Healthy Foods that Whiten Your Teeth

woman shopping for apples at the grocery store

We all know that eating certain foods will stain your teeth, but did you know that you can add foods to your diet that act as natural whiteners?

Strawberries – Strawberries contain an enzyme called malic acid that acts as a teeth whitener. Not only are these delicious berries a healthy and delicious snack, but they can also help you smile brighter!

Fibrous Foods – Crunchy, fibrous foods like apples, celery, and carrots can help remove stains from your teeth by activating saliva production. Saliva is your mouth’s built-in cleaning agent and helps remove bacteria from your teeth. Try finishing your lunch with one of these foods to keep your teeth fresh between brushings.

Tart Fruits – Tart fruits like pineapple and citrus also fight stains by increasing saliva production. Be careful, though – citrus is highly acidic and can cause tooth sensitivity if you indulge in too much.

Baking Soda – Toothpaste containing baking soda not only do a better job of removing plaque, but they also help whiten your teeth. While you can use baking soda directly on your teeth, it is more abrasive than your average toothpaste, so do this sparingly.

Dairy – Foods like yogurt, cheese, and milk contain lactic acid, which has been shown to fend off tooth decay. Some research indicates that proteins in yogurt bind to your teeth and protect them from acid. As for whitening, your best bet is to indulge in hard cheeses every now and again.

Do you want to whiten your smile safely and quickly? See your dentist! Contact Northwestern Dental Group for teeth whitening in Arlington Heights, IL, or one of our other four locations.