How to Take Care of Your Dental Implants

woman brushing teethYour implants restore functionality and make your smile more beautiful. For the most part, you care for your dental implants in Arlington Heights, IL, as you do your original teeth. However, dentists recommend a few areas of special care.

Brush, Water-Flossing, & Checkups

Whether made by nature or in a dental lab, your teeth require daily oral hygiene, as well as regular checkups and cleaning. Here are recommendations to keep all of your teeth looking and functioning as nature intended:

  • Brush and floss all of your teeth—natural and implants—daily with a minimum of twice for brushing and once for flossing.
  • Choose a non-abrasive toothpaste.
  • You can use a manual, electric, or sonic toothbrush for natural and implanted teeth. However, when using a manual toothbrush for implants, prevent damage by selecting one that is soft.
  • Along with a conventional brush, an Interdental toothbrush is recommended for dental implants in Arlington Heights, IL. Nylon-coated interdental brushes are great for cleaning those hard-to-reach areas without scratching.
  • When flossing, use a product that is made for implants or one that isn’t coated in wax.
  • Along with string floss, a water flosser is helpful in reducing plaque and inflammation.
  • Don’t wait for six months for a dental checkup. Make an appointment every three or four months to maintain optimal oral health.

If you are experiencing issues with your dental implants following surgery, do not hesitate to contact us.

Professional Teeth Whitening Vs. At-Home Treatments

teeth whitening arlington heights ilIt may seem like a good idea to pick up a tooth-whitening kit at the store and take care of the treatment yourself at home. While this type of kit does not cost you much money, does it really provide you with a whiter, brighter smile? Take a hard look at the facts to make a wise decision for your smile and pocketbook.

Professional Treatment Yield Results

Professional teeth whitening in Arlington Heights, Il, gets you the results you want.  Those in-store kits contain only a small amount of peroxide—usually about 3 percent, compared to about 35 percent in the whitening agent used at a dentist’s office. Professional whitening results in noticeable differences of up to 10 shades whiter from just one visit to the dentist.

In-Office Visits Protect Your Teeth & Gums
Performed incorrectly, whitening can damage your teeth and gums. Even in-store kits contain chemicals that must be applied carefully and for a short period. When you place teeth whitening in Arlington Heights, IL, in the hands of a dentist, you do not have to worry about the strength of products or length of time because your dentist is highly trained and can whiten your teeth safely and effectively.

How to Prepare for Dental Implant Surgery

dental x-ray with missing teethDental implants are a great way to restore teeth without relying on dentures. The implants function just like regular teeth, so you can have a smile that looks natural and healthy. Here are a few things you need to do to prepare to receive dental implants in Arlington Heights, IL.

Fasting Pre-Surgery

If you’ve undergone any procedure where you will be sedated, you know it’s important to fast for 8 to 12 hours before surgery. The reason your dentist recommends this is because it reduced nausea post-surgery.

Plan a Ride Home

You should not drive after receiving anesthesia, so bring someone along who can drive you home after your procedure. Your safety and comfort is important before, during, and after the procedure.

Clear Your Schedule

Most people can return to work the day after receiving implant surgery, but many experience discomfort and swelling for a week or more after surgery, so don’t make major commitments for that week following surgery.

You should also plan to rest for the entire day following surgery. Use ice to reduce swelling, and take pain medication that has been prescribed to you.

Follow All Recovery Instructions

Your dentist will have their own list of instructions for before and after surgery, so be sure to follow them to the letter to maintain your new dental implants.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

While you cannot get cavities in your implants, they are still subject to wear and tear, and your gums still need to be maintained. Stick to a strict oral hygiene routine to maintain a healthy mouth following implant surgery. Well-cared-for dental implants will last a lifetime.

Helping Your Child Care for Their Braces

bracesLiving with braces can be difficult because it makes your oral hygiene routine more complicated. As a parent, you want to make sure your child has healthy teeth – that’s why you got them braces in the first place. Here are a few things you can do to help your child care for their braces.

Make a Handy Travel Kit

Dentists recommend that kids with braces brush after every meal. Between school and extra-curricular activities, this isn’t always easy to stick to. Make them a travel kit with a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, wax, and lip balm. The wax is useful in case a wire snaps accidentally, and the lip balm can soothe chapped lips. Have them keep this kit in their backpack at all times so they can keep up a good oral hygiene routine.

Make Sure They Stick to Their Food Rules

Having braces means avoiding certain foods like gum, any chewy food, or hard foods. You should also try to help them break the habit if they are nail biters or pen chewers as this can damage the braces.

Buy Them a Mouth Guard for Sports

Your kid doesn’t have to quit sports or avoid engaging in strenuous activities just because they have braces. Invest in a mouth guard to protect their teeth, so a sports injury doesn’t cause the wires to snap.

Invest in a Water Flosser

Flossing can be extremely difficult with braces. Make it easier by investing in a water flosser. The flosser sprays water between the teeth to remove particles where regular floss can’t reach. This may encourage your child to floss more often if they become easily frustrated with normal floss.

If your child experiences any issues with their braces, call your orthodontist in Skokie, IL right away.

The Benefits of Porcelain Veneers

porcelain veneersIf you are dealing with stained, crooked, or misshapen teeth, veneers can be the perfect solution for you. A veneer is a thin shell of porcelain that is fitted over your natural tooth. Allow our dentist in Niles to give you your confident back. Here are a few benefits of porcelain veneers.

Correcting Imperfection

Veneers can fix a whole host of cosmetic dental issues. They cover stains, hide gaps in teeth, hide misshapen teeth, and lengthen teeth that are too short. They can be used to give you the white, even smile that you’ve always wanted.


While you still need to care for your veneers just like any other teeth, they are very resistant to stains. You can enjoy coffee and red wine in moderation without worrying about stains. Veneers will maintain a bright and healthy appearance for years.


The average porcelain veneer will last anywhere between 5 and 10 years, which means you won’t have to replace them often. Their durability makes them an attractive cosmetic solution.


Placing veneers does not require surgery, making them a great option for those looking for a non-invasive way to improve their smile.

Contact our dentist today to schedule an appointment and see if veneers are right for you.

How to Avoid Teeth Stains

before and after teeth whiteningYour smile is often the first thing people notice about you, so you try to keep it in the best condition possible. Preventing your teeth from staining can seem like an uphill battle that’s impossible to win, but here are some tips and tricks that you can use to keep your smile whiter for longer.

Rinse After Meals

Brushing directly after meals can actually be harmful because the acid in your food or beverage will soften your enamel. Applying an abrasive like your toothbrush immediately after can wear it down. Instead, rinse your mouth out with water to remove food particles from your teeth after each meal. Rinsing your mouth after consuming beverages like coffee, juice, soda, and wine is also helpful.

Sugar-Free Gum

Sugar-free gum is a great way to keep your teeth clean in between brushing. The gum causes your mouth to produce extra saliva, which washes food particles out of your mouth. It can remove food and drinks from your teeth gently, which is key to maintaining white teeth. Keep a pack of sugar-free gum in your purse or pocket and chew it after your morning coffee and after every meal.

Choose the Right Mouth Wash

Not all mouthwashes are created equally. Antibacterial mouthwash is best because it can help kill cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. It also helps to buy a rinse with a disclosing solution that will turn the plaque on your teeth a different color. This way, you can see where plaque remains on your teeth after you brush so you can remove it and prevent stains.

Still Seeing Stains?

If you are embarrassed by your smile because of tooth stains, and you want a safe and effective way to whiten them, visit Northwestern Dental Group for teeth whitening in Arlington Heights, IL or one of our other four locations. We can have you smiling again in no time with our gentle and effective whitening treatment.

What to Expect During a Root Canal

patient and dentistWhen your dentist tells you that you need a root canal, you probably go through a mix of emotions: anxiety, fear, or even dread. It doesn’t have to be this way. If you know what to expect during the procedure, it can help calm some of the anxiety.

How a Root Canal Works

A root canal is a last resort procedure – there is no other way to repair the tooth because it is severely decayed or abscessed. Luckily, a root canal can still save your tooth. Here are the steps your dentist will take to complete your root canal in Skokie, IL:

  1. The dentist numbs your tooth to maintain your comfort during the procedure.
  2. The dentist dries the area. This may include placing a rubber dam over your tooth to keep saliva away from the area and to isolate it from surrounding teeth.
  3. The dentist will then drill an opening and remove all of the bacteria and decay from inside the tooth.
  4. Your dentist will then use root canal files to clean out the roots of your tooth so they can remove the
  5. The dentist thoroughly cleans the tooth and makes sure there is no more infection.
  6. The dentist uses gutta-percha, a rubber filling material, to fill in the roots of the tooth and then fulls in the rest of the tooth with regular tooth filling.

Getting a Crown after a Root Canal

A tooth can become dry and brittle after a root canal. To prevent the tooth from breaking, your dentist will recommend a crown to fully protect the tooth.

Alternatives to a Root Canal

If you do not wish to undergo a root canal procedure, the only other choice is to extract the tooth. You can then get a dental implant to replace it. Contact the capable dentists at Northwestern Dental Group today to go over your options.

Eat These Foods to Maintain a Healthy Smile

girl eating an appleWhat you eat has a significant impact on your oral health – surprise! Actually, most people know that steering clear of sugary sweets is good for your teeth. However, specific foods can have a positive effect on your smile. Here are seven foods that you can add to your diet to keep your pearly whites looking beautiful:

  • Cheese – Cheese lovers, rejoice! Eating cheese can prevent tooth decay by raising the pH level and increasing saliva production in your mouth. The protein and calcium found in cheese is also a factor in strengthening your enamel.
  • Yogurt – Beneficial bacteria (called probiotics) crowds out the harmful bacteria that cause cavities. Choose yogurt with no sugar added to reap the benefits of calcium, protein, and probiotics without damaging your
  • Leafy Greens – The calcium, fiber, and folic acid found in spinach and other leafy greens protects teeth and can help prevent gum Try adding them to a smoothie if you don’t enjoy the taste.
  • Almonds – These nutritious and delicious nuts are high in protein and calcium, but low in sugar, making them an ideal snack for oral health-conscious people.
  • Carrots – Crunchy and full of fiber, raw carrots increase the flow of saliva to your mouth, reducing the risk of cavities. They are also an excellent source of vitamin A, and make a tasty snack!
  • Celery – This crunchy vegetable acts as a natural toothbrush, scraping food particles and plaque from your teeth as you eat. It also contains antioxidants that protect your gums. Eating celery after a meal can be a great way to keep your teeth clean between brushing.
  • Apples – Apples may be sweet, but don’t let that fool you. The texture of the fruit stimulates your gums and increases saliva production. Like celery, apples can scrub your teeth after a meal if you can’t get to a toothbrush for a while.

If you are interested in maintaining good oral health (who isn’t!), contact Northwestern Dental Group. Our dentist in Niles, Arlington Heights, Skokie, Vernon Hills, or Gurnee can help you keep your smile fresh. Regular dental cleanings and checkups are the most important thing you can do for your dental health.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

bald man with nice teeth laughingNo one wants to lose their teeth, but it happens to more people than you think. If you find yourself in a situation where you either lose a tooth or need to have a tooth extracted, dental implants can make a world of difference. Even if the missing tooth is in the back, a dental implant can improve your appearance and make eating easier. Here are just a few benefits of dental implants.

Facial Structure and Appearance

Believe it or not, your teeth affect the shape of your face, especially your lips and jawline. A missing tooth can negatively impact your appearance. When you lose a tooth, your remaining teeth will sag inwards toward that space, like books on a shelf. The bone in your jaw will begin to resorb, creating a loss of muscle attachment, which can make your skin look saggy in that area. Getting a dental implant can help prevent this process, helping you maintain your smile and keep the skin around your mouth smooth.

More Permanent Solution to Dentures

Many people who have more than one missing tooth will opt for partial dentures. While this can be an excellent option for some, it can be inconvenient. You will have to remove the dentures for cleaning, and it may not be as easy to eat the foods you love. Dental implants in Skokie, IL are a more permanent solution that looks and feels natural.

Regain Your Confidence

Your smile is a huge part of what makes you, you. Dental implants can restore your confidence and give you a smile you will be proud to show off. Call Northwestern Dental Group today to make an appointment at one of our five locations.

When to Consider Braces for Your Child

closeup of child’s mouth with bracesWhen we think of braces, we often think of teenagers – and most parents do not consider getting braces for their child until they are at least 11 years old. What many parents do not know is that crooked teeth can be a sign of other problems that can affect the child’s breathing, sleep habits, and posture. So when, exactly, should you consider braces for your child?

Getting an Orthodontic Checkup

The AAO (American Academy of Orthodontists) recommends that you take your child for an orthodontic assessment as early as 7 years old. Braces are not typically applied until a child reaches age 11-13, but your orthodontist in Skokie, IL may determine that corrective treatment should be commenced earlier.

Dentists will often wait until all of the child’s baby teeth have fallen out because this reduces the need for repeat treatment, but incorrect dental growth can impact the child’s facial structure, airway, and spine. To ensure that a child’s jaw develops correctly, you want to make sure that no corrective therapy is needed earlier on.

Signs Your Child Needs Braces

If you are unsure about whether or not your child needs braces, there are some telltale signs you should look out for:

  • Mouth Breathing – This indicates that a child’s upper dental arch is crooked, leading to cramped sinuses and airways. The child may also snore at night, have difficulty sleeping, and present with a slumped posture. A child may need corrective therapy such as palate expanders to open the airways before they can receive braces
  • Crooked Teeth – This is the most obvious sign that a child needs braces, but it does not always indicate more serious

Ensuring Your Child’s Health

Call Northwestern Dental Group today to set up an orthodontic assessment at one of our five locations today. Our capable orthodontists in Niles, Arlington Heights, Park City, Vernon Hills, or Skokie can determine if your child needs braces or other corrective treatment.