Posts made in January 2018

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.