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Arlington Heights, IL 60005
(847) 754-4480

Westgate Dental Care Blog

Why it’s Wise to Remove Wisdom Teeth Before College

May 5, 2017

Filed under: Dental Tips — Tags: — drkics @ 8:00 am


Wisdom teeth extraction may be a good idea for your college-bound teen.

Is your recent high school graduate heading to college this fall? Whether your teen is moving away or planning to attend a local school, it’s vital to set him or her up to succeed – both in school, but also in health matters.

If your teenage son or daughter hasn’t had their wisdom teeth removed yet, you may want to consider having them removed now, before he or she heads to college in the fall. As parents, we certainly don’t want our kids to experience adverse effects later on. Choosing to remove wisdom teeth before college could help your son or daughter avoid missed classes, failing grades, or severe pain!

The wisdom of wisdom teeth extraction now, not later

It’s generally recommended to remove wisdom teeth before the age of 25. Preventive wisdom teeth removal could save your child from future complications or painful symptoms.

If left in place, impacted wisdom teeth could cause many problems, including:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • headaches
  • earaches
  • jaw pain
  • sinus pain
  • swollen glands
  • damage to other teeth

Additionally, wisdom teeth that crowd against other teeth could make it difficult to floss. Food particles can become trapped, leading to cavities or periodontal disease.

Most dental insurance plans cover wisdom teeth extraction between the ages of 18-25. Your dental team can help determine if your plan will cover this for your kids.

Learn why it's a good idea for teens to remove wisdom teeth before heading off to college


If wisdom teeth don’t hurt, why do they need to be removed?

Your teen’s wisdom teeth may not be causing discomfort, but they could still lead to problems in the future. Wisdom teeth could be growing at an awkward angle and could push against their other teeth, causing pain or even damage to healthy teeth.

Another reason preventive wisdom teeth extraction is recommended is to prevent surgical complications. As your child gets older, they increase their risk for problems after the surgery, including bleeding, severe numbness, loss of movement in the jaw, or even fractured teeth. If wisdom teeth are removed when the patient is younger, before the roots are fully formed, he or she will be in a better position to recover easily from oral surgery.

Get your college-bound teen ready to “make the grade” by scheduling his or her wisdom teeth extraction this summer!

Call us to schedule your appointment 847-577-7171.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.’

Re-posted with permission. Source.

Oral Cancer Awareness Month: Are You at Risk?

April 7, 2017

Filed under: Dental News — Tags: — drkics @ 8:00 am

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Are you familiar with this deadly disease? According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), an estimated 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer EVERY YEAR and 9,000 U.S. citizens will die from this horrifying disease.

Oral cancer’s mortality rate isn’t because it’s hard to diagnose, but because cancer is discovered late in its development. You can take action to stop this disease before it gets deadly.

Know the risk factors

Everyone is at risk for oral cancer. Whether you’re in your early 20’s or an active 40-year-old, you’re just as likely to get oral cancer. However, some factors increase your chances of getting oral cancer, including:

  • Smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Excessive drinking
  • Exposure to HPV (Human papillomavirus)
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Poor diet
  • Physical trauma

If any of these factors apply to you, consider changing your habits to lower your chances of oral cancer.

Learn the risks of oral cancer during oral cancer awareness month


Recognize the symptoms

It’s important to perform a self-examination every month to catch any signs of oral cancer before it gets worse. Using a bright light and a mirror, check your cheek, tongue, the inside of your lips, and gums for:

  • White or red patches of tissue
  • Sores that bleed easily
  • Abnormal lumps
  • A chronic sore throat
  • A mass or lump in the neck
  • Difficulty swallowing

If you’ve noticed these symptoms, it’s critical to contact your family dentist as soon as possible for an oral cancer screening.

Oral Cancer Awareness Month: Get screened

Getting regular screenings performed by your general dentist puts you in the best position to detect oral cancer in its early stages. This is just one more critical reason to keep up with your checkups and cleanings twice a year!

Schedule your appointment today, we’re open 6 days a week | 847-754-4480!

In honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, help us spread the word by sharing this blog post. It could save a life!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Source.

5 Reasons to Follow Us on Facebook

February 21, 2017

Filed under: Dental News — Tags: — drkics @ 4:47 pm

Learn why you should follow us on Facebook right away!

Do you follow us on Facebook yet? Following a business on Facebook is easy and beneficial. We work hard to ensure the content on our page is personal, entertaining, relevant, and interesting – but most importantly, we want it to be valuable and beneficial to YOU! Here are five reasons you should follow our Facebook page right away:

1. Because You Love Us

Many of you are part of our family. You have been a patient or a friend for many years. You personally know one or more of us and are interested in what we are doing. When you follow us on Facebook, you’ll see what we are up to and enjoy our journey with us! After all, we love to keep our patients and friends updated – Facebook is the number one way we do that.

2. Because You are Part of Our Community

We love our community! And as a team made up of members of the community, we like to talk to talk from time to time about things that are happening locally.

If you are interested in health, family, charity, local events, etc., following us on Facebook is an easy way to stay current and share in our excitement as we experience all that our neighborhood has to offer!

3. Because You Want to Get to Know Us

Are you looking for a dentist? Do you wonder who we are and whether we are a good fit for you and your family? Following us socially is a great way to check us out before coming in.

We try to stay as transparent as possible so that you can get to know each one of us through our Facebook page. Keep up with the latest:

  • Read reviews from current patients.
  • See what we are up to in our office.
  • Be the first to know when we add new technology or services.
  • See the faces and personalities of our friendly team.
  • Get current information about our location, opening times, services, and more.
  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at our practice.

Do you follow us on Facebook? Learn 5 reasons you should.

4. Because You Want to Interact With Us

As a business, we feel it’s very important to listen and respond to everyone. Following us on facebook creates a channel where you can interact with us easily.

Do you wish to leave a review? Do you have a question you’d like to ask? Is there some way we can serve you better? Let us know and we’ll do the best we can to improve or educate you more fully to the best of our ability. Get speedy responses and interact with our team on a personal level.

5. Because You are Interested in Getting Great Value

A final advantage to following us is that you can receive exclusive offers that others just won’t get. You’ll become a VIP – very important patient – and we feel it’s important to reward that from time to time! Be the first to know about valuable money-saving offers; they’re easily accessible directly from our Facebook page.

Please take the time to follow us on Facebook today. We are sure you’ll be glad you did!

Re-posted with permission. Source

February is American Heart Month – Are You Listening?

February 12, 2017

Filed under: Dental News — Tags: — drkics @ 4:30 pm

Did you know that heart disease is the #1 killer for women in America?

Since 1964, American presidents have been warning the American public about the very real danger of heart disease. Why? Each year, one out of every three deaths in America is caused by heart disease. This is more than any other deadly disease, including cancer.

Because of this, the month of February has been designated as American Heart Month. Each year, focus is given to education and awareness about heart health.

Heart Disease Awareness

Awareness of the facts surrounding heart disease can save lives. Here are some helpful sites that can save your life:

  • Facts. Watch, Learn, and Live using the American Heart Association’s Interactive Cardiovascular Library.
  • Risk factors. What is your heart disease risk factor? Use this tool from the Mayo Clinic to calculate your risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Prevention. The World Heart Federation explains how you can reduce risk by making specific lifestyle changes.
  • Barriers. The Million Hearts® website lists some common barriers that prevent some from taking needed actions.
  • Symptoms. Learn the five AHA’s Common Heart Attack Warning Signs. Pay attention to your body and act quickly if you feel these symptoms.

February 3rd – A Focus on Women’s Heart Disease

On Friday, February 3, 2017, people across America will be wearing red to raise awareness about women and heart health. This awareness event is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute which is part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Did you know that heart disease is the #1 killer for women also? Facts show that in 2010, one out of four deaths of women were because of this disease. And the truth is that it can happen to women of all ages, not just the elderly.

A red dress has been chosen as a symbol to remind women of the very real dangers of cardiovascular disease. Look for the red dress and its accompanying message this month as a reminder for women to take action and lower their risk of heart disease.

Leading Causes of Death for American Women (2010).


How has heart disease affected lives? Read these real stories. If you have a story or comment to share we’d love to hear it!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


Teeth Tips: How to Use an Electric Toothbrush

January 16, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — drkics @ 1:38 pm

Learn how to use an electric toothbrush properly for best results.

Have you recently started using an electric powered toothbrush? Whether you’re new to the electric toothbrush or you’ve been using one for many years, you’ll want to ensure you’re using it properly to gain the maximum benefits.

There are many valuable reasons to switch to an electric powered toothbrush:

  • Most have built-in timers that help you ensure you brush for the full recommended two minutes.
  • Powered toothbrushes literally make thousands more brush strokes than you could manually, resulting in more plaque removal and a healthier mouth.
  • Easy to hold and maneuver, they’re more effective at reaching tough-to-reach areas of your mouth.

To really get the most out of your brushing routine, you’ll need to brush with the proper technique. This article will teach you how to use an electric toothbrush most effectively.

4 tips to properly use your electric toothbrush

Enjoy a clean and healthy mouth by brushing properly with your powered toothbrush. Here are four tips to get the best results:

1. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle against your gumline, where the gums and teeth meet.

2. Gently and lightly pull the brush along the gum line, allowing the vibrations to clean the area thoroughly. There’s no need to vigorously brush back and forth as you would with a manual toothbrush.

3. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Word to the wise: Don’t turn the brush on until it’s inside your mouth – otherwise, you could shoot that pea-sized dab of toothpaste across the bathroom!

4. Use the timer. Most electric toothbrushes have built-in two-minute timers. Some, such as Philips Sonicare, beep throughout the two minutes so you can spend an equal amount of time brushing each quadrant in your mouth.

Video: Tips to get the best clean from your toothbrush

Watch this brief video to see a demonstration showing how to use a Philips Sonicare toothbrush:

No matter which brand you choose, you can count on improved oral health if you learn how to use an electric toothbrush properly! Now that you’ve chosen an electric brush over a manual one, make sure you use it two times every day.

Of course, you can’t count on brushing alone – maintain a healthy hygiene routine by flossing daily and scheduling dental exams and cleanings twice a year.

What type of toothbrush do you prefer? Comment below!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Source

Protect Your Smile by Checking for These 6 Signs of Gum Disease

January 3, 2017

Filed under: Dental Tips — Tags: — drkics @ 1:57 pm

Gum disease can have serious consequences. Protect yourself and check for these 6 signs of gum disease.

Gum disease is one of the least noticeable yet most common oral conditions worldwide. Given gum disease’s potentially serious yet invisible signs, how can you protect yourself from losing your smile?

Gum disease is no laughing matter. Millions of Americans are diagnosed with it each year and millions more remain untreated, leading to rapid decay and tooth loss. Additionally, gum disease has been linked with other serious health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and other issues.

For these reasons, it’s highly important to understand the invisible signs of gum disease to reduce your risk of developing serious health conditions, as well as the need for costly invasive dental treatments later on.

This article will expose the top six signs of gum disease and what you can do to protect your healthy smile.

Exposing six signs of gum disease

These are some of the commonly overlooked signs of gum disease. Have you been ignoring them?

  1. Reddish or swollen gums.
  2. Bleeding gums.
  3. Loose teeth.
  4. Gaps forming between teeth.
  5. Bad breath.
  6. Receding gums.

In the initial stages of gum disease, called gingivitis, you may notice your gums becoming inflamed or reddish. This condition is typically solved with proper hygiene and a simple hygiene treatment with your dentist.

If left untreated, gum disease may progress to the next stage, called periodontitis. Here is where you may begin to notice small amounts of blood in the sink when brushing or flossing. Other signs of this disease may include loose or sensitive teeth since the infection has likely spread and is now slowly harming the teeth and gum tissue.

The good news is that there are practical treatment plans designed to save your smile and health if you do have gum disease. If you are experiencing the symptoms described above, contact your dentist immediately to address the problem before matters get worse.

Assess your risk of gum disease with this quiz

Did you know 80% of adults will have gum disease during their lifetime?

Take this five-minute online quiz by Delta Dental to find out if you are at risk of developing gum disease.

Protect yourself by checking for 6 signs of gum disease and by following these tips to prevent it.

How to prevent gum disease at home

When it comes to your self-image and health, be proactive and prevent problems from developing in the first place. To protect yourself and your family from gum disease, proper hygiene, and regular dental checkups are necessary.

Prevent gum disease by following these important steps:

  • Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day.
  • Floss daily.
  • Schedule a dental exam and cleaning every six months.
  • If you smoke, quit. Talk to your medical doctor for assistance to break this harmful habit.

Do not ignore the signs of gum disease

Gum disease’s invisible signs and multiple stages may build up secretly until a potentially severe condition develops!

If you experience swollen or bleeding gums, loosening teeth, or receding gums, be sure to contact your dentist as soon as possible.

Maintain good hygiene at home and make it a priority to have regular dental visits. With planning and prevention, gum disease doesn’t have to rob you of your health and happiness!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions. 

Re-posted with permission. Source

How to Begin 2017 with a Solid Dental Routine [Free Download]

December 7, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — drkics @ 9:03 pm

Now's the time to plan your dental routine for 2017.

As the year comes to an end, you no doubt have thought about what your life will look like in 2017. But have you considered what your smile will look like in 2017, or for that matter, in 2027? Your smile’s future health and appearance depend largely on how you define your dental routine now.

Now is the perfect time to plan and commit to taking better care of your most precious asset in 2017 — your self-image.

To protect and prevent your smile from decaying when you need it most, we recommend setting these three practical new year resolutions for a better dental routine.

1. Brush and floss daily.

Good hygiene is the foundation of a healthy smile. You can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease by incorporating these easy practices early in the morning or right before bed:

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day (or after every meal).
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Bonus: Swish daily with an antibacterial mouth rinse to help prevent further problems.

Brushing, flossing, and rinsing all contribute to a healthy smile for life!

2. Choose a balanced diet.

Certain foods can cause your smile to look opaque. As you see fit for your lifestyle, incorporate more of these foods to improve your overall health and empower your smile:

  • Diversify your diet by incorporating fresh fruits, nuts, and veggies of your choice instead of packaged items.
  • Drink more water. It’s as easy as keeping a bottle of water close by throughout the day.
  • Limit coffee, wine, and sugary snacks intake to prevent dark or yellowish stains.
  • When you do have a sugary snack (we all do every now and then), brush your teeth afterward or rinse with water.

Avoiding sugar-packed foods and drinking more water goes a long way keeping your smile and health at their best.

3. Schedule cleanings in advance.

Maintaining a good dental routine requires more than just eating healthier and brushing your teeth more often. Only a qualified dentist can help protect your smile, keeping it in optimal shape and preventing minor issues from becoming major, more expensive problems. We recommend scheduling a dental exam and cleaning every six months.

Benefits of regular dental checkups:

  • Keep your smile bright and in optimum health.
  • Diagnose gum disease and invisible signs early.
  • Check for and identify signs of potentially serious conditions early, such as oral cancer.
  • Prevent greater costs and problems in the future.

Good hygiene and a healthy diet do not substitute the need for routine dental checkups.

Make your dental appointments more convenient by choosing suitable dates in 2017 and scheduling them in advance.

Post your resolutions and maintain a good dental routine

For most of us, visiting the dentist, flossing, and eating more vegetables may not exactly be things we look forward to.

The good news is that with a little preemptive planning, you can set yourself up for success in your resolution of maintaining good oral health.

Start your 2017 dental routine off right with this free PDF worksheet.Print and post this free 2017 Resolutions Worksheet on your refrigerator to visualize and take decisive steps toward keeping your smile healthy for decades. Feel free to apply our suggestions as you see fit.

Our biggest resolution is to continue helping families in our community establish strong dental routines and to keep their smiles in top shape. Call today to schedule your 2017 dental visits and set yourself up for success in the new year!

What are your resolutions for 2017? Let us know in the comments below!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Find Relief for Frequent Headaches and Jaw Pain [Infographic]

November 21, 2016

Filed under: Dental Tips — Tags: — drkics @ 3:43 pm

Your dentist may be able to help you find relief from frequent headaches with TMD treatment.

Do you experience pain in your neck, shoulders, or ears? How about clicking, grating, or popping when you chew? Perhaps you suffer regularly from jaw pain or headaches? TMD may be the culprit! But you may wonder, “What is TMD, and how can I find relief?”

Pain associated with your jaw and the muscles that control it is referred to as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). Your dentist may be able to recommend solutions to help you find relief for frequent headaches and jaw pain. Learn more about TMD – statistics, symptoms, and solutions – in the infographic below:

You may be able to find relief for frequent headaches and jaw pain by seeking treatment for TMD from your dentist.

Share this TMD infographic on your blog:

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Source

3 Extremely Useful Resources to Learn All About Root Canals

November 7, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — drkics @ 3:20 pm

Woman on couch looking concerned about an upcoming root canal treatment appointment

You’ve been told you need a root canal, and understandably, you now have questions: What exactly IS a root canal? Is it going to hurt? What can you expect when you go in for treatment?

We want to make it easier on you, so we’ve rounded up some great online resources that will help answer the questions you need answers to.

1. Read about root canals and learn what to expect

The American Association of Endodontists has included a plethora of information about the root canal (or endodontic) treatment on one handy webpage. You’ll find many answers to your questions here, including:

  • What is a root canal?
  • What exactly is involved in the treatment?
  • Why would you need the treatment?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • What happens to the tooth after the treatment?
  • Will you need to get a crown?
  • Will your tooth need any special care afterward?

You’ll also find another page dealing with Root Canal Myths. Here, three myths are debunked, including the common misconception that root canals are very painful. The truth is, when you need this treatment, you’re already in pain, so it actually brings much-needed relief. On top of that, anesthetics and other modern techniques make root canal pain on par with other basic dental procedures, which is not very high. Yay!

Read the articles: Root Canals Explained | Myths About Root Canals and Root Canal Pain

2. View illustrations of root canal treatment

Do you want to see the steps of a root canal without a lot of reading? Go to the Colgate Oral Care Center website and quickly view the steps of this treatment in seven simple illustrations.

These images will help you visualize the answers to these questions:

  • Where is the infection in my tooth?
  • What does it take to deal with the infection?
  • What tools will be used to remove the infection?
  • What materials will be added?
  • How will the tooth be rebuilt?

View: Illustrations: Root Canal Treatment From Start To Finish

3. Watch a 3-minute video showing how a root canal treatment is done

Once again, the folks at American Association of Endodontists have produced a great resource to learn about root canals. Watch their helpful video below:

Quickly go to any section of the video that you’re curious about by using the quick jump guide below. Just move the progress bar slider to the specific spot in the video:

  • 0:36 – What is Endodontics?
  • 0:43 – What is an Endodontist?
  • 1:05  – What and where is your tooth pulp?
  • 1:24 – Why does the pulp need to be removed?
  • 1:38 – What are the steps of root canal treatment?
  • 2:23 – What follow-up procedure will still need to be done?


Yes, the news that you’re in need of a root canal may ruin your day, but having helpful resources can really go a long way! Being informed will help you make the right treatment choice. Having answers to your root canal questions can also allay your concerns and calm your fears.

Do you have a favorite resource that has taught you helpful information about root canals? Please tell us about it in the comments below!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Source

Motivate Your Kids to Brush with the Brush DJ App

November 2, 2016

Filed under: Dental News — Tags: — drkics @ 3:37 pm

Child standing toward the sink brushing teeth with the Brush DJ App

Need a motivational tool to get your kids brushing their teeth regularly and correctly? Look no further! The Brush DJ App was created for just this purpose. You can download Brush DJ for free on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

Creating good oral hygiene habits doesn’t just happen. It takes time and attention, and most parents will no doubt welcome a tool that makes the process easier.

Download the free Brush DJ app

To try this app, simply download it and start it up. After agreeing to a couple of disclosure messages, you can begin the setup process.

Your first choice will be to customize the colors. What color do you want the background to be? How about the timer? Set the colors to match your bathroom, toothbrush, or simply choose your favorite color.

Next, set the music you want the Brush DJ to play. You have the choice of locating and playing music already on your device, music from an online service, or defaulting to tunes that are included in the Brush DJ app.

Set important reminders

Good habits require reminders and there are plenty of reminders built into this app. Scrolling across the top are messages that remind you to floss, how to brush, and to turn the water off while brushing.

Other reminders can be customized. Why not use them to manage all the different aspects of your child’s oral hygiene? Some of these helpful reminders include:

  • When to brush in the morning.
  • When to brush in the evening.
  • When to use mouthwash (hint: it’s at a different time than brushing).
  • When to go to the dentist, hygienist, orthodontist, etc.
  • When to replace your toothbrush.

Like an oil change sticker on your windshield, you can easily see the benefit of having this data stored simply and neatly in one place, reminding you exactly when to do each thing.

In addition to reminders, the app also teaches your child age-specific oral health information (sourced from the Public Health England toolkit Delivering Better Oral Health).

Time to have some fun!

Hit the “run” button and your favorite tune will start to play. As time ticks down, the little circles will change showing your progress as you brush your way through the two-minute DJ session.

While brushing, reminders will scroll across the top, helping you to do the best job possible, and will even advise on how to finish. Did you know that you should not follow brushing with mouthwash?

Finally, at the end of two minutes, the music will stop and you’ll be good until your next session.


Helping your child develop good brushing habits at a young age is always a good idea! Good oral healthcare habits can prevent tooth decay and gum disease now and further down the road, and the Brush DJ app is a great tool to make brushing fun for kids of all ages!

How do you get your child to brush regularly and properly? Please share your experiences and tips in the comments below!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Source

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