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Westgate Dental Care Blog

Children’s Dental Hygiene: 6 Things to Avoid

July 20, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorizeddrkics @ 7:47 pm
Boy smiling during visit with children’s dentist in Arlington Heights

You may often hear about the best ways to care for your child’s oral health, but what about what not to do? Children’s dental hygiene is important early on because it sets them up for success down the road. If your son or daughter can get into good dental hygiene habits now, they will be more likely to maintain a healthy mouth in the future. Read on to learn about 6 don’ts when it comes to your loved one’s smile from your children’s dentist in Arlington Heights.


Brushing & Flossing: Which One Should You Do First?

July 13, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorizeddrkics @ 7:43 pm
Close up of blonde woman using flossing tips

For your entire life, you’ve probably been told by dentists and family members to brush and floss your teeth. After all, this is your best defense against daily plaque and bacteria that cause issues like cavities and tooth decay. But have you ever wondered about which integral step for oral health comes first? Is it brushing then flossing or flossing then brushing? Read on to learn the answer as well as some brushing and flossing tips.


Tooth Pain During Pregnancy? Here’s What to Do!

June 30, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorizeddrkics @ 12:48 pm

Pregnancy is the ultimate gift of nature and true creation. During this beautiful time, you may be glowing, but all the positives surely come with their fair share of inconveniences. You may experience morning sickness, swollen ankles, and constant aching, but did you know that tooth pain is yet another symptom that can occur during pregnancy? No need to worry—your emergency dentists in Arlington Heights says this is completely normal! Keep reading to learn more about having tooth pain during pregnancy and what you can do to handle this problem.


How to Protect Teeth from Chlorine While Swimming

June 29, 2020

Filed under: Dental Tips — Tags: drkics @ 7:27 pm

protect teeth from chlorine

Taking a dip in the pool is a great way to cool off in the summer, or maybe you prefer relaxing in the jacuzzi after a hard days work. When you’re enjoying your time in the water, your teeth may be the last thing on your mind. Did you know spending too much time in chlorinated water can have a negative impact on the health of your smile?

Isn’t Chlorine Safe?

Chlorine is commonly used in water as an antimicrobial agent. It helps keep us safe from harmful bacteria in our drinking water. It also keeps our pools clean and free from algae. However, when chlorine is added to water, it affects the water’s pH balance.

The pH balance is how acidic or alkaline the water is. While it takes an extremely low pH level of 5.5 to actually dissolve a tooth, pools that are not properly chlorinated, or frequent exposure to the chemical, can still have a negative impact on the health of your teeth.

In 2010, New York University’s College of Dentistry did a study on a male patient who had reported extreme tooth sensitivity. He also reported the appearance of dark stains on his teeth.

The study, conducted by Dr. Leila Jahangiri, revealed that the man’s trouble started after he had began a daily, 90-minute swimming routine in his backyard pool. The culprit? Improperly chlorinated water.

Don’t wait until you’ve already damaged your teeth to act! Repairing damaged teeth is a lot more difficult (and costly) than prevention.

How Does it Affect Your Teeth?

A properly maintained pool should have a pH balance between 7.2 and 7.8. When the pH balance of a pool is not properly maintained, or if you are swimming six or more hours a week, you may be putting your smile at risk. If you think you might have enamel loss, check your teeth for the following symptoms:

  • Extreme Tooth Sensitivity: Do you suddenly have an intense sensitivity to hot or cold?
  • Dark Staining of Teeth: Do your teeth have a dark brownish buildup on them?
  • Tooth Transparency: Are the edges of your front teeth beginning to look transparent?

ph chart to protect teeth from chlorine

Is the pH balance of your pool off? You could be damaging your smile!

How Can You Protect Teeth from Chlorine When Swimming?

If you are planning on spending a lot of time in the water this summer, don’t wait until you’ve already damaged your teeth to act! Repairing damaged teeth is a lot more difficult (and costly) than prevention.

While you are in the water, try to keep your mouth closed as much as possible while you swim. Many dentists also recommend scheduling an extra cleaning and fluoride treatment at the start of the season. This will help keep your smile safe and looking it’s best all summer long.

More and more pools have started opting for non-chlorine based solutions to keep their water clean. If you are visiting a public pool regularly and are worried about your teeth, ask which method they use to keep water clean. You can also buy testing strips at most drug stores if you want to make sure your pool is within a safe pH level for your teeth.

Make sure your friends and family guard against extreme tooth sensitivity and dark staining by simply tweeting or sharing this article!

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 Baby Your Teeth During Pregnancy

Filed under: Dental News,Dental Tips — Tags: drkics @ 7:26 pm

Pregnancy Teeth Tips - Woman researching teeth questions during pregnancy

If you’re not up on the latest oral-systemic link, it may seem odd that pregnancy affects your teeth, but it does! At the same time, your dental health has a very real effect on your developing baby. Many articles report that poor dental habits have been associated with premature delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia. (Yikes!)

The positive news, however, is that you CAN take control over your hygiene and general oral health, and can likely sidestep that old adage “one tooth is lost with every pregnancy.”

First of all, that outdated saying is simply not true! Calcium is not lost from a mother’s teeth during pregnancy, BUT there are still some real dangers to be aware of – and we want to share a few preventative tips to help you maintain good oral health throughout your pregnancy.

Read on to learn about a few potential perils, and find ways to keep your mouth healthy for BOTH you and your new bundle of joy.

Watch Out for Those Sweet Treats

Are you constantly searching out ice cream to go with those pickles? Some say that sweet cravings forecast a baby girl (sugar and spice, and everything nice!), but when it comes to sugary snacks, a more concrete fact is that an increase in carbohydrates can negatively affect your oral health. Simply put: more sugar means a higher chance of tooth decay.

Pregnancy Teeth Tips - Help your teeth during pregnancy with healthy foods.

Choose healthy, lower-sugar foods to help ward off tooth decay.

To help ward off unwanted cavities, simply choose lower-sugar foods. In the event that only a sweet treat will satisfy your pregnancy craving, do your best to opt for a healthier option, like fresh fruit. BONUS: Strawberries are also said to have a teeth whitening effect (double score)!

It’s also wise to immediately rinse your mouth with milk or water after eating sugary foods. While brushing your teeth is undeniably better, if you’re feeling worn out and all you can muster is a swish of a beverage, it’s better than nothing – and hey, milk goes great with donuts … just saying.

Save Your Teeth from Morning Sickness

For many women, morning sickness is an unpleasant companion throughout pregnancy (specifically in the first trimester). If you’re feeling queasy and find yourself hunched over the toilet bowl, you have our most sincere sympathies.

The reason vomit affects your teeth has to do with the amount of acid your mouth is exposed to. Basically, stomach reflux and acids eat away at your tooth enamel (the outer covering on your teeth).

Pregnancy Teeth Tips - pregnancy morning sickness dental teeth tips

While it may seem like a good idea to remove the acid quickly, DO NOT brush your teeth immediately after vomiting. The vigorous, repetitive action of the toothbrush may actually scratch the tooth enamel while it’s still covered in stomach acids.

Instead, it’s best to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water, and follow up with a fluoride mouthwash or a dab of toothpaste applied with your finger. If you can, aim to brush about one hour after vomiting.

Prevent Hormonal Damage to Your Teeth

Another significant “bonus” about pregnancy: all those extra hormones! Hopefully you aren’t crying at car commercials, or experiencing any of the following pregnancy-related dental concerns, but if you are – just know that we are here to help you through them!

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Pregnancy gingivitis is basically an inflammation of the gums that causes swelling and tenderness. Have you noticed that your gums bleed a little (or a lot) when you brush or floss? While this is fairly normal, if left untreated, full-blown gingivitis can lead to more serious forms of gum disease, or worse.

We don’t want to freak you out, but gingivitis has been linked to low birth weight baby, or premature birth, so it’s definitely worth coming in for a routine teeth cleaning to check in on your gum health.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a chronic gum infection that is caused by untreated gingivitis. Pregnancy may worsen this condition, and it can actually lead to tooth loss.

Again, if you suspect you’re dealing with gingivitis, please schedule an appointment so we can help before it leads to periodontal disease, which can be much more serious.

Pregnancy Tumors

Pregnancy tumors are lumps that appear along the gum line and between your teeth (most often in the second trimester). They may bleed easily but are not harmful or cancerous.

They may be related to excess plaque and usually disappear after pregnancy, but if you’re feeling concerned, please talk to your dentist about removing them.

Prepare for Birth With Preventative Action

Maintaining your own health – both before and during your pregnancy – is an important facet of caring and planning for your developing baby.

Pregnancy DOES affect your teeth, and many studies reveal that maintaining healthy teeth and gums not only impact your overall health, but that of your developing baby.

Pregnancy Teeth Tips

Take action! Call your dentist to schedule an appointment today!

If you’re still in the planning stages of adding a new baby to your family, you would do well to visit your dentist and resolve any dental-related issues beforehand.

If you’re currently pregnant, please consider the points above, and schedule your appointment today! At the very least, a cleaning will set your mind at ease, and then you can focus on the fun parts of having a baby (like nursery planning and teeny onesies)!

How are you handling your changing body? Did any of these tips surprise you, or do you have any tips for other moms-to-be? Please share a 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

8 Reasons to Choose Clear Aligners Over Metal Braces

Filed under: Dental News — Tags: drkics @ 7:26 pm

Source from above. Odds are you probably need to get your teeth straightened.

Have you been putting off getting your smile straightened because you’d rather not be seen with metal brackets and wires all over your teeth?

Traditional braces can take years to successfully straighten your smile – all the while you are dealing with eating restrictions, the endless struggle of brushing and flossing around all those wires, and the embarrassment of smiling with a mouth full of metal.

What if you could get your teeth straightened using nearly-invisible aligners that allow you to avoid the traditional braces set-backs? Would you take the opportunity?

What Makes Clear Aligners a Great Choice?

Read on to learn why you should take a good look at clear aligners as your teeth-straightening solution.

1. Nearly invisible

Traditional braces are very noticeable when you smile. All those wires and metal brackets are a stark contrast from your natural teeth. Clear aligners use see-through custom fitting dental trays that slip on over your teeth and gently realign your smile. Most people won’t even notice you have them on!

2. Removable

Getting married? Having a photoshoot? Eating corn-on-the-cob? Clear aligners use removable trays that just pop off whenever you need them to. Get that picture perfect smile whenever a photo-op comes around and enjoy your favorite foods.

3. Easy Dental Care

The removable trays also allow you to brush and floss your teeth normally. No more getting special brushes and flosser tools to get around all those tiny brackets and wires. Saves you time and a couple headaches.

Source from above. Odds are you probably need to get your teeth straightened.

Source from above. Odds are you probably need to get your teeth straightened.

4. No Food Restrictions

Love corn-on-the-cob? Enjoy eating apples? Can’t resist movie theater popcorn (who has that much will power anyways)? Don’t worry, since there are no fragile brackets, you can eat anything you want! True freedom.

5. Metal-Free

Not only are metal braces unattractive, there is also a small percentage of people who have metal allergies and thus can’t use traditional braces. For those who suffer from metal sensitivities, plastic clear aligners are the perfect alternative.

6. Fewer Appointments

You’re busy and your time is valuable. With clear aligners, you’ll only have to come into the office every 4-6 weeks. Plus, anyone who has had traditional braces knows their visits are often full of being poked and pricked with wires. Not a problem with clear aligners .

7. Comfort

Those who use traditional braces can end up with scars on the insides of their cheeks from sharp wires catching the soft skin. Alternatively, smooth plastic aligner trays won’t scratch up the insides of your mouth.

8. Special Event Friendly

Don’t put off straight teeth because you have a big event coming up where you want your smile to be free of any orthodontic appliances. With clear aligners, you can always remove the trays for special events. Perhaps you’re getting married this year; weddings can be stressful, and with removable

clear aligners you’ll have one less thing to worry about for your big day!

Still unsure?

There are also health benefits to having straight teeth. Those with crowded or overlapping teeth have a harder time keeping the areas between their teeth clean, which can then lead to periodontal and gum disease. Periodontal disease can lead to other more serious health conditions. When you decide to straighten your teeth you aren’t only choosing to improve your smile’s appearance but also your comprehensive health.

Choosing clear aligners will help you get a straight and healthy smile while keeping you happier and more comfortable throughout the process than traditional metal braces.

If you’re ready to take control of your smile, call your dentist and set up a consultation to learn more about the process.

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

Social Distancing in Dentistry: See How It’s Possible!

May 14, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorizeddrkics @ 12:22 pm
Woman smiling in dental chair at dentist in Arlington Heights

During this uncertain time, you may be wondering, “Should I go to the dentist?” Afterall, being in a medical setting while the Coronavirus is going on may not sound like the best idea. However, your dentist in Arlington Heights has advanced safety procedures, taking extra steps to keep patients healthy and unaffected by the virus. One of the ways they are protecting patients is by social distancing in the practice. Keep reading to learn how this is possible and why your dentist’s office is one of the safest places to go!


The Way Your Dentist Has Made Their Office Safer Than Ever

May 9, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorizeddrkics @ 12:19 pm
Woman smiling in dental chair

During this uncertain time, you’re probably taking various precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe. There is a lot of misinformation out about the Coronavirus, but one thing is for sure, it’s highly contagious. This virus spreads through respiratory droplets that come from coughing and sneezing. These particles can rest on surfaces, but they can also live in the air and get inhaled. Your dentist in Arlington Heights is well-aware of this risk, which is why they have added UV air filtration to their office. Keep reading to learn more about this important piece of technology as well as some other ways your dentist is ensuring the safety of their patients.


How to Keep Your Family Healthy While Your Dentist is Away

April 18, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorizeddrkics @ 5:59 pm
Father and son brushing teeth together

During the Coronavirus, the safest thing your dentist in Arlington Heights can do is to close their doors. While this is in fact the right move, it may leave you wondering when you’ll be able to see your dentist next. How can you stay healthy while checkups and cleanings are off the table. Not to worry! Thankfully, your dentist has included some simple yet helpful tips on how you and your loved ones can keep your dental hygiene in check during COVID-19. Read on to learn more!


How Your Dentist Helps with Oral Cancer

April 12, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorizeddrkics @ 5:55 pm
Woman receiving dental exam

When is the last time you saw your dentist? While regular checkups and cleanings are probably low on your list of fun activities you have planned, they are much more important than you may think. In addition to preventing and detecting decay, infection, and other dental issues, your dentist also checks for oral cancer. This simple yet effective examination is potentially life-saving because oral cancer can cause serious problems if left untreated. Keep reading to learn more about oral cancer and how your dentist in Arlington Heights can help.

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