Burr Ridge Orthodontist

The Caregiver’s Guide to Dental Health

November 10th, 2021

The Whole Tooth: Dental Health & Older Adults

Happy National Family Caregiver month!  If you’re one of the 44 million family caregivers in the United States, you’ve got a lot on your mind. However, keeping your loved one’s mouth healthy is important for their dental health, overall health and so much more.

“It’s also about comfort, safety and self-esteem,” says ADA dentist Dr. Judith Jones. “Keeping your mouth and teeth clean can prevent sensitivity or pain in your teeth. In terms of safety, there might be broken teeth, broken partials or unsafe partials they can swallow. And for their self-esteem, it’s important for individuals to have a sense of pride in their appearance and to have good hygiene.”

How much help you give will depend on the individual. If the person in your care can do the basics, let them. Some adults may have physical issues that make them unable to hold a toothbrush. Others may have memory issues, so they forget to brush and floss. People with dementia may need someone to clean their teeth each day and take them to a dentist.

No matter your situation, daily care plus professional care equal the best chances for a healthy mouth. Here are some important mouth care steps for older adults.

  • Brush teeth twice a day for two minutes using a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean between the teeth daily with floss or other between-the-teeth cleaner.
  • Rinse dentures after each meal, brush them daily with denture cleaner and take them out before bedtime and store in water.
  • If the person has dry mouth, an alcohol-free mouthrinse may help. Sipping water, sucking (not chewing) on ice chips and using a humidifier while sleeping can help keep him or her hydrated.
  • Limit snacking and sugary drinks. Healthy foods and drinks such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and water are good for the mouth and the body.
  • Make and keep dental appointments. Even people with dentures need to visit the dentist.
  • Watch for symptoms that could signal larger issues, and make an appointment with the dentist to have them checked out.

You may have questions specific to your own situation, so here are some starting points for different types of care cases. And always feel free to speak with your dentist or your loved one’s dentist for more advice.

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/

Good Foods for Dental Health

October 27th, 2021

How to raise a happy child (ages 2 to 4) | BabyCenterWater rules

Water, especially fluoridated water, is the best beverage for maintaining your oral health. That's because fluoride helps to make teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that can cause cavities. As of 2012, nearly 75 percent of the U.S. population had access to fluoridated water, so drinking water from your own kitchen sink can help prevent dental problems.

If you can, choose dairy

Milk, and other dairy products such as cheese and yogurt, are low in sugar, which is a good thing for your dental health. Plus, they contain protein and are full of calcium, which can help to strengthen your teeth.

Lean proteins for the win

Phosphorus-rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs help to strengthen your teeth and contain valuable protein.

Fruits and veggies pack an extra punch

Fruits and veggies are an important part of any balanced diet, and they are also good for your teeth. Since they are high in water and fiber, they help to balance the sugars they contain and help to clean your teeth. Chewing also helps to stimulate saliva production, which washes harmful acids and food particles away from your teeth.

Nourishing nuts

Nuts contain protein and minerals important for overall health. In addition, nuts that are low in carbohydrates don’t add to your risk of cavities. Why? Because tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria that are activated by carbs. Another benefit is that chewing nuts stimulates saliva production, which can reduce your risk for tooth decay.

 

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/

Is it necessary to fill a cavity in a baby tooth?

October 20th, 2021

4 Important Facts about Baby Teeth that You Need to Know - Highpoint  Pediatric Dentistry

While all parents know baby teeth eventually fall out, it’s important to keep little teeth healthy because they are the blueprint for your child’s permanent teeth. Treating a cavity in a baby tooth is crucial to ensure the tooth stays in place until it falls out naturally because little teeth save space for, and are the pathway, for permanent teeth. Additionally, baby teeth are important to speech development and maintaining good nutrition by permitting your child to chew properly. If decay in a baby tooth is not treated, it could cause pain, impair speech and potentially damage permanent teeth or cause them to grow in crooked.

Treatment options vary based on the severity of the cavity.

https://mouthmonsters.mychildrensteeth.org

Two Thirds of What Goes on in your Mouth is Below the Surface

September 9th, 2021

Just like what’s under the bread in a sandwich, orthodontists use x-rays to check below the surface to look for extra teeth, missing teeth, impacted teeth or teeth coming into the wrong positions.

Speaking of extra teeth, did you know snails have over 14,000? A full set of adult human teeth has only 32.

Why is looking below the surface so important?
Well, some things may be hiding that can only be seen through x-rays. Impacted teeth may prevent adult teeth from erupting properly. Sometimes, an impacted tooth can even harm the roots of neighboring teeth, cause crowding and may cause already erupted teeth to move into unhealthy positions.

If you do have an “invisible” orthodontic problem, an early check-up and x-ray may help you avoid more costly, invasive treatments down the road.
It may be easier for Dr. Johnson to identify and correct a problem when it is forming rather than waiting for it to fully develop.

You wouldn’t skip a well-check at the pediatrician, and you shouldn’t skip an early trip to the orthodontist either. A visit to Dr. Johnson by age 7 will help keep your child’s oral health in check. Just because your general dentist has not referred you does not mean you cannot visit Dr. Johnson for an exam. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile.Our Low-Dose Kid Friendly X-Ray Machine | Fresh Orthodontics

https://www.aoinfo.org/

3 Things All Athletes Should Do for Their Teeth

September 2nd, 2021

A child plays hockey while wearing a mouthguard

Make a Mouthguard Part of Your Uniform

Helmet? Check. Knee pads? Check. Mouthguard? Check! Mouthguards usually cover your upper teeth and protect your teeth, lips, tongue, face and jaw against injuries, so they need to be part of your uniform in any sport you play.

Wearing a mouthguard regularly becomes second nature. It does not matter what type of mouthguard you choose, just make sure it fits properly.

In fact, many sports won’t let you play without one.  USA Hockey requires all youth players to wear a mouthguard. “The referees have to be able to see it, and it has to be colored,” says Dr. Long, a former college hockey player and team dentist for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes.

 

Sideline Sugary Sports Drinks

If you need to quench your thirst, reach for water instead of a sports drink. The bacteria in your mouth will use the sugar from your sports drink to produce an acid that weakens the hard outer shell of your teeth, which may increase your risk for cavities over time.  This bacteria can sit in your mouth guard and attack your enamel the entire time it's in during play.

 

Brush, Floss, Rinse, Repeat

Practice makes perfect when you’re mastering the skills of any sport, so do the same with your daily dental habits.  An unhealthy tooth is more likely to be damaged if a sports injury happens.  A tooth that has had a lot of decay and a lot of fillings is nowhere near as strong as a tooth that has not had decay and has not had a lot of fillings.

Keep your smile strong by brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing once a day. Then, in the home stretch of your daily dental routine, use an ADA-Accepted mouthwash.

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/

Fight the Fear of the Dental Office

November 4th, 2020

We know going into any dental office, whether it's the dentist or orthodontist, can cause some nervous butterflies. You could be scared that the treatment may hurt, you haven't been in for a while, or you're nervous to hear how your orthodontic treatment may go. Whatever your reason, Johnson Orthodontics will make sure your dental and emotional health are taken care of. Here are some strategies you can use at your next appointment to help ease any anxiety you may have:

1. Talk to Us

Sharing your thoughts and feelings makes a huge difference when you are anxious. If you have anxiety about your visit to Johnson Orthodontics, make sure to get your concerns off your chest by speaking with Dr. Johnson. Our team will be able to give you the best treatment if we know your needs.

  • Tell us about your anxiety. You can explain this to the receptionist when you make your appointment, and remind Dr. Johnson and the dental staff when you arrive.
  • Ask questions. We will answer all your questions and concerns, and sometimes knowing what's going to happen during your treatment could alleviate your fears.
  • Give us a signal. Talk to Dr. Johnson and the dental staff about creating a signal for when you are feeling overwhelmed and need a break during your appointment.
  • Feel any pain, tell us. Please don't feel embarrassed if you feel any pain or about your pain tolerance. Talk to our team so we make sure you feel comfortable.

2. Distract Yourself

Here are a few things you can do to try to take your mind off what's going on when the team is working on your teeth. You can do one or a combination of the strategies below.

  • Listen to music or an audiobook. Bring your headphones in and you can drown out the noise around you.
  • Keep your hands busy. Sometimes having something in your hands can help, so if you have a stress ball or even a fidget spinner, bring it in.
  • Daydream. Close your eyes and imagine being somewhere else that's relaxing to you.

3. Use Mindfulness Techniques

Another strategy is to try breathing techniques. This can also be combined with the suggestions for keeping your mind occupied.

  • Count your breaths. Inhale slowly and exhale for the same number of counts. Do this multiple times before you come in, in the lobby, or while you're in the dental chair.
  • Do a body scan. Relax your muscles by starting from your head and going through each body part until you get to your toes.

Dental visits of all kinds can seem scary, but we promise to be there for you every step of the way. We want to make your time getting your orthodontic treatments as easy and relaxing as possible. So try these strategies, and don't forget to let us know if you have any questions or concerns!

source: mouthhealthy.org

Why Mouth Guards are Essential

October 28th, 2020

With schools returning to in-person learning and sports coming back, it's important to know that wearing a mouth guard while playing sports is essential to protecting your children's teeth.

Most parents support the idea that mouth guards should be worn, but studies show a significant percentage of them do not wear their mouth guards while playing sports. In early 2017, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) collected data in an independent survey* that delivered a clear message: 99 percent of parents whose children play organized sports felt youth should be required to wear mouth guards in order to play. Yet 37 percent of parents said their child never wears a mouth guard while playing sports. This includes games, practices and recreational play.

There is also a misconception that repairing a knocked out or broken tooth is not very expensive. According to the study, parents estimate it would cost $1,142 to replace a damaged permanent tooth, but in reality, costs to treat one knocked-out tooth over a lifetime can range from $5,000 to $20,000**. Parents and patients may not realize that restorations may have to be repeated periodically, which amplifies repair or replacements costs.

Which Sports Should Require Mouth Guards?

In a nutshell, all of them. The AAO's study shows that while a majority of parents think mouth guards should be required for football and hockey, only half the parents said the same thing for basketball and even less than that agreed for baseball. A 2007 study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association ranked basketball as the sport at the top of the list for the highest rate of dental injuries for both men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletes. And according to mouth guard manufacturer Shock Doctor, one in four injures on the basketball court occurs above the neck.

Wearing mouth guards should also be extended to sport practices. Forty percent of parents reported that their child’s sports practices are less structured than games, and generally have few or no medical personnel nearby.

Overall, when playing sports, whether it's an official game, practice, or a quick scrimmage in the park with friends, a mouth guard should be worn to protect the teeth from injury.

source: aaoinfo.org

*The American Association of Orthodontists commissioned Wakefield Research to conduct the 2017 AAO Sports Survey among 1,000 U.S. parents whose children play organized sports. The survey was conducted in January 2017 using an email invitation and an online survey. The overall sampling error rate for this survey is +/- 3.1 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence.

**Sports Health, “Common Dental Injury Management in Athletes,” vol. 7, no. 3, May-June 2015, p. 250.

 

Candy You Can Eat With Braces

October 22nd, 2020

Halloween is almost here! We know things may be different this year, but we're all going to indulge in some candy-goodness at the end of this month. If you're worried you can't have candy with braces, we have great news for you! Enjoying good candy with braces is still an option. However, there are certain candies that you want to avoid because they have a higher chance of damaging your braces and setting back your orthodontic treatment process.

Candies to avoid:
- Caramels
- Taffy
- Hard candy
- Chewy candy
- Jellybeans
- Licorice
- Bubble gum
- Suckers
- Sour candy
- Popcorn
- Nuts

Now you're probably thinking well what can I eat? Softer, melt-in-your-mouth candies are better and less risky when you have braces. So here are the candies you can enjoy in moderation.

Candies you can eat:
- Chocolate (without caramel or nuts)
- KitKats
- Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
- 3 Musketeers
- Marshmallows
- Cookies

Remember, any candy in excessive amounts can be harmful to your teeth and braces. The candy can accumulate around your braces and lead to white marks (decalcification), cavities or gum disease. Make sure to brush your teeth well after having your sugary snacks! Happy Halloween!

source: aaoinfo.org

How Soon Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

October 20th, 2020

As a parent, you want the best for your child and that includes healthy teeth and a pleasing smile. The American Dental Association recommends that a child visits a general dentist by their first birthday. Your dentist can alert you to any concerns about how the teeth and jaws are developing.

But when should you have your child see an Orthodontist?

Most orthodontic treatment begins between the ages of 9 and 14, but a check-up no later than age 7 gives your orthodontist the opportunity to recommend the appropriate treatment at the appropriate time. By age 7, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to determine whether an orthodontic problem is occurring. If early treatment is in order, the orthodontist may be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.

Not everyone needs orthodontic treatment, but seeing an orthodontist at age 7 would be beneficial and help your child receive treatment faster if they do. Well-aligned teeth look and feel good, and they contribute to good dental health and the ability to speak, chew, and bite.

Sleeping Face Up May Help With TMJ.

September 20th, 2016

Reader’s Digest (9/13, Laliberte) provides the “best sleep position for 11 health problems,” including temporomandibular joint dysfunction. The article recommends people with TMJ or another type of jaw pain sleep face up. “Don’t keep your face on its side, because that can put pressure on the joints or the jaw itself and make the pain worse,” says Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty, DDS, spokesperson for the American Dental Association.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on TMJ disorders for patients

What You Need to Know About the Safety of Dental Sealants

September 13th, 2016

The American Dental Association guidelines recommend dental sealants for all children and teens due to the tremendous effectiveness of sealants to prevent and arrest the progression of caries. The oral health community and the public have been concerned about the potential adverse effects associated with the release of BPA from resin-based dental sealants. Testing by the ADA Science Institute found:
1.BPA detected at trace levels on dental sealants
2.BPA exposure from dental sealants is 100 times lower than BPA present in the air
3.BPA levels in dental sealants tested were well below the daily exposure level set by the EPA

Read the full report in the new online edition of the ADA Professional Product Review and share this helpful infographic on the safety of dental sealants with your patients.

Patients With Gum Disease May Be More Likely To Suffer Heart Attack, Stroke, Severe Chest Pain, Study Indicates.

September 6th, 2016

Reuters (8/23, Crist) reports that “a study of more than 60,000 dental patients” indicated that “those with gum disease were twice as likely to have had a heart attack, stroke or severe chest pain.” Researchers found that “even after taking other risk factors for cardiovascular disease into account, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking,” individuals “with periodontal disease were still 59 percent more likely to have a history of heart problems.” The findings were published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Fox News: Charcoal Teeth Whitening Products Do Not Have ADA Seal Of Acceptance.

August 16th, 2016

Fox News (8/15) reports that dentists and other medical professionals are warning against using a DIY teeth whitening method that “involves smearing a charcoal-derived black mixture on teeth.” The method has become more popular since the posting of a YouTube video, that has been watched more than 1.5 million times. The article reports that dentists say using this DIY method “may lead to enamel deterioration and tooth erosion,” noting “the American Dental Association has currently not evaluated or approved any charcoal teeth whitening products.”

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on teeth whitening. In addition, several whitening toothpastes and a whitening product have the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Flossing Advised “If You Want To Keep Your Teeth.”

August 1st, 2016

In an articled titled, “Turns out, you really only need to floss if you want to keep your teeth,” the New York Daily News (7/25, Pesce) discusses flossing, noting the CDC’s recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found one-third of adults do not floss. “Do you need to floss? It depends on whether you want to keep your teeth or not,” said Dr. Matthew Messina, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. Although many Millennials have benefited from fluoridated water and fluoride toothpaste, resulting in a lower decay rate, “our body chemistry does change as we get a older,” said Dr. Messina. “So some people might have a very high host-resistance (against bacteria) when they’re young, but they are going to find that is not the case as they get older.”

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on flossing, including how to properly floss teeth.

Workplace “Cake Culture” Contributing To Poor Oral Health, Obesity, UK Dentist Says.

July 19th, 2016

BBC News (UK) (6/24, Gallagher) reported that Professor Nigel Hunt from the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons says the office “cake culture” is fueling dental and obesity problems. At the organization’s annual dinner for dentists, Prof. Hunt said, “For many people the workplace is now the primary site of their sugar intake and is contributing to the current obesity epidemic and poor oral health.”

The Daily Mail (6/24, Spencer) reported that Prof. Hunt is “particularly concerned that excessive consumption of sugary treats such as cakes, sweets and biscuits is contributing to tooth decay in adults,” encouraging employers to offer nuts, fruit, and cheese instead of sugary treats when celebrating special occasions or rewarding staff.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on how food affects dental health.

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