Stay In-the-Know with Our Fairview Heights Dental Office

We believe in creating a relationship with our patients that goes beyond the office doors. We've specifically created this section of our site to share with you important news and informational dental blogs from our Fairview Heights family dental practice.

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Your Fairview Heights Cosmetic Dentists

Foods that Can Brighten Your Smile

Integrate These Foods Suggested by Your 62208 Dentist for a Healthier Smile

 
When it comes to your dental care and its relationship to food, we commonly find many lists of some of your favorite meals that aren’t good for your smile. It can be discouraging to note all the delicious and tasty foods that are harmful to your teeth. Instead of that, your 62208 dentist lists all the foods that ARE good for your teeth, as well as the benefits that they provide. Knowing this list can help you incorporate these foods into your daily diet and help you smile more, too.
 
Strawberries
 
These sweet fruits contain an enzyme that’s called malic acid. As you eat them, the strawberries that encounter your teeth and the malic acid can help remove dull and yellow stains, working to make your smile brighter. Strawberries are quite acidic in nature, so try not to overdo it, but enjoying a small batch occasionally will benefit both your diet and smile.
 
 Carrots and Celery
 
These two veggies may not have a lot of flavor to them, but they work to naturally clean and floss your teeth as you’re eating them. They also increase saliva stimulation, which serves as your mouth’s self-cleaning agent. If you’re dealing with bad breath, try snacking on a few of these veggies to remove the built-up bacteria and potentially get rid of the smell.
 
Yogurt, Milk and Cheese
 
Dairy products contain lactic acid that can help protect your teeth against bacterial build-up and eventually tooth decay. The protein found in most yogurt works together with your teeth by binding and preventing attacks from acid attacks. Hard cheeses are also great for teeth whitening, as they can help remove food particles that are trying to hide in between the hard-to-reach places.
 
Looking for more helpful tips to both improve your diet and your smile? Give your 62208 dentist a call today at (618) 622-1800 to schedule your appointment or consultation.
 
Children's Dental Health Month

Learn the Benefits of Top Children’s Dentistry with Your Dentist in Fairview Heights

 
Each February, the American Dental Association works with thousands of dentists, orthodontists, and other dental professionals around the United States to promote the importance of pediatric dental care by celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month. This information spreads to parents, friends, caregivers, and more, so our children can continue to grow healthy and strong. Having a healthy smile goes a long way, so your dentist in Fairview Heights wants to share helpful habits and why regular check-ups are important to further improve the chances of a long-lasting smile for kids.
 
Baby Teeth are Just as Important as Adult Teeth
 
Don’t let the myths fool you! Baby teeth are extremely important and should be taken care of just as well as adult teeth. While these teeth eventually fall out and are replaced with the adult ones, these baby teeth are valuable for overall development and are holding the space for the permanent teeth coming in after. That’s why these teeth need to be properly taken care of by flossing and brushing twice a day, every day.
 
Tooth Decay is Extremely Common in Children
 
While it’s very preventable, tooth decay is very common in children due to lack of education and standard routine. We want all parents to know the simple steps they can take for preventive measures to ensure the safety of their children’s smiles. Try switching out certain snacks that contain a high amount of sugar for more fruits and vegetables, as well as incorporating more fun activities while brushing their teeth like short games and small prizes.
 
Keep Up with Routine Check-Ups and Cleanings
 
The professionals are here for a reason! We want to properly clean and take care of your children’s teeth in between their daily routine of brushing and flossing. By keeping up with these appointments, your children will also be able to learn the importance of a healthy smile with the help of a dentist, who can answer any questions or concerns either the kids or parents have.
 
Prevention is one of the strongest components to a strong and long-lasting smile. Let your dentist in Fairview Heights help by scheduling an appointment at our office today. Call (618) 622-1800 to ask us any questions to pick the best date and time to bring your child in for their visit!
 
Why You Should Avoid Snacks
What makes snacks so appealing? Is it because they're quick? Is it because they're so easily accessible to enjoy? Is it because it feels like you're enjoying something you know you shouldn't, but it's just so tasty? If you've answered yes to these questions, then you're one of the many people who are tempted by delicious and convenient snacks. Unfortunately, while many of your favorite snacks are consumed on a daily basis, they may not be good for your health, including your smile.
 
Below, your Fairview Heights, IL dentist breaks down the dangers of snacking and how your smile is one of the first parts of your body that is negatively affected by this habit.
 
What makes snacking so harmful?
 
Having a healthy, but fulfilling breakfast, lunch and dinner is ideal when it comes to taking care of your body. If you're skipping meals or replacing them with snacks, you're not getting the proper nutrition your body needs.
 
You also be may snacking on something unhealthy that affects your teeth, too. Snacks that are either sugary or salty come in direct contact with your teeth and can weaken your enamel. When you have these snacks multiple times a day, you're continuing to break down the protective structure of your enamel, which can lead to sensitivity and other dental issues.
 
How can I snack smarter?
 
If you want to snack smarter, try to minimize the amount of snacking you do. When you snack in between meals, you're giving your mouth a limited time to try and protect your teeth. Throughout the day, your mouth creates saliva, which contains calcium and phosphates that neutralize acids and correct the pH levels in your mouth. If you continue to snack in between meals or replace an important meal with snacking, you're not allowing saliva to do its job!
 
Instead of the salty or sweet snacks that you may love, try switching them with foods that are good for your teeth, like carrots, celery, vegetables, strawberries, cucumbers, and other raw fruits and vegetables. Not only will these improve your diet, but they'll work with you to stimulate your saliva glands and continue to correct those pH levels.
 
While snacks don't have to be completely ruled out of your routine, your Fairview Heights, IL dentist urges you to make some conscious changes on what you're snacking on and how often so you can protect your teeth. If you are interested in learning more about snacking options or how to take care of your teeth if you snack, simply give our office a call at (618) 622-1800 today.
 
New Year, New Smile
The new year is right around the corner! 2018 gives everyone a brand new start and the motivation to work on a list of achievements that will benefit them in a number of ways. You may already have some resolutions that you’ve been working on! One of the most popular goals that people set is to have a healthier, everyday lifestyle. What better way to start than with the help of your 62208 dentist to ensure that your dental health is in the best shape it can be?
 
Below, we’ll list some resolutions that you can work on RIGHT NOW to begin your journey into 2018 with a stronger, healthier smile.
 
Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables
 
Remember when your parents told you to eat more fruits and vegetables as a kid? Well, we hope this habit stayed with you as you grew up! There are numerous health benefits to eating fruits and vegetables and many of those benefits apply to your teeth and gums. If you don’t consume clean and healthy foods and drinks, your oral and dental health are one of the first areas affected.
 
In the new year, try to integrate fruits and vegetables if you’re looking for a snack instead of chips and candy. Nutrients found in fruits, veggies, and nuts can fight against bacterial build-up. Vegetables like celery and fruits like apples can help clean bacteria and plaque that get stuck in between your teeth.
 
Cut Back on Alcohol Consumption
 
Excessive alcohol consumption can be extremely harmful for your overall health, but your oral health can take a heavy hit if you’re not careful. Alcohol can damage and weaken your gums, causing them to recede, which can lead to weakened enamel or a potential loss of teeth. It’s true that if you use tobacco products on a daily basis, have a poor diet, and consistently consume excessive amounts of alcohol, you’re at a much higher risk for periodontitis, more commonly known as gum disease.
 
Finally – Visit Your Dentist!
 
Keeping up with your appointments will help you prevent oral and dental health issues and allow us to monitor and solve any problems before they require a more comprehensive treatment. With these regular visits, you’ll receive a thorough exam and cleaning, as well as tips and advice on how to improve your smile in areas that may need additional help.
 
Let 2018 be the year that you’re proud to share your smile with friends, family and more! To start your year off right, call your 62208 dentist at 618-622-1800 to schedule an appointment for your routine cleaning or ask us about other services that may benefit and improve your dental health.
 
Protect Your Holiday Smile

You Can Have a Healthy Smile and Eat Your Favorite Holiday Foods, Too!

 

The holidays are here and your schedule is filling up fast! The next month and a half may be a little hectic, but don’t forget to keep up with your oral hygiene routine every morning and night. There are going to be family dinners upon family dinners with an overwhelming amount of delicious food. Unfortunately, not all of these tasty meals are going to be too nice to your smile. Below, your Fairview Heights, IL dentist discusses the best way to maintain a healthy smile during these busy holiday gatherings.
 
There will be some dishes that you only have during the holiday season – stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and more – that make your mouth water just thinking about them. Your taste buds could be going crazy, but your teeth and gums may start to ache. There will be countless sugary treats spread across the table, but if you indulge in too much, you’re quickly causing bacteria build-up and putting you at a higher risk for cavities and decay.
 
Thankfully, there are a couple of tasty things that don’t totally ruin your teeth. Cranberry, a popular addition to a holiday meal, contains compounds that fight against certain bacterial allies so there’s a lesser chance of plaque build-up. Red wine also contains compounds, like polyphenols, that can halt the plaque-forming process and limit the amount of acid that the bacteria produces.
 
While these are certainly tips to look forward to since you now know that your entire meal isn’t destroying your smile, too much of a good thing can still be a bad thing. Having too much cranberry or red wine can still negatively affect your teeth – their deep, dark colors have the ability to stain your enamel and make your smile look a bit dimmer than before. Your holiday meals typically contain so much sugar, starch, and carbohydrates that there could be little to no benefits even if you enjoy some wine or cranberry.
 
Our goal is to help you identify the foods and drinks that can harm your oral health and try balancing it by maintaining your dental routines and avoiding having too many delicious but dangerous meals.
 
To protect your smile during this holiday season, be sure to schedule an appointment with your Fairview Heights, IL dentist. Don’t forget that the end of the year is fast approaching, so we want you to get the most out of your insurance benefits! Call our office at (618) 622-1800 to pick the best date and time for your visit.
 
Avoid a Spooky Smile
During the month of October, children and adults across the US are anticipating the spookiest day of the year, Halloween. Between the creative outfits and the delicious sweets and treats, there’s a lot to look forward to on this popular holiday. Of course, we want you to be careful about enjoying too much candy since it’ll hinder your overall health, including your smile, but there’s more to dental care than just monitoring the amount of sweets you eat. Below, your 62208 dentist wants to discuss other potential, harmful instances you can run into on your Halloween night.
 
Start Out the Night Right – With a Clean Smile
 
There are tons of costumes that go above and beyond, helping trick-or-treaters and others who dress up to look exactly like their ideal design. Sometimes, this includes wearing fake or false teeth. Whether you’re looking for fangs to complete your vampire aesthetic or you need to add some gold to your grin with your swanky, rich outfit, these additions can help bacterial build-up.
 
Once you get your new (temporary) smile, make sure it’s properly cleaned and you feel comfortable wearing it in your mouth. If it’s uncomfortable or causing you pain, it could tear up your gums and potentially cause bleeding. We highly recommend forgoing the additional smile if it’s hurting you. If you feel comfortable, then make sure to brush your teeth before wearing them for an extended period – the latest bacteria and debris won’t have anywhere to hide and won’t linger while you’re out having fun.
 
Don’t Wear Your New Smile for Too Long
 
While you don’t want to downplay your outfit, you also want to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy and unharmed. We highly suggest limiting the amount of time that you wear your fake teeth to reduce the chance of any damage or discomfort. Obviously, these teeth aren’t made to bite and chew like your natural smile, so we want you to avoid using them as such. Remove your plastic teeth when eating or drinking to avoid any difficulty or potential damage.
 
Be Careful – Not Everything is Safe for Your Smile
 
Besides plastic teeth, there are other costumes that may require a “mouthpiece.” For instance, if you’re playing the popular Sherlock Holmes, your costume may come with his infamous pipe. But if you’re not entirely sure of how it was made, you may want to either complete a thorough cleaning or avoid the piece altogether. Your oral health is much more vulnerable than you think and on this night of costumes and candies, your teeth could be in danger!
 
Believe us: we want you to have a fun and special Halloween night! But we simply wouldn’t be doing our part of your 62208 dentist if we didn’t give you some helpful tips and tricks to protect your teeth. We hope you have a wonderful Halloween and don’t forget to schedule your visit with us by calling our office today at (618) 622-1800.
 
Importance of Caring for Children's Teeth

Help Your Children Share their Strong and Healthy Smile with the Right Snack Choices

 

We’re all familiar with tasty sweets, chocolates, and candies that we love to indulge in. It’s no surprise that children are big fans of those treats, too. Unfortunately, too much of something as delicious as candy can be detrimental to your smile, especially against baby teeth. That’s why we believe it’s extremely important to establish good, healthy habits to help children avoid cavities, decay, early tooth loss, and other oral health problems.

 

There are numerous ways that candy is intertwined in a child’s life. Sometimes, it’s reflexive, like giving them candy or chocolate to stop them from being upset. Other times, it’s a reward for doing well in class or in a public situation. This can be used as a default tactic, but we highly encourage patients to not use this method. Instead, we want children to know how candy can hurt their teeth and why they shouldn’t have such a large amount in one sitting and so frequently.

 

What are the best snacks and drinks for my child to have?

Some of the best snacks for children to play are, of course, fruits and vegetables. While they’re not always the ideal snack for kids, their teeth will be thankful. Some of the most convenient and tasty are bananas, tangerines, carrot and celery sticks. Rice cakes and plain popcorn are also great alternatives.

 

Because of their convenience, parents are likely to buy dried fruits since they don’t expire nearly as fast as fresh fruits do. Unfortunately, dried fruits can be extremely high in sugar and are quite sticky. They can get in hard-to-reach places in your teeth and can cause bacterial build-up. Try to avoid enjoying these as often as fresh fruits, but note that they can be a better alternative than other candies and snacks.

 

Instead of sodas and sugary fruit juices, try to switch their daily beverage to water. Another great drink for children to have is plain milk. Don’t be afraid to ask us which kind of milk, whether it’s whole milk or skimmed milk, that is best for your children’s teeth.

 

Protect your family’s smile by avoiding too many sweets and treats

No matter how old you are, candy is still dangerous to your oral and dental health. We want to share this information with our patients because children’s teeth are extremely sensitive and aren’t as strong as adult teeth. It’s important to take care of their baby teeth to make sure this area is healthy enough for their adult ones to grow in. If children suffer from cavities and decay when they have their baby teeth, their adult teeth are also at risk.

 

If you’re interested in learning about more tips to protect your child’s smile, whether it’s about food, drinks, or bad habits, please feel free to call your Fairview Heights IL dentist at (618) 622-1800 today.

Common Brushing Mistakes

Stay Healthy with these Brushing Tips and the Help of your Fairview Heights IL Dentist

 

To ensure the best oral health, we believe that you should brush your teeth twice daily, once in the morning and once at night, to ensure the best oral health possible. Don’t worry, we understand – you lead a busy schedule that may cause you to skip or forget your daily dental routine, but we don’t want bacterial build-up to get the best of you and harm your teeth. Below, your Fairview Heights IL dentist discusses a few mistakes that may occur while brushing your teeth and what you can do to correct them.

 

Before you start, you have to make sure that the toothbrush you have is the best one for you. There are tons of various kinds of toothbrushes available, but we highly recommend using a soft bristle brush that has a head size you’re comfortable with. If you have a toothbrush with the head that’s too big for your mouth, you could be missing some areas that you’re supposed to brush. This is where the bacteria can build up and cause cavities, decay, and more. Electric toothbrushes are also a viable option, but make sure you’re still performing the right technique.

 

Speaking of technique, you’re probably wondering – what is the best technique to brushing your teeth? There are several notes that you have to remember during your morning and nightly routine, including brushing for at least two minutes, making sure you’re cleaning every area of your mouth (yes, this includes the very back), and holding your brush at the right angle to reach all of those tough spots.

 

Something you may not have known is that brushing your teeth for too long is harmful! Your teeth, while strong and durable, can also become sensitive if it’s exposed to the ingredients in toothpaste for too long and too often. You’ll weaken your enamel, which will cause sensitivity when enjoy hot or cold foods and drinks.

 

Another note to take down is knowing when to get rid of a toothbrush. It’s recommended that you replace your toothbrush every three months, or after you’ve been sick with something contagious like a cold or flu. When you see your bristles starting to fray, that’s when you know it’s time to go! Even if you don’t see them fray, the bristles aren’t cleaning at their full potential and we want you to have the best brush each and every day.

 

By correcting some of these common mistakes while brushing your teeth, you can be working towards the best, healthiest smile for you. Couple these practices with your routine, bi-annual visits with us by calling us today at (618) 622-1800 to schedule your appointment.

You Cracked a Tooth… Now What?
The sound and pain of cracking or chipping a tooth can be terrifying. Not everyone has been there, so if you have experienced this feeling, consider yourself among the minority. Depending on the severity, there are many ways you can recover from this travesty. 
 
Repairable – In the Front 
 
Maybe you fell and broke your fall with your front teeth (if that is the case, we are very sorry that this happened to you) … or perhaps you were trying to open a bottle of champagne and accidently corked yourself in the mouth (trust us, you’ll be laughing about that later on in life). Either way, chipping a front tooth (or teeth) can be a scary experience. 
 
The first time you smiled in a mirror, your heart probably sank. Worry not, though, 90% of front tooth damage is repairable! Here are a few ways: 
 
- Dental Bonding (composite material that is shaped to replace the missing parts of the tooth and cured)
- Veneers (porcelain cover for the front)
- Crowns (porcelain cover for entire tooth) 
 
Ultimately, you don’t need to worry too much about your cracked or chipped tooth. At least not for long! 
 
Irreparable – Any Tooth
 
If your tooth is so heavily damaged that the root is impacted from the chipping or crack, you’ll find that more drastic measures will need to be taken to save your smile. You may find in some cases that the tooth is complete unsalvageable and will require extraction. 
If your tooth is salvageable, it will require a root canal and a crown. This is often the case with severely damage molars. If the root can be repaired, you can keep your natural root and simply have a crown placed on top. 
 
However, if your tooth is not salvageable (could be the case with both molars and front teeth), you will likely need it extracted. You can either get a bridge or an implant to replace the missing tooth or teeth. A bridge will crown the outer teeth (the teeth around the missing tooth) and a filler tooth will be firmly affixed between them. A dental implant will replace the tooth altogether with an anchoring screw. 
 
What is the Next Step? 
 
If you have a cracked or chipped tooth, schedule an appointment with your 62208 dentist right away. They will be able to determine what your best solutions will be. The longer you wait, the more likely it will become irreparable and require extraction! 
Teeth Removal: When This is a Must

With proper teeth care, most people try to avoid removing a tooth. In the mind of many people, a tooth is only removed because there is no hope for the tooth. And this is the case sometimes. However, this is not always the reason for removing a tooth.

 

Why are Teeth Removed?

 

There are several reasons why teeth are removed, and it is important that you realize this does not mean that you did not take care of your teeth. Even those who brush and floss twice daily still have some issues with their teeth, as many teeth issues are genetic. Some of the reasons why the teeth may be removed:

 

  1. There are extra teeth coming into the mouth that are not needed
  2. Baby teeth sometimes have to be removed in order for permanent teeth to come in straight
  3. Certain drugs, like those for cancer, can weaken the teeth and these have to be removed
  4. If the tooth is causing an infection, then these teeth are almost always removed
  5. Wisdom teeth are constantly removed from people due to lack of room or having infections set in

 

How are Teeth Removed?

 

There are two main ways in which teeth removal occurs in the dental office. These extractions are:

 

  1. Simple Extraction: this is performed when the tooth can be seen in the mouth. These are rather common, especially if baby teeth are being removed.
  2. Surgical Extractions: These are a bit more in-depth, as they are used when the tooth may be broken off into the gum line, it has yet to break through into the mouth. These are done by specialists called oral surgeons. Many people find that this is who their wisdom teeth are removed.

 

It is important to remember that teeth removal is often a must for the health of the person’s mouth. It is important that you go see your dentist about any tooth related injury you may have and ensure that you are following their directions to a “T” in order to stay healthy!

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