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

How Exercise Affects Your Teeth

How has your New Year been treating you? We hope that you’re continuously working towards your resolutions and accomplishing each and every one of them! Between dieting, exercising, and other lifestyle changes, you may not notice how one change can affect other aspects of your health. Below, your Fairview Heights dentist delves into the ways that exercise can negatively affect your smile if you’re not aware of the potential problems you could run into.

Cavities and Tooth Decay


While everyone is at risk for cavities and tooth decay, athletes have a higher intake of sports drinks, energy bars, and other sugar-filled items that could be overwhelming for their teeth and gums. While not every athlete will be negatively affected this way, it’s always important to keep up with your daily dental routine of brushing and flossing twice a day, every day.

Dental Grinding/Bruxism


Clenching and grinding your teeth typically happens out of habit or due to your anxiety, but athletic activities like weightlifting can cause people to grit their teeth and brace themselves during this strenuous activity. Be careful! The more you clench your teeth, the more likely you are to suffer from severe jaw pain, which can potentially lead to TMJ. Don’t be afraid to ask us about utilizing a mouth guard to protect your smile.

Lack of Saliva


You don’t typically think about your saliva when you’re exercising, but as you’re sweating and panting, you may not be producing enough to protect your mouth, which is one of saliva’s most important jobs. Your mouth can become drier when you’re working out due to the lack of saliva being produced, which can negatively affect the strength of your teeth and cause them to become weaker.

Exercising is one of the best things you can do for your body, so we greatly encourage it, but your Fairview Heights dentist wants to be sure your smile doesn’t miss out on the best care in 2019, either! Call our office at (618) 622-1800 to schedule your appointment today.

Working for a New Year's Smile
Another incredible year is coming to an end, allowing us to have a fresh start as 2019 approaches. You may be compiling your list of New Year’s resolutions and insisting that you’ll be sticking to them – which you should! Any positive work to improve yourself is always a great thing, so we want to make sure that you’ve added your dental care to that list, too. See some resolution suggestions from your 62208 dentist to protect and strengthen your teeth and gums next year below.
 
First Things First – Make an Appointment!
 
There’s no better way to start this resolution than taking that first step and scheduling an appointment with us! We know this can also be a difficult step, as well. If you haven’t visited our dentist in a while, you’re not the only one. According to the American Dental Association, about one-third of people in the United States don’t see a dentist yearly, despite it being highly suggested that you visit every six months.
 
There are dental conditions, like sensitivity, loose teeth, or bleeding gums that are important and urgent signs that you should visit our office as soon as possible. Remember, even if your teeth and gums look healthy, there could be hidden issues underneath that only our dentist can spot.
 
After you’ve successfully gone to your first appointment, always schedule your next one before leaving the office so it won’t be put on the back burner.
 
Commit to the Important Step of Flossing
 
Despite being one of the most commonly ignored steps in dental hygiene, flossing is an extremely beneficial and necessary part of taking care of your smile. When you floss, you’re getting into all the hard-to-reach places that your toothbrush just can’t clean. When you leave it there, you’re allowing the built-up bacteria to sit, linger, and cause damage to the surrounding teeth. This can make your smile weaker by creating cavities and tougher forms of decay.
 
A helpful tip is to simply bring floss with you wherever you go! Whether you have it in your car, in your bag or purse, in your desk at work, you’ll never have an excuse to skip this step. If you’re having trouble flossing properly, don’t hesitate to ask us for helpful tips – that’s what we’re here for.
 
Cut Back on Unhealthy Diets and Harmful Habits
 
These two resolutions are some of the most popular, the ones that we always hear our friends and family say. Reducing the amount of sugar intake and quitting habits like smoking cigarettes are great for your overall health, but especially your mouth. Your teeth, gums, and tongue are the first to encounter all your favorite sugary treats and the tobacco from your cigarettes, so they’re the first line of defense and usually take the most damage.
 
If you’re looking for ways to cut back and quit, please ask us for advice. We know that everyone is unique, and their cravings are all quite different, but we would be more than happy to point you in the right direction, so you can start caring for your body that much more.
 
While making your New Year’s resolutions are simple enough, executing on them is the tough part, but your 62208 dentist is ready to give you the push you need! Schedule an appointment with our office by calling (618) 622-1800 and we’ll help you start 2019 with a brighter, healthier smile.
 
Smile-Friendly Holiday Meals
Within the next month, we’ll be swamped with so many holiday plans, we won’t know which dinner to go to! Sometimes, the right answer is to go to all of them, and while your friends and family may appreciate seeing you during this wonderful time of the year, your smile may not be so grateful. This month, your dentist wants to share some helpful tips on how to keep your teeth and gums healthy during all these holiday meals.
 
Everything in Moderation
 
During at least one of these dinners, you may see your favorite holiday food, whether it’s mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie, but it’s important not to over-indulge on these things. Your teeth will not be used to this kind of treatment, so your smile is likely to get a little bit weaker with the addition of sugar and starch wearing down your enamel and building up bacteria in hard-to-reach places. Be sure to always floss once you’re finished with these meals and never skip out on brushing your teeth at the end of the day!
 
Pass on the Candies
 
While this may be difficult, your teeth will thank you. You’ll be having multiple hearty meals, certainly way more than usual, and adding candies on top of that, whether hard or chewy, will weaken your smile and put you at a higher risk for cavities. Don’t let your sweet tooth help encourage tooth decay!
 
Load Up on Veggies
 
We know these holiday meals are all about the major proteins and some delicious starches but don’t forget about all the great vegetables that wonderfully compliment these plates. We highly encourage you to fill your plate with an assortment of your favorite vegetables that are packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals. Here’s another helpful tip: red and orange vegetables, like peppers, are high in vitamin C, which are good for your gums, while leafy green vegetables, like spinach and broccoli, are great sources of calcium, which helps strengthen your enamel.
 
Looking for more smile-friendly ways to make the most out of your holiday meals? Don’t hesitate to call your Fairview Heights dentist today at (618) 622-1800 and we’ll be happy to give you the right tips for your smile. And don’t forget to schedule an appointment, too! We know how busy this time of year can be, so be sure to take care of your teeth and gums in between.
 
Ways to Protect Your Teeth on Halloween
Parents around the nation may be worried about the amount of candy that they’ll have to keep away from their children come Halloween night, but there is a positive side to this spooky and sweet holiday. Instead of doing your best to hide the enormous amounts of candy away from your kids, your 62208 dentist encourages parents to teach their family about the dangers of too many treats, how to prevent cavities, and why it’s important to make healthy choices when it comes to their smile.
 
Make Sure to Brush Your Teeth, No Matter What
 
Keeping your routine of brushing every morning and night is essential for a strong and healthy smile. When it comes to Halloween, this routine is more important than ever. No matter if you or your children have had one piece of candy or twenty pieces, remember to brush your teeth by the end of the night to help prevent cavities and tooth decay.
 
Flossing is a necessary step, as well! Sticky candy can easily get stuck between your teeth, so help your children properly clean their smile after a fun night of trick-or-treating.
 
Be Realistic about the Amount of Candy Collected
 
While the goal of Halloween night is to collect as much candy as possible, we urge you to sit down with your children and let them know that they won’t be eating all of it, and certainly not on the night they bring it home. This may come as a surprise, but there are some candies and sweets that are easier and better for your teeth than others, so when it comes to sorting their rewards, teach your children what candies are better and why.
 
Sometimes, your children can even collect far too much candy than you know what to do with. There are plenty of options to donate your candy to food drives and other beneficial companies, so others around the nation – maybe even around the world – can satisfy their sweet tooth, too.
 
Swap Candy for Other Rewards
 
Your kids may be upset that they won’t be able to enjoy all their candies, but if you can exchange it for a small gift or toy, they may not be so sad after all! Try different and fun alternatives that your children can enjoy so they don’t feel like they missed out by over-indulging on candy.
 
Don’t let Halloween be the spookiest time of the year when it comes to dental health. If you’re looking for other helpful tips to protect your family’s teeth and gums, call your 62208 dentist today at (618) 622-1800 to schedule an appointment or consultation.
 
Common Dental Injuries in Sports
As the weather changes, kids, teens, and adults alike are shifting into a new season of sports. Our athletes participating in football, field hockey, soccer, and other potentially aggressive contact sports are all at risk for several kinds of injuries, including dental. According to the American Dental Assistants Association, 5 million Americans lose teeth in sports-related injuries every year.
 
Your Fairview Heights dentist wants to share the kinds of tooth injuries that athletes can suffer from and the complications connected to them. No matter the sport, it’s always important to wear the necessary protective gear that can help avoid any traumatic injuries.
 
Chipped and/or Cracked Teeth
 
When a player sustains an abrupt blow to the face, they’re extremely likely to suffer from a cracked or fractured tooth. This can vary in levels of severity, but the pain is very real! If an athlete doesn’t wear a mouthguard or any other protective gear used to shield the facial area, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation estimates that they’re 60 times more likely to damage their teeth. This damage can also turn into long-term issues, all which can be avoided with the right safety gear.
 
With a cracked tooth, some of the symptoms you may suffer from include:
Sharp tooth pain when you bite down on something, although it dissipates after
Dull, aching tooth pain that comes and goes, but isn’t constantly present
Pain and difficulty eating and drinking, especially with extremely cold/hot foods
 
Fractured Roots of Your Tooth
 
Tooth injuries aren’t only limited to the visible part of your smile. Damage can be done to the inside of your teeth where the roots reside. If a crack in your tooth exposes the inside of your tooth, any sort of bacteria or food particles can worm their way inside and force you to deal with a lot of pain. In this area, infections can grow and spread faster than you may realize. Saving your tooth with a root canal treatment may be the next step in protecting your smile.
 
Tooth Being Knocked Out (or Knocked In)
 
There are some famous hockey players with smiles to remember – mostly because they could be missing one of their front teeth! The aggressive contact of many sports can cause a tooth to be knocked out, but it’s also possible for a tooth to be shoved back into the jawbone area instead.
 
The chances of a tooth being knocked in, also known as tooth intrusion, have a low likelihood, but it’s still an extreme dental injury involving your permanent teeth that should be considered. While the chances are low, it’s still more likely to happen to children since the area that holds the tooth sockets don’t have the same strength as an adult’s.
 
Sports-related dental injuries have the potential to cause long-term dental problems, no matter what age, so your Fairview Heights dentist strongly advises all athletes to wear the proper protective gear like mouthguards and helmets with facial protection. If you have any questions about finding the best gear to save your smile for a particular sport, don’t hesitate to call us today at (618) 622-1800  and we’ll be happy to help.
 
Brushing Habits to Break
Brushing your teeth has become a staple in your routine since you were a child, working every day to maintain a strong and healthy smile. Your 62208 dentist understands that there are some habits you can easily fall into, especially ones that you may not even notice are harmful! Thankfully, that’s what we’re here for. Below, we’ll break down some brushing habits that could be doing more damage to your teeth than good.
 
Keeping Your Toothbrush for Too Long
 
Even though your toothbrush doesn’t look any different after three months use, we still recommend getting a brand new one. The bristles will start to fray and break with months and months of use, which is one of the most notable signs that you’ll need to switch your brush. With a brand-new toothbrush, your teeth will be getting the best possible scrub to get rid of the food particles and bacterial build-up.
 
Not Brushing for Two Minutes
 
By brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, you’re ensured to reach and properly clean the intricate, small spaces of your mouth. We know that two minutes seems like a long time, so we recommend keeping a timer on hand if you think you’re not meeting this time. The average time that people brush their teeth for is around 45 seconds, which isn’t nearly long enough, so be sure to slow it down – and don’t forget to brush your tongue, too!
 
Using a Brush with Rough Bristles
 
It’s a common misconception that rough toothbrush bristles will give you a better cleaning. While scrubbing hard on some surfaces will get the dirt out, that isn’t the case for your smile. The surface of your teeth, called your enamel, is very sensitive and if it’s weakened or damaged by rough bristles, you could experience dental sensitivity and have a tough time enjoying hot or cold food and drinks. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush on your teeth and gums during your dental routine.
 
Are there any other teeth-brushing tips that you’re looking for to get the healthiest smile? Don’t hesitate to ask your 62208 dentist by giving us a call at (618) 622-1800 today. Make sure to schedule your next cleaning, too!
 
Prepare Your Smile for Vacation
When you begin planning a vacation, it’s hard to focus on what needs to be done before you head off for ultimate relaxation. Before you go, we believe that having a peace of mind about your smile is important, so you can fully enjoy your trip without worrying about cavities, tooth pain, and any other dental issues. Below, your dentist in Fairview Heights discusses helpful travel tips to make sure that you have a wonderful vacation with a healthy and strong smile.
 
Make an Appointment before You Leave
 
Prevention is the first step that patients of all ages should take to protect their smile. We know that your mind is drifting away into vacation mode, but we want to care for your teeth to the best of our ability, so you don’t have to worry about a thing before you go! With our thorough exam, we’ll be able to spot any issues you could be experiencing and work to solve them.
 
Know how to Handle an Emergency
 
There’s no such thing as being too prepared! Let us know about your vacation and talk to us about what to do if you experience a dental emergency. Sometimes, it can be tough to know what’s an emergency and what isn’t, so ask about the best way to contact us and how to treat certain situations to see what can wait and what needs to be addressed.
 
Properly Care for Your Dental Tools
 
Air drying your toothbrush is the safest way to keep your brush at home, but what do you do on vacation? When packing your toothbrush, make sure to protect it with a resealable bag, but don’t keep it in there the entire time. If you keep the toothbrush in the bag, the moisture of your bristles invites bacteria and can get you sick, which is something you certainly don’t want to happen on your time off!
 
Get Back on Track When You Get Home
 
It can be hard to get back into the swing of things after a nice, relaxing vacation, but we encourage you to do so. Sometimes after indulging in too many sweets while you’re enjoying yourself on a break, your dental routine can fall off. When going back to work and getting back on schedule, make sure to include flossing and brushing your teeth twice a day, every day.
 
First and foremost, it’s important to make an appointment with your dentist in Fairview Heights. Give our office a call at (618) 622-1800  and we’ll help you schedule the best date and time for your visit (hopefully before you’re off on vacation)!
 
Maintain Dental Care on Vacation
When you’re getting ready for a vacation, you have countless things on your mind – the places you’ll go, the people you’ll see, the food you’ll eat – that you don’t always remember the important items to pack like your trusty toothbrush, your favorite toothpaste, and a container of floss. Maintaining proper oral and dental hygiene when you’re traveling and on vacation can be tough to remember in between the fun activities and adventures, but your 62208 dentist wants to give you the best tips to remember that your oral hygiene isn’t on vacation, even if you are!
 
Indulging in Snacks? Don’t Forget to Floss!
 
One of people’s favorite parts of vacation are all the different foods, drinks, and treats that they’ll be enjoying that they otherwise don’t get to when they’re at home. Unfortunately, since your teeth aren’t so used to the new meals, you could be dealing with more sugar than you might have expected.
 
On your trip, try to carry around a small, travel-sized container of floss so you’re able to clean your teeth in between your meals. It’s better than doing nothing, which allows the bacteria to build-up and stick around for much longer than necessary. Your teeth will be grateful, and your smile will stay strong!
 
Don’t Let Your Morning and Nighttime Routine get Interrupted
 
It can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of fun you’re having on vacation that you can forget to brush and floss before falling asleep from exhaustion. Make sure that, as you’re packing for your big trip, you pack a case that’s designated for your morning and nighttime routine for brushing and flossing your teeth.
 
With the help of this case, every time you go to the bathroom in the morning and night, you won’t forget to care for your smile. Getting ready for your day with a healthy, minty grin and ending the night with a satisfying brush before going to bed will make you AND your smile happier than you know!
 
We understand that vacations are important for you and your family to take a much-needed break from work, but we want to make sure that your oral hygiene isn’t taking that same, extended break. If you’re looking for more helpful tips, or you want to schedule an appointment before you take off this summer, give your 62208 dentist a call today at (618) 622-1800 for a cleaning and thorough exam.
 
April is National Facial Protection Month
Have you ever watched a high-action sport and seen a tough collision or a player in pain? While much of their uniforms include protective gear on their legs, arms, and head, there is one important piece of equipment that should never be ignored or forgotten and that is a mouth guard.
 
Your Fairview Heights dentist wants our patients to know that the month of April is National Facial Protection Month, where the American Dental Association, the American Association of Orthodontists, and many other academies and associations discuss the importance of staying safe and protecting your teeth by wearing a mouth guard.
 
A mouth guard, also known as a mouth protector, helps cushion any blows to the face that an athlete may experience. This minimizes the risk of chipped or broken teeth, injuries to your lips, tongue, cheek, or jaw, and gives you the extra protection you need to maintain your healthy smile while staying active.
 
Some examples of sports that need their players wearing mouth guards are:
Boxing
Hockey
Football
Basketball
Soccer
 
Those are only some of the sports that require this athletic piece of equipment – there are numerous other sports where players can experience this kind of trauma, so it's important to protect your smile at all costs.
 
Custom-made mouth guards are the ideal choice for any sport. Your teeth will properly fit in place, there'll be no movement or shifting when wearing the custom mouth guard, and it'll provide the utmost comfort. There are other options for mouth guards, including a stock version or a boil-and-bite version, but don't hesitate to ask us what's best for your smile!
 
According to the ADA and the AOO, children between the ages of 7 and 11 are the most vulnerable to sports-related mouth injuries. This is a great time to introduce children to sports and see if they would like to pursue it in the future, but parents need to be sure to share their knowledge of mouth guards, like why they're important to wear during sports, so they can protect their smile now and in the future. Athletes are at least 60% more likely to suffer from a dental injury if they're not wearing a mouth guard.
 
Interested in learning more? Don't hesitate to ask us! Contact your Fairview Heights dentist by calling (618) 622-1800 and schedule a consultation with our office to learn more about the different mouth guard options for you or your family. Stay athletic and stay safe!
 
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.
 

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