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

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.
 
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.

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