The Impact of Alcohol on Your Oral Health

Let’s raise a glass to good oral health… but wait! Before you indulge in your favorite drink, consider the surprising effects alcohol can have on your smile. Alcohol consumption, particularly heavy drinking, can significantly impact your mouth’s delicate ecosystem. In this section, we’ll delve into how alcohol disrupts the natural balance in your mouth, increasing your risk for various dental problems.

How Alcohol Increases Dry Mouth

We all know the feeling: a cottony, uncomfortable dryness in your mouth after a night of drinks. This unpleasant sensation is caused by alcohol’s dehydrating effect. Alcohol acts as a diuretic, causing your body to expel fluids through urine. This dehydration extends to your mouth, leading to a decrease in saliva production.

Saliva’s Role in Oral Health

Saliva is the unsung hero of your mouth. This essential fluid plays a vital role in maintaining oral health by:

  • Washing away food particles and bacteria: Saliva acts as a natural mouthwash, flushing away food debris and harmful bacteria that can contribute to cavities and gum disease.
  • Neutralizing acids: Saliva contains minerals that help neutralize the acids produced by plaque bacteria, protecting your tooth enamel from erosion.
  • Aiding digestion: Enzymes in saliva break down starches, kickstarting the digestive process.

Effects of Dry Mouth on Teeth and Gums

When saliva production dips due to alcohol consumption, the following issues can arise:

  • Increased risk of cavities: With less saliva to wash away food particles and bacteria, these harmful elements stay on your teeth longer, creating a breeding ground for cavities.
  • Gum irritation: Reduced saliva flow can irritate your gums, making them more susceptible to inflammation and infection.
  • Bad breath: Saliva helps neutralize odors caused by bacteria buildup. Dry mouth can worsen bad breath (halitosis).

How Alcohol Erodes Enamel

Your teeth’s outermost layer, enamel, is the strongest substance in your body. However, it’s not invincible. Alcohol, especially acidic beverages like wine and certain beers, can contribute to enamel erosion.

The Importance of Tooth Enamel

Enamel acts as a shield, protecting your teeth from:

  • Decay: Enamel forms a barrier against cavity-causing bacteria and acids.
  • Sensitivity: A healthy enamel layer prevents you from experiencing discomfort from hot, cold, sweet, or sour foods and drinks.

How Alcohol Weakens Enamel

The acidic nature of some alcoholic drinks can erode enamel over time. This weakening of the enamel can lead to:

  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Greater susceptibility to cavities

How Alcohol Contributes to Cavities

While alcohol itself doesn’t directly cause cavities, it creates a perfect environment for them to thrive. Here’s how:

The Link Between Sugar and Cavities

Cavities are caused by a buildup of plaque, a sticky film teeming with bacteria. These bacteria feed on sugar in your mouth, producing acid as a byproduct. The acid erodes tooth enamel, leading to cavities.

How Alcohol Worsens Cavity Formation

  • Increased sugar intake: Many alcoholic drinks, particularly mixed drinks and cocktails, are loaded with sugar. This extra sugar provides a feeding frenzy for cavity-causing bacteria.
  • Reduced saliva flow: As mentioned earlier, alcohol reduces saliva production, which weakens your mouth’s natural defense against bacteria and acid.

Alcohol’s Impact on Specific Oral Health Issues

Now that we understand how alcohol disrupts the natural balance in your mouth let’s explore how it contributes to specific oral health problems.

Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an inflammation of the gums caused by plaque buildup. When left untreated, it can damage the soft tissue and bone supporting your teeth, ultimately leading to tooth loss. Alcohol consumption is a significant risk factor for gum disease.

How Alcohol Inflames Gums

Alcohol weakens the body’s immune system, making it harder to fight off bacteria in the mouth. This allows plaque bacteria to flourish, triggering inflammation and irritation in the gums.

Increased Risk of Periodontitis

Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease. Studies have shown that heavy alcohol consumption significantly increases the risk of periodontitis. This is because alcohol not only weakens the immune system but also hinders the gum tissues’ ability to heal and repair themselves.

Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is a fungal infection that causes white patches to develop on the tongue and inner cheeks. While it can occur in anyone, people with weakened immune systems, including those who consume excessive alcohol, are more susceptible.

What is Oral Thrush?

Oral thrush is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans, which naturally lives in the mouth in small amounts. When the balance of good and bad bacteria in the mouth is disrupted, Candida albicans can overgrow, leading to thrush.

How Alcohol Creates an Environment for Thrush

Alcohol disrupts the delicate balance of microorganisms in your mouth. This can allow Candida albicans to flourish, leading to the development of oral thrush. Dry mouth caused by alcohol consumption can also worsen thrush symptoms.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is an unpleasant odor emanating from the mouth. While there are many causes of bad breath, alcohol consumption can contribute to it in several ways.

Causes of Bad Breath

  • Food particles: When food debris gets trapped between teeth and on the tongue, bacteria feed on it, producing foul-smelling odors.
  • Dry mouth: Saliva helps neutralize odors caused by bacteria. Dry mouth, a side effect of alcohol consumption, can worsen bad breath.
  • Breakdown products of alcohol: The breakdown of alcohol in the body can produce certain byproducts that contribute to bad breath.

How Alcohol Contributes to Bad Breath

Alcohol can worsen bad breath by:

  • Drying out your mouth: Reduced saliva flow allows bacteria to thrive and produce bad breath-causing odors.
  • Indirectly contributing to poor oral hygiene: Alcohol can make you neglect your oral hygiene routine, leading to a buildup of food particles and bacteria that contribute to bad breath.

The Link Between Alcohol and Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a serious health concern that affects the lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, throat, and the roof of the mouth. While tobacco use is the leading risk factor for oral cancer, excessive alcohol consumption also significantly increases your risk.

How Alcohol Use Increases Cancer Risk

There are several ways alcohol consumption can contribute to oral cancer:

  • Damaging oral tissues: Alcohol can irritate and damage the cells lining your mouth, making them more susceptible to cancerous changes.
  • Interfering with nutrient absorption: Alcohol can hinder the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients that help maintain healthy cells.
  • Carcinogenic effect: Some studies suggest that heavy alcohol consumption may have a direct carcinogenic (cancer-causing) effect.

The Synergistic Effect of Tobacco

The risk of oral cancer skyrockets when alcohol and tobacco use are combined. These substances have a synergistic effect, meaning their combined impact is far greater than the sum of their individual effects.

How Alcohol Damages Oral Cells

Alcohol can damage oral cells in several ways:

  • Weakening the immune system: As mentioned previously, alcohol weakens the immune system’s ability to fight off infections and abnormal cell growth.
  • Interfering with DNA repair: Alcohol can hinder the body’s ability to repair damaged DNA in cells, which can lead to mutations and potentially cancer.

Early Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Early detection is crucial for successful oral cancer treatment. Here are some signs and symptoms to be aware of:

  • Mouth sores that don’t heal: A persistent sore on your lip, tongue, cheek, or gum tissue can be a warning sign.
  • Lumps in the mouth or neck: Unusual lumps or bumps in your mouth or neck area should be checked by a dentist or doctor.
  • Bleeding in the mouth: Unexplained bleeding in your mouth can be a symptom of oral cancer.
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing: If you experience pain or difficulty when swallowing or chewing, it’s important to get checked.
  • Changes in the way your dentures fit: If your dentures suddenly feel loose or uncomfortable, it could be due to changes in your mouth caused by oral cancer.

The Importance of Early Detection

Early detection of oral cancer significantly improves treatment outcomes and survival rates. If you experience any of the signs or symptoms mentioned above, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your dentist near Berwyn.

Maintaining Oral Health While Enjoying Alcohol

While it’s best to limit alcohol consumption for overall health, including your oral health, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage and maintain a healthy smile if you do choose to drink occasionally.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

The key to minimizing the negative effects of alcohol on your mouth is moderation. Here are some recommended guidelines:

  • Recommended Daily Limits: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines moderate alcohol use as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. It’s important to note that these are just guidelines, and even moderate consumption can carry some risks.
  • Spacing Out Alcoholic Drinks: Binge drinking, consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period, is particularly damaging to your oral health. Space out your drinks and alternate alcoholic beverages with water to help mitigate the effects.

Stay Hydrated

Alcohol dehydrates you, which can worsen dry mouth and its associated oral health problems. Here’s how to stay hydrated:

  • Water is Key: Water is the best way to stay hydrated. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially before, during, and after consuming alcohol.
  • Alternatives to Water: Unsweetened teas and some sugar-free flavored waters can also help with hydration. Avoid sugary drinks, which can contribute to cavities.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Consistent and proper oral hygiene is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth, even more so if you consume alcohol. Here are some key practices:

  • Brushing and Flossing Regularly: Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss at least once a day. This removes food particles and plaque buildup that can contribute to cavities and gum disease.
  • Fluoride Use: Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and helps prevent cavities. Use a fluoridated toothpaste and consider using a fluoride mouthwash if recommended by your dentist in Berwyn.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Regular dental checkups and cleanings are crucial for maintaining good oral health. Your Berwyn dentist can identify and address any potential problems early on.

  • Importance of Dental Checkups: Schedule regular dental checkups, typically every six months, for professional cleanings and examinations.
  • Professional Cleanings: Professional cleanings remove plaque and tartar buildup that brushing and flossing alone cannot reach.

By following these tips, you can minimize the negative effects of alcohol on your oral health and maintain a healthy smile, even if you enjoy an occasional drink.

Get A Bright Smile

Understanding how alcohol affects your oral health empowers you to make informed choices.  By prioritizing good oral hygiene habits, limiting alcohol consumption, and staying hydrated, you can minimize the damage and maintain a healthy smile. Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Schedule regular dental checkups,  don’t neglect brushing and flossing, and if you have any concerns about your oral health,  consult your Berwyn dentist promptly. A healthy mouth contributes to a healthy you, so raise a glass (of water!) to a healthy smile!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does red wine stain teeth more than other drinks?

Red wine, with its darker pigments, can stain teeth more noticeable than other alcoholic beverages. However, any beverage with coloring can potentially stain teeth, including coffee, tea, and dark-colored sodas.

Is white wine better for your teeth than red wine?

White wine may stain teeth less than red wine due to the lighter pigments. However, both red and white wine are acidic and can contribute to enamel erosion. Overall, neither is a perfect choice for your oral health.

What about sugary cocktails, how do they affect teeth?

Sugary cocktails are a double whammy for your teeth. The alcohol can contribute to dry mouth and reduce saliva flow, while the sugar feeds cavity-causing bacteria. This combination significantly increases your risk of cavities.

The Truth Behind Dental Myths: Fact Vs. Fiction For A Healthy Smile

Let’s face it. In today’s world, the Internet is the ultimate source of information. From cat videos to questionable life hacks, it’s got it all. While the web can be a great resource, providing online oral hygiene tips can feel like traversing a jungle gym of misinformation.

Believe In Dental Myths? Get Ready For The Truth

Ever heard flossing can turn your fingers into sausages? Or that sugar-free candy gives you a free pass on cavities? From the legendary tales of sugar-free candies to the elusive “brushing just once a day keeps the dentist away” mantra, we’re diving headfirst into the hilarious, often bizarre, common dental myths and facts related to them. So, sit back, relax (but not too much, we’ve got some serious debunking to do), and prepare for a dose of enlightening truths about maintaining a grin that could outshine the sun.

Myth 1: Brushing Harder Means Cleaner Teeth

Ever heard the saying “Go hard or go home”? Well, the dental myths around this definitely don’t apply to brushing your teeth. While a good scrub might seem necessary to combat those pesky coffee stains, brushing with excessive force can actually damage your precious pearly whites. Think of it like washing a delicate silk scarf – too much pressure and you’ll end up with a frayed mess. The truth?  Use a soft-bristled brush and gentle, circular motions to effectively remove plaque and debris without harming your enamel.

Myth 2: Flossing is Flossing…or is it?

Flossing gets a bad rap, but here’s the deal: flossing is crucial for reaching those sneaky bits of food and plaque that your toothbrush can’t. Think of your teeth like a picket fence – you wouldn’t miss a single slat when painting it, would you?  Flossing is like getting in between those pickets for a truly clean and healthy smile.  Don’t worry, mastering the art of the floss isn’t rocket science – a gentle back-and-forth motion between each tooth will do the trick.

Myth 3: Sugar-Free is Sin-Free

Sugar may be the villain in the tooth decay drama, but it’s not the only culprit. Sugar-free candies and sodas might seem like a safe bet for your smile, but they often contain acidic ingredients that can erode tooth enamel over time.  Think of it like rain slowly wearing away a beautiful sculpture. While sugar-free options might be a better choice than their sugary counterparts, moderation is key.  Remember, water is always the best beverage for a happy and healthy mouth.

Myth 4: Dentist Visits? Only When it Hurts

Here’s a shocker: dentists aren’t just there to drill and fill (although they’re great at that too!).  Regular dental checkups are vital for early detection of cavities, gum disease, and even oral cancer.  Think of it like a car – you wouldn’t wait for the engine to blow before taking it in for maintenance, would you?  Biannual dental visits allow your dentist to identify and address potential problems early on, saving you time, money, and (let’s be honest) discomfort in the long run.

Myth 5: Whitening Toothpaste – Instant Photogenic Smile?

We all dream of a smile that could light up a room, but those dazzling white teeth you see on celebrities are often the result of professional whitening treatments, not just magic toothpaste.  While whitening toothpaste can help remove surface stains and brighten your smile slightly, it can’t drastically change your natural tooth colour overnight. Think of it like makeup – it can enhance your natural beauty, but it won’t completely transform you.

Myth 6: Whole Fruit or Juice? The Truth May Surprise You

Legend says that drinking fruit juice is just as good for your teeth as eating whole fruits.

The truth is, While fruits contain essential nutrients and vitamins that are beneficial for overall health, fruit juice is often high in sugar and can contribute to tooth decay. Whole fruits, on the other hand, contain natural sugars that are less likely to cause cavities, and they also contain fibre, which can help clean teeth as you chew.

Myth 7: Dentist Off-Limits While Pregnant?

While the dental myths believe that ‘one should avoid going to the dentist during pregnancy’, the fact says ‘Regular dental care is safe and important during pregnancy’. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase the risk of gum disease and other dental problems, so it’s crucial to continue seeing your dentist for check-ups and cleanings. However, it’s essential to inform your dentist if you are pregnant so that they can take any necessary precautions.

In the end, Maintaining a healthy smile doesn’t require a degree in dentistry or a subscription to the latest internet fad. By debunking common dental myths and accepting evidence-based oral hygiene practices, you can ensure a top-notch dental condition for yourself. Brushing gently twice a day, flossing regularly, limiting sugary drinks, and scheduling regular dental checkups are the cornerstones of good oral hygiene. So, let go of dental lore and embrace the facts – a healthy smile is not only essential for your overall well-being, but it’s also a great confidence booster. Now go forth and conquer the world, one radiant grin at a time!

Say Goodbye to Cavities: Top 10 Foods That Naturally Strengthen Your Teeth

We all know the importance of brushing and flossing, but did you know that what you eat plays a crucial role in maintaining strong, healthy teeth? It’s true! The foods we consume can either support or sabotage our dental health. So, let’s dive into the top 10 foods that naturally strengthen your teeth and bid farewell to those pesky cavities.

Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables: Nature’s Toothbrush

Crunchy fruits and veggies like apples, carrots, and celery are not just delicious snacks; they’re also superheroes for your teeth! Their crisp texture acts as a natural toothbrush, helping to scrub away plaque and debris, while their high water content stimulates saliva production, which neutralizes harmful acids in the mouth.

Calcium-Rich Foods: Building Blocks of Strong Teeth

Calcium is the MVP when it comes to building strong teeth and bones. Incorporating calcium-rich foods like dairy products (think milk, cheese, and yogurt), leafy greens, and almonds into your diet not only strengthen your teeth but also helps repair enamel damage caused by acidic foods and drinks.

Vitamin C-Packed Foods: Gum Health Guardians

Let’s not forget about our gums! Vitamin C is essential for maintaining healthy gums and preventing gum disease. Load up on citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppers to boost your vitamin C intake and keep your gums happy and healthy.

Phosphorus-Powered Proteins: Strengthening Tooth Structure

Phosphorus works hand in hand with calcium to build strong teeth and bones. Foods rich in phosphorus, such as lean meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, help remineralize tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay and erosion. Plus, protein-rich foods promote saliva production, which aids in washing away food particles and bacteria and strengthen your teeth naturally.

Dairy Delights: Calcium and Casein Combo

Dairy products not only provide a hefty dose of calcium but also contain a protein called casein, which forms a protective layer over the teeth, guarding against acid erosion and cavities. So, go ahead and indulge in that creamy yogurt parfait or cheesy snack – your teeth will thank you!

Green Tea: Nature’s Mouthwash

Swap out your sugary sodas and acidic fruit juices for a soothing cup of green tea. Green tea contains catechins, powerful antioxidants that inhibit the growth of bacteria in the mouth, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease. Plus, its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe irritated gums and promote overall oral health.

Crunchy Nuts and Seeds: Bite-Sized Dental Dynamos

Snack smart with crunchy nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds. Not only are they packed with essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D, but their abrasive texture helps scrub away plaque and stimulate saliva production, keeping your teeth clean and strong.

Water: The Ultimate Hydration Hero

Hydration is key to a healthy mouth and body. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps wash away food particles and bacteria, preventing plaque buildup and tooth decay. Opt for fluoridated water to give your teeth an extra boost of cavity-fighting power.

Sugar-Free Gum: Chew Your Way to Better Oral Health

Looking for a guilt-free way to freshen your breath and clean your teeth on the go? Reach for sugar-free gum! Chewing gum stimulates saliva flow, which helps neutralize acids and remineralize tooth enamel. Just make sure it’s sugar-free to avoid feeding harmful bacteria.

Kiwi: Vitamin C Superstar

Last but not least, let’s give a shoutout to the humble kiwi. This fuzzy fruit is bursting with vitamin C, which promotes healthy gums and strengthens tooth enamel. Incorporate kiwi into your diet for a delicious and nutritious way to support your dental health and strengthen your teeth in a natural and easy way.

Conclusion: A Recipe for Dental Success

Say goodbye to cavities and hello to a lifetime of healthy smiles with these tooth-strengthening superfoods. By incorporating these nutrient-rich foods into your diet and practicing good oral hygiene habits, you can protect your teeth and gums for years to come. Remember, your smile is worth investing in, so nourish it with the best nature has to offer.

Visit us at Berwyn Dental Connection, located at 6735 Stanley Ave. Berwyn, IL 60402, where our friendly team is dedicated to helping you achieve your best smile yet.

Let’s embark on a journey to optimal dental health and radiant smiles together!

6 Reasons Why Regular Dental Cleanings Are Important

You’ve probably heard the old adage, “You are what you eat.” Well, the same can be said for your teeth. If you don’t take care of your teeth, they’ll decay and become infected. If that happens, you could end up with a mouth full of cavities, gum disease or other problems related to your oral health. Dental cleanings can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and some forms of oral cancers. They will also help keep your mouth in shape by preventing infections and keeping plaque off your teeth. Eating right and getting regular dental cleanings can help prevent these issues from happening in the first place.

Here are 6 reasons why regular dental cleanings are important:

1. Prevents gum disease

Gum disease is a common problem that affects more than 90 percent of adults over the age of 25. It’s caused by plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth and gums. Plaque is a substance that forms when bacteria feed off food and drink left on your teeth for too long. Tartar is hardened plaque, which can be removed by brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing at least once daily.

2. Prevents cavities

Cavities are caused by acid from plaque or other substances eating away at the tooth enamel and mineralizing into spaces between teeth called pits or fissures in your enamel. This leads to cavities as well as pain, sensitivity, bad breath and tooth loss over time if left untreated.

3. Prevents gum recession

Gum recession is a serious problem because it can cause loose gums as they pull back from the tooth surface, exposing the root surfaces of your teeth. When you see your dentist every six months, your dentist can perform an oral examination to check for any existing fillings, crowns, bridges, implants, root canals, or prosthetics; make a note of any missing, chipped, broken, or decayed teeth that need attention; check for early signs of throat or mouth cancer; assess your jaw joint for signs of TMD, and more.

4. Reduces the Risk of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a common oral health problem that occurs when gums become inflamed and swollen due to poor oral hygiene habits like neglecting your gums or brushing too hard with hard bristles on your toothbrush or toothpaste (tartar). Reducing this inflammation helps protect against future periodontal disease.

5. Prevents tooth decay

Teeth are made of hard material, but they’re not impervious to damage. Any injury to the outer enamel layer of your teeth will cause them to become vulnerable to cavities and infections. The most common cause of tooth decay is bacteria that live in the plaque on your teeth. When you eat or drink something containing sugar, bacteria produce acid that attacks the enamel layer and causes decay.

6. Eliminates Plaque Buildup

Plaque is a biofilm that forms on the surfaces of our teeth. It contains plaque bacteria, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque also causes bad breath because it collects food particles in between your teeth where they become sticky and hard to remove with brushing or flossing alone. Regular dental cleanings help to remove plaque buildup from between your teeth so that food particles aren’t trapped there anymore!

CONCLUSION

Just remember that if you brush your teeth and floss frequently, you shouldn’t have any problem making regular dental cleanings a part of your routine. However, if you do happen to miss a few, it is also critical that you get them done as soon as possible. By having your mouths professionally cleaned every few months you can potentially prevent damage to your gums and teeth and keep them at optimal health level.

Visit our Berwyn dentist and get started with your regular dental cleanings today.

How To Maintain Oral Hygiene During Holiday Season?

The holiday season is a time for celebration and overindulging. Eating and drinking more than usual can increase the risk of cavities and tooth decay. But when it comes to oral hygiene, it’s essential to remain vigilant! Here are six tips to help you maintain oral hygiene during the busy holiday season. 

Tips To Follow During Holidays

 1. Avoid Mindless Eating 

It’s easy to mindlessly snack on food while spending time with family, watching movies, or playing games. This can quickly add up in terms of sugar intake and put you at risk for cavities. Try not to keep snacks out all the time and instead enjoy them with intention – as part of a meal or snack break – rather than constantly grazing throughout the day. 

2. Take Alcoholic Beverages in Moderation

 Enjoying alcoholic beverages during the holidays is common, but alcohol can dry out your mouth, reduce saliva production, and increase your chances of developing tooth decay. Alternate between alcoholic drinks and water or non-alcoholic beverages throughout the evening so you don’t dehydrate or compromise your enamel. 

3. Brush Your Teeth More Often

With all the sugary treats around this time of year, extra brushing is critical! Try brushing after every meal or rinse your mouth with water if you don’t have access to a toothbrush and toothpaste immediately. 

4. Control Eating Too Many Candies

Hard candies are one of many sugary treats consumed around this festive time; however, hard candy can be especially damaging since they stay in contact with teeth longer than other treats that dissolve more quickly in the mouth. If you choose to eat hard candy, try eating just one at a time instead of multiple pieces consecutively throughout the day, increasing their effect on teeth even more drastically over a more extended period!           

5. Pack a Go-To Cleaning Kit at Parties

Make sure you always have a go-to cleaning kit handy — such as flossers, travel-sized toothbrushes/toothpaste — so that you can quickly clean up after eating sugary treats at parties or gatherings! This way, you won’t be stuck with any tools if food isn’t available nearby for rinsing afterward!  

6. Don’t Use Your Teeth as Present Openers

Wrapping paper has been known to get stuck between teeth which causes plaque build-up and also damages gums! Instead, opt for scissors or another tool that doesn’t involve putting pressure directly onto teeth when opening gifts – this will prevent unnecessary damage from happening this holiday season! 

Conclusion

Taking care of your oral health doesn’t have to be a chore — there are plenty of simple steps everyone can take during this busy holiday season to maintain healthy teeth & gums! Remember these tips next time you reach for those extra holiday treats – moderation is key! Booking your post-holiday dental checkup will ensure that any residual problems are addressed before they cause further damage – so schedule an appointment soon!

 

Does My Child Need Dental Sealants?

What are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a thin protective coating that is applied to the premolar and molar surfaces of the teeth to seal them and protect them from food particles that might cause germs to proliferate and decay.

Who Can Use Dental Sealants?

Children and teens between the ages of six and fourteen are advised to have dental sealants since they are more prone to get cavities.
Adults without tooth decay or fillings might also benefit from dental sealants.

Sealants should be applied as soon as the child’s permanent teeth begin to erupt for the greatest effects. If your primary teeth are worn out, you can use dental sealants to protect them. It’s important to remember that primary teeth serve as placeholders for permanent teeth. If they are lost too soon, diastema and crowding may develop, necessitating the use of braces and other orthodontic procedures.

How Do They Work?

Brushing and flossing aren’t always sufficient. Even if you practice good oral care, you may overlook the rear teeth, which are more susceptible to bacterial development and cavities. These dental sealants not only protect your teeth but also help to prevent bacteria from growing and keep the tooth structure in good shape.

Tooth sealants, according to a study, can prevent up to 80% of dental cavities in the first two years following application.

How Long Do the Dental Sealants Last?

Dental sealants, according to the CDC, can last up to nine years, but their effectiveness is dependent on how they are placed. If not done appropriately, dental sealants have a reduced likelihood of success. As a result, you should go to a board-certified dental facility like Berwyn Dental Connection. Our dentist will keep an eye on your sealants to make sure they don’t start to wear off.

What Happens If My Child Develops Cavities?

Tooth extraction is used to pull impacted, damaged, or rotting teeth. Dental sealants protect against cavities, but if your kid develops tooth decay, there are numerous restoration procedures available. Remember that permanent teeth do not regrow and will need to be replaced with dental implants or other orthodontic treatments if you lose them.

The diseased pulp is removed during a root canal surgery, which prevents the infection from spreading to the surrounding tissues. The jawbone structure might be permanently altered by these restorative dental procedures. Furthermore, the treatments need ongoing maintenance, which may be costly.

Are There Any Complications?

Dental sealants are generally harmless, although they might trigger allergic responses in certain people. Furthermore, three hours after application, the sealants may raise salivary BPA or Bisphenol A levels.
Plastic is the most popular dental sealant material, and it comprises Bisphenol A, a synthetic resin.

Thyroid function, the central nervous system, and the immunological system have all been linked to BPA. Yes, dental sealants can raise BPA levels in the saliva. It’s not a cause for concern, though, because BPA levels return to normal after 24 hours and have no negative consequences. Other dental sealant materials are available, however, they may not be as effective.

Dental Sealant Application?

The application of plastic coatings to the teeth takes only a few minutes. The dentist will clean your teeth and apply an acid solution to the tooth surface after examining your dental health. To enable the sealant to adhere to the tooth, this solution hardens and roughens the enamel. The dental sealant will then be repaired.

How Much Do Dental Sealants Cost?

The average cost of dental sealants is $60 per tooth. We do, however, accept a variety of adult and kid insurance coverage. When you’re ready to receive the sealants, give us a call and we’ll work out a payment plan for you.

Take Away

Is it necessary for your child to have dental sealants? Yes. Children and teens, as previously said, are prone to tooth deterioration. Brushing and flossing are important, but they may not be enough to support their jaw and permanent teeth as they grow.

Book an appointment with Berwyn Dental Connection, if you want to get dental sealants for children in Berwyn, IL. Our dentist will also go through the various dental procedures that are appropriate for you and your child.

Dentist in Berwyn | Don’t Miss Your Screening

 

 

Oral cancer does not discriminate. It affects those of all ages, genders and races. Smokers do develop oral cancers at higher rates than non-smokers. However, this does not absolve the rest of the population from being at risk, as well.

It’s incredibly important to keep to your recommended schedule of oral health examinations. By visiting your general dentist at least twice per year, it is much more likely that our dental team will be able to identify potentially cancerous lesions in early stages. As you may know, the key to survival of most forms of cancer is early detection. Oral cancers are treatable, especially if caught before displaying obvious signs. The best results occur when oral cancer is identified and treated during early stages.

If your general dentist identifies a lesion that appears to be irregular, he or she may refer you to our team. We’ll recommend the next steps. Once pathology has been identified, we can proceed with treatment if necessary.

We will complete a biopsy to confirm whether a lesion is cancerous. It is not possible to confirm an oral cancer diagnosis without a biopsy. For this reason, try to refrain from making assumptions until we have confirmed your diagnosis. If it’s been more than 6 months since your last appointment or if you have noticed a lesion, bump or irregular patch of skin that doesn’t heal within a few days, consider an oral cancer screening by your general dentist. Know that your dentist will provide you with advice and may refer you to our team for a closer look.

If you have considered skipping the recommended dental visits that provide your first line of defense against oral cancers, please reconsider. It could save your life.

Dentist Berwyn IL | 3 Simple Ways to Reduce Tooth Decay

Dentist Near Me

A happy smile is a healthy smile! There are a number of steps you can take to keep your smile healthy by reducing your risk of developing tooth decay. Here are a few suggestions from our team.

 

Ways To Reduce Tooth Decay

Eat a Tooth Friendly Diet

Reduce the amount of sugars and carbohydrates in your diet. Decay-causing bacteria in the mouth feed on these substances.

We suggest you reduce grains, beans, seeds, and nuts in your diet when possible. These foods can lead to demineralization of your teeth and bones due to their acidic content. Consider adding foods high in minerals and vitamins to your diets such as apples, leafy greens, celery, or carrots.

Brush, Floss, Rinse, Repeat

Routine brushing at least twice a day followed by flossing and a mouth rinse is the optimal at-home dental care routine. Brush for at least two minutes in the morning and at night. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush that is small enough to reach every tooth.

Use Dental Sealants

Children often get dental sealants to protect the hard-to-reach teeth in the back of their mouths. However, dental sealants can benefit adults and those who have a higher risk of decay. Dental sealants are a layer of plastic-like material that coats the top surface of the tooth. Sealants protect the crevices in the tooth where bacteria reside and minimize exposure of the tooth to harmful acids and sugars that wear down enamel.

When left untreated, tooth decay can cause discomfort and spread to other healthy teeth. You can combat tooth decay by reducing sugars and acids in your diet and brushing and flossing regularly. For some patients, dental sealants might be a solution.

Don’t forget to schedule your next visit to our office. Our team can provide professional cleaning and check for signs of tooth decay.

 

Berwyn, IL Dentist | Daily Flossing

We’ve all been told at least once in our life that flossing daily is crucial. Here are four reasons why flossing may be beneficial for your oral health routine:

4 Reasons To Floss Everyday

1.Preventative care-

Food and bacteria buildup between your teeth is unavoidable. Over time, these bacterial colonies lead to tooth decay and the destruction of your dental health. Flossing helps remove food and bacteria from areas that your toothbrush can’t reach.

2.Helps prevent gingivitis and gum disease-

Your teeth aren’t the only part of your mouth that needs attention. Many people take care of their teeth but ignore their gums. Researchers at the New York University College of Dentistry explain that people who floss regularly experience much lower instances of periodontal pathogens, gum bleeding, and decay-causing bacteria in contrast with people who do not floss.

3.Protects your smile-

Flossing does more than just prevent cavities—it also preserves the bones that support your teeth. By preserving the height of that bony structure as well as a healthy smile, you’re maintaining a healthy and youthful appearance that will benefit you for years to come.

4.Gives you better overall health-

Gum disease doesn’t just affect your mouth and jaw. It has also been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even respiratory diseases. Flossing daily is more than just an optimal habit—it can help keep you healthy as you age.

We are pleased to offer a variety of oral health solutions to keep your smile healthy. We are also able to customize a health plan tailored to your specific needs. Book your appointment with our dental team today.

6 Harmful Habits That Affect Your Teeth

Dentist in Berwyn

Berwyn, IL DentistNearly everyone has at least one habit that they wish they could break. Did you know that some of them can affect your oral health? Here are a few common habits and tips for how to break them.

 

6 Habits That Affect Your Dental Health

1.Nail Biting

Why it’s harmful: Your dental health may suffer from nail biting by possibly chipping your teeth or impacting your tooth. You place pressure on your jaw when you leave it in a protruding position for long periods of time. You could also tear or damage your gums.

The solution: Some patients find it helpful to wear a mouth guard to deter form nail biting. Other ways to reduce nail biting include using therapy techniques, reducing stress, or applying bitter tasting nail polish.

2.Brushing Too Hard

Why it’s harmful: It’s best to brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day. Make sure to not brush too hard since this can lead to damage to the teeth and gum irritation. When you brush too hard, you risk gum recession and not cleaning your teeth efficiently.

The solution: Instead of brushing hard, use a soft toothbrush and apply a proper pressure. Let your toothbrush bristles touch your gums at a 45 degree angle and reduce the force of your brush on your gums.

3.Grinding and Clenching

Why it’s harmful: This can chip or crack your teeth as well as cause muscle tenderness and joint pain. You may also experience a painful sensation when chewing or inability to open your mouth wide

The solution: Stay aware of your teeth grinding and clenching and use relaxation exercises to keep from doing both. A mouth guard can also help protect you from grinding your teeth while you sleep. This will reduce any tooth pain, or muscle soreness and give you a better sleep. Our dentist can provide recommendations for how to combat teeth grinding.

4.Chewing Ice Cubes

Why it’s harmful: Tooth enamel and ice are both crystals. When you push two crystals against each other, it can cause one to break. This may be the ice and sometimes it may be the tooth.

The solution: Try drinking beverages without ice or use a straw instead.

5.Constant Snacking

Why it’s harmful: If your diet consists heavily of sugary foods and drinks, you are at a higher risk of forming cavities. The cavity-causing bacteria feast on leftover food and produces acid that attacks the outer shell of your teeth.

The solution: To reduce snacking, eat balanced meals so that you can feel fuller, longer. You should avoid sugary foods when snacking. If you are tempted to eat the occasional sugary snack, just make sure to drink a glass of water after to wash away the leftover food.

6.Using Your Teeth as a Tool

Why it’s harmful: Using your teeth as a tool to hold items, open bottles, cut through thread, or other functions can put you at risk for chipped or broken teeth or jaw injuries.

The solution: Your teeth should never be used to hold or open items or to cut things when you don’t have scissors at your disposal. Look for your scissors or find someone that can give you a hand. Your mouth will thank you for it and you’ll be saving yourself from potentially costly and painful dental complications.

Contact our office to schedule your next dental appointment.