Pediatric Dentistry Grayslake, IL

Oral Care WhenYou’re On The Go

Pediatric Dentistry Grayslake, ILDuring the summer months, we tend to be on the go more often. It could be a short road trip that leads straight to Grandma’s house, or it may be a lengthy vacation that spans across weeks and several states. Travel naturally takes us away from the monotony of day to day life. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? For the most part, the break from the norm is beneficial. At the same time, the busyness of any summer vacation could mean that oral care falls to the wayside. It doesn’t have to. With a few tips, you can avoid the pitfalls of oral decline.

  1. Remember to feed your mouth. We don’t just feed the body; what we put in our mouth directly affects the oral environment. For instance, if you nosh on cookies and chips on that road trip, you are setting the stage for the plaque. Being on the road doesn’t have to mean that your healthy eating habits disappear! Choose crunchy fruits and vegetables that clean teeth while you eat them, such as celery, pears, and apples. Choose tooth-building foods, too, such as string cheese.
  2. Remember to water your mouth. Hydration is vital to health and wellness. According to research, sipping offers several advantages over guzzling those 8 glasses as quickly as possible. One of them is that the mouth stays cleaner when water washes over teeth every few minutes. Keeping a water bottle with you makes sipping a simple task.
  3. Remember your toothbrush. There are two ways to remember the toothbrush. One: take it with you. When you have a toothbrush handy on a long flight or road trip, you can use it whenever your mouth needs a little refreshing. Mouthwash is great for this as well. Two: keep it dry. Some travel carriers close toothbrush bristles into a small container that gets little air flow. When bristles are moist all the time, they are primed for bacterial buildup.

Summer vacation may take you to all sorts of interesting places. While you’re at it, visit your Grayslake dentist for a checkup and cleaning. Call Advanced Dental Arts at (847) 223-5200.

Dental care Grayslake, IL

Mouthwash is Not a Substitute for Flossing!

Dental care Grayslake, ILMouthwash may be an integral part of your morning and evening brushing routine. There are benefits to this, but it is important to know that mouthwash cannot substitute for flossing. That is not what the product is intended for, nor is it able to provide the same protection.

Benefits of Mouthwash

There are two types of mouthwash. Some are “cosmetic,” formulated to give the mouth a pleasant taste and the breath a nice, minty freshness. This type of mouthwash has no bacteria-killing properties.

Clinical mouthwash products have ingredients that will kill bacteria. Some may also contain fluoride. The objective of this type of mouthwash is to protect oral health by inhibiting plaque buildup. The presence of antimicrobial agents also minimizes the risk of gingivitis.

Doesn’t Flossing do the Same Thing?

Flossing is recommended as a plaque-inhibiting activity. So why not just use mouthwash with therapeutic properties? It is certainly easier than running a string through every tooth each day. The thing is, flossing is a mechanical action against bacteria and the invisible film of plaque that holds them. Because toothbrush bristles cannot reach in between teeth, floss is the most appropriate tool for the job. The contact that is made with the tooth is more successful than simply swishing mouthwash around the mouth for a few seconds.

Flossing is not as Difficult as it Seems

Most people are quite good at remembering to brush their teeth every morning and every night before bed. Not so many are that good at spending the extra couple of minutes it takes to clean in between their teeth, though. Flossing doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and it need not be unpleasant in the least. Floss comes in waxed and unwaxed types, and some products are even flavored to leave a nice taste in the mouth. If the string of floss is the problem, consider using a disposable flossing tool in which the floss is held tightly between two prongs.

Our objective is to help you avoid the ravages of plaque and bacterial infection in the mouth. During your next visit to our Grayslake family dentistry office, talk with us about your flossing practice. We’re happy to demonstrate techniques and work with you to improve this aspect of your hygiene.


Pediatric Dentistry Grayslake, IL

There’s More Than One Way to Beat a Cavity!

Pediatric Dentistry Grayslake, ILWhether it is yourself or one of your children who develops tooth decay, the resulting discomfort and need for restorative care are simply no fun.  We like to do all that we can to help our patients avoid the consequences of this common infectious oral disease. One of the best ways we can help you help yourself (and your family) is to explain what is really behind tooth decay. Then, you are better equipped to fight it!

Cavities prevention has long boiled down to a single recommendation: “avoid sugar.” This is still what many of our patients believe. How surprised they are when they do this and still struggle with tooth decay! The reason why avoiding sugar is only part of the cavity-prevention plan is because cavities are caused by acid; more directly, the acidic byproduct eliminated by bacteria. The microorganisms that live in the mouth nosh on sugar residue every chance they get. Here are some ways you can put a limit on their feasting:

  • Eat however many meals you are going to eat in a day, but do not graze all day long. This inhibits your mouth from recovering from the acidity of chewing, and of the foods, you have consumed.
  • If you eat something sticky or chewy, rinse your mouth out or brush your teeth. If any small particles have become lodged, floss!
  • If you need to sip on a beverage throughout the day, make it water. Sugary beverages and even coffee degrade enamel and increase the acidity of the mouth.
  • Don’t just brush every day, floss, too! Flossing isn’t only for the removal of food particles between teeth; this practice also inhibits the formation of plaque, which leads to tooth decay and gum disease.

For Children

  • Schedule routine dental care by 12 months of age.
  • Do not let your child go to sleep with a bottle, unless it contains only water.
  • Clean new teeth using a soft cloth or infant toothbrush (non-fluoride toothpaste).
  • Rinse your child’s mouth or brush teeth after administering liquid medication. These tend to have a fair amount of sugar.
  • Talk with your dentist about fluoride treatments or dental sealants.

Advanced Dental Arts are proud to offer friendly care to families from Grayslake and surrounding areas. Call (847) 223-5200 to schedule your checkup and cleaning.

Implants? Here’s What You Need To Know About Brushing!

In recent years, the immense value of dental implant treatment has become increasingly evident. Individuals who have lost a tooth have also lost the root that stabilizes it, and this can have a bigger impact on performance and oral health than one would imagine. Replacing the missing root with a biocompatible post allows the patient to continue eating a wide variety of foods with a high degree of functionality and comfort. If you are considering dental implants, your Grayslake dentist wants you to know that brushing is an important aspect of long-term success.

There is no Forgetting

Because inorganic materials take the place of the natural root and tooth, it is easy for patients to become complacent in the area of oral care. The success rate of implants is higher than other methods used to replace teeth – 95% -, but that does not mean that hygiene can be forgotten. Diseases affecting the gums and periodontal ligament could cause implant failure. We’d like to help you avoid this.

An implant post is made from high-quality titanium that integrates into the bone over time. The tissue around that post is alive. Hopefully, it is alive and well. To be alive and well means that no periodontal disease exists because periodontal disease means inflammation around the implant.

Where it all Begins

The term for inflammation around an implant post is peri-implantitis. This condition originates in the gum tissue, usually at the gum line right around teeth, where plaque and tartar can accumulate. Plaque is invisible and has no odor, so it is very discreet and sneaky. This biofilm harbors oral bacteria that deposit acidic residue onto teeth, even artificial teeth, and on to the gums. Early treatment for inflammation is necessary to stop the development of full-blown infection.

When the gums become infected, they recede or pull away from tooth surfaces, including the implant post. The infection spreads inward, where its progression cannot be seen to the naked eye. In time, the integrity of the integrated implant post is degraded, and the implant can become loose.

Peri-implantitis can be prevented in the same way you avoid periodontal disease, by brushing and flossing every day.

Do you have questions about dental implants? Call (847) 223-5200 for a visit to our Grayslake office.

CEREC Is Made for Busy Patients!

Many of us are busier than we care to admit. What often happens is that we go with the flow of our overbooked schedule, thinking we have everything under control, and then something unexpected happens, something like a broken tooth. Dental problems can seemingly arise out of thin air. When they do, we have you covered! Patients of Advanced Dental Arts in Grayslake need not worry about multiple, lengthy dental visits when they choose CEREC for a restored smile.

What is CEREC?

CEREC is a technique that is often referred to as same-day crowns. The process of making a crown usually requires about 10 days and two visits to the dental chair. The first visit is all prep-work: gently removing the damaged tooth structure and shaping the tooth for its new appendage. Then, a mold must be made, and that means impressions with thick, goopy material. Because the tooth is now smaller and has been affected by the original damage, it needs to be covered. This is done with a temporary crown, and this is all in the first round of care! After about ten days, it is necessary to return to the dental office to have the temporary removed and the final crown seated and cemented into place, often with several revisions, which could mean a longer visit.

Restorations made with the CEREC process are ready in the same visit, but that is not all. The protocol involves the use of sophisticated CAD/CAM technology, which eliminates the need for messy impressions while also maximizing the accuracy of the model used in the fabrication of the new crown. Using a small camera, we capture digital impressions of the tooth and then send them directly to the software of the CEREC machine. Here, exact specifications are met and carved out of a solid block of dental ceramic. Streamlined, to say the least!

Benefits of CEREC

Patients may initially choose CEREC because they would prefer to complete their treatment without additional visits. However, there is more to this method than same-day care. CEREC restorations have been studied for several years, and continually show excellence in the areas of durability and longevity.

If you are in the market for quality dental care in Grayslake, we would love to have you get to know us. Call Advanced Dental Arts at (847) 223-5200.


Are you Telling Yourself Stories about Dental Implants?

dental implants grayslakeYou have lost a tooth, maybe a few. Maybe you’ve been living with dentures that are not meeting your needs; they are slipping or causing sores on your gums, or limiting what you can eat. You’ve heard about dental implants, but you have not made that call to your Grayslake dentist to learn the fine details of this restorative treatment. What’s stopping you? We suspect it may be one or more of these stories . . .

“At my age, why does it matter?”

No one is “too old” for dental implants, just like no one is too old to enjoy their natural teeth. Tooth loss is not a simple aspect of aging; there are several factors that could lead to this problem. Regardless of your age, you need to be able to chew food, and you deserve to eat the variety of foods that appeal to you. You also deserve to speak openly, form all the sounds of speech, and to feel good about your smile. These are reasons to get dental implants, whether you are 40 or 90.

“I don’t deserve such expensive treatment.”

This statement is a clue to the next story that many people tell themselves about implants. But we’ll get to that in a moment. The fact is, you deserve to get dental implants because you deserve to have teeth that function and look good. You deserved the natural teeth that served your needs for all those years and, even if your oral health was not the best. Just like there is no hard-and-fast rule about age, there are also no guidelines that dictate who “deserves” to have a healthy, attractive smile after tooth loss.

“Dental implants cost too much.”

And here we have it, the fear that treatment is just too expensive and you should settle for something more affordable. The fact is, there is no way to replace missing teeth without investment, and there is no way to live with the missing tooth or teeth without some steep consequences. To set this lie straight, about implants being too much, remember that the upkeep of dentures or a bridge typically, over time, extends beyond the cost you would pay for implants.

Don’t buy into the stories you tell yourself about dental implants. Get the facts from a dental team who cares about your overall health and well-being. Call Advanced Dental Arts at (847) 223-5200.

It’s Quiz Time!

teeth health factsWe love helping our patients understand more about their dental needs, and about how they can improve oral health, as well as the appearance of their teeth. Now, we want to turn the tables a bit, and let you test yourself on how much you already know! We hope you have fun with our dental IQ quiz, and will feel free to contact us anytime you have questions about your teeth, gums, or our services.

True or False?

  1. Flossing and brushing can cause a little bleeding of your gums.

False! Your gums should not bleed when you brush or floss. Period. If they do, it is because the tissue is inflamed. This is called gingivitis, and it could be a warning sign that gum disease is in your future. Schedule an exam and cleaning if you notice “pink in the sink.”

  1. Toothache? Put an aspirin next to the tooth for relief!

False. The contact of aspirin to delicate mucosa could cause an ulcer in that tissue. There is a name for this: aspirin burn. If you have a toothache, swallow the aspirin (or other pain reliever) and then call our office to schedule the care you need to avoid a bigger problem.

  1. Dry mouth is an age-related condition.

False. Yes, many people do develop dry mouth when they get older. However, this may be more so related to a certain medication or health condition, such as diabetes. Dry mouth can affect a person of any age and should be assessed by your dentist. If you have dry mouth, we can help you manage oral health, breath, and comfort.

  1. Natural sugars are just as harmful to teeth as refined sugars.

True. Sugar is sugar is sugar. It doesn’t matter if it comes from soda, a glass of wine, or an orange. The problem with sugar is that it feeds the bacteria that naturally live in your mouth. The byproduct of these microorganisms is highly acidic, and that acid weakens enamel, causing decay. To keep your mouth healthy, limit snacking and eat a well-balanced diet. Oh! And remember to visit Advanced Dental Arts every six months for an exam and cleaning!

Are you due for dental care? Call (847) 223-5200.


We should Talk about Gingivitis

Gingivitis Grayslake, ILGingivitis is a term that we hear frequently, and we don’t mean “we” as in our dental team. We mean to say that this mild dental condition is one that has gotten adequate air time over the past several years. Here is what is so interesting about problems like gingivitis. We hear about them. We think we know about them, but what is happening is our mind believing that “this problem will not happen to me.”

You may have found yourself in this very situation. You thought you understood what you needed to know about gingivitis, and thought your gums were in pretty good health. At least you thought that until your last dental appointment, when you were told that you, in fact, have gingivitis. Now what? How did this happen, and where do you go from here? Let’s go to the beginning and work our way forward.

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a form of gum disease. Don’t panic just yet! This early inflammatory condition is not the full-blown infection that can cost you your smile. To have gingivitis means to have irritated gums. The redness and swelling may be so slight that you have missed the signs for months. Except for that little bit of bleeding that happened now and then when you would brush or floss. Because the symptoms of gingivitis are so subtle, it is often only during the routine checkup that the condition is identified.

Now, as mild as gingivitis is, that does not mean you don’t have to take this seriously. Gingivitis is the stepping stone to gum disease; that infection we mentioned that could cost you your smile.

Why did you get Gingivitis?

We hate to say it, but gingivitis is typically the result of poor oral hygiene. Inflammation develops because plaque has formed around some of your teeth. You can see the plaque, so it may not get removed with oral hygiene practice. Left undisturbed, plaque will harden and become stuck to enamel, usually right at the gum line. Inflammation (and later, infection) stems from the direct contact with acidic byproduct left by bacteria.

There are a few underlying factors that may make you prone to gingivitis, such as pregnancy or other hormonal fluctuations. Know your risks by talking with your dentist or hygienist.

Here’s the good news about your gingivitis diagnosis. This condition can be eliminated. Getting the care and support you need gives you the ammunition to protect your oral health in the future.

Is it time for your routine checkup? Call (847) 223-5200.


Habits you want to Change for Healthier Teeth

Healthier Teeth Grayslake, ILYou have probably heard many times that you need to develop good habits centered around oral hygiene. This is part of what we do as your Grayslake dentist, we continually educate you on the matters that matter, and what matters are your habits. Here, we want to take a spin around some of the habits you may be keeping that are inadvertently damaging your teeth. Once you identify them, you can make necessary changes as you wish.

Bad Habit #1 – Too many Beatings

Eating a high-sugar diet. This is an obvious no-no. What often happens, though, is we meet patients who are struggling with tooth decay and inflammatory dental conditions who say “but I don’t eat a lot of sugar!” We understand the confusion that one may feel when they consume diet soda or carbonated water as an alternative to sugary beverages. The problem with such choices is that they still contain a high amount of acid, and acid is what breaks down enamel, not sugar. We are happy to speak with you regarding the hidden culprits in common foods and beverages so you can avoid the stress of unexpected dental problems.

Bad Habit #2 – Teeth as Tools

Using your teeth as tools to open packages is just another way that they take a beating. Over time, teeth wear down by biting or chewing on hard objects that don’t belong in the mouth at all. Doing so on a regular basis significantly increases the likelihood of a chip or crack at some point. And if you have porcelain veneers, don’t even think about using teeth as a tool if you want to enjoy the work your dentist has done for any length of time.

Bad Habit #3 – Your Brushing Habits

We aren’t talking about not brushing (or flossing); we know you understand the importance of oral care. What many people do is go too far. Brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush or abrasive toothpaste does no good. In fact, it can harm your gums and wear down the cementum that covers roots. Because gums tend to recede the older we get, gentle brushing technique becomes increasingly important with age.

Set yourself on a great path for a healthy dental future. Call (847) 223-5200 to schedule an exam and cleaning.

Are you Seeing a Lot of Cavities? This may be Why!

Preventative Dental CareWe are taught that, if we take good care of our teeth, we won’t get cavities. This way of encouraging good oral habits may seem logical, but it can create a great deal of frustration for the person who brushes and flosses but still encounters more than their fair share of tooth decay. Here, we will discuss why some people may be more prone to cavities than others.

  1. Tooth shape. Most cavities are found at the back of the mouth. This is because molars (and premolars, too!) are more “bumpy” than the teeth at the front of the mouth. Molars have deep grooves, and bacteria and debris can become trapped here. Talk with your dentist about what x-rays and the intra-oral camera reveal about your molars. You may benefit from dental sealants.
  2. There should be a small amount of space in between each tooth. This makes it easier to clean the surfaces that butt-up against adjacent teeth. When teeth are crowded or overlapping, tight spaces become a haven for bacteria and tiny particles of food. Speak with your dentist about the benefits of orthodontic care.
  3. Dry mouth. Saliva is necessary to dilute sugar and acid in the mouth. Dry mouth can occur as a result of certain health conditions and certain medications, as well as several other factors. Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day to support sufficient saliva flow.
  4. Dietary hazards. We know that sugar is not good for the teeth. Sugar feeds bacteria, and the more well-fed these little buggers are, the more damage they cause to your teeth and gums. Reducing sugary snacks is not where prevention ends. Soda and other carbonated beverages that do not contain sugar also invite tooth decay by degrading enamel. Drink more water and consume less sugar, and your teeth are better protected from cavities.
  5. Hidden “gut” problems. The gastrointestinal tract holds some power over oral health. Individuals who frequently experience symptoms like heartburn may also experience more tooth decay due to the effects of acidic fluids.

See your Grayslake dentist to discuss preventive care for your healthiest smile. Call Advanced Dental Arts at  (847) 223-5200.