We recently added a truly comprehensive whitening option to our menu, and we’re pretty stoked. Let’s take a look at what this new system can do!
How does whitening work?
Every whitening product uses the same basic science to achieve results. Tooth discoloration is caused by large pigment and stain molecules that become trapped inside the tooth’s structure: the larger the molecules, the darker the teeth appear.
All bleaching gels break down to hydrogen peroxide in the end, which in turn breaks down into free radicals that attach to and lift stains from the teeth.
So what makes KöR Whitening different?
For whom do we recommend KöR Whitening?
This whitening program is not for the casual user - it definitely requires a commitment! Every small step matters in this process, so compliance is key. We think KöR’s program is especially well suited to the following cases:
If you think KöR might be right for you, set up a consultation today!
Photos credit of KOR website and used with their permission.
We all know the negative effect of smoking cigarettes on oral health - and on all other aspects of your health, for that matter! But what about vaping? Since its rise in popularity, e-cigarettes have been widely seen as a “healthier” alternative to their predecessor. Yet the research is thin on vaping (the action of inhaling the vapors produced by e-cigarettes) and its actual effect on oral health; what’s more, the evidence that is out there doesn’t look great. Let’s take a closer look at some of what we do know about vaping:
Why does my tooth hurt?
There is no question more pressing when you are in pain, and it’s often a hard one to answer. Tooth pain can be attributed to a number of factors, but here are the most common:
Are there home remedies for tooth pain?
The best and safest bet when experiencing tooth pain, especially sudden or unexplained, is to make an appointment to see your dentist. There are, however, a few things you can try to ease your discomfort while you’re waiting to get into the office:
You wouldn’t think what you drink would have as strong an effect on your teeth as what you eat - after all, doesn’t the liquid wash straight over where food would stick and damage? But certain drinks can linger on the surfaces of teeth and do just as much, if not more, harm than their solid counterparts. Let’s take a look at the worst, and best, drinks for your oral health:
Now, we understand that abstaining from the above list entirely isn’t reasonable - we wouldn’t want to either! Here are some tips on lessening the effects of teeth-damaging beverages:
Take a look at our list of Acid and Sugar Levels in Common Food and Drink for more details on what common consumables contain!
Many companies celebrate the turn of the year by switching insurance policies on you. As 2016 speeds toward its end, let’s take a look at 3 common questions about dental insurance so you know what to expect!
What will dental insurance cover?
It varies from policy to policy, but there are some benefits you can expect to see in most plans, which fall into three categories:
Does it make sense to pay for dental insurance?
That all depends on the insurance options available to you and your general level of oral health. If you have a history of poor health, multiple dental restorations or gum disease, dental insurance will almost certainly save you money in the long run. This is especially true if you have access to a subsidized plan through your employer.
If you don’t have a subsidized option and are in relatively good health, however - needing only your bi-yearly cleanings and the occasional filling - dental insurance might not be for you. At that point you’d want to weigh the cost of these common dental services against your yearly premium to see where you come out on top. Some dental offices, including ours, also offer dental savings plans that give the uninsured a discount on common services.
What type of dental insurance should I choose?
When shopping for self-funded plans or looking over options from an employer, you may be asked to pick between an DHMO and a PPO, the two most common types of dental insurance. There are a couple of key differences between the two:
Our admin team works hard to stay up to date on the ins and outs of our patients’ policies. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have about your benefits; email or call us today and let us know how we can help!
Well, 2016 has been one for the record books! For our country with the unprecedented election, for our city with the historic Cubs win, and for our practice as well. We’ve had quite a few changes and some exciting additions, and as always this time of year gets us in the mood to reflect!
For the first time in our 83 years, THREE of our staff were expecting at the same time! Our dental assistant, marketing coordinator and hygienist each welcomed their precious bundles in April, May and August respectively. While we were thrilled with each new addition to our Strobel family, it did mean saying good bye to a wonderful assistant and administrator (thankfully our hygienist Ali is still with us part time!).
Outgoing staff means one exciting thing, though - talented new hires! Visit our staff page to learn about our new dental assistants and members of our administrative team. We’re excited for the group we have going into the new year and the ways in which we can serve our patients as a team!
As our staff has been changing and growing, so have our services. After extensive training, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Dan has begun placing implants in office! This means we can offer many of our edentulous patients a start to finish implant restoration in house. Dr. Isabella has been hard at work as well, training in the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea to help the many patients we meet that have problems with breathing at night.
We’re constantly striving to better serve our community and are grateful for all the opportunities we’ve had this year. As 2016 winds down to a close, we look back with appreciation for all we have had and forward with eagerness to be even better in the new year. May this season bring you a happy, healthy smile and precious time with the ones you love!
To begin, let’s start with a little tonsil 101:
What are tonsils? Your tonsils are masses of tissue that live on either side of the back of your throat. They are a type of lymph node and are a part of your immune system.
Why do we have tonsils? Good question! They are there to filter out bacteria, viruses and foreign objects that might otherwise slip into the lungs. They also produce antibodies and white blood cells. They may be more of a vestigial organ, however, as many experts agree that they don’t do their job very well - in fact sometimes they can be more of a bane than a blessing!
Now on to the problem at hand - the tonsil stone.
What is a tonsil stone? Tonsils have deep crevices, referred to as crypts, that accumulate debris and bacteria. Occasionally, these crypts are so deep that these particles get stuck and harden or calcify, forming a tonsil stone (aka tonsillith). This is more common in people with chronic tonsil inflammation and infection.
Are there symptoms? Not always, as many stones are too small to be much trouble. Symptoms of the larger stones include:
How can I remove a tonsil stone? For stones that are causing you discomfort, there are a couple of options:
Can tonsil stones be prevented?
Often you can keep tonsilliths at bay by committing to good dental hygiene! Brushing, flossing and using an antiseptic rinse regularly are the best ways to keep your mouth clean and healthy, and to remove bacteria that might otherwise get stuck in the tonsil crypts. However, if your hygiene routine is on point and tonsil stones are still an issue, removal of the tonsils may be the only way to prevent future occurrences.
When you’re a new parent, you’ll take pretty much anything that gets that baby to sleep! Very often that includes nursing or bottle feeding until your little one is out for the night. But what happens when your child starts to develop teeth? Is it time to break those bedtime habits?
There is little evidence to suggest that breast milk alone does anything to promote tooth decay. In fact, some studies suggest that the lactoferrin in breast milk may actually help to kill S. Mutans, the bacteria responsible for much of tooth decay. Breast milk also does not lower the pH of the mouth in the way that other liquids can; a low pH environment can encourage the proliferation of this bacteria.
Given that, there is no rush to wean a child from nighttime feeding immediately upon the appearance of that first tooth - especially since that can happen as early as 3 months! However, breast milk does contain sugars, as does formula (which can also create a more acidic oral environment). Allowing baby teeth to be bathed by sugary liquids for prolonged periods can increase the risk of tooth decay, especially if an older child is drinking juice or a similar high-sugar drink out of their bottle.
Baby bottle tooth decay can have some serious consequences for primary teeth, including crowns and extractions in extreme cases. Wondering why baby teeth are so important? They are crucial to the proper development of your child’s permanent teeth and jaw, as we’ve discussed on this blog before. Failure to take care of them can result in the misalignment of a child’s bite, malformed permanent teeth or painful infection.
Here are some tips to avoid excessive decay and keep that night feeding going longer:
Start with good oral hygiene right from the beginning!
Earlier this month, the AP created quite the buzz with an article on the government’s removal of flossing from the federal dietary guidelines. They cited a lack of clinical evidence supporting the act - based on their own review of 25 studies - as the reason for the change, and questioned whether flossing had any benefit at all. The American Dental Association and the federal government were quick to come to flossing’s defense, calling it an “important oral hygiene practice,” but the question is now out there. With all this fuss over flossing, we wanted to weigh in on just why it is so important to dental health.
Flossing, quite simply, goes where brushing can’t, removing bacterial build up from in between the teeth before it can harden into damaging plaque and calculus. If not removed, this build up of bacteria can cause inflammation and infection, leading to gum disease, tooth decay and potentially bone loss. We see the difference with our patients all the time - puffy, red, bleeding gums and cavities between teeth for our patients who don’t floss, and a happier, healthier smile for those who do. This video from Coco Floss gives a great visual of just how much build up floss can remove.
So what prompted the removal of flossing from the guidelines in the first place? According to the ADA’s statement, it was not really about a lack scientific research, which was not even reviewed by the 2015 committee. Rather, brushing and flossing are supporting recommendations to actual dietary changes, such as avoiding added sugars, which fall within the purview of these guidelines. Since flossing was not reviewed, it was not included, but that was certainly not meant to imply it is not important.
The studies reviewed by the AP certainly call to light a lack of scientific research into the practice of flossing, which may be due in part to the limited funding available for dental research as a whole. While a lack of evidence in no way proves a lack of benefit, we would welcome additional clinical studies on the benefits of flossing to support the clear evidence we see in our practice every day. Hopefully this article serves as incentive to fund more research!
Of course, flossing is just one piece of the puzzle. Check out our oral hygiene home care tips for our recommendations on your daily routine!
About 1 in 4 adults in the United States feel embarrassed by the look of their smile. Our dental office is proud to offer porcelain dental veneers to new and existing patients. Drs. Dan and Isabella have the training and experience to provide porcelain veneers to patients who wish to restore a whiter, healthier, more even look to their smile.
Porcelain veneers are a cosmetic and restorative dental solution that are designed to mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Veneers create an immediate improvement in the appearance of a smile. They are a minimally invasive treatment option and can be more cost-effective than many other cosmetic improvement options.
Patients whose teeth are healthy, but are chipped, cracked, crooked, or mildly stained can benefit from veneers. Patients whose teeth are uneven or have gaps may also find veneers are a great solution for improving the look of their smile.
We offer custom-crafted porcelain veneers that are fitted precisely to cover the front surface of the tooth. Because porcelain is a semi-translucent material, the tooth continues to have a natural healthy appearance with the veneer in place. Veneers are chosen with care to match the natural teeth around them, to ensure optimal aesthetic results.
Once placed, porcelain veneers are a strong, stain-resistant, and long-lasting cosmetic dental solution. However, porcelain dental veneers need ongoing dental care, just like natural teeth. They should be brushed and flossed regularly and normal dental exam and cleaning schedules should be maintained. When cared for properly, veneers can last a lifetime.
There are some additional factors to consider before choosing veneers. First, it is common to experience some sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages for a few days following the placement of veneers. This is generally mild and unlikely to last more than a week.
Second, while porcelain is a strong and durable material, it is recommended to avoid activity that will put great stress on the veneers, such as chewing excessively hard foods or using the teeth to attempt to open a nut or bottle. Finally, any patient who has issues with bruxism (grinding) should discuss this with our doctor before deciding whether to have dental veneers placed.
For more information or to schedule a consultation with our expert dentist, contact our office today. We're here to give you a smile you can wear with pride!