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Colonial Dental Group Cosmetic Dentistry Blog - Dooley, Lewis, and Quezada

Friday, September 28, 2007

Keep Your Teeth Healthy While Pregnant

Your baby's mouth and teeth begin to form within the first few weeks of your pregnancy. Taking good care of yourself during pregnancy affects the dental health of your baby, too. Caring for your dental health is important during pregnancy because:

  • Bacteria from the mouth is passed from mother to child through saliva.
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect the health of your gums.
  • Tooth decay is affected by what you eat, how often you eat and how long the food stays in your mouth or on your teeth.
  • Nausea and vomiting can occur during pregnancy, and the acid from vomiting can damage the surface of your teeth and cause decay.

To keep your gums and teeth healthy during pregnancy, you should:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice daily with a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Floss daily.
  • Limit sweet and sticky foods.
  • Do not brush your teeth for 30 minutes after vomiting because the stomach acid combined with brushing may erode the tooth enamel.

During pregnancy, it is important to visit our office regularly. Remember that tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth, and this bacteria is passed onto the baby while you are pregnant. If your teeth are healthy, you will have less bacteria in your mouth to pass onto your baby.

Regular dental cleaning and checkups can be done safely at any time during your pregnancy, but be sure to tell your me that you are pregnant before your examination.

If you would like to learn more about this dental topic or any other, please call or email today to schedule an appointment with the Colonial Dental Group, serving cosmetic dentistry in Glenview and the Northern Chicago area.

posted by Patti at 7:08 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

How Diet Affects Oral Health

To prevent cavities and maintain good oral health, what you eat and how often you eat are important factors. Chemical changes start in your mouth as soon as you eat certain foods. Bacteria in the mouth convert sugars from certain foods to acids, and acids begin to attack the enamel on your teeth starting the decay process. The more often you eat and snack, especially sugary foods, the more often you are exposing your teeth to the cycle of tooth decay.

Good food choices include cheese, meats, nuts and milk. These foods protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorous we need to remineralize our teeth (minerals are re-deposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids). Other good food choices are crunchy fruits like apples and vegetables. These foods have a high water content which dilutes the sugars they contain and stimulates the flow of saliva (which helps protect against decay by washing away food particles).

Poor food choices include all candy, cookies, cakes, pies, potato chips, pretzels, French fries, bananas and dried fruits. These foods contain large amounts of sugar and they can stick to the teeth providing a fuel source for bacteria.

The best beverages to drink are milk, unsweetened tea and water, but you should limit your intake of soft drinks and coffee/tea with sugar.

Chewing sugarless gum is actually beneficial to your teeth because it helps to dislodge food that becomes stuck to your teeth and it also increases saliva flow to help neutralize acids.

Good oral hygiene involves brushing and flossing daily, but you can also pay careful attention to what foods you eat to keep your teeth and gums in good health.

If you would like to learn more about this dental topic or any other, please call or email today to schedule an appointment with the Colonial Dental Group, serving cosmetic dentistry patients in Glenview and throughout the Northern Chicago area.

posted by Patti at 2:23 PM 0 comments

Friday, September 14, 2007

What is the difference between DDS and DMD?

I am often asked what the difference is between the letters DDS and DMD after a dentist's name. The answer is that there really is no difference whatsoever between those degrees. A Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) and a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree require the exact same education. Both are degrees awarded upon graduation from dental school, but it is up to the individual school to choose which degree it is going to bestow on its graduates.

Both DDS and DMD degrees use the same curriculum requirements set by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation. Generally, three or more years of undergraduate education plus four years of dental school are required to graduate and become a general dentist. State licensing boards accept either degree as equivalent, and both DMD and DDS degrees allow licensed individuals to practice the same scope of general dentistry. Additional post-graduate education and training is required to become a dental specialist such as an orthodontist, oral surgeon, cosmetic dentist or periodontist.

For those history buffs out there, here is a more "historically accurate" reason why there are two degrees. Ancient medicine was divided into two groups: the surgery group that treated diseases with instruments and the medicine group that dealt with healing diseases using internal remedies.

In the United States, originally, there was only the DDS degree. But in 1867, Harvard University added a dental school to its campus. Harvard University only grants degrees in Latin and did not want to adopt the DDS degree because the Latin translation of doctor of dental surgery is "Chirugae Dentium Doctoris" or CDD. Harvard people did not like the way this sounded, so a Harvard scholar suggested the ancient "Medicinae Doctor" be prefixed with "Dentariae," and this is how the DMD or "Dentariae Medicinae Doctor" degree got started.

If you would like to learn more about this dental topic or any other, please call or email today to schedule an appointment with our Chicago area cosmetic dentistry office.

posted by Patti at 7:13 AM 1 comments

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Treatments for Bad Breath

Most of the time, bad breath originates in the mouth and is caused by bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria breaks down food and creates by-products called volatile sulfur compounds which emit a smell similar to rotten eggs. There are other factors that can cause bad breath including medical conditions and tobacco products.

I will take a complete medical history and evaluate you to see if you suffer from halitosis (bad breath). He will then determine if there's an increased amount of VSC's (volatile sulfur compounds) in your mouth. An increase in VSC's will produce a characteristic unpleasant odor. A Halimeter can also be used to measure VSC's in parts per billion. Readings below 100ppb are not detectable by the average human nose and are considered normal. Above 100ppb, a noticeable odor begins to build and 300-400ppb, the unpleasant odor can be smelled several feet away.

The key to successful treatment of halitosis is the surface of the tongue. The dorsal surface of the tongue is similar to a shag rug. Plaque, sticky bacterial debris, and food particles collect on the surface of the tongue and bad odors are created.

The first step in cleansing your mouth to avoid halitosis is a good scraping of the tongue. A toothbrush does not serve this purpose well; a tongue scraper should be used instead. The tongue scraper must be somewhat flexible to follow the contours of the tongue yet rippled in profile to do a proper cleansing job. Most over-the-counter products do not eliminate bad breath; they only hide it for a short time. Most mouthwashes contain alcohol which dries and damages soft tissue in your mouth and actually leads to faster formation of odor-causing bacteria and gum tissue damage making your bad breath worse.

The worst remedies for bad breath are:

  • Excessive mouthwash use
  • Breath mints
  • Alcohol
  • Intestinal cleansing methods

Store shelves are overflowing with bad breath remedies that simply do not work. Those remedies may temporarily hide bad breath, but they do nothing to eliminate it.

If you feel you have a problem with bad breath, I can evaluate you in my office and recommend some treatments to eliminate this embarrassing problem.

If you would like to learn more about this dental topic or any other, please call or email today to schedule an appointment with the Colonial Dental Group, serving cosmetic dentistry patients in Glenview and throughout the Northern Chicago area.

posted by Patti at 1:24 PM 0 comments

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Suite 107
Glenview, Illinois 60025-2969