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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Does Mouthwash Work?

Any trip to the grocery or drug store can show you row after row of mouthwashes, all making specific claims about their effectiveness. Some contain naturally derived ingredients like vitamin C and baking soda. Others contain fluoride, antiseptics, tarter control ingredients, or whitening agents. Still others are little more than artificial sweeteners and strong perfumes. With all the claims made on mouthwash bottles, how is one to pick a product that will actually work?

What to Look for in a Mouthwash

All mouthwashes work to temporarily cover bad breath. This, however, is less a solution than an oral band aid, masking a larger problem, and not actually dealing with the specific causes of bad breath, or addressing larger oral hygiene concerns. The primary ingredient in any mouthwash is water and is what is added in addition to this determines its effectiveness.

  • Looking for mouthwashes that carry the ADA approval symbol indicates that the mouthwash actually does what it claims to do.
  • Choosing a mouthwash with antiseptic properties can kill bacteria that lead to plaque, bad breath, and periodontal disease.
  • Mouthwashes with additional tartar fighting ingredients will help keep plaque at a minimum, making the removal of plaque easier during brushing.
  • Fluoride is a strengthening agent that can help keep your teeth less susceptible to decay.

Of course, no amount of gargling is an adequate replacement for regular dental cleanings and exams. In some cases, like periodontal disease and dry mouth, our dentists may even recommend prescription mouthwashes. Still, these additional at-home oral hygiene steps are only supplemental to the thorough cleaning an experienced dentist alone can provide.

If you live in or around Chicago, Illinois, please contact the dental team at Colonial Dental Group for a thorough examination and cleaning today. Regular checkups in conjunction with proper oral hygiene, including mouthwashes, can ensure your teeth stay their healthiest for years to come.

posted by Erica at 11:32 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How to Choose a Toothpaste

A quick trip down the toothpaste aisle at your local grocery store can be overwhelming with so many brands, colors, flavors, gels, pastes to choose from. What's more, the choices ranging from whitening, to tarter control, to baking soda, to sensitive, to natural and fluoride free can leave a person longing for the simpler days of Crest or Colgate.

Choosing a Toothpaste That Works for You

There are several things to consider when choosing a toothpaste. Taste, most certainly, is a very personal choice and varies greatly from individual to individual; but what other things should you look for?

No matter what tooth paste you choose, make sure it has the ADA approval symbol on it. This ensures the toothpaste you’re buying meets the rigorous standards of the American Dental Association.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has been proven effective in strengthening teeth and fighting tooth decay. While there has been some concern about fluoride and health issues, the ADA has determined that the trace amounts of fluoride in toothpaste is safe, and outweighs any potential danger associated with fluoride consumption.

Tartar control toothpaste will help reduce tartar build up that can be lead to gum disease, bad breath, and is hard to remove. Various agents are used to control tarter. Make sure your tartar control toothpaste is ADA approved.

Whitening toothpastes contain mild abrasives that help scrub away stains and remove discoloration. Studies suggest that the agents in whitening toothpastes do not have an adverse affect to tooth enamel, and are as safe as non-whitening forms of toothpaste.

Toothpaste for sensitive teeth is specially formulated to attach to nerves that cause tooth sensitivity. If you have sensitive teeth, this toothpaste is your best option.

If you live in or around Chicago, Illinois, please contact Colonial Dental Group for regular exams and help in choosing a toothpaste that will best suit your needs. The dentists at Colonial Dental Group have years of experience in helping people design an at home oral hygiene routine that works best for their unique individual requirements.

posted by Erica at 11:32 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dental Health: Canker Sores and Oral Cancer

Many mouth sores are common and require no treatment at all. Though they may be painful or uncomfortable, most common mouth sores will heal on their own within a few weeks. There are some instances, however, that should be referred to your dentist.

Canker Sores

Canker sores are small ulcers that appear inside of the mouth. They are round, white or gray in color, and have a red ring on the outside. Most canker sores require no medical intervention and will go away on their own within a few weeks. If you have canker sore that lasts for more than three weeks, grows excessively large, starts to multiply, or causes extreme pain however, you should contact the dentists at Colonial Dental Group right away for a thorough examination and review of your treatment options.

Proper oral hygiene, and avoiding acidic foods may all help combat the appearance and irritation of canker sores. In some instances orthodontic devices like braces and dentures can aggravate canker sores, and these should be reported to your dentist immediately to avoid additional problem.

Oral Cancer

Cancerous growths inside the mouth can look like canker sores at the beginning. Oral cancer is not limited to the inside of the mouth, and can quickly change size and shape. Early detection of oral cancer through regular dental checkups is the most effective way to treat this disease before it becomes a problem.

Early detection is your best bet for combating oral cancer. Lifestyle choices like not using tobacco products and alcohol can also lower your risks for this disease.

If you live in or around Chicago, Illinois and have a sore in your mouth that has not healed within three weeks, or is causing you pain or discomfort, please contact us immediately. The experienced dentists at Colonial Dental Group will be able to examine, diagnose, and treat the problem in an effective and efficient manner.

posted by Erica at 11:31 AM 0 comments

Friday, December 4, 2009

Partial Dentures vs. Dental Implants

Missing teeth can severely impact an otherwise perfect smile. Social awkwardness, combined with loss of basic functionality like chewing and speaking, can make even the simplest of interactions burdensome and uncomfortable. Fortunately, several options exist to replace missing teeth, both permanently and temporarily.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are made for people who are missing one or more teeth, but do not require a full set of dentures. Partial dentures are molded and colored to match adjacent teeth. They are easy to remove for quick cleaning, and require minimally invasive procedures for placement. The downside to dentures is that they may require adhesives to affix into place, and because they are not permanent, they can slip out at inopportune times.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots secured into your jaw bone. Through a minor surgical process, dental implants are placed into the jaw where your bone incorporates them as part of your mouth. Porcelain crowns, colored and molded to match adjacent teeth, are then placed over the implants for a secure, seamless smile.

Dental implants require more time and surgery than partial dentures. They also may require additional surgeries to assure structural stability. However, because of these additional steps, they maintain your jaw structure, and the crown provides a more secure artificial tooth, eliminating the possibility of slippage. What’s more, they do not require expensive, messy adhesives to affix them into place, simplifying your daily routine.

Both partial dentures and dental implants work to restore functionality and aesthetics, and no one solution is best suited to every patient. The dentists at Colonial Dental Group will work closely with you to determine what method will work best for your individual needs.

If you live in or around Chicago, Illinois, and are experiencing the discomfort of missing teeth, please contact Colonial Dental Group to discuss your options. The doctors at Colonial Dental Group will listen to your concerns and help you pick the solution that restores your smile to its best.

posted by Erica at 10:21 AM 0 comments

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