Scharfenberg Dental Blog

Here Are Some Simple Pediatric Care Tips From Our Elmhurst Family Dentists

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Encouraging your child to develop healthy oral hygiene habits now can help him or her maintain a healthy smile for years to come. Our Elmhurst dentists are here with some simple recommendations as you guide your child through the world of dental care. Keep reading to get more information!

Lead by Example

One of the best things that you can do is to be diligent and highly visible about your own dental care routine. When your child sees you maintaining healthy oral hygiene habits, he or she is more likely to follow suit.

Stick to a Schedule

Consistent routine is the key to helping habits stick. Set aside time in the morning during which your child should clean his or her mouth. In order to ensure that your child is brushing for an adequate amount of time (the ADA recommendation is around 2 minutes), set a timer or listen to a song that is 2 minutes long.

Schedule Professional Cleanings

Our dental team is here to be your partner in teaching your child healthy oral hygiene habits. Our dentist takes the time to teach our pediatric patients about the root causes of oral health problems, as well as things they can do to protect their smiles. Plus, it is important for your child to have positive experiences in the dentist’s chair; this makes it less likely that your child will deal with dental anxiety in the future.

Assess Your Child’s Dental Tools

You want to make sure that the toothbrush that your child is using is small enough to fit into the back of his or her mouth—the molars are prone to developing cavities precisely because they are hard to reach. Regarding fluoride in toothpaste: if your child is still swallowing toothpaste he or she should be using a fluoride-free formulation.

Our Elmhurst family dentists are happy to give you any additional information that you may need. Call our office or use the Contact Us page on our website when you are ready to get started!

Elmhurst Dentist Explains Why Comprehensive Dental Care Is So Important For Patients Of All Ages

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Our Elmhurst dentists provide comprehensive dental treatment for patients of all ages, because we truly believe that comprehensive care is best for the health and appearance of patients’ smiles long-term.

Today we are going to be giving you some more information about what, exactly, we mean by comprehensive dentistry. We hope that this information helps you understand what kinds of dental treatments can help your smile.

When we talk about providing comprehensive care, we’re talking about treatment that…

· Takes into account the patient’s whole health—some people are dealing with ongoing health issues that affect oral health (like diabetes, for example); our dental team is here to help you optimize your oral health in these situations

· Honors the underlying structure of your smile—we believe that the best way to maintain oral health in the long-term is to maintain as much of your natural tooth structure as possible. We provide conservative treatment, and we never put the health of your smile at risk in order to achieve an esthetic result.

· Takes care of your dental needs in one location, as conveniently as possible—we know that all of our patients are busy and juggling different parts of their lives, which is why we offer comprehensive, family dental care. We’re here to help you build a treatment plan that works for your schedule, and to facilitate appointments and treatments for the whole family.

Even if it has been a long time since you have seen a dentist for treatment, please contact our team to schedule a dental consultation. Our Elmhurst dentists are here to help and support you; we’re not here to judge you on your dental past! Give us a call to learn more, or use the Contact Us page on our website to submit an inquiry and your contact information.

Elmhurst Dentist Explains How Misaligned Or Uneven Bites Can Contribute To Dental Problems

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

When many people think about how smiles become damaged, they think about sugary foods/drinks and dental traumas. Undoubtedly, these issues frequently lead to dental damage, however, there are many, lesser-known dental issues that can also wreak havoc on your smile. In today’s short article our Elmhurst dentists are giving you more information about one hidden dental threat, in particular: a misaligned and uneven bite. Keep reading to learn more about the ways that a problematic bite and damage your oral health.

A healthy bite fits together comfortably—when the top and bottom teeth come together, the jaw is able to rest and relax without realigning. A poorly aligned bite may cause you to shift your lower jaw around in order to bite and chew. Additionally, when your jaw is relaxed, when you are sleeping for example, your bottom jaw may slide back and forth in search of a comfortable resting spot.

It makes sense, then, that poorly aligned bites can cause patients to suffer from bruxism, or chronic dental grinding and clenching. Over time, bruxism can cause your dental enamel to thin and wear down; this puts you at increased risk of developing dental cracks and chips as well as cavities.

An uneven bite can also cause one half your smile to wear down faster than the other half. Patients with misaligned bites have to be quite deliberate about how they chew—often this entire process is done unconsciously. As you alter your bite day after day, some of your teeth are put under an unnecessary amount or pressure, and thus begin to wear down.

By improving your natural bite alignment, you can minimize your risk of suffering from many of these oral health issues. Our Elmhurst dentists are happy to give you any additional information that you may need about your smile in general, and bite health, in particular. Give us a call to get started!

Elmhurst TMJ Dentist Address The Root Causes Of Jaw Pain And Dysfunction

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

When most people think of dental health, they think about their teeth. However, the truth is that in order to maintain oral health long-term, you have to take much more into account. One of the most important components of your maxillofacial structure is your jaw health. If your temporomandibular joints are not healthy, it can greatly impact the quality of your daily life, and it can lead to premature dental damage.

In order to protect your TMJ health, our Elmhurst TMJ dentists recommend that you stay aware of some of the ways that jaw joints commonly become damaged.

Bruxism is one of the leading causes of temporomandibular damage. Chronic dental grinding and clenching puts an enormous amount of pressure on your jaw joints. Over time this can irritate the lining of your TMJ, and even cause your joint to come out of alignment. In order to safeguard your smile, you want to make sure that you seek treatment for bruxism as soon as you notice symptoms. You might find that you’re grinding your teeth during the day, especially in times of stress. Additionally, you might be grinding your teeth as you sleep—if you start to suffer from morning headaches, or you feel soreness in your jaw or back teeth, these could be indicative of nighttime bruxism.

Jaw pain can also develop due to misaligned teeth. If a patient’s bite does not come together naturally and evenly, the top and bottom teeth will slide back and forth in order to find a natural, comfortable “at rest’ position. These issues can be corrected through orthodontic treatment or by building up specific bite surfaces with composite bonding or porcelain crowns.

If you think that you’re struggling with TMJ dysfunction, the sooner that you seek proactive treatment, the better your long-term prognosis. Our Elmhurst TMJ dentists can help you get the effective TMJ treatment that you need, so give us a call to learn more!

Elmhurst Dental Spa Therapy Can Help You Get The Dental Treatment You Need

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Our Elmhurst sedation dentists know that dentistry-related fear and anxiety can keep dental patients from getting the treatments that they need to stay well. Because dental anxiety is such a real concern for people of all ages, our dental team offers a number of different sedation treatments to put people at ease.

One thing that sets our practice apart is the fact that we offer Dental Spa Therapy. This relaxation protocol is completely drug-free; it actually uses your body’s natural relaxation response to keep you calm in the dentist’s chair.

Here are some of the components of Dental Spa Therapy; these individual therapies work in concert to achieve results:

· Massage: massage and bodywork help to relax your muscles, and minimize the amount of tension in your body.

· Acupressure: this treatment involves our team applying pressure to specific tension-releasing spots on the body. This therapy is like acupuncture, but it uses pressure rather than needles.

· Chiropractic treatment: chiropractic care is all about adjusting the spine and skeletal structure in order to positively affect the patient’s muscles, bones, nerves, and joints. This treatment is yet another way to minimize the amount of tension you’re holding in your body and promote your body’s ability to heal.

· Aromatherapy: our Dental Spa Therapy space is filled with soothing and relaxing scents; this scents trigger a relaxation response in the patient’s body

· Music therapy: soothing music has a calming effect; you may even forget that you’re in a dental office altogether!

· Holistic medicine: our dental team may also provide you with supplements or holistic remedies designed to minimize your body’s inflammatory response, and boost your immune system.

If you think that you may benefit from Dental Spa Therapy, our Elmhurst dentists are here to give you all of the information and support that you need. Give our office a call, or use our Contact Us page to submit your information and we’ll be happy to get back to you promptly.

Elmhurst Dentist Gives You Information and Tips About How Acid Erosion Damages Smiles

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Every patient wants to maintain a healthy and attractive smile for years to come. Our Elmhurst dentists are here to provide you with the information and support that you need to make strong dental decisions, so that you can protect your teeth and gums.

Today we are going to be talking about one specific threat to your oral health: acid erosion.

Many of the foods and drinks that we regularly enjoy are actually quite acidic. Unfortunately, when are teeth are chronically exposed to acidic substances over a long period of time, our dental enamel can suffer.

Here are some foods and drinks that are known to be acidic:

· Fruit

· Juices

· Soft drinks

· Coffee

· Wine and alcohol

· Pickles

· Tomato products

So, the first thing to know is that when you eat or drink something acidic, your teeth are actually softened and weaker for about 20 to 30 minutes after acid exposure. For this reason, you want to wait at least a half of an hour to brush your teeth after consuming acidic foods and drinks.

In general, it is best to limit your consumption of acidic foods and beverages. It is better to enjoy these things in specific, short periods of time, rather than snacking or sipping throughout the day.

One thing that you can do to minimize acid damage is to rinse your smile with water after eating or drinking. You also want to make sure that you are drinking plenty of water, since this allows your body to produce saliva, which naturally helps to re-mineralize dental enamel.

As always, our Elmhurst dentists are here to answer any questions that you may have, and to help you avoid premature acid erosion. Give us a call, our use the Contact Us page on our website when you are ready to get started and schedule a consultation!

Root Canal Demystified! Our Elmhurst Dentists Give You The Facts

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Root canal treatment has gotten a bad reputation over the years. Many dental patients start to feel anxious as soon as they hear the words, “root canal!”

Our Elmhurst dentists are here to tell you that root canal therapy doesn’t have to be anxiety-producing. And, in fact, root canal therapy can really be smile saver. Keep reading to get more information!

Root canal therapy is simply a procedure that allows our dentist to go into the core of your tooth and remove damaged dental material—including the dental roots. This treatment becomes necessary when a dental infection has infiltrated the dental pulp, or when a tooth is deeply cracked or chipped.

Our dental team offers a number of relaxation and sedation options to help keep you at ease throughout the treatment process. Thanks to the marvels of modern dentistry, many people now report that root canal therapy is just as comfortable as receiving a standard filling. Additionally, the treatment process is usually completed in just one appointment.

Once our dental team has removed the damaged dental material, we then repair the tooth using composite resin and/or customized restorations. Our team uses metal-free, natural-looking restorations that are designed to stand up to daily wear and tear.

Timely root canal therapy can actually save teeth that would otherwise need to be pulled or would fall out on their own. This treatment preserves the healthy and strong portions of your dental structure, while eliminating persistent infections and damage.

Don’t let fear or anxiety keep you from getting root canal therapy when you need it. This treatment isn’t nearly as scary or intense as it has been made out to be, and our Elmhurst root canal dentists are here to make sure that you have a positive experience in the dentist’s chair. If you have questions, please feel free to give us a call!

Looking For A Natural Relaxation Remedy? Try Dental Spa Therapy With Our Elmhurst Sedation Dentists

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Dental anxiety is a very serious problem, that keeps many dental patients—both young and older—from getting the treatments that they need to stay well. Our Elmhurst dentists do everything we can to put patients at ease, so that they can conquer their fears and achieve healthy and attractive smiles.

One unique relaxation treatment that we offer here in our office is all-natural Dental Spa Therapy. This relaxation protocol combines different therapies in order to help the patient feel calm and comfortable in the dentist’s chair. Many people choose Dental Spa Therapy because it totally drug-free and holistic.

Here are some of the therapies that Dental Spa Treatment utilizes:

Relaxing muscle manipulation—this helps your muscles to release tension

Aromatherapy—soothing scents put your mind at ease and minimizes corporeal tension

Music therapy—we use calming sounds create a calming, patient-friendly atmosphere; music therapy keeps you from feeling like you’re in a traditional dentist’s office.

Chiropractic medicine—bringing your body into healthy alignment helps to minimize tension in the body

Holistic medicine—you may benefit from supplements that diminish your body’s release of stress-related hormones and help you to feel balanced and healthy

Dental Spa Therapy has helped numerous patients enjoy calm and comfortable dental treatments. Additionally, Dental Spa Therapy has a number of whole-body benefits:

· This treatment supports whole-body wellness and balance. Because it is drug-free, Dental Spa Therapy truly works with your body’s natural mechanisms to achieve a calming result.

· The various therapies used in Dental Spa Therapy help to lower blood pressure.

· Dental Spa Therapy also works to reduce inflammation throughout the patient’s body. Inflammation leads to discomfort and inhibits healing.

If you want to learn more about all of your relaxation dentistry options, including all-natural Dental Spa Therapy, our Elmhurst sedation dentists are here to help! Give us a call to schedule your personal consultation.

Jaw pain? Headaches? Dental Chips? Our Elmhurst Dentist Explains Why It Could Be Bruxism

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Too many adults suffer from chronic head/face/neck pain without knowing that bruxism is a potential cause of all of these issues. Bruxism is a surprisingly common condition in which a person grinds or clenches his teeth habitually—this can happen day or night. Bruxism puts an enormous amount of pressure on a patient’s faciocranial structure as a whole.

Our Elmhurst dentist office provides treatment solutions for bruxism, which can help to alleviate pain and discomfort and safeguard your smile. When bruxism goes untreated, your dental enamel may thin and wear down prematurely; your smile will be at risk of developing cavities as well as cracks and chips.

The key to treating bruxism is to pinpoint its underlying cause:

You may be grinding your teeth because your bite surfaces do not come together evenly, and so your top and bottom teeth grind back and forth in order to find a comfortable “resting” position. In this case, orthodontic treatment may be used in order to move your natural teeth and improve your bite surfaces. Our dentist may alternatively recommend building up your bite surfaces with resin or restorations.

Another key cause of bruxism is stress. Luckily, this type of bruxism is often temporary, and once your stress levels are reduced you’re likely to stop grinding.

You may also be exhibiting bruxism because your temporomandibular joint is damaged. The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your skull to your lower jaw. If this joint becomes damaged due to injury or misalignment, you may experience bruxism as a result. Unfortunately, bruxism can further damage your TMJ; sticking you in a vicious cycle.

Have you noticed the signs of bruxism in your own life? If so, don’t wait to contact our Elmhurst dentists for support and treatment recommendations—we look forward to working with you!

Elmhurst Family Dentist Helps You Start Your New Year Off Right With Thoughtful Dental Care

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

As 2017 begins, now is the time to make sure that you are starting your dental routine off right in the new year! Our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you craft a personalized oral health plan that works for you and your life.

Take the opportunity now, while you’re thinking about the year ahead, to schedule your professional dental cleanings for the year. Most dental patients should be completing professional cleanings every six months or so. If you need to be going more frequently, your dentist will help you figure out a better professional cleaning schedule.

Give our office a call to get your professional cleanings on the calendar so that you don’t fall behind!

Now is also a great time to recommit to your daily oral hygiene routine. During the holidays we are prone to indulging in all kinds of sugary treats and drinks. This can lead to an increase in plaque accumulation and tartar build up.

In the new year, make sure that you are brushing your teeth every morning and night and flossing every night. It is most beneficial to floss your teeth at night right before you brush teeth. This allows you to dislodge dental debris and plaque before you brush it away.

Another thing that you can do in order to boost your oral health as well as you overall health is to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated allows your body to produce plenty of saliva; saliva works to neutralize bacteria and remineralize dental enamel!

Our Elmhurst dentists are here to provide you with any additional information that you may need about how to care for your smile, and how to establish a strong oral hygiene routine in the new year. Call our office to get started, or use the Contact Us page on our website in order to get started!


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