Scharfenberg Dental Blog

Learn More From Our Elmhurst Family Dentist About Why Primary Teeth Matter

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Most pediatric patients that our Elmhurst dentists see are excited about their primary teeth for one reason: the tooth fairy. However, baby teeth are good for a lot more than getting a little cash under your pillow. These teeth are developmentally crucial; that’s why it’s so important that you teach your children to care for their baby teeth well. Keep reading to learn more.

The first reason that you want to emphasize proper oral hygiene habits with your child is so that he or she develops strong and sound dental habits. Think of baby teeth as “training teeth.” Your child can learn to brush and floss effectively before their permeant teeth even come in.

Beyond allowing your child to practice good oral hygiene habits, primary teeth also serve an important role as your child matures. It is important for your child to retain his or her baby teeth so that they can learn to speak and enunciate properly. Losing baby teeth prematurely can lead to speech issues.

When your child has healthy baby teeth she will also be able to expand her diet at age appropriate times. Young patients with gaps in their smile struggle to bite and chew normally.

Additionally, primary teeth actually serve as placeholders for the permanent teeth to come. Your child’s baby teeth help to guide permanent teeth into place, and the permanent teeth from shifting or coming in at irregular angles.

The key to quality pediatric dental care is combining diligent at-home maintenance with professional treatments and assessments. Your dentist can give you a better idea of whether you should be emphasizing anything specific as you talk to your child about dental care.

Our Elmhurst dentists are here to answer any questions that you may have, and to help your child’s smile stay on track. Give us a call to speak to a member of our team and to schedule a personal consultation!

 

Our Elmhurst Dentist Explains How Foods And Drinks Can Affect Your Oral Health

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Undoubtedly, the tools and formulations that we use to care for our smiles make a huge difference in how smiles look and feel. But, have you ever thought about how much impact your diet can have on your oral health?

When we snack, or sit down to a meal, we coat our teeth and oral tissues in the things that we eat or drink. As you would imagine, this can affect the health and appearance of our teeth over time. Keep reading to learn more from our Elmhurst dentists.

Perhaps the best known dietary threat to optimal oral health is sugar. The truth is that the bacteria that live in our mouths absolutely love sugar; they use sugar as fuel to grown and multiply! So, when you indulge in a sugary drink or treat, you are giving the harmful oral bacteria in your mouth a boost. That’s why it’s best to limit your consumption of sugar, and to rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking.

Acidic substances can also wreak havoc on your oral health. When you eat or drink something acidic, your dental enamel becomes temporarily softened. During this time period—about twenty to thirty minutes after you stopped eating or drinking—your enamel is more susceptible to sustaining damage. Fruit juices, sodas, coffee, and red wine are all examples of acidic beverages. In order to safeguard your smile from acid, you want to make sure that you don’t brush your teeth for at least a half hour after eating or drinking. Brushing during this time period may actually be too abrasive, and cause inadvertent damage. It’s also helpful to drink some water, and rinse your mouth with water, shortly after acid exposure.

By being thoughtful about your eating habits, you can give your oral health a boost, and help to prevent dental damage in the future. If you want to learn more about how environmental factors, like food, can affect your smile, please give our Elmhurst dentists a call!

Elmhurst Dentist Outlines Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Dental sensitivity often starts out as a nuisance, and then intensifies into a problem that negatively affects the sufferer’s day to day life. The good news is that there are treatments available that can help to prevent sensitivity, and minimize existing discomfort. Our Elmhurst dentists are here with some information about the causes of dental sensitivity; we hope that this information helps you protect your smile moving forward.

In order to understand dental sensitivity, you first have to know how a tooth is designed. A tooth has three layers—the dental enamel, the dentin, and the dental pulp. The enamel is hard, non-porous, and free of nerves—this is the protective layer of the tooth. Below the enamel is the dentin, which is slightly more sensitive and vulnerable. At the center of the tooth is the pulp, which holds nerves, blood vessels, and other tissues.

When you experience dental sensitivity, your dental enamel is not adequately protecting the inner layers of your tooth.

This can happen because your dental enamel is thinning, either due to bruxism, acidic substances, or simply wear and tear.

Your inner tooth may also be vulnerable if your gum tissue has started to recede. As the gum tissue that used to protect the roots of the tooth pulls away, your dental nerves are exposed to cold air, foods, and drinks, which all cause discomfort. Receding gum tissue is often due to gum disease, but you may also be damaging your gum tissue if you are brushing your teeth too aggressively.

Finally, harmful oral bacteria can work their way through your enamel, and create a passageway that allows irritants to reach your inner tooth. In these cases, our team will need to eliminate the infected material, and then restore the tooth with a filling or crown.

With all that modern dentistry has to offer, you absolutely do not have to live with sensitive teeth forever. Our Elmhurst dentists are happy to give you any additional information that you may need—just give us a call to get started!

 


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