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Scharfenberg Dental Blog

How To Protect Your Smile When You’re Sick: Our Elmhurst Dentist Explains

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

It is very common for whole-body illness to negatively affect a patient’s smile as well. There a are a number of reasons for this, and our Elmhurst dentists are here to tell you more about them. We hope that you find this information helpful as we muddle through cold and flu season!

The first reason that your smile might suffer while you’re sick is because it’s harder to keep up with your day to day oral hygiene routine. When we’re not feeling well, even the little things, like brushing our teeth on schedule, can start to feel like major chores. Make it easier on yourself during this time by keeping some oral hygiene tools close at hand by your bed—things like floss and water. Try rinsing your mouth with water or mouth rinse throughout the day to quickly and easily refresh your smile. Make an effort to brush your teeth when you are already in the bathroom, so that you are sure to clean your smile even if you don’t feel like getting up regularly.

If you’re vomiting due to illness, you want to take special steps to minimize the amount of dental damage you experience from regurgitated stomach acids. Take the time to rinse your mouth and drink water after you throw up; this dilutes the potency of oral acids and increases the amount of saliva in your mouth.

It’s also crucial that you replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head after illness. Old toothbrushes can harbor bacteria and dental debris, which may lead to re-infection. Don’t take the chance—start fresh with a new toothbrush once you’re well!

Our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you enjoy a strong, healthy smile, even when you’re not feeling your best. Give us a call to get more information, and to schedule a personal consultation with our team. 

Learn More About How Our Elmhurst Dentists Plan And Perform Smile Transformations

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Many patients with severely damaged smiles mistakenly believe that there is nothing that they can do achieve beautiful and healthy smiles. Unfortunately, this results in these patients living with smiles that don’t function well, and don’t make them feel happy and confident.

Our Elmhurst dentists are here to tell you that, in our office, no smile is beyond help. We offer restorative and cosmetic treatments to meet all of our patients’ respective needs. Keep reading to learn more about the process our Elmhurst dentists go through when transforming smiles.

  1. As you may imagine, the first thing that our dentists do in these situations is to perform thorough oral health assessments. We need to understand what kind of dental damage you’re dealing with, as well as the extent of this damage.

  1. Once we have a complete understanding of the current state of your smile, we’ll start evaluating treatments that can be used to make your smile healthy and sound again. In our office, we always prioritize the health of patient’s smile first; once you have a strong dental foundation, we can refine the aesthetics. Repairing damage may entail using dental crowns, dental bonding, dental implants among other treatments. Whenever we use a restorative treatment, we make sure that the results are attractive and natural looking.

  1. Finally, our team may use some aesthetically-focused treatments to enhance the appearance of your smile. You may benefit, for example, from professional dental whitening to minimize existing stains, or gum tissue reshaping to improve the visual balance of your smile. These are the kinds of treatments that give you smile an added boost.

A well-designed restorative treatment plan emphasizes improving oral health, and delivers attractive aesthetic results as a natural result. If you want to learn more about how our Elmhurst dentists transform damaged smiles, please don’t hesitate to contact our team by calling our office, or using the Contact Us page on our website.

Improve Your Smile in 2019; Our Elmhurst Dentists Can Help!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

As you move into the new year, and set your intentions and resolutions for 2019, don’t forget your smile! So many of us get complacent when it comes to our oral hygiene routines; now is the perfect time to get out of your rut!

Our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you achieve your best smile in the coming year. We are here to:

Help you evaluate your existing at-home oral hygiene routine

When you meet with our team, we’ll assess your oral health, and give you a better idea of whether there are things you can do to better care for your smile at home. For some people this means using a specially formulated toothpaste or mouth rinse, for other it means flossing more than once a day. It all depends on what your unique smile needs!

Assist you in planning out your professional treatments and appointments

The American Dental Association recommends that patients complete professional cleanings and assessments every six months or so. Unfortunately, many people fall behind on this schedule, because they get so caught up in busy day to day life. Give our office a call, or talk to us when you’re in for your appointment, so that we can help you make a plan for these appointments. Your smile will thank you!

Promptly treat any existing oral health issues

If you have been putting off treatment for seemingly minor dental issues—like damaged enamel or swollen gum tissue—our team is here to get your smile back on track in a short period of time. You don’t want to let these types of problems go on for too long, as they can compound and become more serious without adequate treatment.

If you have any questions, or you’d like to schedule a consultation with our Elmhurst dentists, just give our office a call!

Learn More From Our Elmhurst Dentists About Dental Sensitivity

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

If you are one of the many people living with dental sensitivity, then you already know how down right annoying this condition can be. You may be limiting your diet or activity level, for example, in order to minimize your risk of dealing with oral sensitivity.

Well, no more! Our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you overcome dental sensitivity, so that you can get back to your best life. Keep reading to learn more:

The first step to treating dental sensitivity is to determine why it’s happening in the first place. Dental sensitivity occurs for a number of reasons:

  • Thinning dental enamel: the sensitive dentin (which sits below the protective enamel) is too exposed, and thus your teeth are irritated.
  • Receding gum tissue: the nerves below your gums and in your jawbone tissue are no longer covered and protected.
  • Existing cavities or infection: oral bacteria have degraded your healthy tooth structure, and irritants are able to infiltrate to the sensitive inner tooth layers.
  • Bruxism: chronic dental grinding or clenching has put pressure on your teeth. In some cases, this leads to visually imperceptible cracks and chips in your teeth.

The treatments that we offer will be catered to meet your specific needs. For example, some treatments, like topical fluoride applications, are designed to strengthen existing natural dental enamel. You may also benefit from protective sealant-type materials that buffer the tooth from potentially irritating agents. Additionally, there are toothpaste and mouth rinse formulations that help to minimize nerve sensitivity day to day.

As you prepare to meet with your dental team, take some notes about when, and under what conditions, you’re prone to experiencing dental sensitivity; this will help us zone in on the ideal treatment protocol for you!

Our Elmhurst dentists are here to answer any questions that you may have, and to help you find lasting relief. We look forward to speaking with you!

Our Elmhurst Dentists Help You Manage Your Smile During The Holidays

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The holidays are upon us, and, for many people, this means that we’re about to be inundated with treats and goodies that may not be great for our smiles. Today, our Elmhurst dentists are giving you some tips on managing your oral health during the holidays. Let’s get started!

The first thing to do is to recognize which types of foods and drinks can lead to dental damage. Generally speaking, those items that have a lot of sugars or refined carbohydrates ramp up bacteria production in your mouth. Additionally, acidic substances weaken your dental enamel, and increase your risk of developing damage and cavities.

  • Once you understand which kinds of foods and drinks are high-risk, you can adjust your eating and drinking habits accordingly. Obviously, it’s best to avoid sugary and acidic substances as much as possible. However, when you do indulge, try to do so in a short, time-limited period, rather than doing so continuously. Keep in mind that oral bacteria stay active and feeding for about 20 to 30 minutes after you’re done eating or drinking; we’re trying to keep this “feeding time” to a minimum.


  • One good habit that you can develop during the holidays is to rinse your teeth with water after you eat. Not only does this dislodge dental debris and food particles, it also prompts your body to release saliva into your mouth. Saliva works to neutralize bacteria and re-mineralize enamel.


  • Take care not to chomp or chew on hard candies or mints. These types of sweets are prevalent during the holidays, and chewing on them can lead to tooth fracture and gum tissue damage.

If you have questions about how to best care for your smile, during the holidays or otherwise, our Elmhurst dentists are here to give you all of the information you need. Give us a call!

Our Elmhurst TMJ Dentists Review Lesser Known Symptoms Of TMJ Dysfunction

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Patients who suffer from Temporomandibular Joint problems can deal with a number of additional oral health problems as a result. This is why it’s so important to seek prompt treatment when TMJ problems first pop up.

Today, our Elmhurst TMJ dentists are going to be reviewing a few of the lesser-known symptoms of TMJ troubles. We hope that this overview empowers you to take control of your oral health, and seek treatment for TMJ dysfunction should you need to.

Many people already know that TMJ dysfunction can cause your jaw to make popping and clicking noises; this condition can also lead to pain and discomfort. However, there also more nebulous TMJ-related issues, such as:

  • Headaches—many TMJ sufferers deal with chronic headaches due to strain on their maxillofacial structures
  • Ear pain—if your temporomandibular joint is poorly aligned or damaged, you may experience pain that radiates all the way up to your ears. What first seems like an ear infection may actually turn out to be related to jaw dysfunction.
  • Tooth pain—as with ear pain, some TMJ sufferers first mistake TMJ-related discomfort for a damaged or infected tooth. Many people who deal with TMJ issues also exhibit bruxism, or chronic dental grinding. This condition can put immense pressure on your teeth and lead to dental discomfort.
  • Premature dental wear—again, since TMJ disorder and bruxism go hand in hand, you may find that bite surfaces become worn down quickly.

When you are able to seek prompt treatment TMJ problems, you can minimize the long-term dental and maxillofacial structure damage that accompanies this disorder. Our Elmhurst TMJ dentists are here to answer any questions that you may have about TMJ problems as well as treatment options. So, please feel free to reach out to our team by phone or through our Contact Us page to get started!

Our Elmhurst Dentists Help Patients Take Manage And Improve Bad Breath

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Nobody wants to deal with bad breath, but the unfortunate truth is that this is a pretty common problem in the dental world. In order to effectively treat bad breath, you have to first understand why it develops. Keep reading to learn more from our Elmhurst dentists

We all deal with bad breath occasionally, when we consume something particularly odorous, like garlic or onions. This type of bad breath is temporary, and not something to be particularly concerned about.

More chronic bad breath, on the other hand, is pretty inconvenient, and can actually indicate a larger oral health problem.

The same harmful oral bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease release unpleasant odors as they grow and multiply. So, if you are noticing frequent bad breath, it may actually be a sign that there are too many bacteria in your mouth.

One reason this occurs is because you are dealing with dry mouth. Saliva is your body’s natural way of neutralizing bacteria freshening your breath, so you really want to encourage saliva production day to day. It is crucial that you drink enough water to stay hydrated. You can even get into the habit of rinsing your mouth with water after eating, as this flushes away dental debris while prompting saliva production.

There are many different breath freshening products on the market today, but you want to take a look at the ingredient list before you pop that mint or chew that gum. Generally speaking, you should look for a sugar-free formulation, since bacteria are actually strengthened when they’re able to eat sugars. Chewing a sugary piece of gum may actually compound your bad breath problem in the long-term.

Our Elmhurst dentists can give you more information about how to manage bad breath and care for your smile day to day at home. Contact our team by phone or through the Contact Us page when you are ready to get started!

Our Elmhurst Dentists Improve Dental Aesthetics And More With Invisalign Treatment

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Our Elmhurst dentists are always looking for ways to improve our practice, as well as the patient experience. We know that using state-of-the-art treatments and technologies allows us to deliver exceptional results, in the most comfortable and convenient way possible.

To that end, we are happy to offer Invisalign orthodontic treatment to our teen and adult cosmetic dentistry patients. Keep reading to learn more about all that Invisalign has to offer.

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment option that offers a welcome alternative to traditional metal braces. This system uses clear plastic aligners to incrementally move teeth into alignment.

With Invisalign you can:

  • Close gaps between your teeth
  • Straighten crooked or crowded teeth
  • Improve bite problems, like underbites, overbites, and crossbites
  • Widen your smile so that it looks more balanced
  • Lessen TMJ and bruxism problems by refining your bite

Invisalign is quite different than conventional orthodontic treatment, because these aligners are:

  • Completely clear, and thus practically invisible once in place
  • Removable, so that you can take your aligners out to clean your smile every morning and night
  • Metal-free, and more comfortable than metal brackets and wires
  • Designed to fit snugly over your smile; they are less bulky than traditional braces

When you come in for a consultation with our Elmhurst Invisalign dentists, we’ll take a look at your smile to determine whether Invisalign can help you meet your dental goals. We’ll also talk to you about your oral health goals. If Invisalign is a good treatment option for you, we’ll take an impression of your smile to serve as the “starting point” for your aligners.

During the treatment process, you will upgrade to a new aligner every two to three weeks. Each aligner moves you a little closer to your dream smile!

Our Elmhurst Invisalign dentists are here to answer any questions that you may have, so don’t hesitate to reach out by phone or through our Contact Us page!

Our Elmhurst Dentists Helps Patients Achieve Healthy Smiles After Sustaining Dental Damage

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Dental damage is never fun to deal with—there are a number of aesthetic and functional dental issues that pop up when your smile is damaged. So, while dealing with oral health problems is never going to be fun, per say, our Elmhurst dentists are here to make it as stress-free as possible. Keep reading to learn more about how we address dental damage with state-of-the-art solutions.

Dental damage can take many forms; you may find that your tooth or gum tissues become infected, that your enamel is fractured, or that you lose adult teeth unexpectedly. The first step to any restorative treatment process is to undergo a thorough evaluation with our dental team. Once we completely assess your oral health, we can start to make personalized recommendations on how you can achieve oral health again.

If you’re dealing with severe damage—that is damage that extends into the core of the tooth—you may require root canal therapy in order to restore your tooth. The purpose of root canal therapy is to remove the infected and damaged material at the core of the tooth. We’re basically trying to preserve any healthy dentin and dental enamel so that we can fill and restore the tooth.

When it’s time to rebuild your tooth, you’ll likely benefit form a customized dental crown. Every crown is designed to mimic the natural shape, color, and size of your real teeth, so once the crown is in place, it blends in seamlessly with your smile. In our office, we use completely metal-free crowns and restorations. We believe that this is the healthy and attractive choice when it comes to dental restorations.

Because every one of our patients is unique, every restorative dental plan is likewise individualized. The best way to get a better idea of how you can restore your smile is to call our Elmhurst dentists and schedule a personal consultation. 

Our Elmhurst Dentists Have Some Back To School Dental Tips For Young Students

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

It’s that time of year again; many of our young patients are gearing up to go back to school! Our Elmhurst dentists have some tips on how you can help the students in your life care for their smiles this year. Keep reading to learn more!

As you get back into the school year routine, make sure that your student is brushing their teeth every morning. Too often, when things get busy, we rush through this step. But, remember, we should be brushing our teeth for at least two minutes every time that we brush. Make it a point to build these two minutes into your morning routine every single morning.

Another thing to consider is what your child is packing for lunch every day. We all know that sugary foods can harm a healthy smile, so you’ll want to keep these to a minimum in your child’s lunch box. There are also some foods that can help boost your oral health: namely crunchy veggies. So, when you include some carrot or celery sticks in your student’s lunch, you’re boosting whole-body wellbeing as well as dental health.

One of the best things that your child can do for his or her smile is perhaps one of the simplest: drink plenty of water throughout the day. When we drink water, we help to flush away plaque and dental debris. Simultaneously, water helps to prompt saliva production, and saliva further neutralizes bacteria and strengthens enamel. Encourage your student to drink water rather than sipping on sugary drinks, and make sure they’re taking plenty of trips to the water fountain during the day.

As always, our Elmhurst dentists are here to give you more guidance and information about helping your child care for his or her smile. The best way to reach us is to give our office a call, or use the Contact Us page on our site to submit an inquiry.

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