A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…


silver filling jpegHave you ever been to the dentist and he or she explains to you that you need to have work done. All you can do is trust the dentist, right? Wrong. Many dentist use an intra-oral camera to take pictures of your teeth. They can show you the area of concern.

It is not uncommon to have decay on your tooth that is clearly visible, but it doesn’t show-up on xrays. This occurs most often when old silver or amalgam fillings are present. The metal in the filling masks the decay that is present.

So the next time you don’t understand what the dentist is saying, ask him or her to show you with a photo!

Should I Use a Mouthwash?

People use mouthwash for a variety of uses, from freshening breath to preventing tooth decay. Swishing daily with mouthwash can help you maintain great oral health by killing the germs and bacteria that linger in your mouth and between your teeth. Here are a few pointers about mouthwash and how it might help to improve your overall oral health.

Mouth washWhat is mouthwash?
Mouthwash or mouthrinse is an oral hygiene product that you can
use in addition to brushing and flossing.  Generally, these oral rinses are classified as cosmetic, therapeutic, or a combination of both.

Cosmetic mouthwashes can remove oral debris, temporarily suppress bad breath, and refresh the mouth with a pleasant taste. In addition to these benefits, therapeutic mouthwashes—including antiseptic, anti-plaque, and anti-cavity formulas—include ingredients to protect against oral disease. Antiseptic and anti-plaque mouthwashes can kill the germs that cause plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath, while anti-cavity formulas use fluoride to prevent and reduce tooth decay.

How do I use mouthwash?
First, make sure that you brush and floss your teeth well. Your teeth should be as clean as possible in order to reap the full benefits of your mouthwash.
Once you’re ready to rinse, measure the proper amount as specified on
the container, or as instructed by your dentist. With your lips closed and your
teeth apart, swish the liquid around your mouth. Many formulas suggest swishing for 30 seconds or more. Finally, thoroughly spit the liquid from your mouth. If you’re using an anti-cavity mouthwash, do not rinse, eat, or smoke for 30 minutes after use.

Does mouthwash have any side effects?
Side effects may vary, depending on which formula you use. If you experience
any irritating or adverse reactions to mouthwash, immediately stop using it
and speak with your dentist. Most anti-cavity rinses contain sodium
fluoride, which can lead to fluoride toxicity if taken excessively or swallowed. Because children tend to swallow mouthwash accidentally, they should not use anticavity formulas before age 6, and children older than age 6 should use them only with adult supervision.

Suffering From Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth (also called xerostomia) is caused by a decrease in the amount of saliva in the mouth when the salivary glands do not work properly. The salivary glands help keep your mouth moist, which helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems. Saliva helps wash away cavity-causing bacteria, provides enzymes to help digest food, protects teeth from decay by neutralizing harmful acids and keeps oral tissues healthy. Without saliva you would lose your teeth much faster

Dry mouthWhat causes Dry Mouth?
Prescription and over-the-counter medications are the most common cause. There are over 400 medications that can cause it, but the most common culprits are antihypertensives, antidepressants, painkillers, tranquilizers, diuretics and antihistamines. It can also happen when you are under stress or be a sign of a serious health condition. Other causes include radiation therapy and chemotherapy or diseases such as AIDS, diabetes or Sjogren’s syndrome.

Dry mouth can cause several problems including difficulty in tasting, chewing or swallowing. It also allows plaque to build up on your teeth faster leading to a high risk of cavities. It can also lead to bad breath, ulceration or soreness of the mouth, gum disease and difficulty in wearing dentures.

How do I treat dry mouth?Dry mouth relief
Many treatments can help ease the symptoms of dry mouth, including over-the-counter saliva substitutes. Remember to brush and floss twice a day. You may also chew sugar-free gum. Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine, smoking, acidic juices, dry foods, and overly salty foods. Drink plenty of water and maintain regular dental visits.

Forgot to Floss? It’s Not Too Late!

You know you need to floss everyday…but you forgot the last week. So why bother flossing now?

Flossing techniquesFlossing daily helps control tartar build-up on your teeth. Plaque is continually developing on your teeth which causes cavities and gum disease. By flossing you remove the colonies of bacteria and germs so they don’t accumulate quite so long. Even flossing two or three times a week helps. So it’s never too late to start flossing.

No time to floss? It doesn’t have to be right before bed. You can floss in the morning, or anytime during the day. Keep the floss by your favorite chair so you can do it when watching TV. It’s more important to do it, rather than what time of day it is done.

The proper technique for flossing is important also. Make sure to form a “c” around your tooth and bring the floss up and down on the sides of the teeth, not just between the teeth. Do your gums bleed when you floss? By using the “c” technique, you will prevent the floss from cutting the gums. The bleeding may also be caused by inflammation from the accumulated bacteria. It should go away within a week or two of regular flossing.Plastic floss holder

Everyone, including kids should floss.  Does arthritis or a lack of dexterity keep you from flossing? Try using a plastic floss holder.  Do you have a bridge or braces?  Use a floss threader.  Just keep on flossing!

Which Toothpaste is Right for You?

toothpasteTo start, any toothpaste you buy should have fluoride because it prevents dental decay.

From there, it may be a challenge to pick your toothpaste because there are many types in any given drugstore! Every person has different needs at wants. What you need to figure out is what you want out of your toothpaste.

Do you want a brighter smile? If so, opt for whitening toothpaste which contains peroxide to give your smile a boost.

Are your teeth sensitive? There are quite a few toothpastes that work to desensitize your teeth. The brands with sodium nitrate will help keep your enamel strong.

Does normal toothpaste irritate your mouth? Herbal toothpaste caters to people who have problems with regular toothpaste. It also appeals to people living green.

Once you fine the tooth you need, remember to keep a regular routine. Brush after every meal, and floss daily!

Anxious About Going to the Dentist?

Evanston Dentist AnxietyLots of people are anxious about going to the dentist.  There are many different reasons why some people are anxious, including the fear of finding a cavity, worrying about the effectiveness of localized anesthetic and feeling like the dentist is rushed or is neglecting your concerns. Other factors include anticipation of pain, the cost of the procedure, past experiences and even the sterile smell of the dental office. Interrupting the normal day’s routine to visit the dentist also is a factor in general anxiety. If not addressed, dental anxiety can lead to unnecessary oral health problems as a result of avoiding the dentist, which in turn can end up leading to much more time spent in the dental chair when treatment is the only option.

If you are looking for a dentist, ask friends and relatives for recommendations. A glowing review from someone you trust about a dentist can significantly reduce anxiety.   Most of our new patients are referred by friends and family.

If you are seeing a new dentist for the first time, schedule an appointment for a visit.  It’s almost like a first date.  Take the opportunity to ask this dentist a few questions, and be sure to Happy patientaddress your concerns. You’ll find that Dr. Marinic takes the time to speak with you about your concerns and is very understanding when it comes to addressing your fears.

What is the Scoop on Xylitol?

Xylitol has been appearing more regularly in foods and candies and it claims it helps reduce cavities. What is it and is this true?

First, Xylitol is a sugar alcohol sweetener that is found in birch tree bark, beets,corncobs, raspberries, mushrooms, and other natural sources. Its sweetness is equal to that of sugar, but it has about 40 percent fewer calories, making it a popular sugarfree substitute. Xylitol not only cuts calories, it also cuts cavities!

How does xylitol prevent cavities?

Evanston Dentist xylitol

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, xylitol helps prevent Streptococcus mutans, the primary bacterium associated with dental caries, from attaching to teeth and tissues in the mouth. Xylitol cannot be metabolized by bacteria; as a result, the process that creates harmful, enamel-eating acids is drastically slowed. Regular use of xylitol has been shown to help reduce dental plaque—the first stage of cavity development, tartar formation, and tooth staining—and promote better oral health.

How often must I use xylitol for it to be effective?
Xylitol is a natural and convenient way to supplement daily dental care. Xylitol gum or mints used three to five times daily (for a total intake of 5 grams) is considered optimal. Because frequency and duration of exposure is important, gum should be chewed for approximately five minutes and mints should be allowed to dissolve. Dentists recommend using xylitol immediately after meals and snacks to help reduce plaque, inhibit adhesion of bacteria to the teeth, and reduce contact time of sugar on teeth.

Has xylitol been evaluated for safety?
Yes. Human consumption of xylitol has been confirmed for safety by a number of agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization’s Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives, and the EuropeanUnion’s Scientific Committee on Food. Pet owners should note, however, that xylitol is harmful to dogs. To prevent xylitol poisoning, dog owners should be aware of products that contain xylitol as a sweetener, and keep those products out of the reach of their dogs.

Evanston Dentist xylitol

What products contain xylitol and how do I find them?

Products containing xylitol have been available in the United States for a number of years. Only recently has its use become mainstream. Today, xylitol can be readily found in chewing gums, toothpastes, mouthwashes and other oral care products, candies, and some pharmaceuticals. On food labels, xylitol is classified broadly as a carbohydrate and more narrowly as a polyol.  Products containing xylito

l have been available in the United States for a number of years. Only recently has its use become mainstream. Today, xylitol can be readily found in chewing gums, toothpastes, mouthwashes and other oral care products, candies, and some pharmaceuticals. On food labels, xylitol is classified broadly as a carbohydrate and more narrowly as a polyol.

Add a Dental Visit to This Year’s Spring-Cleaning List.

Evanston Dentist CleaningA professional dental cleaning at least twice a year can improve your oral health, reports the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing dental education.

A prophylaxis, also known as a ‘prophy’ or professional dental cleaning, is an important part of your at-home oral health regimen.   It is designed to preserve the health of your teeth and gums, prevent the spread of disease and give the dentist an opportunity diagnose areas in the mouth that may need attention.”

According to the AGD it is strongly recommended that a dentist or hygienist perform a dental cleaning every three to six months. People who have healthy teeth and gums typically do not experience soreness after a cleaning.  Those with less-than-perfect oral hygiene habits may experience discomfort or heightened sensitivity during a dental cleaning. The dentist can use a topical anesthetic before the cleaning to alleviate pain.  It may also be beneficial for you to schedule more frequent hygiene appointments (every 3-4 months) until you are able to perfect your oral hygiene skills.

 

We Are Excited to Welcome Dede as our Newest Hygienist!

Evanston Dentist Dede HygienistYou may recognize Dede. She has been filling in at our office for the last 10 years. We hare thrilled to have her as our hygienist on Tuesdays!

Dede has been taking care of patients for almost 25 years. She has a passion for oral health and strives to make each visit comfortable and relaxing. She loves everything about dentistry, but most of all she loves the one-on-one care she is able to give to her patients. She strongly believes in educating her patients to help them improve their oral health as well as their overall health.

Dede was born and raised on the North Shore and has known Dr. Marinic since they were in high school! She is very active and enjoys spending time with family and friends. In her spare time she likes to read, exercise, and walk their dog.

Dede is excited to share her passion for dentistry with Dr. Marinic and his team.

Do I Really Need to Wear an Athletic Mouthguard?

Athletic mouthguardAn athletic mouthguard is a flexible appliance that is worn during athletic and recreational activities to protect teeth from trauma.

Custom-fabricated mouthguards are essential for preventing athletic oral/facial injuries, such as broken teeth and jaw fractures. Mouthguards should be worn when participating in activities such as basketball, softball, football, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, in-line skating, martial arts, skateboarding and bicycling(especially mountain biking or BMX). Don’t forget the winter sports such as hockey, skiing and ice skating.

You should wear a mouthguard anytime there is a strong chance for contact with other participants or with hard surfaces. According to the National Youth Sports Foundation for the Prevention of Athletic Injuries, Inc., dental injuries are the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during sports-related activities.

What kind of mouthguard do I need?

There are three types of mouthguards. The stock mouthguard is the least expensive and offers the least protection. This mouthguard requires the user to close their jaw to hold it in place so it may interfere with speech and breathing. This type of device is acceptable for facial protection.

How mouthguards help to protect athletesThe mouth-formed mouthguard is softened in hot water, placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth by using a finger or tongue and sometimes biting pressure. This provides some degree of protection but it usually will be bulky and have a loose fit. This is the most convenient for children since they are growing and their mouth changes rapidly.

A custom-made mouthguard made by your dentist is the best choice for the best protection, fit and comfort. Since it is made from a model of your teeth it stays is place and is the least bulky of all the options.