Tag Archives: oral health

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.

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.

 

Dental Plaque – The Enemy to Our Teeth

Infant smilingIt’s important to keep you and your children’s teeth clean and healthy, and you can help do this by teaching them how to reduce the amount of plaque on their teeth.

What is plaque?

Plaque is a sticky layer of bacteria-containing film that accumulates on teeth, plaque on teethespecially in places where toothbrushes can’t reach.  Many of the foods that we eat cause the bacteria in the mouth to produce acids.  Sugary foods are obvious sources of plaque, but starches—such as bread, crackers, and cereal—also can cause acids to form.

How does plaque affect the mouth?

Image of plaque on gumsPlaque produces bacteria that irritate the gums, making them red, sensitive, and susceptible to bleeding.  Consistent plaque buildup can cause tooth enamel to wear away, which will result in cavities.  Plaque that is not removed with thorough daily brushing and cleaning between teeth eventually can harden into calculus or tartar.  This makes it more difficult to keep the teeth clean.

When tartar collects above the gumline, the gum tissue can become swollen and may bleed easily.  This is called gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease.  You can prevent plaque buildup and keep teeth cavity-free by regularly visiting Dr. Marinic, brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and cleaning between the teeth with dental floss daily.

How can I reduce the plaque on my teeth and my child’s teeth?

The best way to remove plaque is by teaching your child to brush his or herParent and child brushing teeth teeth, just like you do, for at least two minutes twice per day.  Brushing removes the plaque from tooth surfaces.  Be sure to show your child how to use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and instruct them to use a proper circular motion when brushing teeth and gums.  Make sure to teach your child to brush the tongue as well; this removes bacteria and freshens breath.

Mother and child flossing togetherYou can teach your child to remove plaque from between his or her teeth by using floss once a day.  Start flossing between your child’s teeth as soon as they have two teeth that touch each other (after 1 year old).  Your child should continue to floss as they grow older so that it becomes part of their oral hygiene routine.  In addition to brushing, daily flossing is essential for preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

How can my child and I maintain good oral hygiene?

Lead by example and practice good oral hygiene yourself!

Teach your child about the importance of good oral hygiene, and be sure that you and your child brush their teeth for at least two minutes twice per day.  In addition to brushing, you and your child should floss at least once per day.

Further, be sure that you and your child go to Dr. Marinic’s dental office for cleanings and checkups.  Getting you and your child’s teeth cleaned regularly can help prevent gum disease, remove tartar and plaque buildup, and eliminate stains that regular brushing and flossing can’t.  Dr. Marinic also can examine you and your child’s entire mouth and detect issues early—before they become bigger, more painful problems.

Is Everything OK in Your Mouth?

Dorothy cleaningRegular dental exams not only help decrease your risk of oral diseases, such as cavities and gum (periodontal) disease, but may also help to diagnose other, sometimes life-threatening, medical conditions.  Dr. Marinic is an important part of your health care team.  He is able to assess your overall oral health and may recognize symptoms of serious diseases, including diabetes and cancer, which often manifest as signs and symptoms inside your mouth.  There are many diseases with oral manifestations that, in many cases, may first present in the mouth.

Diabetes

More than 25 million people in the United States suffer from diabetes. Diabetes is associated with high levels of blood sugar and is known to lower resistancGum diseasee to infection and increase the chance of the following:

  • Gum disease, including gums that bleed easily or are tender and swollen
  • Tooth decay
  • Taste impairment
  • Inflammatory skin disease
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Changes in teeth position

Additionally, patients with diabetes (especially those with dentures) are more likely to experience oral fungal infections, including thrush (oral candidiasis).

Oral cancer

During your regularly scheduled dental check up, Dr. Marinic will also search for signs of oral cancer.  Oral indicators of cancer include:Oral cancer

  • Sores that bleed easily or do not heal
  • Crusted, rough areas of skin
  • Lumps or thick hard spots
  • Red, brown, or white patches
  • Changes in the lymph nodes or other tissues around the mouth and neck
  • Tenderness or pain, numbness inside the mouth
  • Changes in the way the teeth fit together

While Dr. Marinic will check all his patients for these signs and symptoms, patients with a history of smoking, using smokeless tobacco, or drinking heavily are at an increased risk for developing oral cancer.

Eating disorders

Eating disorderEating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, physically damage both your oral and overall health.  These disorders, which include patterns of insufficient food intake or excessive food intake with purging, can rob the body of much needed vitamins and minerals.  These vitamin and mineral deficiencies can present themselves orally.   Without proper nutrition, the gums can lose their healthy pink color and become increasingly soft and tender, bleeding easily.

Additionally, disorders that involve excessive vomiting, such as bulimia, can cause discoloration and erosion of the teeth through constant contact with stomach acid. Those with eating disorders may also experience:

  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Dry mouth
  • Thin, sensitive teeth
  • Loss of tooth enamel

Alcohol use disorders

Alcohol use disorders affect more than 17 million adults in the United StatesAlcoholic beverages alone.  In addition to causing irreparable social and medical problems, alcohol use disorders can severely impact your oral health.  Dentists treating patients with alcohol abuse problems may observe the following signs and symptoms:

  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth erosion
  • Moderate to severe gingivitis (gum disease)
  • Gum irregularities
  • Poor dental hygiene

Be proactive about your oral health

Diseases that negatively impact your general health also can damage your teeth, gums, and mouth.  Regularly scheduled dental exams allow Dr. Marinic to detect or monitor these diseases and recommend treatment.  Patients should inform Dr. Marinic about all medical conditions they have or medicines they are taking, which may affect their oral health.  Remember, maintaining a healthy body includes taking care of your oral health.