Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Wonders of Dental Floss

Besides being one of the best ways to keep teeth healthy (and smiles bright), dental floss is an amazing invention.  The first dental floss was crafted from silk by a New Orleans dentist in 1815.  In 1898, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation received the first patent for dental floss.

Today, about 3-million miles of floss are purchased annually in the U.S.  Unfortunately, we don't use it nearly as often as we should:  only about 12% of us actually floss daily, and 49% of us don't floss at all!

Of course some people have devised some unorthodox uses for dental floss, including shoelaces, cheesecake cutters, picture hangers, fishing lines, travel clotheslines, and kite string.  And then, of course, dental floss comes in handy for prison escapes.  In 1991, prisoners at the Hays County Jail in San Marcos, Texas, braided dental floss to create an escape rope.

At Wilmette Dental, we recommend saving dental floss for teeth...and using it at least twice a day!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Eat, Drink And Keep Smiling!

We all know that too many sweets are bad for teeth.  But there are a few "not so well known" diet tips that can result in a beautiful smile.

Eat carbs at mealtimes.  Carbs, such as breads and chips, break down into the sugars that teeth-harming bacteria love!  However, when carbs are eaten with larger amounts of food (a full meal instead of just a snack),  more saliva is produced and that helps wash away the food particles that attract the nasty bacteria.

Sip with a straw.  Most sodas, sports drinks and juices contain acid that can erode tooth enamel.  Sipping these beverages through a straw that's positioned at the back of the mouth limits their contact with teeth.

Drink tea with snacks.  Tea contains polyphenol, an antioxidant plant compound that prevents plaque from adhering to teeth.

Up Vitamin C intake.  This powerhouse vitamin helps keep teeth and gums healthy.

Don't forget calcium.  Dietary calcium from cheese, milk and yogurt strengthens the alveolar bone in the jaw...that's the bone that helps hold your teeth in place!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Keeping Teeth Clean

“I brush and floss regularly, so do I really need a dental cleaning?”

The answer is a huge YES!!!

And that’s not just me, your dentist, answering. It’s also the American Dental Association (ADA) and perhaps your internist as well.

Poorly cleaned teeth can result in periodontal disease, a serious disintegration of the gum and bone attachment to teeth.  It is estimated that about 75% of adults over age 35 have this disease in varying stages.  Periodontal disease can ultimately cause tooth and gum loss (and forever adversely alter your smile), and has been linked to heart disease, pre-mature births and a host of other serious health problems.

The enemy in periodontal disease is tartar – the rough deposits formed on teeth from a build-up of plaque, the colorless film that constantly forms on teeth and gums. Even the best at-home brushing and flossing won’t eliminate all of the plaque.  Eventually plaque hardens to form tartar,which contains pores that hold the bacteria and toxins that can eventually cause periodontal disease.  The only way to combat tartar is with a professional dental cleaning.

At Wilmette Dental, we rely on the ADA recommendation that for most individuals, tartar build up should be removed every six months.  Of course, certain illnesses, medications, and lifestyle habits (such as smoking or poor nutrition) may call for more frequent cleanings.  Wilmette Dental will work with you to plan a specific hygiene schedule to help protect you against periodontal disease.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Though they eventually end up with the Tooth Fairy, your child’s primary (baby) teeth are just as important as the permanent ones they’ll have when they are older. Primary teeth serve several important functions: they help your child chew properly, aid in learning to speak, and those first teeth act as space markers in the jaw for the permanent teeth that are developing underthe gums.

It’s important to check young children to ensure that teeth and jaws are developing as they should. A child’s first dental visit should ideally occur about six months after the first primary teeth appear. This “well baby” check up for teeth is a chance to look for early signs of tooth decay as well as to learn about the basics of caring for those tiny first teeth.

The first visit should be enjoyable for your child. Wilmette Dental staff tries to make the experience as pleasant as possible, with “rides” in the dental chair, flavored tooth polish and a visit to the treasure box at the end of the visit. Appointments are brief and may include any of the following, depending on the child’s age:

  • · A gentle examination of the teeth, jaw, bite, gums and oral tissues to monitor growth and development; 
  • · A gentle cleaning, which includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar, and stains; 
  • · An assessment of the need for topical fluoride; and, 
  • · A demonstration of how to care for teeth and gums at home. 

Pleasant, short dental visits can build your child’s trust in the dentist, and can prove invaluable if your child needs to be treated later for any dental problem. As a parent, you can help your child feel comfortable with dental visits by setting good examples – make sure you are up to date on cleanings and exams, and speak positively about dental visits.
By starting regular dental visits at an early age, you can help your child have strong, healthy teeth throughout life!

Illinois School Dental Exam Requirement 
Want to make the grade in school this year? Have your child’s teeth examined! The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) now requires youngsters in kindergarten, second and sixth grade to show proof of a recent dental exam.

The ages of kindergarten, second and sixth grade mark critical times in oral development. These are the ages when molars erupt, and it’s the right time for the application of dental fluoride and sealants to help prevent decay, if necessary.

Need the form? Wilmette Dental has the standard Illinois form on file.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dr. Neuhaus’ Prescription for Healthy Gums: Eat More Fish and Nuts

For a delicious way to protect against gum disease, eat more fish and nuts.
According to a recent study, adults who consumed high amounts of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in fish and nuts), compared to adults who did not, were 30 percent less likely to develop gingivitis, and 20 percent less likely to develop periodontitis. This means that simply snacking on nuts and enjoying fish for dinner more often may result in better dental health.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Welcome to Wilmette Dental's Blog!

Wilmette Dental is located in Wilmette right across from the Linden “EL" station in the 4th and Linden business district.  Our practice serves a wide variety of patients: many families and children of all ages, senior citizens and, because of its convenient location next to the train, we also provide service to many commuters.

We offer early morning, evening and Saturday hours to accommodate our working patients and students.  We are always available to patients for those instances when there is a dental emergency.

Dr. Neuhaus' practice philosophy stresses conservative, preventative dentistry.  We do not recommend any treatment without a thorough evaluation of the benefits, drawbacks, costs, and all options.  Our patients are always encouraged to ask questions and be informed about the treatment and all possible alternatives. 

Our practice provides general and preventative dentistry, restorative (including implants, permanent and removable bridgework) and aesthetic services (which include whitening, bonding and veneers).  We do utilize, at appropriate times, some of the excellent dental specialists in the area.

We have a great team of friendly and compassionate staff including 4 highly trained and experienced hygienists in our dental hygiene department.  All staff participate in regular continuing education to keep up with the fast pace of changing techniques, equipment and materials in modern dentistry.f

Please visit our website: www.wilmettedental.com