Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Bite Of Rock And Roll History


One man’s rotten tooth is another man’s treasure.  That’s the case for one of Beatle John Lennon’s pearly whites -- actually an unhealthy brown molar covered with tartar.  The tooth was sold at auction last November for $31,000 to Canadian Dentist Michael Zuk.  Dr. Zuk is a collector of animal teeth and celebrity memorabilia, and jumped at the chance to purchase this unusual piece of rock and roll dental history.

The tooth’s tale goes back to 1968 when John Lennon, after visiting his dentist, gave the extracted tooth to his housekeeper asking her to dispose of it, “or better still, give it to your daughter as a souvenir.”  Instead, the housekeeper kept the tooth with her over the years, but last fall, at age 90, decided to let the valuable piece of oral history go to auction, even providing an affidavit to confirm its authenticity.

What does one do with an almost 70 year old rotted piece of history?  Dr. Zuk plans to have the tooth mounted for display in his office.  He also plans to loan it out to dentists, dental schools, and anyone else interested in showcasing it.  

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact any of our dental team directly at office@wilmettedental.com.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Ultimate Holiday Bling: Tooth Tattoos

(Courtesy Times of India) 
Want to be the talk of this year's holiday celebrations? Try a temporary “tooth tattoo.”

Though this unique form of self-expression has been around for more than a decade, tooth tattoos have recently come into fashion in Japan. Japanese girls preparing for a special occasion often have tooth tattoos applied, as well as matching nail art for a total “personal statement.”  And, like many other Japanese fads, trend spotters expect this one to quickly travel west.  

In fact, to celebrate the marriage of Kate Middleton and Prince William, a male plumber in England made headlines when he had tiny pictures of the royal couple tattooed temporarily onto his teeth.  

Temporary tooth tattoos are glued on to the teeth with a special water resistant adhesive that fixes to the tooth enamel.  The glue is strong enough to withstand eating and light brushing, yet gentle enough to not damage tooth enamel.  The tattoos only last a few days, and experts caution that they shouldn’t be used too often (teeth should get a “break” between tattoos).

Will the temporary tooth tattoo fad find its way to the North Shore?  That’s doubtful as most patients prefer to stick with clean, white teeth.  But some fads are irresistible.  (Ask to see old photos of me wearing striped bell bottoms back in the 70s!)   

If you are looking for a dentist in the Chicago area, Wilmette Dental is accepting new patients.  Feel free to call our office at 847-251-0085 or request an appointment online.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Stem Cells May Come From Your Mouth

These are endothelial cells derived by indirect lineage conversion from human fibroblasts (skin cells). Cell nuclei are in blue; proteins that are hallmarks of endothelial cells are green and red. (Credit: Image: Courtesy of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies)

Researchers in Japan working with dogs have recently been able to regenerate bone between canine parents and their offspring by grafting stem cells extracted from teeth and dental pulp.  This finding means that one day, stem cells used for a variety of medical purposes might possibly be obtained from oral sources.



While much more work needs to be done before dental stem cells can be used to promote new bone growth in humans, the study does highlight the promise of obtaining stem cells from unusual sources, such as teeth. 



It never ceases to amaze me how science is constantly connecting teeth and gums to new medical breakthroughs.  Dentistry is definitely an exciting field!

If you are looking for a dentist in the Chicago area, please consider Wilmette Dental, a North Shore tradition in family dentistry for more than 30 years.  .  Feel free to call our office at 847-251-0085 or request an appointment online at www.wilmettedental.com.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Miracle Mouthwash

(Photo Courtesy of The Earthy Report)

Preventing tooth decay may be as easy as rinsing with a revolutionary new mouthwash developed by a scientist at the UCLA School of Dentistry.   The mouthwash is the product of nearly a decade of research conducted on new antimicrobial technology -- “smart bombs” that eliminate specific harmful bacteria and remain effective for an extended period.  The mouthwash contains a type of antimicrobial peptide that targets Streptococcus mutans bacteria, the principal cause of tooth decay and cavities.


In a recent clinical trial, 12 subjects who rinsed just one time with the experimental mouthwash experienced a nearly complete elimination of the S mutans bacteria over the entire four day testing period.  Based on the success of this limited study, scientists will work with the FDA on more extensive trials.  



If the FDA ultimately approves the mouthwash for general use, it will be the first such tooth decay fighting drug since fluoride was licensed nearly 60 years ago.-- and has the potential of wiping out tooth decay in this lifetime.  Moreover, this groundbreaking antimicrobial technology for teeth may lay the foundation for developing more “smart bomb” drugs to fight other diseases.  

If you are looking for a dentist in the Chicago area, Wilmette Dental is accepting new patients.  Feel free to call our office at 847-251-0085 or request an appointment online

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wilmette Dental featured in Wilmette Life Newspaper!

Wilmette Dental is honored to be featured in the business section of this week's Wilmette Life (Sun-Times Media)!


Family friendly dental practice has been in neighborhood since late ’30s

BY JACKIE PILOSSOPH | Contributor December 4, 2012 9:18AM

WILMETTE — “You know you’re from east Wilmette if Dr. Chinnock was your first dentist.”
That’s what Michelle Giczewski hears around town about the dental practice her grandfather, Gordon Chinnock started in Wilmette in 1937.
The practice is now owned by Dr. Peter Neuhaus, D.D.S. and called Wilmette Dental.
I think my grandfather had such a commitment to the community and his patients, and he treated it like an extended family,” said Giczewski, who is a patient at Wilmette Dental, along with her husband and children. “So when it was time to choose a successor, so much diligent thought and interviewing went into who would take his place. He handpicked who would take over.”
When he retired, Chinnock sold the practice to Dr. Stephen Graham, who hired Neuhaus in 1990. Graham retired in 1993.
“We have generations of patients, some who can be traced back four generations,C said Neuhaus, who graduated from University of Illinois college of Dentistry and who worked in private practice in the city for several years prior to joining Wilmette Dental, “I get such a kick out of seeing Chinnock’s patients, some who still have the dental work he did in their mouths.”
Wilmette Dental offers preventative, routine and cosmetic dental care for adults and children. Services include cleanings, fillings, root canal therapy, crowns, gum treatments, tooth whitening, bonding and veneers.
Along with Neuhaus, the practice has a full-time hygienist, dental assistant and office manager. Neuhaus’s wife, Anne, also works for the practice in marketing, customer service and website management.
“This practice is a North Shore tradition,” said Anne, “We’re a neighborhood, family friendly practice and we truly care about our patients.”
“Dr. Neuhaus is the most reliable, competent doctor I know,” said Frank Jamora, who has been a patient since 1993. “I once broke a tooth in China and I didn’t trust anyone else to fix it, so I waited until I got back to have Dr. Neuhaus fix it.”
“My husband chats with each and every patient at length,” said Anne, “We really get to know all our patients on a personal level and that’s something you don’t see a lot.”
Peter Neuhaus also believes strongly in keeping up with the newest trends in dentistry, such as single tooth anesthesia, where the patient has no numbness of soft tissue, like the lip or tongue. However, when it comes to technology, it’s not all about the wow factor, and that durability and safety are high priorities.
Preventative care is also important to Neuhaus.
“It’s about staying on top of things before they turn into something expensive and painful,” he said, “For instance, having your teeth cleaned and checked every six months really is important.”
Wilmette Dental, located on Linden Avenue has been in the same location since 1980. Chinnock’s original practice was across the street, until a fire in 1979 destroyed the building.
“I love this neighborhood,” said Anne. “It’s gone through some rough times, but it’s getting such a resurgence now. The beauty of this practice is that it’s been here forever.”
“My work is so rewarding and meaningful,” said Neuhaus. “We really enjoy coming to work and helping our patients.”
“I’m not surprised that the practice continues to do so well,” said Giczewski, “There’s longevity of the patients here, but also, this has always been and still is a caring practice that’s active in the community.”

Floss -- A Jailer's Nightmare



Photo By Steven Kayser -- Courtesy of AP
Dental floss may well be considered “public enemy #1” when it comes to jailbreaks.  Last month, a group of New York prisoners sued for access to dental floss -- a demand officials said they had to give serious consideration to because of “security issues.” Their reluctance to fork over the floss is because many a jailbreak attempt has been tied, literally, to dental floss.

In Texas, guards believe a prisoner used floss to cut his way out of his cell, then jump and kill a fellow inmate.  In Maryland, Illinois, West Virginia and Wisconsin, inmates have been caught with large amounts of floss that had been braided into ropes for planned escapes.  One clever Illinois inmate used dental floss to stitch together a life-size dummy that he left in his bed to throw off guards when he escaped.  And, many an inmate has fashioned floss into devices used to hoist contraband from one cell to another.  

One successful floss escape occurred in 1991 at the Hays County Jail in Illinois when three prisoners bought hundreds of yards of floss from the prison store and braided it into a makeshift ladder incorporating used cardboard salt and pepper containers for stirrups.  


“It was ingenious,” said U.S. Attorney Gerald Carruth of the creation. “That dental floss is strong.” (The men were caught.)


No wonder floss is a prison guard’s worst nightmare.

To prove -- or dispel -- the floss-to-escape theory, an episode of the science TV show "Mythbusters" set up an experiment using a floss-equipped robot to test whether floss — combined with toothpaste to make it more abrasive — could really saw through a bar on a jail cell.  The result:  it IS possible, given 300 days at eight hours a day, just the kind of time that an inmate might have.

“Inmates can make a weapon out of a chewing gum wrapper,” says Steven Kayser, whose company sells “Floss Loops,” a floss product advertised as prison safe.  Floss Loops are small rubbery circles, with no hard plastic, that is specifically designed to break before it can be used as a weapon.

Regulations of dental floss in prisons vary around the country.  California allows only Floss Loops.  New York’s state prison permits floss -- but only the unwaxed kind, which they consider less strong than the waxed version.

The bottom line on floss is that it can be your best weapon against tooth decay...and an even better weapon for a jailbreak!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Did The Pilgrims Brush And Floss?



Dentistry as we know it today didn't exist back in the days of the pilgrims.  But, that doesn't mean the first American settlers ignored oral hygiene.

Researchers tell us that the Plymouth colonists likely used twig or bone, plus animal hair to fashion a sort of toothbrush.

It's also believed that they used salt to remove the grime from their teeth.  Their counterparts, the Wampanoag Indians probably used yarrow root, leaves and twigs to keep their teeth clean.

Actually, though, tooth decay may not have been as problematic back then as it is today. Guests at the first Thanksgiving ate a healthy meal of natural foods, including cranberries, vegetables, deer and other roasted meats, shellfish and corn.  There were no pecan and pumpkin pies, no pans of brownies and the many other sugary, decay-causing treats that have become part of our modern Thanksgiving holiday.  
So, do you pass on that piece of pumpkin pie in the name of dental health?  Of course not. But, follow that big meal with a good brushing and flossing.  Remember to brush and floss after every meal, and feel free to indulge in treats as you feel the need -- but don't go crazy. Good at-home oral hygiene and a little moderation will keep you giving thanks for a healthy, beautiful smile.

The staff of Wilmette Dental wishes you a most happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ancient Dental Find




(National Geographic Photo)
Researchers in Italy believe they have uncovered evidence of ancient dentistry in the form of a 6,500 year old human jaw bone that actually holds a tooth containing traces of beeswax filling.  

The scientists who discovered the prehistoric example of dentistry suspect that the beeswax may have been applied to reduce the pain and sensitivity of an apparent vertical crack in the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth.  Even more fascinating is what scientists believe was the cause of the tooth damage:  most likely, weaving.  Our prehistoric ancestors used their teeth for many things other than just eating.  Weaving was a common practice among Neolithic women who used their teeth to cut and hold the thread.  

Evidence of prehistoric dentistry is sparse, and this new specimen, found in Slovenia, a country bordering Italy, is the earliest known direct example of therapeutic-palliative dental filling.  Researchers say it will be extremely useful in understanding ancient European dentistry.  

But Wilmette Dental believes the biggest impact of this find is to make us appreciate all that modern dentistry has to offer, including far better filling options than beeswax!


If you are looking for a dentist in the Chicago area, please consider Wilmette Dental, a North Shore tradition in family dentistry for more than 30 years.   Feel free to call our office at 847-251-0085 or request an appointment online at www.wilmettedental.com.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Halloween Look at Fangs

As a dentist, it’s amusing to me that a key part of Halloween has to do with teeth...fangs, those sharp, pointed teeth that made Count Dracula king of the horror movies.  

Off the silver screen, and in the wild, a fang is a long, pointed tooth used to tear flesh, hold prey and even inject venom. In mammals, a fang is a canine tooth that’s used for biting and ripping apart flesh. In snakes, fangs are the vehicles through which venom is injected.  Apes also have fangs, which they use for threats and fighting.  Even spiders have fangs.  Fangs are most common in carnivores and omnivores, but some herbivores, such as fruit bats, carry them as well.

Do humans have fangs?  The answer is no.  However, humans do have canine teeth -- the third tooth on each side of the upper center, and in some people, those canines can be very sharp and pointed, almost fang-like.  But, they’re just teeth -- not fangs -- so no need to purchase garlic or wooden stakes.  Occasionally, a patient will be concerned about the appearance of “fangs,” and we can easily file them down to achieve a more normal look.   

So where did fang and vampire folklore originate?  Vampires are mythological beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence (usually blood) of living creatures.  Although vampire-like creatures have been recorded in many cultures, and may even go back to prehistoric times, the term vampire became popular in the early 18th century, after an influx of vampire superstition into Western Europe from areas where vampire legends were frequent, such as the Balkans and Eastern Europe. This increased level of vampire superstition in Europe led to mass hysteria, and in some cases resulted in corpses actually being staked and people being accused of vampirism.

However, it is Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula that is the quintessential vampire novel and the basis of modern vampire fiction.  In fact, a few years ago, I visited the very spooky ruined Benedictine Whitby Abbey in Whitby, England, a small town on the North Sea, that is said to have been the inspiration for Bram Stoker.  The ruined abbey sits high atop a hill overlooking the sea, and though I know vampires aren’t real, it is definitely a place I wouldn’t want to visit after dark!

I wish all my readers a fun and safe Halloween...enjoy a scary movie -- especially one that features fangs!


If you are looking for a dentist in the Chicago area, please consider Wilmette Dental, a North Shore tradition in family dentistry for more than 30 years.   Feel free to call our office at 847-251-0085 or request an appointment online at www.wilmettedental.com.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Scary Snacks At The Movies


Want a real horror story this Halloween?  

A trip to the concession stand at your local movie theatre may be scarier than what’s on the screen.  The sugary, sticky, buttery snacks that we crave at the movies play a big role in tooth damage, staining and decay, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).  


Here’s a look at the worst movie snacks, and some better alternatives, as recommended by the AACD:

Worst:

Popcorn:  In addition to the gut-busting butter, crunching down on un-popped kernels can fracture teeth.  And, popcorn husks are notorious for lodging between back teeth and gums.  Often, they have to be removed by a dentist, and impacted husks are notorious for causing infections.

Sour Candies:  These candies are extremely high in citric, fumaric and malic acids -- all of which can seriously damage tooth enamel.

Caramels:  Caramel is super sticky, enabling it to adhere to teeth for long periods -- and that let’s harmful bacteria grow.  Worse, many a filling and crown have been lost to a sticky Milk Dud.

Fruit/Nut-based Candies:  They may seem healthy, but those Raisinets and Goobers are deceiving.  They’re loaded with sugar.

Candy-Coated Chocolates:  While not as sticky as other sweets, the colored candy shell on the outside of a classic M&M can stain teeth.

Soda:  Really a poor snack for two reasons.  First, those giant movie sodas contain a huge amount of sugar.  Second, most are highly acidic.  On the pH scale, the lower the number, the higher the level of acid.  Water is neutral at a 7...battery acid is a 1...and soda is at -- and in some cases below -- a 3!  

Better:

Dark Chocolate:  Packed with healthy antioxidants, dark chocolate is a much better alternative to milk chocolate.

Pixie Stix:  Believe it or not, these treats are better because they’re poured directly on the tongue, greatly reducing harmful exposure to teeth.

Cheese Nachos: High in fat, yes, but they’re a more reasonable choice because the sugar content isn’t over the roof, they are not acidic, and are relatively easy to chew.

Water:  Stick to water or club soda instead of a sugary, acidic soft drink. Your teeth and gums -- and body overall -- will thank you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Vote For The Best Smile !

Just in time for tomorrow’s presidential debate comes word that the brightness of political candidates’ teeth actually impacts their election success.  

In a study sponsored by the makers of an oral whitening product, researchers analyzed photos taken of past presidential candidates on the campaign trail, and concluded that there is a correlation between teeth whiteness and electability.  

The study compared the relative whiteness of past candidate’s teeth, keeping it an “even playing field” by adjusting the color of photos taken over the years to control for changes in ambient lighting and environmental conditions.  Photos going back to 1992 showed that the candidate with the whiter teeth won the election.  

When Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas, he had a much whiter smile than incumbent President George H.W.Bush.  Clinton, of course, won -- and did the same four years later against Bob Dole, who had a less bright smile.  In 2000, George W. Bush had a smile just slightly whiter than that of Al Gore -- perhaps a portent of the narrow victory Bush would claim that November.  But, four years later, President Bush had a decidedly brighter smile than that of Sen. John Kerry.  

What’s the verdict for 2012?  At the time of the study, researchers declared President Barack Obama’s teeth to be slightly brighter than those of Mitt Romney. Of course, thanks to modern dentistry’s remarkable whitening treatments, that could change overnight -- literally -- for either candidate.

Monday, September 10, 2012

NASA'S LATEST TOOL: THE TOOTHBRUSH !

The many uses of an ordinary toothbrush never cease to amaze.  Just last week from Cape Canaveral came news that a stubborn bolt on the International Space Station was fixed by two spacewalking astronauts who fashioned a special tool out of a toothbrush!

The spacewalk by NASA Astronaut Sunita Williams and Japan's Akihiko Hoshide was the second in a week to replace a key part of the station's power system.  The astronauts successfully removed a faulty 220-pound device known as a "main bus switching unit," but weren't able to bolt a replacement into position.  The culprit was metal debris on the bolt that prevented it from properly tightening.

While engineers at NASA considered repair options, the two industrious astronauts came up with their own solutions:  a wire brush formed from spare cable, and another brush crafted from an ordinary toothbrush.  With their homemade tools in tow, the two astronauts once again left the station's airlock and used the unique brushes to clean the debris from the bolt. After 4-1/2 hours of work with the toothbrush and cable brush, the bolt was fit into place -- and shortly after, power was flowing again to the International Space Station!

The staff of Wilmette Dental recommends always having a toothbrush handy:  for regular brushing as well as for repairing space stations!  (You never know...)

(Photo courtesy of NASA)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Seaweed ...A New Weapon Against Plaque


Every so often, a new plaque-fighting tool catches our eye at Wilmette Dental.  Now, from the UK, comes news of an enzyme found on the surface of seaweed that shows great promise in reducing the bacteria that form plaque on teeth.  In fact, researchers are so hopeful about the find, that they believe the seaweed enzyme may one day be a key ingredient in oral hygiene products.

The enzyme was originally identified by an English marine research group screening for compounds that could break up microbes from the surfaces of ship hulls.  The concept of a dispersing microbe caught the attention of Newcastle University's School of Dental Sciences, which recognized the potential for using the natural enzyme to break up the bacteria that causes plaque on teeth.  Oral bacteria form plaque by “colonizing” on teeth -- a sort of attack by numbers.  The bacteria create a slimy, tooth decay-causing film of extracellular DNA that joins them together and helps them stick to a solid surface -- our teeth.  The seaweed enzyme prevents these nasty microbes from grouping in the first place by breaking up their DNA, and that helps prevent the formation of plaque.  

More research needs to be done to confirm the seaweed enzyme’s effectiveness, and to ensure that it is safe for human use.  If so, researchers hope to use the enzyme as an ingredient in toothpaste, mouthwash and denture cleaning products. And, scientists say the enzyme may be used in other healthcare areas, such as keeping certain medical implants clean.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Helping the "Dental Phobic" Overcome Fear of the Unknown

We all have a fear of the unknown and of not being in control -- especially when it comes to dentistry.  It’s these anxious feelings that contribute to the extreme dental phobias that about 5% of the population experience.  


At Wilmette Dental, patient comfort and ease are constant priorities. In the more than 30 years we've spent caring for North Shore and Chicago area smiles, we have developed a variety of dental phobia strategies.  In fact, working with patients who are seriously apprehensive of dentistry has become a “specialty” for us.  

For patients afraid of the unknown, we always take time to carefully explain every aspect of a procedure before beginning:  what will happen during, and what to expect after.  And, we make sure the patient is always in control.  We encourage a patient to simply raise his or her hand, and work immediately stops.  Also, our treatment rooms are open -- no doors -- to avoid any sense of claustrophobia.  

Lying all the way back in the chair is another factor that can add to a sense of not being in control.  For these dental phobics, we offer several calming solutions.  First, we tilt the chair back only as much as is absolutely necessary for proper treatment.  We have blankets available  to make the patient feel more cozy.  And, we offer the pleasant distraction of chairside travel movies. It’s easy to forget about having a dental procedure when you’re on the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland!

Looking for a new dentist in the Chicago area?  Wilmette Dental has been a North Shore Family Dental Tradition for more than 30 years.  Visit our website at www.wilmettedental.com

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Are You A Mouth Breather? Have a Strong Gag Reflex? Here's How to cope at the Dentist


It’s estimated that 5% of the population has a fear of the dentist that’s so severe, they’re willing to endure a painful toothache for weeks rather than seek help.  

One of the most common reasons that people fear going to the dentist is because they have a strong gag reflex, which can make any dental procedure extremely uncomfortable.   There are, however, some easy techniques that we use at Wilmette Dental to minimize a strong gag reflex. 

First, we try to make the patient as relaxed as possible, because stress alone can increase the gag response.  With some of our hygiene patients, we administer a little table salt to the tip of the tongue before the cleaning.  This helps distract the taste buds, which in turn, can lessen the urge to gag. 

We also suggest that patients who have this problem spray with a sore throat spray before a procedure.  This will numb the back of the throat, reducing the gag reflex.  Of course, we always incorporate frequent breaks in which the patient can sit up and relax for a moment.   

Another problem common among those fearful of dentists is an inability to breathe through the nose...“How will I get through an entire appointment if I can’t breathe through my nose?”  For mouth breathers, this can be a big concern, but it’s one easily remedied by using an over the counter nasal decongestant just before the appointment.  A decongestant will clear the nasal sinuses so that nose breathing is much easier during an appointment.  Frequent breaks, too, where the patient can relax a moment and take some nice, deep breaths are a part of every procedure.

Ultimately, a patient who is at ease will have few problems during a procedure.  We strive for just that:  a patient who, while maybe not delighted to be in the chair, is at least extremely comfortable.

Looking for a new, gentle dentist?  Wilmette Dental has helped Chicago area dental phobics for more than 30 years.  Visit our website at www.wilmettedental.com

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Afraid of the Dentist? Coping Strategies for the Dental Phobic



Though it’s a sad fact to admit, not many people really love going to the dentist.  And, some people are actually dental phobic -- so afraid of going to the dentist that they’re willing to endure a painful toothache rather than seek care.

A recent Swedish study revealed that about 5% of people actually have a debilitating, severe dental fear, which they defined as individuals who have serious oral pain, but wait 17 days or more to make an appointment to see their dentist.  (Comparatively, the rest of the population who is not as dental phobic waits only 3 days.)  

Interestingly, an Australian study showed that those most likely to be afraid of the dentist are women in their 40s.  This demographic group more than any other is more likely to have felt oro-facial trauma -- and are also more likely to be depressed, anxious or stressed.So whatever your age, if you happen to be a member of that 5% who really dislikes the dentist, how can you get over your dental phobia?   

In my next few blogs, I’ll explore some coping strategies for some of the most common dental concerns:  a strong gag reflex, mouth breathing (how a mouth breather can get through an entire appointment without holding his breath), a fear of instruments and loud noises, and being uncomfortable with lying back and not knowing what’s happening inside your mouth.

All of these dental phobias are easy to overcome.  With a few simple strategies, that 5% of people who are card-carrying dental phobics could turn into 5% who love going to the dentist!

Looking for a gentle dentist?  Wilmette Dental has been a North Shore Family Dental Tradition for more than 30 years.  Visit our website at www.wilmettedental.com

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Eat Your Way To A Healthy Smile

Achieving a healthy, beautiful smile may be as easy as following a few simple eating tips:

Eat carbs at mealtimes.  Carbs, such as breads and chips, break down into the sugars that teeth-harming bacteria love!  But, when carbs are eaten along with larger amounts of other foods (such as with a meal instead of alone as a snack), the body produces more saliva, which helps wash away the particles that can attract nasty bacteria.

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

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.

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

Eat Calcium.  Dietary calcium from cheese, milk and yogurt strengthens the alveolar bone in the jaw...and that's the bone that helps hold teeth in place!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

America's First President And His Famous Teeth

George Washington, the first president of the United States, had lots of dental problems.   According to historians, by 1796, he had lost all but one of his teeth.

Washington's dentist, Dr. John Greenwood, crafted several sets of dentures for him, but contrary to popular opinion, they were not made of wood.  Instead, President Washington wore dentures made of elephant ivory, hippopotamus tusks and cows' teeth!  The dentures had sharp hooks, screws, and springs that made it difficult for him to smile...and must have been extremely uncomfortable to wear.  It is indeed sad that the man who gave so much to our country suffered with such severe dental ailments.


George Washington's dentures are still in existence:  one set is in the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, one set is in possession of Joseph R. Greenwood of New York, and another set is on exhibit at Mount Vernon.  

Friday, June 29, 2012


Dr. Neuhaus takes care of human teeth, but he loves to learn fun facts about animal teeth.  Here are some of his favorites:

  • An ant can carry 50 times its own weight over its head, using its jaws to lift! 
  • Crocodiles clean their teeth by allowing small birds, called plovers, to stand in their mouths and pick the scraps of food out of their jaws.  (Dr. Neuhaus thinks this is an interesting alternative to a toothbrush!)  And, a crocodile replaces its teeth over 40 times during its life!
  • The sperm whale is the biggest toothed animal on the entire planet.
  • A tiny mosquito actually has 47 teeth.
  • A single elephant tooth can weigh as much as 6 pounds.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Chicago area, please consider Wilmette Dental, a North Shore tradition in family dentistry for more than 30 years.  .  Feel free to call our office at 847-251-0085 or request an appointment online at www.wilmettedental.com.

Whether or not you are currently a Wilmette Dental patient, we invite you to follow us on Facebook by going to http://www.facebook.com/wilmettedental and clicking “Like”.

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact any of our dental team directly at office@wilmettedental.com.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dinosaur Discovery



The marvels of dentistry continue...scientists are now using dinosaur teeth to help answer a hotly debated question: Were dinosaurs cold- or warm-blooded?

By measuring the concentrations  of certain minerals in the fossil teeth of two of the largest dinosaur species, the Brachiosaurus and Camarasaurus (found in different locations in the US and Tanzania), scientists found that the body temperature of the animals was  much higher than that of other reptiles -- and was actually comparable to that of mammals.  


This new approach, which measures rare carbon and oxygen particles that clump and form minerals in the teeth called bioapatites, is able to determine body temperature within one or two degrees!  


This research suggests that dinosaurs were warmer than previously thought, and were probably able to reduce body heat similarly to mammels.
Scientists hope to use the “tooth mineral method” to study other extinct species in order to find out more about how they evolved.


If you are looking for a dentist in the Chicago area, please consider Wilmette Dental, a North Shore tradition in family dentistry for more than 30 years.  .  Feel free to call our office at 847-251-0085 or request an appointment online at www.wilmettedental.com.


 Whether or not you are currently a Wilmette Dental patient, we invite you to follow us on Facebook by going to http://www.facebook.com/wilmettedental and clicking “Like”. 



If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact any of our dental team directly at office@wilmettedental.com.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

HPV-Related Oral Cancers On The Rise


Cancers of the mouth and throat are on the rise due to the alarming increase of a highly common sexually transmitted viral infection called the human papillomavirus (HPV).  


Researchers estimate that HPV-related oral cancers now affect 26 out of every million people in the U.S, up from eight out of every million in 1988.  Previously, tobacco was the primary cause of oral cancer -- and most of those cancer cases were HPV-negative.  HPV-positive cases, which made up just 16% of oral cancer cases in the 1980s, comprised more than 70% in the 2000s.


Dr. Neuhaus is always careful to look for the signs of oral cancers, and a thorough screening is a key part of every Wilmette Dental exam.


While the rise in HPV-related cancers has dramatically increased, the good news is that those diagnosed have a better prognosis.  Many HPV-positive forms of oral cancer are highly responsive to treatment.  And, doctors are hopeful that the HPV vaccine will make a dent in curbing the HPV epidemic.



If you are looking for a dentist in the Chicago area, please consider Wilmette Dental, a North Shore tradition in family dentistry for more than 30 years.  .  Feel free to call our office at 847-251-0085 or request an appointment online at www.wilmettedental.com.

Whether or not you are currently a Wilmette Dental patient, we invite you to follow us on Facebook by going to http://www.facebook.com/wilmettedental and clicking “Like”.

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact any of our dental team directly at office@wilmettedental.com.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Teeth and History




Ancient Egyptians believed that a mixture of onion, spices and incense would cure a toothache.

In the 9th century, Mayans filed their teeth into different shapes and decorated them with jewels.

In the 1500s, people would get their hair cut, wounds treated and teeth pulled by their barber!  (Unfortunately, not many teeth were actually saved back in those days.)

In the early 1600s, Japanese women blackened their teeth to show loyalty to their husbands.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Brighter Smile for Spring



Spring is here and it’s time to think bright, from flowers and clothes … to smiles!  If your teeth aren’t as white as you’d like, Wilmette Dental can help with fast, easy and affordable options to whiten stained and dull-looking teeth.

One of the most popular whitening methods among Wilmette Dental patients is Nighttime Home Whitening because it’s both convenient and comfortable.  Over a one- to two-week period, patients wear to bed soft, clear flexible custom trays filled with a gentle bleaching gel.  In the morning, the trays are removed, and teeth are brushed and flossed as usual.  Generally, a lighter shade can be seen after just a few nights.
For other patients, Daytime Home Whitening works well.  Here, patients wear custom-fitted gel-filled molds for 30 minutes both in the morning and in the evening.  This method can take slightly longer overall than the Nighttime Whitening, but the final results are equally as successful.

And for those who need a whitening “kick start,” Wilmette Dental offers in office treatments accomplished in one or two hour-long visits, supplemented with at-home whitening trays.  This in office method of brightening teeth is done with a highly concentrated bleaching gel activated by an LED light.  Enamel shade is lightened even more with just a couple days of either Nighttime or Daytime whitening.

If you think your smile could use a little spring brightening, give us a call and we’ll be happy to talk with you about your best options.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Chicago area, please consider Wilmette Dental, a North Shore tradition in family dentistry for more than 30 years. Feel free to call our office at 847-251-0085 or request an appointment online at www.wilmettedental.com.

Whether or not you are currently a Wilmette Dental patient, we invite you to follow us on Facebook by going to www.facebook.com/wilmettedental and clicking “Like”.

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to email any of our dental team directly at office@wilmettedental.com.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

GOT ACID ???

With the weather heating up, energy and sports drinks are starting to fly off the shelves.  But according to a new study, people who drink these beverages are "essentially bathing their teeth with acid."

The study, published in the latest issue of General Dentistry, looked at the acidity of 13 sports drinks and 9 energy drinks.  To test the effect these drinks have on teeth, researchers immersed samples of human tooth enamel in each type of beverage for 15 minutes, followed by immersion in artificial saliva for 2 hours -- all done 4 times per day over a 5-day period.

The result?  In as few as 5 days after exposure to both types of drinks, the tooth enamel showed signs of serious damage.  Interestingly, energy drinks actually caused double the amount of damage to teeth that sports drinks caused.

For teens who consume large quantities of these beverages (thinking they're doing something "good" for their body), this could mean big problems for teeth.

The best solution to quench that summer thirst? Old-fashioned WATER.  It's good for your body, and especially kind to teeth!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hump Day Trivia

A bit of midweek trivia: The Statue of Liberty's mouth is 3 feet wide...Back in the Dark Ages, the remedy for a toothache was to boil earthworms in oil and use the oil as ear drops...In the Middle Ages, people thought that dogs' teeth boiled in water made a good mouth rinse to combat tooth decay.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Brighter Smile for Spring


Spring is here and it’s time to think bright, from flowers and clothes … to smiles! If your teeth aren’t as white as you’d like, Wilmette Dental can help with fast, easy and affordable options to whiten stained and dull-looking teeth.

One of the most popular whitening methods among Wilmette Dental patients is Nighttime Home Whitening because it’s both convenient and comfortable. Over a one- to two-week period, patients wear to bed soft, clear flexible custom trays filled with a gentle whitening gel. In the morning, the trays are removed, and teeth are brushed and flossed as usual. Generally, a lighter shade can be seen after just a few nights.

For other patients, Daytime Home Whitening works well. Here, patients wear custom-fitted gel-filled molds for 30 minutes both in the morning and in the evening. This method can take slightly longer overall than the Nighttime Whitening, but the final results are equally as successful.

And for those who need a whitening “kick start,” Wilmette Dental offers in office treatments accomplished in one or two hour-long visits, supplemented with at-home whitening trays. This in office method of brightening teeth is done with a highly concentrated whitening gel activated by an LED light. Enamel shade is lightened even more with just a couple days of either Nighttime or Daytime whitening.

Among the safe and highly effective ADA approved products we use are Discus Dental's Night White, Day White and Ultradent's Opalscence whitening gels, in various concentrations. These products are not available over-the-counter.

If you think your smile could use a little spring brightening, give us a call and we’ll be happy to talk with you about your best options.

Click here for more whitening info

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

National Oral Health Campaign Coming!



From the Illinois State Dental Society:

In mid-2012, the American Dental Association will launch a national campaign called“Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives.” The campaign speaks to the ADA’s strategic goal of being the trusted resource for oral health information that will help people be good stewards of their own oral health. The purpose of the ad campaign as described to the Ad Council is to improve children’s oral health so they can develop into healthy, productive adults.

The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives campaign will seek to provide education and raise awareness of parents and caregivers to their children’s oral health. Last year, the ADA joined up with 25 other dental organizations, and together they petitioned the Ad Council for a national oral health campaign. The threeyear campaign consists of public service ads targeting parents and caregivers and highlights the association between children’s oral health and disease prevention.