Posts for: June, 2020

By River Forest Dental Studio
June 20, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   orthodontics  
HowtoAvoidWhiteSpotDecayWhileWearingBraces

Straightening your teeth with braces or other orthodontic gear is a positive step toward a healthier and more attractive smile. You'll likely be pleased with your smile when they're removed.

But you may also notice something peculiar once the braces are off—dull, white spots on your teeth. These spots, usually located under or around braces hardware, are where mouth acid has “demineralized” calcium and other minerals in the enamel. As beginning tooth decay, these spots are a sign your hygiene efforts weren't sufficient in cleaning your teeth of plaque.

In many cases, the spots will improve on their own after the braces are removed. We can also strengthen the enamel with fluoride pastes or gels, or inject tooth-colored resin within the spot to restore the enamel's translucence and improve appearance.

But the best approach is to try to prevent white spots from occurring at all. Here's what you need to do.

Keep up your oral hygiene. Even though more difficult with braces, you still need to brush and floss to protect your teeth from tooth decay. To make it easier, take advantage of special brushes designed to clean around orthodontic brackets and wires. A floss threader can also help you better access between teeth—or switch to a water flosser instead of floss thread.

Practice a “tooth-friendly” diet. A diet high in sugar and acid could short-circuit your best hygiene efforts. Certain beverages are big offenders: sodas, energy and sports drinks, and even “natural” juices. Instead, eat foods high in vitamins and minerals like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and low-fat dairy.

Get your teeth cleaned regularly. While you're seeing your orthodontist for scheduled adjustments, don't neglect regular cleanings with your family dentist. Professional cleanings at least every six months reduce the risk of dental disease. These regular visits are also a good time for your dentist to check your teeth for any signs of dental problems associated with your braces.

It's not easy to keep your teeth clean while wearing braces, but it can be done. With help from a few handy tools and continuing care from your dental professionals, you can avoid unsightly white spots.

If you would like more information on dental care while wearing braces, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “White Spots on Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”


By River Forest Dental Studio
June 10, 2020
Category: Oral Health
HowtoHelpYourChildBeattheOddsforGettingaToothInjury

Half of all children will injure at least one tooth before adulthood. That's why we're joining with other health professionals this June to promote National Safety Month. As dentists, we want to call particular attention to potential dental injuries and what parents and caregivers can do to help their child avoid them.

The source for a dental injury usually depends on a child's age and development level. Younger children learning to walk and run are more apt to fall, and may hit their mouth on hard or sharp surfaces. Later on, most dental injuries tend to come from contact during sports play or other physical activities.

Your prevention strategy should therefore adjust to your child's age and activity level. If you have an infant starting to walk, for example, don't allow them to move around carrying a bottle, cup or other hard object that could be a source of injury if they fall. Also, keep an eye out for hard furniture or sharp-edged surfaces as they toddle around.

If you have a highly mobile toddler, discourage them from climbing and jumping on furniture, tables or other hard surfaces. If feasible, pad these surfaces and sharp edges to minimize the force of impact from a collision.

To prevent sports-related mouth injuries in older children and teens, your primary defense is an athletic mouthguard. Mouthguards cushion and absorb much of the force generated during hard sports contact. They should be worn for any physical activity with a potential risk for mouth injury, including practice sessions and informal play like a pick-up basketball game.

A type of athletic mouthguard known as “boil and bite” is readily available in retail sporting goods stores. After purchase, it is softened in very hot water; the wearer then places it in their mouth and bites down to form a permanent impression. Boil and bite mouthguards offer protection, but they can be bulky and uncomfortable to wear.

For a higher level of protection along with a more accurate and comfortable fit, a custom mouthguard created by a dentist is a more desirable option. These are based on a detailed impression of the wearer's bite, so the fit can't be beat. Both types of mouthguard need upgrading periodically in young wearers to accommodate dental development as they age.

Accidents can happen, but there's much you can do to reduce the likelihood of injury to your child's teeth. Protective measures and equipment—as well as a watchful eye—can go far to help them emerge from these active, early years dentally unscathed.

If you would like more information about dental safety, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”


By River Forest Dental Studio
June 09, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Missing Teeth  

If you have one or more missing teeth, it can make you self-conscious about smiling. However, that’s not the only problem—tooth loss can cause serious health issues such as gum disease and jawbone resorption, and even increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Fortunately, Dr. Gina Piccioni, your dentist at River Forest Dental Studio in River Forest, IL, can help you find a tooth replacement solution that will give you a healthier and more confident smile.

How Missing Teeth Affect Your Oral Health

If left untreated, missing teeth can cause the following problems:

  • Difficulty with biting, chewing, and speaking
  • A change in the shape of your face
  • Premature aging
  • Erosion of your jawbone
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Movement of your remaining teeth
  • Further tooth loss

As you can see, it makes sense to replace missing teeth as soon as possible to avoid further dental issues.

Why Choose Dental Implants?

For River Forest residents who want to brighten their smile and replace lost teeth, Dr. Piccioni can fill in the gaps with dental implants. This is the best option for replacing lost teeth because they are:

  • Just like natural teeth: Due to how implants fuse to your jawbone, they are just as secure as you natural teeth, meaning that you don’t have to worry about them slipping out of place or falling out when you eat or speak.
  • Durable and long-lasting: Once dental implants have become a part of your jawbone, they become a permanent solution to missing teeth. They will not need to be replaced as dentures or bridgework will.
  • Preventing bone loss: An implant acts just like the root of a tooth, so it stimulates the growth of bone, eliminating jawbone erosion.

If you live in River Forest and would like to learn more about dental implants, call Dr. Piccioni at (708) 366-6760 to schedule an appointment.




Gina Piccioni, D.M.D. and John G. Hartmann, D.D.S.

River Forest, IL Dentist

River Forest Dental Studio

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