When You’re Adjusting to Braces: Mealtime | Kenilworth Dentist

When a patient needs braces, one of the first questions is how will my daily life change? Will I still be able to eat my favorite foods? How do I brush my teeth? And it’s safe to say that there will be some adjustments made to the way you brush and floss, and your diet will change a bit as well, especially if you choose to have traditional braces. And this is because brackets are attached to your teeth using a basic dental cement, so eating foods that are hard or sticky can cause the brackets to pop off, which will mean an unexpected dental visit for repair and delaying your treatment.

Not only that, but food that cannot be cleaned off braces with a simple brushing and flossing, which may lead to discoloration and decay of your teeth. Things aren’t going to drastically change, but you will need to learn to do things differently for a while. The good thing is, if you stay on task, your experience will go smoothly. Here is a quick reference guide to the various food choices that will become suspect during your times wearing braces:

  • Absolutely no gum, sugarless or otherwise
  • Chewy foods like bagels, hard rolls and licorice
  • Crunchy foods, such as popcorn, ice and chips
  • Sticky foods, including caramels, taffy and gum
  • Hard foods like nuts are healthy but can break your teeth like hard candy, so beware
  • Crispy foods you bite into, like corn on the cob, apples or carrots
  • Also, avoid biting into non-food items, such as nail biting and pencil-chewing habits

For more information regarding food restrictions while wearing braces, contact Dr. Waterloo today at 847-251-8990 or visit www.villagedentalpc.com.

Dr. Cathy Waterloo proudly serves Kenilworth and all surrounding areas.

Why Are My Teeth Turning Yellow? | Kenilworth Dentist

We all want a white smile, but maintaining the bright luster isn’t always easy. After time, our teeth begin to turn yellow. It could be for a variety of reasons, but eventually our teeth become tinged with a yellowish hue.

When outside sources of staining are left to sit on the teeth all day until your next brushing, the dentin on your teeth becomes yellowish or darkened. Contributing factors to yellowing, stained teeth can be, smoking, wine, soda and aging. There are a variety of over-the-counter products that can help slow the process, but a professional treatment is really the only thing that will truly rejuvenate our smile back.

Studies show we place a high value on our smiles. According to an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey, here are a couple of facts:

Virtually all adults (99.7%) believe a smile is an important social asset. 96% of adults believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing to members of the opposite sex.

Three-quarters (74%) of adults feel an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chance for career success.

And when respondents were asked, “What would you like to improve most about your smile?” The most common response was whiter & brighter teeth.

Simple rules to live by to try and stop the yellowing process:

  • Visit your dentist regularly for teeth cleanings
  • Rinse your mouth out with water several times throughout the day
  • Use toothpaste with whitening agents

If you decide that a whitening treatment will be best for your smile’s appearance, talk to your dental professional about it next time you go in for a checkup. They will be more than happy to address any questions or concerns you may have about improving your smile.

For more information regarding discolored teeth, contact Dr. Waterloo today at 847-251-8990 or visit www.villagedentalpc.com.

Dr. Cathy Waterloo proudly serves Kenilworth and all surrounding areas.

What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer | Kenilworth Dentist

While some think this is a rare cancer, mouth cancers will be newly diagnosed in about 132 new individuals each day in the US alone, and a person dies from oral cancer every hour of every day. When found at early stages of development, oral cancers have an 80 to 90 % survival rate. Late-stage diagnosis is not occurring because because of a lack of public awareness coupled with the lack of screenings. Worldwide the problem is far greater, with new cases annually exceeding 640,000.

Oral cancer refers to cancer that develops in any of the parts that make up the mouth. Oral cancer is one of several types of cancer grouped in a category called head and neck cancers. Mouth cancer and other head and neck cancers are often treated similarly.

If you notice any of the below changes, contact your dentist or health care professional immediately.

  • Swellings/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
  • The development of velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks
  • A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
  • Ear pain
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
  • Dramatic weight loss

For more information regarding oral cancer, contact Dr. Waterloo today at 847-251-8990 or visit www.villagedentalpc.com.

Dr. Cathy Waterloo proudly serves Kenilworth and all surrounding areas.

Dental Emergencies: What to Do when They Happen | Kenilworth Dentist

No matter how careful we try to be, accidents happen, and they happen without warning. And if this accident leads to a dental emergency, it is important to know how to handle the situation in order to cause the least amount of trauma to your smile’s health. Now, if this incident causes issues to one or more teeth, it’s important to contact your dentist immediately. Sometimes the neighboring teeth can suffer additional, unnoticed injuries that can only be detected by a dental exam. When you happen to damage your teeth, here is how your dentist may try to repair your smile, based on the type of injury to your mouth:

Chipped tooth. Most times a chipped or fractured tooth can be repaired by either replacing the broken piece or by bonding a tooth-colored filling. If a large portion of the tooth is broken off, then a crown will likely be required. If the pulp is exposed or damaged a root canal treatment may be needed.

Dislodged tooth. A dislodged tooth is when a tooth pushed sideways, out of or into the socket. In these cases, a patient will usually require a root canal and a dentist or endodontist will focus on stabilizing the tooth.

Knocked out tooth. When a tooth is completely knocked out of the socket it may be able to be saved if the patient arrives to the dentist in time, and the tooth is handled properly. Do not touch the root of the tooth, and keep it moist (either in the socket, on the gum against your cheek, or in milk).

For more information regarding CEREC same day crowns, contact Dr. Waterloo today at 847-251-8990 or visit www.villagedentalpc.com.

Dr. Cathy Waterloo proudly serves Kenilworth and all surrounding areas.

CEREC Will Give You The Smile You Desire in a Day | Kenilworth Dentist

When it comes to improving our smiles, we will generally choose the best options with the least amount of hassle or pain. And guess what? There is a way for you to have a beautiful smile in a single office visit thanks to CEREC®.

CEREC® allows our doctors to quickly restore damaged teeth with natural-colored ceramic fillings, saving patients time and inconvenience because the fabrication of all ceramic dental restorations takes place in one office visit. We no longer need to create temporaries or take impressions and send them to a lab. Because of this, the traditional second visit has been eliminated. Imagine that – you are in and out with a permanent, all-ceramic dental crown, onlay, or veneer. Fewer injections, less drilling, and less time out of your hectic schedule for dental care!

The tooth that requires a CEREC® restoration is prepared and a 3D photograph is taken of the prepared tooth. From there, we use computer-aided design CAD software to create the restoration digitally.

Using a single block of porcelain that is color-matched to your current tooth shade, the digitally designed restoration is sent to a milling machine where your restoration is cut. The milling process usually takes about 15 minutes per restoration. Once the restoration is finished being milled, it is fitted onto the prepared tooth and adjusted until the bite is accurate.

Not only is it a time-saver, but these tooth-colored restorations mean no more silver fillings or discoloring smiles. The filling is natural-looking, compatible with tissue in the mouth, anti-abrasive, and plaque-resistant giving you the longest-lasting, best-looking restorations.

For more information regarding CEREC same day crowns, contact Dr. Cathy Waterloo today at 847-251-8990 or visit www.villagedentalpc.com.

Dr. Waterloo proudly serves Kenilworth and all surrounding areas.

ClearCorrect: The Clear Alternative | Kenilworth Dentist

When we have a nice smile, it is easy to show it off to everyone we meet. But for those of us that have a less than stellar smile, we need to pursue other ways to achieve it. When it comes to orthodontics, we have a couple of options, depending on the condition of our issues – traditional braces and invisible braces. Crooked teeth won’t stand a chance. Braces are ideal to fix this dental issue. Unfortunately, as we age, the less we want to improve our smile with traditional braces. The alternative to metal braces with no brackets and no wires. The answer is ClearCorrect invisible braces.

With ClearCorrect, your dentist or orthodontist can straighten your teeth using a series of clear, customized removable aligners. Each aligner moves your teeth just a little bit at a time until you eventually get straight teeth. What goes into this discreet transformation? Take a look…

First, your dentist will take impressions, photos and x-rays of your teeth that ClearCorrect uses to create your custom aligners. These are sent to ClearCorrect, along with a prescription for your new custom aligners. A 3D model of your teeth will then be created so you and your dentist are able to see the projected results of treatment. When you are satisfied with the projected results, ClearCorrect will begin manufacturing your custom aligners.

You will wear the aligners at all times, except when eating, drinking and brushing/flossing. The ClearCorrect aligners are barely noticeable and won’t interfere with daily life. Your teeth will slowly adjust and align with each new aligner you receive, and eventually you will have the straight beautiful smile you have always dreamed of.

For more information regarding ClearCorrect aligners, contact Dr. Cathy Waterloo today at 847-251-8990 or visit www.villagedentalpc.com.

Dr. Waterloo proudly serves Kenilworth and all surrounding areas.

Breaking the Myth: Periodontal Disease Edition | Kenilworth Dentist

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, three out of four Americans suffer from some form of gum disease. Despite the major prevalence, only three percent of those individuals actually seek treatment for their gum disease. With more research indicating that gum disease may be linked to several other diseases, maintaining healthy teeth and gums have become more and more important. Here are some common things in which the AAP have deemed misconceptions about oral health that should help you distinguish signs of gum disease:

Bleeding gums are not important.

Red, swollen, and bleeding gums are an important sign of periodontal disease. If you notice bleeding while brushing or flossing on a regular basis, you should schedule a visit with your dental professional in order to be evaluated for periodontal disease right away.

You don’t need to floss every day.

Having a set oral health routine is incredibly important. This includes keeping up with brushing AND flossing. Doing one without the other is giving opportunities for harmful bacteria to wreak havoc on your dental health.

A tooth lost to gum disease is lost forever.

This is not true, but not exactly false either. While gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss, and you tooth is indeed lost forever, periodontists use procedures such as dental implants to replace teeth.

Poor oral hygiene is the only way to develop gum disease.

Good oral hygiene can definitely contribute to the prevention of gum disease, however there are other factors in which having good oral hygiene won’t matter. For example, using tobacco increases your chances of developing gum disease by a large amount.

For more information regarding gum disease, contact Dr. Cathy Waterloo today at 847-251-8990 or visit www.villagedentalpc.com.

Dr. Waterloo proudly serves Kenilworth and all surrounding areas.

Food Changes to Expect with Braces | Kenilworth Dentist

When you get traditional braces, there are a lot of changes that comes with it. Not only are there lots of metal and wiring in your mouth to get used to, but there are also lots of lifestyle changes that will take place while your teeth are straightening out. One of these changes is your new diet.

Because brackets are attached to your teeth using a basic dental cement, eating foods that are extra hard or sticky can cause the brackets to pop off, which will mean an unexpected dental visit for repair and delaying your treatment. Even though our braces and wires are metal, and we consider metal to be very strong, they are fragile and are usually damaged by eating the wrong foods. Not only that, but food that cannot be cleaned off braces with a simple brushing and flossing may lead to discoloration and decay of your teeth. We are trying to get a straight smile – why ruin it with discoloration and decay from lack of care? To keep you on track of your new dietary restrictions, keep this general list of things to avoid while correcting the flaws:

  • Absolutely no gum, sugarless or otherwise
  • Chewy foods like bagels, hard rolls and licorice
  • Crunchy foods, such as popcorn, ice and chips
  • Sticky foods, including caramels, taffy and gum
  • Hard foods like nuts are healthy but can break your teeth like hard candy
  • Crispy foods you bite into, like corn on the cob, apples or carrots
  • Also avoid biting into non-food items, such as nail-biting and pencil-chewing habits

So, as you can see, there will be some definite changes, but you’re getting a prettier smile – it’s just a temporary inconvenience to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.

For more information regarding eating with braces, contact Dr. Waterloo today at 847-251-8990 or visit www.villagedentalpc.com.

Dr. Cathy Waterloo proudly serves Kenilworth and all surrounding areas.

The Three Stages of Gum Disease | Kenilworth Dentist

We all want a bright and shiny smile, but we rarely think about a healthy one. Nearly 75% of Americans suffer from some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. When you aren’t practicing proper oral hygiene, you’re allowing the bacteria in plaque to remain on your teeth, which will eventually infect your gums. Let’s break it down:

Gingivitis. Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease, and can be noticed by inflamed gums, red or swollen gums, which is mainly caused by plaque buildup due to poor dental hygiene. This stage of the disease can also cause your gums to bleed, which you may notice when brushing or flossing your teeth. While no gum disease is good, this is the only stage of periodontal that is reversible with periodontal treatment.

Periodontitis. At this particular stage, the supporting bone and tissues will be irreversibly damaged. Your gums will also start to separate from your teeth, forming pockets below the gum line that will eventually become infected. Thankfully, with periodontal treatment and improved oral hygiene, you and your dentist can usually prevent any further damage.

Advanced periodontitis. This is the final stage of periodontal disease – not only has the infection affected your teeth, but it has also destroyed the fibers and bones that support your teeth. This can affect your bite and cause your teeth to shift, loosen and/or even fall out. Unfortunately, if periodontal treatment can’t save your teeth, your dentist may have to remove them, which means more time in the dental chair.

Gum disease is nothing to laugh at but can be easily prevented with a little daily dental TLC.

For more information regarding gum disease, contact Dr. Waterloo today at 847-251-8990 or visit www.villagedentalpc.com.

Dr. Cathy Waterloo proudly serves Kenilworth and all surrounding areas.

Back-to-School with Baby Teeth | Kenilworth Dentist

Now that summer is officially over, we need to turn our attention to a different type of schedule. Unfortunately, we don’t exactly live in a world that is in any way normal, so things like back-to-school routines are changing and it is our duty to adapt our family to the new norm. But there are some things that will never change, and your dental health is one of those things. Just because we are at home or behind a mask, doesn’t mean that we should neglect our smiles.

We may not exactly be attending school, but it is still a good idea to take the family to the dentist once summer is over, just to make sure all of the fun you’ve been having hadn’t done something harmful to your smile. On the day of your child’s visit, expect to have lots of opportunity to ask any questions you may have. The dentist will go over your child’s history and give you a crash course as to what you can expect in upcoming months. A thorough examination will take place in order for the dentist to be able to clearly distinguish any issues that may arise due to habits like thumb sucking, poor hygienic practice or diet. If stains are apparent, your dentist or hygienist may clean your child’s teeth and/or apply fluoride to prevent future cavities.

Once home, you can make your daily dental hygiene practices a family affair. Let your little ones choose their own soft-bristled toothbrush, pick a favorite family song to time your two-minute brushing time and do it together. Uncertain times doesn’t mean uncertain dental health.

For more information regarding pediatric dentistry, contact Dr. Waterloo today at 847-251-8990 or visit www.villagedentalpc.com.

Dr. Cathy Waterloo proudly serves Kenilworth and all surrounding areas.