WILMETTE DENTAL'S WORD OF MOUTH
Greetings from Wilmette Dental. I hope that this newsletter finds you happy and healthy.
We’ve been busy at Wilmette Dental! As many of you have noticed we've recently enhanced and greatly expanded our computer systems. We’ve now added computer hardware and software that allows us to perform digital imaging (x-rays and intra-oral video—no more film!), and accomplish electronic patient charting. This new technology allows us to integrate patients’ written and visual records, instantly update medical and dental histories, and more easily track patients’ oral health progress at each exam. I’m excited about this new way of managing our patient care, and I will tell you more about the wide-ranging benefits of this essential new technology in our next newsletter.
On the home front, Anne and I are very busy with our two high-schoolers. Christopher, a freshman, is becoming quite the musician — playing percussion in the marching and jazz bands, and tenor sax for the concert band.
This past summer, I joined Chris and his Boy Scout troop on a two-week, 50-mile hike through Philmont, New Mexico. Our hike took us up to elevations of 12,000 feet, while carrying a 40-pound pack on our back. We came home exhausted, with sore muscles, and looking more than a little grungy, but it was an amazing experience.
Elise, now a junior, is active in Model U.N., a student organization that simulates actual United Nations meetings. She travels to various events where her team debates world issues. And, after spending the summer months life guarding at a local pool, Elise continues to get wet by teaching swim lessons for our park district.
Wishing you good health and bright smiles...
Teeth Whitening… At-Home vs. In-Office
Teeth whitening is an excellent way of quickly and affordably improving a smile. Many Wilmette Dental patients have seen their teeth greatly enhanced with simple whitening techniques.
Dr. Neuhaus is often asked about which method yields the best results: in office ("ZOOM") bleaching or at home whitening (Opalescence or Night White).
In-office whitening takes about an hour in the chair, making the time factor its biggest advantage. Depending on the severity of dental staining, in-office whitening can usually brighten teeth by as much as 7 shades. For the patient who might not have time (or the inclination) to follow a regular at-home schedule, in-office bleaching may be a better choice.
On the downside, following in-office whitening ("ZOOM"), teeth may become more sensitive (though sensitivity typically subsides in a day or so). Also, in-office bleaching is more expensive than an at-home system.
Home whitening (Opalescence or Night White) may not be as fast as in-office, but it is just as effective. Special bleaching trays are made to precisely fit the teeth, and the patient is sent home with whitening gel to be used either for 40 minutes twice a day, or overnight. Typically, at-home bleaching takes about two weeks to achieve maximum results.
With at-home bleaching, the patient is more in control, so tooth sensitivity can be controlled. Also, patients looking for a smile enhancement that is gentler on the budget, will save by doing at-home rather than in office.
With both methods, touch ups are easily accomplished.. In-office whitening patients are given bleaching trays and gel to continue lightening at home whenever staining recurs.
Feel free to talk with us about how teeth whitening can improve your smile.
Sharks Offer A Clue To Tooth Growth
Thanks to sharks (yes, you read that correctly), we may one day be able to grow new teeth where existing ones have worn out.
Researchers at the University of Rochester are studying sharks to determine why they actually have several rows of teeth, while mammals (including us) only have one.
By studying shark — and human —genetics, scientists have determined that a single gene exists in us that actually prevents the regeneration of new teeth. It seems that certain species (including humans) are destined for a limited amount of teeth. This gene ensures that our set of adult teeth is our only permanent set.
But when researchers bred mice that lacked the gene, the rodents developed extra teeth next to their first molars — the same “spares” that sharks and other non-mammals grow. These studies may help reveal how humans might be able to generate new teeth when a permanent tooth is lost. Instead of placing a denture, patients may some day be able to grow brand new teeth!
Inflation Hits The Tooth Fairy
Parents take note: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to keep up with inflation, the Tooth Fairy should now pay $1.15 per tooth, up from $1.00 earned per pearly white in 2003.
Children lose 20 teeth between the ages of 4 and 13, meaning the Tooth Fairy will spend $23 a child if she adjusts for inflation. (According to a survey by the Chicago Dental Society though, most dentists still believe the Tooth Fairy should pay $1 for each tooth.)
Oral Health And Diabetes
If you have diabetes, you also may be at a higher risk of gum disease, according to findings by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
For the nearly 24 million people living with diabetes, this higher incidence of poor oral health is likely due to the fact that diabetics are more susceptible to bacterial infection as a whole, and have a decreased ability to fight the bacteria that invade the gums.
The CDC recommends that people with diabetes brush at least twice daily with an antibacterial toothpaste, floss at least once a day, and see their dentist a minimum of twice a year. And, be sure to keep a close eye on any changes that might occur in the gums and teeth.
Stressed Out Kids...Stressed Out Teeth
Stress may be having an adverse effect on youngsters’ oral health. A recent study of kindergarten age children revealed that those who had high levels of tooth decay also had high level of cortisol in their saliva. Cortisol is a hormone that is released in response to stress.
Unfortunately, it’s a stressful world — even for youngsters—so Dr.Neuhaus recommends regular brushing andflossing, and a deep,relaxing breath!
For Women Only...
Older women who get regular dental care are about a third less likely to suffer from heart disease. This finding comes from an eight-year health study of 7,000 women ages 44 to 88.
Researchers believe that gum disease resulting from poor dental health can lead to overall chronic inflammation — and that can be damaging to a woman’s heart. The negative effects of poor dental health seemed to be more apparent in women than in men.
During a woman’s pre-menopausal years, estrogen protects against heart disease. But, once a woman hits menopause, around age 50 to 55, she is much more vulnerable to conditions that can adversely affect the heart.
More research needs to be done to prove a definite link between good dental health and a healthy heart, but certainly brushing, flossing, and regular professional dental cleanings are a good insurance for women at or near menopause.
Sugar can be very bad for teeth. But it’s actually not how much sugar you eat...it’s how long the sugar stays on your teeth.
Super sugary snacks and beverages that take a long time to eat or drink — like a long-lasting hard candy or a big glass of soda — can actually cause the tooth enamel (the hard outer coating of teeth that protects the inside) to wear away.
The best way to keep teeth healthy is to avoid sugary treats and drinks as much as possible.
But, if you MUST have that lemon drop, or other candy, Dr. Neuhaus says to brush as soon as possible after eating.
And, be sure to do a good job brushing to get most of the “yuck” off teeth. Brush up and down, and
sideways, for about two minutes — or as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
Make an Appointment
Feel free to call, email, or use our contact form.
Wilmette Dental, Ltd
344 Linden Ave.
Wilmette, IL 60091
Mon, Tue, Wed: 800am - 530pm
Thu: Noon - 800pm
Sat: 800am - 200pm (alternating)
Outside our regular business hours, please note our emergency care information.