Routine teeth cleanings at the dentist’s office are important for maintaining better oral health. Dental hygienists have the skills, training, and tools to clean the teeth more thoroughly than is often possible at home. Professional cleanings are also the only way to remove tartar buildup from teeth. Dr. John Lynch, Dr. Sheila Lynch, and Dr. Frances Lynch, the skilled dentists at Lynch Dental Center in River Forest, IL, provide teeth cleanings and other services to help you maintain a healthy mouth.
Components of a Teeth Cleaning
There are several components to having your teeth professionally cleaned. The first step is to conduct an oral exam to assess the health of oral tissues, such as the gums. The dental hygienist will begin cleaning the teeth next. Different tools can be used to clean the teeth, such as various metal instruments or an ultrasonic scaler. The tools are used to scrape away plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the teeth. Once the teeth are cleaned, they are gently polished with a soft brush and special gel.
Benefits of Teeth Cleanings
Scheduling routine teeth cleaning about once every six months has many benefits. An experienced dentist at our River Forest, IL, dental office can determine how often you need routine cleaning.
One of the primary benefits of professional teeth cleaning is that the dental hygienist can clean your teeth more thoroughly than you can at home. The hygienist has tools that can get into small or challenging areas, such as around the molars, that are hard to reach with a toothbrush or dental floss.
Another benefit of professional cleaning is that it is the only way to completely remove tartar buildup. Tartar, or calculus, forms when plaque hardens on the teeth. One of the reasons it cannot be cleared off the teeth by brushing and flossing is that tartar bonds to tooth enamel. Another reason it is difficult to remove is that it can form below the gum line, where brushing and flossing cannot always reach.
A significant benefit of routine teeth cleanings is that they lead to better oral health, especially when combined with an effective at-home oral hygiene routine. Regular cleanings can help prevent serious oral health issues, such as decay or gum disease, from developing.
Finally, good oral health has been linked to better overall health. Oral bacteria can make their way to other areas of the body and increase the risk of developing certain health issues, such as cardiovascular disease. Routine teeth cleanings can reduce your risk by clearing away harmful oral bacteria.
Routine teeth cleanings promote better oral health and can even contribute to better overall health. For teeth cleaning and to see a dentist in River Forest, IL, schedule an appointment with Dr. John, Dr. Sheila, or Dr. Frances by calling Lynch Dental Center at (708) 366-6411. Our Chicago office can be reached at (312) 263-3235.
For nearly two decades, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has dominated the pop and country charts. In December she launched her ninth studio album, called evermore, and in January she delighted fans by releasing two bonus tracks. And although her immense fame earns her plenty of celebrity gossip coverage, she's managed to avoid scandals that plague other superstars. She did, however, run into a bit of trouble a few years ago—and there's video to prove it. It seems Taylor once had a bad habit of losing her orthodontic retainer on the road.
She's not alone! Anyone who's had to wear a retainer knows how easy it is to misplace one. No, you won't need rehab—although you might get a mild scolding from your dentist like Taylor did in her tongue-in-cheek YouTube video. You do, though, face a bigger problem if you don't replace it: Not wearing a retainer could undo all the time and effort it took to acquire that straight, beautiful smile. That's because the same natural mechanism that makes moving teeth orthodontically possible can also work in reverse once the braces or clear aligners are removed and no longer exerting pressure on the teeth. Without that pressure, the ligaments that hold your teeth in place can “remember” where the teeth were originally and gradually move them back.
A retainer prevents this by applying just enough pressure to keep or “retain” the teeth in their new position. And it's really not the end of the world if you lose or break your retainer. You can have it replaced with a new one, but that's an unwelcome, added expense.
You do have another option other than the removable (and easily misplaced) kind: a bonded retainer, a thin wire bonded to the back of the teeth. You can't lose it because it's always with you—fixed in place until the orthodontist removes it. And because it's hidden behind the teeth, no one but you and your orthodontist need to know you're wearing it—something you can't always say about a removable one.
Bonded retainers do have a few disadvantages. The wire can feel odd to your tongue and may take a little time to get used to it. It can make flossing difficult, which can increase the risk of dental disease. However, interdental floss picks can help here. And although you can't lose it, a bonded retainer can break if it encounters too much biting force—although that's rare.
Your choice of bonded or removable retainer depends mainly on your individual situation and what your orthodontist recommends. But, if losing a retainer is a concern, a bonded retainer may be the way to go. And take if from Taylor: It's better to keep your retainer than to lose it.
If you would like more information about protecting your smile after orthodontics, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”
Everyone wants straighter teeth. But spending years with metal braces can often be difficult, especially for older children and adults. Invisalign invisible braces offer a smart alternative to metal braces without all the hardware. Visit Dr. John, Frances, and Sheila Lynch at Lynch Medical Center in Chicago or River Forest, IL if you have questions about invisible braces or you're ready to book an appointment.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a temporarily invisible appliance that is molded to fit the patient's teeth and slowly straighten them over time. The appliance can be removed when necessary. Plus, it's made of a translucent material that is hard to detect with the naked eye.
Invisalign offers an alternative to traditional braces that is flexible and less conspicuous. However, it may not be the best solution for every patient. The dentists at Lynch Medical Center in Chicago and River Forest, IL are happy to examine your teeth and let you know if Invisalign invisible braces are a smart course of action for your teeth.
Invisible Braces vs Metal Braces: Pros and Cons
Invisible braces are great for those who want a winning smile but don't like the appearance of metal braces. They are great for simple orthodontic problems such as overly crowded teeth, widely spaced teeth, or bite irregularities. However, more complex problems may be better addressed with traditional braces.
While more noticeable than Invisalign braces, metal braces offer more control to the orthodontist in manipulating the growth of your teeth. Therefore, they tend to offer faster results, especially when it comes to serious problems.
But, Invisalign braces can be just as effective at treating common conditions that impact a person's teeth. It's a great solution for those who want to achieve the perfect smile and don't mind being patient. Both Invisalign and metal braces have come a long way and either is a viable option for straightening your teeth. But Invisalign offers a flexible, unobtrusive way to see the results you want without some of the hassles of metal braces.
Come see us at Lynch Medical Center in River Forest, Il if you have any lingering questions about Invisalign invisible braces, or if you're ready to schedule an appointment. Drs. John, Frances, and Sheila Lynch will be happy to examine your teeth and let you know if Invisalign is right for you. Contact us by phone at (312) 263-3235 for our Chicago office or (708) 366-6411 for our office in River Forest, IL.
Braces are so common that we often view them as "ho-hum." But there are aspects about braces that make them remarkable. For one, the fact that we can move teeth at all is a wonder of nature.
We normally experience our teeth as firmly set in the jaw, which can easily lead to assuming they're permanently fixed to the bone. They're not. Teeth are actually held in place by a fibrous gum tissue called the periodontal ligament that lies between them and the jawbone. The ligament anchors to both with tiny fibers, which on the tooth side affixes within a thin substance called cementum deposited on the tooth root.
As we said, we don't normally notice teeth moving. But the periodontal ligament does allow movement on a miniscule scale as a response to normal pressures that accompany biting and chewing. Although we're unaware of it, this movement takes place as the bone and cementum ahead of the direction of movement begin to dissolve. Simultaneously, new bone and cementum develops on the other side of the tooth to stabilize the movement.
Orthodontic treatment takes advantage of this natural process. The anchored wires of braces through attached brackets place pressure on the teeth in the intended direction for tooth movement. The natural mechanism described earlier does the rest. Over time, orthodontists have developed an amazing amount of precision working within this mechanism.
Another aspect about braces and other methods we may take for granted is our motive for even trying to move teeth in the first place. It may seem we're only realigning teeth to produce a more attractive smile—which they can do and why we often refer to braces as the "original smile makeover." But there's an even greater desire—straightening teeth can improve dental health.
Poor bites in turn cause other problems. Misaligned teeth are more difficult to keep clean of bacterial plaque, which increases the risk of disease. A poor bite can also accelerate teeth wear and contribute to gum problems like recession. We can eliminate or minimize these problems through bite correction.
Whatever your age, braces or other means can vastly benefit your health and your appearance. They may not always seem so, but braces are one of the true wonders of dental care.
If you would like more information on bite correction through orthodontics, 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 “Moving Teeth With Orthodontics.”
Are your stained teeth bumming you out? There's good news—you can transform that dull and dingy smile yourself with a tooth whitening product.
There are dozens of over-the-counter whitening kits that allow you to brighten your own smile. Although not as controlled and long-lasting as a dentist's professional whitening, these DIY kits can still give you effective results.
But since these products involve chemical solutions that bleach tooth enamel, there's a common concern about their safety. Could you be harming your teeth by using a home whitening kit?
The answer is no—as long as you follow the manufacturer's directions for using the product. These kits have been formulated with a lower percentage of bleaching agent (usually 10% carbamide peroxide) than whitening solutions used by dentists. They've also been subjected to several clinical studies gauging both their effectiveness and safety.
That said, though, exceeding a product's recommended directions and frequency of use could cause you problems. If not used properly, a bleaching solution can erode tooth enamel—and this protective tooth layer doesn't grow back! As long as you whiten "within the lines," so to speak, you shouldn't encounter this kind of situation.
With that said, though, there are good reasons to consult your dentist before using a whitening product, or have them perform the whitening for you.
For one thing, an over-the-counter whitening product won't work if the staining originates from inside a tooth. It's wise, then, to have a dental examination first before using a whitening product to uncover this or any other underlying dental problems that should be addressed first.
You may also find a professional whitening will give you a more desirable result. A stronger professional bleaching solution under a dentist's expert control can produce a brighter, longer lasting smile than a home use product. A dentist may also be able to control the level of brightness better to help you achieve the smile effect you desire, from subtle white to ultra-bright.
Whichever way you go, your dentist can advise you on your options and make sure your teeth are in good shape for whitening. The end result can be a brighter smile—and a brighter mood.
If you would like more information on teeth whitening, 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 “Tooth Whitening Safety Tips.”
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