Tips for Dealing with Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety can get in the way of having healthy teeth if we let it. Although it’s very common to have some nervousness when visiting the dentist, it’s important to attend regularly scheduled dental visits. If you’re dealing with some nerves, we want to help. Here are a few tips for what you can do, and a bit of information of what we’re doing to combat this problem.

dark haired girl with anxiety

Visit a Dentist You Trust

At High Point Dentistry, we do everything we can to ensure our patients feel comfortable and cared for from the moment they step into our office. We employ state-of-the-art technology to help ease discomfort and reduce appointment times. We use intraoral cameras and digital x-rays to help you see what we see when we’re looking at your teeth. We have systems that reduce discomfort like the Isolate® comfort system, which helps reduce jaw tension during longer procedures. We also offer DentalVibe® technology, which eliminates pain upon injection. Finally, we offer gentle sedation like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for our adult and child patients.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques can work wonders before a dental appointment if you’re nervous. Reading a book or magazine can help, as can aromatherapy, or simply drinking a cup of herbal tea. That’s why we offer all of these in our waiting room, to help you feel soothed each time you visit. Practice deep breathing, relax, and know you’re in good hands with us.

Distract Yourself

One feature our patients love is television in each treatment room, complete with Netflix so you can binge watch your favorite show. Children love it because their favorite cartoon is a great distraction. Each appointment flies by when you have a little something to take your focus off of the dental tools.

Talk About It

If you or your child is anxious about dental visits, talk to us. If your child is nervous, feel free to tell them about your positive experience with dentists and the importance of having healthy teeth. We are always here to answer questions about how we can conquer dental anxiety together. You’ve got this!

Contact us today if it’s time to schedule an appointment. We are ready to help you overcome your fears and keep your beautiful smile!

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Help the Environment While You Brush

At High Point Family Dentistry, our team is committed to helping the environment by encouraging recycling and cutting down on waste. By conserving resources and using sustainable products, we can do our part in working toward a more sustainable future. You can do the same at home by making a few small changes to your brushing routine.

water faucets dripping water

1. Turn off the Tap

If you leave the water running while you brush, you may be wasting as much as four gallons each time you brush your teeth. If you’re following our advice and brushing twice daily for two minutes each time, that can add up to over 200 wasted gallons of water per month! Turn off the faucet while you brush to conserve water and save some on your utility bill.

2. Use a Cup

If you fill your hands with water to rinse your mouth after brushing, you’re not alone! However, this practice wastes water. Instead, keep a cup by the sink – it’s much more efficient! If you have kids, consider designating each child a cup in a different color to ensure brushing harmony.

3. Aerate Your Faucet

To cut down on your water usage, consider installing an aerator to your bathroom faucet. These nifty gadgets can cut your water usage by up to 60 percent. If an aerator isn’t an option, an alternative is to lower your home’s water pressure.

4. Use Sustainable Dental Products

In addition to conserving water, using dental products made from sustainable materials is a great way to help the environment. Dental floss made from silk and toothbrushes made from bamboo provide the same cleaning power without creating more plastic waste.

Do you and your family take any steps to help the environment while practicing good oral hygiene? If so, let our team know! To ask us any questions or to schedule your next visit, don’t hesitate contacting us.

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How Can I Encourage My Kids to Brush?

“NO!”

Despite how well behaved your child is most of the time, the word “no” seems to be among the first that most children start saying. Though it usually starts in that ‘terrible-two’ range, whenever kids start saying ‘no,’ it starts a pattern of resistance behavior that lasts through childhood, adolescence, and some would say even through most of life!

Children’s Dentistry in Elgin, IL

At High Point Family Dentistry, we know the importance of good oral hygiene habits and we like to help your kids start those good habits early. Children who brush their teeth carefully and thoroughly for 2 full minutes each time grow into adults who have strong and healthy smiles for life!
toy from holding a toothbrush next to tube of toothpaste

Ways to Encourage Your Kids to Brush

Telling your children about the importance of good tooth brushing isn’t usually enough to get them to do it, but the team at High Point Family Dentistry has compiled a list of ways to help encourage your kids to brush.

1. Let Them Pick Out Their Own Toothbrush & Toothpaste:

Toothbrushes come in a wide variety of fun colors and some even feature your kids’ favorite TV or movie character. There are also children’s toothpastes that come in fun flavors like cotton candy or bubble gum and ones that feature their favorite characters, like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or the characters from Frozen. By giving your little ones the option to pick the tools of brushing, you help motivate them to use them.

2. Make the Time Count:

To do a good job, the American Dental Association recommends that teeth be brushed for at least two minutes. It’s important that your children brush carefully for the whole two minutes. You can help make the time count in the following ways:

  • Rather than just setting a timer, crank up your kid’s favorite song and make an event of it! Switch things up and keep it interesting by alternating between watching a two-minute long video (for younger kids, click here for some ideas!), choosing different songs, or read a two-minute long story.
  • Lead by example! By brushing your teeth with your kids, you show them how important it is. Kids love to imitate their parents, so why not take advantage of that “monkey see, monkey do” tendency by teaching them to emulate your good oral hygiene habits!
  • 3. Reward Good Oral Hygiene:

    Turn brushing into a game and incentivize it with prizes for good behavior. Consider creating a sticker chart and add a sticker to the chart every time they brush their teeth. Or offer a prize after a month’s worth of brushing their teeth twice each day. Be careful that you don’t use sugary treats as a reward in this situation – that defeats the purpose! Try extra screen time or toys.

    Even it your kids are star brushers, it’s still important that they visit us at High Point Family Dentistry twice every year. This allows us to perform professional cleanings and examinations to keep up with their growth and stay on top of any problems before they become major headaches. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!

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    Dentistry From the Heart

    We’re excited to announce that on November 3rd, we’re partnering with Dentistry from the Heart to provide FREE dental care to adults ages 18 and up in the Elgin community. As a team, we truly believe that everyone deserves access to high-quality dentistry.

    ABOUT OUR DENTISTRY FROM THE HEART EVENT


    This event aims at helping those that have been avoiding the dentist due to cost concerns, lack of dental insurance, fear, or any other reason. In addition to our free dental services, we hope that this event will show the community that visiting the dentist doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking, scary experience. Our friendly, gentle team always has your best interest at heart and goes above and beyond to make your dental appointment comfortable and stress-free!

  • Date: November 3rd (Sábado 3 de Noviembre)
  • Address: 1350 E. Chicago St., Elgin, IL 60120
  • Registration: 7:30 AM — early arrival highly suggested (sugerimos llegar temprano)
  • Ages: 18+ (adultos mayores de 18 años)
  • Serving: Snacks and drinks
  • Veterans: We are reserving 10 spots for veterans. Please call us to reserve yours!
  • FREE extractions, fillings, and cleanings (extracción, relleno, o limpieza 100% gratis)
  • SPREAD THE WORD

    We are encouraging people to share this blog post or the flyer on our Facebook page. We want to make this a big event and provide dental treatments to as many people as possible—in order to do so, we need your help getting the word out. Whether you’re in need of a dental treatment of your own or just want to come in and get to know our great team, we hope to see you there!

    If you would like to donate to or volunteer at the event, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. Questions? Please visit our Facebook page or contact our office at 847-760-6100! ¡Visita nuetra página de facebook para más información!

    thank you in blocks from the heart

    Help Us Make Dentistry From the Heart a Success!

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    Do I Need Antibiotics for Oral Surgery?

    Looking up into the faces of oral surgeons wearing teal masks covering their mouths as they hold surgical instruments

    Some of our patients wonder if antibiotics will be needed around the time of their oral surgery. Read on to learn when antibiotics may be necessary for oral surgery; we also offer tips to prevent infection after your extraction.

    Will I Need to Take Antibiotics for Oral Surgery?

    Be sure to disclose your full medical history with us before your surgery so we can adequately help you prepare. Together with your primary care physician, we can help you know if you need to take antibiotics before your procedure. Although the answer is no for most, there are a few exceptions. For example, you may need antibiotic treatment before your surgery if you have:

    ● A congenital heart defect (from birth)
    ● Cirrhosis of the liver
    ● An artificial or damaged heart valve
    ● A weakened immune system
    ● A hip replacement or other artificial joints
    ● Ever had bacterial endocarditis

    How Do I Prevent Infection Post-Surgery?

    Even if you have none of the conditions mentioned above, you’ll need to care for your mouth after extraction to prevent infection. If you do get an infection, you may end up needing antibiotics so we’d like to help you avoid that. Be sure to take the following precautions:

    ● Rest for 24 hours after your surgery & wait to resume vigorous activities
    ● Eat soft foods and drink plenty of water
    ● Don’t drink from a straw
    ● Take pain medication only as prescribed
    ● Follow instructions for care and cleaning to avoid dry socket
    ● Don’t smoke or use tobacco products

    Your Comfort & Safety Is Important to Us

    If you know you’re due to have a tooth extracted, please know that you will be in excellent hands at High Point Family Dentistry! Our team is skilled in performing this procedure and will strive to make your experience as comfortable as possible. Although we perform many successful procedures every day, it’s normal for patients to feel a little nervous. We want you to feel at ease, so let us know if you have any concerns or questions about your surgery and the healing process. Our team of friendly experts is ready to help you.

    Reach out to us if you feel concerned about an upcoming dental procedure!

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    5 Things You Didn’t Know About Toothpaste

    toothbrush with paste

    We all use toothpaste twice a day (even astronauts in space!), but we don’t often think much more about it. Here are five interesting facts about toothpaste that you probably didn’t know:

    1. Who invented toothpaste?

    The first recipe for toothpaste was found in archeological research of ancient Egypt. In 5000 BC, before the invention of the toothbrush (which occurred sometime during the years 3000 and 35000 BC), the ancient Egyptians were using ox hoof ash and burnt eggshells to clean their teeth. That first toothpaste recipe also lists ingredients of fried iris flower, mint, salt, and a pinch of salt to whiten and perfect teeth.

    2. What is in toothpaste?

    The part of toothpaste that does the work of wearing away plaque and food particles from the teeth is known as the abrasive. The abrasive, combined with the circular scrubbing motion of your toothbrush, physically helps to clean the surface of your teeth. Calcium carbonate is a common abrasive used in toothpastes; it’s rough enough to remove plaque, also gentle enough to avoid damaging the teeth’s enamel.

    3. When should you brush your teeth?

    Your alarm clock goes off and you rise from bed with morning breath. Do you brush now, before your breakfast and coffee? Or wait until after? Common sense tells you that brushing after is the way to go, in order to remove all the gunk from your breakfast, but time is actually an important factor here, and so is your meal. If you’re consuming food or drink that it very acidic (Orange juice, I’m looking at you), it’s important to wait at least 30 minutes before you brush your teeth to avoid damaging the teeth’s enamel.

    4. When was modern toothpaste developed?

    The toothpaste you have in your house is very different than the stuff the ancient Egyptians used. Early toothpaste was usually a powder formula, but in the 1850’s, ingredients were added to create a smooth paste texture. The first commercially available toothpaste was created by Crest and was sold in a jar!

    5. Why would there be seaweed in my toothpaste?

    Do you know what helps to give toothpaste its consistency? Although it sounds unbelievable, the answer is often seaweed! Seaweed functions as a thickening agent and it stabilizes toothpaste so it can be squeezed from a tube.

    Brushing your teeth is an important part of keeping your teeth healthy and strong, but it’s not all: you also must floss and come visit the friendly team at High Point Family Dentistry every six months! Call or use our online appointment request form today!

    Brush your teeth twice a day & schedule your routine checkup at High Point Family Dentistry!

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    Do Gums Grow Back?

    Brunette woman wearing a black hoodie covers her mouth with her hands due to embarrassing receding gums

    Are you experiencing tooth sensitivity or noticing that your teeth are getting longer? You could be one of many who suffer from a receding gum line. Damage to your gums can become a serious issue if not monitored closely. While your gums do not grow back, there are preventive measures and corrective treatments available to protect them from further damage. We’ve provided an overview of the cause of gum recession and a few ways to make it more manageable.

    What Is a Receding Gum Line?

    Gum recession occurs when the tissue around your tooth begins to pull away and eventually expose your root. An indication of recession is sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweet food or drinks. A receding gum line will not correct itself and needs immediate attention.

    What Causes Gum Recession?

    There are a number of factors that play a role in gum recession. Brushing too forcefully is one of the self-inflicted causes. Genetics are also a key factor in gum recession. Inadequate brushing or cleaning can lead to gum recession by allowing plaque to turn into tartar. Use of tobacco products, misalignment, and grinding your teeth are a few more causes.

    Can I Treat Gum Recession?

    Our expert High Point Family Dentistry team can perform a deep cleaning of the problem area in order to prevent further recession. During this cleaning, any plaque will be removed from the tooth and exposed root. It may also be necessary to smooth the tooth and root in order to make the attachment of bacteria more difficult. If the recession is too advanced, surgical treatment may be your best alternative. Tissue graft, regeneration, and root planing are a few of the surgical options.

    What Preventive Actions Can I Take?

    The most important act of prevention is to maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing, flossing, and our dental practice twice per year can help you achieve this. Investing in a soft-bristled toothbrush can also decrease your chances of gum recession. Eating a clean diet and stopping any use of tobacco products can be tools in prevention as well.

    Follow our preventive tips & schedule your routine appointment at High Point Family Dentistry!

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    Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

    Headshot of dark-haired man with facial hair in a gray suit and checkered button-up shirt smiling

    Are you missing a tooth or two and looking to replace them? Your dentist may recommend dental implants to restore your smile—but not everyone may be a candidate for the procedure. Here’s how to know whether or not you’re a good candidate!

    1. Healthy Gums

    Having healthy gums is crucial because specialists must work closely with your gums during the procedure. Thus, patients who have gum infections like gingivitis or periodontal disease would not likely be ideal candidates.

    2. Sufficient Bone Density

    A sufficient amount of bone density is required in order for the implant to be protected and supported. Having a strong jaw is important when anchoring the implants. However, people who suffer from bone loss in their jawbone can still get dental implants, but it will require another set of procedures to rebuild your bone first.

    3. Great Oral Health & Hygiene

    A good candidate will have no infections or other dental problems that could interfere with the surgical procedure. They will also be devoted to taking exemplary care of their oral hygiene after the implant process, particularly to the surrounding gums. Daily brushing and flossing, as well as routine follow-up visits to the dentist are an important part of keeping your implants and your mouth in tip-top shape.

    4. No Tobacco Use

    Those who use tobacco products are not ideal for this procedure because smoking and tobacco prevents healing in the mouth and can decrease the chances of a successful implant. We recommend quitting smoking to protect your oral health!

    4. Minimal Bruxism

    Those who struggle with teeth grinding and clenching may place too much pressure on the implants and risk a failed end result. If you do grind your teeth, ask us about our custom-fitted nightguards to protect your smile.

    Consult with Our Team!

    If your oral health isn’t in the best shape, you could still be a candidate for dental implants; it will all depend on the severity of your condition. We recommend that you consult with our dentists for an expert opinion. At High Point Family Dentistry, we are devoted to providing quality oral care. We offer a FREE consultation for those interested in dental implants. Schedule an appointment with us today.

    The possibility of reclaiming your smile is within reach!

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    Why Do My Teeth Turn Yellow?

    Aerial view of an off-white and teal mug holding coppery brown coffee on a matching saucer over a very light blue surface

    We often associate yellow and stained teeth with uncleanliness, but what if you have yellow teeth despite keeping a strict brushing and flossing schedule? There are actually quite a few reasons why you may be getting yellow teeth. Here are the most common causes:

    1. Diet

    Acidic foods are known for promoting stains because they wear down enamel. Moreover, when bacteria on your teeth feed on the sugars and starches on the surface of your teeth, they release even more acid in your mouth. So foods like citrus, berries, and candy, and drinks like soda, coffee, and alcohol can all contribute to stained teeth.

    2. Genetics

    Unfortunately, your yellow teeth may be due to genetics. If your family members have yellow teeth for no apparent reason, your tooth color may simply be hereditary.

    3. Weak Enamel

    If you have yellow teeth despite maintaining good health, you may have weak enamel. This makes the dentin, or the layer underneath your enamel that has a naturally slightly yellow tint, appear more strongly and give your teeth a yellowed appearance. Thin enamel is caused by genetics and various lifestyle factors, such as those mentioned on this list.

    4. Side Effect of Certain Medications

    Some antibiotics and contraceptives can stain teeth. Talk to your doctor before discontinuing medications, though!

    5. Physical Trauma

    Chipped, cracked, and broken teeth have damaged enamel, thereby making it easier for them to stain.

    6. Excessive Fluoride

    A safe amount of fluoride is great for teeth and prevents the formation of cavities. However, too much fluoride can actually cause brown spots on your teeth! Using toothpaste with fluoride, drinking fluoridated water, and getting fluoride treatments at your dentist’s office is a perfect amount of fluoride exposure.

    7. Smoking

    Smoking lowers your immunity, making it harder to ward off bacteria on the surface of your teeth. Smoking has a major negative impact on your overall health, so it is best to quit smoking ASAP or avoid it entirely.

    How to Fix Yellow Teeth

    It’s best to identify the primary cause of your yellow teeth in order to prevent them from further discoloration and damage, but no matter the cause, there are solutions to brighten your smile. At High Point Family Dentistry, we offer three options for teeth whitening:

  • Custom trays to whiten your teeth accurately in the comfort of your own home
  • One-size trays for maximum affordability
  • In-office whitening that can lighten your teeth up to eight shades in under an hour
  • There’s no reason for you to not love your smile. Our team is here to help restore your confidence and oral health. Contact us today!

    Do you want the Hollywood smile of your dreams?

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    Positive Dental Habits

    Young woman in green tank top brushing teeth standing in her white bathroom

    The key to developing positive dental habits is setting a solid routine. Keeping your teeth consistently clean and healthy, as well as maintaining a healthy diet, are great ways to avoid costly and painful dental procedures in the future. Here are simple ways to create a dental routine and gain positive dental habits.

    1. Brush Your Teeth Thoroughly

    Yes, there is a right way to brush your teeth! Try to brush your teeth for two minutes at a time, using small circles to clean every surface of your teeth effectively. Ask your dentist for tips on how to brush your teeth properly if you don’t think you have the technique down right.

    2. Floss Everyday

    Only a third of Americans floss their teeth daily, but it’s a necessary habit that everyone should develop! Flossing clears plaque and bacteria from tight spaces that your toothbrush can’t reach. Not flossing can put you at risk for gum disease, which starts when plaque and bacteria get trapped under the gum line and make your gums infected and inflamed.

    3. Rinse Well

    After you’re done brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth to wash away any bacteria and plaque that may still be sitting on the surface of your teeth. It’s a quick, simple way to take extra good care of your oral health.

    4. Don’t Eat Before Bed

    Eating before bed may sound like a great idea, but it can actually cause more harm than good. Our bodies restore and repair while we sleep. Our digestive systems slow down, so they can’t properly break down anything we’ve eaten right before bed. Because of this, we don’t produce as much saliva to wash away bacteria from the surface of our teeth. Try not to eat anything for two to three hours before you go to bed to avoid this. If you’re tempted to fill your belly at night, try keeping a glass of water by your bed to kill any cravings. In general, it is best to avoid sugary, acidic, and sticky foods because they more easily wear down enamel.

    5. See Your Dentist Regularly

    Just because you carefully brush and floss your teeth doesn’t mean you’re clear of any dental issues. Your dentist will be able to give you a thorough examination and take X-rays of your teeth and gums to rule out any potential issues.

    Make it your goal to create positive dental habits in the new year! Our staff at High Point Family Dentistry is committed to providing you with the best oral care and are more than happy to help answer any questions that you may have.

    Contact us to schedule your appointment!

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