Fluoride: The Cavity Fighter

Fluoride is your friend when it comes to fighting cavities. And no one wants cavities! You may have heard the term at your dentist’s office or maybe read it on a toothpaste package, but still remain unsure about what it actually is. Let’s learn about nature’s very own cavity fighter!

woman drinking a glass of fluoridated water

What Exactly Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral found naturally in a variety of places, including water, soil, and some foods. The reason we’re interested in it so much is because it can actually strengthen teeth and serve as protection against tooth decay. Essentially, it helps with the remineralizing, or rebuilding, process in the enamel of your teeth.

How Can I Get Fluoride?

There are two ways to get fluoride: topical and systemic. Topical fluoride is fluoride that’s applied directly. For example, the fluoride that gets brushed on teeth during fluoride treatment at the dentist. Toothpastes and mouth rinses with fluoride are two other examples.

Systemic fluoride is fluoride that’s ingested into your system. Fluoridated water is an example of this. Many people in the U.S. live in areas where fluoride has been added to the water supply. There are also dietary fluoride supplements you can take in tablet or lozenge form, but they’re only available through a prescription.

Am I Getting Enough Fluoride?

Generally, if you stick to a healthy at-home dental routine using fluoride toothpaste, eat a nutritious diet, and drink fluoridated water, then you’re getting enough fluoride. Really, the best way to know if you could benefit from more fluoride is to ask your dentist. They’ll be able to examine your teeth and provide a recommendation.

If you’d like to know more about fluoride treatment, contact the team at High Point Family Dentistry. We’re happy to answer any and all questions you might have.

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Jaw Dropping Facts About TMJ

If you are one of the over 3 million Americans suffering from TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, you understand the impact that chronic jaw pain can have on your life and your comfort. At High Point Family Dentistry, our first step in treating jaw pain is diagnosing the cause. Today, we want to share some facts about TMJ to help you determine whether you or a loved one may be suffering from this serious condition.

man holding his jaw in pain suffering from TMJ

What Causes TMJ Pain?

There are several conditions that can cause chronic jaw pain. One of the most common causes of TMJ are bite alignment issues. When your teeth do not align properly, issues with the way they fit together can lead to jaw and facial pain. Injuries to the jaw like dislocation are another common cause of TMJ. Arthritis can also lead to TMJ.

TMJ Affects More Women Than Men

TMJ affects twice as many more women than men. This ratio is particularly pronounced among women of childbearing age.

Stress & Overuse Can Lead to TMJ

Scientists are discovering that high stress can lead to a variety of health issues. For example, stress is one of the culprits behind clenching and grinding teeth at night. The stress resulting from the overuse of jaw muscles can lead to TMJ.

TMJ Can Disappear on Its Own

While there are treatments out there that can alleviate TMJ pain, they are not always necessary. In many cases, TMJ pain will go away on its own. However, eliminating sources of stress that lead to clenching and grinding can often treat chronic TMJ pain.

TMJ Can Cause Ear Pain

TMJ disorders don’t just lead to jaw pain. TMJ may also be responsible for pain around your ears, headaches, tooth sensitivity, and neck aches.

If you believe you are experiencing TMJ pain, our team may be able to help. To ask us any questions or to schedule your next visit to our office, contact us today!

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Do I Have Burning Mouth Syndrome?

If you ever experience a burning pain in your mouth, you may have burning mouth syndrome. Here, we’ll explain what burning mouth syndrome is, what the symptoms are, what causes it, and how you can treat burning mouth syndrome.

girl touching her mouth in pain from burning mouth syndrome

What Is Burning Mouth Syndrome?

Burning mouth syndrome is the chronic burning in the mouth that does not appear to have any apparent cause. It can occur suddenly or gradually, and the burning sensation is often found at the tip of your tongue or the roof of your mouth, but can also occur on your lips, gums, or even the inside of your cheeks.

What Are the Symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome?

The main symptom of burning mouth syndrome is a burning pain that can be as severe as if you burned your mouth with scalding hot water. Other symptoms include a change in taste such as a metallic or bitter taste or even loss of taste. You can also feel as though you’re suffering from dry mouth and feel very thirsty. The pain could be constant, become worse throughout the day, or it could come and go. The syndrome can last for months or even years. There are no noticeable symptoms that occur to your mouth or tongue.

What Causes Burning Mouth Syndrome?

There are two types of burning mouth syndrome: primary and secondary. The causes for primary are those that are related to issues with taste and the sensory nerves of the nervous system. Secondary burning mouth syndrome is when the issue is caused by a medical condition. These underlying conditions linked to burning mouth syndrome include dry mouth, oral thrush (a fungal infection), oral linchen planus (inflammatory condition), geographic tongue (makes the tongue look map-like), nutritional deficiencies like a lack of iron or zinc, food allergies, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and endocrine disorders like diabetes or hypothyroidism. Secondary burning mouth syndrome may also be caused by some medications (specifically those for high blood pressure), psychological issues (depression, stress, anxiety), teeth grinding, tongue thrusting, mouth irritation from over brushing your tongue, and even ill fitting dentures which put pressure on some tissues and muscles in your mouth.

How Do You Treat Burning Mouth Syndrome?

Treatment for secondary burning mouth syndrome directly depends on the cause. For primary burning mouth syndrome, there is no known cure, but again treatment depends on the underlying cause and could include saliva replacement products, antidepressants, nerve pain medication, oral rinses, capsaicin which is a pain reliever made from chili peppers, anticonvulsant mediation, and even cognitive behavioral therapy.

If you think you may be suffering from burning mouth syndrome, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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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?


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.


    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)

    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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