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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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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    What Are Those Things in the Dentist’s Office?

    hand holding dental laser with purple lighted tip

    Ever wondered what dentists use to clean and examine your teeth? You’re not alone! It’s daunting to sit in the dentist’s chair and not understand the instruments that the hygienist and dentist are using. Let’s take a look at the most popular dental tools and their purposes.

    Mouth Mirror

    The mouth mirror is a small, circular mirror attached to a long handle. Your dentist uses it to look at tight spaces in your mouth, paying close attention to areas that have tartar buildup. Another use for the mouth mirror is to simply push your tongue or cheek away to get a better look at your teeth!

    Saliva Ejector

    What’s that little vacuum that sucks up your spit during a treatment? That’s the saliva ejector, which dries your mouth so the dentist can better perform their work.

    Scalers

    Scalers are the hooked instruments that your hygienist uses to scrape plaque and tartar off your teeth. It makes what many think is a very unpleasant scraping sound. While temporarily uncomfortable, you may quickly feel the difference between not having your teeth scaled compared to having them scaled!

    Drill

    Have a cavity? Chances are you’ll have some time with the drill, which removes the area of decay and prepares the tooth for a filling.

    Probe

    Your dentist uses a probe to examine your gums and check for signs of gum disease.

    Intraoral Camera

    Want to know what your dentist is looking at? At High Point Family Dentistry, we use intraoral cameras so our patients can take a look at their teeth and see what the dentist sees! Now you never have to wonder what we’re seeing during an examination.

    Isolite®

    Another high-tech feature that High Point Family Dentistry is proud to use is the Isolite patient comfort system. It simultaneously holds your mouth open for you and keeps it illuminated so your dentist can see their work. It even sucks away fluids!

    X-Ray Machine

    If you’re a new patient or haven’t had X-rays taken in a while, your dentist will want to have new X-rays taken during your visit. We use digital X-rays because they emit less radiation than regular X-rays and are quick.

    Next time you visit the dentist, don’t be frightened by the different instruments that your dentist uses. At High Point Family Dentistry, we only utilize the most up-to-date technologies so our patients can enjoy a faster and more accurate appointment. Contact us today and see the difference for yourself!

    Schedule your appointment today!

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    Should I Be Brushing My Pet’s Teeth?

    puppy on white carpet needs teeth brushed

    In the same way that it’s vital for humans to brush their teeth to practice good oral health, it’s important that your pet gets the same treatment to maintain a healthy mouth.

    Why You Should Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

    When you brush your pet’s teeth, you are removing plaque and tartar from their teeth. If left untreated, the tartar and plaque can build up and cause serious dental issues, such as gingivitis, cavities, gum disease, tooth loss, and more, not to mention bad breath. These oral issues can even lead to serious conditions in other parts of your pet’s body. This includes liver, heart, and kidney problems that can cause chronic pain and a short lifespan. By brushing your pet’s teeth, you are taking care of body their oral health and their overall health.

    How You Should Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

    Unfortunately, brushing your pet’s teeth is not particularly enjoyable. That’s why it’s important to establish a routine and brush their teeth at least three times a week. Start by finding a time when your pet is relaxed and comfortable. You also need to come prepared. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste made especially for pets.

    Getting Used to It

    When you have all of your tools and your pet is calm, kneel or sit in front of them. Never stand above them or hold them down as this will make them anxious and upset. Next, test your pet’s willingness to have you near their mouth by rubbing your finger along their teeth and gums using light pressure. If your pet is comfortable with that, spread a bit of toothpaste on your finger and hold it out for them to taste. This will help them get used to the toothpaste.

    The Technique

    Once your pet is used to the taste of the toothpaste and the feel of something in their mouth, it’s time to start brushing! Lift your pet’s upper lip and gently massage the gum line and teeth with the toothbrush, brushing in small circles. Start with a few teeth at a time, working through the entire mouth for two minutes total. It’s most important to hit the outsides of the canine and back teeth, which is where plaque tends to build up. Some light bleeding might occur, and that’s ok. If you notice anything more, you are either brushing too aggressively or your pet might be showing signs of gum disease. Talk to your vet right away if this is the case.

    Rewards

    Finally, end the tooth brushing experience by rewarding your pet. Give them a treat, some extra love, or playtime. It’s important that they see this as something to look forward to or something that they’ll be rewarded for doing.

    While it’s very important to take care of your pet’s teeth, be sure to take care of yours, as well! At High Point Family Dentistry, we’re dedicated to providing you with the best oral care. Call us today to make an appointment!

    Schedule your appointment today!

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    5 Things Every Bathroom Needs for Great Oral Health

    bathroom sink organized for good oral health routine

    You know that oral health is important, but do you know what you need to keep your teeth clean and healthy? Here are 5 things your bathroom needs to ensure you’re taking care of your smile.

    Toothbrush

    One of the most important dental tools in your bathroom, your toothbrush is your battle sword against bacteria and plaque. But what kind of toothbrush should you be using?

    Most dentists agree that a soft-bristled brush is best for removing debris and plaque from your teeth and along your gum line. The shape and grip of the toothbrush is less important. Just pick whatever helps you brush most thoroughly! Speaking of thorough, many find electric toothbrushes are able to remove more plaque from your mouth than your average toothbrush. As long as you’re dedicated to a comprehensive brush every time, though, a regular toothbrush should work just fine. Be sure to replace your toothbrush as soon as you notice wear, or about every three months, whichever comes first.

    Toothpaste

    At one time, you’ve probably stood in the drugstore looking at all of the toothpaste choices wondering which to buy. As a rule of thumb, look for a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which works to strengthen the outer enamel of your teeth. If you want to whiten your teeth, there are some important ingredients to look for. Ingredients like magnesium carbonate, hydrated aluminum oxides, and calcium carbonate, hydrogen peroxide, or carbamide peroxide all have whitening capabilities.

    Floss

    Floss is another must-have for good oral hygiene. You should be flossing every day, twice a day. Standard floss is a slightly better choice because it can curve to get between teeth at the gumline. Floss picks are also effective, though. Just make sure to thoroughly clean between teeth and gums.

    Mouthwash

    According to the American Dental Association (ADA), mouthwash has a number of benefits to help keep your mouth clean. It can reduce gingivitis, prevent tooth decay, slow down the formation of tartar on teeth, and, of course, freshen breath. Mouthwash shouldn’t be used in place of brushing or flossing, but it’s a great source of additional protection for teeth.

    Storage

    Where and how you store these vital tools is as important as how well and often you use them. It should seem fairly obvious, but make sure you are storing your toothbrush away from the toilet. You don’t want to risk anything unsavory comingling with the toothbrush that goes in your mouth! It’s also important to note that you should store your toothbrush somewhere dry. Keeping your toothbrush somewhere that is vulnerable to moisture can lead to a moldy brush.

    At High Point Family Dentistry, we want to help you practice good oral hygiene. While your at-home care is vital to your dental health, it’s important that you don’t miss your regular cleanings.

    Make an appointment with us today!

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    5 Signs You May Have Dental Axiety

    anxious woman biting nails

    Anxiety about going to the dentist is extremely common not just in children, but in adults too. You may not even consciously think of yourself as having a fear of visiting the dentist, but if some of these signs sound familiar, you may be experiencing dental anxiety.

    You Haven’t Been to the Dentist in Ages

    You might make excuses, citing a busy schedule or simply forgetting to schedule that exam, but it’s all too easy to let the time go by. Before you know it, you haven’t been to the dentist in a year or two, or maybe it’s been even longer than that. People who have a significant amount of anxiety about going to the dentist don’t go out of their way to schedule appointments. The bad news is that the longer you go without routine exams and cleanings, the greater the potential for more severe problems with your teeth. Make it easier on yourself and go to the dentist twice a year to stay on top of your oral health.

    You’ve Had Bad Past Experiences

    Chances are, if you had a negative experience at the dentist in the past, it’s going to deter you from wanting to go back. Perhaps you had an unexpectedly painful procedure, or the dentist or hygienist was unconcerned with your comfort. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that you can replace those bad experiences with good ones. Find a dentist who prides him or herself on being gentle and compassionate, who will hear your concerns and do whatever possible to make sure you are comfortable.

    You Get Nervous as Soon as You Walk In

    If the sound of the drill, the smell of the clinic, and the fluorescent lighting all make you uneasy, you probably associate the sounds, smells, and sights of the office with a negative past experience, and walking into the waiting room is enough to trigger your anxiety. A dental practice that provides patients with a softly lit waiting room with refreshments, magazines, and relaxing music can make you feel unexpectedly welcome and calm from the moment you step into their office.

    You Feel Vulnerable When You Sit in the Chair

    If you suddenly feel a sense of panic when the dentist’s chair begins to recline, you might feel like you’re not in control anymore, that you don’t know what may happen, or that you are suddenly susceptible to pain. You might be afraid of needles, drilling, or other painful procedures, or gagging when equipment is placed in your mouth. A compassionate dentist provides televisions, magazines, and music as distractions, as well as pain-free injections and gentle sedation options to help you feel calm and in control of the situation.

    You Are Self-Conscious About Having Your Hygiene Criticized

    The inside of your mouth is quite a personal matter, and hearing even gentle, constructive criticism about bad breath, plaque buildup, or your lazy flossing habits will probably feel at least mildly embarrassing. It’s important to remember that hygienists and dentists see all sorts of mouths, and their number one concern is that your mouth is healthy and clean. It’s best to visit a dental practice that respects you and your feelings while still encouraging you to take the best possible care of your oral health.

    High Point Family Dentistry prioritizes comfort, compassion, and gentleness, and we offer many amenities to ensure that you are relaxed during treatments. We have soft lighting with aromatherapy, warm blankets and pillows, scented towels, relaxing music, and Netflix available in treatment rooms. We are happy to work with you to give you a positive and relaxed experience so contact us today to schedule your next appointment.

    You’ll feel comfortable in our care!

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