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What is Causing Your Toothache?

Regardless of how well you take care of your teeth, at some point in your life you’re likely to experience a toothache. While many toothaches are ultimately tied to tooth decay there are many causes of toothaches. Find out more about what might be causing that pain around, or seemingly “in”, your teeth.

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The Many Causes Of Teeth Stains

Teeth stains are completely normal! And, luckily, in most cases, a very easy issue to combat.

While gleaming, white teeth are not hard to obtain, everyday foods and other indulgences can make then difficult to maintain. Of course, there are many other factors such as tobacco use and even genetics that can impact the severity of stains adhering to or within your teeth.

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Teeth Whitening Expectations

We all like the look of clean, sparkling white teeth. But, realistically, the brightest and whitest teeth may not be achievable for everyone. Before you begin a tooth whitening regimen or undergo a laser whitening treatment, such as Zoom Whitening, it’s important to temper your whitening expectations so that you that the outcome is aligned with a reasonable whitening potential based on your current oral health, existing dental work and/or habits. Continue reading “Teeth Whitening Expectations”

Tips for Saving On Your Kids’ Dental Expenses

Saving money when it comes to dental care is about preparation. Knowing what to plan for, knowing what to look out for, and when and how much to spend on recommended care. To lend a helping hand, we thought we’d lay out a few simple ways for you to stay on top of your game when it comes to keeping your kids in good health, and your hard-earned money where it belongs – in your pocket!

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Reducing Pain and Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening treatments, including in-home whitening trays or strips and laser whitening treatments such as Zoom whitening, can cause high levels of teeth sensitivity or pain for some people. Usually, people with sensitivity to teeth whitening will experience discomfort or pain during whitening treatments or in the minutes, hours or days following a specific treatment. Continue reading “Reducing Pain and Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening”

The Perfect Road Map For Your Child’s Oral Health

On July 3rd, 1806, two years into their journey to chart the uncharted west of America, pioneer explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark reached a challenge of epic proportion – the Rocky Mountains. What next, they wondered? Without a map, they were forced to do what explorers do – explore, and hope for the best. So, that got us thinking. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a handy map you could use to chart your own dental health? With that in mind, and in honor of our “Dog Days of Summer” explorers, we at Westend Dental wanted to share with you a few mile markers you can use to stay on top of your child’s health today, next year, and for years to come!

6 to 24 months

Your child's oral healthWhen you’re a new parent, life is a whirlwind, and the dental care of your newborn may not be top of mind when you look in their mouths and see no teeth! Here are some things to keep in mind:

Schedule a visit: As soon as that first tooth comes in, you’ll want to give us a call at 773-244-9500 to schedule a visit and set up a periodic exam schedule. Also, be aware the ADA recommends fluoridated toothpaste now for all children under the age of three. Don’t wait!

Ask us about:

  • Home hygiene basics: Things like, tips and tricks on brushing and other care. There’s nothing better than having our hygienists give brushing tutorials – they’re experts!
  • Preventative dentistry: The possible need for fluoride supplements
  • Dietary strategies: Achieving a balanced diet early in life for good oral health later
  • Feeding practice awareness: Bottle, breastfeeding, and no-spill training cups
  • Non-nutritive oral habits: Thumb sucking, pacifiers

2 to 12 years old

Ah, the little ones are growing up. Teeth are coming in at all sorts of crazy angles, and you’re going crazy from the rise in obligations. Here’s a quick list of what to consider during this time frame:

  • Preventative dentistry: Pit and fissure sealants can do wonders for keeping your child’s dental bills down, and their teeth in their head until they’re ready to fall out naturally. Ask us about them. They’re affordable AND useful. And, super-fast, you’ll be in and out in no time.
  • Orthodontic Consultation: Visiting an orthodontist for an early consultation is best done around your child’s seventh birthday. With today’s technology, early intervention can reduce the cost and duration of braces when your child gets older.

The Teen Years

The years “everything” happens! As children start to come into their own, new habits and desires begin to unfold as well. You’ll have to address every imaginable concern during these years, from piercings, to calls for whitening, braces, and the need to refer yourself away from your pediatric dentist and to a general dentist for continuing oral care. So, speak with us about:

  • Cosmetic Dentistry: What solutions are advisable now, and what things should be avoided.
  • Teen social pressures: Smoking, alcohol, intraoral/perioral piercings and the like. Believe it or not, we can help a lot with this. Does your teen have a favorite [insert your practice name here] hygienist? We might be able to arrange for that person to help when your teen comes in so they can address these concerns with an intermediary they trust. Give us a call at [insert your practice phone number here] to see how we can help!
  • Orthodontics: Options for minimizing appearance and health problems later in life.
  • Home hygiene tips: Brushing, flossing, choosing the right mouthwash.
  • Craniofacial injury prevention: With your children’s possible participation in sports, you’ll want to get them a mouth guard. Hands down it’ll be one of your best investments in a healthy mouth. And we make great ones at Westend Dental!

Staying on top of your child’s oral health isn’t as hard as you think, and if you keep this schedule handy, you’ll be ahead of most of your neighbor’s kids when it comes to a healthy mouth and body. Come to think of it … why not share it with them as well? They’ll thank you for the help.

Off to College

Affordable dental care for college students.Between campus activities, Greek life, classes, essays, and exams, dental health is usually not a top priority for your child. For those away at school, it’s important to take ownership of one’s dental health by being aware of these common pitfalls:

  • Dental Hygiene – As a college student, pulling all-nighters to study or staying up late simply because you can is the norm. No matter the reason it’s still important for students to brush two times per day for a recommended two minute time period.
  • Energy Drinks – Students routinely need a ‘kick-start’ to their 8 a.m. class especially after a late night of studying. Although energy drinks may offer a caffeine jolt they also contain citric acid, which strips enamel off the teeth. Avoiding these drinks is best for preserving dental health but coffee is a better choice (less than 4 cups a day) if a pick-me-up is needed.
  • Stress – Obtaining a 4.0 GPA isn’t easy, yet many college students will do whatever it takes to achieve it. The stress to make the grade, in addition to sleep deprivation from studying, can show on one’s teeth as a result of grinding and clenching. Making sleep (7 to 8 hours a night) and exercise (at least 30 minutes a day) a priority will help students deal with stress in a productive way. If a student has jaw pain (as a result of grinding and/or clenching) they should see a dental professional immediately.

College is an exciting time to map out one’s future career and take advantage of the many opportunities available. Although these opportunities don’t leave much room for down time, students should start practicing a balance in their academic, social and personal life to ensure dental, and overall, wellness for years to come.

Saving Space for Permanent Teeth with a Space Maintainer

If your little one’s teeth have begun to fall out, and their permanent replacements appear to be lagging far behind, you may wish to consider a space maintainer to minimize future orthodontic work. Believe it or not, the absence of your child’s teeth might seem cute now, but those tiny little gaps can cause deep gouges in your pocketbook as you watch them fill up with teeth that don’t belong there. Space maintainers are simple to use, kids get along fine with them, and they have become the de-facto standard for protecting the cosmetic and functional aspects of your child’s dental health.

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Westend is Team in Training

It may not be January, but many of the team members at Westend Dental have already made at least one resolution: to help end blood cancers. That’s why Westend Dental’s Ginny, Bernadette, Megan P., Amber & Kimberly have signed up to run the Indianapolis 500 Festival Half-Marathon for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.

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Invisalign Patient Profile: Jenn

As a busy freelance photographer, wife and mother Jenn always wanted to straighten her smile but didn’t have enough time with the upkeep of traditional metal braces. Jenn never had braces in her adolescent years and as an adult she continually saw features about her smile that she wanted to change. Continue reading “Invisalign Patient Profile: Jenn”

Invisalign Patient Profile: Amy

Long-time Westend Dental patient, Amy, was never overly enthusiastic about her once straight smile. Despite having braces during her adolescent years, Amy’s teeth shifted when her wisdom teeth grew in. After this Amy’s smile always annoyed her. Continue reading “Invisalign Patient Profile: Amy”