Drs. Tom Ryan DDS, John Athos DDS, Bohdanna Czerniak DMD and the team at North Creek Dental Care are pleased to provide professional and caring dental services to their patients from Tinley Park IL and the surrounding communities. Our dental services include: adult, children's, cosmetic, family, general, implant, laser, preventive, restorative and sedation dentistry.
If you are planning a trip out of the country it may be helpful to schedule a dental checkup before you leave, especially if you'll be traveling in developing countries or remote areas without access to good dental care. If you’re considering a vacation outside the United States for dental treatment in an attempt to save money, often referred to as "dental tourism," there are some things you should first consider.
Question: Is dental care abroad safe?
Answer: The procedures, equipment and drugs used by dentists in the U.S. are held to high standards. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has comprehensive guidelines on infection control procedures for dental health-care settings. They exist to prevent the spread of infections, including blood borne illnesses such as hepatitis and AIDS. U.S. dentists must abide by regulations for radiation safety (X-ray equipment and its use) and for proper disposal of biomedical waste. Also, the drugs and dental instruments and materials used by dentists in the U.S. are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ensure that they are safe. These standards are in place for your safety.
Q: What recovery time and follow-up care will I need?
A: Many dental procedures are surgical in nature and may require months of healing. This should be factored in to your travel plans. Significant dental procedures require follow-up care to make sure everything is healing and functioning properly. Post treatment risks after dental surgical procedures include bleeding, pain, swelling and infection. Continuity of care is important and should be a consideration when making treatment decisions. Establishing a "dental home" provides you with comprehensive oral health care so conditions such as gum disease and tooth decay can be diagnosed at an early stage when treatment is simpler and more affordable. A dentist who knows your case history can provide you with guidance on good oral health habits, preventive oral health services and diagnosis and treatment of dental disease based on your individual needs.
Q: What qualifications are required of dental professionals?
A: Dentists trained in the U.S. graduate from a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. In addition, dentists must pass national examinations and meet state requirements before they earn a license to practice. Similar levels of training may exist in the country to which you are travelling, but this may be difficult to determine if that country does not have similar dental regulations.
Q: Will my insurance cover dental procedures in other countries?
A: If you have insurance for dental care performed outside of the U.S., you should confirm with your insurer and/or employer that follow-up treatment is covered upon your return to the U.S. You should consider arranging follow-up care with a U.S. dentist prior to travel to ensure continuity of care upon your return. If you do not have a dentist in the U.S., you can find an ADA member dentist in your area at ADA Find-a-Dentist. You should confirm with your U.S. dentist and the dental care provider in the other country that the transfer of patient records to-and-from facilities outside of the U.S. is consistent with current U.S. privacy and security guidelines.
Q: What about travel advisories?
A: The U.S. Department of State issues travel alerts to disseminate information about short-term conditions, generally within a particular country, that pose imminent risks to the security of U.S. citizens. In the spring of 2009, for example, the Department of State issued a travel alert cautioning people to avoid non-essential travel to Mexico because of an outbreak of H1N1 influenza in that country that resulted in a number of deaths. In addition, the alert recommended that travelers check the department's Web site for new travel advisories as well as the Web site of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for any additional information or recommendations.
Bottom line: If you’re considering travelling for dental care, remember, saving money overseas may lead to greater expense to your health and your wallet when you arrive back home.
The best way to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth in good health is through regular and effective teeth cleaning. In addition to your regular oral hygiene routine, most dental professionals recommend professional teeth cleaning. Not only will good teeth cleaning keep you in good oral health and hygiene, it will also help keep your mouth feeling fresh, prevent bad breath, and can help keep your teeth white and bright.
Brushing for Clean Teeth
Brushing your teeth is the most important and effective method for teeth cleaning. Most dentists recommend you brush at least twice a day, but brushing after every meal is even better. Whether you choose electric or manual, select a toothbrush that allows you to easily clean all surfaces and in hard to reach areas. And don't forget to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
Picking a Toothbrush: Make sure your toothbrush fits your mouth. It’s easier to achieve clean teeth if you aren’t using a brush that’s too big. If you have a small mouth, you may find it easier to clean teeth by using a toothbrush with a compact head instead of a full-sized head. Some people find that electric toothbrushes make it easier to spend the dentist-recommended two minutes on teeth cleaning. Oral-B Vitality Toothbrushes provide thorough teeth cleaning and help to remove plaque and surface stains.
Proper Brushing Technique: You can maximize clean teeth by using the most effective techniques for teeth brushing. Hold your toothbrush at approximately a 45-degree angle to the teeth you are brushing. Use small strokes and brush your teeth in sections. Don’t forget to go all the way behind your last tooth on each side. Use small, tooth-sized strokes to brush the surface of each tooth, rather than large, sweeping strokes. Cleaning teeth includes cleaning all three sides—front, back, and top of the chewing surface.
Flossing for Clean Teeth
Picking Floss: A thorough teeth cleaning routine includes daily flossing. Oral-B Glide Deep Clean Floss, slides easily between the teeth to remove food particles and reduce the daily buildup of plaque and bacteria on the teeth.
Proper Flossing Technique: Flossing is an essential part of teeth cleaning. You should floss regularly to remove food particles from in between your teeth. This can help reduce plaque and tartar build-up between teeth. If you have trouble sliding floss between your teeth, try waxed floss or wide floss. The American Dental Association recommends using about 18 inches of floss, so you have a clean piece of floss to use on each tooth in the cleaning teeth process. Curve the floss into a C-shape as you slide it up and down along the side of each tooth. Don’t forget to floss the back sides of your back teeth on both the left and right of the upper and lower teeth.
Proper Rinsing Technique: Mouthwash is a great method for teeth cleaning and also leaves your mouth feeling fresh and clean. If you don’t like the burning sensation you get from alcohol-based rinses, look for formulas that are made without alcohol.
Get a Professional Teeth Cleaning
The happy, healthy mouth feeling you get after a good teeth cleaning is invaluable. Visiting a dental professional at least twice a year is an important part of your oral hygiene regimen. Professional teeth cleaning removes the tartar you just can’t get to at home, and regular exams will ensure your teeth and mouth are in good health. After cleaning teeth, a dentist will examine your mouth for signs of problems including:
Tooth loss: Cleaning teeth professionally helps keep them in good condition to promote better chewing and swallowing.
Gum disease: Gum disease can be avoided or caught early if a dentist sees problems while cleaning teeth.
Dental damage: You may not notice if you have broken fillings or damaged crowns, but a regular dental visit can identify these problems and fix them before they become serious enough to require surgery or tooth removal.
Oral cancer: Mouth cancer is usually treatable if diagnosed early, and a dentist can screen for oral cancer during a visit for cleaning teeth.
How to Maintain Clean Teeth
In addition to following a complete oral care routine, you can support your cleaning teeth efforts by avoiding cigarettes and other tobacco products, eating healthy, and visiting a dental professional regularly. Keep these other tips in mind to maintain clean teeth:
Rinse away stains: if you can’t brush your teeth after consuming food or beverages that may stain your teeth, preserve clean teeth by rinsing your mouth with water or a mouthwash.
Quit smoking: Smoking is one of the top factors that undermines clean teeth. You can go a long way toward having a healthy mouth if you avoid tobacco products. That includes not only cigarettes, but cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco (chew/dip). If you use tobacco products, it’s not too late to have a healthy mouth if you quit, or at least cut back. Studies have shown that smoking may contribute to gum disease by getting in the way when normal gum tissue cells try to do their job of maintaining a healthy mouth.
Eat right: Eating a balanced diet helps promote a healthy mouth, healthy teeth, and healthy gums. The American Dental Association recommends keeping between-meal snacks to a minimum to promote a healthy mouth. If you do need a snack, some healthy mouth choices include raw veggies, plain yogurt, cheese, or a piece of fruit, such as an apple or pear.
Benefits of Good Oral Health
Keeping a healthy smile is one of many benefits associated with teeth cleaning. If you keep your teeth and mouth healthy, you are sure to appreciate the following important benefits.
Good Oral Health: Regular teeth cleaning will keep your mouth and body healthy. Good oral hygiene can prevent plaque build-up, which can lead to gum disease. Numerous studies have suggested a correlation between poor oral hygiene, gum disease, and heart disease, so teeth cleaning is an important way to keep your entire body healthy.
Better Breath: Want to get a little closer? Regular teeth cleaning with any fluoride toothpaste can help freshen your breath. For a better breath bonus, choose mint toothpaste, and don’t forget to brush your tongue.
Brighter Smile: No one likes to have yellow teeth and an unsightly smile. Removing surface stains with daily teeth cleaning helps your teeth look brighter. Having a whiter smile helps improve your overall appearance, especially since your smile is an important part of making a good first impression.
Confidence: When you look great, you feel great. Flashing a bright, white smile after a good teeth cleaning will give you a new sense of self-confidence that is sure to show. Studies have shown that a bright, healthy smile gives you more confidence in both personal and professional settings.
Save Money: Following a regular teeth cleaning routine can eventually help you avoid costly dental visits to manage severe gum disease or tooth decay.
So, the next time you consider putting off your regular teeth cleaning for another month, remember all of this important information and think again before picking up the phone. You’ll be glad to have a happier mouth and smile once you’ve had a good teeth cleaning.
Even someone with a fastidious dental hygiene routine can be at risk for cavities. Certain people are simply more prone to dental caries due to the shape and structure of their teeth – not because they don't brush regularly. If your dentist notices you (or someone in your family) is prone to advanced decay despite good oral hygiene, he or she may suggest using dental sealants to help keep the teeth healthy.
Of course, concerns are normal: How long do sealants last? Will the application hurt? Here's a little more about why dental sealants may be a great option for a cavitiy-prone individual.
Why Dental Sealants?
Dentists don't suggest sealants to all of their patients. Rather, they're usually reserved for individuals who are especially prone to cavities, such as teens and young kids – including those who still have baby teeth. Sealants are designed to fill the deep pits and grooves of your molars, which are uniquely susceptible to caries because they're known to trap food particles in these areas of the teeth. When bacteria become trapped in this way, it's often a recipe for cavities, so the sealants protect the tooth from caries altogether.
It's understandable to be nervous about a dental procedure with which you have no prior experience. But dental sealants are virtually painless. The majority of them are made with liquid resin, which is then brushed onto the teeth so it can harden. The process only takes a few minutes, including application and drying. In fact, the procedure may be on offer in the dental center of some schools.
Once applied, the resin dries into a hard, plastic-like material in just a few seconds or when using a light to cure the sealant material. The material is invisible and won't feel any different than the surfaces of your natural teeth.
How Long Do Sealants Last? Can I Extend Their Wear?
Once your sealants have been applied, the NIDCR estimates they can last up to 10 years with proper care. You won't have to have them removed; instead, sealants gradually wear away over time, allowing you to receive new sealants as needed. Nonetheless, their hardened plastic material holds up remarkably well as long as you avoid behavior that puts undue stress on your teeth – such as using your teeth to open tough food packaging.
Once your sealants have been applied, your dentist will check on them each time you come in for a cleaning. He or she can even reapply if they seem to be wearing faster than usual, just to make sure your teeth are protected from the bacteria that can calcify into tartar when you're not in the dentist's chair.
Keep in mind sealants aren't the only way to ward off cavities, and are definitely not a substitute for regular oral care. If you or your child is especially prone to cavities, use products such as Colgate® Cavity Protection, which contains sodium monofluorophosphate fluoride – proven to protect teeth from the common cavity.
If you're wondering if dental sealants are the right choice for you or your child, ask your dentist about them during your next checkup. Provided you're the right type of candidate, sealants may be an excellent solution for warding off cavities and keeping your smile healthy.