Understanding Craze Lines | Sparkling Smiles of Chicago Heights

Have you ever noticed fine cracks on the surface of your teeth and wondered what they were? Chances are, you might be seeing craze lines, and they’re not as concerning as you might think.

Craze lines are small cracks that appear on the outer surface of teeth, often resembling fine lines. Contrary to their appearance, they’re typically harmless and considered a natural response to years of normal tooth function. Factors like habitual teeth grinding (bruxism) or using your teeth to bite into hard objects can exacerbate their formation.

These lines can manifest on both the front and back of teeth and are more commonly found in adult teeth. While they’re generally benign and don’t necessitate treatment, they can become stained from certain beverages like coffee or habits like tobacco use.

If you’re worried about craze lines, consulting with your dentist can provide reassurance. Your dentist can assess if the lines are linked to any underlying dental issues or if they’re exacerbated by habitual grinding. While some studies have explored potential sensitivity after bleaching treatments, conclusive evidence is lacking.

While craze lines may be inevitable for some individuals, maintaining regular visits to your dental professional can help minimize their occurrence. Prioritizing optimal oral health care practices is key to preserving your smile’s health and longevity.

At Sparkling Smiles in Chicago Heights, we specialize in preserving your smile’s health for a lifetime. If you have any concerns or questions about your dental health, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office. We’re here to provide expert guidance and support.

Sparkling Smiles of Chicago Heights
Phone: (708) 755-2400
cash, credit card
2400 Chicago Rd.
Chicago Heights, IL 60411

Nourish Your Smile: The Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth | Chicago Heights Dentist

When it comes to maintaining a healthy smile, your diet plays a crucial role. By making mindful choices about what you eat and drink, you can support your oral health and enjoy a radiant smile for years to come. Here’s a breakdown of the top five best and worst foods for your teeth.

Best Foods for Your Teeth

  1. Cheese and Dairy Products: Indulge in cheese, milk, and yogurt, as they are rich in calcium and protein, which strengthen tooth enamel.
  2. High-Fiber Foods: Incorporate leafy greens, beans, and fresh fruits into your diet to promote saliva flow, which helps wash away bacteria and fight decay.
  3. Water: Keep yourself hydrated with water throughout the day. It helps rinse away food particles and sugars while maintaining optimal saliva levels.
  4. Sugar-Free Gum: Chew sugar-free gum after meals to stimulate saliva production, which neutralizes acids and cleans food particles from your teeth.
  5. Lean Protein: Enjoy eggs, fish, chicken, and red meats for their phosphorus content, which aids in the absorption of calcium for strong teeth.

Worst Foods for Your Teeth

  1. Acidic Foods: Limit citrus fruits, wine, and candy, as their acids can erode tooth enamel and lead to decay.
  2. Sodas: Steer clear of soft drinks, as they contain high levels of sugar and acidity, both of which are harmful to your teeth.
  3. Sports Drinks: Despite their rehydrating properties, sports drinks are loaded with sugar. Opt for water instead to quench your thirst.
  4. Alcohol: Alcohol dries out your mouth, reducing saliva production and increasing the risk of staining and decay.
  5. Sticky or Sugary Candies: Minimize consumption of sticky candies, as they linger on your teeth and fuel the growth of decay-causing bacteria.

By making smart choices about your diet, you can safeguard your oral health and preserve your sparkling smile. Remember to schedule regular cleanings and exams with your Dentist in Chicago Heights to maintain optimal oral hygiene. Contact our office today to book your next appointment and keep your smile shining bright!

Sparkling Smiles of Chicago Heights
Phone: (708) 755-2400
cash, credit card
2400 Chicago Rd.
Chicago Heights, IL 60411

5 Mistakes You Might Be Making While You Brush | Dentist Near Me

Brushing your teeth can feel like a no-brainer after decades of practice, but are you aware of the mistakes surrounding home care that you might be making? Keep your oral health top-notch by 

reading our quick list and see how you fare. 

  1. Timing – Make sure you don’t brush immediately after consuming sugary or acidic drinks. You can demineralize the enamel on your teeth by doing this. Rinse your mouth with water, then wait for 30 minutes to an hour before you brush. 
  2. Borrowing a Brush – Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to toothbrushes. When you share toothbrushes with somebody, you can spread illness and germs through oral contact. Make sure to get your own toothbrush, and label it or keep it separate to ensure you don’t get them confused. 
  3. Distance from the Toilet – Flushing a toilet can spread bacteria through the air. Make sure to place your toothbrush as far as possible from your toilet, or put a cover on your brush to protect it from contamination. 
  4. Rinsing after Brushing – Most toothpastes contain fluoride, which can help strengthen the enamel in your teeth. It takes time to work, however, so make sure you don’t rinse your mouth right away after brushing. This can wash away the fluoride before it can do its job. 
  5. Brushing Too Much – When you brush too frequently, you run the risk of wearing down the enamel on your teeth. Focus on brushing all facets of your teeth instead of how vigorously you can brush. 

There is more to brushing your teeth than you might think. These tips can help keep you aware of mistakes you might be making. Remember, daily brushing and flossing are only the foundation for optimal oral health – professional dental care is important, as well. For more advice or to schedule your next visit, contact our office.

Sparkling Smiles of Chicago Heights
Phone: (708) 755-2400
cash, credit card
2400 Chicago Rd.
Chicago Heights, IL 60411

How to Keep a Healthy Tongue | Dentist Near Me

When it comes to oral health, protecting your teeth and gums are often the focus. However, did you know that your tongue needs proper care as well? Your tongue is responsible for many essential functions like swallowing, tasting, and talking, but it can harbor bacteria that harms your oral health. Learn how to keep your tongue healthy by following these four treatment tips. 

Practice Optimal Oral Hygiene 

Brushing and flossing twice a day will protect your mouth from pesky bacteria, but make sure to brush your tongue as well. As an alternative, try using a tongue scraper once a day. Tongue scrapers will scrape away any build up that has formed on your tongue. 

Drink Plenty of Water 

If you are dehydrated, it’s possible for your tongue to lose moisture and become uncomfortable. Drinking water ensures your hydration and will wash away food particles and bacteria from the surface of your tongue. Proper hydration can also prevent bad breath. 

Maintain a Healthy Diet 

Your tongue is a muscle, and what you eat can affect its health. Fill your diet with foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, calcium, lean protein, and fiber. Avoid eating processed foods and treats that are filled with sugar. 

Visit our Dental Office 

By visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a routine cleaning and examination, you can protect your tongue, teeth, and the rest of your mouth. During these visits, we will thoroughly check all aspects of your oral health. We will then work with you to create an oral health plan that is tailored to your needs. 

Don’t let your oral health slip by neglecting proper care for your tongue! Put these four tips into practice so you can enjoy a bright and healthy smile. Contact our office today to learn more about proper oral care or to schedule your next appointment.

Sparkling Smiles of Chicago Heights
Phone: (708) 755-2400
cash, credit card
2400 Chicago Rd.
Chicago Heights, IL 60411

Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks | Chicago Heights Dentist

Many sports drinks contain electrolytes which can be helpful to maintain energy levels when engaging in physical activities. You may believe that sports drinks are healthy but the truth of the matter is, they are not healthy. Energy drinks are those like Monster and Rockstar. Sports drinks and energy drinks are also seen as a tasty alternative to water when it comes to staying hydrated. It is important to know the negative effects and damage that these drinks do to your teeth.  

Up to 62 percent of children of the same age drink at least one sports drink per day and between 30 and 50 percent of teenagers in the United States drink these types of beverages regularly. With these numbers being so high it is important to take notice on the negative effects these drinks can have on teeth. The danger to both children and adults in sports drinks and energy drinks comes not only from the sugar content but also from the acidity. These types of drinks contain a significant amount of acid that they begin destroying the teeth of the person drinking them in as little as five days. 

There is a lot of damage being done to your oral health when consuming sports drinks and energy drinks. Energy and sports drinks can damage tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. These drinks erodes or thin out the enamel of the teeth, leaving them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity. Athletes drink these beverages to remain hydrated and sip them frequently during exercise. This increases the time that teeth are exposed to the acidity and high sugar content of sports drinks, leaving them vulnerable to decay. 

While sports drinks and energy drinks can be an alternative to water, there are ways to promote great oral health. The best way to promote oral health is to keep yourself hydrated with water to prevent negative effects that sports and energy drinks bring. If you feel that you must use sports drinks, rinse your mouth with water afterwards and do not brush your teeth right after you have consumed a sports drink. Also, read the ingredient labels before you consume drinks. Avoid high amounts of acid and sugar, especially if you already have teeth problems. 

Getting healthy is great for your body and your mouth, but sports and energy drinks are not a necessary part of well-being. There are many alternatives, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you. One must maintain oral health to make sure to have a lasting smile. Talk to your dentist about preventative care for your oral health.

Sparkling Smiles of Chicago Heights
Phone: (708) 755-2400
cash, credit card
2400 Chicago Rd.
Chicago Heights, IL 60411

I Chipped a Tooth! What Can I Do? | Dentist Chicago Heights

It usually starts pretty innocently. You’re biting into your favorite hard candy and suddenly you realize that there’s one little hard piece in your mouth you can’t seem to dissolve. You check it out and fear overcomes you when you see it’s a little chipped piece of a tooth. 

Enamel may be one of the hardest substances in the body but like most things in life, it has its limit. Whether you are chewing on ice or grinding your teeth at night, there’s always a chance of putting your teeth at risk. If you have chipped your tooth, there’s no need to panic. Here are a few things we can do to restore your beautiful smile: 

Tooth Bonding 

Tooth bonding has many structural uses, and it can be very helpful for repairing chipped teeth. Tooth bonding is a simple procedure that doesn’t require any numbing. The bonding materials and porcelain used are natural in color and can be designed to perfectly match your teeth. Your smile will look good as new, and people will have a hard time noticing you ever chipped a tooth to begin with.  

Dental Crown 

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that helps protect your teeth, while at the same time improving its appearance. An AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) dentist will likely use a tooth colored crown made out of porcelain or zirconia to look identical to your teeth. Crowns will also provide the durability and strength your teeth need to withstand daily use. You may only need a partial crown if our dentist sees that the chip doesn’t affect the entire tooth.  

Porcelain Veneers 

Porcelain laminate veneers are made up of several thin layers of ceramic used to repair chipped teeth. They will be bonded to the teeth to replace the original enamel of the tooth with a special adhesive. Dental veneers are a fantastic way to get your tooth to look whole and healthy again.  

If you have a chipped tooth and would like more information on these methods, or to schedule a consultation, contact our office today.

Sparkling Smiles of Chicago Heights
Phone: (708) 755-2400
cash, credit card
2400 Chicago Rd.
Chicago Heights, IL 60411

What is Periodontal Disease? | Dentist in Chicago Heights

Periodontal disease ranges from a mild inflammation of the gum tissues to periodontitis, a major oral disease that can result in soft tissue and bone damage. Periodontitis is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.  

One of the major causes of gum disease is practicing poor oral hygiene habits. Daily brushing and flossing and regular professional exams and cleanings are essential to maintaining optimal oral health. When these practices are not followed, plaque can form on the teeth and along the gumline. If this plaque is not properly removed, it may harden over time and become tartar. Once that occurs, only a dental professional can remove the tartar from teeth. 

If gum disease is not treated in a timely manner, tartar may continue to build unchecked. When this occurs, the gum disease may advance to gingivitis. In this stage, gums redden, swell, and become prone to bleeding from normal activities, such as brushing or eating. Some other common symptoms include: chronic halitosis (bad breath), sensitive teeth, and difficulty or pain with chewing. At this point, professional periodontal treatment is needed to prevent the gingivitis from advancing to periodontitis. 

When gingivitis is not treated in time, it may become periodontitis. Periodontitis is the most advanced form of periodontal disease. With periodontitis, gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating small “pockets” along the gumline. These spaces are highly difficult to clean without professional intervention and can lead to rapid worsening in overall oral health. Without prompt and thorough treatment, bone, gums, and soft tissues may be destroyed by periodontitis. 

Some of the most common factors that contribute to periodontal disease developing include poor oral hygiene habits, diabetes, smoking, and hormonal changes in women. Some medications can cause gum tissue to grow abnormally, which can increase difficulty in proper cleaning of the teeth. People who are receiving treatment for AIDS are also at increased risk of developing periodontal disease. 

Many recent studies have found that untreated periodontal disease may negatively impact other aspects of your overall health, especially for patients with cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Periodontal disease can also increase the risk of developing certain pregnancy complications, such as low birth weight or premature birth. 

Our doctor has the training and experience to diagnose and treat every stage of periodontal disease. If you have symptoms of periodontal disease, contact our office to schedule a consultation. 

Sparkling Smiles of Chicago Heights
Phone: (708) 755-2400
cash, credit card
2400 Chicago Rd.
Chicago Heights, IL 60411

Changing Your Spots: White Areas on Teeth | Family Dentistry Near 60411

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White spots on your teeth can be irritating and affect how you feel about your smile. The good news, however, is that they are preventable and rarely cause for concern. Here are things you should know about what causes white spots, how to prevent them, and what options are available should you already have them. 

What causes white spots on teeth? 

1.       Dental Fluorosis This can happen when a child consumes or is exposed to too much fluoride during the development of their teeth. While undesirable, this is harmless and can happen before teeth even emerge. The most common cause of fluorosis in the US is the use or ingestion of too much toothpaste. 

2.       Poor Dental Hygiene – Forgetting to brush regularly can cause white spots to develop. 

3.       Braces – Wearing braces for an extended time can affect the coloration of your teeth and create white spots.  

4.       Acidic or Sugary Foods – These foods can damage your teeth as well as change the color of their enamel. Rinsing your mouth after you consuming acidic or sugary items can help negate these effects. 

How can I prevent them from appearing? 

Following a proper oral hygiene regimen is the best way to prevent white spots on teeth. Ensure your child uses the correct amount of toothpaste – children under 3 should use a smear the size of a rice grain, and children over 3 should not use more than a pea-sized amount. It is common for children to accidentally swallow or fail to spit out toothpaste, so be sure to supervise your child as they are learning. 

What are options for treatment? 

If you are already dealing with white spots, you have options. Whitening or bleaching can make the coloration of your teeth more uniform. Dental veneers can restore the entire appearance of your teeth, solving not just the problem of white spots. In some cases, topical fluoride or enamel microabrasion upon the white spots themselves can do the trick.  

Our doctor will recommend the optimal solution for treating white spots on your teeth. Contact our office for a consultation today.

Sparkling Smiles of Chicago Heights
Phone: (708) 755-2400
cash, credit card
2400 Chicago Rd.
Chicago Heights, IL 60411

Managing TMD Discomfort | Chicago Heights Family Dentistry

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Discomfort and pain in your jaw, clicking while you talk or chew, and swelling on the sides of your face can be caused by Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). TMD can make talking and eating both painful and uncomfortable. Our team understands how TMD can make your day a challenge. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips for managing TMD discomfort, but also encourage you to schedule a visit to see us for a full evaluation. 

Finding Relief at Home 

If your jaw is swollen, try applying a cold compress to your face. We recommend holding the compress in place for about 10 minutes. If you are able, try a few gentle jaw stretches. After the cold compress, apply warm, moist heat to the same area. You can keep this warm compress in place for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.  

If your discomfort is particularly noticeable, try over-the-counter pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or ibuprofen. If you find yourself taking pain relieving medications daily, please contact us immediately. 

The “Don’ts” of TMD 

Applying excess pressure to your jaw can make your TMD discomfort worse. Don’t use your hand as a rest for your chin, as doing so increases the amount of pressure and strain placed on your jaw. If you talk on the phone frequently, avoid holding the phone on your shoulder while bending your neck to keep it in place.  

Clenching your jaw and keeping your teeth tightly closed can also lead to a build-up of pressure in the jaw. During the day, try to keep your teeth from touching. By creating a little space between your teeth, you will be relieving pressure from your jaw. 

Contact Us 

Our team is here to help you. Schedule a consultation with our dentist to learn more about the solutions available for people just like you dealing with TMD discomfort. We will provide a thorough examination to determine the best course of treatment for your TMD.  

Relief may be closer than you think. Contact our dental team to learn more today.

Sparkling Smiles of Chicago Heights
Phone: (708) 755-2400
cash, credit card
2400 Chicago Rd.
Chicago Heights, IL 60411

Should You Brush Right After Eating? | Chicago Heights Dentist

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Enamel is the guardian of your teeth and the hardest material in the body. It’s the first defense against harmful bacteria which may lead to tooth decay. When you eat certain foods, it creates bacteria which attack your tooth enamel. Carbohydrates and sugary foods are examples of these foods. Brushing directly after eating can be harmful to your enamel. 

Why this is a problem 

When eating or drinking, the pH balance in your mouth changes. After each bite of acidic food, the pH balance moves towards a level which causes demineralization. The new acidity softens the enamel which can cause bacteria to get into the teeth. Brushing right after you eat may damage your enamel. This is important because enamel protects your teeth from damage.   

Steps you can take to protect your enamel: 

If you’ve had anything acidic, don’t brush for at least 30 minutes.  

Fruits with citric acid are one example. If you are planning ingesting acidic foods or drinks, you can brush beforehand. 

A glass of water will help remove the acid. Follow this by chewing sugarless gum. These steps help create saliva which will help bring back the necessary pH balance needed for a healthy smile. 

Try to avoid soda as prolonged phosphoric acid can cause permanent damage. 

Brushing your teeth twice a day is an important habit for optimal oral health.  

Have you ever been told you should brush your teeth right after eating? While this may sound like the right habit to adapt, this practice could be detrimental to the health of your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with water after eating may be a better option to keep enamel strong. Visit our office for an exam and we can give you for tips for healthy, strong teeth. Call our office today.

Sparkling Smiles of Chicago Heights
Phone: (708) 755-2400
cash, credit card
2400 Chicago Rd.
Chicago Heights, IL 60411

We’re here for you.

Sparkling Smiles

2400 Chicago Rd. Chicago Heights, IL 60411
Info@SparklingSmilesDentist.com
(708) 755-2400

Hours:

Monday: 9AM to 3PM
Tuesday: 9AM to 5PM
Wednesday: 9AM to 5PM
Thursday: 10AM to 6PM
Friday: 9AM to 5PM
Saturday 9AM to 3PM

  • America Dental Association
  • Chicago Dental Society

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I was treated with respect, and kindness. Dr Gloria was amazing and the utmost professional. I am planning on telling everyone I know about this practice. It's very difficult to find a great dentist. Thank you to all the staff!

Sarah Williams Chicago Heights, IL Dental Patient September 7, 2017

Chicago Heights, IL Dentist

***5 star business***
The most friendly, attentive staff and doctors of any dental office I've EVER been to. They pay close attention to detail, your concerns, fears and customize appointments and treatment plans to fit you, your life and your budget. I am very particular about who I trust my money and family to and they will forever have my business. I just had cosmetic surgery on my teeth and I feel like a million bucks! Affordable, attainable, understandable and achievable! They service adults, children and the toughest grown cowards like me! Honestly, the best dentist office out there. Trust me, I've tried many! Don't wait! Get a consultation! Make your appointment! Call them now today!

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