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Is it Time to Straighten?

When to Straighten Your Teeth

There are a lot of reasons to straighten your teeth, and there are a lot of ways to do it. But you may not know that there are many unique times in your life when it might be best to straighten your teeth. In general, dentists begin considering the potential need to straighten a patient’s teeth around 8-10 years of age. People of any age can have their teeth straightened-there is never a bad time-but there are certain times when it makes more sense.

Belleville dentist Dr. Ryan Yakowicz is a local provider of professional teeth straightening treatments. Read below to learn tips for deciding if it’s time to straighten your teeth.

Time for Aesthetic Teeth Straightening

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Posted in Dental Health Tagged with:

Veneers: Not Just for the Silver Screen

There’s a lot of hair and makeup that goes into making your favorite stars sparkle on the screen. And while we can’t all hire a professional artist to make us look perfect every day, there is a lasting solution to giving you that perfect Hollywood smile – veneers!

What are Veneers?

Veneers are a very strong, paper-thin cover over your teeth. They look just like real teeth, but even better. Veneers are often used to improve the look of teeth with spacing and alignment issues or staining problems. They can be applied wherever needed, on one tooth or a whole set.

Which Celebrities Have Veneers? Read more ›

Posted in Dental News Tagged with:

Gum Disease: More than Just Gums

Your Mouth: A Picture of Health

Did you know, when a dentist looks at your mouth, they can tell a lot more than just how often you’re brushing? It’s true: your oral health is like a window into your lifestyle and habits. Dr. Yakowicz at Neighborhood Smiles should know. We’ve seen mouths from all over Belleville in our office!

If you’re not taking care of the rest of your body, your gums will give it away. Hormones, sickness, stress, diet, smoking, prescription medicine, and more can all affect your gum health, and that goes both ways. If you don’t take care of your gums, the consequences will stretch beyond just your mouth. Unhealthy gums can lead to an unhealthy heart, diabetes, pregnancy complications, memory problems, tooth decay, and more.

Your mouth is naturally good at washing away and fighting germs. But without proper oral hygiene, those bacteria can lead to gum disease. When it comes to your oral health, it’s more than just pearly white teeth you want. Healthy gums play an important role in your overall health.  Healthy gums protect not only your teeth and jawbone; they also prevent infection from entering the rest of your body.

What is Gum Disease?

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Posted in Dental Health Tagged with:

Fun Dental Facts…Did You Know?

Sure, dentistry is serious medicine, and daily dental hygiene is a top priority. But teeth can be pretty fun, too! And fascinating. For starters, have you ever seen the full sets of baby teeth and adult teeth present in a child’s head x-ray? Go ahead, look it up.

Neighborhood Smiles in Belleville treats our patients professionally and joyfully, because teeth are cool. Take Dr. Ryan Yakowicz’s word for it, there’s much to learn and admire about even the most average set of teeth.

Facts About People& Teeth

  • According to a survey by Time Magazine, 59% of people would rather visit the dentist than have to listen to one end of a cell-phone conversation.
  • By age 17, 78% of Americans have had at least 1 cavity.
  • Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for people over the age of 35.
  • Tooth prints are as unique as fingerprints.
  • About 5 million teeth per year fall out due to sports-related accidents.
  • Babies have 20 teeth but a full set of adult teeth has 32.
  • Baby teeth do need to be brushed, or “washed”.
  • 42% of adults said a toothbrush was one invention they couldn’t live without, according to a Lemelson-MIT Invention Index survey.

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Posted in Dental Health, Dental News, Dental Services, Patient Care

Did George Washington Really Have Wooden Teeth?

When he became the first president of the United States, George Washington had only one real tooth left! You heard right…just ONE.

Everyone has heard something about this great man and his dental history, but if you heard that Washington had wooden teeth, then you heard wrong.  This myth is totally false, and Dr. Ryan Yakowicz at Neighborhood Smiles is here to tell you the truth.

Dental Care in Colonial Times

It was a combination of bad genes and even worse medical practices that led Washington down the path to becoming toothless.

Washington experienced many health problems throughout his life. And he was often treated with “calomel,” a common medicine at the time that contained mercury and ruined teeth.

Toothpaste at the time was also made from very abrasive material like tree bark and brick dust, which likely continued to break down Washington’s natural teeth. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental News, Dental Technology, Patient Care

Dentistry for Kids: What the Tooth Fairy Won’t Tell You

Kids are constantly growing and changing, and their mouths are no exception! Throughout childhood, kids lose their baby teeth, gain adult teeth, and they begin to take ownership of their own oral health. From brushing to braces to practicing their smile, oral health is important for every kid at every stage.

We know you love to see your child smile! Neighborhood Smiles does too. Read our tips to learn how to help keep your kid smiling for life.

Caring for Kids Teeth

Your child’s first teeth, often called “baby teeth” make their momentous arrival and continue to serve many purposes until they fall out and are replaced by adult teeth. Baby teeth hold a place in the jaw and pave the way for the adult teeth to grow in properly.

Kids who develop cavities are more likely to develop them later as adults. Don’t dismiss the importance of oral health for kids, even though there’s so much transition in their mouth in these early days. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental Services, Patient Care

Dental Inlays & Onlays

Bite. Crack. Ouch!

A cracked or broken tooth is a real problem. Unlike other bones in your body, a tooth will not heal itself and you need to take care of it immediately. Depending on how bad the damage is and where it is located, your dentist will likely recommend an inlay, onlay, or a crown. All versions of the same idea, these restorative dentistry treatments are custom-made covers to protect your tooth and restore it to it’s full, healthy functioning condition.

Another reason you may need an inlay, onlay, or a crown is due to extensive tooth decay that is breaking down your tooth that requires more than a simple filling to fix.

Here’s how your options compare:

  • Fillings: only fill a small, center portion of the biting surface of your tooth and is not a treatment for extensive damage
  • Inlays: fill a larger portion of the biting surface than a filling contained within the cusp
  • Onlays: fill and cover the biting surface of your tooth including up and over the rounded ridges (cusps)
  • Crowns: covers the whole tooth; all or most of the visible portion above your gums

So you see, inlays and onlays are a great, intermediate option between a filling and a crown.

Benefits of Inlays & Onlays

Neighborhood Smiles dentists can help determine if you need an inlay or onlay. If your tooth needs to be repaired, here are the benefits of inlays/onlays: Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental News, Dental Services, Dental Technology, Patient Care

Dental Crowns 101

Sometimes in life you just need a do-over. That’s precisely what a crown is—a new start for your tooth.

Teeth are important players in your life—they do everything from begin your digestion to make a great first impression—and you deserve a beautiful, fully functioning set. If your teeth need a boost in any way, or a real makeover, a crown might be just what you need.

A crown is a custom-made shell that fits perfectly over your natural tooth. Crowns look and act exactly like your original tooth, only better. Crowns support broken or badly decayed teeth and they cover and restore discolored teeth. Crowns are also used over dental implants and to build a dental bridge.

Dr. Ryan Yakowicz, Belleville dentist at Neighborhood Smiles shares what you need to know about getting a crown.

If You Need A Crown

Getting a crown usually takes two trips to the dentist. On the first trip, the dentist makes a plan to suit your specific needs and prepares the tooth. You will also get impressions of the tooth so that a crown can be made to fit perfectly over the natural tooth. On the second trip, your crown is installed and cemented on. A crown is a permanent or “fixed” dental piece. This makes it very stable and durable.

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Posted in Dental Services

Dental Bridges 101

A hole in your smile is never a good thing. It negatively affects your appearance, your eating, your speaking, and your overall sense of confidence and wellbeing. Let Neighborhood Smiles bridge the gap between where you are with your smile and where you want to be!

A missing tooth or teeth can also cause jaw pain and bite misalignment. Without a full set of teeth, your other teeth have a tendency to move into the empty space causing an unnatural alignment in your bite and jaw—which can be very uncomfortable and can lead to bigger headaches and TMJ/TMD problems.

Dr. Ryan Yakowicz shares how each tooth plays an important role in your health and every day life, and how dental bridges can restore your smile and the function of your teeth.

Types of Bridges

Depending on your needs, there are three common kinds of bridges that your dentist may recommend. The difference among these types is how they are installed and secured.

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Posted in Dental Services

Baby Dentistry: Teething and Other Joys

It’s easy to think that baby teeth aren’t important. They make their grand entrance (however painfully) and leave your baby’s mouth so soon thereafter. But your baby’s oral health is very important today and to set the stage for a lifetime of health.

Let’s talk about those tiny teeth: teething and how to take care of your baby’s oral health.

Teething Facts

  • Teething begins anywhere from 3-9 months and can continue until your child is 3-years-old. Every baby is different.
  • Teeth emerge in a consistent pattern: lower 2 front incisors; upper 2 front incisors and 2 more lower incisors; first set of molars; canines; then second molars.
  • One reason we get baby teeth is because our baby mouths aren’t big enough for the size and number of adult teeth we need later in life.
  • Babies get 20 teeth that fall out and are followed by 32 adult teeth.
  • Chewing on a cold, wet washcloth, extra snuggles, and a little pain-relieving medicine is certain to help ease the pain of teething.
  • Contrary to popular belief, teething is not proven to cause sickness like diarrhea, fever or a runny nose.
  • Children should see the dentist as soon as their first teeth start coming in.

How To Take Care of Baby Teeth

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Posted in Dental News

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