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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

Senior Dentistry: Embrace Healthy Aging

Someone once said, “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” How true!

It can be disorienting and frustrating to watch your health change with age, but you don’t have to accept poor oral health and tooth loss as just a part of the game. On the contrary, your oral health is just as important now as ever, and it’s linked closely with your overall health and wellness.

Embrace healthy, preventative dental hygiene and reap the benefits of improved wellness and vitality during a season of life with so much to look forward to.

When it comes to senior health and dentistry, Dr. Ryan Yakowicz shares the top concerns you may have, and how to address them:

Gum Disease

A shocking 70% of adults over 65-years-old have gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among seniors.

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Posted in Dental News

Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Nicknamed for the fact that they come into your mouth (and your life) by the time you are finally mature and supposedly “wise” wisdom teeth are simply molars in the far back of your mouth. Whether or not these molars cause you problems is anyone’s guess, but if you’re experiencing some specific pain in your gums and jaw, you may be wondering if you have impacted wisdom teeth.

Dr. Ryan Yakowicz takes care of wisdom teeth from all around Belleville! Let us tell you more about impacted wisdom teeth and what to do if you have them.

What are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

Your wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars you’ll get. They usually come in when you are between 17 and 21 years old, though some people’s wisdom teeth won’t come until much later, or never at all. (Does that mean they never become wise? Hard to say.)

As with all teeth, wisdom teeth are expected to break through the gums and become totally visible when they emerge. However, in some situations, wisdom teeth stay deep in the jawbone or never break through your gums. In this case, the wisdom teeth are impacted.

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Posted in Dental Services

Adult Dentistry: It’s Never Too Late

Good News for Grown Ups

“Adulting” can be hard. Between rent, bills, kids, a career, and other responsibilities, it can be hard to make time for yourself. But independence, parenting, fulfilling work, and the wisdom that comes with age can be pretty fantastic, too. So how does your oral healthcare fit into a grown up lifestyle?

  • Priorities: You manage a lot on any given day. Brushing your teeth and making a dental appointment may not feel like the most pressing of matters, but you know they are important in the long run—so you do it.
  • Family Life: Many people are more motivated to take care of their self when the habits easily fit in with family life and when you know someone is looking to you to set a good example. Whether you are caring for children or aging parents, preventative oral healthcare is more fun (and more likely to happen) together as a family.
  • Benefits: If you have a job that provides dental coverage, there’s really no reason not to see the dentist. You should even be able to use paid time off for the appointment. Can anyone say “me time”?

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Posted in Dental News

Gum Disease & Birth Defects

What is Gum Disease?

The short answer: Gum disease is a common gum infection that can become very problematic, but you can prevent it!

The long answer: All over your body, tissues have a self-defense mechanism called “inflammation.” When bacteria build up in your mouth, your gum tissue will inflame to try and kill it. Inflammation in your gums is called gingivitis. Gingivitis looks like red, soft, and sore gum tissue.

Over time, gingivitis can lead to more troublesome gum disease (called periodontitis) that can grow even deeper and start to harm the bones of your teeth and jaw. Severe gum disease can wreak havoc in your mouth. Pregnant women need to be especially careful because gum disease is linked with pre-term births and babies with low birth weight.

Every mom and mom-to-be wants the best start for their little one, and their journey into parenthood. Read on from Dr. Ryan Yakowicz at Neighborhood Smiles to learn more about gum disease and pregnancy.

Gum Disease, Pregnancy, and Birth Defects

Here are the facts:

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Posted in Dental Health, Patient Care

Cosmetic Dentistry – A Beautiful Smile is a Powerful Thing

There is a law of nature that “function follows form.” It’s a saying that means that how something looks actually determines how it works.

For example, you may own many screwdrivers of different sizes and shapes (form) to loosen all different kinds of screws (function). Think of a watering can with a long spout that’s perfect for pouring water right where you want it, versus one with a broad spout to cover large areas more quickly.

This principal can also apply to your smile! A mouth missing teeth is not nearly as functional as a mouth with a full set of chompers. Enter: cosmetic dentistry. The word cosmetic makes these treatments sound optional, but many times they are truly needed to improve physical function or mental and emotional wellbeing.

Read more from Dr. Ryan Yakowicz to learn about cosmetic dentistry and the impact it can have on your life.

Kinds of Cosmetic Dentistry

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Posted in Dental Services

TMJ – The Root of Your Pain

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is a really long name … so let’s call it TMJ. Ah, yes, that’s right, now the name is more familiar! You’ve heard it before. Maybe even some lingering pain in your chewing muscles and bones has you wondering if you’ve got it.

TMJ dysfunction is sometimes called TMD, TMJD, or TMJ Syndrome if there seems to be a collection of related issues with your jaw. Dr. Ryan Yakowicz at Neighborhood Smiles is here to tell you more about TMJ and what to do if you’ve got it.

What is TMJ?

A sailboat requires a complex system of ropes, pulleys, and hooks to catch a wind in the sail and get moving. Your jaw is also made of an incredible team of muscles, bones, joints and tissue in order to function. If anything affects any one part of these pieces in your jaw, it could lead to chronic pain and problems with the joints in your jaw. TMJ is a broad term that includes any of this pain of dysfunction.

TMJ can feel like anything from a headache to an inner ear infection. The pain can move from your face and head down to your neck and shoulders. If you have TMJ, talking, chewing and yawning can be very uncomfortable. You might also hear clicking in your jaw, feel your jaw lock in place, or experience muscle spasms.

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Posted in Dental Services

Breastfeeding & Dental Work

If you’re a new mom or you’re about to be, you’re likely already used to putting your needs second to the needs of this beautiful new little person in your life. But your oral hygiene is still important for keeping you and your baby in tip top shape. If something comes up and you need dental work, it shouldn’t prevent you from continuing to breastfeed regularly, or from seeking the dental treatment you need.

Dr. Ryan Yakowicz is an experienced dentist in Belleville and can explain how prioritizing your own health needs is safe and important during this stage of a woman’s life.

Dental Procedures Safe for Breastfeeding

You shouldn’t be surprised to hear that regular brushing and flossing is safe for breastfeeding mothers. In fact, it’s probably never felt more luxurious! Especially as you’re likely eating everything in sight (and perhaps indulging in sweet treats, too), it’s a good idea to keep those pearly whites as clean and healthy as possible.

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Posted in Dental Health

The Ultimate Toothpaste Guide

Fresh breath really sets the tone for every moment of your day: first thing in the morning, before an important meeting, after working out, or just before bed. Whether you prefer cool mint, invigorating cinnamon, or herbal anise, it’s your favorite trusty toothpaste that delivers that fresh clean feeling.

So, what’s the scoop on toothpaste? What is essential to know in order to get the most out of it? You might be surprised as you learn more about this common product. Dr. Ryan Yakowicz in Belleville gives you the full story on toothpaste to empower you to take oral health into your own hands … or your own toothbrush, rather.

What is Toothpaste?

Toothpaste is an important preventative product. It can prevent tartar (hardened plaque) and gum disease if used regularly.

Pastes, gels, powders – toothpaste comes in a variety of forms. But all toothpaste has more or less the same ingredients that make it work, and work well.

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Posted in Dental News

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