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Oral Cancer – Protection & Early Detection

Cancer is always a scary word. But it doesn’t have to be the last word.

Equipped with good information and the best doctors, you can feel empowered to navigate whatever stands before you or your loved one.

Oral cancer is common and affects approximately 50,000 Americans every year. If you have more questions about oral cancer, read more below from Dr. Yakowicz at Neighborhood Smiles in Belleville. Read more ›

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

Why Does My Jaw Hurt?

If your jaw clicks when it opens, or you can’t fully open it, or you have pain in your face and trouble chewing, then you’re among the 15% of Americans who have chronic jaw pain.

Your jaw joint is called the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. The name comes from the jaw’s role to connect your temporal bone in the skull with your mandible bone. Some people experience short-term pain that goes away with ice and over-the-counter medicine. But if you have chronic jaw pain or you can’t open your mouth, you might have a temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and it’s important to see your dentist right away to find relief.

Dr. Yakowicz, Belleville dentist explains more below about the causes and treatments of jaw pain. Read more ›

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

Stop Brushing After You Eat – Do This Instead

For a long time, we’ve been told to brush our teeth right after we eat, but conventional wisdom might be changing on that. Thanks to your mouth’s powerful and natural ability to clean itself, rinsing with water might actually be the best way to freshen your breath and prevent cavities after you eat.

In addition to your everyday hygiene routine, rinsing with water is a free, easy way to maintain oral health throughout the day. To understand this, read below about what happens in your mouth after you eat and why water is so great for your teeth. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Patient Care

Local Anesthetic – Is it Safe?

If you get to go on a tropical vacation, your ability to feel the warm sun and the smooth sand is crucial to enjoying the atmosphere. There are, however, times in life when you would rather not feel anything. Getting a dental procedure can be one of those times—as important as the procedure might be. In that case, thank goodness for modern medicine and anesthesia.

Ancient dentists used a number of herbs and drugs to numb their patients. Thankfully, today, you have the option of completely safe and effective anesthesia. Dr. Yakowicz, Belleville dentist shares more below about what anesthesia is and when you might need it. Read more ›

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

Your Options For Teeth Straightening

Maybe Mona Lisa would have cracked a real smile if she had been more confident in her teeth!

All jokes aside, you don’t have to live every day embarrassed by your own smile. Orthodontic treatments today are much more desirable than those of yesteryear. There are a lot of good reasons to straighten your teeth, both functional and aesthetic. And there are a lot of good times in your life to commit to a treatment – like now! But how do you decide among all of your options for teeth straightening?

Dr. Yakowicz is an experienced Belleville dentist who can help you understand your options.

A Healthy Bite

In an ideal world, your top teeth should rest down and in line with their opposing tooth on the bottom. This helps you smile, chew, and speak smoothly. If you have any problems with this, like a crooked tooth or odd spacing between teeth, you’ve got an improper bite. Improper bites (also called malocclusion) can cause overbite, underbite, and crossbite. An improper bite can make you self-conscious of your smile and can cause excessive stress and forces on your teeth and jaw joint (TMJ).

Orthodontics is a dental treatment that slowly moves your teeth and jaw to help your teeth line up better. The metallic “train tracks” found on nearly every middle schooler, and the removable retainer likely gathering dust in your medicine cabinet are both types of orthodontic appliances. But if you’d like the benefit of a smile makeover without the metallic dramatics, you’re in good company. Many people are interested in Invisalign® and Six Month Smiles® for all of the orthodontic benefits and none of the obvious metal mouth.

Invisalign® & Six Month Smiles® Similarities

  • Invisalign® trays and Six Month Smiles® braces are clear and sleek
  • Neither are distracting
  • Both look professional for work environments
  • Neither get in the way of everyday life
  • Both provide great results

Invisalign® and Six Month Smiles® Differences

  • Six Month Smiles® is usually less expensive
  • Six Month Smiles® requires less treatment time
  • Six Month Smiles® is a cosmetic treatment
  • Invisalign® can help patients who need bite alteration
  • Invisalign® trays are virtually invisible without brackets & wires
  • Invisalign® can be removed for special occasions and flossing

Choosing Orthodontics

Only you can decide which option is best for you. But don’t make your choice without a professional opinion. Neighborhood Smiles in Belleville provides professional orthodontic treatments as well as whitening and cleaning to truly give you a healthy, beautiful smile. Make an appointment today for a consultation and to learn how to achieve your best smile.

Note: Dr. Yakowicz is a general dentist providing orthodontic services.



Posted in Dental Services Tagged with:

Don’t Eat That: A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Mouth

Some foods will help you grow healthy teeth and keep them forever. Some foods will prevent you from growing healthy teeth or will harm the ones you already have. You can grow and maintain strong, healthy teeth by eating a diet your mouth (and your body) will truly love.

Diet is Everything

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Oral Health Tips at Every Age

A few things are equally important for your oral health no matter your age or stage of life. Good nutrition, brushing and flossing habits, visiting the dentist and a little fluoride are always (always) the essentials – you won’t ever hear us say otherwise. However, your dental hygiene routine requires unique considerations at each new season of growth and maturity. Read below as Neighborhood Smiles shares what is especially important to know for your oral health throughout your life. You may be surprised at what we have to say!


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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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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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