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 ›
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 ›
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 ›
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.
Read more ›
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.
Read more ›
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 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
Read more ›
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:
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.
Read more ›
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.
Read more ›
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”?
Read more ›
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:
Read more ›