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Bacteria: The Good, the Bad & the Neutral

Living in a land of antibacterial gels, soaps, plastics, and even fabrics, it might surprise you to hear that tons of bacteria live in your mouth every day, and they aren’t all bad! In fact, some play an important role in keeping up your overall health. Some oral bacteria, however, can cause serious problems and must be fought with good oral hygiene. Dr. Yakowicz from Neighborhood Smiles in Belleville would like to help you understand the role bacteria play in your health and wellness. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health

The Smoking Gun: Tobacco & Oral Health

They say not everything natural is good for you. Nature has many poisons that humans have experimented with and learned the hard way to avoid. Tobacco is a popular plant that we’ve learned can really do a number on your health. Using tobacco is a personal and communal practice that can be really hard to avoid, even if you know it’s bad for you. Working with your doctor and dentist will be essential if you’re concerned about your health and want to stop using tobacco. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental Services

What Are Those Bumps? Oral Tori

Unusual shapes and growths can be alarming anywhere in the body. If you’ve noticed hard bumps growing in your mouth, you might have oral tori.

What are Oral Tori?

Tori (or a single torus) are bumps in the mouth made of bone tissue covered by gum tissue. They grow slowly and some people have them without ever noticing them! There are three kinds of tori, each named differently based on their location:

  • Buccal exostoses: tori on the back, upper gums, on the cheek side
  • Maxillary/palatal tori: on the roof of the mouth
  • Mandibular/lingual tori: on the lower jaw, under the tongue

Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health

The Oral-Systemic Link: Risk Factors for Tooth Decay

Did you know the same plaque that decays your teeth can cause major heart problems? What if you could fight plaque and heart failure both by improving your oral health? Dr. Yakowicz in Belleville is here to tell you more!

Someone dies from a heart attack every minute, according to the American Heart Association, and most heart attacks (and 85% of strokes) are caused by cholesterol build-up – aka plaque.

But there is good news. You can work with your Belleville dentist and your doctor to understand and minimize your risk factors for developing plaque and tooth decay. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health

Orthodontics 101

A healthy, beautiful smile is important for your overall health and life satisfaction. If your teeth are too close to each other, too far apart, too crooked, or if they fit together uncomfortably when your mouth is closed, it’s likely you have malocclusion.

From the root words “mal” for bad, and “occlusion” for closed, malocclusion refers to a poor position of your teeth when your mouth is closed. The solution for malocclusion is orthodontics to straighten your teeth. (The root word “ortho” means straight.)

The specific position of your mouth when it’s closed is called your bite. Your bite can be either healthy or unhealthy, and an unhealthy bite can cause all sorts of problems. Kids and adults alike can benefit from fixing an improper bite.

Needing orthodontic treatment is a good example of when cosmetic dentistry is both beautiful and practical. Belleville dentist, Dr. Yakowicz shares all you need to know about getting orthodontic treatment at Neighborhood Smiles. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental Services, Patient Care

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.

Sources

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/o/orthodontics

http://www.6monthsmiles.com

http://www.invisalign.com/?gclid=COqH6by4is8CFUMvgQodix0Fwg#sm.001kylagu1cw4e07v8215kt2nz8h7

 

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