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Tips For A Healthy Smile

on July 15, 2019

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is an important part of your overall health and well-being. Our Evanston dentist would like to see you twice a year for your cleanings, but how can you keep your oral health in tip-top shape in-between visits? Check out our to-do list when it comes to keeping up with your oral health at home and on the go.

Keep Up With Bi-Yearly Appointments

Keeping a consistent schedule with your routine oral exams at the dentist help keep your mouth as healthy as possible. We recommend scheduling a general dental cleaning roughly every six months, allowing us to examine your mouth and address any potential issues. Your dental hygienist will clean your teeth and gums to help remove and plaque build-up and polish your teeth as well. 

Brush and Floss Daily

The ADA recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes with ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Additionally, make sure you’re flossing daily to keep the plaque at bay and under control. You should be replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or sooner if you see the bristles are frayed. 

Maintain A Healthy Diet

Eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables promote healthy teeth and gums. Too many sugary treats can lead to cavities and tooth decay. If you do have a sweet tooth and want to indulge every once in a while, make sure you brush immediately after you eat the treat to remove any excess sugars.

Rinse With Mouthwash

Using mouthwash after you brush your teeth can help protect your teeth and gums by killing leftover bacteria that can lead to gum disease. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash at least once a day for 30 to 60 seconds. 

 

Are you ready for your bi-yearly checkup? Contact your Evanston dentist today to make an appointment. We look forward to seeing you!

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Dental Musts While Traveling

on June 20, 2019

Summer leads to more traveling and family time, but before you hit the road, make sure you head over to our dentist in Evanston, IL so we can spot any problems before they worsen and before you begin your trip! Once you begin traveling, there are a few dental musts to keep in mind.

 

In Case Of An Emergency

Make sure you have your dentist’s contact info handy because many dental emergencies can actually be resolved over the phone, especially if you’ve been keeping your family up to date with their regular visits. Sometimes emergencies need to be treated right away, and other times, the treatment can wait until you are home from vacation.

 

Remember Your Toothbrush And How To Pack It

If you forgot to pack your toothbrush, make sure to purchase a temporary one (with the ADA Seal of Acceptance) and rinse it vigorously with water before you use it. If you remembered your toothbrush, pack it correctly by using resealable plastic bags and keeping it separate from everything else. Always take your toothbrush out of the bag when you’ve reached your destination to let it air dry by standing up straight.

 

Brush With Bottled Water

If you are traveling overseas, especially to a country where you aren’t sure about the cleanliness of the water, use bottled water to brush your teeth. This avoids the potential of coming in contact with germs and bacteria.

 

Our dentist in Evanston, IL is ready to see you before or after your travel plans! Make sure you visit Stephens Dentistry bi-yearly and schedule your appointments to coincide with your summer trips.

 

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Foods That Stain Your Teeth

on May 13, 2019

We all aim to have proper oral hygiene, but did you know that what we consume can have an impact on our smile? Some foods can actually stain your teeth if you consume them often enough. Stephens Dentistry is here to inform you of particular foods that you should keep to a minimum moving forward! Our Evanston dentists know these specific foods can cause your teeth to stain.

 

Sauces

Sauces that are dark, bright or even balsamic vinaigrette-based can seep into your enamel and cause staining. Some examples to look out for are: tomato-based sauces, curry, and soy sauce. Something to think about: if the sauces can stain your clothing, it can most likely stain your teeth.

 

Berries

The pigmented molecules that give berries their rich color can stick to tooth enamel and cause staining. If you love blackberries, blueberries, cherries, and beets (or other fruits and vegetables similar to these), it is ideal to rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after you eat them. Doing so can help keep the stains at bay.

 

Candy and Sweets

If a candy makes your tongue change colors, it’s possible that it is staining your teeth as well. Hard candies, chewing gum, or Popsicles that contain blue and red dyes can stain your teeth. Keep the sweets to a minimum this spring and summer to preserve your white smile. Plus, avoiding these types of foods also keeps you healthier!

 

Stephens Dentistry wants to make sure you are rocking the best smile you can. In addition to brushing and flossing regularly,  head to your Evanston dentist when it is time for your bi-yearly dentist appointment!

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How Often Should I Be Visiting My Dentist?

on April 26, 2019

Going to the dentist is like going on a run–hard to get yourself started, but after your appointment, you feel great about yourself. When you leave the dentist, nothing beats that clean feeling as you move your tongue along your polished teeth. If you don’t fall into a high-risk category for dental hygiene, you should be visiting a dentist twice every year.

When you visit the dentist for a routine check-up, you will find yourself in the chair as the dentist checks for: plaque, tartar, gum disease, and sometimes your lower jaw joints (responsible for TMJ syndrome). Most check-ups end with polishing.

In-Between Visits

It’s important to brush your teeth a minimum of two a day to keep from gaining plaque build-up. In addition to brushing, you should be flossing daily. Since you are only visiting the dentist twice a year, you have a responsibility to your teeth to keep them as healthy as can be.

Emergencies

There may be times you feel sensitivity in your teeth, or you see too much blood while brushing. There is no harm in calling the dentist to make an extra visit in addition to your bi- yearly checkup.

If you are unsure how often you should see your dentist, ask! They can evaluate your oral health and give you a schedule that best fits with your dental hygiene to keep your smile healthy and clean.

Contact Stephens Dentistry today to make your appointment!

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Hydrogen Peroxide: What Can It Do for Your Teeth?

on March 25, 2019

If we had to guess, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with hydrogen peroxide. It is typically used as a reliable cleanser for cuts and scrapes. In fact, you might even have a little brown bottle of it lying somewhere around your house. But hydrogen peroxide’s functionality doesn’t end there – it also has a number of oral health benefits our Evanston dentist wants you to know about. From teeth brightening to the prevention of gum disease, it has a few tricks up its sleeve.

Oral Hygiene

While it may come as a surprise, hydrogen peroxide can actually improve your oral health. Dentists have been using hydrogen peroxide to treat gum disease and reduce plaque since 1913. Peroxide contains oxygen which helps fight the bacteria and pathogens responsible for gum disease. Even if you don’t have a serious form of gum disease, hydrogen peroxide can still be useful. Some dentists suggest applying a 3% solution with a soft-bristled toothbrush to teeth as a preventative measure.

Teeth Whitening

According to the American Dental Association, hydrogen peroxide is also an effective teeth whitener. In fact, it can be found in a majority of toothpastes and professional whitening agents. But don’t worry, it’s always at a safe concentration, varying from 25 to 40 percent.

Many different things have unexpected oral health benefits! If you are interested in learning more fun facts or have questions about your smile, don’t hesitate to contact our Evanston dentist at Stephens Dentistry today.

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Do You Need a Root Canal?

on February 18, 2019

The American Dental Association asserts that root canals are required when the nerve or pulp of your tooth becomes infected or inflamed. When this happens, our Evanston dentist will most likely recommend a root canal to salvage your tooth and keep your smile intact. But, do you know how to tell if you’re in need of one? Some symptoms are obvious, but others are inconspicuous. Make sure you watch out for the following:

Discomfort When Chewing

Pay attention to any pain you feel while you’re snacking on your favorite foods. Unexplainable discomfort may be due to an infection in your tooth, potentially caused by a crack or fracture.

Temperature Sensitivity

If you notice pain or sensitivity when you consume something hot or cold, or a lingering pain even after the stimuli has been removed, this is a sign that there’s a problem.

Constant Pain

Constant pain that isn’t set off by chewing or temperature changes is usually an indicator of an infection in the gum tissue. If you’re experiencing continuous, unavoidable pain, this must be addressed with your Evanston dentist.

If you’ve noticed some of the warning signs that indicate you might need a root canal, contact our Evanston dentist today. Whether it’s caused by decay, damage, or disease, action is required. Without prompt treatment, the infection may worsen and lead to more serious issues. The dedicated staff at Stephens Dentistry is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

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Dental Health Resolutions

on January 22, 2019

The New Year is upon us, making it the perfect time to create resolutions geared towards improving your health. Dental hygiene is a key part of your overall wellness, so why not start there? Getting a fresh start in the New Year can be difficult, but finding a way to stick with it is important. If you want to take better care of your teeth and gums this year, our dentist near Evanston, IL suggests these tips to keep you on track:

Commit to Flossing

You’ve heard it before: brushing twice a day isn’t enough! To prevent damaging plaque buildup, you need to get in the habit of flossing.

Scale Back on Sugar

There is a direct link between the amount of sugar you consume and the amount of tooth decay you have. Cutting back on sugar can significantly reduce your risk of tooth decay. If you’re craving something sweet, consider sugar-free gum instead of that cookie.

Book an Appointment

Don’t see your dentist enough? You aren’t the only one. According to the American Dental Association, nearly one third of Americans don’t see a dentist once a year. However, this is one of the most important things you can do for your oral health. Dentists catch things you can’t on your own. If your teeth are sensitive or your gums are bleeding, it’s time to book your next appointment.

Our dentist near Evanston, IL wants to ensure that your dental resolutions won’t be neglected. If you feel yourself losing your resolve, kick it back into gear! By following these easy tips, you can keep your teeth healthy and happy throughout 2019.

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Dental Health Myths: Fact or Fiction?

on December 19, 2018

To the team at Stephens Dentistry, the nitty gritty of all things oral health has become second nature. However, we understand that it can be a confusing topic. Over the years, our staff has heard some concerning oral health myths, and our Evanston dentist wants to set the record straight.

Myth #1: Hard Brushing Leads to Better Results

One of the most commonly spread misconceptions about oral health is that harder brushing leads to healthier teeth. However, on the contrary, it can actually be much worse. Vigorous brushing is no more effective at cleaning away plaque and bacteria than softer, circular brushing. In some cases, it can lead to enamel loss, tooth erosion, and gum damage.

Myth #2: No Pain = No Appointment

Don’t wait until your tooth pain becomes unbearable to see your Evanston dentist, be proactive. By scheduling regular dental cleaning appointments, you can ensure that you’ll discover any issues before they become more serious problems. Taking charge of your oral health will save you time, money, and discomfort.

Myth #3: Flossing Isn’t Necessary

If you’ve been skipping out on your daily flossing routine, it’s time to reconsider. The most critical plaque and bacteria buildup are in hard to reach places, and brushing alone just doesn’t cut it. This is where flossing comes in. Take the extra few minutes to floss, your future self will thank you. Keep in mind, it’s easy for our Evanston dentist to tell if you haven’t!

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Preparing for the Holidays

on November 28, 2018

The final months of the year are jam-packed with family gatherings and holiday celebrations. As we all know, no get-together is complete without plenty of group photos. If you want your smile to be camera ready for all of the picture opportunities and mingling in store, consider these easy tips from our Evanston dentist to keep your pearly whites sparkling.

1. Use a Straw

When drinking darker beverages, like coffee, soda, juice, or wine, consider using a straw instead of drinking straight from the cup. This will help reduce your chances of staining and minimize contact with your teeth. For the best results, rinse your mouth after you’ve finished enjoying your drink.

2. Healthy & Helpful Snacks

Along with the countless other benefits of eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, they’re also great for your teeth. Apples, carrots, and celery contain large amounts of water which stimulates saliva production, helping to fight tartar build up. The malic acid in strawberries even helps naturally remove surface discoloration on teeth!

3. Schedule a Cleaning

The end of the year is the perfect time to see your Evanston dentist. Before you greet those out-of-town visitors, schedule an appointment for a teeth cleaning. By removing plaque buildup and checking on your overall oral health, you can be sure you’re ready for the holiday season.

Evanston Dentist

Taking care of your smile is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. However, if these suggestions aren’t doing the trick, contact your Evanston dentist to talk about a professional whitening session.

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How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?

on November 6, 2018

Let’s take a moment to think about what your toothbrush does. By brushing away any food, bacteria, or germs that have built up during the day and overnight, it’s doing your dirty work for you. Because your toothbrush handles all of the nitty-gritty, our dentist near Evanston suggests changing it every so often to ensure it’s still in prime cleaning condition.

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