A Guide to Cavity Prevention

Imagine this – you have come to see Dr. Fili for a cleaning and routine check-up. The cleaning goes well, but then Dr. Fili tells you that you have a cavity. You’ve been dreading the possibility of this news and now you fear that something must be wrong, since you have been brushing and flossing regularly. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Patient Care

How to Clean Teeth Like a Dentist

Oral hygiene is the foundation of good dental health. Brushing and flossing regularly is the best way to keep your Dubuque smile healthy and clean. Consider this your personal tutorial on the art of dental hygiene, instructed by Dr. James Fili and the expert hygienists at Dubuque Periodontics. If you have any questions or would like to test your skills in person, feel free to give us a call!

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss, and Mouthwash

Before we get to talking technique, we need to make sure you have the right tools for the job. You’re going to need a toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, and floss. Pick whatever floss is most comfortable for you and any toothpaste that you like, provided it has fluoride. Mouthwash is not required, but some Dubuque folks really like the extra oral health boost you get from a good swish and gargle. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Patient Care

Do Whitening Strips Actually Work?

Whitening strips are among the most popular health and beauty products in Dubuque. Brightening up your pearly whites is a great way to give your smile a boost, and with all the over-the-counter options, there’s no reason not to pick one up and try it out. Dr. Fili wants you to be informed about every aspect of dental health, so here’s a guide to which whitening options can give your teeth a bright new shine. If you have any questions or would like to visit Dubuque Periodontics for a consultation, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Teeth Whitening: The Basics

Nowadays, there are three basic types of in-home whitening: toothpastes and mouthwashes, whitening strips, and gel trays. While whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes are the least expensive products on the market, they are also the least effective at creating a noticeable change in the short-term. This is because they don’t have a significant amount of the active ingredients in most whitening products, which are hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. However, they are effective at removing surface stains. On the other hand, gel trays and whitening strips can produce some serious whitening in as little as a week.

How Whitening Strips Work

Whitening strips are all the rage in Dubuque, so we will focus on how they work and what kind of results you can expect from them. Whitening strips are made from a flexible plastic material called polyethylene. Each strip is coated with hydrogen and/or carbamide peroxide and an adhesive to keep the strips in place. Hydrogen peroxide oxidizes as it comes in contact with your teeth, which bleaches teeth, making the surface whiter. Carbamide peroxide works the exact same way, but has an acid that breaks up stains as well.

How Long Do Whitening Strips Take to Produce Results?

Treatment times vary from brand to brand, but the average whitening strip package comes with 28 strips, for two weeks of whitening (one per night per row of teeth). Usually, the directions instruct Dubuque residents to wear the strips for about half an hour before going to bed. Most people that try whitening strips notice a significant improvement in the whiteness of their teeth. However, they are not effective on tetracycline (antibiotic) or fluorosis (fluoride poisoning) stains, and they will not change the color of dental restorations.

Professional Whitening

Although they’re more expensive, professional whitening treatments are much more effective, safer, and some can provide dramatic, long lasting results in one visit, with a decreased chance of causing sensitivities.

Sources

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/products/do-whitening-strips-damage-teeth.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tooth_bleaching

http://www.3dwhite.com/teeth-whitening/teeth-whitening-safety/teeth-whitening-side-effects.aspx

http://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/bleaching_risks.html

Posted in Dental Health, Dental Services, Patient Care

Don’t Get Kicked in the Teeth – At Least Wear a Mouth Guard

According to the American Dental Association, at least 13% of all injuries to the mouth occur during sports activities. While helmets, shoulder pads, shin guards, and the like do a great job of protecting most of the body, Dr. James Fili would like to make sure that every athlete knows how to keep their teeth safe from harm. No Dubuque parent should have to worry about their child’s teeth during the game, so at Dubuque Periodontics we would like to talk about how to take sports safety to the next level.

Mouth Guards and Sports Safety

In Dubuque, we live for a good game. Our athletes train hard to win, so it’s not hard to imagine why they don’t shy away from contact. However, that doesn’t mean that your family has to suffer the consequences of a sports-related oral injury. Mouth guards are the key to oral safety in sports. Read more ›

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

When a Toothache is Not a Toothache

Most of us in Dubuque have experienced a toothache. At their mildest, toothaches may cause just enough discomfort to get on your nerves and disrupt your concentration, but at their worst, they can be debilitating. Because the pain feels like it’s coming from your tooth, it’s natural to assume that all toothaches are caused by cavities, gum disease or some other tooth-related problem. However, Dr. James Fili would like you to know that not all toothaches are related to your teeth.

Wait, what? Toothaches that have nothing to do with teeth? Yes– as anyone at Dubuque Periodontics will tell you –it is possible and it does happen. That being said, most toothaches are tooth-related.

How can a toothache not come from your tooth?

Your mouth is a complex organ that contains a number of different types of tissue, nerves, and microorganisms. While run of the mill dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease are responsible for the majority of toothaches, there are many other conditions that can cause localized pain in one of more teeth –and some of them have nothing to do with your teeth. Here are a few examples:

What’s the most important thing to remember? If you experience moderate to severe pain in your mouth, it’s time to visit Dr. James Fili. Lots of pain, doesn’t necessarily mean you need emergency dental care, but it’s not worth the risk. We at Dubuque Periodontics have seen it all and we know how to care for your smile. Dr. James Fili will examine your mouth and help determine the source of the problem, whether or not it’s actually your teeth!

If you are suffering from a toothache and have questions or would like to make an appointment, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Posted in Dental Health, Dental Services, Patient Care

The Science of Tooth Decay

If you’ve visited our blog before, you know that we love to talk about tooth decay. The chances are, everyone in Dubuque has had or will have tooth decay at one point. It is classified by the National Institutes of Health as the most prevalent disease in the world. Today we’re going to talk about a few of the factors involved in causing tooth decay and what you and Dr. James Fili can do to protect your smile.

The unique makeup of your teeth

Even within your own mouth, teeth vary widely in shape, size, and the quality and consistency of enamel formation. Some teeth are harder than others, and some, especially molars, may have deep fissures that can trap decay-causing bacteria. Additionally, defects in way enamel forms can cause yellow or brown areas on your teeth that are more susceptible to caries (tooth decay). Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental Services, Patient Care

History of the Toothbrush

If you had to give up your toothbrush or your car, which would it be? According to a recent survey, 42 percent of adults and 34 percent of teens would rather turn in their keys, computer, cell phone, or microwave than get rid of their toothbrush. It seems that many Dubuque residents love toothbrushes the way Dr. James Fili does. We at Dubuque Periodontics would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the history of the toothbrush and talk about how to pick the right one.

Did you know that toothbrushes were invented before soap, deodorant, and even toilets? The idea of the toothbrush is over 5,000 years old, although back then they were a lot different than what we have now. In ancient times, people used sticks, bones, and all manner of animal hair and products to brush their teeth and take care of their gums. The switch from animal hair to synthetic materials (for bristles) is fairly new, and mass production of toothbrushes has only existed for a couple of centuries. Read more ›

Posted in Dental News

The Tooth About Teeth Grinding

Headaches in Dubuque are a dime a dozen. We all know the frustration of having your day interrupted by throbbing, shooting pains in the head. If you suffer from frequent headaches that never seem to go away, Dr. James Fili would like you to know about bruxism, or teeth grinding, a common condition that Dubuque residents rarely know they have. At Dubuque Periodontics, we love spreading the news about all things dental health, so here is some headache information that just might change your life.

Bruxism and Headaches

You may not be aware of it, but everyone clenches and grinds their teeth at some point, to some degree. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Services, Patient Care

Stop Tooth Pain and Sensitivity Now!

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

There are a ton of specialized toothpastes, mouthwashes, and toothbrushes available to Dubuque residents suffering from sensitive teeth. It is a very common problem that lots of products claim they can solve, but have you ever wondered why it exists? Today, we at Dubuque Periodontics would like to explain what causes tooth sensitivity and how these products work. Dr. James Fili wants everyone in Dubuque to enjoy a pain-free mouth, so feel free to give us a call with any questions or to setup a consultation.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth? Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health

Teaching Your Kids to Brush and Floss

As a parent, you will have numerous opportunities to teach your children valuable skills and each one will yield priceless memories. Your child’s first step, your child’s first word, your child’s first bike ride, your child’s first unassisted brushing and flossing session…Well, maybe that last one won’t be as memorable, but Dr. James Fili wants to remind all Dubuque parents that good oral hygiene habits begin in childhood. So, today, we at Dubuque Periodontics would like to take this opportunity give you some tips on teaching your kids to brush and floss. Read more ›

Posted in Dental News
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