General & Preventive Dentistry
I’m doctor Brandon Bice, Dentist and Blogger for Grand Dental Group, as well as former Defensive End for the NIU Huskies. The Championship ‘85 Bears season was a bit before my time, but growing up in the Chicagoland area, I remember Bears heroes of my youth, particularly the legendary coach “Iron” Mike Ditka.
As you may have heard, Hall of Fame coach and player, Mike Ditka, suffered a massive heart attack in late-
November. Thankfully, he is recovering nicely at his home in Naples, FL. Check out this USA Today article on Coach Ditka’s recent health scare:
In addition to football, Coach Ditka and I have something else in common… before dedicating himself to the sport, he was studying to become a Dentist at the University of Pittsburgh. Knowing his passion for dentistry, I feel obliged to stress the importance of good oral hygiene as it relates to heart disease.
Oral Hygiene is absolutely crucial to sustaining a healthy heart, as bacteria from the mouth can travel to the heart through the bloodstream and cause inflammation. According to the Mayo Clinic website, “Some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.“
Don’t take your mouth and heart for granted. Follow Mike Ditka’s advice on oral health in this video from the late 1980’s and make sure to visit your local Grand Dental to maintain a game-winning smile.
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Use your 2018 dental benefits before they expire.
Hello, I’m Dr. Brandon Bice. For the past 3 years, I have been proud to be a member of the Grand Dental family, serving patients out of our Wilmington and Channahon locations. My colleagues and I are always concerned when our patients fail to use their remaining dental benefits before the end of the year. Don’t flush your benefits down the drain!
Most dental plans cover cleanings, routine check-ups and other preventative health services once every six months, or twice a year. Having multiple cleanings each year is the best way keep tartar from building on the enamel of the tooth. Tartar forms above and below the gum line and must be removed with special tools in the dentist office. Because tartar harbors bacteria, it can lead to cavities, tooth decay, gum disease and eventually tooth and bone loss. Ouch!
It is critical to keep up with regular dental appointments and be seen by your hygienist and dentist at least twice a year.
Benjamin Franklin said it best, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In my experience, this is absolutely true about dentistry. Patients that maintain regular cleaning appointments, and have strong daily dental habits, save both time and money by avoiding serious dental emergencies. Therefore, it is imperative to use ALL your 2018 dental benefits before the end of the year.
You’ve paid for those benefits, don’t let them go to waste.
Don’t have a dentist? Don’t worry. With seven locations throughout the greater Chicagoland area, Grand Dental has appointments available before the end of the year. But Time is Ticking! Schedule an appointment with me or any of our amazing hygienists and doctors to ensure you get the extraordinary care you deserve.
At Grand Dental, our family means the world to us. Our doctors, staff and patients are all make this practice great. This year for National Breast Cancer Awareness month, we’re supporting Pink Heals – Joliet a local, non-profit organization that aims to empower women fighting Cancer. Hope Beland, wife of our Sr. Accountant, Ken, was a recent honoree at a Pink Heals celebration where she signed the pink fire truck and received plenty of love!
Pink Heals visits cancer patients who need community support and a healthy dose of TLC! This wonderful organization touches the lives of families and brings the community together in showing cancer patients that they are NEVER alone.
“The Pink Heals Tour is about our community, our family, our neighbors, and our leaders and how it will help bring us back together to focus on one another.”
-Dave Graybill, Founder
From now through the end of October you can help Grand Dental support women fighting cancer in our community. Either 1. LIKE or FOLLOW us, 2.CHECK-IN on Facebook at one of our locations, or 3. POST a fun PINK picture and TAG US in it, we will donate $1 for every participant! Join us in achieving our goal of donating $100 per office to Pink Heals- Joliet!
THERE’S NOTHING BETTER than a swim in the pool to cool down during the hot summer months. Before we dive in, we should be aware of how our time in the pool can impact our oral health. That’s right: the chlorine in swimming pools doesn’t just cause dry skin and eye irritation, it can also have an effect on our teeth.
Chlorine Versus Our Teeth
The reason swimming pools contain chlorine is that it helps to decontaminate the water from microbes and other unpleasant things that could pose health and sanitation risks to swimmers. However, when chlorine is added to water, it forms a weak acid, and unless the pool’s pH isn’t carefully regulated, that acid can lead to a condition called swimmer’s calculus.
Swimmer’s calculus causes yellow and brown stains to develop on teeth enamel after too much exposure to chlorine. It also makes our teeth feel more sensitive after swimming, because enamel erosion leaves the dentin underneath more vulnerable. When we have good oral health, our saliva works to keep our mouths as close to a neutral pH as possible, thus protecting our enamel from erosion, but acid exposure can harm enamel before the saliva can do its job.
This isn’t usually a problem for casual swimmers, but anyone who is a serious swimmer or participates in water sports should be aware of the possibility of developing swimmer’s calculus. The best ways to prevent chlorine damage to your teeth are to maintain a good oral health routine with daily brushing and flossing, drink plenty of fresh water to flush out the chlorine residue, and keep your mouth closed while swimming!
Check out this video to learn about other ways our teeth are exposed to acids:
Dental Concerns Of Scuba Diving
If swimming pools aren’t your thing but you love snorkeling and diving, your teeth will be safe from the effects of chlorine, but they may still face other problems. Barodontalgia, commonly called tooth squeeze, occurs when tiny air bubbles trapped in cracks, crevices, and holes in our teeth change size due to pressure. This pressure change can result in significant tooth pain and can even fracture teeth, and a good preventative measure is a dental appointment before diving season begins!
Most divers are familiar with how uncomfortable those “one size fits none” mouthpieces can be, but do you know they can be bad for your teeth? Divers with poorly-fitting mouthpieces have to clench to keep them in place, and this can lead to Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ), which causes jaw pain and headaches and makes it uncomfortable to chew. If you’re a frequent diver, you might want to invest in a custom-fitted mouthpiece.
Let’s Get Those Teeth Ready For The Water!
We want all of our patients to have a wonderful summer enjoying their favorite water sports and activities without fear for the effects on their teeth. Schedule a dental appointment so that we can make sure your teeth are healthy and answer any of your questions about underwater tooth problems and how to avoid them!
Take time to cool off this summer! You deserve it!
Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Grand Dental would like to thank all those who have served our country, by extending a 15% discount on all dental services, from Cleaning & Exams to Implants or Orthodontic treatment.
Click image below for details.
Hygiene visits and dental checkups at our Franklin Park, Channahon, Aurora, Sycamore, Lake Zurich, or Wilmington dental office are an important part of a proper oral health routine. We’d go so far to say they may even be THE most important part. At these appointments, we’re not only able to identify common dental concerns like decay and cavities, we may also be able to tell certain things about you and your overall health, just by looking in your mouth.
You Used to Suck Your Thumb
A lot of babies and toddlers sucks their thumbs. And most of them stop early enough to not experience any long term effects. However, if it was harder for you to stop the habit and you continued to suck your thumb into age seven or eight, your adult teeth may be suffering. Protrusion of front teeth or jaw misalignment are both common signs of a former thumb sucker. Orthodontics or cosmetic treatments can help.
You Bite Your Nails
Without even glancing at your nails, your dentist may be able to tell that you’re a chronic nail biter. Those who bite their nails often typically have chips and cracks in their teeth, and the front ones are sometimes worn down and flat. Besides the cracks leaving little crevices for bacteria to nestle in, the change in tooth shape can throw off your bite, leading to jaw pain or other symptoms of TMJ (temporomandibular disorder).
You Flossed Right Before Your Appointment
We appreciate the effort of a last minute floss, but if that’s the only time you’ve flossed since your last visit, we can tell. Red, puffy, and possibly bloody gums are telltale signs that you quickly flossed before your appointment. Those who floss regularly don’t show the same signs. We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it — you need to floss every day for optimal oral health.
You Have Bad Breath — And That’s Serious
Bad breath can be a sign of something serious, whether in your mouth or in your body. The type of smell can actually indicate where the issue may be. Fruity breath is a common sign of diabetes while fishy breath could mean liver or kidney failure. Breath that doesn’t really associate with a certain smell but is still unpleasant may be an early sign of gum disease. Gum disease not only affects the mouth, but can increase the risk for heart disease too.
You Have Oral Cancer — That’s Also Serious
Oral cancer is characterized by unexplained bleeding, white or red patches in the mouth, or lumps on the lips, gums, or cheeks. Many times, your dentist is the first to notice anything suspicious and gets the process started for determining if it is in fact cancer, or something else. Although cancer is a really scary word, oral cancer treatment has a high success rate if caught in the early stages.
Like oral cancer, many oral diseases can be successfully treated if diagnosed early. So if you’re experiencing jaw pain, bleeding gums, or have patches of discoloration in your mouth, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible.
If it’s time for your next dental cleaning and exam, give our Franklin Park, Channahon, Aurora, Sycamore, Lake Zurich, or Wilmington dental offices a call to schedule an appointment today.
The benefits of regular dental exams and cleanings are applicable to everyone from women and men to children. Yet, according to research, American women are ⅓ more likely to get preventive dental care than men. At our dental offices in Franklin Park, Channahon, Aurora, Sycamore, Lake Zurich, and Wilmington, we wanted to know more about our male patients, and even those who we may not yet have the pleasure of knowing, so we explored a few reasons why men seem to avoid going to the dentist.
The Academy of General Dentistry surveyed several dentists and asked them why men tend to forego regular dental visits. The results include:
- 18% blamed busy schedules
- 30% said men are more embarrassed or afraid to go to the dentist
- 45% believed men don’t see a need to visit the dentist
We found a few other reasons, too. Men tend to avoid preventive dental care and rather just go to the dentist when there is a problem, even though the problem itself may have been avoidable through regular dental cleanings and exams. Additionally, societal norms insinuate that men should “tough it out,” and visiting a doctor may be perceived as a sign of weakness (which, for the record, isn’t a weakness, it’s smart).
Why Are Regular Dental Appointments Important?
Visiting the dentist at least twice a year is crucial to maintaining a healthy mouth and a healthy body. Many oral health problems affect overall health, and if not caught and treated early, some of these issues can be severe. Scheduling and keeping appointments with your dentist can help keep these serious, scary problems away or at least catch them before they have a chance to affect the rest of the body. Some of these concerns include:
- Oral cancer that can affect the lips, tongue, throat, and cheeks
- Gum disease which can increase the risk for heart disease
- Sleep apnea which commonly leads to high blood pressure
Besides keeping your mouth and body healthy, dental appointments can also be used to discuss anything about your smile that you may not like. If you’re embarrassed to smile or are missing teeth, there are plenty of options available to get you a smile you’re confident of including whitening, veneers, dental implants, bridges, and so much more.
If you know a man in your life who has been avoiding dental care for whatever reason, we encourage you to to have him call our Franklin Park, Channahon, Aurora, Sycamore, Lake Zurich, or Wilmington dental office to schedule an appointment. Even if he hasn’t seen a dentist in years, we don’t guilt trip our patients. In fact, we celebrate the important things — the fact he made an appointment and is taking the right steps towards better health.
Accepting patients from Franklin Park, Channahon, Aurora, Sycamore, Lake Zurich, and Wilmington.
You know that brushing is part of a good oral hygiene routine. But this is only true if the toothbrush is clean and free of dangerous bacteria. At our Franklin Park, Channahon, Aurora, Sycamore, Lake Zurich, and Wilmington dental offices, we know that there are some pretty disgusting things that can be found on toothbrushes, and we want you to know about them, not to gross you out, but to make you aware of them and how to avoid them.
Gum disease or dental trauma can cause gum tissue or other areas of the mouth to bleed. If your mouth bleeds while you brush, there’s a good chance some blood is transferred to your toothbrush. If not rinsed thoroughly, it can stay there, waiting for the next time you brush.
Although incredibly gross, yet incredibly real, there is the likelihood of fecal matter being on your toothbrush. What’s worse (yes, it can be worse), is that dangerous bacteria, like E. Coli, can come along with it. If you brush with a toothbrush that has E. Coli on it, it can make you very sick.
This bacteria is some pretty serious stuff. And it may be on your toothbrush. It lives in our respiratory systems and on our skin, and if conditions are just right, it can lead to a MRSA infection. Don’t worry too much though, it is pretty rare.
How to Keep Your Toothbrush Clean
You can decrease the chance of this gross stuff inhabiting your toothbrush by following some helpful toothbrush care tips.
- Replace It. Tossing your toothbrush and replacing it with a new one every three to four months not only keeps it in top performing condition, it also lowers the chance for bacteria buildup.
- Don’t Let Others Use It. Sharing a toothbrush is a great way to transfer germs and bacteria from one person to another, which nobody wants. Allowing brushes to touch while not in use can also cause this to happen, so keep your toothbrush as yours only and don’t let it touch another.
- Let It Air Dry. Storing a still-wet toothbrush in a sealed container or capping the bristles can create a favorable environment for bacteria to multiply and flourish. Instead, keep it upright in a dry place.
Following the tips above, continuing to brush twice a day, and floss once a day is a routine designed to keep your mouth, and your body, healthy. But don’t forget about regular dental appointments at our dental office in Franklin Park, Channahon, Aurora, Sycamore, Lake Zurich, or Wilmington. Seeing us at least every six months allows for early diagnosis of any problems and quicker, more effective treatment. If it’s time for your dental cleaning and exam, call us to schedule your appointment today.
Accepting new patients from Franklin Park, Channahon, Aurora, Sycamore, Lake Zurich, and Wilmington.
At our Franklin Park, Channahon, Aurora, Sycamore, Lake Zurich, and Wilmington dental offices, one of the first things we do when meeting new patients is go over a complete health history. What are we looking for? Things like diabetes, heart disease, etc. Why? Because they can sometimes cause specific symptoms that affect not just your overall health, but your oral health too. Diabetes in particular can lead to an increased risk of periodontal (gum) disease. Here are some frequently asked questions we get about diabetes and how it affects our oral health.
“What Should I Share With My Dentist About My Diabetes?”
We love getting to know our patients in order to better understand how we can help their smile be healthy and last a lifetime.
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to share these things:
- Any changes in your prescriptions or health
- Your results of some of your diabetes blood tests (the A1C or fasting blood glucose)
- Your need for antibiotics before and after dental treatment for uncontrolled diabetes
“How Does My Blood Sugar Affect My Oral Health?”
We understand that maintaining your blood glucose levels isn’t always easy. But did you know that keeping these numbers stable also helps oral health too? It helps reduce your risk of losing teeth, gum disease, and other problems. Your dentist knows that the presence of gum disease may also play a role in the rise of blood sugar, making diabetes even more difficult to regulate.
“Is Brushing and Flossing Different With Diabetes?”
Keeping up with your regular brushing and flossing routine at home isn’t any different, whether or not you’re living with diabetes. It’s always important to brush twice daily and floss once — no matter what illness you may or may not have. Try using a fluoride toothpaste for added decay defense, and brushing in the morning and at night. Your toothbrush should have soft bristles that work best to clean teeth with soft circular motions.
“What About Diabetes and My Diet?”
Since patients living with diabetes are restricted from consuming sugary foods, this is extremely helpful for teeth too. Always be sure to work with your doctor to find the right kind of dietary plan to suit your needs. We always recommend making plenty of veggies, fruits, and whole grains a part of your diet.
At our dental offices in Franklin Park, Channahon, Aurora, Sycamore, Lake Zurich, and Wilmington, we are always available to answer any questions you may have about diabetes and how it can affect oral health. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or if you ever notice any changes in your mouth or teeth.
Welcoming patients from Franklin Park, Channahon, Aurora, Sycamore, Lake Zurich, and Wilmington.
Dentistry for the Whole Family
Your husband has been complaining about a toothache for a week now. You think maybe Susie needs braces. Your dad’s dentures are slipping again. And your smile could definitely use a whitening before your coworker’s wedding.
What can you do? You really don’t have time to run all over town getting your family the dental care they need. Grand Dental Group gets it. Many of the doctors and team members in our offices have families of their own and clearly recognize what families need to stay healthy and smile all they want.
The truth is we love families – and they love us!
- Family-friendly hours
- A comfortable family environment
- Fun and kid-friendly staff
- Grand Advantage Plan savings
- Convenient locations
- Soothing amenities
It all adds up to an experience we hope will make you smile – and keep you smiling for life.
Everything You Need in One Place
One of the things families appreciate most is the way we can provide every kind of dental service you could ever need. We don’t just deal with basic dentistry like cleanings and dental hygiene, checkups, and fillings, we also provide more advanced services like laser gum therapy, dental implants, and endodontics.
Care for All Ages
From the tiniest member of your family to your great grand parents, Grand Dental Group cares for them all. And that doesn’t just mean that we know how to take care of their teeth. We love our “Chicagoland” community. We relate to and respect people of all ages. And we know how to keep them feeling safe, appreciated, and cared for like the important people they – YOU – are.