Adult Dentistry: It’s Never Too Late for Dental Care

Good News for Grown-Ups

“Adulting” can be hard. Between rent, bills, kids, a career, and other responsibilities, it can be tough 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?

Nelson Ridge Family Dental serves adults from all over New Lenox. Read more for our tips on how to care for your oral health at this particular stage in life.

  • 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 themselves when good habits easily fit in with family life, and others are looking to you to set a positive example. Whether you are caring for children or aging parents, preventative oral healthcare is more likely to happen when done 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. Ever heard of “me time”?
  • Holistic Dentistry: As we get older, we tend to know ourselves better. Holistic medicine is getting more popular as people consider all the ways one part of their health affects another. Keep solid notes on how your whole body and mouth are doing and share the notes with both your doctor and your dentist.

Adult Oral Health Concerns

As grown-ups, we all know that time is not always on our side. As you age, some things are actually hurting your chances of having a healthy mouth and lifestyle. You won’t get yesterday back, so when it comes to starting and maintaining healthy oral care habits, it’s never too late to start implementing healthier habits today.

Here is what you’re up against:

  • Stains: Yellow teeth look old and unhealthy. Avoid or decrease sugar, coffee, red wine, and nicotine to keep your pearly whites actually white. (And if you need a little help, there are plenty of teeth whitening options available.)
  • Enamel: Sugar in soda, juice and desserts threaten your enamel. Enamel is the hard, protective cover on each tooth and it can never be replaced. Sensitive toothpaste can help preserve your enamel.
  • Receding Gums: Brushing too hard, smoking, and simply aging can cause your gums to pull back and reveal more of your tooth. Talk with your dentist if you’re concerned about receding gums.
  • Gum Disease: Nearly half of all Americans over 30 have gum disease. Gum disease can be painful inflammation called gingivitis or advanced gum disease called periodontitis. Bad breath, bone loss, and tooth loss are all potential side effects of severe periodontitis.
  • Pregnancy & Nursing: Oral care is important for pregnant and nursing women. Having children takes a toll on your body and you need to replenish and care for yourself. Gum disease in pregnant women has even been linked to birth defects and labor complications, so it’s worth the time and effort to prevent it.

Adult Preventive Care

It doesn’t matter how old you are, you’ll never grow out of needing to brush your teeth, eat a healthy diet, and visit the dentist. These three habits are the keys to a healthy mouth for people of all ages.

At this age, a lot of people are counting on you, so maintain healthy habits today for the best chance of a healthy mouth later in life. Make an appointment to get a professional cleaning in New Lenox or just to learn more about adult oral health care.

The content of 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.

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Filling in the Gaps: Restoring Your Smile & Quality of Life

Life is full of unexpected surprises, and while we’d love for all of them to be smile-inducing, that’s not entirely realistic—and there may be many reasons you hide your smile. If you’re hiding your smile because of one or more missing teeth, we want you to know you’re not alone. In fact, 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth, and more than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth at all.

Whether the cause is tooth decay, gum disease—#1 on the list of reasons, with 50% of Americans over the age of 30 having the most severe form of periodontitis—illness, or injury, there are solutions. Dr. Etchison, Dr. Pycinska, and Dr. Eberhardt at Nelson Ridge Family Dental would like to fill you in on your options, which have expanded and improved over the years thanks to technological advancements and continuing education.

An Ounce of Prevention

You’re probably familiar with the cliché, but in case you’re not, the ending goes: “is worth a pound of cure.” At Nelson Ridge Family Dental, we believe this to be true. We hope to see smiles from all over New Lenox regularly so we can catch problems in their earlier stages and help you avoid the need for more extensive procedures. If tooth decay and/or infection within your tooth’s pulp chamber is caught in time, we might be able to salvage your tooth with a root canal, inlay or onlay, or a crown.

Ye Who Enter Here

If, however, the damage has been done and a tooth needs extraction or has already left the building, you don’t have to abandon all hope. We can either bridge the divide, or implant some pearls of strength and wisdom. If you need to replace more than a few teeth, partial and full dentures are on your list of options as well, and the dentures of today are more comfortable and natural looking than the dentures of decades past.

Let’s Get Back Together

If you’ve got a separation between two or more teeth, a little bit of relationship counseling might be helpful… kidding! What Dr. Etchison, Dr. Pycinska, and Dr. Eberhardt can do is design a dental bridge to restore your smile’s function and beauty.


If the space where your tooth used to be has neighbors, a traditional bridge can be placed using those neighbors, which will be prepared and crowned as anchors. If the gap is in the back of your mouth and has only one tooth for anchoring, what’s called a Cantilever bridge can be crafted and bonded for security. The third type of bridge that can replace a missing tooth is called a Maryland. Maryland bridges have metal wings that are bonded directly to your neighboring teeth for support, without the need for preparing and fitting them with crowns.

Finding the Right Fit

If all or most of your teeth require replacement, dentures are another option—one that has expanded and improved over time. Dr. Etchison, Dr. Pycinska, and Dr. Eberhardt can help New Lenox residents choose which type is best for their case, between conventional, immediate, and overdentures. Going the conventional route means allowing for a healing period before they’re fitted, which can take several months. Immediate dentures can be placed after remaining teeth have been extracted, thanks to measurements being taken and models being created of your mouth and jaw during a preliminary visit. Overdentures are a great option if you have healthy teeth remaining, as they can fit over the top of your tooth roots along with implants, which gives them a more natural feel and appearance. You may experience discomfort during your adjustment period, but we will do all we can to ensure your oral health and function return.

The Long Haul

Whether you’re missing one tooth, a couple of teeth, or all of them, the #1 recommended solution by doctors and patients is dental implants. Their versatility and ability to preserve your jawbone by mimicking your tooth root are unmatched. Dental implants are small posts made of biocompatible titanium that are inserted into your jawbone, fitted with an abutment, and then capped with a beautiful, durable, porcelain crown, bridge, or a full set of dentures. Besides them bearing the closest resemblance physically and aesthetically to your natural teeth, they can also last a lifetime with proper care.

The Final Verdict

The jury is not out when it comes to replacing missing teeth. It’s important not just because the hole they leave can hurt your self-confidence—it can also hurt your oral health. Surrounding teeth may shift and alter your bite, and without that root, your jawbone starts to deteriorate, causing a sunken-in facial appearance. If you’ve been missing one or more teeth for a while, you know it also impacts your diet and the way you speak. Dr. Etchison, Dr. Pycinska, and Dr. Eberhardt are able and would be honored to restore your smile to the healthy, beautiful state you deserve. Contact Nelson Ridge Family Dental today to make an appointment!

The content of 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.

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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? Nelson Ridge Family Dental 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.

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 gets 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. Your New Lenox dentists provide professional orthodontic treatments as well as whitening services 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.

The content of 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.

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Do Whitening Strips Actually Work?

Whitening strips are among the most popular health and beauty products in New Lenox. 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. Nelson Ridge Family Dental 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.

Teeth Whitening: The Basics

Nowadays, there are three basic types of in-home whitening: toothpaste and mouthwashes, whitening strips, and gel trays. While whitening toothpaste 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, 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 when it covers your teeth, bleaching them and making the surface whiter. Carbamide peroxide works the exact same way but contains an additional 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 people 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 can usually be done in a single visit. If you would like to know how your New Lenox dentists can give you a radically whiter smile in one visit, call Nelson Ridge Family Dental today.


The content of 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.

Sources