My Blog

Posts for: January, 2018

By Douglas Pennino, DDS
January 24, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Put away that at-home whitening kit and read this if you want a whiter smile.teeth whitening

If you want to get a brighter smile but find that whitening toothpaste and other at-home methods just aren’t doing the trick, then you may be frustrated that you can’t get your smile whiter. This is where our Barrington, IL, family dentists Drs. Douglas, Chase, and Connor Pennino come in. Discover the difference that professional in-office whitening can make for your appearance.

Yellow and even light brown stains can certainly make your smile fizzle and affect your self-esteem; fortunately, this simple cosmetic treatment can turn that all around in about one hour. Depending on the severity of your stains, our in-office whitening system could give you a smile that’s several shades whiter in just one quick and easy session.

So, what goes into professional teeth whitening?

We are so glad you asked. Once our Barrington, IL, dentists have examined your teeth and gums to make sure that teeth whitening is the best approach for whitening your smile, the next step will be to give your smile a thorough clean. Removing plaque and tartar buildup first is to key to more even results.

From there, a device is placed into the mouth to keep it open and to provide a barrier for the gums and lips so the bleaching agent doesn’t come in contact with delicate soft tissue. This device also reveals your teeth, making it easy for us to paint the whitening gel evenly over the front surface of your teeth.

The whitening gel is left on for up to 15 minutes so that it has time to break down those stubborn stain molecules lying within the enamel and dentin layers. Sometimes a dental laser is directed over the teeth to speed up the effects of the gel. Once the 15 minutes are up, we will remove the gel and apply a fresh new gel layer over your teeth. Most whitening sessions require multiple applications and in about one hour you’ll walk out of our office with the visibly brighter smile you’ve been looking for all along.

Are you ready to get whiter results through professional teeth whitening? If you said “yes,” then it’s time to call Pennino Family Dentistry in Barrington, IL, to schedule your free cosmetic consultation with us to find out if teeth whitening is right for you.


By Douglas Pennino, DDS
January 18, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  
WinterToothTips

Winter is the time for snowy landscapes, hot cocoa and flannel PJs, but for some 'tis the season for tooth trouble. What can you do to keep your teeth from becoming a pain this winter?

Tackle tooth sensitivity. Does crisp winter air on your teeth give you a jolt? A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that 1 in 8 people (over 12%) suffer from tooth sensitivity, particularly to cold. Sensitivity can result from receding gums, erosion of tooth enamel, tooth decay or other dental problems. If you experience tooth sensitivity, use toothpaste that is specially formulated for sensitive teeth and breathe through your nose to protect your teeth from extreme cold. Most importantly, schedule a dental exam to determine why your teeth are sensitive.

Stay hydrated. In winter, we spend more time with the heat on and we tend to drink less water. A dry mouth can result, which can lead to bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. Staying well hydrated keeps your gums and teeth moist and helps you produce more saliva, which is key to good oral health and fresh breath. Saliva helps wash away food debris and bacteria, neutralize decay-causing acid and repair weakened tooth enamel. For healthy teeth and gums, be sure to drink plenty of water this winter.

Safeguard your teeth on the slopes. Are you planning to hit the slopes this winter? Be sure to wear a mouthguard to help protect against injury. Beginning skiers and snowboarders are more likely to suffer falls that could result in dental injuries, while experts may fly over bumps and jumps, causing the upper and lower teeth to knock together with force. Even backyard sledders are at risk of dental injury. Mouthguards help protect against chipped, broken, or knocked-out teeth as well as soft tissue damage. So before you enjoy wintertime sports, make sure your teeth are protected. For the best fit and comfort, ask us about a custom mouthguard.

If you have questions about these or other dental issues, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Treatment of Tooth Sensitivity” and “Dry Mouth.”


By Douglas Pennino, DDS
January 03, 2018
Category: Oral Health
InTodaysNFLOralHygieneTakesCenterStage

Everyone knows that in the game of football, quarterbacks are looked up to as team leaders. That's why we're so pleased to see some NFL QB's setting great examples of… wait for it… excellent oral hygiene.

First, at the 2016 season opener against the Broncos, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was spotted on the bench; in his hands was a strand of dental floss. In between plays, the 2105 MVP was observed giving his hard-to-reach tooth surfaces a good cleaning with the floss.

Later, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was seen on the sideline of a game against the 49ers — with a bottle of mouthwash. Taylor took a swig, swished it around his mouth for a minute, and spit it out. Was he trying to make his breath fresher in the huddle when he called out plays?

Maybe… but in fact, a good mouthrinse can be much more than a short-lived breath freshener.

Cosmetic rinses can leave your breath with a minty taste or pleasant smell — but the sensation is only temporary. And while there's nothing wrong with having good-smelling breath, using a cosmetic mouthwash doesn't improve your oral hygiene — in fact, it can actually mask odors that may indicate a problem, such as tooth decay or gum disease.

Using a therapeutic mouthrinse, however, can actually enhance your oral health. Many commonly available therapeutic rinses contain anti-cariogenic (cavity-fighting) ingredients, such as fluoride; these can help prevent tooth decay and cavity formation by strengthening tooth enamel. Others contain antibacterial ingredients; these can help control the harmful oral bacteria found in plaque — the sticky film that can build up on your teeth in between cleanings. Some antibacterial mouthrinses are available over-the-counter, while others are prescription-only. When used along with brushing and flossing, they can reduce gum disease (gingivitis) and promote good oral health.

So why did Taylor rinse? His coach Rex Ryan later explained that he was cleaning out his mouth after a hard hit, which may have caused some bleeding. Ryan also noted, “He [Taylor] does have the best smelling breath in the league for any quarterback.” The coach didn't explain how he knows that — but never mind. The takeaway is that a cosmetic rinse may be OK for a quick fix — but when it comes to good oral hygiene, using a therapeutic mouthrinse as a part of your daily routine (along with flossing and brushing) can really step up your game.

If you would like more information about mouthrinses and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule a consultation.