6 Bad Oral Health Habits You Should Stop Doing Today

Dentists Drs. Kaufman at Kaufman & Kaufman Smile Design Studio, LLC in Chicago, IL offers 6 bad oral habits that you should drop immediately to protect your smile.


1. Not flossing

Most people realize that brushing your teeth is important make a real effort to do so twice a day. Unfortunately, they believe that brushing means they don’t need to floss. They are wrong. Flossing at least once a day is just as critical to achieving and maintaining a healthy smile. Toothbrushes cannot remove the cavity-causing bacteria left behind from food particles that get stuck in between your teeth. When you start to floss regularly, your gums may bleed and get irritated but it’s important to keep at it.


2. Brushing too soon after eating

Foods and beverages like citrus fruits, wine, sports drinks, and energy drinks can erode the outer layer of your tooth, known as tooth enamel. While you know you must get this acid off of your teeth, it’s crucial to understand that brushing your teeth too soon after eating or drinking can cause more damage to your teeth. When you brush too soon, you are essentially brushing the acid into your teeth, not getting rid of it. While waiting the 30 minutes to brush your teeth after consuming these acidy foods, rinse your mouth with some water.


3. Not replacing your toothbrush often enough

Chicago, IL dentists Drs. Kaufman recommend replacing your toothbrush every two to three months. Old toothbrushes are ineffective because they harbor harmful bacteria that can cause infections and tooth decay. Remember to replace your toothbrush after you’ve had a cold!


4. Excessively bleaching your teeth

Be careful about the frequency and severity in which you bleach your teeth. Bleaching too much can cause your teeth to look unnaturally white and increase tooth sensitivity. Before using an at-home bleaching product, talk to dentist Drs. Kaufman at Kaufman & Kaufman Smile Design Studio, LLC in Chicago, IL. Drs. Kaufman can recommend the best procedure that meets your unique dental needs.


5. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush and brushing incorrectly

A great way to cause irreversible damage to your gums is by using a hard-bristled toothbrush and brushing incorrectly. The correct way to brush your teeth is by using a soft toothbrush and gently brushing your teeth and gums at a 45-degree angle, in a circular motion. By using a hard-bristled toothbrush and rigorously brushing back-and-forth, you can expose your gums to recede, exposing the root of the tooth, making them extremely sensitive.


6. Skipping dental appointments

Drs. Kaufman and the American Dental Association recommend visiting a dentist for a checkup and cleaning every 6 months. Skipping these appointments puts your oral health in jeopardy. Dental cleanings get rid of the buildup of tartar and plaque that accumulate over time that your toothbrush and flossing efforts just can’t clean.


To make an appointment with a dentist in in the Chicago, IL area, visit Kaufman & Kaufman Smile Design Studio, LLC’s website http://www.nucalmchicago.com/ and book one with Drs. Kaufman today!

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15 Ways to Destroy Your Teeth

Did you know that tooth enamel is the hardest and most mineralized part of the human body? Unfortunately, even the hardest part of the human body can deteriorate after years of misuse, neglect, and abuse. Check out the 15 quickest ways to destroy your teeth and learn how to prevent them in this month’s blog post.

1. Brushing Immediately After Every Meal

Most likely, you’ve been constantly reminded from an early age that you should be brushing your teeth right after each meal. While you should definitely brush after each meal, you should wait about 30mins before doing so. If you brush too soon after eating, you risk scrubbing away your enamel that has been softened by the acid your mouth produces when you eat. If you wait half an hour, the acid neutralizes and your teeth re-mineralize.

2. Forgetting to Floss

If you forget to routinely floss, you’re putting your gums in jeopardy of gingivitis. Flossing cleans between your teeth and under your gum line. The longer food stays lodged in contact with the gums, the more problems it can create. If you notice your gums bleed while brushing or flossing, it means you need to take better care of your gums or you could get gingivitis.

3. Skipping Checkups

Dr. Kaufman and his team at Kaufman & Kaufman Smile Design Studio, LLC in Chicago, IL recommend visiting us every six months. If you don’t go often enough, you allow plaque to form into tartar which is more difficult to get off. Tartar attracts additional plaque and carries it into your gums, causing structure damage to your teeth.

4. Using Your Teeth as Tools

Yes, your teeth are hard. Yes, they can break that hard candy, open bags of chips, and crack open a can of soda if you wanted to… but don’t! Opt to use disposable tools in your house like scissors and bottle openers. Unlike these cheap appliances, you only have one set of teeth to last you a lifetime.

5. Not Wearing a Mouth Guard

In any sport where there’s a chance of contact with something or someone, you should be wearing a mouth guard. We recommend a mouth guard for most athletes, especially those that play football, baseball, wrestling, basketball, martial arts, and lacrosse. It just takes one awkward collision with a ball or person to knock some teeth out and cause major problems.

6. Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth wears down your teeth, leading to decay. Also, the added pressure can fracture your enamel. Most people that grind their teeth don’t know it. It occurs when they are sleeping, stressed, or just bored.

7. Drinking Sugary and Acidic Beverages

Soda, fruit juices, and sports drink contain a lot of sugar and/or acid that eats away at the enamel of your teeth. Think that diet soda containing zero grams of sugar is an exception? Think again. The acid in those sodas are just as bad. Try a healthy drink like water instead. Besides being better for your teeth, water has been proven to have a ton of positive side effects to your overall health.

8. Drinking Coffee, Tea or Red Wine

More beverages that you should avoid are coffee, tea, and red wine. These types of drinks stain your teeth. Once your teeth are stained, the bacteria can lead to decay. Dr. Kaufman understands that removing all of these drinks completely from your diet is easier said than done. If you must drink them however, make sure to use a straw and rinse afterwards with water.

9. Whitening Teeth Too Often

While it’s okay to whiten your teeth, whitening too much can have negative side effects. When you whiten your teeth, they become sensitive. When they’re sensitive, your teeth are more prone to irritation, disease, and worn enamel. Before using teeth whitening, check in with your dentist for proper instructions and care.

10. Drinking Bottled Water

Tap water contains fluoride, a compound that can prevent cavities. When you exclusively drink bottled water, you’re missing out on the fluoride your teeth need to fight decay.

11. Getting Your Tongue Pierced

A tongue piercing constantly hits your teeth while speaking. Metal jewelry can crack or fracture your teeth with prolonged use.

12. Being Bulimic.

Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating and purging. This causes serious damage to teeth. Besides the unhealthy food going down, the stomach acid that comes up with the food eats away at the enamel. There are, of course, additional side effects of being bulimic.

13. Abusing Drugs

We all know drugs are bad, but did you know they are also terrible on your teeth? Drugs like crystal meth cause the users to crave sugary foods, have dry mouths, and clench their teeth. They often end up with horrible teeth that fall out.

14. Using Legal Medications Continuously.

Besides illegal drugs being bad for your oral health, legal medications are bad as well. Using too many cough drops (high in sugar), birth control pills (can lead to gum disease), or antihistamines (dry mouth) are no good.

15. Smoking Cigarettes

Like drinking tea and coffee, smoking stains your teeth, making them more susceptible to bacteria. Smoking is also a major cause of gum and bone disease. Add a healthy mouth to the laundry list of benefits to quitting smoking.


Remember these 15 no-no’s to a healthy mouth and try your best to avoid them. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at (773)-643-6006. Dr. Kaufman and our friendly team at Kaufman &Kaufman Smile Design Studio, LLC will be glad to help out in any way possible. Want to make an appointment? Visit our website at http://www.nucalmchicago.com/

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5 Explanations for Bleeding Gums

If your gums start to bleed while you brush your teeth, you may think the worst. The reasons why your gums can bleed are varied, but not all of them are bad and almost all are fixable. Many of the reasons can relate to our daily lifestyles and personal hygiene.

One of the main reasons why gums bleed while being brushed is simply because of having poor dental hygiene. Not brushing and flossing regularly can lead to plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth and gums. A simple way to rectify this is start! Dr. Kaufman recommends brushing and flossing at least twice a day. On your next visit, our Chicago, Illinois dental team will demonstrate the proper techniques to brushing and flossing effectively.

Another reason your gums may bleed could be because of gingivitis. One of the main reasons people get gingivitis is from having inflamed gums. This inflammation in the gums is caused by a buildup of tartar, plaque, food particles, and bacteria on the gum line over an extended period of time. A way to help stop this buildup and inflammation is to maintain a normal dental visit schedule with Dr. Kaufman at his Chicago, Illinois office. At your appointment, they use specialized cleaning tools to help remove the buildup on your gums that can’t be removed by a normal toothbrush.

Should gingivitis be left untreated it can lead to periodontal disease, a more serious dental ailment.  Periodontal disease is when gums become seriously inflamed and start to pull away from the teeth. You may notice pus forming between the teeth as well. If it remains untreated, tooth loss may occur.

For more information and explanations on why your gums could bleed, visit: http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/problems/5-explanations-for-bleeding-gums.htm?utm_content=5+Explanations+for+Bleeding+Gums+from+Discovery+Health&utm_campaign=&utm_source=5879&utm_term=&utm_medium=Facebook%3A+Greenway+Center+Denti4.htm

The easiest way to avoid any dental ailments or diseases is to maintain good oral hygiene and a healthy, balanced diet. Routine checkups and cleanings with Dr. Kaufman to remove hard to reach bacteria is a sure way to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. To make an appointment with Dr. Kaufman and his dental team in Chicago, Illinois, visit their website: http://www.nucalmchicago.com/

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What Your Teeth and Gums Reveal About Your Health

When you have bad breath, or if you get a canker sore you may think that it only relates to what is happening in your mouth. There is now proof that these ailments and others can have a direct link to you overall health. Learn more about the most common issues below.

Bad breath can be more than just embarrassing; it can be a direct indicator of something else going on in your body. If your breath for example has a sweetish odor it could be an indicator of diabetic ketoacidosis. People who suffer from post-nasal drip or sinus infections may also have breath that can be offensive to others.

Bleeding gums can be more than just you brushing too hard. It could also be a sign of gingivitis. Gingivitis occurs when there is a build-up of plaque and tarter on the teeth and gums. It can also be a symptom of Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura or ITP. There are other reasons that your gums bleed such as vitamin K deficiencies, pregnancy, and other hormonal changes.

Tooth erosion is the permanent disappearance of tooth enamel; this can be caused by brushing too hard. Tooth erosion can also be caused by a heavy consumption of acidic food, tooth decay, and acid reflux disease.

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How Oral Hygiene Affects the Rest of You

Brushing your teeth can do more than keep your smile white and healthy; it can also help keep your body healthy as well. New studies are showing that keeping up good oral hygiene can also keep your body healthy and help prevent certain diseases from forming.

When you brush your teeth you help increase blood flow to your gums. Doing this help prevents gum disease as well as any other sort of periodontal disease. One of the effects of diabetes is gum disease, having diabetes can weaken the blood vessels in your gums, which can decrease the blood flow to your gums. With this decreased blood flow you could be more prone to getting an infection in your gums.

Researchers have also found that heart disease can also be linked to periodontal disease. This link is found through bacteria and infections found in the gums. This is the result of inflammation in the gums can also affect the heart as well. Researchers also believe it could be from the bacteria in  our mouths  can contribute to plaque buildup in our arteries. To learn more about our oral hygiene affects the rest of our bodies click the link: http://www.livescience.com/40195-oral-health-body.html

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Four Cups of Coffee a Day May Halve Risk of Death from Oral Cancer

Coffee is essential to the morning routines of many people as well as a beverage people enjoy throughout the day. Now there is new evidence for you to enjoy this drink even more, this time for the health benefits.

New research has shown that people who had four or more coffee beverages throughout the day had a lower risk of getting oral and pharyngeal cancer. Research shows that drinking coffee helps to slow down the growth as well as the progression of the disease if someone should already have the diagnosis.

The study also showed that the full effect of prevention was only found with people who drank regular strength coffee. There was a slight effect with people who drank decaf coffee. There was little to no effect found in people who drank tea.

To learn more about this survey and to find out other information about this new research click here: http://www.dentaltribune.com/articles/news/americas/11096_four_cups_of_coffee_a_day_may_halve_risk_of_death_from_oral_cancer_.html

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The Importance of having a Healthy Smile

Did you know that your smile can link to your confidence level? Having a beautiful white smile means that you have healthy teeth and gums; it also can give your self-esteem a boost. When you have a smile that you love it means that you smile more often. This not only improves your mood but makes you appear more confident in what you are doing and also more approachable and friendly. When you smile, people are more likely to view you as being more sociable and trustworthy.

When you are unhappy with your smile, it can give you the look of not being sincere or genuine. Some people may lose their confidence because they are unhappy with their smile. There are many reasons that people are unhappy with their smile, one of the most common reasons is the color of their teeth. Many people feel that their teeth are not white enough, or that they do not look like they used to. Fortunately, there are many fixes to make your smile the best it can be.  To learn more about why having a healthy smile is a great confidence builder visit here.

The first step to a healthy smile is talking to your dentist. Dr. Kaufman and his Chicago, IL practice can offer the best in site into what would be the best steps to begin the process towards a more confident smile. Call our office at (773)-643-6006 or visit Our Website to set up an appointment with us. We look forward to helping you start the journey to a beautiful and healthy smile!

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Dental Tips for 4th of July Celebrations

Fourth of July celebrations are a good time to catch up with family and friends, but they can also have hidden dangers to your teeth. To help your celebrations be as joyful as possible, Dr. Kaufman, Dr. Kaufman and Dr. Best and our Chicago, IL dental staff put together a few dental tips to help your teeth survive the holiday weekend. These will help to keep your smile as bright as the holiday fireworks.

Try to avoid chewing on hard foods and candies.

We know that ice and pretzels are staples among 4th of July BBQS, but try to avoid chewing on these foods so you do not chip a tooth.  To make pretzels safer, try dunking them in water first to soften before chewing. If you do chip a tooth, please call our office immediately, and we will see you as soon as we can.

Drink Water and Eat These Instead

Drinking water will not only keep you hydrated in the warm weather, but it will also help to stimulate saliva in your mouth, which will help to wash away bacteria. Drinks like beer and sodas are very popular at BBQs but be sure to add some water into your day as well. This will help to keep your teeth clean and to keep the pH levels in your mouth normal.

Some snacks may be fun to have a 4th of July celebration, but healthier snacks like cheese, celery sticks and onions will help to keep your mouth healthy.

Do not use your teeth to open  packages

If scissors or bottle openers aren’t readily available, do not resort to using your teeth to open packaging or bottles! While you may not realize it, this type of tooth injury makes up the largest percentage of BBQ related dental problems.

After a long BBQ or party, make sure you brush and floss before heading to bed. Those simple tasks can help you to fight off unnecessary dental work down the road.

We hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th of July. If you run into any dental problems during the weekend please call our Illinois dental office at (773)-643-6006.

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New Dental App to Remind about brushing

We have so many things to remember these days; we set so many reminders to not forget to pick up the milk or to mail that letter. Now there is an app to remind you that you need to brush your teeth. A dentist in London has created an app, “The Brush DJ” that reminds you of all your dental needs: when to brush, how long to brush, when to change your tooth brush, and when to make an appointment to see your dentist.

Polls have shown that a high percentage of men and women neglect to brush their teeth at night. There is an equally high number of people who forget to floss. The recommended time to brush to your teeth is two minutes; unfortunately the longest time on average is around 45 seconds. This new app can play the song or theme of your choice for the designated two minutes for you to brush your teeth along with.

The app is the wave of technology reminding us of our daily activities. The app though is in no way a means of replacing your routine dental visits and should not be used in that way. The app is a reminder tool for your dental hygiene. To learn more about the app and where you can find it click here.

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What is NuCalm?

Nucalm is a revolutionary procedure that will help ease the stress of going to the dentist. Mimicking the body’s preparation for sleep it helps you to relax during your dental visit and not to stress about going to the dentist. Nucalm brings the brains waves into the Alpha range which is the first stage of the sleep cycle. It will help you to feel the same relaxation you feel when your body “winds down” and prepare for sleep.

NuCalm uses four applications for this process; these include chewable tablets, CES (Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation) which has been cleared by the FDA, Neuroacoustic binaural beat software and black out glasses. This four steps take less than three minutes, and most patients experience deep relaxation within five minutes. The NuCalm practice is good for most patients, especially if they are stressed about their dental procedure.  Ask your Dentist if NuCalm is right for you and find our more here.

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