Your Dream Team for Beautiful Smiles and Faces

Your Dream Team for Beautiful Smiles and Faces

The Dangers of Spreading Oral Germs | Chatham Chicago Dentist

Sharing can often be overly comfortable when you are close to someone. Kissing is a prime example. A kiss can spread more than 500 germs between two individuals. Your oral health can be affected by sharing a kiss. Consider these kissing dangers. 

Colds and Flu

Whenever you feel like you might be coming down with a cold or the flu, it would be best to avoid kissing. This will prevent you from spreading any diseases. Colds and influenza can be easily transmitted through saliva and nasal fluids.

Cold Sores

If you know someone has a cold sore near their mouth or lips, you should avoid kissing them. Cold sores usually appear as small, clear blisters that appear around the lips. Infections caused by viruses such as cold sores are highly contagious. There is a certain level of contagiousness associated with a cold sore that is leaking fluid, but even a cold sore without fluid can spread to others. If you see a cold sore, you should avoid contact with it!

The Kissing Disease (Mono)

Kissing is one of the best ways to spread mononucleosis amongst people. Sharing habits such as sharing a straw, cup, or food can also cause the disease to spread. You should never share your food or beverages with other people. You must never share your food or your germs with anyone who has mono, even if they appear to be in good health.

Fresh Breath Tips

During a kiss, it is only natural to want breath that is fresh and clean. Spices and flavors that are strong, such as garlic and onions, should not be used in cooking. There is still a strong smell of these foods on your breath long after you have consumed them. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene every day. Apart from brushing your teeth twice a day, you should also brush your tongue, the roof of your mouth, and the inside of your cheeks. To help diffuse strong odors after eating, we recommend using a mouthwash or sugar-free gum afterward. If you feel that these solutions are not working, please make an appointment with us, as other factors may contribute to bad breath.

Kissing can spread hundreds of germs. Be cautious of cold sores, colds, and flu. Make sure that you brush and floss daily.

You can schedule your next appointment with our dental office if you would like more information on how to keep your mouth healthy. We are here for you.

Dental Dream Team
Phone: (773) 488-3738
820 East 87th Street Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60619

The Powerful Effects of Dental Sealants | Dentist South Side Chicago IL

You may be advised to have your child’s teeth sealed by their dentist during their next dental appointment. Dental sealants help prevent tooth decay from developing on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. To make an informed decision, it is important to understand whether a dental procedure will affect your child’s oral health.

Why Get Sealants?

The use of sealants prevents tooth decay. Sealants are applied to the back teeth, which are particularly susceptible to decay. Sealants are frequently recommended by our dentists for children and teens, but they may also be beneficial for adults. 

Located in the back of your mouth, your molars develop deep grooves on their chewing surfaces, making it difficult to keep them clean. Sealants prevent 80% of decay during the first two years following their application. Approximately half of all decay can be prevented after four years following sealant application. The risk of tooth decay for a child without sealants is three times higher than that of a child with sealants.

At what age should sealants be applied?

The first set of molars usually appears around the age of six, and the second set appears around the age of 12. Generally, sealants are most effective when they are applied just after the molars have broken through the gum line. The best time to apply sealants will be determined by your dentist during your regular dental examination.

What Should I Expect?

The use of sealants is one of the most common procedures we perform at our office. There is rarely any discomfort associated with this process. Your child’s teeth will be treated with a special gel after they have been thoroughly cleaned. After the gel has been removed, a sealant will be applied. With the aid of a small blue curing light, the sealant hardens in a matter of seconds.

What Concerns Should I Have?

Sealants do not have any side effects, and allergic reactions are extremely rare when they are utilized. If your child has allergies, you should let your doctor know so that they can determine the best course of action. 

Next Steps

When applied and maintained properly, a sealant will last for years before it needs to be replaced. To preserve the integrity of your sealants and teeth, you should visit your dental office regularly. If your child had sealants many years ago and you are not sure whether they should be replaced, it is advisable to schedule an appointment with your dentist.

Please contact our dental office for more information and we will be happy to schedule an appointment.

Dental Dream Team
Phone: (773) 488-3738
820 East 87th Street Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60619

Tobacco Will Cause You To Lose Teeth | South Side Chicago Dentist

It is well known that smoking and chewing tobacco can cause severe health problems, especially for the lungs. There is also the imperative point to note that the mouth and teeth can also be equally at risk. Hence, it is best not to use tobacco at all. The following is what tobacco can do to your mouth.

Chewing Tobacco

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) reports that tobacco chewers are 50 times more likely to develop gum and cheek cancer. In addition to causing gums to recede, tobacco also causes exposed roots to be sensitive. This is an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive and cause decay as a result. To prevent this from happening, it is advised that chewing tobacco be avoided. Thankfully, our experienced team of oral health professionals can offer you tips on how to break this habit as well as tips on how to improve your oral health.

Smoking

According to the American Dental Association, smoking one pack of cigarettes a day has the potential to cause two teeth to be lost per decade of life. The likelihood of losing teeth increases when you smoke. So, you should avoid smoking cigarettes and cigars. In addition to causing staining, smoking can also lead to bad breath and a less-than-attractive smile.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can affect many different areas of the mouth, including your tongue, lips, the floor of your mouth, and your gums. There is a high risk of oral cancer developing in men and in people over the age of 50. According to the American Dental Association, in the United States, the prevalence of oral cancer is on the rise, especially among people under the age of 30. If you smoke, it is important to ask your dentist about an oral cancer screening, as well as to arrange to have a full oral health examination. During an oral cancer screening, your dentist will examine your mouth, teeth, and cheeks for signs of abnormalities that could indicate oral cancer. If caught at an early stage, oral cancer can be successfully treated.

If you currently use tobacco, it is highly recommended that you cease using it. Our dental team and your physician can provide you with assistance in quitting smoking. Having regular oral exams is a good idea for everyone, but those who use tobacco should be particularly vigilant about this. We invite you to schedule an appointment to visit our office so that we may identify any potential problems. 

For additional tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next appointment, please contact our dental office.

Dental Dream Team
Phone: (773) 488-3738
820 East 87th Street Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60619

Can You Overbrush? | Dentist Chicago

Dentist Chicago

The chances are that you brush your teeth twice a day if you are conscientious about your oral hygiene. You may even brush after meals since you know that regular tooth brushing is a good habit that removes plaque and prevents tooth decay. Maybe you’re wondering, “Can you brush your teeth too much?” As it turns out, when it comes to brushing your teeth, there can be too much of a good thing.

Overbrushing your teeth refers to both “how much” and “how” you brush. If you brush too vigorously or compulsively, you put your mouth at risk for dental abrasion, dental sensitivity, and gum recession.

Abrasion 

According to the University of Southern California Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, dental abrasion is the loss of tooth structure caused by mechanical forces from a foreign object. The enthusiastic use of your toothbrush wears away the tooth enamel and eventually the softer dentin and cementum structures. Abrasion is characterized by worn, shiny, and often yellow or brown spots on the surface of a tooth near the gum line. A wedge-shaped or V-shaped indentation on the gum line is another sign of abrasion.

Tooth Sensitivity

If the tooth enamel is worn away by toothbrush abrasion, the dentin layer’s nerve endings become exposed or close enough to the surface to cause tooth sensitivity. You may experience discomfort or pain when your teeth are exposed to hot, cold, sweet, or sour stimuli or when you brush your teeth.

Gum Recession

Continually overbrushing and brushing improperly may also cause your gums to recede. The softer cementum of the root is exposed and vulnerable when this occurs. The exposed cementum is not only prone to wear and notching, causing sensitivity and pain, but it is also more likely to decay.

How to protect your teeth after overbrushing

Dental abrasion and gum recession can lead to cavities and even tooth loss if not treated. Depending on the degree of toothbrush abrasion and tooth sensitivity, your dentist may recommend treatments to cover the exposed dentin and protect the tooth. Some common treatments include applying a fluoride varnish to strengthen the teeth’s surface, bonding a tooth-colored filling over the abraded area, or covering the exposed area with a veneer. Overbrushing may cause your gums to recede so far that they may never return to their original size. In some cases, gum grafting might be needed to replace missing gum tissue and protect exposed cementum.

Using the Proper Brushing Technique and Tools

Fortunately, preventing overbrushing is as simple as using the correct technique and tools. Start by following these steps:

  • Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush. You may think that stiff bristles will do a better job of cleaning your teeth. However, they increase the risk of dental abrasion and gum recession.
  • Be sure to check your toothpaste. Toothpaste with high abrasive agents may also speed up the process of tooth loss. Choose a toothpaste that contains calcium and fluoride to strengthen your tooth enamel.
  • Make sure you are using the right technique. Are you brushing too hard? Look at your toothbrush. Using too much pressure might cause your bristles to flatten and fray within a few weeks. Place your toothbrush gently at an angle towards your gum line and brush in a soft circular motion.
  • Do not brush immediately after eating. You should wait at least 60 minutes after eating or drinking to brush your teeth, especially after consuming something acidic like lemons or soda. While you wait, drink water or chew sugarless gum to freshen your breath.
  • Take a look at your other habits. Overbrushing isn’t the only source of abrasion. As an example, suppose you routinely open bottles with your teeth, handle nails or pins with your mouth, or bite your fingernails. In that case, those activities might also cause dental abrasion or even a broken tooth. Enamel can also be worn away by lip or tongue piercings.

When it comes to a perfect smile, overbrushing won’t help. You will achieve clean teeth and a healthy mouth when you use the appropriate tools and implement a gentle but thorough brushing technique. Contact our dental office today to schedule an appointment.

Dental Dream Team
Phone: (773) 488-3738
820 East 87th Street Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60619

Traveling Soon? Don’t Forget Your Teeth | South Side Chicago IL Dentist

Maintaining a regular schedule can be difficult when you travel. For many people, brushing and flossing can seem time-consuming. If you are traveling on business or for pleasure, we’ve put together some helpful travel tips to assist you in maintaining your oral health away from home.

Choose wisely when packing.

If you’re traveling for a long time, you should carry enough toothpaste and floss. If you have a limited amount of storage space, travel-sized products may be able to save you space. Another possible solution is purchasing a disposable toothbrush. These typically require less space and will not be as problematic if left behind. Many disposable toothbrushes even come with toothpaste already applied. Be sure the bristles of a disposable toothbrush are soft, since many disposable toothbrushes do not have soft bristles. Your dentist might be able to make some suggestions.

Make sure your toothbrush is covered.

Traveling will expose you to different kinds of germs. There are times when you might need to share surfaces with many other people, no matter where you stay or who you visit. A toothbrush cover that slips over the head of your toothbrush can prevent it from coming into contact with germs that accumulate on sinks and nightstands.

Water is good for you.

The best part of traveling is trying new foods. The consumption of sugary or acidic foods or beverages is generally not recommended since they can damage your teeth. Water is not only beneficial to our bodies, but can also be beneficial to our teeth. Drinking water can not only remove bacteria from teeth but also neutralize acids that damage enamel. The water also promotes saliva production, which promotes a healthy mouth. Consider taking a reusable water bottle on your travels.

Don’t forget the floss.

While it is important to brush our teeth when traveling, it is equally important to floss our teeth. Make a habit of always packing your floss with your toothbrush. In most cases, a simple package of disposable flossers will be worth the expense and can easily be included with your oral hygiene supplies.

Good habits shouldn’t be broken.

Keep your oral hygiene in check while you are traveling. Make sure you are brushing twice per day for two minutes and flossing daily. Maintaining good oral health when traveling is not easy, but it’s necessary. In addition to being fun, travel can also be stressful. A healthy smile depends on regular, thorough brushing and continuing care with your South Side Chicago dentist.

For your oral health needs, please schedule an appointment with Dental Dream Team.

Dental Dream Team
Phone: (773) 488-3738
820 East 87th Street Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60619

Healthy Gums With One Special Tool | South Side Chicago Dentist

Loss of teeth, bad breath, and bleeding gums are among the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease. It can, however, start without any noticeable symptoms. When left untreated or undiagnosed, you could end up causing irreversible damage to your teeth and gums. Fortunately, preventing periodontal disease is possible. In fact, one of the most effective ways only takes a few minutes every day.

The Power of Floss

Since dental floss is easy to use and effective, it can be one of the best defenses against periodontal disease. The buildup of plaque and bacteria between your teeth contributes to periodontal disease. In addition to brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes, you should also floss every day. Dental floss allows you to reach areas that a toothbrush cannot. Food, debris, and sugar get caught in the gaps and tight spaces between teeth throughout the day. Flossing helps to remove these items from hard-to-reach places. If flossing is a difficult task for you, our dental office can offer solutions.

Flossing Facts

According to a survey by the American Dental Association, only 40% of Americans floss every day. Likewise, the study found a direct correlation between regular intra-oral care and improved dental health. However, many people do not brush and floss as frequently as they should. In a study conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology, 27% of adults were not honest about their flossing habits when asked by their dentist. Even though you do not have to floss every time you brush your teeth, you should make it a habit to floss at least once a day.

How to Floss Properly

It can be confusing to know how to properly use dental floss. Take about 18 inches of floss and keep it taught between your thumb and index finger. Use about one inch of floss to clean between your teeth. Place the dental floss in between two teeth. Slide the floss up and down between your teeth, rubbing it against both sides. It’s important not to glide the floss into your gums. This might cause your gums to bruise or scratch. Take a fresh piece of floss between each pair of adjacent teeth as you make your way through the 18 inches of floss.

A few minutes of flossing each day can contribute to a lifetime of good oral health. It is one of the best ways for you to keep your gums healthy and prevent tooth decay from forming between your teeth. Floss regularly—your gums will be grateful.

Make sure you visit your Chatham Chicago dentist two times each year to have your teeth cleaned and examined. Please contact Dental Dream Team today to schedule an appointment.

Dental Dream Team
Phone: (773) 488-3738
820 East 87th Street Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60619

Healthy Gums for Seniors | South Side Chicago Dentist

Gum health is one of the most important things to remember for seniors. Your risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease increases with age. The good news is that periodontal disease is both preventable and reversible in many cases. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications, such as bleeding or swollen gums, and even tooth loss. Even more alarming are the studies linking periodontal disease with serious illnesses. 

We should take special care as we age to protect our teeth and gums from any future complications. Listed below are a few tips to ensure healthy gums as we age.

Health Effects of Periodontal Disease

There is a link between periodontal disease and serious health problems. Researchers from the University of Southampton and King’s College London found a link between periodontal disease and cognitive decline in people with early Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that patients with periodontal disease experienced cognitive decline six times as fast as those who did not.

Periodontal disease is also linked to an increased risk of heart disease or stroke. The risk of these serious health problems increases with age, among other causes, and it is especially important to limit potential risk factors. Regular dental cleanings and oral health screenings can ensure that your gums are healthy to avoid any health issues associated with gum disease.

Statistics to keep in mind

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that 14% of seniors aged 65 to 74 have moderate or severe periodontal disease. This percentage increases to more than 20% for seniors over 75. Periodontal disease was more prevalent in men than in women. In addition, smoking was found to be significantly associated with periodontal disease. In the same study, 32% of current smokers had periodontal disease, compared to 14% of non-smokers.

What You Can Do

As you age, it becomes increasingly important to take care of your gums. By doing so, you reduce your risk factors for serious ailments such as heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s. A good oral hygiene routine will help maintain healthy gums by brushing twice a day for two minutes each and flossing daily. Flossing cleans the spaces between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. Floss holders are available in many stores and may make flossing easier for some people.

For any questions you may have regarding your oral health, please feel free to contact Dental Dream Team. We would be happy to schedule a consultation appointment.

Dental Dream Team
Phone: (773) 488-3738
820 East 87th Street Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60619

Is Exercising Bad for Your Teeth? | Chatham Chicago Dentist

It is well known that exercise is essential for good health. Can it harm your teeth in the long run? A number of studies have linked fitness and exercise habits with increased risks of tooth decay and erosion. Some of the ways in which exercise can influence our dental health are as follows:

Dry Mouth 

Exercise that involves heavy mouth breathing can reduce saliva production and cause your mouth to be dry. Saliva contains minerals and enzymes that protect against decay-causing bacteria. During exercise, try to breathe through your nose as much as possible, and drink plenty of water before, during, and after you exercise to prevent your mouth from drying out, which can lead to tooth decay. Brushing your teeth before exercising will help you reduce the presence of bacteria and plaque on your teeth.

Clenching your teeth

If an athlete puts a lot of effort into lifting weights, they can clench their jaws. Studies have shown that clenching your jaw can result in wear on your teeth and possible tooth fractures. In order to protect your teeth from clenching, you may want to wear a mouthguard. Generally, mouthguards can be purchased from most drugstores or sporting goods stores, or you can have a customized mouthguard made by your dentist. We encourage everyone who participates in sporting activities to wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks contain a lot of sugar and have been shown to be 30 times more erosive to your teeth than water, so they can potentially do a great deal of damage. These drinks contain citric acid, which can soften the enamel of the teeth to the point that even brushing the teeth after consumption can be dangerous. Therefore, you should drink water instead of sports drinks to prevent these negative effects. It is also advisable not to sip on sports drinks over an extended period of time, as this creates a continual sugar bath for your teeth. If you do consume a sugary drink, it is best to drink it in a small window of time, then rinse your mouth with water afterward.

When we consume foods or drinks containing any form of sugar or carbohydrates, our mouth develops an acid that attacks the enamel of our teeth for 30 minutes. Our teeth can recover from three of these attacks a day, which includes our meals. It is best to consume sugar and carbohydrates at one time rather than continuously throughout the day. Drinking plenty of water after sugar or carbohydrate consumption can help reduce the acidity levels in our mouths. 

It is important to see your Chatham Chicago dentist twice a year to maintain good oral health. Please contact Dental Dream Team to schedule an appointment.

Dental Dream Team
Phone: (773) 488-3738
820 East 87th Street Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60619

Creating A More Youthful Smile  | Chatham Chicago Dentist

Your smile is one of the first things a person will notice when they meet you. You can create a more youthful smile with one simple procedure. Whitening your teeth can make you look younger, especially if your teeth are currently stained, dull or discolored. Our dental office provides whitening services for new and existing patients. 

Regardless of how well you care for your teeth, over time, discoloration will occur. The main causes of stained teeth are genetics, antibiotics, tobacco and certain foods. As

we age, our teeth darken as well. While preventing tooth discoloration is nearly impossible, our experienced team can help reverse the effects of discoloration by helping to create a whiter and brighter smile.

Whether it’s an in-office treatment or at-home treatment, the principles of teeth whitening are the same. A special whitening agent is applied to the teeth in order to

bleach stains and brighten your smile. Our dentist will discuss your whitening needs and goals with you to determine which option is best for you.

In-office teeth whitening is the quickest method to a brighter, whiter smile. With the supervision of an experienced dental professional, a stronger bleaching solution can be used than with at-home kits. Optimal results are achieved much faster with the professional whitening treatment, and in many ways the results are better given the nature of the bleaching agents that are used. Patients find that they appear younger just by restoring their bright, white smile. 

During a professional teeth whitening treatment, we will first clean the teeth. We will then apply a whitening agent to your teeth, carefully avoiding your gums and soft tissue. Once applied, a laser light will be directed at the teeth to expedite the process. For maximum results, the process may be repeated more than once.


If a visit to our office for professional whitening isn’t an option for you, at-home treatment may provide the whitening you need. You will find a vast variety of at-home teeth whitening products on the market, including whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter gels, rinses, strips, trays and more. We can fit you with custom-made whitening trays that will more accurately conform to your teeth for a more even whitening result. At-home teeth whitening results are less dramatic compared to those achieved in the office. 

If you are looking to brighten your smile and create a more youthful appearance for your teeth, contact Dental Dream Team for more information or to schedule a consultation with our Southside Dentist today.

Dental Dream Team
Phone: (773) 488-3738
820 East 87th Street Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60619

Making Oral Hygiene Fun for Your Child | South Side Chicago Dentist

As a parent, the best way to help ensure your child has a lifetime of healthy teeth is to help them establish great dental hygiene habits as they grow. It can be difficult to get young children to cooperate with brushing and flossing. Making the routine as exciting as possible will make your life easier. Here are some useful tips for keeping your child engaged by making dental hygiene fun:

  • Pick out a special toothbrush

One great way to keep your child excited about brushing is to allow him or her to choose their own toothbrush in a favorite color or branded with a favorite cartoon character. Child-size soft-bristled brushes come in a wide variety of options designed to make your child like their toothbrush. Electric or battery-operated toothbrushes are an even better option to remove plaque and add some excitement to brushing. 

  • Choose children’s toothpaste

Another great option is to use a toothpaste that is designed for kids. While adults generally prefer the fresh taste of a minty toothpaste, many children find mint to be too powerful a flavor. This can make brushing unpleasant or even painful to sensitive taste buds. Instead, let your child choose a children’s toothpaste. There are many options available in a variety of soft mint, fruity, and bubble gum flavors. It is much easier to keep your child brushing for a full two minutes when their toothpaste tastes good. Just be sure that they don’t swallow too much. 

  • Use a timer

Two minutes can seem like a long time to a child. It can be very difficult for your child to try to estimate or count how long to brush without some kind of visual aid. You can help your child stay more engaged and ensure a full two minutes of brushing by using a timer. Choices range from a small sand timer your child can flip over, to a manual stopwatch with buttons to press, or even an app on a phone or tablet to time digitally. There are a lot of fun apps that will even make a game out of brushing. By letting your child take control of the timer, they can be more confident and more engaged in their brushing.

  • Brush (and floss) together

A parent is the first and strongest role model for their child. Brushing together can help your child model your great brushing technique, which will improve their own. Additionally, brushing and flossing together emphasizes to your child that oral hygiene is important. When your child sees that you take dental hygiene seriously, they are likely to follow suit.

For more tips from our Southside Chicago Dentist on making dentistry fun for your child, contact Dental Dream Team.

Dental Dream Team
Phone: (773) 488-3738
820 East 87th Street Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60619

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South Side Chicago Dentist
820 East 87th Street Suite 201,
Chicago, IL 60619

Office Hours
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday: By appointment only

Contact Us

Yetta G. McCullom, D.D.S., M.S. (773) 488-3738
Cornell McCullom III, D.D.S., M.D. (773) 488-3738
Robin L. Ferguson, D.D.S., P.C. (773) 488-9075

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The Dangers of Spreading Oral Germs | Chatham Chicago Dentist

The Dangers of Spreading Oral Germs | Chatham Chicago Dentist

Sharing can often be overly comfortable when you are close to someone. Kissing is a prime example. A kiss can spread more than 500 germs…

Read More >
February 15, 2024 | South Side Chicago Dentist
The Powerful Effects of Dental Sealants | Dentist South Side Chicago IL

The Powerful Effects of Dental Sealants | Dentist South Side Chicago IL

You may be advised to have your child's teeth sealed by their dentist during their next dental appointment. Dental sealants help prevent tooth decay from…

Read More >
February 01, 2024 | South Side Chicago Dentist
Tobacco Will Cause You To Lose Teeth | South Side Chicago Dentist

Tobacco Will Cause You To Lose Teeth | South Side Chicago Dentist

It is well known that smoking and chewing tobacco can cause severe health problems, especially for the lungs. There is also the imperative point to…

Read More >
January 15, 2024 | South Side Chicago Dentist