My Blog

Posts for: June, 2018

By Willow Ridge Dental Group
June 20, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

In summer, there is no shortage of occasions to show off your smile. Whether attending a wedding, graduation celebration, family reunion or neighborhood barbecue, you’ll want to look your best. But if your smile doesn’t shine as brightly as you’d like, a trip to the dental office may just be the confidence-booster you’re looking for. Here are some popular techniques to enhance your smile:

Teeth cleaning. A professional cleaning can make your mouth feel fresh and add sparkle to your smile. The dental hygienist uses special tools to get rid of plaque and tartar that you cannot remove during your oral hygiene routine at home. In addition, hygienists use a tooth-polishing tool that removes surface stains.

Professional whitening. Professional teeth whitening can achieve excellent results in one short office visit. But if you have several weeks before the big event on your calendar, you can also get winning results at home using custom-made whitening trays from the dental office. Either way, your smile can sparkle at summer celebrations.

Cosmetic bonding. If your teeth have small chips or cracks, cosmetic bonding may be a good option for you. In bonding, tooth-colored material is shaped to the tooth and hardened with a curing light. The procedure—generally done in one office visit without anesthesia—is relatively inexpensive, and the result is very natural-looking.

Porcelain veneers. If you are unhappy with the color, shape, size or spacing of your teeth, long-lasting dental veneers can give your smile a whole new look. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain shells that are bonded to the tooth’s surface. Because they may be crafted in a dental lab, they may require two to three visits to the dental office over a few-week period.

With so many options, it’s easy to put your best smile forward at all your summer gatherings. We can help. If you have any questions about brightening your smile, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening” and “Porcelain Veneers.”


If your teenager is in need of orthodontic treatment, you might automatically think braces. But while this decades-old appliance is quite effective, it isn’t the only “tooth movement” game in town any more. Clear aligners are another choice your teenager might find more appealing.

Clear aligners are a sequential set of computer-generated plastic trays that are worn by a patient one after the other, usually for about two weeks per tray. The trays are fabricated using 3-D computer modeling of the patient’s mouth, each one slightly different from the last to gradually move teeth to the desired new positions.

So, why choose clear aligners over braces?

They’re nearly invisible. Because they’re made of a clear polymer material, they’re not nearly as noticeable as metal braces. In fact, they may go completely unnoticed to the casual observer.

They’re removable. Unlike metal braces, which are fixed in place by an orthodontist, clear aligners can be removed by the wearer. This makes brushing and flossing much easier, and they can also be removed for eating or special occasions. That said, though, they should be worn at least 20 to 22 hours each day to be effective.

They’re becoming more versatile. With some complicated malocclusions (poor bites), braces and other orthodontic appliances may still be necessary. But innovations like added power ridges in clear aligners can more precisely control which teeth move and which don’t. This has greatly increased the number of poor bite scenarios where we can appropriately use clear aligners.

If you’d like to consider clear aligners, just remember they require a bit more self-discipline on the part of the wearer than braces. And once the treatment finishes, they’ll still need to wear a retainer just as with metal braces to help keep the repositioned teeth from reverting to their old positions.

If you think your teen is up to the challenge and their particular situation can be corrected with this innovative technology, then clear aligners could be a great choice.

If you would like more information on clear aligners orthodontic treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Clear Aligners for Teens.”

By Willow Ridge Dental Group
June 08, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Oral HygieneHow your dentists in Naperville can help maintain your smile

Keeping good oral hygiene habits doesn’t have to take a chunk out of your day. A great oral hygiene routine just takes a few minutes, but the benefits will make a huge difference in the health of your smile. So, how do you keep good oral hygiene habits? Drs. Jeffrey and Connie Onik at Willow Ridge Dental Group in Naperville, IL, want to share what it takes to maintain the beauty and health of your smile.

First, you need to be brushing after meals and before you go to bed. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, brush all the surfaces of your teeth and along the gumline in a gentle, circular motion. Many people prefer a sonic or electric toothbrush because of the flushing action.

Next, make sure you are flossing every day because flossing cleans in between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach. The area in between your teeth is where tooth decay and disease often starts. When you floss, be sure to wrap the floss around each tooth as you go down in between the teeth. This wrapping action helps to keep the floss next to the tooth surface. You can also use floss picks if you have dexterity issues or arthritis.

Keeping good oral hygiene habits helps remove the plaque clinging to your teeth. Why is this important? It’s because plaque contains many millions of harmful bacteria which produce toxins. These toxins can eventually cause tooth decay, gum disease, and periodontal disease. You can do a lot to stop decay and disease from affecting your smile by keeping good oral hygiene habits.

No oral hygiene program is complete without a yearly visit to your dentist for an exam and state-of-the-art digital x-rays. Your smile also needs a professional cleaning at least every six months, and more often if you have periodontal disease. Your dentist and dental hygienist want to partner with you to keep your smile looking great.

For more information about keeping good oral hygiene habits and other dental topics, call Drs. Jeffrey and Connie Onik at Willow Ridge Dental Group in Naperville, IL. Get started protecting your smile by calling today!