Give Yourself The Gift of Healthy Teeth

Give Yourself The Gift of Healthy Teeth

The holidays are a special time. A time for great food, great company and hopefully a great smile. But I’ll tell you from experience, some people are not smiling during this time of year. The stress from all the planning and shopping can really get to people, and as usual, dental care is at the bottom of the priority list. Here are some common questions I tend to get at the office around this time. Hopefully the answers will make your holidays a little less stressful!

I really wanted to come in this month, but I’m just too busy. Do my insurance benefits roll over?

Dental insurance plans tend to have a fixed annual maximum that does not roll over. Either you use it or you lose it. But don’t worry, you still might be able to get in to see the dentist before the end of the year. Just remember, you’re not the only one who is scrambling to get in before December 31. If your dental office tells you they have no appointments remaining, ask to be put on a short list. Busy schedules also mean a good number of cancellations, and dental offices want to fill those gaps as quickly as they can.
Make it clear to the office staff that you want to be notified as soon as there is an opening. Be flexible!

I have a lot of holiday parties coming up. Is there anything I can do to give my smile a boost?

There are a plethora of ways to enhance your smile, and in the end this question has to be answered on an individual level. However, the quickest and easiest way to a brighter smile is the one-hour whitening procedure. Although the results don’t last long, it will definitely give you the boost you’re seeking. It’s actually become quite popular to gift someone a one-hour whitening. It’s something that can go hand
in hand with gift cards for a massage or spa therapy. Just keep in mind that for long-term results, it always is better to couple one-hour whitening with a take home whitening system.

If you have specific aspects of your smile that you don’t like, the holidays are a great time to get them fixed. Finally correcting that one crooked tooth, or replacing that older stained filling can give you the confidence to smile again. So much of our social interactions have to do with first impressions and face-to-face conversations. Enhancing your smile can mean the difference between enjoying holiday parties or dreading them.

Can’t I just take a break from all the brushing and flossing? I’ll make a fresh start in January, I promise!

Trust me, it’s easy to come up with an excuse for not flossing. But, if anything, the holidays should be a time when you increase your brushing and flossing regimen, not decrease it! Remember we’ve had a steady decline since Halloween. We binge on candy, then we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, and now December comes and we’re ready to cheat on those diets for just one more month. And who can blame
us? Another month of rich, delicious foods and treats; it’s hard to say no.

For your teeth, you can enjoy those rich, high carb foods, but drink plenty of water afterwards. If you are brushing only once a day, increase it to twice. If you already brush in the morning and evening, sneak in one more brushing after lunch. Try to floss regularly. Start out slow and build it up. Consistency in flossing really is the key to effective prevention. Everyone feels that one big piece of meat and flosses it out immediately.

That’s not what causes the damage. It’s a steady stream of undetectable loose carbs floating in the pockets between your teeth that can collect and cause disease and decay over time. Regular flossing will keep those particles out and keep the bacteria in check.

This tooth was hurting last month, but it feels fine now. I can just come in after the New Year to get it fixed right?

If you have had pain in a tooth more than once, then there is likely something going on that requires treatment. The worst thing you can do is put it off, especially around the holidays. Do you have any idea the number of emergency calls we get right around Christmas and New Years? Too many! Unfortunately, my office is closed for Christmas and New Years, in fact, most dental offices are closed. That puts you in a very uncomfortable position during what should be one of the happiest times of the year. If you have even the slightest feeling that something may be wrong, get it checked out as soon as you can. You never want to make a decision about your dental care while you’re in severe pain.

With any luck, this advice will serve you well as you traverse the stresses and joys of this last month of the year.

Happy Holidays from Pinewood Dental!

We hope this letter finds you well! We know it's been difficult for everyone during this challenging time, and we just wanted to let you know that we haven't forgotten about you! We've been open but only seeing emergency patients during the last 8 weeks, as was mandated by the Governor of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Public Health.


As of May 11, 2020, we have been given the green light to reopen for routine dental care. During the last couple months, as we've been seeing emergencies, we have been making daily adjustments to our protocols to ensure they are meeting and exceeding the guidelines given to us from the American Dental Association (ADA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Research is ongoing, and we are prepared to adopt new guidelines as evidence emerges. We are thrilled to be opening our doors again to all of our existing patients, and we look forward to welcoming new patients to the practice as well. To give us time to acquire the necessary supplies and implement changes, we will be fully open as of June 1, 2020 for routine dental care.


We have implemented a number of new protocols in addition to our already rigorous infection-control standards:


  • All patients will be screened prior to their appointment with a CDC-approved questionnaire.
  • We will be asking you to stay in your car until you are sent a message to come in for your appointment.
  • We will be asking you to wear a mask before you enter the office; this goes for minor children as well.
  • We will ask you to use hand sanitizer once you enter, and will provide you with gloves to put on afterward.
  • We will be limiting the number of people in the waiting room to 1 individual at a time, unless a parent needs to accompany a minor. Once a minor child is brought back for treatment, we will be asking the parent to return to their car to wait until treatment is complete.
  • We will be taking temperatures before you enter the treatment area.
  • We will have you rinse with an antimicrobial mouth rinse after you are seated.
  • We have implemented additional air purification standards to reduce aerosols and contaminants in the whole office.
  • You will see the staff wearing more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) than we were wearing before. This is not just for the protection of the staff, but also to prevent cross-contamination to the patient.


We are requesting that you be patient with us during this time. We will all be adapting to a new normal, and that can be frustrating for everyone involved. Appointment times will take approximately 20-30 minutes longer than previously, to allow us the time needed to effectively implement the changes we talked about above. We would not recommend scheduling your appointments on days where you have a very tight schedule to maintain, as there may be unexpected delays.


We can't wait to get back to the work of getting you smiling again!


Thank you!

Saqib H. Mohajir, DMD

Pinewood Dental


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