Monthly Archives: December 2016

The Toothbrush: Your Mouth’s Best Friend | Oak Lawn Dentist

While we’ve all heard about how important brushing and taking care of our teeth is, most of us know virtually nothing when it comes to that little instrument we use to keep our mouths healthy – the toothbrush. For starters, did you know that the toothbrush wasn’t invented by a dentist? They weren’t even kin the medical field! Instead, the first bristled toothbrush was invented in China in 1498. It was basically boar’s hair attached to bamboo or a bone. Who knew, right? In fact, we didn’t get the bristles we know today until 1938. There is also the theory that China’s invention was too primitive, so the modern invention was touted as made in 1780, by a guy named William Addis due to his boredom in prison. Using a bone and bristles from a stationed guard. The fact that Addis eventually made a fortune mass producing his invention further proves that statement. Here are some more interesting facts about your teeth’s best friend:

It’s been shown that the average American will have spent more than a thousand hours, or close to 38 days brushing their teeth by the time they die.

Speaking of time spent brushing teeth, the average person usually spends 48 seconds a day brushing their teeth. Yikes! That’s more than a minute short of the 2 or 3 minutes that dentists recommend. Two minute is the bare minimum to even get your teeth clean, so take your time!

On average, the typical toothbrush will contain around 2,500 bristles.

This one will cause friction in your home, but placing a cap back on your toothpaste is actually counterintuitive. This is because the moist environment created by placing a cap promotes the growth of bacteria.

In America alone, Americans are believed to throw away 25,000 tons of toothbrushes every year. This has led manufacturers to try and minimize the waste by selling toothbrushes made out of recyclable plastic, or with replaceable heads, so only the bristles are thrown away when the time comes.

Despite how “little” time people devote to brushing their teeth when you go by what’s recommended, a survey back in 2003 showed that the toothbrush was the #1 thing people couldn’t live without.

Whether you could live with your toothbrush or not, you shouldn’t forget to brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once and gargle with mouthwash to prevent bacteria and plaque build-up. Also, make sure that you don’t forget to schedule a regular check-up and cleaning with your local dentist.

If you would like to find out more about your dental hygiene, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit for additional information about toothbrush options.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

How Dry I Am…How to Treat Dry Mouth | Oak Lawn Dentist

A sound sleep is important for good health. The sleep we get, the better our health will remain. But it isn’t just about the amount of hours you are sleeping – it also has to do with the condition of your sleep. Sleeping soundly is not so easy, and if you wake up frequently at night with a dry mouth, a condition known as xerostomia, it makes things even worse. The exact causes of xerostomia vary, but if it happens at night, it is happening because you snore. Sleeping with your mouth open allows air to freely enter and depart, leaving your mouth especially dry. Factors such as stress and medication may also play a factor.

Regardless of what caused it, it’s important that you have it checked by a healthcare professional to get proper treatment. Because saliva not only washes away bacteria and food to keep your mouth clean, but it’s also important for your mouth while you sleep. It can cause your mouth to become red and irritated, putting you at a higher risk for developing bacterial infections, affecting the quality of your sleep even further.

So how is it treated? The first step is seeking medical advice from your dentist. However, in the meantime, there are some things that you can do to make it a bit less uncomfortable for you:

Cut back on bad habits. Cut back on beverages such as caffeine, soda and alcohol. You can also benefit from refraining from smoking and tobacco use. Studies have also shown that avoiding sugary or acidic foods can help in that avoiding consumption of such food items can increase one’s risk for tooth decay, especially if one suffers from dry mouth. If you insist on munching on something sweet, you can chew on sugarless gum or hard candy to help satisfy your cravings and stimulate saliva flow.

Drink your water. It seems like more of a chore but drinking lots of water to maintain, or increase the production of saliva.

Keep your nightly dental routine. Before sleeping, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and a fluoride rinse, as opposed to an alcohol-based mouthwash, can help keep your mouth from drying at night. Alcohol is known to dehydrate. Keep a glass of water next to your bed to sip on if you wake up with a dry mouth in the middle of the night.

Maintain enough air moisture. The air in your room may also be too dry. Use a humidifier.

The only person who can tell if your dry mouth is caused by something more serious is a dental or health professional. If you’ve been finding yourself waking up at night with a dry mouth frequently, make an appointment to get checked.

If you would like to find out more about dry mouth treatment, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit for additional information about veneer options.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.