(847) 516-1100

412 Crystal Street, Cary, IL 60013

Thomas J. Skleba, DDS

Sarah S. Brewer, DDS, DMD

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Awareness for cancers like breast cancer or colon cancer is high, but what about oral cancer? In honor of April being Oral Cancer Awareness Month, our team of some of the best dentists in Cary, Il want to help draw attention to cancer of the mouth and throat, as it collectively kills nearly one person every hour of every day of the year. This is a startling statistic that cannot be ignored! Here is more information regarding oral cancer and what you can do to prevent it.

Risk Factors

The American Cancer Society notes that men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women, and men who are over 50 years old have a greater risk. Other risk factors for developing oral cancer include smoking (including smokeless tobacco), the excessive consumption of alcohol, a family history of cancer, excessive sun exposure and HPV.


Being aware of the symptoms of oral cancer is important in early detection. Be aware of the following:

  • Lumps or bumps on the lips, gums or other areas of the mouth
  • White, red or speckled patches in the mouth
  • Bleeding in the mouth
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck or mouth that bleed and don’t heal within 2 weeks
  • Ear pain
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing or speaking
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
  • Dramatic weight loss

Make sure to contact our team if you notice any of the above symptoms.


Make sure to drink alcohol in moderation and don’t smoke or use tobacco products. Eating a well-balanced diet can also help minimize your chances of developing oral cancer. Finally, limit your sun exposure and conduct a self-exam at least once a month.

When it comes to your oral health, you should only rely on the best dentists in Cary, Il. Contact our team to learn more about staying safe from oral cancer.

The Stages of Gum Disease

Taking care of your teeth is only half the battle; your gums deserve TLC as well! Gum disease, also called periodontitis, is a result of too many bacteria growing in your mouth, specifically on the tissues that surround your teeth. Our dentists in Cary, Il want to help you keep gum disease at bay, and being educated about the topic is half the battle!


Gingivitis is different than gum disease, but it is the first stage that may end up leading to it if the problem is not addressed. Gingivitis occurs when bacteria and plaque begin to build up to the point that your gums are inflamed and bleeding. At this point, no bone or other tissue damage has occurred. When left untreated gingivitis can develop into periodontitis.

Effects of Periodontitis

If you have periodontitis, the inner layer of the gum and bone begin to pull away from the teeth and form small pockets. In this space, debris builds up and eventually infect the teeth. Plaque eventually spreads below the gum line and eventually break down the bone and connective tissue. As you can imagine, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.


Besides plaque, there are other causes of gum disease. Hormonal changes that take place during transition periods such as pregnancy, puberty, menopause or menstruation make your gums more sensitive, making it easier for gingivitis to develop. Illnesses such as HIV or cancer can also put you at an increased risk of developing infections. Finally, poor oral hygiene habits or a family history of dental disease can also increase your chances of developing gingivitis.


If you are worried that you are developing gum disease, it is important to schedule an appointment with our dentists in Cary, Il as soon as possible. In the future, make sure to take care of your teeth by brushing, flossing, quitting smoking, maintaining a well-balanced diet, and avoiding clenching and grinding your teeth.

Celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month

As providers of family dental care in Cary, Il, our team understands the importance of the entire family being dedicated to oral health habits. Every February, the American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes National Children’s Dental Health Month to help call attention to teaching parents, teachers, caregivers and many others that it is important to promote good oral health habits.

This year’s theme is “brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile.” Here are some basic brushing and flossing tips to emphasize to your family this year.

Brushing Tips

Make sure that your kids ages 2-5 are using a kid-friendly toothbrush with soft bristles. Don’t overdo it in terms of how much toothpaste you use; if your child is under the age of two, you should use a small smear and if your child is two or older, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Encourage your child to brush his or her teeth in small circular motions and to hold the toothbrush at an angle to reach particles along the gum line.

Get your family in the habit of brushing their teeth at least twice every day, once in the morning and once at night. Once bristles start to fray, swap in a new toothbrush.

Flossing Tips

Flossing can help get rid of plaque and food particles between the teeth. Children will need help with flossing, so make sure you are making the effort to floss for them every day. Please note that your child’s gums may bleed occasionally. If it happens consistently, please let us know!

Family dental care in Cary, Il is something that should be emphasized year-round! Contact our team at Cary Dental Associates to schedule an appointment for both you and your kids.

Invisalign: an Alternative to Braces

Both braces and Invisalign in Cary, Il will help you achieve a straight smile, but each method does so in a different way. Invisalign utilizes a series of clear aligners to gradually shift your teeth into place. You can expect to change your aligners roughly once every two weeks, depending on how quickly your teeth respond to the aligners. There are many advantages that Invisalign offers compared to traditional braces, including the following:

Healthier Teeth and Gums

When your teeth are overcrowded, it can result in gums that are swollen and tender. If this continues, it may even result in the development of periodontal disease. Invisalign helps to correct this problem because it allows for the gums to fit securely around each tooth, resulting in a healthier mouth overall.

Easier to Clean Teeth

With traditional braces, the wires and brackets can easily trap particles of food that are difficult to remove. Thankfully, Invisalign in Cary, Il is removable, meaning that you are still able to enjoy your favorite foods because you remove your trays while you are eating. Of course, you should also remove your aligners when you are brushing and flossing your teeth.

Improved Confidence

People often get braces and feel uncomfortable about their appearance. When you wear Invisalign, you are getting straight teeth without everyone else knowing! The process of getting straight teeth does not have to be the same as it always has been.

Invisalign technology is constantly improving, and you’ll begin to see results faster than traditional braces. If you are ready to see how Invisalign in Cary, Il can improve your smile, contact our team at Cary Dental Associates today!

When Does Your Child Need Dental Care?

When you have a tooth that hurts or you need to get a regular dental checkup, it is clear that you need to schedule an appointment with our dentist. However, it is also important to think about at what point your child needs to visit the dentist for the first time. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you bring your child into the dentist as soon as you see his or her first tooth appears or by their first birthday, whichever occurs first.As providers of family dental care in Cary, Il, we understand that it can be nerve-wracking to bring your child into the dentist for the first time. We will answer all of your questions and make the experience as comfortable as possible for both you and your child.

Here are some other tips on taking care of your child’s oral health!

Use a Toothbrush

Using a small, soft-bristled toothbrush on your child’s mouth can help remove bacteria that can lead to possible tooth decay. There are specific toothbrushes designed for infants as well, so make sure that you purchase one of those. Aim to brush his or her teeth at least once a day.

The Importance of Baby Teeth

You may think that baby teeth are not very important, as they will fall out anyway. However, they are helpful in making sure your child can speak clearly and chew naturally. When they are ready to erupt, they form a path that the permanent teeth will follow.

We understand the importance of family dental care in Cary, Il and caring for the oral health of everyone in your family! Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Do You Need a Dental Implant?

Dental implants are a great option for those who are currently suffering from a chipped, broken or missing tooth. They are also an ideal alternative to dentures, as dentures can be messy because they rely on adhesives to stay in place. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry estimates that 3 million people in the U.S. have dental implants and that number grows by 500,000 every year.

Below are some signs that you need a Cary, Il dental implant.

You Are Missing a Tooth/Teeth

Flashing your smile only to show a missing tooth can be embarrassing. Instead of going through life hiding behind your hands or avoiding smiling because you are embarrassed, a dental implant can help you permanently replace your missing tooth. Rest assured that your dental implant will look and feel like your natural teeth.

You Are Losing Bone in Your Jaw

Cary, Il dental implants can help prevent bone loss in your jaw. Because of the titanium facet of the implant that is inserted into your jaw, it naturally fuses to your jaw bone and helps stimulate bone growth. This process is called osseointegration and it can prevent a sunken-in facial appearance.

You Have a Broken Tooth

Restorative dentistry techniques can sometimes help restore broken teeth. If your tooth is broken or damaged beyond repair, the best option is to get a dental implant. This ensures that you no longer have to be in pain or discomfort.

At Cary Dental Associates, we can answer all of your questions about dental implants. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment!

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

As providers of family dental care in Cary, Il, we believe every month should be National Dental Hygiene Month! Because this isn’t possible, we want to take October as a chance to emphasize the importance of dental hygiene not only during this month, but year-round. The four facets of dental health that the American Dental Association wants to emphasize this year are brush, floss, rinse and chew.

Proper Brushing & Flossing Technique

Most patients can use a soft-bristled toothbrush unless noted otherwise. Your toothbrush should be placed at a 45-degree angle to your gums and move your toothbrush back and forth in tooth-wide strokes. All surfaces of your teeth need to be brushed, included the inner, outer and top layers. Finally, don’t ignore your tongue! This is a breeding ground for bacteria. Brushing your tongue can help keep your breath fresh as well. You should be brushing your teeth for at least two minutes two times per day.

Flossing can help get rid of bacteria that develops in-between your teeth. It can also prevent bad breath, prevent tartar buildup and help prevent gum disease! You should floss at least once per day.

Rinsing & Chewing

You can rinse your mouth with mouthwash to get rid of biofilm and bacteria that brushing left behind. Rinsing your mouth is a great way to lessen the chance of developing an infection inside of your mouth. Finally, chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after you’ve eaten can help prevent tooth decay and help neutralize the acid that your mouth has produced.

If you’re looking for top-quality family dental care in Cary, Il, make sure that you call us today to schedule an appointment!

Early Signs of Gum Disease

Gum disease, also called periodontitis, occurs when the tissue that holds your teeth becomes infected. There are many stages of gum disease in Cary, Il, so it is best to catch the problem as early as possible to ensure there isn’t further progression. On the mild side, gum disease is a sticky film of bacteria that sits on your teeth and hardens. On the more extreme side, periodontal disease causes sore gums, painful chewing problems and even tooth loss. Here’s how you can prevent it!

Signs of Gum Disease in Cary, Il

Keep in mind that most signs of gum disease are subtle, making it a silent disease. Controlling the infection starts with managing bacteria. If gum disease is in the process of developing, you may notice that you have persistent bad breath or swollen gums. It may be painful for you to chew or your teeth are becoming loose. When you visit Cary Dental Associates, our team will examine your gums and see if you are showing any irregular signs. In extreme cases, we may even take an x-ray to see if there is any bone loss.

Keep Up with Oral Health Routines

To eliminate gum disease and to prevent it from happening again in the future, make sure you put in the work! You’ll need to brush your teeth twice per day and floss once per day to keep plaque to a minimum. You can also utilize fluoride toothpaste to ensure bacteria is neutralized. Smoking may also contribute to the development of gum disease. Make sure you schedule regular appointments with our dentist, so you can stop gum disease in Cary, Il in its tracks.

Getting Your Kids Excited about Dental Health

Especially during the summer months, your child’s number one priority likely isn’t oral health. However, the importance of family dental care in Cary, Il cannot be overstated! Healthy oral health habits should start at a young age, and there are certain tactics that parents can employ to help encourage kids to get excited about brushing and flossing. Try these methods and you might just improve your oral health habits, too!

Brush as a Family

Kids don’t want to brush their teeth alone. Make it a point to gather as many family members as you can to brush both in the morning as well as at night. Not only will you benefit from cleaning your teeth, but it acts as good bonding time between you and your kids. Leading by example is a good strategy to employ.

Develop a Rewards System

Nothing motivates a child quite like a reward they can work toward. Encourage your child to brush their teeth regularly for a certain amount of time, such as two weeks or one month, followed by dinner out at their favorite restaurant. You don’t have to make a habit of this, but it can help get kids through periods of low motivation.

We also have a Cavity Free Kids Club that can motivate your child to keep up with oral health habits!

Let Them Pick their Toothbrush

What is your child’s favorite television show or movie? A toothbrush that features their favorite character or their favorite color can be useful in getting them excited about brushing their teeth. Letting them pick out their own toothpaste is also useful.

Oral health doesn’t have to be intimidating or boring. What are your favorite tactics to get your kids excited about brushing and flossing their teeth?

What is Cosmetic Bonding?

Having a smile in which you feel confident is always the end goal. But sometimes, regardless of how much work and dedication you put into it, your smile needs extra help from the best dentist in Cary, Il. Dental bonding is one example of a cosmetic dental procedure that can help improve your smile when your teeth are discolored or damaged.

How Does It Work?

Whether you need one tooth repaired or many, cosmetic bonding can help fix your smile. In the tooth bonding process, our dentists will apply a composite resin to the damaged or decaying tooth; this resin will blend in with the rest of your smile, so it looks and feels natural.

Veneer bonding is another alternative to a bond made from composite resin. The process of veneer bonding utilizes either porcelain or composite and it requires a molding in order to be properly manufactured. Porcelain is the stronger material of the two, making it a costlier option than composite. However, both are a great way to improve your smile.

Take Proper Care of Your Smile

Regardless of the type of bonding procedure you receive, aftercare is important in making sure your teeth stay in good shape. If you opted for composite bonding, avoid eating hard candy or ice cubes, as they may crack the composite material. Never open packages with your teeth and avoiding drinking coffee and tea during the first two days after the procedure.

How long your cosmetic bonding procedure lasts is completely up to you! At Cary Dental Associates, you’ll receive care from some of the best dentists in Cary, Il, but it is up to you to take the proper care of your new smile.

Source: Colgate