Patient Resources

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Patient Education

The ADA Patient Education Library provides the most popular topics in dentistry that will help you better maintain your dental health. Select an article or video below to get started now.

Articles
dental anxiety
Patient Education
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Managing Dental Anxiety in Chicago

Dental anxiety is a common concern among Chicagoans, affecting their ability to seek necessary dental care. This fear can stem from previous traumatic experiences, fear

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Tooth extraction
Patient Education
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Guide to Tooth Extraction Pain in Chicago

With its iconic skyline and world-famous deep-dish pizza, Chicago offers many unique experiences. However, enduring post-tooth extraction pain isn’t one that residents or visitors should

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elderly couple showing off teeth
Patient Education
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Improving Your Smile

Smile Checklist Look in the mirror. Do you like the way your teeth look? Do you dislike the color of any of your teeth? Are

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dentist checkup
Patient Education
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Mouth Sores and Spots

Mouth sores can be painful, annoying and unsightly. Some appear inside the mouth – on the gums, tongue, lips, cheeks or palate (roof of the

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woman teeth
Patient Education
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Your Child’s Teeth: From Birth to Age 6

Your child’s baby teeth are important! Baby teeth, also called primary or deciduous (de-SID-joo-us) teeth, help your child chew and speak normally. They hold space in the jaws for

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dentist and tooth
Patient Education
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Brushing Quick Reference

What’s the best way to fight tooth decay and gum disease? Pick up that toothbrush twice a day! Brush your teeth for two minutes twice

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man chiseling tooth
Patient Education
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Flossing Quick Reference

Clean between your teeth once a day to help remove food and plaque from under the gum line. Flossing is one way to do this.

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Woman smiling
Patient Education
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Caries en Dientes de Leche

¡Los dientes de leche pueden tener caries! La caries es una enfermedad ocasionada por bacterias La caries daña y deteriora los dientes. Las bacterias en

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dentist exam
Patient Education
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Sealant Quick Reference

Tooth decay often occurs on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The good news is that sealants can help protect these surfaces from tooth decay

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dentist working
Patient Education
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Dry Mouth

The complaint of dry mouth — also called xerostomia (zero-STOW-me-uh) — is often caused by a low flow of saliva. Saliva coats and moistens oral tissues. It

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dentist exam
Patient Education
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Why Baby Teeth Are Important

A healthy start is smart Baby teeth are just as important as adult teeth. Baby teeth (also called primary teeth) help your child chew and

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dentist
Patient Education
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Happiness is a Healthy Smile

A message for parents Why regular dental visits are important Regular dental checkups and dental care—such as cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants—provide your child with

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dentist checkup
Patient Education
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Why Do I Need a Crown?

A crow-fluidn is a cover or “cap” your dentist can put over a tooth. A crow-fluidn restores a damaged or missing tooth to its normal

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rooth canal
Patient Education
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Why Do I Need a Bridge?

A bridge is a custom-made replacement tooth or teeth that fill the space where one or more teeth are missing. The bridge permanently restores your bite and

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man smiling
Patient Education
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Your Dentures

If you lost some or all of your natural teeth, dentures can replace your missing teeth. Dentures can be made to look like your natural

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dentist holding tooth
Patient Education
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Pregnancy and Oral Health

It’s important to visit the dentist It’s Safe to Visit the Dentist When You Are Pregnant Dental treatment is safe for pregnant women, according to

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dentist
Patient Education
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Scaling and Root Planing

A Treatment for Gum Disease Periodontal Disease Is Also Known as Gum Disease Periodontal (perry-o-DON-tal) disease is a bacterial infection leading to inflammation of the

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dentist and tooth
Patient Education
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Diabetes and Your Oral Health

Diabetes can affect your teeth, gums and the overall health of your mouth. This brochure reviews the oral health problems that are related to diabetes

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woman on phone
Patient Education
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Dental X-Ray Exams

Answers to common questions Dental x-rays provide important information about your dental health. They are used to create images called radiographs. Your dentist uses the

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inside of mouth
Patient Education
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Mouthguards and Sports Safety

Dental Emergencies That Result From a Sport Injury Knowing how to handle a dental emergency can mean the difference between saving or losing your tooth.

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dentist showing cavity
Patient Education
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Treating Cavities

What is a cavity? A cavity is a hole in your tooth that forms from tooth decay. When you eat and drink, bacteria in your mouth

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tooth shattering
Patient Education
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Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a disease that damages and breaks down teeth Your teeth have a hard, outer layer, called enamel (e-NAM-uhl); a middle layer, called

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dentist talking to patient
Patient Education
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Tooth Erosion

The harmful effects of acid What is tooth erosion? Enamel (e-NAM-ul) is the hardest outside layer of your tooth that protects a softer inner layer. Tooth erosion

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woman with swollen jaw
Patient Education
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3 Tooth Replacement Options

If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may be all too aware of their importance to your looks and overall health. Your teeth are

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man chiseling tooth
Patient Education
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Seal Out Decay

A dental sealant is a thin covering that is applied onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. It acts as a barrier to “seal out” plaque

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cigarette
Patient Education
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Tobacco and Oral Health

Tobacco in any form is bad for your health Do You Use Tobacco? You are probably aware that tobacco may cause cancer, stroke and heart

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Patient Education
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Your Child’s Teeth

Helpful tips for parents and caregivers Take Care of Yourself Before Your Baby Arrives Keep your own teeth and gums healthy While you are pregnant,

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dentist holding tooth
Patient Education
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Your Single Tooth Implant

If you are missing a tooth, there are many reasons to replace it: Missing teeth may affect the way you speak and chew. If a

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dentist checkup
Patient Education
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Do You Have Sleep Apnea?

Talk to your dentist about snoring Why snoring happens Snoring happens when the muscles in your mouth and/or throat relax and cause your tongue or

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Plant
Patient Education
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Tooth Decay in Baby Teeth

Baby teeth can get cavities! Tooth decay is a disease that is caused by bacteria Tooth decay damages and breaks down teeth. When your child eats

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dentist
Patient Education
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Do You Grind Your Teeth?

The habit of grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw is called bruxism (BRUCKS-is-im). Grinding is when you slide your teeth back and forth over each other.

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brushing teeth
Patient Education
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Basic Brushing

Brush your teeth twice a day and for two minutes each time. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride (FLOOR-eyed), a natural mineral that helps make your

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Basic Flossing

Flossing is an important part of your oral care routine. It is one of the best ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy. However,

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