How Certain Vitamins and Minerals Affect Your Teeth

Dental Implants in Chicago

Vitamins and Minerals

Eat Your Vitamins and Minerals

Your teeth are directly affected by the vitamins and minerals absorbed into your body. Below is a list of some of the most common vitamins and minerals and how they affect your teeth:

  • Calcium – helps build and strengthen our bones while also providing structural support and protecting our tooth enamel. (eat: cheese, broccoli, and salmon)
  • Phosphorus – helps to protect and rebuild tooth enamel. They support calcium when it comes to building strong bones and teeth. (eat: tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and avocados)
  • Potassium (and magnesium) – helps our teeth and bones to use calcium more efficiently. Potassium also helps the body to regulate its blood acidity. When our blood becomes too acidic, acids can remove calcium from our teeth and jawbone, weakening them. (eat: meat, poultry, fish, and eggs)
  • Vitamin A – helps our bodies absorb and take in calcium and protein while also keeping mucous membranes healthy, which protects your teeth and gums. Vitamin A also prevents dry mouth, which helps your mouth heal quicker and reduces bad breath). (eat: fish, egg yolks, spinach, kale, and carrots)
  • Vitamin C – strengthens our gums as well as the soft tissue in our mouths. It can protect against gingivitis and can also prevent our teeth from loosening. (eat: citrus fruits, potatoes, and leafy greens)
  • Vitamin D – helps our bodies to absorb calcium and also boosts bone mineral density. (expose yourself to natural sunlight!)
  • Vitamin K2 – is a type of protein that works along with Vitamin D to move calcium out of soft tissue and your bloodstream and into your teeth and bones. It is essential as it helps to block substances that break down bone. (eat: leafy greens, kale, and broccoli)

One of the best ways to keep your teeth healthy is by scheduling regular dental appointments. Whether you need a general dentist in Chicago or are seeking special cosmetic dentistry services, we will be happy to assist you. UAD’s customer service is second to none! Please get in touch with us to schedule a free consult by clicking here or giving us a call.

University Associates in Dentistry’s phone number – (312) 704-5511

Our dental office in downtown Chicago is located at 222 N LaSalle St.

3 Tips for Taking Care of Your Gums

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Proper Hygiene for Healthy Gums

Your gums are an essential part of the structure of your mouth. Healthy gums hold your teeth in place and protect their roots from tooth decay and irritation. If you lose teeth due to weakened gum tissue, the bone in your jaw will begin to deteriorate. Lost teeth can also cause difficulty speaking, and dental implants or other dental appliances may be your only option.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), signs that you might have gum disease include:
Consistently bad taste or breath
Separating or loose permanent teeth
Gums that easily bleed
Gums that are swollen, red, or tender
Gums pulling away from teeth

With simple routine dental care, however, you can keep your gums healthy and your smile beautiful!


  1. Practice Proper Oral Hygiene – Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day between the teeth to remove dental plaque.
  2. Use Fluoride Toothpaste – Make sure to choose toothpaste that contains fluoride and has the ADA seal of acceptance. After that, the flavor and color are up to you!
  3. Get Regular Dental Cleanings – Regularly visit your UAD Chicago dentist for professional cleanings and examinations as plaque can still build up on teeth even when brushing and flossing regularly. In addition, your dentist can detect early gum disease symptoms if you see them on a regular basis!

Never hesitate to ask your UAD dentist about your gum health and if there’s more you can do at home to care for your gums. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have! We can help you maintain or restore a healthy, beautiful smile with the latest technology and dental treatments available. Please contact us at our dental office in downtown Chicago to schedule your next visit by clicking here or giving us a call!

UAD phone number (312) 704-5511
We are located at 222 N LaSalle (in downtown Chicago)

A Healthy Mouth is a Happy Mouth

Dental Implants in Chicago

A Healthy Mouth is a Happy Mouth

Deteriorating Dental Health is Not Your Fault

After the epic year we’ve all had, many of our patients had to press “pause” on regular dental visits. But now, as things normalize, it is time to pay attention to the health of your mouth as it does affect your overall well-being. An unhealthy mouth can lead to an unhealthy body; in addition, certain illnesses can also cause problems for your dental health.

  • Gum Disease – Heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis have all been linked to gum disease.
  • Bacteria in Mouth– There are typically hundreds of species of bacteria thriving in your mouth which cause plaque. When this happens, it provides a welcoming environment for even more bacteria to flourish, leading to the gum infection known as gingivitis. Gingivitis, when left untreated, can lead to periodontitis (a severe gum infection that can cause tooth loss and other serious health complications).
  • Bacteria in Body – If you’ve got gum disease, even routine brushing and flossing can cause breaks in your gums that give those microbes access to the rest of your body. And if your immunity is weak, you can develop an infection in another part of your body due to the oral bacteria in your bloodstream.
  • An Unhealthy Body Can Cause Poor Dental Health – Some systemic illnesses can cause trouble for your mouth. There’s significant evidence that diabetes, for instance, has a reciprocal relationship with gum disease. Keeping blood sugar under control improves oral health, and treating periodontal disease reduces the need for insulin.

One of the best ways to keep your teeth healthy is scheduling regular dental appointments. Whether you need a general dentist in Chicago or are seeking special cosmetic dentistry services, our dental office in downtown Chicago will be happy to assist you. UAD’s customer service is second to none! Please contact us to schedule a free consult by clicking here or giving us a call at (312) 704-5511. All of our patients have access to 24-hour emergency dental services in Chicago!

3 Simple Tips to Avoid Tooth Loss

Dental Implants in Chicago

Avoid Tooth Loss

Tooth Loss Can Seriously Affect Your Health

Tooth loss can be devastating, not just for your confidence but for your health as well. Losing a tooth can cause surrounding teeth to shift and bacteria to accumulate under the gum line, resulting in gum disease and loss of bone and tissue. Gum disease has been linked to serious diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Avoiding tooth loss is always our first goal, but if it’s too late to salvage, UAD offers replacement options for missing teeth, such as dental implants or dentures that look and act more like natural teeth than ever before.

Don’t fret; there are things you can do to keep your teeth healthy and intact! Here are three simple tips to avoid losing your teeth.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is one of the easiest things you can do to protect your teeth and gums. Brush at least twice per day and floss at least once. Ask your dentist if you should be using a mouthwash or other rinse. Following these simple habits will drastically reduce the amount of plaque and bacteria in your mouth, which in turn will reduce your chances of developing tooth decay or gum disease. Since these two conditions are among the most common causes of tooth loss, preventing them means you’re less likely to have missing teeth.

Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Your lifestyle has a greater impact on your oral health than you may realize. To save your teeth, start by examining your diet. Cut out sugary beverages, sticky candies, and acidic sports drinks and sodas. Reach for water more often when you need something to drink, and serve up low-fat dairy and lean protein. Also, smoking and tooth loss are linked, so add that to the list of reasons to quit. Smoking weakens the immune system, so it becomes harder for the body to fight infections. As a result, the bones supporting teeth weaken, causing tooth loss.  

See Your Dentist

Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. During these visits, your dentist will perform a comprehensive exam that can help him or her find oral health problems in their early stages, when they are easier to treat. By getting a diagnosis early, you can get treatment before tooth loss occurs.

Whether you have missing teeth already or want to keep your smile intact, University Associates in Dentistry is here to provide general dentistry, dentures, and dental implants in the Chicago area. To make an appointment with a provider at our award-winning dental group of Chicago, please click here or call (312) 704-5511.

5 Common foods & drinks that stain your teeth

Dental Implants in Chicago

University Associates in Dentistry’s Tips to Avoid Teeth-Staining

teeth stains

No one enjoys stains on their teeth. Stains on your teeth are caused by acidic food that changes your tooth enamel to allow staining to set, strong color pigments in foods, and tannins that allow stains to stick easily. Below we will review some of the main causes of teeth-staining and tips to avoid discoloring your pearly whites!


  • Sports and Energy Drinks – can erode enamel, setting the stage for stains.
  • Black Tea (like English Breakfast and Earl Grey) – can cause more stains than coffee.
  • Red Wine – is a dark, rich, acidic drink that will discolor teeth.
  • Sauces (soy, tomato, and curry) – also cause stains.
  • Berries and Fruits (blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and other vibrant fruits) – can stain teeth. So can juices and pies made from them.


  1. You may not want to eliminate all teeth-staining foods and drinks, but ease up a bit and follow these simple tips to avoid stains!
  2. Use a paper or reusable straw and sip on beverages. This should keep the liquid away from your teeth.
  3. Swallow, don’t swish your drinks so the liquid doesn’t linger in your mouth.
  4. Drink water to help remove some of the coloring before it sets in.
  5. Rinse, then brush 30 – 60 minutes after eating or drinking.
  6. Floss to remove plaque between the teeth to eliminate places for potential staining.
  7. Get your teeth cleaned regularly, this will help keep your smile beautiful and white!

If you want white teeth and the above options don’t seem to be working, our dental office in downtown Chicago offers veneers and professional teeth whitening as solutions.

Your Mouth & Oral Health During COVID

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Mask Mouth

Simple Tips to Stay on Top of Your Dental Needs

We are so happy to see so many of our patients returning for regular visits now that our staff is vaccinated (and many patients are or will get vaccinated in the coming weeks)! Although the last year has been one that I think we would all prefer to forget, we did want to make sure you don’t forget to be taking the best care of your mouth and oral health!


We have seen an increase in cavities and gum disease due to patients having to postpone and scale back on visits in the last 12-18 months. Some of our patients scheduled for semi-annual cleanings throughout 2020 have had to cancel or reschedule their appointments, failing to see a dentist since their pre-COVID check-up. During this time, any existing problems have progressed, and new disease may have started. Staying on top of your regular cleanings and check-ups is key to maintaining your healthy, pretty smile and teeth!


With the additional daily stress that has come along with COVID, dental problems have worsened. Stress-induced clenching or teeth-grinding is at an all-time high, with a spike in the incidence of dental fractures and jaw pain. We have helped many of our patients, who are experiencing increased clenching or grinding, avoid further complications. You can protect your teeth and joints with something as simple as a nightguard or Botox injections to temporarily reduce clenching muscles. COVID has done enough to us; don’t let it ruin your teeth too!


The need to wear a mask has created relief for people embarrassed by dental problems (missing teeth, evident cavities, broken teeth, etc.). These unattractive issues have been hidden by masks, which has led some patients to postpone their necessary dental work. Unfortunately, their dental problems remain, leaving behind a great deal of treatment still necessary. At that time, it may be even more expensive as there is a positive correlation between the progression of disease and the cost of care to treat the problem. No one likes when dental issues sneak up on us, but it’s always the best idea to bite the bullet early on instead of waiting!


Although we are no strangers to wearing masks at UAD, our patients have recently been introduced to this necessary accessory during COVID. But, we want to remind everyone to pay attention to their oral health, so we don’t have to treat avoidable issues caused by “mask mouth.”

What Causes “Mask Mouth?”

Mouth breathing: causes dry mouth, leading to a change in the natural bacteria, promoting gum disease and tooth decay.
Dehydration: causes plaque to form on your teeth and releases an acid that eats away at your tooth enamel, and cavities may follow.
Changes in oral habits: results in gum diseases like gingivitis or periodontitis due to neglecting to brush or floss since others cannot see your teeth or smell your breath.

4 Simple Steps to Avoid “Mask Mouth.”

  • Breathe through your nose even when masked
  • Stay hydrated
  • Maintain good oral hygiene
  • Schedule regular teeth cleanings

Take care of your dental problems as soon as they are noticed. When exams and cleanings are postponed, the severity of the disease worsens, causing a more complex treatment, leading to more cost and potential for problems. Like all things, early diagnosis is key!


Our goal is always to provide the most comfortable, personal care, so you leave smiling!

Chicago IL Cosmetic Dentist | Dental Implant Restorations

Dental Implants in Chicago

Chicago IL Dentist | Dental Implant Restorations

About 1 in 4 adults experience tooth loss between the ages of 21 and 30. Dental implants are a safe and long-term option for tooth replacement that improve the appearance and functionality of your smile.


A dental implant can be paired with a replacement crown for single tooth replacement or can be used in small groups to anchor a denture or dental bridge. Dental implants are a strong, long-lasting solution for tooth loss and serve to prevent jaw bone loss in the same manner as a natural tooth root.


There are many benefits to choosing dental implants as a tooth-replacement solution. Some of these include:


  • Natural looking smile: Dental implants are crafted to closely resemble your natural teeth, restoring a natural-looking smile.
  • Improved oral health: Since there is no need to alter surrounding teeth to anchor implants, more of your natural teeth are preserved intact, improving long-term oral health.
  • Improved speech: With removable, non-anchored dentures, teeth can slip within the mouth, causing slurred or mumbled speech. Dental Implants remove that concern.
  • Improved comfort: Dental Implants avoid the slipping and discomfort of removable dentures.
  • Improved function: Dental Implants function like your natural teeth, allowing you to eat without pain.
  • Durability: Dental implants are stable, strong, and stain-resistant.
  • Protect healthy bone structure: Empty spaces caused by tooth loss can, over time, lead to deterioration of the jawbone. Since Dental Implants function like tooth roots, they are able to prevent this type of deterioration, just as natural teeth do.
  • Long-term solution: Dentures must be replaced about every 5-7 years. Dental Implants, when cared for properly, can last a lifetime.


If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants may be right for you. Our Chicago dentist will consider your oral and overall health prior to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. Some considerations include:


  • Adequate bone support to anchor the implant
  • Healthy gum tissue
  • Sinus and nerve location
  • Overall health, including any chronic illnesses


In some cases, we may recommend advance treatment for your upper or lower jaw to enable you to have the bone support needed for implantation. As always, your treatment plan is created based on your specific needs and goals for your healthy smile.


If you are interested in learning more about dental implants or would like to schedule a consultation, contact our Chicago dental office today for an appointment. We’re here to help restore the health and beauty of your smile.


University Associates in Dentistry
Phone: (312) 704-5511
222 N. LaSalle St. #230
Chicago, IL 60601

Cosmetic Dentist Chicago IL | Are Dental Veneers Right for Me?

Dental Implants in Chicago

Dentist ChicagoWe often have visitors to our Chicago dental office ask about solutions for fixing stained teeth or filling in gaps between teeth. We sometimes suggest dental veneers. Veneers are one cosmetic option available for correcting your smile. Here’s what you should know about veneers, and whether they are right for you and your smile.


What Are Veneers?

A Veneer is a thin cover placed over the front of the tooth. Typically, they are made of dental porcelain and designed to cover your existing tooth, not replace it.


What They Do

Veneers are used to fix a broken or chipped tooth, shrink the noticeable gaps in between teeth, or reduce the visible stains on teeth. Our office specially sizes them to fit your teeth. Generally, the structure of your teeth is not altered since the veneers are placed over your teeth.


What You Need to Know

Those who get veneers sometimes experience a minor increase in sensitivity, particularly to hot or cold food and drinks. Veneers are typically nonreversible, as they often require a small amount of tooth enamel to be removed. After getting them, it is advisable to avoid drinks such as wine, coffee, or tea that are often culprits of causing staining. Taking care of them still requires you to brush twice each day and floss regularly as well. Your teeth are not invincible to staining or decay so be sure to continue to take care of them.


It is important to know that veneers are a solution to minor tooth issues such as discoloration, gaps, or misaligned teeth. They are not a substitute for braces, bridges, or other dental work. Schedule a visit to our Chicago dental office to meet with Dr. Schelkopf. Together our team can work with you to develop a plan to reach the goals and look you are hoping to achieve.


For more information on how to achieve the smile you have dreamed of, contact our local dental office. We look forward to seeing you during your next visit with us!



University Associates in Dentistry
Phone: (312) 704-5511
222 N. LaSalle St. #230
Chicago, IL 60601

Chicago IL Cosmetic Dentist | You Need to Know About Oral Thrush: Here’s Why

Dental Implants in Chicago

Even a healthy mouth is lined with bacteria. Normally, your daily oral hygiene routine helps prevent oral health complications. However, it is possible to develop an excess of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to additional problems. Here’s what you should know about oral thrush and what you can do to prevent it.
Chicago IL Cosmetic Dentist | You Need to Know About Oral Thrush: Here’s Why
What is it?
Oral thrush is caused by a collection of the fungus Candida in your mouth. Bacteria and fungi occur naturally in your mouth, but it is important that they are not permitted to build up. Thrush can appear as white, thick scrapes on your tongue or inner cheek. It may also look like patchy, white sores.

Who does it affect?
Young children, infants, and the elderly are at a higher risk of developing oral thrush. If you have a weakened immune system or diabetes, it is even more important that you stay active to keep your mouth healthy and prevent issues like oral thrush. Smokers also tend to develop oral thrush more than other patients.

What can it do?
Oral thrush can lead to trouble swallowing and tasting. As it develops, it can become painful. Oral thrush can make affected areas feel like they are burning, and slight bleeding can occur if you are scraping your tongue or cheeks. Some describe the feeling as having cotton in their mouth.

Thrush can spread. If you have a weakened immune system, it is possible that thrush moves into your lungs, digestive tract, and even your heart.

How can I prevent It?
Our best recommendation for preventing oral thrush is a vigilant daily oral hygiene routine that includes a thorough brushing and flossing of your teeth, and includes your tongue. We sometimes recommend a patient use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue. Just like brushing your teeth, your tongue depends on daily cleaning to stay healthy and free of germs and bacteria.

The American Dental Association recommends that for some patients it might be helpful to consider an antimicrobial toothpaste or mouthwash. Check with our doctor to see which solutions might be best for you.

We cannot overstate the importance of regularly scheduled dental exams. If you are a diabetic, it is even more important that you schedule regular visits to our office. By having your mouth checked by our staff, we can work with you to prevent oral health issues like thrush.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact our office.

Chicago IL Cosmetic Dentist | Gaining Wisdom on Wisdom Teeth

Dental Implants in Chicago

Wisdom teeth are the last new teeth that will enter your mouth. Most patients have some form of complications resulting from their wisdom teeth. Did you know that your wisdom teeth can impact your overall health? Here’s what you need to be aware of regarding your wisdom teeth.
Chicago IL Cosmetic Dentist | Gaining Wisdom on Wisdom Teeth
The Basics
Typically, your wisdom teeth will come in between the ages of 17 and 25. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), as many as 90% of patients have an impacted wisdom tooth. An Impacted tooth is unable to properly grow through your gums because of a lack of space.

What This Means for You
An impacted wisdom tooth is something you should talk to our doctor about. Impacted teeth can cause infection and damage to surrounding teeth. It is extremely important these issues are addressed early on. Your wisdom teeth are hard to clean in the back of your mouth. An infected tooth not receiving the proper care can be a breeding ground for bacteria leading to infection and gum disease.

Wisdom Teeth & Your Overall Health
An infection of your wisdom teeth can lead to oral diseases, but it can also lead to further, more serious complications as well. THE AAOMS explains that oral bacteria that gets into your bloodstream can lead to heart, kidney, and other organ infections. That’s right, your teeth can impact your overall health!

The Importance of Examinations
You might not notice any pain or discomfort around your wisdom teeth, but that does not necessarily mean they are healthy. Even wisdom teeth that fit properly can be the target of a future infection. It is essential to keep up with regular examinations so that our trained, experienced team can take a close look at your wisdom teeth.

What You Can Do
We cannot overstate the importance of regular oral examinations. Our doctor can help assess your wisdom teeth and whether they will need to be removed. Wisdom teeth can have a significant impact on your oral health and your overall health, so we recommend staying vigilant with your daily oral hygiene routine.

For more questions about wisdom teeth or to schedule your examination, please contact our office.

University Associates in Dentistry