National Children’s Dental Health Month



It’s already February and it’s National Children’s Dental Health Month! We approach this month with an effort to help you get your kids motivated and excited about maintaining good oral health while helping to educate and inform parents on a variety of topics that are related to your child and their gorgeous smiles!

Topics this month on our social media accounts will include sealants, mouth guards, dental emergencies, healthy eating, thumb sucking and more! So, check our social media often this month. We will also be posting some fun activities and recommend some books for your younger children as well.

To kick off this month, we will focus on the most important part of good oral hygiene – keeping your child’s teeth clean!

Brush and floss

As soon as baby teeth erupt, it is important to keep those cute little teeth and gums clean. Use a moist gauze pad to gently wipe the inside of their mouths or allow your baby to gnaw on a clean, wet washcloth in the bathtub! Your baby will love this, especially if they are teething. Be sure to schedule your child’s first dental visit before their first birthday!

Adults should continue to clean/brush children’s teeth for them until they reach preschool age – or roughly age three. This age will vary based on the child, but in general, it is a good time to make tooth brushing a routine part of their day. Since young children tend to swallow toothpaste rather than spitting it out, use less than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on a soft bristled toothbrush. Make it fun! Lead by example and brush with them! Play music! Make up a silly song! Make sure you have a step stool or something safe that your child can stand on to reach the sink confidently and see the mirror to check their smile!

As your children get older, we still recommend brushing at least two times a day for 2 minutes at a time – that’s the 2x for 2 min rule of thumb. Once children’s teeth begin to touch, it’s important that you start them with floss or flossing sticks which are available at any grocery store or pharmacy. Children can usually floss by themselves around age 8, but again, this varies by child.

See the dentist regularly

Be diligent about scheduling regular dental check-ups every six months for your kids. Regular cleanings and x-rays can help your dentist stay on top of your child’s oral health and stop any problems before they become serious.

Forming oral hygiene habits early will result in a lifetime of good oral health and a beautiful smile for years to come. Happy National Children’s Dental Health Month!

Keep Shining!

Dr. Patel

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly!


Winter and the holidays are officially upon us! The leaves are (finally) off the trees and a light dusting of snow on the ground makes everything a bit more magical – especially at night with the lights twinkling all around. We absolutely love this time of year. It’s the season of joy & hope, giving & goodwill and finding the perfect present! Whatever holiday you celebrate, we hope this season finds you well.


In the spirit of the season, we like to pause and reflect upon the past year. We are so grateful for all of our friends, family and patients who make our lives complete. Your smiles, warm hugs and friendship truly brings meaning in our daily work. We sincerely thank you for putting your trust in us.


From Hermey and all of the elves at Ivory Dental, we would like to wish you and your family a very safe and happy holiday and a very healthy and prosperous 2018!


Happy Holidays!


Keep Shining!

Dr. Patel

Dental Coverage – Use it or lose it!

It’s almost open enrollment period (OOP) again and you may be sitting in front of your computer screen wondering what you should elect for your coverage for 2018. HMO, PPO, POS, FSA, HSA… it’s all alphabet soup! Knowing your options, if and you’re your benefits run out and how to take advantage of end of the year opportunities is KEY! If you have dental insurance or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), now is the time to use those benefits before they disappear!


What is an FSA?

Your FSA is your pre-tax benefit account that is used to pay for eligible medical, dental, and vision care expenses that are not covered by your health care plan or elsewhere. 2017 guidelines allow $2,600 family maximum to be withheld tax-free to pay for these expenses, thus saving you money. In general, if you don’t use your FSA dollars by the end of the calendar year – you lose them! Some employers offer a grace period (sometimes until March) to use this money OR others may offer a small monetary rollover to the next calendar year. If you leave a balance in your FSA, you lose it. The unused dollars go back to your employer to offset the administrative costs of their healthcare plans for the following year. If unused FSA money puts you into a panic every year, it’s time to start thinking about the perfect allocation for next year. Check out this link! With just a few clicks, you can figure out the perfect amount to set aside in 2018.


What about my dental insurance benefits?

In most cases, once you have met your dental insurance deductible, you are allowed a certain dollar amount of benefits to be paid each calendar year. Lets’ say you have $1,500 annual maximum and you’ve only used $200 of it, that means you have $1,300 remaining to spend before December 31, 2017! If you don’t use these benefits (spend that money) before the year’s end, you lose them!


So what can I do?

The end of the year is coming! To avoid missing out on your dental benefits or losing the money you set aside from your paycheck for your FSA, it is important to schedule your dental appointments today! For now, we encourage you to start thinking about the procedures you have been putting off (fillings, crowns, bridges, etc.) You are not the only one who has just realized that there is money to spend – there is always a rush on last minute appointments this time of year! Whatever your coverage, we encourage you to stop in and see us so you start the new year with a SMILE! See you in the chair!


Keep Shining!

~ Dr. Patel



Beyond the Chair – Part 2 – Getting to Know the Ivory Dental Staff

You are more to us than a beautiful smile! Our staff really enjoys getting to know you and your families. It’s what makes our job so rewarding.

But who REALLY are these dental professionals behind the chair? What makes them tick? From pizza preference, Sox or Cubs, to hidden talents, we uncovered some interesting facts that will definitely spark some conversation the next time you are in for a checkup!

Here’s a sneak peak!

Name something people would be surprised to learn about you.

• Dawn – “…that I have multiple tattoos.”
• Juanita – “I love cats!”
• Yesenia – “I am a coupon lady!”
• Joanna – “I am funny!”
• Megan – “I used to race ATVs as a child!”

We will unveil more tidbits and highlight staff members regularly! We hope to see you in the chair soon!

Keep Shining!
Dr. Patel


The sun is up and school is out! Although we love when our kids just run around the neighborhood with their friends, making their own fun, at some point you will hear the agonizing words, “We’re bored! There’s nothing to do!” Never fear, we complied a list of kid-friendly things to keep the kids from going stir-crazy!

  • Plainfield Public Library: The Plainfield library has a variety of programs and activities for children of all ages, including a variety of fun story time activities, arts & crafts, food trucks, Nintendo tournaments, magic shows, cupcake wars, movies, and more. This calendar is worth printing out and hanging on a bulletin board! Perfect for a rainy day!
  • The Scitech Hands on Museum: Explore over 200 interactive STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) exhibits that inspire education and imagination. Children under 3 are free, and general admission is $8 per person. The museum is CLOSED on Sunday and Monday!
  • The Dupage Children’s Museum: Located in Naperville, this museum will keep your kids occupied for HOURS with many hands-on exhibits. Parking is free and there is a café where you and the kids can relax and refuel. The museum has its own calendar of events which is also worth printing and posting. Admission is $12 a person.
  • Ball Factory: This indoor playground is at the TOP of our “must-do” list. Located off of Route 59, this indoor play area is “nirvana” for those 12 and under. $11 let’s you play all day on the weekdays and $14 for the weekends and holidays. Coupons, special offers and punch cards are available online. Bring socks! And there’s a cute café for healthy snacks that will satisfy palates of all ages
  • Bowling: Plainfield Lanes offers family fun entertainment close to home. Register your kids at and they can bowl free EVERY DAY over the summer (2 games per day). Call ahead for lane availability and pricing.
  • Laser Tag: If you are looking for somewhere to take the gang, laser tag is always fun with a big group. There are many laser tag venues in the area. We recommend going to Groupon to check out who has the latest and greatest specials!
  • Plainfield Park District: When in doubt, check out the park district website to see what’s happening. From the pools, to camps and classes, we guarantee you will find something that your kids will enjoy!
  • Splash Pad: The Village Green Park at 24121 West Chicago Street has a splash pad that’s open from 10am to 7pm between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It has several water spouts and fun equipment for children to play on and get wet. If you are looking for variety in your splash park, look no further! Here is a great list of splash parks in the western suburbs!
  • Ottawa Street Pool: This pool has afternoon swim and evening swim hours. Afternoon swim is Monday-Friday from 12:00-4:30pm, and admission is $4 per person. Evening Swim is Monday-Friday from 7:00-8:30, and admission is $3 per person. Weekend swim is Saturday & Sunday from 1:00-8:00pm. Have a summer birthday? The pool is available for summer parties and rentals!
  • Centennial Beach: Located in downtown Naperville, the beach is a great place to spend the day with the kids. Non-resident admission is $10 for those under 18. Adults $12. Just outside of the beach are paddle boats rentals and a café. Boat rentals are $10 for 20-minute ride for up to four people and $12 for a 40-minute ride for up to four people. Children under 13 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.



Chicago has a festival just about every weekend this summer, from the weekly fireworks at Navy Pier, to the Gospel Music Festival, Wells Street Art Festival, Chicago Alefest, LakeShake, Taste Of Chicago, Chicago Craft Brew Festival and Lollapalooza to name a few.

The most popular festivals around the Plainfield area include PLAINFIELD FEST in West Electric Park held this year July 14-16.

Naperville Ale Fest

Naperville Ribfest

Naperville Last Fling

Nothing beats making memories with your family at a good, old-fashioned festival. The live music, rides, impossible carnival games, sun on your back, freshly shaken lemonade in one hand, little hand in another…it’s what summer is all about. So wipe that sticky cotton-candy off their cute faces (and don’t forget to brush those teeth), grab another funnel cake, and enjoy every moment summer has to offer!



Keep Shining!
Dr. Patel


Beyond the Chair – Get to know your dentist, Dr. Shefali Patel

We all know and respect Dr. Patel as a highly skilled dentist who cares deeply about her patients. Her chair-side manner is always professional and compassionate! Getting to know her though can be difficult – as a two-way conversation with hands and tools in your mouth – makes it difficult to communicate! So, we took a few minutes out of her busy day to ask her some pressing questions for you!


Us:       How long have you been practicing dentistry?

Dr. P:     15 years


Us:       Where did you attend school?

Dr. P:     I attended University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for my undergraduate degree and then    attended UIC Dental School.
Us:       Was there a defining moment in your life when you knew you wanted to be a dentist?

Dr. P:      No, there was not a particular moment. I just knew since I was a sophomore in high school that this is what I wanted to be!


Us:       What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Dr. P:   Seeing families grow from having their first dental appointment with us all the way to graduating high school is definitely very rewarding.


Us:       Other than teeth, what are your other passions?

Dr. P:    Cooking, traveling, spending time with my boys


Us:       So, how old are your boys??

Dr. P:    I have 2 boys, ages 9 and 6


Us:       What is the best thing that happened to you this week?

Dr. P:   My son ASKED me if he could do the dishes!


Us:       Deep dish or thin crust?

Dr. P:   Thin crust. But deep dish when I want to indulge.


Us:       Beach or mountains?

Dr. P:   BEACH!

CEREC – A New Smile, While You Wait

Yes, it’s true. You can renew your smile with a permanent crown (and/or fillings) in one appointment. The days of scheduling an appointment for impressions (yuck!), inserting a temporary crown and waiting two to three weeks for the permanent crown to come in and returning for a follow up appointment are GONE. At Ivory Dental, most crowns are made in-office at ONE appointment while you wait, saving you time and the expense of return visits by using CEREC technology.

CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CEramic REConstruction) is the unique treatment for all-ceramic restorations in one dental visit. In one chairside treatment, we use an intraoral camera to take a digital impression of your smile and create a virtual model of your tooth. The software then creates a computer-based construction of your tooth, which we are able to modify and tweak if needed. We point, click and send it to the milling machine, which creates your new ceramic tooth, while you wait. Your crown is made with the same materials used in a dental lab and will be durable and stain-resistant. We paint and glaze your tooth accordingly to be sure it “matches” your smile before cementing. The entire procedure takes approximately 2 hours total.

CEREC Benefits

* Single-visit convenience

* Hi-tech accuracy

* Natural, tooth-colored restoration

* Biocompatible, anti-abrasive and plaque resistant ceramic materials

* Metal free – no silver-colored fillings

* Preserves more healthy tooth material

* Extremely precise for long-lasting, natural results

Call our Plainfield dental office today for a consultation or just schedule an appointment!

Keep Shining!
Dr. Patel


Take Advantage of Your Dental Benefits!


Your dental insurance benefits run on a calendar year and expire on December 31! You may have unused funds that will disappear at the end of the year! Don’t LOSE IT…USE IT!

We at Ivory Dental are encouraging you to use up these funds. Now is the time to book dental appointments for your kids when winter break begins! Have a college student who needs a check-up or a cleaning? Call us right away to get on the schedule while they are home for the holidays. If you have been holding off on your routine dental exam or have been putting off dental work, please give our office a call. Even items such as mouth/night guards, x-rays, teeth whitening treatments, or other cosmetic enhancements can be covered and/or funded by your insurance or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) dollars.

Give our office today to schedule your appointment!

Keep Shining!
Dr. Patel

Make A Wish


We are so grateful to have our health care practices in Plainfield – one of the most supportive communities around. This summer, we had an amazing opportunity to give back to the community that has given so much to us.

This summer AIM and Ivory Dental sponsored a fundraiser for the Illinois Make A Wish Foundation. We wanted to help make dreams come true for a local child who was in much need of some hope in a very desperate time.

We hosted a wonderful invitation-only evening for a fun night at Tommy Nevins at English Rows to raise money for a local Plainfield girl who is battling a life-threatening heart condition. Her wish…to meet one of the founding member’s of her favorite pop-rock band. Through the generosity of those in attendance, we were able to raise over $8,000 through raffles and auction items to make her wish come true. This young lady and her family were flown to New York City for a backstage meet and greet with her idol and tickets to their show. Hearing feedback from her mother after her rockstar experience warmed our hearts. We are delighted that we could help bring joy into their lives for a weekend.

You can help make wishes come true too by supporting Make A Wish Illinois. Donate your airplane miles, run for charity or simply make a financial contribution. Visit and click on “ways to help” to find out more.

Keep Shining!
Dr. Patel

Professional Teeth Whitening vs. Whitening at Home


Research has shown that 47% Americans say a person’s smile is the first thing they notice when they meet someone. The accessibility of home whitening products and professional treatment have made a dazzling white smile a possibility for everyone.

First let’s talk about what causes teeth to turn yellow: smoking, coffee, tea, colas, and acidic foods erode the enamel of your teeth, making them more porous and susceptible to absorption of food and colors. Genetics, age and health also play a role. If the damage is already done, there are many over-the-counter ways to whiten your teeth at home and in-office options to consider as well.

Whitening At Home
Over-the-counter whitening options are readily available at any grocery or drug store at affordable prices. Whitening strips, toothpastes, rinses and pens provide affordable and effective ways to brighten your smile at home. Whitening toothpastes have the ability to clear surface stains, while pens allow for more precise touch-ups on stubborn stains, especially between teeth. For the most effective whitening, many consumers turn to white strips, which offer varying levels of whitening options that can go deeper than surface level. These treatments are cost-effective and work as well as many in-office procedures, as long as the instructions are followed. But keep in mind that most people are not totally compliant, since it’s not comfortable or convenient to keep a goopy tray or white strips in their mouths for 30 – 45 minutes per day while saliva starts overflowing!

Professional Teeth Whitening In-Office
In-office treatments usually begin with an ultraviolet light procedure. Within an hour, you will see an immediate difference in your smile. The process is safe and fast, but is obviously more expensive than over-the-counter products.

Most dentists will send you home with customized plastic trays and whitening gels to supplement the ultraviolet light treatment. Dentists will know when you have reached your whitening “end point” and will tell you to discontinue treatment. You can always use these trays for “touch ups” and use whitening toothpaste to brush away any surface stains for maintenance. If you prefer to skip the ultraviolet light treatment, many patients will opt for the customizable trays and gels to whiten at home.

Our patients have told us that white strips are very convenient and affordable for this type of maintenance and work just as well as the customizable trays. One drawback to white strips is that the strips are a specified length, and may not whiten all of your teeth, leaving the back teeth yellow. This is true also for stock whitening trays sold in the stores. Since they are not customized to your mouth, you may have issues with them fitting properly and may miss a tooth or apply too much on a tooth and have sensitivity issues.

Get your dentist involved.
If you are considering a whitening treatment, make sure you are up to date with all necessary dental work before you begin. Your dentist can determine the type of staining that you have and determine which treatment would be the most effective. You may be able to use your FSA money with in-office treatments. If you are hesitant, there is no harm in starting the process at home. Confused? Give us a call, and we can help you get started!

Keep Shining!
Dr. Patel