Wednesday, February 17, 2016

8 Tips for a Brighter Smile

Want a brighter smile? Try these tips!

1. Avoid foods that stain
Avoid foods and beverages that are filled with sugar or are too acidic. If you're not careful, consuming these kinds of foods can damage and stain your teeth. It can be helpful to drink beverages that stain through a straw as well. This helps you circumvent those smile dulling liquids altogether! Brushing your teeth immediately after eating sugary foods may also help prevent staining. Be careful though, if a food is too acidic, you will want to wait at least thirty minutes before brushing your teeth in order to prevent enamel erosion. If you cannot brush your teeth for some reason, opt for swishing water in your mouth which is naturally filled with fluoride. (Water is not a substitution for your daily dental routine).

2. Use dental cleaners
Between brushing, use dental cleaners to minimize the food build-up between your teeth. These brushes are disposable and very handy if you find yourself away from home without a toothbrush. You can also use them to clean the areas between teeth and brace wires if you have braces. They're sold at most grocery stores and can even be found online

3. Try toothpaste for sensitive teeth
If your teeth are especially sensitive, try using a toothpaste created specifically for people with sensitive teeth. If you're wondering whether or not you have sensitive teeth, here's a simple way to tell: Do your teeth feel uncomfortable when they are exposed to extreme hot and cold temperatures? If so, be sure to ask your dentist for help and additional information. 

4. Regular dental checkups
This one might seem obvious, but it is so important! Be sure to visit your dentist regularly to have your teeth inspected and cleaned. Without regular dental checkups, you run the risk of facing disease and other problems in the future. Routine dental visits help prevent the advancement of such diseases and are always a good idea

5. Avoid chewing on hard foods
Ice cubes pose a particular threat to the safety of teeth. Never chew on ice. You could crack or chip your teeth! Be cautious when eating popcorn, nuts or any other tough to chew food. If you believe that your teeth are chipped or cracked, see a dentist immediately to prevent pain or even bacteria growth in the cracked tooth. 

6. Brush your teeth properly
Brush your teeth from the gum line moving towards the center of your mouth. This will help get rid of food bits that hide under your gums. Scrubbing side to side is always good, but don't forget to brush with an up and down motion as well. If your gums or mouth bleed while brushing, be sure to meet with a dentist or periodontist. Bleeding gums are often a sign of gum disease, which is a major issue when left untreated. 

7. Swirl that Mouthwash
One common misunderstanding regarding oral health is that brushing is all you need for a healthy mouth. Mouthwash is often neglected in daily dental practice, but it's an essential step towards your brighter smile. Mouth wash cleans, disinfects, and reaches places your toothbrush simply cannot. Rinse twice per day when you brush those pearly whites.

8. Drink your Milk! 
In addition to providing a good source of calcium, dairy has shown to help your teeth fight cavities. If you're lactose intolerant or simply dislike dairy products, don't worry! Dark leafy greens like kale or collards, broccoli, tofu, and even almonds are all excellent natural sources of calcium.

If you have any questions regarding the health of your teeth or simply want to see a doctor, call one of our three convenient locations to set up an appointment. We are here to provide excellent service in a friendly environment.  

North location on Hymeadow Drive: (512) 250-5012
Central location on Jollyville Road: (512) 346-8424
South location on William Cannon Drive: (512) 445-5811

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

X-Rays and the Dentist

If you've been to the dentist recently, then you have most likely had an X-ray done. While they aren't taken during every visit, they are very helpful for establishing a patient's oral health as well as predicting which areas need to be focused on. Today we are going to give a brief overview of what exactly they are and why they are necessary. 

1.  What are X-rays? 
In 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen was working in his lab conducting research when he accidentally discovered X-rays. Since then, science and technology have evolved to use X-rays in a beneficial manner. During an exam, a patient is exposed to short bursts of radiation. This allows the doctor to view teeth in a more thorough manner than an examination. Some people are nervous about getting X-rays, however, it is important to note that the doses of radiation are too minute to cause adverse effects. In fact, during a dental X-ray, patients are only exposed to the same amount of radiation as a short airplane flight

2. Do I have to get X-rays?
Whether you need to look for fractures in bone or simply to check in on teeth, X-rays are the best way to do it. Dentists rely on this technology because it allows them to perceive problems before the naked eye is able see them. Some examples include, but are not limited to: periodontal disease, bone infections, hard to see tooth decay, and even some tumors. X-rays are an important part of preventative care and are nothing to be afraid of.

3. What if I'm pregnant?
This is always a great question to ask! It is best to consult your physician before exposing yourself to small quantities of radiation. Informing your dentist of this is an absolute necessity, but there is no need to forgo X-rays altogether. With pregnant patients, a thyroid collar and a leaded apron are used to prevent radiation exposure.

Source: Mouth Healthy by the American Dental Association

If you have questions concerning X-rays and the health of your teeth, feel free to call one of our three offices to schedule a consult. We are here to address any of your concerns and to provide you with a stress-free dental experience.

North location on Hymeadow Drive: (512) 250-5012  
Central location on Jollyville Road: (512) 346-8424  
South location on William Cannon Drive: (512) 445-5811

Friday, February 5, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Watch out for gummy bears

and jaw breakers, too

Valentine's Day will be here in nearly a week! Whether you're spending the day with a loved one, having a fun party with your friends, or simply relaxing before the work week, you are sure to encounter a few yummy desserts and candies. While everyone enjoys something sweet once and again, it is always good to consider how they impact your health. Here are a few tips for keeping your mouth in good shape during Valentine's Day.

1. Not all candy is created equal. 

  • Some candies are worse than others. Tough candy that stays in your mouth for a prolonged period of time such a jawbreakers and suckers can lead to cavities or even chipped teeth. The best option for this type of sweet is to opt for a sugar-free alternative. This way, you are satisfying your sweet tooth without the risk of tooth decay. 
  • Also, be on the lookout for chewy candies like gummy bears, taffy, and caramel. Even though these treats are sure to satisfy, they are stubborn and tend to stick to your teeth. This makes these chewy confections more difficult to break down with saliva.  

2. Select your beverages with care.

  • While they might be packed full of vitamin C, it is best to avoid drinks that have too much citrus like orange grapefruit juice. The acid from these beverages can erode away your enamel and weaken your teeth.  
  • If you are wanting a soda with your meal, keep in mind that its carbonation and sugar can also damage your enamel. Sugar-free sodas are a better alternative, but water is always the best option. 
  • Even though most people enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the morning, the caffeine coupled with its dark color can dry out your mouth and stain your teeth. Consume it in moderation and try drinking with a straw to avoid some of those stains. 
  • If you find yourself wanting to a cold drink, try refrigerating it instead of adding ice. Chewing ice can lead to dental emergencies and isn't the safest way to go. 

3. Look out for your pearly whites.   

The best way to prevent cavities and other dental health diseases is to take care of your teeth. Remember to brush your teeth twice per day and floss once. If you decide to eat or drink anything too acidic, try waiting at least thirty minutes before brushing your teeth.

Source: Mouth Healthy by the American Dentist Association

Our aim is to treat all patients with respect and provide a stress-free experience for the whole family. If you would like to schedule a cleaning after eating Valentine's Day sweets or have any questions, feel free to call one of our three convenient locations.

North location on Hymeadow Drive: (512) 250-5012  
Central location on Jollyville Road: (512) 346-8424  
South location on William Cannon Drive: (512) 445-5811