How to Get Your Kid Excited About Braces

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It is no surprise that children dislike wearing braces. The idea of having a cumbersome and obvious set of metal brackets in the mouth that limits what one can eat is not pleasant. However, braces are crucial for children and teens that need straighter teeth. Fortunately, braces are smaller and more compact than ever before. Patients will not need to wear the braces for nearly as long as in the past. Patients do not need to be afraid that the braces will be obvious since they can even choose clear colors to help the braces blend in with the teeth.

Texas Dental Specialists has a list of tips you can use to get your child excited about receiving braces, so they do not dread their next appointment and straightening treatment.

Tips to Get Your Kid Ready for Braces

Explain the Braces Process

Many patients are nervous about getting braces for multiple reasons including:

  • The braces are clunky
  • People will notice the braces and make fun of the patient
  • The braces can be painful
  • The patient cannot eat his or her favorite foods

From an adult's point of view, the braces are crucial for the child's oral health. Thus, parents can explain that braces will straighten the teeth for a healthier and better-looking smile. Crooked teeth can trap food and plaque in difficult-to-reach places and cause an infection. The braces will help to straighten the teeth to make cleaning easier.

We will also help the parent explain the entire straightening process with his or her child, so the child knows exactly what to expect going forward. The child will only experience a minor amount of pain after receiving braces. We can offer suggestions for treatment of the soreness if necessary.

Focus on the Fun Aspects of Braces

Getting braces may be scary at first, but it can also be a fun experience. Tell your child that they will be able to customize the bands on their braces to their mood and current interests. If a holiday is coming up, like Halloween, they can make their bands black and orange, so they look more festive. If they have a favorite football team, they can color code accordingly.

Many patients enjoy this aspect of having braces because it allows them to be themselves and embrace their uniqueness. Parents can also offer their child some hot chocolate or a milkshake to help soothe any soreness from the braces. This gets children excited about the prospect of getting treats when they are feeling down. Make sure to keep up with healthy oral care after these treats, though, so cavities do not develop.

Address the Prospect of Being Bullied for Having Braces

If the child's main concern is that they will be made fun of, tell them that bullying is only a possibility. In most cases, there is only a bit of teasing since the braces are not nearly as large as some people think. Parents can help the child focus on the fact that soon enough, their teeth will look straighter and more perfect. This fact will give the child more confidence than they would have with crooked or crowded teeth. Also, remind the child that braces are temporary, and it is worth the wait.

The best thing you can do for your child who is concerned about braces is to fully prepare them for what to expect. Encouraging confidence and making your child feel special will make the process the smoothest it can be. They will thank you in the future.

Visit Texas Dental Specialists, a Family Dentist in Plano to Protect Your Child from Injury

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Visit Texas Dental Specialists today to fit your child for a mouthguard. When your child plays sports, it is easy to think of the equipment you need to get in order to protect them from danger on the playing field. You think of shoulder and knee pads, shin guards, and even jock straps, but sometimes one of the most important forms of protective gear is forgotten, the mouthguard. Many of our patients come in for a visit after their mouth has been injured from a blow to the face. We want to help you prevent this issue from happening before painful or complicated damage occurs.

Reasons Your Child Should Wear a Mouthguard

Save money now by getting the child a mouthguard before damage occurs. The cost of dental repairs and teeth implants from sports injuries is far more expensive than buying a store bought mouthguard or even a custom-created mouthguard today. Since a mouthguard consists of a rubberized or plastic material, it has more flexibility and cushion than a normal dental structure. When the child receives a blow to the face, he or she will not sustain as much of an injury if wearing a mouthguard.

The mouthguard will absorb most of the blow due to its cleverly created structure. A mouthguard can help the child avoid painful and serious jaw breaks, hard to repair tooth chips and cracks, costly tooth loss, and the need for sutures to repair an oral tissue tear. The parent will also save him or herself from being held liable if another child runs into the parent's and suffers an injury from a collision with sharp teeth.

Ways to Get a Mouthguard for Your Child

There are three main types of mouth guards available for the child. Parents can get a pre-packaged read-to-wear mouthguard for an inexpensive price. These mouth guards do provide some protection, but the levels are low in comparison with other mouth guards. Since the guard is available in generic small, medium, or large sizes, it is hard to find the right option for a child. These mouth guards can be bulky, and they tend to slide around in their mouth.

Parents can also get a mouthguard that they can boil to make the material more malleable. The parent then forms the mouthguard to the child's teeth. These mouth guards tend to fit more snuggly and provide a little more protection, but they are still slightly bulky. For the best fit and the most comprehensive protection, we encourage you to visit us, as a family dentist in Plano, for a customized mouthguard for your child.

This option is slightly more expensive, but the fit and protection level will make it worth it. You will be pleased with the comfort level and wearability of the mouthguard we provide, and your child will be protected while he or she plays any number of sports.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Whatever forms of protection you decide are best for your child, we hope you also include a mouthguard. Sports are a great form of exercise and fun, but they can quickly lead to harmful results without the proper protective gear. Visit Texas Dental Specialists, to learn more about how to have a proper mouthguard created.

Routine Dental Exam to Check for Tooth Decay Risk

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A routine dental exam is the best way to identify tooth decay. This exam gives your dentist and/or his staff the opportunity to examine your mouth for signs of tooth decay and other issues or abnormalities. The purpose of identifying tooth decay during routine dental exams is to catch it as early as possible and provide subsequent treatment.

The Frequency of Routine Dental Exams

Routine dental exams should occur at least once every six months. Some dentists and patients prefer to have these check-ups once every three or four months just to be on the safe side. When in doubt, reach out to your dentist to determine the frequency of dental exams that is most appropriate for your unique oral health.

If you smoke, have cavities or have a genetic predisposition for gum disease and/or tooth/root decay, a routine dental exam every three months might be ideal.

What Happens During the Dental Exam?

The dentist and his or her staff will perform a comprehensive examination of your teeth and gums. The exam will provide a comprehensive summary of your unique oral health. You will be asked questions about your dental history, medical history and oral hygiene. The dentist will look closely at each tooth for signs of tooth decay.

The dentist will examine your diagnostic X-rays, known as radiographs. This is essential to detect tooth decay as well as tumors, bone loss and cysts. All tooth surfaces are examined with specialized dental instruments for signs of decay.

What Happens if Tooth Decay is Identified?

If there are signs of tooth decay, the dentist will likely ask detailed questions about your brushing and flossing habits. The frequency of brushing and flossing matters a great deal in the context of tooth decay. Even the products one uses for oral hygiene and the cleaning techniques play important roles in preventing tooth decay.

Furthermore, the dentist will likely ask questions about whether the patient uses toothpaste with fluoride and if one consumes water containing fluoride. This information is necessary for the dentist to provide suggestions as to how the patient can improve oral hygiene habits to prevent additional tooth decay.

Why Routine Dental Exams are an Absolute-Must

Take a moment to consider the pain and annoyance involved in your last cavity. Wouldn't it be nice to minimize those feelings or completely prevent them?  Visit the dentist for routine dental exams and your tooth decay will be identified as soon as possible.

Early diagnosis reduces the need for deep drilling and other possible invasive procedures that might prove somewhat painful and undoubtedly cost additional money. So do not delay check-ups at the dentist. The early identification of tooth decay will dramatically increase the potential for successful treatment.

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Are Dental Sealants Safe?

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One of the best ways to reduce cavities and enjoy a healthy smile is the application of dental sealants. This is a plastic coating that guards the biting surface of molar teeth. Dental sealants stop particles from collecting in the small fissures and cracks within molar teeth. Yet there is some question as to whether dental sealants are safe.

Dental Sealants' Alleged Risk

Dental sealants have bisphenol-A, commonly referred to as BPA. Excessive exposure to BPA has the potential to harm human health. Thankfully, a 2016 study conducted by the American Dental Association Product Review puts concerns regarding the BPA content of dental sealants to rest. This group was formed in 2006 under the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs' direction.

It is an unbiased and scientifically credible source of information relating to dentistry and oral health. The group's report on dental sealants shows the amount of BPA in this oral health solution is minimal. In fact, there is so little BPA in dental sealants that prospective patients should have absolutely no concern about its safety.

The bottom line is BPA is a buzzword that is meant to strike fear into those who are considering a prospective product or treatment.

About the Study

The American Dental Association Product Review study analyzed a dozen dental sealants commonly used by dentists in the United States. The purpose of this study was to determine how much BPA was released when dental sealants were in use. The study also gauged whether the level released puts children in danger.

The findings show dental sealants have the potential to expose a child to a mere 0.09 nanograms of BPA in a day's time. This is below the limit of a million nanograms suggested by the Environmental Protection Agency. In fact, the average child is subjected to exponentially more BPA in drinks, foods and paper than dental sealants.

You Should Have no Concern Over Dental Sealant Safety

It is clear the level of BPA in dental sealants is so small that parents should not be concerned about the safety of this oral health solution. The benefits of dental sealants greatly outweigh the nearly non-existent risk.

As an example, a 10-year-old who has dental sealants in place for half a decade will be 50 percent less likely to suffer tooth decay on the molar biting surfaces compared to children who brush their teeth on a regular basis. Such a decreased level of decay prevents the formation of cavities and the need for fillings and/or crowns later in life.

Strategies to Alleviate Concerns

If you are still concerned about the potential exposure from dental sealants, it is better to be proactive and move forward with this oral health solution rather than bypassing it altogether. BPA exposure from sealants can be reduced with specific strategies. Most of the BPA exposure occurs in the hours after treatment.

The US National Library of medicine advises rinsing for 20 seconds with water following the placement of the dental sealants. This simple strategy can reduce BPA exposure by nearly 70 percent. Rubbing the treated site with a cotton swab, cotton ball or soft-grit pumice will also significantly reduce BPA exposure.

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How Can a Dentist Near Me Improve My Smile?

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My smile is unattractive, and I need a dentist near me to improve it. Can you help?

Yes, we can. As a cosmetic dentist office in Plano, we can transform your smile into something truly stunning. Regardless of whether you have missing teeth causing your angst or you have never enjoyed your smile, we can address each issue and create a smile you are truly proud of.

We recommend to visit our office so we can carefully examine the teeth, take X-rays, and discuss factors of the smile that the individual wants to change. That will allow us to create a treatment plan that identifies what needs to change and the priority in which to address each factor. Keep in mind that we focus on both the patient's oral health and the aesthetics of the smile. Thus, any solutions we use will work to maintain or improve the patient's health and appearance.

What are some of the ways a dentist near me can fix my smile?

Upon visiting our dental office, we will determine which procedures the patient needs and then provide the information regarding how to fix the smile. A few of our more frequently used solutions are:

Teeth whitening

Almost everyone suffers from stained or yellow teeth at some point in their lifetime, which is why teeth whitening is incredibly popular. Adults of all ages can benefit from this simple and easy procedure that can remove the dark stains that can make teeth look old, damaged, or unhealthy. By brightening and whitening the teeth, the patient will notice that he or she looks younger and better right away.

Dental veneers

A popular solution, dental veneers are a porcelain shell bonded to the surface of the teeth. When smiling, the dental veneers will show instead of the natural teeth. This makes it possible to close gaps, change the shape or size of the teeth, cover dark stains that will not go away, and even make crooked teeth appear straight.

Dental crowns

Anytime an individual suffers significant dental damage or loss of enamel, then he or she is likely to need dental crowns. We can create dental crowns in tooth-colored materials and bond them to the tooth. Dental crowns make it possible to continue using the tooth without causing more pain.

Dental implants

The best way to replace missing teeth, implants are durable and strong but look just like natural teeth. This is a modern revolution when it comes to dentistry, and our patients have been greatly pleased with how their smile looks and functions afterward.

Dental bonding

A fast way to restore a slightly damaged tooth, the bonding material can be placed in one visit to our office. This non-invasive restoration can look natural but is ideal for anyone who does not have a great deal of time to spend at the dentist.

Schedule an Appointment

To improve your smile with the help of a "dentist near me," call our office and schedule an examination. We can examine you and then make a plan for improving your smile.

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Reasons Why You Need a Dental Checkup Every 6 Months

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How often do you see your dentist? The majority of people fully understand how important it is to see their dentist on a regular basis. Taking good care of your teeth is one of the best things you can do when it comes to your good health, making it a good idea for you to schedule a dental checkup every six months. Although there are some dentists who suggest a dental checkup once a year is perfectly fine, going every six months is one of the best ways to ensure you are taking proper care of your oral health.

Regular dental checkups ensure good health

Scheduling a dentist appointment every six months for a checkup is essential to one's overall good health. While it is true that most people do not enjoy going to the dentist, those who do not keep up with their regular dental checkups just may regret this decision in the future. Those who do not visit their dentist on a regular basis are taking huge risks with their oral health, which can lead to other health complications.

Did you know that gum disease is 100 percent preventable?

Four Top Reasons Why You Need a Six Month Checkup

The following four reasons are why everyone should get a dental checkup every six months instead of once a year:

1. Plaque and tartar

Even when we brush and floss our teeth diligently 3 times a day, there are areas in the mouth that simply cannot be reached. Plaque and tartar tend to grow in these areas and needs to be removed as soon as possible for good oral health. Plaque and tartar lead to gum disease and tooth decay, which can negatively affect one's health.

2. X-rays

A dental X-ray allows any dentist to see potential problems that may be going on with the teeth and/or the gums that one cannot see with the naked eye. It is much easier, less painful, and less expensive to address any potential up-and-coming dental problems as soon as possible.

3. Oral cancer check

Although anyone can get oral cancer, those who smoke and/or drink alcohol are at a greater risk. The sooner oral cancer is found, the better the chances of survival. Finding oral cancer in its early stages offers the best chance for a full recovery. We can check for symptoms of oral cancer and direct patients to the proper treatment facilities, if necessary.

4. Prevent bad habits

Patients who smoke, clench their jaw, grind teeth, chew on ice, eat lots of sweets, drink coffee, drink red wine or brush their teeth too hard need to visit our office. We can help educate patients on how unhealthy these habits are and recommend options for dealing with these habits.

Prevention is key

Being proactive is highly recommended when it comes to oral health. Seeing us for regular checkups is not only the best way for you to take care of your dental hygiene,  but it is also a necessary step for preventing oral diseases. If you are someone who follows all the rules and has a long history of good dental health, you can still benefit from dental checkups. There are areas of the mouth that brushing and flossing cannot reach. Fortunately, we can.

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Here is What You Should Know About Wisdom Teeth Extractions

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Wisdom teeth extractions are among the most common oral surgeries performed by dentists, and orthodontists every day. Wisdom teeth have a tendency to come in later in life, often doing so at an unnatural angle that causes them to become stuck and unable to break the surface of the gums. When this happens, it is known as an impacted wisdom tooth.

Typically, wisdom teeth extractions take place in our dentist office unless you happen to be at a high risk for complications in which case the surgery will take place at a local hospital. In the event that you have some kind of an infection, like an infected root, we will wait until antibiotics have cleared up the infection before performing the extraction.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Procedure

Wisdom teeth extractions are a relatively uncomplicated procedure. Upon arriving at our dentist office, the patient will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area around the wisdom tooth. In the event the patient has anxiety or desire to be asleep during the procedure, we can also give the patient a general anesthesia. Once the area is numb, or the patient is asleep, we will open up the gum tissue above the tooth and remove the tooth by separating it from the bone.

Some patients require stitches after we complete the surgery to make sure there is no excessive bleeding. Once the surgery is over, here is what the patient can expect.

Post Wisdom Teeth Extraction

We will give the patient gauze to place between the gums and have the patient bite down gently from time to time. The gauze acts to sop up any blood and ensure that one is not swallowing blood. Once the gauze soaks with blood, the patient can replace it with a fresh piece. The bleeding will gradually reduce and should not last more than 24 hours. If the teeth do have to bleed, especially heavy bleeding, beyond 24 hours, then the patient should immediately contact our office.

Applying an ice pack, every 10-15 minutes will help reduce the swelling. The patient can also use moist heat to reduce some of the pain by applying a warm washcloth for two to three days after the surgery. We may also recommend that the patient gargles with salt water after the first twenty-four hours. Rinsing with the saltwater will help to reduce the swelling of the gum and will also help to reduce pain.

Other tips

It is strongly advised that the patient avoids touching or running the tongue over the site of the surgery as this increases the potential of infection and can also cause complications with the healing. Patients need to exercise care when brushing teeth as well so that the bristles do not open up the wound causing it to bleed again.

You should also avoid heavy physical activity for a few days after wisdom teeth extractions as physical activity can increase the potential of bleeding. Similarly, smoking should be avoided as the sucking motion can cause the extracted tooth to start bleeding as well.Wisdom teeth extractions heal well and easily if you follow these simple steps.

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A Dental Office Debunks Popular Oral Health Myths

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As a dental office, we treat patients who are in need of emergency care, routine dental treatments, and preventative care. Regardless of why you come to our office, if you are experiencing discomfort, we will identify what the issue is, treat it, and discuss ways that you can prevent it from occurring again. Very often, this involves refuting common oral health care myths. Things like “milk is good for the teeth” has led parents to send their babies and children to bed with a bottle or cup of milk.

Since there is a lot of sugar in milk, this leads to baby bottle tooth decay in countless toddlers. Common myths, while seemingly harmless, can significantly impact your oral health. For this reason, we have compiled a list of oral health myths and our responses to them.

Oral Health Myths

Myth – Diet soda is okay for the teeth.

While we recommend drinking things low in sugar, diet soda has not solved the entire problem. Soda is full of acid, and when one places acid on his or her teeth, it can lead to erosion. A person only has a set amount of enamel, and once it erodes, it will not grow back. This makes it important to watch what a person exposes to his or her teeth, including diet soda.

We recommend that people limit how much diet soda they drink and rinsing the mouth with water after. If one drinks a lot of soda, then he or she also needs to brush three times a day with a fluoride toothpaste to strengthen the teeth. People will also benefit from visiting our dental office for regular teeth cleanings.

Myth – Men are the only ones who get oral cancer.

The largest group of people who are diagnosed with oral cancer are men over the age of 50. For this reason, many people assume that oral cancer is a male-exclusive disease. In reality, both men and women can get oral cancer, and age is not a determining factor. In fact, one of the leading causes of oral cancer is the HPV virus. Regardless of a patient's age or overall health, we can conduct a simple oral cancer screening during a dental checkup that takes only two minutes to search for any abnormalities in the mouth. We can go over more information during the appointment.

Myth – If you did not get cavities as a child, you will not get them as an adult.

A child's oral health can indicate how healthy the teeth will be as an adult. However, it is up to the parent to keep the child brushing and flossing regularly, receiving ongoing dental care, and eating a healthy diet. Eventually, the child will be able to take care of his or her own teeth. However, the oral health and the condition of the mouth will change with age. Thus, people cannot take health for granted. Additionally, things like medications can increase the risk of developing cavities if it gives an individual dry mouth.

Oral health, like all aspects of your health, is complicated, and it is best to receive your advice from an expert. To have your questions answered, call us at (214) 619-6329 and schedule an examination with our dental office.

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Ways We Can Help You in our General Dentist Office

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=Visiting our general dentist blog is a great place to start if you have any questions about what a general dentist does or are just looking for information on oral health and hygiene. We tend to focus a lot of our attention on the healing side of dentistry, providing ways to understand what we do every day and how they can avoid some of the challenges our patients face.

We cover a variety of oral health concerns

Since much of our focus is on preventative medicine, we educate patients on topics such as oral health and hygiene, gum diseases, great brushing habits, tooth decay, cleaning, and more. There are a lot of places on the internet where patients can get false information that can mislead patients. Thus, we offer basic information in this blog and are happy to answer any other questions over the phone.

As a general dentist, we know that there are all kinds of oral health problems that people face. Some are rare while we see others virtually every day. Since the vast majority of what we deal with are similar challenges, we decided to talk about two of the most common reasons why people seek out the aid of a dentist. Cavities and bad breath.

Dangers of cavities

A cavity is a small hole that forms in the enamel of the tooth due to decay. Bacteria, which resides perpetually in the mouth, colonize the teeth. Often one will see a thin film-like substance on the teeth (plaque). When the plaque builds up, the bacteria secrete an acid which starts to erode the enamel of the teeth.

Eventually, the acid will eat a small hole or a cavity into the tooth itself. Left unchecked, cavities can cause discomfort, spread, and can lead to conditions such as gum disease. The good news it is not difficult to avoid cavities. Simply brush twice a day, learn to rinse the mouth after eating a meal or a snack, floss regularly and have general dentist visits at least twice per year.

Dealing with bad breath

Bad breath is another problem that plagues many people. With someone who has bad breath, there is typically an underlying health cause that requires dental treatment. While it is natural for people to have bad breath after certain foods, think eating garlic, chronic bad breath can be much worse. This type of bad breath can include bacteria on the tongue, cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. If brushing frequently, using anti-microbial mouthwash, and having good eating habits does not get rid of the bad breath, then patients definitely need to call our general dentist office.

We can examine your teeth and gums to determine if you have a health condition that needs to be addressed or if you simply need a deep cleaning. Our dentist office in Plano can assist with both issues to restore you to good health and fresh breath.

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Get an Aesthetically Pleasing Smile From a Cosmetic Dentist

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If you desire a more aesthetically pleasing smile, visit our cosmetic dentist office for any work you need. We believe that the balanced combination of advanced dental technology, along with our experienced and artistic touch, can offer you the flawless smile you want. Cosmetic dentistry improves and preserves your smile, keeping it young and beautiful for years to come.

Cosmetic Dentist Treatments

  • Teeth Whitening: Our teeth whitening process uses advanced bleaching agents to whiten teeth to their original or a whiter shade. These materials will remove any stains and discoloration. When patients visit, we will use a shading chart to determine which color is the right choice.
  • Dental Bonding: During dental bonding, our cosmetic dentist will apply a tooth-colored resin to certain areas of your teeth to improve coloring, fill in gaps or chips, or cover cracks. After application, the bonding will be cured to a hardened finish and shaped to look natural with the other teeth.
  • Teeth Contouring: Using our advanced dental tools, we will gently shape the enamel of poorly structured teeth to improve their appearance. We will seal off any vulnerable areas following the shaping.
  • Veneers: Our dental veneers are thin, porcelain shells that cover imperfections on visible teeth. We will cement them to the front of teeth for a permanent improvement to discolored, crooked, or poorly shaped teeth. Veneers can also help with gap issues.
  • Dental Bridges: We will anchor the dental bridges will in place by two crowns that cover the abutment teeth. A realistic-looking dental prosthetic will go in the gap from the missing tooth and attach to the crowned teeth for permanency.
  • Dental Implants: Our dental implants are our most permanent replacement option. The implant is a titanium rod placed into the jawbone in the space left by the missing tooth. The titanium and bone will fuse together for a secure false root. A tooth-colored prosthetic will be attached to the artificial root for a natural-looking replacement that will last forever.
  • Smile Makeovers: Our cosmetic dentist smile makeovers involve a combination of these services to give you the flawless smile you desire. A smile makeover may require a few visits to our office to acquire the best results.

Candidates for these cosmetic dentist improvements include people with good dental health and regular checkups who wish to improve their smile drastically. If you have existing dental problems like cavities or infections, we will address and fix these issues before we attempt to improve the appearance of your smile. Your proper dental health is more important than cosmetic improvements. Without good oral hygiene, your improvements will not offer you the long-lasting and attractive results you want. To learn more about improving your smile, come into our Plano cosmetic dentist office for a consultation.

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Tips for Picking a Dentist from the ADA

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Once you have decided that it is time to find a new dentist and are looking to make an appointment, it becomes necessary to find the right one for your particular situation. Picking a dentist is easier when you know where to start. The American Dental Association (ADA) provides some good information and tips on how to do so. We have summarized them here:

#1. Do a location-based search

It is important to visit the dentist twice per year. This makes it necessary to find a dentist that is located near home or work. Otherwise, it will take far too long to make those appointments and it is unlikely that patients will keep up with them. Convenience is critical when it comes to ongoing dental visits so finding one nearby should be the first thing on the agenda unless a specialist is necessary.

#2. Find one with hours that match your schedule

If a busy work schedule is making it difficult to visit the dentist or doctor, look for a dentist who offers evening or weekend hours. While rare, they do exist. Otherwise, some dentists do offer early morning hours that make it convenient to visit prior to going to work.

#3. Look for an in-network dentist

Insurance companies will designate dentists who are in the network. This means that patients can receive the greatest level of insurance benefits when working with these providers. When saving money is a top concern, it is important to check with the insurance company when picking a dentist. Look to see if a dentist is in the network prior to making an appointment.

#4. Does the dentist speak the same language or is an interpreter available?

Being able to communicate with the dentist is critical and this requires being able to understand and communicate in the same language. Otherwise, finding one that offers interpreter services is wise.

#5. Is this dentist a member of the ADA?

The American Dental Association sets standards that dentists must meet in order to become a member. When a patient is looking for a new dentist, finding one that is a member of the ADA makes it possible to understand the quality of care that is going to be received and the standards that that dentist has committed to meeting.

#6. Do they offer necessary services?

If it is already known that certain procedures are required, such as the need for dentures or dental implants, it is important to look for a dentist who does offer these services. If only a teeth cleaning and exam is necessary, nearly all dentists will offer this service. If something more advanced is required, it is wise to look for a specialist who can take care of the issue. Otherwise, call a dentist office and ask if they do, prior to making an appointment.

Read the full article from the ADA here, http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/how-to-choose-a-dentist

The ultimate goal is picking a dentist that is convenient to get to, will be covered by insurance or offers affordable payment plans and delivers the services that are required to maintain or restore oral health. These tips should help you to find one that you can be confident in.

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The Importance of Regular Dental Visits

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Regular dental visits are incredibly important for maintaining good oral health. Unfortunately, many people only visit the dentist when they have a dental emergency or something like a toothache. It is far better to make these appointments on a regular basis to ensure that problems are prevented. This is more economical and allows for better health.

The need for ongoing dental care

Without ongoing dental care, it is more likely that a person will suffer from cavities, gum disease and oral infections. Regular brushing and flossing at home are not sufficient for removing all of the plaque from on top of or between the teeth. While it is critically important and helpful in preventing things like dental decay, it is not enough without also visiting the dentist for a professional cleaning.

While here, we can thoroughly clean and polish the teeth, while also removing plaque and tartar. We can also floss the teeth to remove any plaque that builds up between the gums and the tooth.

Benefits of regular dental visits

During dental visits, we also thoroughly examine the teeth to allow us to notice signs of dental decay. Typically, decay manifests as soft spots in the actual tooth structure. When we see a patient twice a year, we are able to identify the key while it is still relatively small. In fact, it is possible for us to identify it prior to a patient ever experiencing a toothache. Also, by removing the decayed portion of the tooth early on, it reduces the likelihood of a dental infection and a more significant procedure being necessary, like a root canal.

At these appointments, we will also work to prevent gum disease by removing plaque and tartar. If we notice that gums are inflamed or swollen, we may also recommend that a patient has a deep cleaning. A deep cleaning is necessary for removing plaque and tartar from the area of the tooth that is not visible. Since this plaque is what leads to gum disease, it is critical to perform a deep cleaning as soon as possible. Essentially, these regular visits can:

  • Prevent oral health problems through preventative care (dental cleanings)
  • Identify issues early on
  • Prevent discomfort and save a patient money

Risks of not receiving regular dental care

The risk of not having regular dental visits is high. Those who do not may suffer from oral health problems that can lead to incredible amounts of discomfort and even tooth loss. It is possible for dental pain to make it difficult to bite down and eat, speak clearly or even go about normal activities without discomfort.

When this then leads to tooth loss, these problems are further exasperated and can become permanent. To treat the significant conditions, patients often spend thousands of dollars, so it is certainly far more beneficial to schedule regular preventive appointments. To do so, call our office today.

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Here Are Commonly Asked Questions Answered by An Orthodontist in Plano

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Often when people come in to see an orthodontist, they have a lot of questions. Many of these come from some myths and legends that are present in society and have very little basis in reality. With the advances in medical science, orthodontists now have the ability to make major changes and give a person the smile they desire. As the process advances, the technology advances with it to provide a more comfortable experience.

Here are answers to some questions that we are commonly asked in our Plano dental office:

Is orthodontics only for children?

No, but it is potentially more difficult to straighten or align an adult's teeth than a child's. In a sense, braces are not just for kids anymore. Adults have the option and opportunity to get straighten their teeth without needing to wear braces. Patients may need to wear them slightly longer or maintain using a retainer afterward, but the results are still effective.

Are braces painful and do they take a long time to fix a person's teeth?

No, when it comes to pain, most people quickly adjust to the braces and report only minimal levels of discomfort. Technological advances make braces far less cumbersome and more comfortable to wear than in the past. Orthodontics is a science, and also a bit of an art. It is a science because everything that is done is very precise and carried on by a highly trained and skilled orthodontist. It is an art because the straightening process and the length of time it takes for the treatment to be effective depends on the individual patient. Hence, it is impossible to say just how long a treatment could last. We have had clients that only require braces for a few months and others that have had to wear them for years.

Is it embarrassing to wear braces?

Orthodontics has improved significantly over the last several decades. Today, orthodontists have a number of options to hide the braces. In some cases, the braces can be installed behind the teeth, making them virtually impossible to see. There are also clear ceramic braces available which are almost completely invisible when they are in the mouth. Clear aligners are another option since they look like a clear retainer and are virtually invisible.

Can't my dentist just straighten my teeth?

An orthodontist is a dentist first and foremost. However, after completing dental school an orthodontist has to go on and take an additional two or three years of school with a specific focus on orthodontics. They learn about jaw alignment, teeth straightening, retainers, braces, and aligners just to name a few. Orthodontists also spend a lot of time studying, throughout their career, the latest techniques and getting to understand the newest technology so that they can provide patients with the best treatment possible.

If you are interested in straightening your teeth, schedule an appointment to speak with an orthodontist and have all of your remaining questions answered.

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How a Dentist Can Restore Damaged Teeth

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As a local dentist in Plano, we have multiple ways to restore damaged teeth. If your tooth has become cracked, chipped, the enamel has worn away, or it is sensitive, we can address this problem using several methods. We believe in providing patients with options and as such, here is what you need to know.

Dental Restoration Options

Dental Crowns

If the tooth has severe damage, dental crowns are an ideal solution for restoring it because a crown surrounds the tooth entirely. By preventing anything from touching the natural tooth, the patient can bite down with force and eat all of his or her favorite foods without worrying about compromising the tooth or feeling discomfort.

Now, we offer all-ceramic and ceramic-on-metal crowns so that people can have the restoration they need while maintaining the natural appearance of the tooth. We can provide patients with a new crown or replace existing ones as necessary.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are available for addressing many of the same problems that a dental crown can solve. Instead of surrounding the tooth, we place a veneer on the surface of the tooth. As a dentist, we will often recommend this solution if the damage is less severe.

If there is no need to completely surround the tooth, a veneer can be beneficial because the tooth requires preparation in the front instead of on all sides. This makes the procedure less invasive overall.

Bonding

We can add the natural colored bonding material to the tooth and shape the tooth in the dental chair. Thus, we can provide chairside restorations where the tooth requires little to no preparation. A bonding procedure is advantageous for those that are too busy to consider getting dental crowns or veneers.

While effective, one challenge with bonding is that over time stains may develop where the bonding material and natural tooth connect. Since we place both materials on the tooth, some patients also notice that there becomes a color difference between the natural and synthetic material, causing a tooth to appear stained.

As a dentist in Plano, we can perform all of these restorations with relative ease and ensure that the tooth looks completely natural once done. This makes it possible for our patients to have teeth that look fantastic and are also incredibly durable. Since there are unique advantages to each solution, we recommend that you come in for a consultation if you are considering doing something to restore your teeth. Whether they have become damaged or you simply do not like their appearance, we can help you to love your smile again using one or a combination of these options.

In fact, if you are having several teeth corrected, you don't have to use one solution for all of them. You may benefit by having a dental crown restore a tooth that is overly sensitive due to a lack of enamel while having dental veneers placed next to it to close gaps in between your teeth. We can create a customized treatment plan for your exact needs.

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How to Tell If I Need Dental Fillings?

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In our Plano dental office, we are often asked if dental fillings are actually necessary for ongoing oral health. We understand that some people prefer to avoid receiving dental care. Whether the avoidance is due to the time or simply an aversion to dentistry, there are those that try to avoid care at all costs. Preventative care is critical for ensuring that your teeth remain healthy and intact for the rest of your life. Where your arm and leg bones are unlikely to break due to you skipping a physical, your teeth can actually have an infection, become loose and fall out.

How Dental Fillings Work

When it comes to dental fillings, it helps to understand how dental fillings work and why they are necessary. Most of the time, people get a filling because they have a cavity. Adults and kids can get a cavity at any time. Cavities occur when plaque forms on the teeth and creates an acid that begins to eat away at the enamel. The strong enamel will fight off the attack but eventually give way and a cavity will form. These cavities consist of tooth decay since the bacteria kills that portion of the tooth. You may not even be aware that this process is taking place and that is why visiting our office for regular dental checkups is beneficial. We can keep your teeth clean, identify cavities in the making, and provide you with prompt treatment.

Dental fillings become necessary as a result of us removing the decayed portion of the tooth. The tooth is similar to a house with the frame of the house in place to support the roof. If someone came along and took off a third of the supporting beams, then the roof will no longer be stable. At this point, it cannot come together properly with the rest of the house. The same is true for when we remove a portion of the tooth.

The remaining teeth will no longer be able to fit properly with that tooth. As a result, the individual may experience severe discomfort when eating and biting down. The only way to prevent this is by restoring the missing tooth structure.

The possibilities with dental fillings

We use dental fillings to restore the shape, size, and appearance of a tooth. We take the time to match the filling to the rest of the remaining tooth and get the ridges exactly right. Matching the size of the teeth is important for ensuring a natural bite and complete comfort when eating. Otherwise, the patient can have a sharp pain when biting down.

With that in mind, we consider dental fillings to be entirely necessary. They are necessary for ensuring that one can eat normally and for avoiding unnecessary discomfort.

Call our dental office today at (214) 619-6329 for more information.

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A Dental Cleaning in Plano Can Improve Your Health and Bad Breath

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If you need to improve your dental health and breath, a visit for a dental cleaning can help. When you take good care of your teeth, gums, and tongue, you are more likely to maintain a pleasant breath. In some cases, patients have other medical issues that cause their bad breath. We can improve chronic bad breath when people visit us for an examination and treatment. Continue reading to learn more about our steps to better breath and healthier teeth.

Important Preventative Dental Care

1. Proper brushing and flossing.

It may sound obvious, but brushing and flossing appropriately can help maintain better breath and a healthier mouth. The bacteria that causes unpleasant odors thrives in plaque that builds up on teeth and above and below the gum line. Removing this plaque and the bacteria associated with it daily will help it to not build up. Brushing can not do all the work by itself. Flossing will help remove plaque from harder to reach areas like between teeth. Flossing will also help remove food particles that have gotten lodged in tight spaces. Food particles, when not removed, begin to rot which also creates stench. If you have questions regarding brushing and flossing techniques, visit our office for a dental cleaning and for tips of basic brushing and flossing.

2. Do not forget your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

Most people brush and floss teeth and gums religiously, but some people forget that it is important to also clean their tongue and the roof of their mouth. Plaque film can build up on these surfaces. When one does not clean the tongue and roof of the mouth, bad breath is more likely to be an issue after brushing.

3. Rinse with mouthwash.

Some patients underestimate the benefits of using mouthwash. Mouthwash kills bad breath causing bacteria in all parts of the mouth. This includes parts of the throat near the tonsils that cannot be effectively reached with a toothbrush. It can also kill bacteria between teeth and under the tongue.

4. Visit for a dental cleaning.

In addition to brushing and flossing properly, there is nothing more important than keeping up to date with dental visits. When you visit for a checkup and dental cleaning, we will notify you if you have any cavities or infection. These can also create bad breath. We will treat cavities and infection accordingly, increasing your likelihood of having better breath on a daily basis. A dental cleaning is also important in order to remove the harder plaque from the surface, between your teeth, and above your gum line.

A dental cleaning can reset your dental health which gives you better oral hygiene, better breath, and cleaner looking and feeling teeth. Let our Plano dental office help you maintain the best oral health possible.

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Why You Should Visit a Professional Teeth Whitening Dentist

Teeth WhiteningThere are many reasons why you should visit a professional teeth whitening dentist, the main ones being safety and efficiency. Before you decide to whiten your teeth, you should discuss the risks and time frame it may take to get the results you want with a dentist. When you whiten at home with store-bought products, you risk tooth sensitivity and enamel and root damage. Texas Dental Specialists can help you determine what the risks are surrounding your individual teeth and what whitening system is best for your needs.

Why a professional teeth whitening dentist?

 

We can help to alleviate sensitivity as the patient whitens his or her teeth by recommending certain desensitizing toothpaste designed for vulnerable teeth. We can also check for discreet signs of root damage that could be the result of tooth whitening or other care regimens. We can treat any existing conditions that may be inhibiting the ability to whiten the teeth quickly and effectively. We increase the patient's teeth whitening success rate.

We can determine if the staining is caused by general wear and surface stains or by underlying issues that need to be addressed and fixed. These issues can include periodontal disease, smoking or silver-lined fillings. If the patient has existing bonding or other dental enhancements, we can help whiten areas and find ways to improve restorations.

Who is a good candidate for teeth whitening?

 

People whose teeth have naturally become stained due to eating and drinking are excellent candidates for teeth whitening. If you have any staining in inner layers on your teeth from medications or fluoride use, we will have to discuss other ways to improve the color of your teeth outside of our normal bleaching techniques. Before we begin your profession teeth whitening process, we will give your teeth a thorough cleaning and checkup to remove any surface stains that may get in the way of our bleaching techniques. Other good candidates are people who are generally unhappy with the current appearance of their teeth.

If one is considering cosmetic improvements for his or her teeth, then one needs to first pursue visiting a professional teeth whitening dentist. A teeth whitening is sometimes all patients need to greatly improve their smiles. A professional whitening will result in amazing results that brighten the entire smile.

Are the costs of professional teeth whitening reasonable?

 

Teeth whitening is one of the most affordable ways to improve your smile. Many people opt to whiten their teeth rather than having other more expensive improvements made. Our convenient in-office or at-home whitening treatments can give you immediate results that continue to develop with longer use. Instead of spending money on teeth whitening toothpaste and store-bought products, visit a professional to have your whitening implemented correctly at a reasonable price.

Before you visit a professional teeth whitening dentist for a bleaching, you should consider your oral health habits. Are you brushing and flossing your teeth like you should and visiting a dentist twice a year? Even when you have your teeth whitened, you need to maintain these healthy oral hygiene habits in order to elongate your whitened results. Visit our Plano office today for more information.

In Our Dentist Office We Take the Time to Answer Your Questions

Dentist OfficeWhen you visit our dentist office in Plano, you can expect to discuss various aspects of oral health, including how to brush and floss your teeth properly. We will also discuss the food that you can eat to improve your oral health and more. We take the time to go over at-home care with you so that your teeth have the best chance of remaining in excellent health. During these appointments, patients are welcome to ask questions about oral health care and the appointment process. To that end, here are some common questions and our answers.

Why do people keep talking about visiting the dentist while pregnant?

Our pregnant patients may hear a lot about visiting the dentist while reading magazines or visiting their OBGYN. This is a complicated time in life that often leads to more questions about health care than any other time. We like to stress the importance of visiting the dentist while pregnant. Gum disease can directly place an unborn child at risk. This is not a risk that anyone should take. By visiting our dentist office during a patient's pregnancy, we can remove the plaque and tartar from the teeth and from around the gums. This process will help the patient remain in excellent health and not have to worry about potential complications. Fortunately, staying healthy is as easy as brushing, flossing and scheduling professional teeth cleaning.

Do you fix loose fillings in your dentist office?

Yes, if one's filling is coming loose, then he or she needs to schedule an appointment right away. Most of the time, a filling will come loose because of something hard that the individual ate or because the tooth is experiencing additional decay. When this is the case, the filling will no longer be large enough to cover the area in question. It will naturally become loose and need replacement with a larger filling, something we can assist with in our dentist office.

Is there an easier way to clean my tongue?

While everyone knows how important it is to brush their teeth at least twice a day, people may not be aware of how important it is to brush the tongue. Since the tongue can hold onto bacteria, we suggest that patients purchase a tongue scraper from the drugstore. A tongue scraper is a simple plastic tool that will keep the tongue clean by using it once a day. Cleaning the tongue will also help to improve the breath a well. However, if the tongue continues to smell bad or if it is a funny color, then the patient needs to call a dental office immediately.

Can your dentist office treat me if I crack a tooth?

Yes, if you crack your tooth, you need a dental restoration, and you need one quickly. A crack, however small, gives bacteria the opportunity necessary for entering your tooth and, as a result, you may need a root canal in the future. We recommend avoiding this possibility by letting us restore your tooth. We can do so using a dental veneer, crown or bonding. The choice is yours.

Five Benefits to Straightening Teeth Using Clear Aligners at our Plano orthodontics office

OrthodonticWe can provide you with clear aligners at our Plano orthodontics office as a convenient way to straighten your teeth. If you dream of having a straight smile but are not willing to deal with the inconvenience of traditional braces, wearing aligners is an excellent alternative. Clear aligners look similar to a clear retainer that surrounds your teeth. They work using the same general principle as traditional braces – they apply pressure to the teeth in order to gradually move them into position. The only difference is that the aligners are not affixed to your teeth like the metal brackets are. To keep your teeth moving in the right direction, you will need to switch out your aligners every two weeks or so, and each aligner will be slightly different from the one before it so that your teeth continue to straighten.

Here are some of the main benefits associated with wearing clear aligners:

Since you are supposed to take your aligners out to brush your teeth, you simply need to rinse them and place them in a case while you brush and floss. Be sure to brush your teeth every time that you eat so that you are not trapping food particles or bacteria in between your teeth and your aligners. You should also floss at least once per day. For the best possible clean, use an electronic toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. However, you do not want to use toothpaste on your aligners since this can scratch them.

Patients can remove clear aligners during meals. Patients wearing clear aligners can eat a plate of ribs or take a big bite of a hamburger without worrying about food sticking between brackets. This can be embarrassing and is one reason that many adults choose not to wear braces. People wearing clear aligners never have this inconvenience when wearing aligners as long as one removes them before eating.

When you wear clear aligners, you can smile without it being obvious that you are undergoing an orthodontic treatment. What will be obvious is that your smile is looking better. Since the aligners are clear, you can see the position of your teeth. This is a huge benefit because as your teeth become straighter, your appearance will improve, rather than you waiting until the very end to benefit from the changes.

If you are making a major presentation at work, or you are in your cousin's wedding, you can take your aligners out. Clear aligners at our orthodontics office give you the flexibility to make your own decision regarding what events are too important to wear your aligners. Just remember to put them back in as soon as you are done so that your treatment plan can stay on schedule.

  1. You can brush your teeth like normal
  2. You can eat your favorite foods
  3. You can smile with confidence
  4. You can take them out for important occasions

For more information or to find out if clear aligners are the right solution for you, call us at (214) 619-6329 and schedule a consultation.

A Sedation Dentist Can Help You Overcome Anxiety

Sedation DentistFor many, a sedation dentist allows people to overcome their fears of visiting the dentist and get the dental help they need. We know that dental anxiety, which is what an unnatural fear of dentists and everything to do with dentists is called, is very common. Some people will not even go in if they are in an emergency dental situation. Dental anxiety increases the risk of serious oral infections or diseases. In cases like this, a sedation dentist is an answer to the patient's prayers. One thing to remember is that dentistry has used sedation for a very long time. In the past, we typically used sedation dentistry for more complicated procedures. Today, patients are availing of its services so that they can do even basic and simple treatments without the massive anxiety and panic that they normally feel.

Today, patients can have a level of sedation dentistry for regular teeth cleanings to tooth extractions. As a sedation dentist, we pay close attention to the procedure and give the patient advice on the level of sedation the patient needs to get through the procedure. Since we do not want the patient to go to sleep unnecessarily, we will ensure we only give the necessary to calm the patient for the procedure. In some cases, complete unconsciousness may be necessary. In most regular maintenance cases, we simply need to help the patient relax. Since the patient can also choose what level of sedation he or she is comfortable with, below are the four levels that we typically use as a sedation dentist.

General anesthesia

General anesthesia is the most impactful of the sedation methods in which the patient is completely unconscious. We do not prefer this method unless it is a serious procedure. With the more intensive procedures, we will require someone to take the patient home since the patient will need more time for the anesthesia to wear off.

Deep sedation

Unlike with general anesthesia, deep sedation has the individual fall asleep. Typically this is a very light sleep, which holds patients on the edge of consciousness. If need be, the sedation dentist can easily wake the patient up from this kind of sleep.

Moderate sedation

Moderate sedation is the first level of sedation where we truly sedate the patient but have the patient stay awake. The patient will feel the effects of the sedation and may not remember much of the procedure despite being awake.

Minimal sedation

This is used for many minor procedures because you are completely awake and aware, but the sedation makes you completely relaxed and able to let go of all your anxiety.