The Dentists at Houston Westchase

Fluoride In Your Water?

For 70 years, people in the United States have benefited from drinking water with fluoride, leading to better dental health.

Drinking fluoridated water keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities (tooth decay) by about 25% in children and adults.

Oral health in the United States is much better today than it was many years ago. But cavities are still one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. Community water fluoridation is the most cost-effective way to deliver fluoride to people of all ages, education levels, and income levels who live in a community.

Most water has some fluoride, but usually not enough to prevent cavities. Community water systems can add the right amount of fluoride to the local drinking water to prevent cavities.

Schedule a visit to our office. Our doctors can discuss the benefits of fluoride at your next cleaning! 832-830-8226

How Often Should You Change Your Toothbrush?

It’s easy to know when to replace worn out shoes or faded clothes. But how often should you change your toothbrush? It all depends on your usage, health, and preferences. Before you brush again, ask yourself whether it is time for a new toothbrush.

When to Get a New Toothbrush

Replace toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months. Consider getting a new toothbrush sooner if you have been sick, especially if the toothbrush is stored close to other toothbrushes. When in doubt, look at the bristles. If they are frayed, they won’t clean teeth as thoroughly. Because children often brush more rigorously than adults, they may need their toothbrushes replaced more often.

Types of Toothbrushes

There are two styles of toothbrushes to consider: manual and electric. Choose what feels comfortable and makes you want to brush your teeth regularly. A manual toothbrush is portable and ready to use every time you need it. It makes no noise, and you will have complete control over the pressure it puts on your teeth and gums.

An electric toothbrush requires charging. However, the rotating movement of the bristles makes it easier to clean between teeth and at the gum line. Many electric toothbrushes have built-in sensors to make sure you brush long enough and don’t press too hard.

Maintaining Your Toothbrush

No matter which type of toothbrush you use, keep it clean. The American Dental Association recommends rinsing the toothbrush under tap water after you brush to wash away lingering toothpaste and saliva. Then, store the toothbrush in a vertical position, with the bristles positioned so they can air dry.

Storing a toothbrush in a closed container can cause bacteria to build up, so it’s best to let the bristles of the toothbrush fully dry between each usage. If you’re traveling, consider using disposable toothbrushes during the trip.

How often should you change your toothbrush? Get into the habit of buying new toothbrushes for everyone in the family several times per year. How often you change your toothbrush depends on several factors, but it’s best to always have a new, fresh toothbrush waiting in the bathroom cabinet for each family member.

New toothbrushes are always provided with your cleaning at our office. Call to schedule an appointment today, 832-830-8226.

Your Gums. Your Body.

When your parents encouraged you to care for your teeth, they may not have realized that they were also helping you care for your gums and body.

Today we know the importance of periodontal (gum) care, and that gum disease can contribute to other health problems, including serious and lifethreatening ones.

Gum disease can advance without symptoms. Warning signs include:

  • red, swollen gums 
  • bleeding gums
  • bad breath

The mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis, is caused by poor oral hygiene, hormone fluctuations, certain medications, and even stress. If left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis, a chronic inflammation of the gums.

 

Periodontal disease has been linked to many other diseases, including cancers, heart and respiratory diseases, and diabetes. That’s why regular dental visits are essential.

Call our office to schedule checkups for your family!

 

Our goal is to catch and treat problems early – long before they become major health issues.

832-830-8226      Info@HoustonWestchaseDentists.com

The Benefits of Fluoride

What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral found throughout the earth’s crust and widely distributed in nature.

How Does Fluoride Work?
Fluoride helps prevent cavities in two different ways:

  • Fluoride concentrates in the growing bones and developing teeth of children, helping to harden the enamel on baby and adult teeth before they emerge
  • Fluoride helps to harden the enamel on adult teeth that have already emerged

Fluoride works during the demineralization and remineralization processes that naturally occur in your mouth.

  • After you eat, your saliva contains acids that cause demineralization a dissolving of the calcium and phosphorous under the tooth’s surface
  • At other times when your saliva is less acidic it does just the opposite, replenishing the calcium and phosphorous that keep your teeth hard. This process is caused remineralization. When fluoride is present during remineralization, the minerals deposited are harder than they would otherwise be, helping to strengthen your teeth and prevent dissolution during the next demineralization phase

How do I Know if I’m Getting Enough Fluoride?

Brushing regularly with a fluoride toothpaste is considered sufficient for adults and children with healthy teeth at low risk of decay. Your dentist can tell you how much fluoride is right for your family, so be sure to ask for his or her advice. 

Call 832-830-8226 to schedule your appointment today!

 

Suns Out… Visit Your Dentist This Summer!

After you slather on the sunscreen, make an appointment to brush up on the preventive dental services that keep you, and your family, smiling all year.

Preventive care appointments are generally easy and quick, so squeezing them in between pool parties and backyard barbecues is a breeze.

3 PREVENTIVE CARE ITEMS TO SCHEDULE THIS SUMMER:

Cleaning

 All good dental care routines require regular trips to the dentist. These dental appointments remove plaque and tartar and check for cavities and gingivitis. If you don’t go to the dentist regularly, you could miss fixing problems before they are serious…and that can cost you.

X-Rays
The sun’s rays aren’t the only rays happening this summer. X-rays are an important part of your dental health; they help your dentist find cavities, wisdom teeth, bone loss, and jaw issues. X-rays show problems before symptoms start, which means they can be treated before the problem gets more serious.

Sealants
Dental sealants are a plastic coating that is painted onto permanent teeth, usually the molars, to protect teeth from cavities. Brushing doesn’t reach all of the grooves on back teeth, which is where most cavities in children form. Sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of molar decay by 80%, one of the many reasons to consider sealants for children.

Put the spotlight on smiles this summer by scheduling your dental preventive care and visiting The Dentists at Houston Westchase 832-830-8226

Do I Need A Night Guard?

Bruxism is also known as grinding and/or clenching of your teeth. It’s a very common condition that affects approximately 30 million to 40 million children and adults in the US.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, you may be experiencing bruxism:

  • Rhythmic contractions of the jaw muscles
  • A grinding sound at night
  • Jaw muscles that are tight or painful
  • Long-lasting pain in the face
  • Swelling (occasionally) on the side of your lower jaw caused by clenching

There are several ways to alleviate the effects of bruxism. One of the most common is a night guard. This appliance is made in a special laboratory from an impression of your mouth carefully taken by a dental professional. Typically the night guard is worn while you sleep.  Its main function is to prevent the surfaces of your teeth from grinding together, causing you to chip and crack your teeth and strain your jaw muscles. 

The most important thing to know about bruxism is that it can be treated with the help of a dentist. If you experience any of the signs of bruxism, give us a call at 832-830-8226. Our experienced Doctors and Staff will be happy to help!

Hexed By Halitosis

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can cause significant worry, embarrassment and anxiety

There are a number of potential causes for bad breath, but the vast majority come down to oral hygiene. 

After tooth decay and gum disease, bad breath is the third most common reason people seek dental care.

Lets take a look at some key points about bad breath:

  • Bad breath is estimated to affect 1 in 4 people globally
  • The most common cause of halitosis is bad oral hygiene
  • If particles of food are left in the mouth, their breakdown by bacteria produces sulfur compounds
  • There are a number of common causes of bad breath, including smoking, tooth decay and alcohol consumption
  • Keeping the mouth hydrated can reduce mouth odor
  • Rarer causes of bad breath include bowel obstruction, ketoacidosis and aspiration pneumonia
  • Crash diets can cause bad breath because of the build-up of ketones

The best method to reduce halitosis is regular brushing, flossing and hydration. Good oral hygiene ensures that cavities are avoided and reduces the likelihood of gum disease.

It is recommended that individuals visit the dentist for a check-up twice a year.

Your dentist may recommend a toothpaste that includes an antibacterial agent or an antibacterial mouthwash.

Alternatively, if gum disease is present, a professional gum treatment may be necessary to clear out the build-up of bacteria in pockets between the gums and teeth.

Do you think you might be “hexed by halitosis”?

Let our friendly Doctors help you find a solution, 832-830-8226.

 

Do You Have Yellow Teeth?

We can help!

Enamel protects your teeth from foreign substances. Its smooth glossy, and white properties combine to create beautiful smiles.

Unfortunately, our teeth can lose their bright shiny sheen and become dull, drab and discolored.

Our diet, lifestyle, and overall health have a huge impact on the way our smiles change over time.  Coffee, tea, tobacco, poor dental hygiene, and disease can all play a role in aging our smiles well beyond their years.

Keep your smile bright:

  • Brush twice daily for two minutes
  • Floss daily, especially before bed
  • Rinse with water after eating staining foods
  • Quit using tobacco products

Contact us today! Our friendly staff and talented doctors will give you some great teeth whitening options to regain your bright, beautiful smile!

 

 

Energy Drinks. Should You Worry?

The Scenario:  The hadrinkrd clack of cleats echo about as your “little” sports hero rushes to get out of the house … soon to be late for practice. Armed with all they’ll need for a day in the sun, their equipment bag is packed and slung awkwardly over one shoulder, bursting at the seams with untold numbers of pads and dirty gear. And after making a final beeline through the kitchen to raid your refrigerator of a 64oz bottle or two of rainbow-colored sustenance, they’re off for what will no doubt be another grueling practice session. You’re proud of your kids – they’re growing up. And yet you wonder as you stare at the door that just shut behind them. Are those techni-colored drinks they’re drinking every day hurting them?

The truth, unfortunately, is yes. While they may keep your children energized and awake for the next few hours, the bad news is, they’re secretly eating away at their teeth – and fast.

The problem: The crux of the problem is the double-whammy that comes from an exceedingly high sugar content and citric acid pH that can be as low as 2.9. Now, we understand pH can be a tricky thing to understand, so to help put that number in perspective, a bit, consider this: battery acid has a pH of 0.0 (so, a lower number means a higher acid content). Stomach acid (which we can imagine as being quite acidic, at least!) has a pH that fluctuates between 1.0 and 3.0.  A lemon, in contrast, comes in at around 2.0, a grapefruit at 3.0, and tomato juice at 4.0. 
 
The truth: The real distinction though is in knowing that with each increase in numerical value, the acid intensity increases 10-fold. So, in the example above, a lemon ends up being 10 times more acidic than a grapefruit, and 100 times more acidic than tomato juice – a sensation you can certainly taste if you bite into one!  In contrast, milk and water have a pH of 7.0, so, it’s easy to see the difference in the numbers – they’re huge.

The Bottom Line: We’re not asking you to give up their sports beverages and energy drinks. However, it is wise to know the risks, and to understand how you can help combat some of their side-effects. Here are two quick tips that will help if they can’t shake the habit:

  • Have them keep water nearby so they sip on it to dilute the acid covering their teeth. This also increases saliva production to help protect tooth enamel. [Here’s a thought. Do you have a branded water bottle you can offer to your customers? Tell them about that here!]
  • Suggest that they don’t brush immediately after consuming such beverages.  Why? Because in the thirty minutes to an hour after consumption, tooth enamel will be slightly softer, and brushing in this window of time literally ends up spreading the acid around to other parts of the teeth. Not good.  If brushing is desired, save it for an hour or so after.

Lastly, here is the breakdown of most caustic to least caustic drinks as found by the researchers.

Sports Drinks:

  • Filtered Ionozed Alkaline H2O – pH: 10.0
  • Water – pH: 7.o
  • Odwalla Carrot juice – pH: 6.2
  • Odwalla Vanilla Monster – pH: 5.8
  • Unflavored Pedialyte – pH: 5.4
  • Vita coco – pH: 5.2
  • Aquafina,Dasani, Smart water – pH: 4.0
  • GU2O – pH: 4.29
  • Powerade – pH: 3.89
  • Accelerade – pH: 3.86
  • Gatorade Endurance – pH:  3.22
  • Monster – pH:  2.7

Energy Drinks:

  • Red Bull – pH: 3.3
  • AMP Energy – pH: 2.7
  • Monster Energy – pH: 2.7
  • Full Throttle  – pH: 1.45
  • Rock Star – pH: 1.5

P.S. Don’t forget the mouthguard!   Talk to us!  We’re here to help!  Keep your appointments and ask about our oral healthcare solutions and advice for the entire family.

Keeping Your Smile Youthful

Bright shiny white teeth make us appear younger while yellowish and stained teeth is one sure fire way to add years to our appearance.teeth--a

Simple steps to ensure you have your smile looking it’s best.

  1. Brushing – Sweeps away remnants of stain-causing food and drink.  Brush at least twice a day.
  2. Flossing – Cleans between the teeth and below the gumline where your toothbrush can’t reach.  Floss at least once a day
  3. Regular Oral Hygiene Regimen – Removes bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease.  Regular checkups and professional hygiene care allows us to catch the small issues before they become big ones.

Need a hand reclaiming that white bright smile?  Talk to us!  We’re here to help!  Keep your appointments and ask about our teeth whitening treatments to help you look and feel your best!