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How to Maintain a Fresh Breath

fresh breathMost of us live busy lives and those hectic schedules we keep every day often prevent us from brushing our teeth. The look of our teeth is important but more important than that is our breath. In this blog, you will learn simple tricks to maintain a fresh breath.

Brush your teeth, no matter where you are!

Of course, most of us brush our teeth at home but brushing should also be done throughout the day, especially at work. Keep toothbrush and mouthwash at work and keep your teeth clean after lunch or a coffee break. Portable toothbrushes and small tubes of toothpaste can be taken almost anywhere. In addition, don’t forget that small package of floss!

Be careful of the food you choose!

Many of us eat out these days; it’s easy, convenient and we don’t have to prepare the meals or clean up. However, selecting smart food choices should be a high priority. No matter if you eat at home or eat out, choose your meals wisely. Foods laced with garlic and onions may taste good at lunch but won’t make you popular once you have finished your meal. After you have eaten foods that contain odorous foods like garlic and onions, chew on some sugar-free gum or the parsley garnish from your meal.

Practice good oral care

Good dental care should be practiced all the time; not just now and then. Just like the rest of your body; good oral care is necessary in order to preserve good oral health. In addition, don’t forget the mouthwash. Mouthwash will keep your teeth and gums clean and will give you fresh breath.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath is usually caused by the bacterial byproducts. Other causes of bad breath are dry mouth, poor dental hygiene, infection, disease, smoking and dieting. Other causes of bad breath are respiratory infections and acid reflux.

Other ways to keep your breath fresh

You may not know it; but by snacking on apples, celery and carrots, you can remove food that often gets caught between your teeth. These foods will rub away bacteria that resides on them and provide an effective way that will lead to fresher breath and will also keep the arteries in your body freer of sticky and harmful plaque. Drinking 48 ounces of water a day will lubricate your mouth, flush away bacteria and keep your body well-hydrated. Keep in mind; brushing and flossing are effective ways to keep your teeth and gums in good shape; however, your tongue should also be cleaned. Bacteria sticks to your taste buds; by using a tongue scraper or toothbrush to brush your tongue, you are able to remove the bacteria or plaque that forms on your tongue.

To conclude, most of us live busy lives and those hectic schedules we try to keep every day often prevent us from brushing our teeth. Talk with your dentist today and find out other ways to keep your teeth, gums and breath clean and fresh!

3 Recent Advancements in Dentistry That You Should Know About

General Dentistry

Sitting in a dentist chair is more enjoyable these days; especially with the new dental technology that is now in place. There are several recent advancements in dentistry that you may not know about; advancements that have improved dental care as we know it. Cosmetic implant dentistry provides function as well as an overall good appearance.

Digital x-rays

One recent advancement is digital x-rays. They are quickly replacing traditional x-rays. Digital x-rays are more efficient and faster than traditional x-rays. What makes digital x-rays so good is that they can be stored on a computer and then compared with previous or future images to see how your teeth and gums are being maintained. In addition, the radiation dose is much lower than traditional x-rays. Besides finding cavities, digital x-rays also get a closer look at the bone below the teeth to see if the bone level is good. Bellaire Dental Group in Houston can answer all your questions about cosmetic dentistry.

Diode laser for seeking out cavities

For many years, dentists have been using what is known as an “explorer” when searching for cavities. However, many dentists today are switching to the “diode laser.” The diode laser is a high-tech tool that is used to detect and remove cavities. The laser is being used to see if there is any decay in a tooth. Bellaire Dental Group uses DiagnoDent Laser for cavity detection at routine hygiene and check up appointments. The dentist, during follow-up checkups can examine the tooth and compare it to the levels of the last visit or remove the cavity and have the tooth filled. Talk with your dentist today and find out about cosmetic implant dentistry.

Check out CAD/CAM technology!

Another recent advancement in dentistry is what is known as CAD/CAM technology. CAD means computer-assisted design and CAM stands for computer-assisted manufacture. What this means to you and me is that we will have fewer dental visits to complete procedures like bridges and crowns. Crowns and bridges often take several dental sessions but with this technology, preparation is made by drilling the tooth and a picture is then taken with a computer. The image is then relayed to a machine that makes the crown right in the dentist’s office.

Thinner veneers and more effective bonding and filling

Most importantly, another advancement in dentistry is thinner veneers. Veneers are thin moldings that are used to cover the front of crooked or unattractive teeth. Now, with new materials, it is possible to create much thinner veneers, veneers that are just as strong. It is important to note; dentists now have better bonding and filling materials. Bonding material in today’s dental offices is plastic. This plastic is long and shinier and will last longer. And, because there are now a wider variety of shades available, the bonding material has a more natural look. Talk with a dentist in Houston, TX soon and find out about cosmetic dentistry.

New gum disease treatments!

Most importantly, there are now new gum disease treatments. In the past, the focus of gum disease treatment has been to clean the root surfaces to remove the plaque and tartar, as well as gum surgery. Now, gum disease treatment includes regenerative procedures. Lasers, bone grafts or proteins are being used to help regenerate bone and tissue to combat gum disease.

To conclude, going to the dentist is more enjoyable these days; especially with the new dental technology. Talk with a dentist in Houston, TX today and find out about the many cosmetic dental procedures available!

5 Healthy Habits to Prevent Tooth Decay

Brush Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a menace that affects many People across America. In most cases, it is as a result of either ignorance or just mere neglect of dental hygiene. There are many ways of preventing tooth decay. The problem is that most people tend to ignore dentist’s advice on how to maintain dental health.

Nonetheless, if you can start practicing good dental hygiene habits at a young age, you can have clean healthy and stronger teeth all through your life. Also, parents can help their children develop good dental hygiene practices from their tender ages.

Medical Recommendations on How to prevent tooth Decay

There are some ways through which tooth decay can be avoided. We have listed 5 healthy habits to prevent tooth decay below.

1. Brush your teeth on a daily basis.

Dentists recommend every individual to brush their teeth after every meal to get rid of the food particles within your cavities. You should use a toothbrush with soft bristles which will be able to penetrate to all parts of your mouth quickly. Be patient while brushing your teeth, take note of the biting surfaces and ensure you use up and down strokes in the process of tooth brushing. Besides that, you should also change your toothbrush at least after every three months.

2. Use of Dental Floss

Dentists also recommend the use of dental floss as an efficient way of preventing tooth decay. Dental floss helps in actually cleaning in between your teeth. The floss is essential because it helps in getting rid of all remnants of food particles between your teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing should at least be done every day since it helps in preventing food particles from decaying in your mouth.

3. Take note of what you eat

Certain types of food are notable for directly causing tooth decay. They include; sugar, pastries, cakes as well as sugary drinks such as juices and sodas. Such sugary foods should either be taken in moderation or be completely avoided if possible because sugar is a fertile breeding ground of bacteria for cavities. You can replace that by adopting healthy foods that strengthen your teeth such as fresh fruits, dairy products, cereals, and vegetables. They are well known to prevent tooth decay and even strengthen your teeth.

4. Use of Fluoride

The use of toothpaste that contains fluoride also assists in making your teeth resistant to tooth decay. Most medical practitioners especially dentists attest that fluoride can make your teeth healthy as well as prevent them from rotting easily. Other than brushing your teeth with kinds of toothpaste that contain fluoride, it is also recommended that you regularly drink water with a certain amount of fluoride.

5. Sealants for Children

The biting surfaces are the ones that are often attacked by cavities. Children are usually vulnerable and can easily be attacked by cavities since they don’t brush their teeth properly especially the back teeth. That is why dentists recommend parents to have sealants put on the surface of their children’s teeth. This will help protect them from cavities since the surface of your child’s teeth is perfectly protected from tooth decay.

In a nutshell, tooth decay can be easily prevented by adopting healthy eating habits as well as following the practices mentioned above. Also, parents can help instill such good dental hygiene habits to their children while they are still young to prevent problems in the future.

Why Dental Hygiene Visits Are So Crucial For You

Dental HygieneRegular visits to your dentist for dental hygiene and checkups is crucial for everyone. Dental health visits are much more than just a polish and plaque removal. In fact, regular visits to the dentist can play a significant role in your dental wellness as well as overall health. Finding a dental hygiene service is easy, searching for “dental services near me” on Google can help you find a dentist close by.

Regular Visits to Your Dentist Keeps Your Mouth Healthy

It is no doubt that dental cleaning promotes good health for your mouth. There are however many things that your dentist does during this cleaning process that you may not even be aware of.

Many people are not keen on keeping their dentist appointments, and most cancel their appointment for one predominant reason: They believe that their teeth are just “fine”, because they currently don’t have any pain, discomfort, or large plaque or tartar build up on their teeth.

What they do not realize is that unless you are a dentist or dental hygienist, there just isn’t a way for you to perform the diagnostic, preventive and even educational services that happen in a routine dental cleaning. Apart from other more involving procedures such as having dental implants, below are some of the things that your dentist will typically work on during an appointment and why they are critical.

Help identify oral health problems

When you visit a dentist, they are likely to update your medical history and note anything that could impact your oral health. Often, dentists may decide to do an oral cancer screening depending on your medical and family history. Your dentist could also check for periodontal disease signs and may question you on if you have been having issues such as headaches, teeth grinding or TMJ. Of course, the dentist will also examine your teeth to check for cavities or tooth decay that may result in a cavity, and take x-rays if required.

Most people visit the dentist more than their primary care physician, and this is one of the things that make a dental hygiene checkup so important as it is a good chance for you to identify any health issue that could require further attention.

Can prevent future smile health problems

This may include plaque and tartar removal, stain removal, teeth polishing, fluoride application, kids sealants as well as denture cleaning and adjustments. These are preventive measures that are simple but the lack of which could cause issues that would have been prevented.

Provides valuable health education insights

Most dentists have an educational component to their service which includes answering patient’s questions on oral and overall health. This could cover topics such as nutritional information that may affect your oral health, brushing correctly, consultation on services such as dental implants and more.

Can Help You Detect Serious Health Issues

You may not know it, but it is a fact that a good number of health issues have been known to have an oral component. A visit to the dentist may not replace a medical examination, but it may help identify any change in the dental health of a patient that could indicate a more serious problem health wise.

Some examples include:

  • Diabetes, the possibility of this condition could be identified by show of severe gum pocketing.
  • Heart Disease, this can be aggravated by the presence of a periodontal disease that is not well managed.
  • Oral Cancer, this is mostly identified by presence of lesions in the mouth
  • Kidney Disease, symptoms of this include a metallic or unpleasant taste, dry mouth, and bad breath.
  • Anxiety and Stress, this can have an effect on oral health, and make a patient more susceptible to gum infection and periodontal disease. Not mentioning teeth grinding induced by stress.

During a dental hygiene visit or dental exam the screenings that are done may also help to identify risk factors associated with asthma, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, sleep and digestive disorder to mention a few.

A visit to your Dentist for a dental hygiene checkup is often more than just having your teeth cleaned. It involves much more and your dentist can alert you in case of the presence of health concerns that may affect your overall health. Schedule your dental hygiene appointment with us at Bellaire Dental Group today.

What are the Amalgam fillings and do they need to be replaced?

Amalgam fillings often known as “silver fillings” are a combination of metals including; silver, mercury, tin and copper, formerly a prime method of filling teeth in dentistry.

A dental filling is necessary to replace tooth structure lost to decay and may last for several years, however eventually all fillings need to be replaced.

Numerous factors affect the life of a filling such as: personal diet, oral hygiene, chewing forces, clenching and grinding habits.

Due to the properties in amalgam fillings, corrosion often occurs over time causing it to expand and contract which causes fractures in the tooth. A fractured tooth will trap food debris, bacteria and saliva which allow decay to form under the filling and progress over time if untreated.

Maintaining your routine dental check-ups is the best way to be pro-active and confident there aren’t any signs of decay, fractures or chips within existing fillings.  It is essential to replace these fillings as early as possible, waiting until there is pain or discomfort to address the problem leads to costlier procedures such as a root canal. If left untreated, advanced caries around amalgam filling may cause an abscess or even loss of tooth.

When replacing these existing amalgam fillings, Bellaire Dental Group uses advanced modern dental composite material which is more cosmetically appealing and durable. There are many advantages to using this composite material such as; a more cosmetically appealing smile, (because the material is tooth colored instead of silver) smoother margins which causes less accumulation of plaque and opportunity for re-current decay. The best form of defense is to be pro-active and maintain your routine dental check-ups, if you have any questions or concerns about your amalgam fillings ask Dr.Valter at your next appointment!

Are Veneers worth Your Investment?

Getting Veneers May Change Your Life

 

veneersVeneers are a cosmetic dental procedure that will restore and recreate the patient’s teeth, which will in turn give them a glowing smile. Veneers cover the front of every tooth that is involved to give a more straight appearance as well as a whiter appearance. If someone is wondering if veneers are worth it while looking for Houston porcelain veneers, or a Veneer dentist then this article is going to outline whether or not Veneers are actually worth your investment.

Veneers have the ability to boost the confidence of the patient receiving them. If looking in the mirror doesn’t make a person happy with what they see because they aren’t happy with the look of their teeth, then Veneers can help change that. Veneers will cover up teeth blemishes such as chips, stains, crooked teeth and even worn down teeth. These results have the ability to give someone much more confidence with themselves and with their looks. A large reason that dentist who do porcelain Veneers in Houston recommend getting these done is to help a patient feel like the best “them” possible.

Veneer dentists are great at their jobs and can even preserve more of the patient’s healthy enamel on their teeth. This is because some of the porcelain veneers that are on the market now are much thinner than Veneers that have been used in the past. These thinner Veneers are able to be placed on the teeth in a way that will allow the Veneers to be able to sit flush on the teeth, giving a more realistic appearance for the patient. Veneers are also custom made for each patient. They are made to cover the part of a patient’s smile that is most visible. This also makes the Veneers fit well since they aren’t just a one-size-fits-all and will leave the patient with a more realistic appearance on their teeth.

Houston porcelain Veneers are also designed to be comfortable, easy to care for and even designed to last a long time. Although porcelain Veneers are more costly than cosmetic bonding, they are a much better investment in the long run. A big reason for this is because the properties that porcelain holds makes this material work great for both restorative and also cosmetic dental procedures. Porcelain is most similar to the natural teeth in the way that they both are very strong as well as resistant to stains. This gives the patient the ability to care for the newly added Veneers in the same exact way that other teeth are cared for. This also is the reason why Veneers can last many years, if given the proper care.

Although the benefits may seem great, they aren’t for everyone. Once a patient has committed to Veneers, they become committed for a lifetime. Because a small layer of the actual tooth has to be shaved off, there is no turning back once the procedure is done. Veneers may not be the best choice for those who chew on hard things such as hard candies or for those who grind their teeth, due to possibly chipping the Veneers and needing to get them redone.

For some, the large price tag might turn them away from Veneers. However, if a patient is very dissatisfied with their teeth and their smile and they are looking for a confidence booster, Veneers may just be the right path for them. Veneers can be done in just a couple of days and then the patient is on their way to a happier, more confident life. Porcelain Veneers in Houston can change a patient’s life! For a quick way to a beautiful smile, contact us today at Bellaire Dental Group.

Top 6 Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening

If you’re like many other people who require teeth whitening in Houston, then you should be aware of the many benefits that you receive from professional teeth whitening services. With a lot of people eating and drinking foods that cause our teeth to discolor, it’s obvious why we would turn to teeth whitening. In order to achieve the best results, it is recommended that individuals receive professional treatment. When getting your teeth professionally whitened, you get several benefits that we have listed below as opposed to teeth whitening products found in drugstores.

Professional Whitening is Thorough

With so many self-whitening treatments available over-the-counter, it’s hard to determine which ones will actually work for you. It’s no wonder that obtaining the perfect teeth whitening can be difficult. But if you opt in a professional whitening, your dentist or hygienist can apply an even amount of whitening gel to each of your teeth. They then use a curing lamp which activates the gel. This allows your smiles brightness to be evenly distributed.

A Professional Whitening Uses Professional Strength

With only around 3 percent of whitening agents found in drugstore products, this may not be enough for patients who have intrinsic stains. Obtaining a professional whitening will allow you to receive professional strength agent that is only found at your dentist’s office. The professional strength using peroxide usually contains, at the most, 35 percent. This much concentration allows it to penetrate your teeth’s enamel to remove the tougher stains. This helps to achieve results that are normally around 10 shades brighter.

A Professional Laser Teeth Whitening

Having laser teeth whitening conducted at your dentist’s office will allow the whitening process to be completed much faster. The laser procedure includes applying peroxide which gets activated by the laser instantly.

Individual Results

When you receive professional teeth whitening, you obtain results which are specific to your teeth. This is achieved by applying the whitening gel to each individual tooth. No matter which type of professional whitening treatment you decide to have done, your dental professional will first take impressions of your teeth. These impressions will allow them to apply even applications of the whitening agent while at the same time preventing the agent from touching your gums and lips.

Professional Teeth Whitening for Veneers

Getting teeth whitening when you have veneers isn’t normally done because it simply doesn’t work. Normally veneers need to be replaced if stains are bad enough. The best thing that you can do is protect your veneers. So when you make your next cleaning appointment, make sure to ask for a veneer polishing, this is the best way to ensure stain removal.

Professional Results Which Will Last

Professional teeth whitening in Houston can give you results that will last for years. After your whitening treatment, your dental professional can provide you with a maintenance kit which allows you to maintain your beautiful smile at home. The maintenance kit usually includes both whitening gels and trays. Having these tools at home allows you to obtain a whiter shade if you desire as well as maintain the results. Your dentist can also supply you with a whitening pen which will allow you to apply any necessary touch-ups.

3 Essential Things You Should Know About Receding Gums

Recedings gums

Problems with receding gums are extremely common in our society nowadays. Gum disease most often arises from bad habits, nutritional deficiencies, and inadequate oral maintenance. The gums are a vital collection of tissues that are relatively hidden and difficult to observe on a daily basis. People generally do not realize they have receding gums until they start to experience pain or sensitivity, or are informed by a dental professional after a routine check up.

Gums are unique tissue, and most people understand little about them. Here are three things everyone should know about gums if you arrive at a point where things like laser treatment for gum disease is needed.

Gums Do Not Regenerate

People are genetically gifted with a finite amount of gum tissue.

Gum disease is a serious condition because it can radically alter the amount of gum tissue and reduce the bone level around the teeth.. People who have receding gums should not consider the condition to be temporary. Significant loss of gum tissue can require professional treatment. There are advanced dental grafting techniques that can add new gum tissue.

Receding Gums Expose Vital Tooth Surfaces

Along with general body health concerns, receding gums may cause a lot of pain. This is true even if a person has completely healthy teeth. Gums cover the portions of the teeth that are not used in chewing food and biting. Receding gums expose tooth dentin and roots. Dentin and root exposure causes extreme sensitivity to touch, cold, and bacterial infection. A certain slight degree of gum recession is normal with age, but accelerated recession produces many problems with the proper function of the mouth.

Color Is Important When Gauging Gum Health

Most people believe that red is the natural and preferred color of gums. It is not! A light-to-medium pink color is the sign of healthy gums. Redness is caused by inflammation due to poor oral hygiene, swelling from disease, and tissue recession. Adequate gum care and the absence of gum disease produces gum tissue tightness that is smooth and pinkish in color.

Gum health is routinely checked by our dental professionals during periodic teeth cleanings and exams. Initially gum disease and gum recession are very silent processes and can only be detected during dental check ups. The quick onset of noticeable redness, swelling, bleeding, and recession is a sign of advanced gum disease and must not be ignored.

If caught in the beginning stages, problems like receding gums can be slowed and stopped with laser treatment for gum disease. Simple cosmetic issues like tooth yellowing can be addressed with annual dental checkups, but noticeable receding gums should never be ignored. Only dentists can provide diagnosis and treatment for gum disease, track, and eliminate the pain caused from progressive gum and bone loss.

Oral Cancer Screening

An oral cancer screening is conducted by a dental professional, using Velscope in conjunction with a thorough examination. Velscope is a non-invasive small hand held device used at MD Anderson for early detection of abnormal tissue. During the screening Velscope emits a harmless, bright blue light that fluoresces and exposes any abnormalities within the oral cavity. Through palpation the doctor will then proceed to examine the oral soft tissues, which include; the tongue, hard and soft palate, throat, lymph nodes and the mucosal area. Oral cancer has no specific target; it can happen to anyone and at any time. Early detection can save your life, stay informed and proactive in taking quality care of your health.

Q&A

Q: Who should have an oral cancer screening?

A: Every patient should have an oral cancer screening regardless of age and healthy lifestyle, especially

those who fall into a high risk category. Even though some patients may not be at high risk, early

detection is still essential to beating oral cancer.

Q: What puts me at a high risk for oral cancer?

A: High risk factors include; tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, family history of cancer, poor

diet and the presence of HPV virus.

Q: How often should I receive the screening?

A: The doctor recommends receiving the screening at least once a year. Our practice offers the oral

cancer screening at every routine visit.

Q: What if the doctor finds an abnormality within my mouth?

A: Not to worry, an abnormality does not necessarily mean a patient has cancer! Some benign lesions will show up on the screen. Your doctor will be able to determine what will require additional testing.

5 Things You Should Know About Dental X-Rays

Dental x rays

Dental Exams: What You Should Know

It is very important, as we all know, to take good care of your teeth and gums. Dental x-rays, sometimes referred to as radiographs, are a key component in virtually all dental care treatment plans. Dental x-rays are pictures taken of the teeth, and of the soft tissues and bones that are around the teeth. These pictures are taken to find out whether or not there are any problems around the mouth and jaw structure. These examinations allow us to determine if there has been any bone loss. Such determinations cannot be discovered by a visual exam. These x-rays help diagnose any complications as well as prevent issues through diagnosis of potential health issues in a patient’s mouth, before the problem expatiates. Before going for a dental x-ray, one would likely have questions and concerns. As with any medical procedure, it is always better to become as familiar as possible with the procedure, and ultimately, more comfortable with the process.

Safety Is Key

One common concern surrounding dental x-rays is are they safe? Yes, these exams are safe. There are, however, very low level amounts of radiation exposure. The levels are so low in fact, that it makes any risk of potentially harmful effects very small. The x-ray tools, as well as techniques, are also designed in a manner that limits the body’s exposure to radiation. Lead aprons and thyroid collars are often readily available and should be used whenever possible. These accommodations are available at most all dental practices.

Cancer and Dental Imaging Radiation

Contrary to popular beliefs, low dose radiation from dental imaging does not make cancer worse. Actually high doses of radiation are used to treat cancer patients.

The Bigger Picture

Panoramic radiographs, also known as “pans”, gives the dentists a panoramic view of a patients mouth. The upper and lower jaw along with a portion of the upper neck can be seen. This allows the dentist to see and analyze what is occurring in that area of a patients anatomy. These types of exams are of crucial importance. Ideally, one should have a panoramic x-ray once every three to five years.

Look Closely

When a dentist wants to get a “close-up” of a tooth, they use periodical x-rays. This allows the dentist to focus on one or two specific teeth and gather detailed insight, such as does the patient have cavities or dental abscesses. These x-rays allow dental root canals to be seen much more clearly. This helps tremendously when performing a root canal procedure.

Who Can I Trust

All radiographs at Bellaire Dental group are fully digital, a system that uses even less radiation during exposure as compared to the conventional radiographs. Our team at Bellaire Dental Group is committed to providing excellence in dentistry and in a caring environment.