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Use Your Flex Plan Before the Year Ends

Another year has flown by and I want to say “Thank You” for your trust and confidence in my dental practice. Many patients do not realize that the dental benefits they have remaining will not rollover into the New Year. If you do not use those plan benefit dollars you will lose them.

For instance, if your plan allowed you to have $1500 for 2012 and you have only used $700, you will lose the remaining $800 if it is not applied to dental services by the end of December.

The cost of these benefits is on the rise and many employers are cutting back on benefits. It makes sense to use every dollar that you are entitled to, which you have already paid for. If you have a “Health Savings Account” or a “Cafeteria Plan” , you may want to use these benefits also. The end of the year is busy so give us a call today to reserve the best time for you.

Thank you for showing your confidence in our practice through the referral of your friends! We always welcome new patients. Call Dr. Alan Stanton’s office at (713) 668-8383 to set an appointment.


White Teeth for the Holidays

Well it’s that time again- Holiday Time! What better way to whiten your teeth with custom made bleach trays and prescription strength whitener to get the best white smile you can have. Family photos and vacations are coming up. You don’t want your memories of discolored teeth to be captured on your photos. Treat yourself and give yourself the best present money can buy and get your teeth whitened. All it takes is a short 15-20 minute visit for impressions and then they are custom made within two days and you can come by and pick them up. Within 7-10 days of whitening you will see an amazing difference in the color of your teeth.  Call Dr. Alan Stanton’s office at (713) 668-8383 to set your appointment today.

Ten Ways to Keep Your Breath Fresh


Fresh Breath

1. Brush and Floss:

If you don’t brush and floss every day, pieces of food remain in your mouth, collecting germs, which can cause bad breath.

2. Use a Tongue Scraper:

This scrapes off the bacteria that are left on your tongue daily.  We suggest that you use BreathRx tongue spray with the tongue scraper.

3. Chew Sugarless Gum:

Chewing sugarless gum can increase the flow of saliva and reduce the chances                  you’ll experience dry mouth-related bad breath. If gum isn’t your thing you can also try sugarless throat lozenges to create the same effect.

4. Change out Your Toothbrush Every 3-4 Months:

An old toothbrush is a bacteria-riddled toothbrush.

5. Stop Smoking:

Smoking causes nicotine and tar (among other nasty chemicals) to build up on                                the cheek walls, tongue, and teeth surfaces. It comes as no surprise that bad breath is nearly inevitable if you smoke.

6. Use Non-Alcohol Rinses:

We suggest Oxyfresh rinse and toothpaste which you will find at your Dental         office.

7. Complete all diagnosed Dental work:

Such as periodontal cleanings, leaking or broken fillings and active decay. If untreated these will definitely cause bacteria to grow in the mouth.

8. Cut down on Drinking Alcohol:

Heavy alcohol consumption also can dry out the mouth which will cause bad breath.

9. Keep your mouth moist:

If you take medications this may dry your mouth out which will cause bad breath. We suggest you use Biotene mouth rinse.

10.  Visit your Dental Office:

You should visit your dental office at least twice a year to see the hygienist for your regular check up and cleanings.

For more information, contact us today at (713) 668-8383.

How to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth

Whitening your teeth can be done in a dentist office or at home. There are ways to whiten your teeth simply with the food that you eat.

1.Baking Soda: Of course baking soda isn’t a food, but it is an ingredient in many recipes. Baking soda is the number one way to whiten your teeth quickly and effectively. Years ago, baking soda was the only means of toothpaste and this was all that was used. People that use baking soda having beautifully white teeth.

2.Strawberries: Eating strawberries is a great way to whiten your smile. Your teeth will appear to be red at first, but the whitening properties found in strawberries will quickly help make your teeth white. After eating strawberries throughout summer, you will notice that your teeth are whiter than they were in winter.

3.Orange Peels: After you peel an orange and eat it and be sure to save the orange peels as these can be used to whiten your teeth. It may be hard to believe that something so delicious is actually good for you, but it is true. Simply rub the orange peel on your teeth for a few minutes until you can no longer tolerate the taste.

4.Celery: Have you ever noticed how stringy celery is? The strings in the celery are actually used to help scrub away any mild staining your teeth may have. Celery is a vegetable that will whiten your teeth and provide your family with a great healthy snack.

5.Foods With High Saliva Flow: Eating foods that produce a lot of saliva in your mouth is extremely helpful. Apples, pears, cucumbers, zucchini and various other fruits and vegetables are very helpful with this. Eating foods with high saliva flow will help reduce any staining you may already have on your teeth.  Talk to your dentist to find out what other foods are high in saliva flow.

While you are eating to whiten your teeth, it is important to avoid eating certain foods that will make your teeth yellow. Soda, tea, grape juice and coffee are four drinks that will darken your teeth and will reverse any whitening that you may have done. Blueberries and other dark foods will have the same darkening effect.

For more information, contact us today at (713) 668-8383.

Dental Health During Pregnancy

There are many myths about dental health and pregnancy. Although you have a lot to think about during this time, oral health is important during pregnancy and should not be neglected.

The following facts are true and will help to improve your dental health during your pregnancy!

  • Nutrition is very important during pregnancy because your baby gets nutrients from your system. By eating right, you can start caring for your baby’s teeth as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Be sure to include foods with calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Your doctor can give you information to help you eat well during pregnancy.
  • Some women have dental problems during pregnancy. Hormonal changes can make your gums sore, swollen and bleeding. This can be prevented by brushing and flossing your teeth daily. If you did not have your teeth cleaned before you found out that you were pregnant, having your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist or dentist early in your pregnancy may help prevent most gum problems.
  • Some women develop a “pregnancy tumor” on their gums. This is a painless bump on your gums that can be pink, red or purple. It will usually not cause any problems, but care should be taken to keep the area around the tumor clean. See your dentist if you think you may be having this problem.
  • Dental problems also can be caused by snacking more often. When the snacks are sweet, tooth decay or cavities occur. It is important to snack less often, or eat sweets at the end of a meal instead of between meals.
  • It is important to see your dentist and dental hygienist during your pregnancy to prevent dental problems. Be sure to make a dental appointment before your baby is born. After birth, it may be several months before you will be able to find the time for an appointment.
  • If you need to have emergency dental care during your pregnancy, you may need to have some X-rays taken of your teeth. Always be sure to remind your dental care professional of your pregnancy. Care should be taken to limit or avoid nitrous oxide, some prescribed antibiotics and some pain medications. Your dentist can contact your obstetrician with any questions.

For more information, contact us today at (713) 668-8383

Your Teeth Can Help Identify Medical Conditions

Sep 14, 2011/USA  by Dental Tribune    

CHICAGO, IL, USA: Regular dental exams not only help to decrease a patient’s risk of oral diseases, such as cavities and periodontal (gum) disease, but they may also help to diagnose other, sometimes life-threatening, medical conditions. Dentists are able to assess a patient’s overall oral health and may recognize symptoms of serious diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and eating disorders, which often manifest as signs and symptoms inside of the mouth.The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) has made information on diabetes, oral cancer, eating disorders and other topics available through its website for consumers,www.KnowYourTeeth.com, which is a source of information on dental care and oral health.More than 25 million people in the United States alone suffer from diabetes. “Because diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, the gums are at risk for gingivitis, an inflammation usually caused by the presence of bacteria in plaque,” said AGD spokesperson Julie Ann Barna, DMD, MAGD. “Additionally, those with diabetes can experience high incidences of oral fungal infections and persistent bad breath.”Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers, with approximately 35,000 new cases reported annually in the United States. “Indicators of oral cancer may include bleeding sores, lumps, or thick, hard spots, as well as changes in the way teeth fit together,” Barna said.Oral cancer is sometimes difficult to self-diagnose, so routine dental exams are recommended. A dentist will feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, cheeks, and oral cavity and thoroughly examine the soft tissues in your mouth, specifically looking for any sores or discolored tissues.“Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, can rob the body of much-needed vitamins and minerals,” Barna said. “Without proper nutrition, the gums can lose their healthy pink color and become increasingly soft and tender, bleeding easily.”Disorders that involve excessive vomiting, such as bulimia, can cause discoloration and erosion of the teeth due to constant contact with acid from the stomach. People who have eating disorders also may experience swollen salivary glands, dry mouth, sensitive teeth, and loss of tooth enamel.Diseases negatively impact your general health, but they also can damage your oral health. Regularly scheduled dental exams allow dentists to detect or monitor your health.“Patients should inform their dentists about any and all medical conditions and medicines that may affect their oral health, as well as any changes in their medical history,” Barna said. “Remember, maintaining a healthy body includes taking care of your oral health.”

For more information, contact us today at (713) 668-8383.

(Source: Academy of General Dentistry)

Crowns vs. Veneers

Cosmetic dentistry is like a dental facelift that can quickly “reverse” the natural aging process of the teeth. In the majority of cosmetic dentistry cases, people are unhappy with their unattractive teeth and have always felt self-conscious because of them. They will rarely smile, which can often hides the warm side of their personality. Modern dentistry offers a wide variety of treatment options for people seeking to enhance their smile.

Crowns and porcelain veneers are cosmetic dentistry devices that are used to restore damaged and/or flawed teeth. Crowns, also known as ”caps”, are coverings that fit over teeth. Porcelain veneers, or laminates, are a thin, custom-made covering that conceals the front and side surfaces of your tooth. Both crowns and veneers can assist in correcting teeth that are:

* Extensively damage due to decay
* Discolored or permanently stained
* Fractured
* Brittle after a root canal

Traditionally, crowns have been used to treat these dental problems, but veneers are now growing to be the more popular choice amongst dentist. The continual advancement of porcelain veneers and veneering technology has allowed for veneers to be the preferred treatment method. But that an examination period with your dentist will reveal which is a better option.

Whether to use crowns versus porcelain veneers depends on the situation. There are a number of variables that can influence the decision such as your bite (occlusion), amount of damage to the tooth, your periodontal condition. In some of these cases, veneers may not work. With the all porcelain crowns or veneers you have a very difficult time distinguishing between the two.

The major difference between crowns and veneers is the amount of tooth structure that needs to be removed. A big reason why veneers are so popular is that very little enamel requires removal compared to crowns, which require eliminating a large portion of the tooth. Crowns require more tooth removal to allow adequate space for the restorative material to have appropriate strength, aesthetic, and healthy gum contour. Because crowns cover your entire tooth, they often provide good solutions for more severe dental problems.

Cost is another issue. Fees vary greatly from area to area and even within the same area. Crowns are generally more expensive than veneers – can be approximately $200 more than veneers.

Whether you need crowns or veneers, a visit to the dentist for a complete exam will result in developing an effective and optimal treatment plan. Your dentist will know whether to use either porcelain veneers or crowns or even both. They should also be able to provide you an estimate of the costs.

For more information, contact us today at (713) 668-8383.

Source: Dentalfind.com

Caring for Your Snap-On Smile

cs-raisingfacial-afterSnap-On Smile is an increasingly popular alternative to dental veneers and other cosmetic dentistry procedures. While performing the same function as dental veneers, Snap-On Smile is removable, meaning you can continue to correct the problems with your smile while looking your best between visits. So how should you take care of your Snap-On Smile to maximize your smile’s appearance?

  • Cleaning is Easy
    Using the special cleaning solution to keep your Snap-On Smile looking great is easy. Simply use the cleaning solution as directed and your Snap-On Smile should remain looking bright. The cleaning solution, as well as refills, can be obtained from your cosmetic dentist.
  • Avoid Certain Foods
    While Snap-On Smile is incredibly resistant to staining and discoloration, it is still best to avoid certain types of foods. Particularly sticky foods, such as gum or taffy, should be avoided. Otherwise, you can generally eat and drink as you would normally.
  • Proper Storage
    When you aren’t wearing your Snap-On Smile, proper storage is important to prevent your Snap-On Smile from breaking. One of the best ways to transport your Snap-On Smile is with a carrying case. These cases are available from your cosmetic dentist.

Snap-On Smile is excellent for people who are looking for a temporary solution for their smile or as an alternative for those looking for a permanent solution for their smile. For more information about Snap-On Smile, contact us today at (713) 668-8383. Alan D. Stanton, DDS, is one of Houston’s leading cosmetic dentistry practices. We are a leading Snap-On Smile provider and specialize in dental veneers and teeth whitening. Schedule an appointment and find out what cosmetic dentistry can do for you.

New Technology at Bellaire Dental Group

Laster TechnologyAlan D. Stanton D.D.S. would like to introduce you to our newest addition to our office, the 1064XLASE! This laser is state-of-the art and allows us to do our work in a more seamless manner while providing all of our patients with the utmost comfort and ease knowing they are in knowledgeable hands with the best tools.

There are many benefits of the 1064XLASE, but the most impactful benefit to our patients is the easing of pain and healing in typical dental procedures. With this new machine, Dr. Stanton can eliminate painful cutting, swelling and post operative pain. The entire healing process in general is much faster with procedures done with the 11064XLASE due to its ability to promote blood supply and the formation of healthy tissue in the mouth.

Highlights of the many procedures and services that can be performed with the 1064XLASE:

  • Removal of soft tissue cysts and small fibrous growths
  • The ability to desensitize teeth that have exposed roots and are uncomfortable to temperature and sweets
  • Elimination of pain and shortening the duration of apothous ulcers (canker sores and fever blisters)
  • Ability to not cut the gums by reshaping the gum tissue in the anterior of the mouth to create a better smile.
  • Improved healing time and speed of healing after a deep cleaning procedure. Time of the procedure is also faster.

Dr. Stanton and the entire staff of Bellaire Dental Group are committed to staying on the forefront of technological advancements in dentistry that benefit our patients. This new laser allows us to do just that! The 1064XLASE is a perfect example of a new generation of dental lasers that offer more advancements and versatility than any other dental lasers previously on the market.

Contact Dr. Stanton’s office today to schedule your next dental appointment or refer a new patient.

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