Cavities are a common dental health issue our patients in Southwest Houston come to our office for. They hurt a lot and, if left untreated, can worsen your overall dental health. However, there are some ways to prevent cavities. Here is what our family dentists recommend.
Tip 1: Understand How Prone You Are to Cavities
Few people know that some may be more prone to cavities than others, and this may be genetic. A great way to know is by getting regular dental exams twice a year so that we can track your dental health and also make appropriate recommendations for how to prevent cavities as much as possible.
Tip 2: Brush Your Teeth (Properly) at Least Twice a Day
One of the best ways to protect your teeth from cavities and decay is by brushing your teeth when you wake up and again before bed with a fluoridated toothpaste, as it provides extra protection against decay. It’s key to brush in gentle, circular motions for 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth. Using a fluoridated mouthwash afterward is also helpful.
Tip 3: Floss Nightly
Flossing is an absolute necessity. We understand that it can be a dread, especially if you find that you bleed when you floss. But did you know that if you bleed while you floss, it may actually be because you aren’t flossing enough? If you don’t floss every night, you are allowing plaque to build up and this can cause inflammation in the gums, so when flossing, this may cause some bleeding. If it’s very minimal bleeding and it stops quickly, then this shouldn’t be cause for concern. If you are worried, though, please request an appointment as soon as possible.
Tip 4: Drink More Water and Less Sugary Beverages
It’s no secret that sugar only encourages tooth decay, but drinks that are considered acidic, such as coffee and tea, not only cause yellowing teeth, but they also encourage bacteria growth if you drink them excessively without brushing your teeth right away. If you can’t brush your teeth right after you finish your beverage, then at least drink them in 20 minutes and thoroughly rinse your mouth afterward. That said, we really recommend brushing your teeth, so if at all possible, carry a travel-size toothbrush with you everywhere you go.
Our Southwest Houston Dentist Performs Cavity Fillings and Recommends a Dental Care Regiment
If you are in Sharpstown or Bellaire and have a toothache, then please request an appointment with us so we can check your teeth for cavities. We will treat any with a filling that matches the color of your teeth. We’ll also provide further education on preventing cavities and root canals. We look forward to giving you and your family members a beautiful, healthy smile.
Opalescence is an at-home teeth whitening system that consists of disposable trays that are filled with a specially designed bleaching gel. These trays fit comfortably over the teeth and, when used regularly over a certain period of time, will remove stains and discoloration in order to whiten your teeth.
Now, Opalescence is offering Boost Whitening, an in-office teeth whitening alternative. Boost is much stronger than at-home teeth whitening kits and produces results in about an hour as opposed to weeks. It also surpasses older methods of in-office whitening because the gel is chemically activated. This means that we don’t have to use heat or UV rays, which makes the process more comfortable for our Bellaire and Sharpstown patients that suffer from sensitive teeth or dry mouth, and even saves money.
How Does Boost Teeth Whitening Work?
Boost’s unique formula calls for syringe-to-syringe mixing, which ensures the formula stays fresh and allows for even mixing and application. One syringe contains 38% hydrogen peroxide, which is the active ingredient we use for teeth whitening. The second syringe contains fluoride and potassium nitrate, which strengthens the enamel. Stronger enamel means less sensitivity and greater protection from cavities.
Boost also enables our South Houston dentist to be as hyper-targeted as necessary; whereas other whitening gels need to be applied to multiple teeth at once, Boost can be used to treat as little as a small section of a single tooth. This way we can provide a more customized teeth whitening treatment to all of our patients.
The Process of In-Office Teeth Whitening With Boost in Southwest Houston
Our in-office whitening treatment usually lasts about 1 hour, but 2 hours or more than one treatment may be necessary for the more stubborn stains. That said, we will get your teeth prepared for whitening with a dental cleaning.
- We’ll expose the gums, utilize a tongue protector, and give you protective eyewear.
- Use suction to remove saliva and air dry the teeth
- OpalDam® is applied to protect your gums and a curing light hardens for. A curing light is then used to harden the dam so we can remove it easily
- Mix the two gels
- Place gel on the surface of the teeth
- 15 minutes later, we’ll remove the gel with suction so it doesn’t end up on the soft tissues
- Rinse the mouth and repeat until desired whiteness is achieved (1-2 hours)
Maintaining Your New, Bright Smile
Once our Southwest Houston dentist completes your teeth whitening treatment, we may offer some Opalescence maintenance products, such as toothbrushes and toothpastes or an at-home teeth whitening kit to ensure you can proudly show off your new smile for longer.
Remember when metal dental braces were the only option for correcting bad bites and crooked teeth? Today, Invisalign is a widely popular alternative that lends itself to adults who need a correction in how their teeth are aligned, but don’t want to wear metal braces. Here is what makes Invisalign effective and why our Bellaire and Sharpstown patients love it.
What Makes Invisalign Clear Aligners Effective For Adults?
Let’s start with how Invisalign is designed. Invisalign is a lightweight, plastic tray that is molded to the teeth in such a way that gradually places pressure on your teeth so they shift to our intended alignment. One single alignment tray does not achieve this though. We get several alignment trays made in our dental lab so that, as your teeth shift, the aligners fit comfortably enough to continue moving your teeth effectively. If the trays are always the same shape, your teeth aren’t going anywhere and will, instead, hold the position they are currently in.
Our Dentist Ensures Custom-Fit Sharpstown and Bellaire Invisalign
Before getting your set of Invisalign Clear Aligners, we will start with a consultation. This is where we will examine your bite and determine if Invisalign is right for you. We will take impressions of your teeth and with our advanced training and technology, we’ll map out exactly how we plan for your teeth to move throughout your treatment and send everything to our dental lab so they can create Invisalign that is perfectly made for your teeth.
Why Our Southwest Houston Patients Favor Invisalign
Invisalign Clear Aligners are Invisible and Subtle
Because clear aligners trays are just plastic, they are perfectly clear. This method of straightening teeth doesn’t require any wires or metal to poke at your cheek, so even when you talk it will not be very noticeable.
Invisalign Allows for More Flexibility in Treatment
Unlike metal braces, which are worn 24/7, Invisalign should be taken out at mealtimes and when brushing your teeth and flossing. However, you must wear your aligner trays for 20-22 hours a day or as directed by our family dentist. If you are diligent and disciplined in wearing your Invisalign, meaning you don’t misplace or lose your trays and you make sure to follow a strict schedule, then you can afford to skip it on some special occasions only, such as a wedding.
Invisalign at Our Sharpstown and Bellaire Family Dentist in Southwest Houston
It’s no wonder that adults favor Invisalign to straighten their teeth. If you think you may be a candidate, then please request an appointment with us. Our skilled dentists will thoroughly examine your teeth, take your needs and preferences into account, and determine whether Invisalign is right for you.
As a family dentist in Southwest Houston, we offer several different kinds of dental treatments and procedures. A highly-sought procedure we provide is that of dental implant surgery. Dental implants are an excellent way to fix any missing teeth due to their natural appearance and low-maintenance nature. Here is how implants work and how the procedure is done.
How Dental Implants Work
A dental implant essentially acts as a tooth. It looks and feels a lot like a natural one, and because they replace a missing tooth, they prevent bone loss and facial collapse, which occurs when missing teeth are never replaced.
The implants we offer at our Sharpstown dentist office are made up of three components that ensure they are comfortable and effective:
- A metal post, which is often referred to as the implant
- An abutment, which is a special connector
- A crown or a bridge, depending on your particular case
How Our Sharpstown and Bellaire Dentist Performs Implant Surgery
First, we will ensure you are properly sedated, as this is the most crucial part of the procedure. We will install the surgical-grade post (implant) into your jaw, acting as an artificial root. After this stage is completed, you will be focused on healing for the next coming months. Through a process called osseointegration, the implant will gradually fuse into the jaw. Don’t be alarmed, though–pain and discomfort are to be expected but it should not last longer than 7-10 days. Rest assured we will also give you medication and instructions to ensure this post-op stage goes smoothly. Over the next several months, this will ensure a proper bond with the rest of the implant.
At this point, the implant should be fully and comfortably bonded to your jaw. We will then attach the abutment, which will connect the metal post to your dental crown.
Applying a Crown
The final step in how our dentist in Bellaire and Sharpstown completes the implant is creating a dental crown based on impressions we take of your mouth. This also aids in making the implant look more natural. We will make sure the final implant is comfortable and that your bite is still natural.
Visit Our Southwest Houston Dentist For High-Quality, Gentle Care
Our multi-specialty dentist office, which serves Sharpstown, Bellaire, and the greater Southwest Houston area, takes pride in educating our patients before, during, and after their treatments. If you think you might be a candidate for implant surgery, then please request an appointment with us. Our advanced training is why we specialize in minimally-invasive procedures, so even this complex procedure is done in such a way that our patients feel little to no pain and experience a faster recovery.
Going to the dentist is rather dreadful for many of our patients in Sharpstown and Bellaire, but it is absolutely necessary. Coming in for regular teeth cleanings is crucial, and here are some reasons why.
As a Family Dentist, We Need to Check Your Teeth and Your Children’s Teeth
We are a multi-specialty dentist office and we pride ourselves on treating patients of all ages. Teeth cleaning are especially beneficial to children because they may be more prone to cavities. This can possibly be the result of young children reaching for sugary sweets more often, but that is not the only reason. We find that especially young children may get cavities more often because they may struggle to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine that consists of correctly brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing every night.
Flossing is quite a challenge for children because they may struggle to hold the floss and reach between their molars. Unfortunately, inadequate flossing often leads to bleeding and pain in the gums due to substantial plaque build-up. Ironically, bleeding and pain will further discourage flossing, causing plaque build-up once again. Remember, plaque is bacteria, which is the main cause of cavities, and if cavities are severe, a dental extraction may be necessary. We want to avoid this.
Our Southwest Houston Dentists See Semiannual Check-Ups as Preventive Care
Even if adults and children excel at maintaining their dental hygiene, this alone will never get rid of everything stuck on and in between the teeth and gums. It's not anyone's fault, though. At our dentist office in Sharpstown and Bellaire, we use professional-grade tools to gently, yet effectively remove both plaque and built-up tartar in ways that a consumer-grade toothbrush and floss can’t.
When we complete our teeth cleanings, we also use the time to check on your oral health as a whole. We examine the bite to make sure our patients can eat and speak comfortably. If this isn’t the case, we discuss options for improving this, such as Invisalign or wisdom tooth extraction. Additionally, illnesses such as diabetes, gum disease, some cancers, and even cardiovascular disease, exhibit their earliest signs in the mouth. By coming in twice a year, our dentists can use their advanced training to treat any concerns early on, ensuring you and your family are healthy.
Visit Our Multi-Specialty Dentist Office, Which Serves Bellaire, Sharpstown, and Greater Southwest Houston
Semi-annual dental cleanings are crucial, but if you or your children are still wary, rest assured our caring, well-educated team will be there to comfort you and communicate with you before, during, and after treatment. If you are due for a cleaning, please request an appointment with us. These cleanings are also an opportunity for us to develop lifelong relationships with our patients. We look forward to giving your family bright, healthy smiles.