Why Your Semi-Annual Cleaning is So Important

You’ve heard it a lot. We all have. Your regular, dental cleanings are a critical part of your overall dental health. Chances are, if you’re like a lot of people, you’ve heard it so many times that it just becomes a part of the normal background noise that fits somewhere between the advice to brush your teeth every morning and always buckle up.

Unfortunately, when it gets to that point, it may become a habit, but it can also lose its sense of importance and urgency. It becomes just one more chore that has to be done at some point. And if it reaches that category, “at some point” can get pushed back and pushed back until an entire year has gone by.

But is that such a big deal, some of you may ask. Does it really matter if I’m only getting checked once a year instead of twice?

The simple answer is: yes. It is a big deal. And here’s why:

A Lot Can Change in 6 Months

You semi-annual cleaning will be preceded by a detailed exam of your current dental situation. This is when we can take a close look at what’s going on in your mouth, and provide special diagnoses like:

  • Checking your bit patterns
  • Oral cancer screenings
  • Gum disease screenings

Gum disease can be hard to spot on your own, and the only way to be sure of oral cancer is with a proper biopsy. Either way, we know the signs to look for, and the sooner we spot them, the sooner we’ll be able to provide the necessary treatments.

Preventative Care Is an Ongoing Process

A professional teeth cleaning is more than just a quick go at the plaque that’s building up in hard-to-reach places. It can also include a number of preventative treatments and some specialized procedures to protect the health and appearance of your smile. This can include:

  • Plaque and tartar removal
  • Teeth polishing
  • Stain removal
  • Fluoride application

The Cleaning Process is Fast and Painless

Most patients don’t experience any kind of pain during a routine cleaning. The tools we use get the job done include things like ultrasonic instruments that use adjustable vibrations to loosen pieces of tarter and finer hand-held instruments like scalers and curettes to get at the smaller areas.

Each tooth is treated individually to ensure that it is completely free of plaque and tartar, then we can take the time to polish them up and make them look smooth and shiny.

As long as you’re coming in semi-annually, a traditional cleaning shouldn’t take too long at all, and our main goal is just to get at the plaque that you can’t reach with your normal at-home hygiene routines. As long as you’re not showing any signs of gingivitis, this simple cleaning should be all you need.

There are, however, times when the cleaning may be a little more intense, though this is usually reserved for people who are experiencing heavy tartar buildup because they haven’t seen the dentist in more than a year.

So, you may have heard it before, but we’re going to say it again. Your semi-annual cleaning is extremely important. Don’t let it slip you by.

 

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7 of the Worst Teeth Stainers

Everyone wants to have a bright-white smile. Having a great set of teeth can make you look younger and more attractive. If you were not born with naturally pearly whites, there are whitening treatments that can help you get the smile you dream about.

Having said that, there are foods and beverages out there that are the enemy to the luster of your teeth. They cause your teeth to become discolored with their staining powers.

Here are 7 of the worst grin dimmers out there:


1- Black Coffee & Tea

The outer layer of the tooth is extremely porous. When you sip your cup of joe the dark liquid is absorbed and remains on the tooth. Overtime it causes your teeth to become discolored. But there is good news for those who find it hard to start their day without their beloved java – try lightening the color by adding a splash of milk. As an added bonus you’ll keep your teeth strong with the calcium and vitamin D that is in milk.

Same goes for tea. If you can’t live without it then try to stick to lighter-colored teas, like English Breakfast, Earl Grey, or go with a light green, white, or herbal tea.

2- Red Wine

Sipping on a glass of your favorite red wine that is perfectly paired with the steak you grilled may be a great way to spend your warm summer nights, but be aware that the pigment in red wine is damaging to your teeth. Choose instead a nice-white wine, rinse your mouth with water, or the best option, brush after you have a glass. Red wine may be good for your heart, but it is definitely bad for your smile.

3- Cola

The temperature of this beverage can have a big effect on its staining powers. When you drink very cold drinks your teeth contracts and become more porous. This let’s the dark color of sodas find a welcome home on your teeth. The citric acids in soda also erode your tooth enamel. Once you lose your enamel you can’t get it back. Soda poses and extra threat to your teeth due to the cause of tooth decay from the sugar they contain. Whenever possible, opt for water, seltzer, or if you must indulge, drinking through a straw helps keep the cola away from direct contact with your teeth.

4- Soy Sauce

We’ve covered some of the worst of the worst in the beverage category, but dark liquids used to flavor foods, such as soy sauce, can be just as damaging to the color of your teeth. When it comes to the colors in sauces and food, a rule of thumb is that if it can stain your favorite shirt, it can stain your teeth. Soy sauce is also loaded with sodium (sorry all you salt lovers), so when you dip your favorite sushi roll in it, try to do so sparingly.

5- Balsamic Vinegar

There is nothing better than a perfectly crunchy bruschetta as an appetizer for your favorite Italian meal. Or serving your friends the greatest caprese salad as part of a dinner that shows off your cooking skills. But the required balsamic vinegar that goes into these two delicious meals comes with a price to your teeth. The rich-dark pigment that balsamic vinegar has puts it on the list of the most teeth staining foods.

However, there is good news for those who love to use balsamic vinegar to kick up the flavor of a salad. The lettuce in a salad helps form a protective barrier on your teeth. But don’t leave the fate of your smile to a head of lettuce, try an alternative, like rice vinegar or a spritz of lemon juice.

6- Berries

Berries, such as cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries can cause your teeth to discolor. Although they are good for you, they may not be the kindest food on your teeth. In particular, blueberries may spruce up your pancakes, but this superfood can have a super effect on the color of your teeth. Don’t give up on these tasty morsels just yet. Whenever you have them try swishing water in your mouth afterwards to help rinse away the dark pigment.

7- Curry

The color of curry is so incredibly intense that just looking at it makes you feel like it is staining your teeth. This delicious-Indian cuisine staple is notorious for making teeth yellow. Giving up the that plate of chicken curry may be a stretch, but after you enjoy its spicy taste, brush your teeth or at the very least, swish water in your mouth.

You don’t have to give up the food and beverages that you love just because they cause a threat to the radiance of your smile. Being aware of what foods may be damaging can help you take precautions and keep your teeth dazzling. You’ll have a smile to be proud of for the rest of your life. So enjoy that glass of wine and that summer salad covered in blackberries, just remember that they are not as innocent as they look.

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Traditional Braces Vs. ClearCorrect

An improper bite or crooked teeth can drastically affect the functionality of your mouth and the appearance of your smile. Unfortunately, the older we get, the less likely we are to do something about it. Whether it’s because we see braces as something that only happens in our adolescence, or don’t thing we have the funds to cover such a procedure, too many people just try to “deal with” their current situation.

Invisible braces like ClearCorrect have changed cosmetic dentistry. They’ve opened up opportunities for adults who would have otherwise been embarrassed about the classic “brace face.” This solution is a subtle and effective way to get a beautiful smile and correct any issues with your bite.

Let’s take a quick look at how the traditional braces stack up against ClearCorrect.

Traditional Braces

When you say “braces,” this is what people normally image – a mouth filled with metal wires. They are not considered “comfortable” by anyone, and can very easily irritate the gums and soft tissues.

Also, when they’re on your teeth, they’re on for the duration. The only changes are during the regular visits to the office. This also means that they tend to interfere with eating, restrict some of your favorite foods, and they require extra attention to keep clean.

Still, they might be the preferred option for teeth that are so significantly out of place that they could only be described as “gnarly.”

ClearCorrect

This option uses a series of nearly invisible aligners to gradually move your teeth into a more desirable position. They can be removed while eating, drinking, or brushing/flossing. This means you can continue to enjoy your favorite foods, they won’t irritate your gums, and you can get the results you want without anyone realizing you’re undergoing the procedure.

If you had to, you could even remove the aligners when you speak in front of large groups. All that really matters is that you have them in anytime you’re not eating or brushing.

It’s about More Than a Nice Smile

While a lot of people are very self-conscious of their appearance when they smile, straightening your teeth can have more than just an aesthetic benefit. In fact, these aligners can correct many different dental problems that actually have an impact on your overall health, including

  • Overcrowding
  • Gaps in your teeth
  • Overbites and underbites
  • Cross bites

These types of misalignments create areas where food gets stuck and plaque builds up. If this happens, it’s just one more step to all out periodontal disease.

How They Work

The ClearCorrect system uses a series of custom-made aligners that subtly shift your teeth into a better position. The process is pretty simple.

  • First, you come in for a detailed evaluation where we can discuss your situation and what kind of results you want.
  • Next, we’ll setup your personalized treatment by taking x-rays and making images of your teeth.
  • Finally, we will have the lab create the series of aligners that will take us from point A to point B.

You will need to come in for some follow-up visits to make sure that everything is still proceeding just as we expected.

You’re never too old to get the smile you’ve always wanted. This simple process may be just what you need to finally straighten your teeth.

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How Your Eating Habits Affect Your Oral Health

If there is one thing that we as humans love to do it’s eat. From the foodies of the world, and the at home cooks to the frequent flyers of local restaurants, we love our food. Our bodies are complicated machines and we know how certain foods can affect them. A double cheeseburger will have a much different effect than a fresh garden salad, but have you ever thought about how the food you eat affects your oral health?

When you eat your mouth produces acids to help your chompers break down the food. These acids can lead to cavities and periodontal (gum) disease.

How does this happen?

Fermentable carbohydrates break down in the mouth, which produce simple sugars, such as fructose, lactose, and maltose. These combined with bacteria in the mouth form acids that are responsible for decay and eventually destroy your teeth. This includes some of the obvious sugary foods, such as candy, sweet drinks, and the oh-so delicious frosted cupcakes. But they also include some of the less obvious ones, such as crackers, breakfast cereal, bananas, and that bowl full of warm-tasty bread at your local steakhouse.

When these acids are formed inside the mouth the minerals inside the tooth enamel start to dissolve. This is called demineralization. Not to worry, teeth can regain these minerals through saliva, fluoride, and some foods. However, keep in mind, when minerals are being lost faster than they are being regained that is when tooth decay happens.

The longer food stays near the bacteria in your mouth the more likely harmful acids will be produced. Sticky foods, such as raisins and food that breaks up into smaller pieces, such as crackers are good examples of food that lingers and causes these acids.

People who tend to sip on soft drinks or coffee throughout the day, or have a habit of snacking on sweet treats, will produce more of this acid and are more likely to see tooth decay. However, good news for the cheese lovers of the world, eating a piece of cheese after you have that sticky snack, acts like a buffer and helps increase saliva flow and neutralize acid.

Sugarless gum can also act as a buffer and fight against acid. Xylitol is an ingredient in sugarless gum that has been shown to combat bacteria in the mouth, but beware of the laxative effect it may have when consumed in large quantities.

So what are the good foods to eat that will help keep your mouth healthy?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services developed a “best practices” guideline when it comes to nutrition:

  • Eat healthy vegetables, such as dark greens and orange vegetables
  • Eat a variety of fruits
  • Eat plenty of grain products, such as whole grains and refined grains. This includes oatmeal, brown rice, and whole wheat bread
  • Choose nuts, seeds, and fish for protein
  • Choose beverages and foods to moderate your intake of sugar
  • Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation
  • Stay physically active and aim for a healthy weight

Although these guidelines will help you keep your mouth healthy, good dental health requires brushing at least twice a day, flossing once a day, and regular dental visits. With regular dental care you can help prevent oral problems from occurring and catch those that do occur in early stages, which makes them easier to treat. But in the meantime, enjoy that apple and wash it down with your favorite cube of cheese.

 

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How Cosmetic Dentistry has Helped the Successful Careers of Many Celebrities

When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, the number one request is: “give me a Hollywood smile.” When you have perfectly aligned-pearly white’s you look, and feel, more attractive. Also, having confidence in the aesthetic of your teeth will give you a genuine and more frequently used smile. Smiling has the power to affect your mood and when you flash it to others, it affects theirs too. When you smile, your brain activates neuropeptides, which are itty-bitty molecules that allow neurons to communicate with your body. A smile tells those messenger neurons that you feel happy, joyful, amazing, and downright good. And who doesn’t want to feel downright good?

The career of a celebrity often weighs heavily on their appearance. Many of the A-listers have had to step up their smile game with dental cosmetics. Steven Spielberg won’t cast the leading role of the ultra-sexy love interest to just anyone, they’ve gotta have that winning smile. Cosmetic dentistry offers the option to anyone, in any career, in any place, the chance to smile like a star.

Here is a look at those who grace us on the big screen, and have had cosmetic dental work to up their appearance game:

JIm Carrey

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This hilarious man is no stranger to world of comedy. During his childhood he chipped his front tooth, but later had it capped to change the appearance of his smile. However, when it came to the movie “Dumb & Dumber,” he removed the cap on his chipped tooth to make his character look a little more deranged.

Catherine Zeta Jones

pic 2

Catherine was teased as a child for her crooked teeth and as a result she got braces as a teen to straighten them. The star of “Chicago” didn’t always have the perfect set of beautiful teeth, but her choices to opt for cosmetic dentistry have given her the gorgeous smile she shares with us today.

Keith Urbanpic 3

Keith Urban has warmed his way into our hearts with his hit-country songs, such as “You’ll Think of Me” and “Tonight I Wanna Cry,” but also, he’s found a place in our hearts because of his incredible smile. Cosmetic dentistry gave Keith a perfect-dazzling smile that he is proud to show off to his many fans.

Morgan Freeman

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Morgan Freeman has a voice that is recognized around the world. His silky-smooth way of delivering his lines has won him several awards. But the smile that went along with that voice was not always as bewitching as it is today. Cosmetic dentistry has given him the ability to land different roles, which has propelled his career even farther than he could imagine.

George Clooney

pic5

Girls (and guys) have been swooning over this dashing actor for years, but his decision to go to a cosmetic dentist wasn’t purely for aesthetic reasons. George Clooney received a full set of veneers after his “Facts of Life” day because he use to grind his teeth when he was stressed.

All of these celebrities have found themselves turning to cosmetic dentistry to make them more attractive and more successful. But, whatever your reason is for dental cosmetics, the outcome of having a new and appealing smile will always be positive. You’ll learn that loving your smile equals loving who you are and gaining confidence in your appearance. A happy smile makes for a happy heart.

 

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When Should Silver Fillings be Replaced?

Fillings Austin TXThe known fact that silver fillings contain mercury can be a bit on the misleading side. Even though mercury is toxic to the human body, there are no studies that show that silver fillings have actually lead to any kind of poisoning, but the danger is still present. The very common question of whether or not to replace this type of filling is a difficult one to give a definitive yes or no answer to, but there are some excellent reasons why replacing them may be a good idea.

Silver fillings can hide decay

It is difficult for x-rays to detect cavities and decay that may be lurking underneath a silver filling. This means that they are usually not identified until the damage is quite extensive. In some cases this can be the difference between replacing the filling or needing the procedure of having a root canal.

Tooth cracking

Research shows that silver fillings have no impact on the strength of the tooth. This means that the filling merely acts like a wedge and the force transmitted when you bite down falls completely on the remaining tooth. If the filling is more than half the width of the tooth, there is a high chance that the tooth will eventually crack, chip, or even break.

Silver filling are generally just “packed into the tooth,” which means that there is a greater chance of it falling out when pressure (chewing or biting down) is applied, but with tooth-colored-composite fillings there is an adhesion that allows the forces of chewing to be distributed over a greater amount of tooth. Making the chances of cracking less likely.

When a tooth cracks vertically it can go all the way down to the nerve and this can lead to tooth abscesses, fractures into the roots, and many other complications. This type of fracture can come with a warning or with none at all, which can lead to a very painful experience.

Advantages of composite restoration:

  • Composite is aesthetically pleasing and blends in with the natural tooth
  • Because of the smooth and bonded margins there is less plaque accumulation or opportunity for recurrent decay
  • Composite restoration requires less tooth structure to be removed making it more conservative than silver fillings
  • Seamless and easy repair in the chance of chipping or breaking
  • Reinforces tooth structure – the bond to the tooth strengthens the remaining structure and prevents cracks or fractures from repeated chewing
  • Seals the dentin from future decay

When it comes to fillings in general, they should be replaced when defects exist. This can include gaps, recurrent decay, overhangs, poor margin gaps, cracks, and rough or chipped surfaces to the teeth. Our professional and knowledgeable staff can help with silver filling replacements for any of these conditions or if you simply want to swap your fillings for cosmetic reasons.

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How we Can Save Your Jaw by Providing a Bone Graft

Bone Graft Austin TXBone grafting is a safe and highly successful procedure that is used in the dental world for several reasons, such as missing teeth. Tooth loss, over a period of time, can cause your jawbone to atrophy requiring bone grafts to remedy the damage. One of the many benefits of this procedure is that it provides positive effects on aesthetic appearance and functionality.

There are times when people do not have enough healthy bone to support dental implants. This is another great reason that bone grafts can help with dental problems.

This insufficiency can be caused by:

Injury or trauma to the face
Gum disease
Development defects
Long term denture wear
Empty spaces in the mouth due to tooth removal
Lack of efforts to restore natural bone during dental procedures

There are several different types of bone grafts:

Xenogenic Bone

Cows provide us with many things including bone for grafts. Xenogenic bone is derived from non-living bone from another species, which just happens to usually be cow. High temperatures process this bone to avoid the potential for immune rejection and contamination.

Different from autografts, xenogenic bone only requires one procedure to harvest your bone. However, this requires bone regeneration to take considerably longer than autografts and the outcome is less predictable.

Allogenic Bone

Also known as allograft, this type of bone is harvested from a cadaver. Allogenic bone uses a freeze-dry method for processing to extract the water via vacuum. Allogenic bone cannot regenerate or produce new bone on it’s own. It serves as framework for surrounding bone, which can then grow and fill the void.

Autogenous Bone

This type of bone is taken from one’s own body and typically comes from the skull, jaw, lower leg bone, hip, or chin. Bone growth, or regeneration, is faster due to the living cellular elements that it contains. The chances of your body rejecting autogenous bone is eliminated because it comes from you.

There are substitutes to using real bone. Many synthetic materials are provide a safe alternative, including:

Demineralized Bone Matrix (DBM)

Collagen, proteins, and growth factors are extracted from the allograft bone. It can come in the form of a gel, which is injected through a syringe, or may also come in the form of a putty, chips, or powder.

Graft Composites

Graft composites use a combination of substances, such as collagen/ceramic composite, which closely resembles the composition of natural bone.

Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs)

These are proteins that are naturally produced in the body and promote bone growth and healing. Another advantage of bone morphogenetic proteins is that they lower the amount of risk and pain because they do not require a second procedure.

The healing process after receiving the procedure of bone grafting will usually involve pain control, which can often be minimal, taking the instructed amount of antibiotics, and routine dental hygiene. We will also discuss the healing (or hurting) effects of diet and smoking. Bone grafts can be the answer to the reason you have “lost your smile” and our office is here to help.

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What’s Included in a Full Mouth Reconstruction?

When you think about oral health, you’ll likely think about your teeth first. However, there are many more components than your teeth that play into your oral health as a whole. While teeth certainly are important—they are responsible for chewing and helping you speak properly, after all—everything would fall apart in your mouth without the rest of the parts working together.

If that’s the case, you might wonder what happens when everything isn’t working in perfect harmony. What happens when something in your mouth has been damaged? In order for you to have a healthy, functioning mouth, you need you teeth, gums, soft and hard tissues, and tongue to work together. If one of those parts is damaged or unhealthy, your oral health can suffer. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry too much if this happens. Reconstructive dentistry can fix problems in your mouth.

What is Reconstructive Dentistry?

Reconstructive dentistry refers to the process of correcting damaged or unhealthy components in your mouth. Typically, reconstructive dentistry focuses on fixing the individual parts in your mouth, but sometimes, more than one part is extensively damaged. When this happens, you might need to undergo a full mouth reconstruction. A full mouth reconstruction aims to correct various oral problems you might be experiencing. This differs from full mouth makeovers, which are purely cosmetic in nature.

So, what exactly goes into full mouth reconstructions? Some of the procedures you may experience include treatments such as these:

  • Dental Implants – Your teeth are important for everyday functions like chewing and speaking, but they also provide essential structural integrity for your jaw and gums. Implants replace missing teeth and provide that same kind of structural integrity so your gums and jawbone don’t decay.
  • Restorative Procedures – Your teeth go through a lot on a day-to-day basis, and restorative procedures restore much of their normal function through treatments like crowns, veneers, inlays, and fillings.
  • Oral Surgery – Serious complications often need to be solved through oral surgery. Surgeries like root canal therapy, tooth extractions, and soft tissue grafting are all integral parts of full mouth reconstruction procedures.
  • Periodontal Procedures – Your gums are just as important as your teeth, and their health is often overlooked. When you suffer from gum disease, you might need scaling, planning, or surgery to correct issues.
  • Cosmetic Dentistry – After all is said and done, cosmetic procedures are still important to correct any issues in appearances that may have come as a result of reconstructive procedures.

Starting the Process

Before you go through the process of a full mouth reconstruction, you will first speak with your dentist. During this consultation, make sure to ask any question you may have about what steps you’ll experience. Your dentist wants to help you feel as comfortable as possible, so don’t be afraid to voice your concerns.

In the end, a full mouth reconstruction is one of the best things you can do for your mouth if the situation requires it. The process may seem daunting and a little scary, but you can be assured that your dentist will help you through it.

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How We Care for Patients of All Ages

Family Dentist - Austin TXWestlake Dentistry is a place for every member of your family, no matter what age. We are a highly trained and knowledgeable practice that can put any nervous toddler, timid teenager, grown adult, or retired (living on a beach sipping on an umbrella’d drink), senior citizen at ease when it comes to dental visits. We know that being a spry young buck, without a care in the world for all the cavity-induced sweets indulged in, is different from someone who might be on the path of replacing the great-steak-gnawers they were born with for a new set of fine-chomping dentures.

We will provide the finest-professional dental care for any age, any time, any circumstance. Whether you need to bring your bouncing baby in for their first dental visit, need to have your 6 month cleaning check up as a grown and responsible (Ew) adult, or coming in for regular check ups to make sure you have the best oral health, we provide the greatest professional dental care there is.

There is a difference in how patients of all ages are seen by our professional staff (besides the fact that we love and care for each and every one). Someone with their first tooth is seen and cared for differently from someone who has been rocking their meal mashers for 50 years, and we know the difference.

Let’s break it down into age groups.

Infants and Toddlers

Preventative care is a must.  We will provide tips to parents on preventive care to help kids have excellent oral health in the long run. We will monitor teeth during the emerging period and make sure your child is well taken care of. Bringing in your small child early can help prevent any major dental problems in the future.

K-6 Patients

This is the time for young kids to develop good and long lasting dental hygiene habits, which means educating them on brushing habits, flossing habits, and how often to visit our office to keep their smile bright and dazzling.

Teenagers

Often a teenager may need orthodontic care to correct misaligned or crooked teeth. We can help correct a smile and give you confidence that will follow you throughout your life. The teenage years are awkward enough without being embarrassed about your smile. Take the steps now to make your sparkling-adult smile shine.

Young Adults

Aw yes, the time of wisdom teeth. Early twenties is the time for wisdom teeth to bombard their way into your mouth. This can cause your teeth to become misaligned, which can lead to dental visits being more in-depth and frequent. Having your wisdom teeth removed can prevent your other teeth from being nudged, moved, or forced into an unsightly alignment.

Full Blown Adults

Many adults in their 30’s ignore the the fact that they should be having regular dental visits. They think that because they brush and floss on a regular basis that they are exempt from the much needed teeth cleaning. This is not true. Many bacterias set up shop in our mouths and cannot be removed with everyday brushing or flossing. We have the tools to rid your teeth of these harmful little buggers.

Heart-Warming Seniors

These are the golden years, but as far as oral health goes, this is the time to visit us about how to make sure you have the best pearly whites to devour that delicious Christmas goose. Whether it is keeping up on your natural and healthy teeth or getting a pair of beautiful dentures, we are here to make sure you have a great set of chompers.

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Ways to Encourage Good Dental Habits with Your Kids

Monitoring and encouraging good health habits with your kids starts from the minute they are born. In the hospital, their pediatrician is right there after the birth to make sure things are working well and looking good. As a parent, you are responsible for feeding your infants the right combination of healthy foods. It seems like overall health is always on a parent’s mind.

However, parents often forget about good oral health habits. This may be because your children’s teeth don’t come in for a few months. Unfortunately, not forming these good dental habits can lead to a lot of negative health consequences for your children, especially as they get old enough to start seeing a dentist regularly. Encouraging good dental habits with your kids is the surest way to promote positive oral health. So, how do you go about encouraging these habits in your kids? Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to teach your kids how to form good dental habits.

  1. Start Early – The best way to promote good dental habits is to start as early as possible. While children won’t get their permanent teeth until many years down the road, it’s important that they still take care of their baby teeth while they have them. This includes teaching children how to brush and take care of their teeth when they first come in. As they get older, you can start letting the kids start or finish their brushing routine so it solidifies as a habit in their minds.
  2. Lead by Example – Children are very impressionable. Most of the daily habits they form come as a result of the things they see you do on a regular basis. This not only goes for good habits, it also rings true for bad habits. Make sure your kids see you performing healthy dental habits. As they do, they will start to copy you and start those habits themselves. Of course, the opposite is true as well. If you show them bad habits, they will often copy those, too.
  3. Talk about the Dentist – Many kids suffer from fear and anxiety when they first go to the dentist. This is understandable, mainly because going to the dentist is a new experience, and the new things your kids see at the dentist’s office may be intimidating. Before your child’s first dental appointment, talk often about the dentist and what will happen during the appointment. This way, your kids know everything there is to know and won’t be as worried. If your kids enjoy going to the dentist, they’ll be okay going on a regular basis.
  4. Let Your Kids Choose Product – Buying a new toy is exciting, and kids get even more excited when they get to choose their own toys. When it’s time to purchase dental products like toothbrushes and toothpaste, make it fun. Let your children choose which products they want to use. If they’re excited about the products they got to choose, then they’ll be more excited about using them to take care of their teeth.

In the end, it’s important that your kids are left with a lasting, positive impression about dental care. The better their impression, the more likely they are to create and maintain health dental habits throughout their lives, and it’s up to you to create that impression from an early age.

 

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Westlake Dentistry

4613 Bee Caves Rd. Ste 101
Austin Texas 78746
Tel: (512) 327-1222
Fax: (512) 327-1232

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