Category Archives: Oral Care

Your Child’s First Dental Visit | Dallas Dentist

5204965366_72b96dbea3As a new parent, you are constantly wondering if you’re doing the job right. The last thing you ever want is to have something happen to your child because X, Y, or Z slipped through the proverbial cracks. One of these overlooked details is a child’s dental health. A survey commissioned by the Delta Dental Plans Association revealed that the average age children had their first dental visit was 2.6 years and 34% of children hadn’t seen the dentist at all. Oftentimes, we as parents think our child is too young or doesn’t have enough teeth to make it much of an issue. In actuality, children should start visiting the dentist any time between first tooth and their first birthday. Why, you ask? Well, an early start with a dentist will help alleviate any trepidation they may have about these visits throughout their lives. It can also be beneficial to get some basic knowledge as to how your child’s dental health should be handled at home so that there aren’t problems growing up.

So, what is the first step to getting your munchkin’s oral health in order? First, find a dentist. You can use your personal dentist or look for a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist is everything your dentist is, but has a couple more years of school so they are fully-equipped to focus on the specific needs of children. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when making the appointment? Setting it after your child has a good rest under their belt is ideal; fussiness is at a minimum and they are much more willing to be cooperative.

Once you have made their first dental appointment, the next step is to get your child into the idea of going. There are lot of ways to prepare your little one for this adventure. Learning about what will happen through books and other resources is fantastic help, but it is also great to give them a bit of a preview. Take them next time you have an appointment, or take turns roleplaying what the dentist will be doing poking around in their mouths. Having a dentist poking around with sharp tools is always going to be a scary thing for a tiny human. The more preparation you do, the smoother the experience will be.

On the day of your child’s first visit, expect to have lots of opportunity to ask any questions you may have. The dentist will go over your child’s history and give you a crash course as to what you can expect in upcoming months. A thorough examination of your child’s mouth will be done so the dentist can clearly distinguish any issues that may arise due to habits like thumb sucking, poor hygienic practice or diet. And, if necessary, your dentist or hygienist may clean your child’s teeth if stains are apparent and/or apply fluoride to prevent future cavities. Making sure your little one is comfortable is your first priority so be sure to bring things that soothe them, whether it be a little snack, a favorite toy or blanket. Keeping them happy will ensure you leave that first appointment ready and able to tackle any surprises that may hinder that sweet baby smile you love so much.

To learn more about how Dr. Gary Alhadef can help you maintain your child’s oral health, please contact his Dallas, Texas dental office to schedule a consultation. Visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com to learn more.

Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS proudly serves Dallas and all surrounding areas.

Can a Great Smile Change Your Life? | Dallas Dentist

When you don’t have the perfect smile, it is tough to be in certain situations. A smile is the first thing someone notices about you. If yours is flawed, it feels like you are perceived differently by others. But it’s difficult not to think, can having a better smile change my life?

In our western culture, it is common to see kids with braces, adults whitening their teeth (the most practiced cosmetic dental procedure), veneer procedures increasing in number etc. Why is that? Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you.

Humans unconsciously judge one another within the first eight seconds of meeting. A poor smile can hold you back from so many opportunities such as:

  • Employment
  • Promotion
  • Self confidence
  • Relationships

Our society places such high regard on one’s physical appearance, that a great smile is almost mandatory. So, now the question becomes, how can I improve my smile to improve my life?

Veneers are a simple and effective way to improve your smile and a number of dental issues. Veneers are basically a custom perfect smile shell that gives you the glamorously straight, white smile you have always wanted. Patients rave that after they make the switch to veneers, they experience a confidence boost and their professional and personal lives are enhanced!

But what exactly entails having to keep veneers up? Does it take a lot of effort to keep them looking fantastic? Firstly, it all comes down to the basics. Brushing and flossing daily is not only good for your veneers, but will also help to prevent future veneers. Use a nonabrasive toothpaste containing fluoride to ensure that that it won’t scratch your veneers, leaving them prone to issues like periodontitis, which can cause your gums to recede. Because your veneers are placed right at the gum line, if your gums do happen to recede, the appearance of your veneers could be compromised.

If staining is one of your main issues, staying clear from beverages like coffee, wine and tea is a great idea to keep your new teeth pearly white. Porcelain is very resistant to staining by nature, but the cement used to affix the veneers is prone to staining over time.

Chipped teeth are generally caused by accidental incidents, but can also be caused by biting your fingernails or munching on things like hard candy or ice. While it seems like a harmless act, using your teeth to do things like this can break or dislodge your teeth, but can also do the same to your veneer. Stay away from using your teeth as a chisel. While they are always handy, being in your mouth, it isn’t good for your teeth. Similarly, if you are known to clench or grind your teeth, like while you sleep, this is also a bad habit that is really doing damage to your teeth. Talk to your dentist. They can create a night guard that will prevent your teeth from wearing down and your veneers from accidentally chipping.

So, if you would like to literally change your life and get the smile of your dreams, then contact your dentist today to see if veneers are right for you!

If you think that you may be ready for a more perfect smile, contact Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS to schedule a consult today. Visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com to learn more about veneers.

 

What’s a Water Flosser? | Oral Care

flossingDespite how often dentists remind people about the importance of flossing, most of them let it go in one ear and out the other. According to statistics, only half of American’s floss daily, and 18.5% of them don’t floss at all.

While flossing can be tedious, awkward and downright messy, it’s still a very important part of your daily oral care routine. Floss is able to reach the areas in between your teeth and gums your toothbrush isn’t able to get to. But did you know there’s an alternative option to flossing?

If you’re looking for ways to reap the benefits of flossing, but don’t want to use traditional dental floss, you can use a device called a water flosser. Water flossers are highly recommended by dentists and users.

How Water Flossers Work

A water flosser, also known as a water pick, is a dental appliance designed to be used at home as at home as an alternative to traditional dental floss. This dental appliance varies in size and features, but most water flossers include a motor pump, water reservoir and special tips.

Like pressure washers, water flossers use the same concept, in that the motor and pump cause a stream of pressurized water to flow from the water reservoir through the tips. The only difference is that water flossers are not as powerful and are meant to be used orally.

The main use of water flossers is to remove built up plaque and bacteria that brushing alone cannot take care of. Water Flossers are also less award and typically easier to use. In addition, the water helps simulate your gum tissues, which in turn results in extra health benefits.

Should I Invest in a Water Flosser?

One of the many reasons people prefer to use a water flosser over traditional dental floss is that they’re just easier to use. However, that’s not all there is to this dental appliance.

Many of those who’ve made to switch to water flossers reported having a more pleasant experience, which in turn resulted in them flossing their teeth more often than they would using traditional dental floss.

Another great reason you may want invest in a water flosser is to prevent or treat gum disease. Water flossers have been clinically proven to help remove plaque, improve gum health and even reduce gingivitis.

People with braces or others types of orthodontic appliances reap the most benefits from using a water flosser. Same goes for those that have bridges, crowns, dental implants, as well as people with medical conditions that prevent them from flossing properly, such as arthritis.

How to Use a Water Flosser

As mentioned earlier, water flossing is much more convenient compared to using traditional dental floss. Also, when using a water flosser, you won’t have to look in the mirror or keep your mouth opened wide throughout the whole process.

To begin, simply put the water flosser’s tip into your mouth, close your lips most of the way, lean over a sink and switch the power on. Then floss along your gum line and in between your teeth, while allowing the water to empty into your bathroom or kitchen sink.

When water flossers are user properly, they can be a great addition to your daily oral care routine. Remember, not only is proper oral care important to your oral health, but to your overall health as well.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your oral health, contact Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS at 214-368-2434 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dallascosmeticdental.com for additional information regarding oral health.

Maintaining Oral Health

girl eating appleMaintaining oral health is both easy and important – failing to properly care for your mouth can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, eventually missing teeth and potentially even systemic health issues. Much of maintaining oral health comes down to managing the bacteria that naturally occurs in your mouth through four basic procedures: brushing, flossing, rinsing with mouthwash, and having regular professional cleanings.

Bacteria in your mouth naturally form sticky, yellow film known as plaque. Over time, if that plaque is not removed, it will form a calcified deposit known as tartar, which is very difficult to remove. Brushing twice a day with toothpaste is the first step towards removing plaque and preventing tartar buildup – by brushing twice a day, you remove food the bacteria needs to survive, and physically remove plaque from the surfaces of the teeth. Failing to brush allows the bacteria within plaque to produce acids that damage tooth enamel, creating cavities and weakening teeth. Brushing at least twice a day (and ideally after each meal) can not only remove the bacteria from the teeth, but also remove the bacteria’s food source.

Flossing, like brushing, is designed to minimize plaque and tartar by physically removing both the bacteria/plaque and it’s food. Flossing between teeth helps keep the surfaces between teeth free of plaque, and protects your teeth and gums from plaque that can’t be reached by brushing alone. While you don’t need to floss as often as you brush, you should floss at least once a day.

While brushing and flossing remove plaque from your teeth, and should help prevent plaque from turning into tartar, rinsing your mouth with antibacterial/antimicrobial mouthwash can help kill any bacteria remaining in the mouth. In addition to killing bacteria on the tissue of your cheek, gums, and tongue, rinsing with mouthwash can also help dislodge any stuck food particles, again minimizing nutrients that bacteria needs to survive.

Finally, routine professional checkups and cleanings are the last step in maintaining proper oral health.  In the event that plaque does survive and mineralizes to form tartar, routine professional cleaning can help remove calcified tartar from teeth, and your dentist or hygienist can use specialized, high-speed tools to properly clean areas of your mouth that are difficult for you to clean on your own. At this time, your dentist can also check your mouth for signs of decay, gum disease, or other oral health problems, and can hopefully treat them before they cause permanent damage.

Overall, maintaining oral health comes down to building a routine of brushing, flossing, mouthwash, and regular dental visits. By following that routine, you can protect your natural teeth, avoid cavities caused by decay, and prevent the onset of periodontal disease.

For more information on oral health contact Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS. Make an appointment by calling 469-718-0128 or visit our website atwww.dallascosmeticdental.com.

Tips for Brushing Your Teeth

dental hygiene routineMost dentists will tell patients that the two most important things they can do at home are to brush and to floss regularly. While this advice seems simple – and it is – there are ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways to brush your teeth, and it’s important to understand the difference.

Start by choosing a toothbrush that is a comfortable size – if you have to strain to open your mouth to get the toothbrush in, it’s probably too big, and choose a brush with softer bristles, to avoid damaging your gums.

You should brush at least two times a day, but three is even better, and it should take about 2 minutes each time. If you spend 30 seconds on each quadrant (top right, bottom right, top left, bottom left), you’ll hit the two-minute mark.

Brush lightly, being careful not to damage the gums. Hold your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gums, and move the brush in an up and down motion, using short strokes. Avoid long, wide, side to side sweeping strokes that can cause scrapes along your gums.

Plain fluoride based toothpaste tends to be the best – whitening toothpastes, or those marketed to fight tartar, are likely to be harsh on your teeth, and may actually wear down your enamel over time.

Avoid acidic drinks that can weaken enamel – coffee, soda, orange juice, and energy drinks all will contribute to weakened enamel. Because of this, avoid brushing your teeth immediately after consuming them (in fact, you can avoid brushing immediately after a meal). If you wait a half hour after eating or drinking before brushing, your saliva will have an opportunity to bring your mouth back to it’s normal form, allowing your enamel to re-harden and make it less likely to be damaged during brushing.

Finally, take care of your toothbrush. Rinse it after each use, keep it in a clean area, and change it regularly, every 3 to 4 months. Doing so will keep the brush clean, so that you’re less likely to contaminate your mouth while trying to clean it.

For more information on oral care contact Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS. Make an appointment by calling 469-718-0128 or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.

The Benefits of Flossing

cerec same day crowns dallas txWe all know we’re supposed to floss daily but lets be honest most of us don’t! We’re sure you all dread when you’re sitting in the dentists chair and they ask, ‘How often do you floss?’ While you’re calculating in your head how much you floss and if you should fib to the dentist about your flossing habits lets go over why it’s so important to floss daily.

1- Flossing and Brushing Are More Effective Than Brushing Alone

A toothbrush works to removing plaque with its bristles. Brushing alone has one big drawback: A toothbrush’s bristles can’t adequately clean between the teeth or under the gums. That’s where floss comes in, to get in those tiny spaces between your teeth to get the grime out your toothbrush can’t reach.


2- Flossing Protects Your Gums

Where the gums and teeth meet are where flossing plays its major role. Particles of food can get lodged here, and plaque in this area will harden over time to form tartar, that your dentist will remove with a scraper. Tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis.


3- Flossing Helps Prevent Other Diseases

Gum disease can have effects that go beyond discolored teeth, discomfort and bad breath. Research has shown that the bacteria in an unhealthy mouth can harm the rest of the body, leading to heart disease, diabetes and respiratory illness.

So the next time your dentists asks if you’ve been flossing regularly, we hope you’ll be able to answer with a resounding, ‘Yes!’

For more information on your oral health contact Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS. Make an appointment by calling 469-718-0128 or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.