Tag Archives: general dentistry

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.

Gum Disease: The Beginning Stages of So Much More | Dallas Dentist

506889025Research has shown, and experts agree, that there is a connection between gum disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and respiratory infections. Keeping your gums healthy may not only keep gum disease at bay, but it may also help manage or prevent other health conditions. Dr. Gary Alhadef is a Dallas, Texas cosmetic dentist who has also worked with numerous dental problems for more than 20 years and can help you achieve and maintain healthy gums.

What is Gum Disease? Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. It can affect one or many teeth and begins when the bacteria in plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, red, and bleed easily, but usually does not cause pain. Untreated gingivitis can advance to the more serious disease called periodontitis. This disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and the bones surrounding your teeth. It can lead to serious complications including tooth loss.

There are several health problems associated with poor gum health.

Heart Disease. Research has found that people with gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from Coronary Artery Disease as those with healthy gums. Oral bacteria can enter the blood stream and attach to fatty plaques in the heart’s blood vessels. Clots can block normal blood flow, restricting oxygen required for the heart to function. This can cause a heart attack.

Premature Birth. Risk factors like smoking, alcohol, and drugs are known to cause birth issues. Evidence also suggests that gum disease is a risk factor. Pregnant women with unhealthy gums are seven times more likely to have a premature baby or one with a low birth weight.

Diabetes. Diabetics are more likely to have gum disease than those who are not, likely because diabetics are susceptible to contracting infections. The relationship between gum disease and diabetes works both ways – gum disease can make it difficult to control blood sugar.

Bacterial Respiratory Infections. Bacterial respiratory infections can be caused by inhaling small droplets from the mouth and throat into the lungs. These droplets contain bacteria that multiply in the lungs and lead to damage. Research also indicates that bacteria found in the mouth and throat can worsen existing lung conditions.

To learn more about how Dr. Gary Alhadef can help you maintain healthy gums, please contact his Dallas, Texas dental office to discuss gum disease by scheduling a consultation. Visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com to learn more about veneers.

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

Why Are Straight Teeth Important? | Dallas Dentist

porcelain veneersNature doesn’t always provide straight teeth but there’s ample evidence that having straight teeth delivers extra benefits to your health and well being. Whether you’re born with straight teeth, or straighten them with orthodontics, read on for reasons why this is a smart idea and a great health investment.

Straight teeth provide the correct foundation for chewing.  When your bite doesn’t align properly, it can cause pain along with dental problems. To check your bite in a mirror, expose your teeth, bite normally, and observe whether the uppers and lowers align normally. Each tooth should more or less line up with its twin. Misaligned teeth (crooked or crowded teeth) can cause issues from chronic jaw or tooth pain to excessive wear on tooth enamel.  A poor bite increases stress on teeth and contributes to a shortened “life span” where teeth begin to crack and develop other signs of fatigue.  If you want your teeth to last a lifetime (and who doesn’t?) a healthy bite is the best way to ensure this.

Cleaning straight teeth is much easier than cleaning crooked teeth, which offer a multitude of hard-to-get-to hiding places for plaque and tiny bits of food.  Not cleaning these hiding spots properly will first lead to excessive cavities. The next stage may be gingivitis, or an inflammation between the teeth and gums.  Today science links chronic inflammation with a variety of health disorders including heart disease and cancer, so dealing with ANY inflammation when it appears is essential. If you don’t deal with it, an ongoing toxic mix of bacteria and inflammation can then progress to periodontitis, a very serious disease which causes tooth loss. In worst case scenarios, periodontitis may even contribute to heart attacks and strokes.

On a practical level, any toothbrush has an easier time brushing a nice straight tooth surface. The more contact your toothbrush makes with the entirety of the tooth face, the cleaner your teeth. Flossing straight teeth is simpler too. Crowded teeth often require hand acrobatics to get the floss between teeth, and even then, with some teeth, it’s impossible.

In our culture, we associate straight teeth with beauty, vitality, health and even status. Being born with perfectly straight teeth is actually rare. It’s typically achieved through orthodontic treatment. So people who have straight teeth are often assumed to be more wealthy and successful than their peers with crooked teeth.  For many parents, the ability to provide orthodontic treatment for their kids has a strong emotional component, because they want their children to have every advantage.  And straight teeth and a great smile do provide a self-confidence boost in social settings.

Curious about whether your teeth could benefit from straightening?  Set up an appointment for a consultation. Today advanced technology like Invisalign means straight teeth can be achieved in a fraction of the time it used to take. And even better, the invisible aligners ensure no one will even realize you’re doing it.

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.

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.

 

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.

What is Tartar & How to Fight It

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669If you’ve purchased a toothbrush or mouthwash lately, you’ve probably seen the phase “tartar control”. It’s seemingly mentioned on most toothbrushes, toothpastes, and mouthwashes, but many patients don’t realize what tartar actually is, or why simple brushing, flossing, and mouthwash may not eliminate tartar entirely. To help keep your mouth healthy, it’s important to know what the goal is: what is tartar, and why is controlling tartar so important?

As you eat, bacteria and food particles combine to form a sticky yellow film known as plaque. Plaque coats your teeth – it’s difficult to clean, and it accumulates in cracks, crevices, and beneath the gum line even as you brush it off of the exposed surfaces of your teeth. The bacteria contained in plaque will damage your teeth – it creates acids that damage your tooth enamel and creates cavities. Worse still, if plaque is allowed to stay on your teeth for as little as a day, it hardens into a calcified substance known as tartar.

Just as the bacteria in plaque can cause cavities, the bacteria in tartar will damage teeth – unfortunately, as it hardens it becomes nearly impossible to remove with brushing or flossing alone. Not only can it not always be brushed off, it creates a rough surface for additional plaque to build up, and protects bacteria against your teeth, allowing them free reign to attack your tooth enamel. Typically, tartar will need to be removed with professional cleaning, which is one of the reasons dentists recommend professional cleaning every 6 months.

Because tartar is so difficult to remove, it’s often best to avoid allowing plaque to harden into tartar – by brushing twice a day, flossing every day, and using antibacterial mouthwash, you can help remove plaque before it becomes tartar. Because tartar takes 12-24 hours to harden, brushing twice a day – or after each meal – gives you multiple opportunities to catch all of the plaque before it becomes tartar. For any tartar you miss, you’ll need to rely on your routine professional cleaning to remove.

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

Dental Injuries and Emergencies

cerec same day crowns dallas txDentists will encourage you to visit their office every 6 months for routine cleaning and checkups, and if everything goes well, that may be the only time you need to see your dentist. Unfortunately, sometimes life will have other ideas, and you’ll encounter dental issues that may require visits in between your routine checkups. Some dental issues are emergencies and require immediate treatment – others can wait for a scheduled appointment.

Here’s some guidelines to help you know the difference:

- If a tooth is knocked out completely, immediate care is required to save it. It’s possible that the tooth can be re-implanted if you get to the dentist within an hour or so. Rinse the tooth with water, being careful not to touch the root. Keep the tooth moist by placing it in your mouth, against your cheek, and go to the dentist immediately.
- A chipped or fractured tooth may need prompt care. If you chip or break a tooth, call your dentist – they’ll likely ask you to visit the office in the coming days for inspection. It’s difficult to know the extent of the damage without x-rays and proper checkup, so even if you feel it’s minor, be sure to call your dentist for advice.
- If you experience physical trauma that loosens a tooth, but does not fully remove it from its socket, try to remain calm. If the tooth is pushed inward or outward, GENTLY try to straighten it but do not try to force it into its socket, and call your dentist. If possible, stabilize the tooth with gauze or tissue on your way to the dentist.
- If you’re experiencing a severe toothache, brush your teeth, and then rinse with warm salt water. If you’re experiencing swelling, you may have relief with a cold compress, and for many patients, acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) can help relieve the pain. Call your dentist for an appointment – it’s likely not an emergency, but you should have the tooth checked as soon as possible.

We can’t always avoid physical injury, but your dentist can help treat injuries as they happen. In many cases, teeth can be saved, but even in serious cases where the tooth can not be saved, your dentist can help restore your smile. Try to stay calm, call the dentist, and your dentist will provide the best possible care.

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

Teeth Whitening

459899307Bright white teeth is something we all desire to have and if you’re tired of having yellow, stained teeth, you are not alone. What can be done about your stained and discolored teeth? Teeth whitening, of course!

Teeth whitening restores natural tooth color and bleaching whitens beyond the natural color. There are many methods available, such as brushing, bleaching strips, bleaching pen, bleaching gel, and laser bleaching. Teeth whitening has become the most requested procedure in cosmetic dentistry today. More than 100 million Americans whiten their teeth one way or another.

So if you brush, floss and visit your dentist regularly then why are your teeth still discolored? This happens because the outer layers of your teeth get stained over the years by consumption of certain foods, soda, wine and smoking.

When these outside sources of staining are left to sit on the teeth all day until your next brushing, the dentin on your teeth becomes yellowish or darkened. The best way to help your stained discolored teeth is with one of the easiest cosmetic dentistry procedures, professional teeth whitening.

Contributing factors to yellowing, stained teeth:

  • Tetracycline based antibiotics used before the age of 8 years old
  • Excessive exposure to fluoride as a child
  • Internal bleeding due to trauma
  • Discoloration due to a health condition
  • Natural aging- as time goes by enamel gets thinner and thinner and will get a yellowish hue
  • Soda
  • Wine
  • Smoking
  • Caffeine

The most popular and convenient method is in office professional treatments. Your dentist may even offer a custom tray for at home whitening. Ask Dr. Alhadef what the best plan of attack is to get your smile the whitest it can be. 

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