Tag Archives: oral hygiene

The How-tos of Dental Hygiene | Dallas Dentist

dental hygiene routine

In honor of October being National Dental Hygiene Month, let’s take a look at the proper way to keep our teeth as healthy as possible. After all, there is lots of Halloween candy to eat! Most dentists will tell patients that the two most important things they can do at home are to brush and to floss regularly, but there are ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways to brush your teeth, and it’s important to understand the difference.

You should brush at least two times a day, but three is even better, and it should take about 2 minutes each time. Brush lightly with a soft-bristled toothbrush, 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.

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 its 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.

To learn more about dental hygiene, please contact Dr Alhadef  at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.

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

Baby Teeth and Back-to-School | Dallas Dentist

Baby Teeth and Back to School

As we are wrapping up the final days of summer, it’s time to start preparing your little one’s from the upcoming school year. We should not only prepare them to expand their minds, but their bodies too. So, how does one keep an eye on the oral health of a little human during this time of year?

iStock_000020358353_SmallIt’s important to consider your child’s diet as they transition to the new school schedule. When it comes to the sweet snacks in their lunch, keep the same rule of thumb in mind. Opt for a singular snack they have to eat at once, like a fun-size candy bar. When it comes to snacks, there are loads of options that not only taste yummy, but also help fight against cavity-causing bacteria.

The act of chewing automatically produces saliva production, so handy snacks like popcorn or pretzels are great options when you just want to have something to nosh on. They may not love them the most, but fruits and veggies with high water content, like pears and celery sticks, are also great at keeping their little mouth’s healthy. Protein is also excellent at getting rid of the acids in your mouth so pack turkey sandwiches, cheese & nuts to your heart’s content. There are so many tasty options to divert their attention away from the junk food. Back to school time is always a kid’s least favorite time of year…make it as painless as you possibly can.

To learn more about pediatric dental care, please contact Dr Alhadef  at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.

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

How Is Tartar Actually Controlled? | Dallas Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669If you’ve purchased a toothbrush or mouthwash lately, you’ve probably seen the phrase “tartar control”. And while you may not know what it is, the average person enjoys anything that says it is controlling a bad dental visit. However, many patients don’t realize what tartar actually is, or why simple brushing, flossing, and mouthwash may not entirely eliminate tartar. But to help keep your mouth healthy, it’s important to know the ABCs of tartar.

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 creates acids that damage your tooth enamel and cavities. If plaque is allowed to stay on your teeth, it hardens into a calcified substance known as tartar.

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. Because tartar takes 12-24 hours to harden, brushing twice a day – or after each meal – gives you multiple opportunities to catch plaque before it becomes tartar. For any tartar you miss, you’ll need to rely on your routine professional cleaning to remove.

To learn more about tartar control, please contact Dr Alhadef  at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.

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

Rinse Your Mouth Out Immediately | Dallas Dentist

skd284147sdcWe all love that fresh feeling you get after rinsing with mouthwash. Did you know your mouthwash is doing more than just giving your breath a boost? Rinsing daily with certain mouthwashes can improve your oral health. We’re talking whitening your teeth, helping to prevent gum disease and fighting plaque. Need more? Check it out:

Freshens breath. First and most obviously, mouthwash temporarily reduces bad breath. Mouthwash kills bacteria associated with causing bad breath leaving you with minty fresh breath.

Removes particles. Most people use mouthwash only after brushing. This is a perfectly fine practice, but used before brushing to rinse out loose particles in your mouth will make the brushing and flossing more effective.

Prevents plaque build-up. Various mouthwashes help prevent plaque build-up on your gums, in-between teeth, and on the surface of your teeth. Although it prevents the build-up of plague, it cannot reduce the plaque that already exists on your teeth. So, remember to always brush and floss before plaque becomes a problem.

Cavity prevention. Regular use of mouthwash before and after you brush and floss, you can reduce the chances of cavities forming. Mouthwashes that contain fluoride can prevent cavities and strengthen your enamel. Remember, not all mouthwashes contain fluoride. web services Be sure to check the label on your mouthwash before purchasing.

Mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing and should be used in conjunction with good oral health habits. It takes a moment to rinse but the positive impact on your oral health is long-lasting. With rinsing daily, you can successfully navigate around dental problems.

To learn more about the benefits of mouthwash, please contact Dr Alhadef  at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.

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

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.

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.

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 Effects of Smoking on Your Oral Health

166219324Everyone knows that smoking causes harmful effects on your entire body but what about your mouth specifically? The most obvious effects being bad breath, tooth discoloration and loss of taste and smell, but there can be more serious periodontal problems.

When you take a puff of that cigarette, cigar or pipe, think beyond what it’s doing to your lungs and your heart. Think about what it’s doing to your mouth and teeth. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. As you inhale, the smoke lingers in your mouth before you exhale, even if you don’t inhale fully. Imagine what those 4,800 chemicals hanging around in your mouth can do to your teeth and gums. None of it is good!

Every puff of smoke that gets into your body starts by passing your lips, tongue, teeth and gums.

Tobacco-related conditions of the mouth include:

  • Brown to blackish staining of teeth, dentures and dental restorations.
  • Increased risk of leukoplakia (a lesion in the mouth which can develop into cancer).
  • Increased risk of tooth decay and tooth loss.
  • Bad breath and impaired taste.
  • Smoker’s melanosis (brown spots on the gums).
  • Black hairy tongue (bacteria, yeast and debris collecting on the tiny bumps on the tongue).
  • Smoker’s palate (the roof of the mouth becomes thickened and pale or white).
  • Dental implants are more likely to fail.
  • Some enzyme activity in saliva is reduced by chemicals in tobacco smoke(Source: quit.org).

Not to mention thousands of people die yearly from mouth cancers.

If you are a smoker, you should perform self-checks on a regular basis. Smokers should check for sores around the face, mouth, and neck. If the sores persist after two weeks, it is a sign of a more serious problem. People who smoke should also check for recurrent bleeding in the mouth, lesions, swelling, and lumps. White, red, or dark patches on the inside of the mouth, under the tongue, and on the cheeks that last more than two weeks should be brought to the attention of your dentist immediately.

When you quit smoking, you’ll be at less risk for gum disease, bad breath, stained teeth and cancer. You’ll be healthier and have a huge reason to smile!

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.

Preventing Tooth Decay

cerec same day crowns dallas txWe all dread hearing the word ‘cavity’ at our dental visits. Tooth decay  is probably the most prevalent oral disease, affecting almost everyone during his or her lifetime. The good news is that it’s treatable and is essentially preventable. Tooth decay is the destruction of tooth structure and can affect both the enamel and the dentin layer of the tooth. The tooth decay process begins with dental plaque. Bacteria, which naturally live in everyone’s mouth but thrive in plaque, utilize carbohydrates from food, especially refined sugar, to produce acid. Acid, if produced frequently, will demineralize the tooth enamel structure, which is the hardest substance in the human body. From there the acid will continue to eat through the underlying dentin layer until the bacteria and their waste products reach the pulp or the nerve. Left untreated, tooth decay can lead to root infection and eventually loss of the tooth.

To prevent tooth decay:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Preferably, brush after each meal and especially before going to bed.
  • Clean between your teeth daily with dental floss or interdental cleaners
  • Eat nutritious and balanced meals and limit snacks. Avoid carbohydrates such as candy, pretzels and chips, which can remain on the tooth surface. If sticky foods are eaten, brush your teeth soon afterwards.
  • Check with your dentist about use of supplemental fluoride, which strengthens your teeth.
  • Ask your dentist about dental sealants (a plastic protective coating) applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth (molars) to protect them from decay.
  • Drink fluoridated water. At least a pint of fluoridated water each day is needed to protect children from tooth decay.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exam.

Also mouth rinse containing fluoride can help prevent tooth decay, according to the American Dental Association. Researchers are developing new means to prevent tooth decay. One study found that a chewing gum that contains the sweetener xylitol temporarily prevents the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Finally, because you may be asymptomatic and unaware of the beginning of tooth decay, it is critical that you visit your dentist regularly for a check-up. Some cavities are hard to detect, especially those between the teeth. Sometimes, only x-rays can identify them. Your dentist will also give you a professional cleaning, which is an important part of prevention.

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.