Tag Archives: preventative dentistry

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.

Don’t Let Summer Ruin Your Smile | Dallas Dentist

Beach sports

When school lets out and we head out on our family vacations, it seems likely our daily schedules relax as we begin to. Our diets become less healthy and thus, so does our dental routine. The problem is, after your fantastic getaway, you may have some dental issues arise. In order to keep your family’s dental health, follow these handy tips:

Make it fun. Kids are going to be the toughest fight when it comes to keeping up dental hygiene any time of year, but especially during the summer. Why not make it fun? Visual reminders are awesome for helping kids create consistent brushing habits. Post a calendar by the sink with space for two stars each day – morning and night. Each week, if they kept their brushing up, reward them. It may sound like cheating, but children love working for a goal. Just try not to make the reward bad for teeth.

Brush in time. It is important that you brush your teeth for at least two minutes, but for little ones that could be tough. Have a playlist or a dance video ready and dance, dance, dance your way to clean teeth!

Clean up the diet. Summertime is all about sugar. Try to minimize the sugary snacks. Replace popsicles and cookies with sugar-free snacks like nuts and watermelon. When you do enjoy sweets, Rinse with some water to prevent sugar from sticking around. Making your family’s diet healthier will always help your dental, and overall, health. Dental health isn’t just for tiny humans, it’s a family affair.

To learn more about summertime dental tips, 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.

Even Babies Need to See the Dentist | Dallas Dentist

5204965366_72b96dbea3Oftentimes, 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. 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 good rule of thumb to keep in mind when making the appointment? Setting it after your child has a good rest is ideal. Things will go much smoother and they will be 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. The more preparation you do, the smoother the experience will be.

On the day of your child’s first visit, 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.

 

April Is Oral Cancer Awareness Month | Dallas Dentist

skd284147sdcOral cancer refers to cancer that develops in any of the parts that make up the mouth. Oral cancer is one of several types of cancer grouped in a category called head and neck cancers. Mouth cancer and other head and neck cancers are often treated similarly. The American Cancer Society recommends oral cancer screening exams every 3 years for persons over age 20 and annually for those over age 40. If you notice any of the below changes, contact your dentist or health care professional immediately:

  • Swellings/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
  • The development of velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks
  • A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
  • Ear pain
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
  • Dramatic weight loss

Your dentist may perform an oral brush biopsy if tissue in your mouth looks suspicious. This test is painless and involves taking a small sample of the tissue and analyzing it for abnormal cells. Alternatively, if the tissue looks more suspicious, your dentist may recommend a scalpel biopsy. This procedure usually requires local anesthesia and may be performed by your dentist or a specialist. These tests are necessary to detect oral cancer early, and early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment.

To learn more about oral cancer screenings, 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.

Stop Your Snoring, Save Your Relationship | Dallas Dentist

snoringNo one wants to know that they snore. Unfortunately, there are very few ways to know that you snore because you are asleep. We tend to find out we do by a significant other that shares the bed with you, and chances are, they aren’t thinking about it in a positive way. That’s right – snoring doesn’t just affect the person doing it, it affects their partner as well. If it is left untreated, it can begin to cause friction within the home. Here are some things you can do to help keep snoring from playing a negative part in an otherwise great relationship:

Try sleeping alone. By separating the rooms, you and your partner sleep. This is one solution, however may lead to loneliness and frustration in one or both partners.

Learn to relax. One of the easier ways to prevent sleep issues is to relax. Try meditation or yoga. There are lots of techniques out there that will help relax your mind and muscle tension while you doze.

Rein in the frustration. You are not mad at your partner, you are mad that you didn’t get a great night’s sleep because of their snoring. Don’t let small arguments while you’re tired corrupt your feelings towards your partner.

Go natural. This may sound like a fad, but there are lots of essential oils that help soothe a restless sleep – for both you and your significant others.

Work as a team for a solution. Typically, the non-snorer may grow into a degree of resentment for putting up with the snorer and may feel like he or she is not trying to stop the problem.

To learn more about snoring, 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.

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.

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.