Tag Archives: cavities

Dental Care For Athletes

dental care for athletes

Do you secretly dream of being the next super-athlete, say like Tiger Woods, Serena Williams or Lance Armstrong (minus the doping and the drama)?

Whether you’re on the road to glory, or an everyday athlete starring in your own life story, you’ll need:

Commitment. Dedication. Hard work.

and…….

your TEETH.

Yup. No matter the sport, your teeth are going in with you. To stay in the game, you’ll need to stay in tip-top shape, and  your teeth need to be an asset, not a liability.

Here are a few points to keep in mind:

1. Wear your protective gear

Helmets, padding and mouth guards….are not athletic couture, but meant to keep you safe, and last more than just one game. This goes for all contact sports, but if you’re a heavy duty gym buff (like a weight lifter), a mouth guard is for you too.

Skip it and you risk your teeth getting bruised, battered or knocked out.

2. Eating more sugar? Floss it out

Energy bars, gels and chews….all that sugar may give your body that extra oomph when pushing your limits, but be sure to come home to your toothbrush and floss later that day, or else contend with an increased risk of cavities down the road.

3. Sports drinks….are they in you?

If you’re guzzling sports drinks to fuel your endurance….neither the acidic pH nor the high content of sugar are doing your enamel any favors, making it easy for bacteria to march forth and do damage.

Be sure to:

  •  moderate your intake–by choosing water outside of your activities, and
  •  fuel your prevention–by using higher fluoride in your daily oral care.

Pump up your daily oral care routine by asking your dentist for a prescription strength flouride toothpaste or gel, or use over-the-counter mouth rinses like ACT for extra protection from enamel erosion, tooth sensitivity and possible decay.

And, of course, keep up with your check ups with your dentist so you can maintain good oral health and stay ahead of any issues. Score!

Time out? Cut off? Delay of game?

Not you.

By building these simple–but effective–habits into your oral care, the last thing you’ll worry about during game time is your teeth….well, until you flash your big smile for the front pages 😉

Want to score big on your oral health? Call or email us:

(214) 522-3110                www.raodentistry.com

Image source: Sura Nualpradid

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Filed under Prevention, Smile, Wellness

5 Common Dental Questions Asked By Moms and Dads

Q. 1. Even though my child’s baby teeth will fall out, do I still need to take care of them? 5 Common Dental Questions

A. Yes, please.

**letting go of cavities in baby teeth sets a bad stage for adult teeth that have yet to come.

Q. 2. My dentist suggested sealants on my child’s teeth to prevent cavities. Do they really work?

A. Yes, they do.

**prevent early, and there’s less to cure later.

Q. 3. I’ve always been afraid of the dentist, so I “scare” my kid that I’ll take her to see one too if she doesn’t behave. Is that bad?

A. YES!

**negative breeds negative. Make it a positive, fun experience and the beneficial effects will last a lifetime.

Q. 4. I’ve heard letting my toddler sleep with a sippy cup full of milk is not good for his teeth. Is that right?

A. Oh my gosh, yes.

**milk has a lot of sugar that can damage teeth when coating them for a long time. Ditch the cup/bottle or fill it with water instead.

Q. 5. The best thing I can do for my kids is build good habits for taking care of their teeth from a young age and use positive reinforcement. Do I rock or what?

A. Heck yeah you do! (HI-FIVE!) 🙂

**that’s the best any parent can do..rock on!

Need a positive dental experience for you and your family? Call or email us:

(214) 522-3110                www.raodentistry.com

Image Source: Simon Howden

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Filed under Children's dentistry, Wellness

10 Easy, Cost-Effective Fixes For Common Dental Problems

Cost of dental treatment

Do you freak out when you hear the words your dental treatment will cost you…….. ?

Before you down an entire bottle of Tums, take a deep breath and read on.

If you want to keep the cost of dental treatment from out-growing your budget, there’s no better way to do it than prevention. Do your due diligence, and unpleasant surprises will stay few and far between.

Still, life–and teeth–have a way of putting a kink in your plans, so here are 10 easy and cost-effective tools and fixes for most common dental ailments:

1. Warm salt water rinses

Most gum irritations–be they red, sensitive or puffy–come to heel when subjected to a regimen of warm salt water rinses. The salt draws the irritant (or infection) to the surface, where the body eliminates it, and also helps neutralize the acidic environment that fosters bacteria.

Cost: < $1

2. Floss

If you haven’t discovered the power of floss, you’re missing out on one of THE most effective dental tools. It keeps teeth clean, lowers risk of cavities, prevents gum disease, and a bonus: helps prevent bad breath. Its slightly-less-powerful-but-still-effective brethren include tooth picks, proxa brushes, Sonic floss (if you like gadgets), etc.

Cost: ~$2

3. Tongue cleaner

Is it me or do you smell something? Ahem.

Get this handy gadget if you want to part ways with bad breath. This nifty tool will help get the funk off your tongue and make friends with fresh breath.

Cost:~$2

4. Sensitivity tooth paste

Teeth and gums throwing temperature tantrums? Mild-but-constant sensitivity to cold foods and drinks can be soothed into submission with a desensitizing tooth paste in just a few days.

Cost: ~$2-$5 

5. Dental/orthodontic wax

Whether you’re in braces or have a chipped tooth and can’t get to the dentist right away, dental/orthodontic wax is easily gettable from any drugstore, preventing excessive gum irritation and keeping you comfortable.

Cost: ~$4

6. Orabase

Pizza burn? Hot coffee burn? Orabase is a handy topical numbing agent that can soothe minor burns in your mouth and get those gums and tissues to start healing.

Cost: ~$6

7. High flouride tooth paste

Darn those cavities! While there’s no substitute for good oral care at home and regular maintenance at your dentist’s, you can still aim a good power punch at cavities-to-be by using a prescription strength high flouride tooth paste. This is especially useful if you’re prone to getting cavities, but would rather not.

Cost: ~$15-$25 per tube

8. Electric toothbrush

Now, this one doesn’t qualify as “low-cost”….or does it?? Let’s see.

It cleans your mouth better, lowers risk of gum disease, helps prevent gums from receeding, picks up some of the slack if you don’t floss daily, and removes daily stains more effectively and thus keeps teeth fresher and brighter.

So yes, it’s a small chunk of change up front but saves you a ton of $$ over the long haul.

Cost: $100-175 (for a GOOD one)

9. Night guard

Bring out the cavalry, I’m getting on my soap box. Teeth grinding/clenching can chip, grind or break your teeth, cause jaw soreness or pain, and wear out your existing crowns and fillings faster. A night guard is a great non-invasive (i.e. no drill) solution. One guard, less dental work. Plus, many dental insurances cover it.

Cost: ~$300-$600

10. Regular dental check ups

Yes, this IS an easy and cost-effective fix. It costs less to keep up with check ups and annual x-rays to catch cavities when they’re small rather than waiting till they turn into toothaches, root canals and crowns… or worse, losing your teeth.

On the flip side, some NOT so effective fixes: aspirin (for pain), paint on whiteners, overuse of baking soda, whitening mouthwashes, antibiotics (which are often temporary fixes because they treat symptoms, not the problem).

Cost: a lot less than if you didn’t

Don’t want to pay high dental bills? Then form good habits, be consistent, get basic tools, and get regular dental check ups (i.e. good maintenance)…and your stay in the dentist’s chair will be short and sweet.

Need more? Or just need to get started? Call us, email us, or Facebook us:

(214) 522-3110   www.raodentistry.com    Facebook: Rao Dentistry

Image: Meawpong3405

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Filed under Dental, Health, Teeth Whitening, Wellness

How To Floss With Braces, The Right Way

The metal. The wires. The bands.

No, it’s not a rock party. I’m talking about full-on metal braces, the gear you sport on the way to…

a fabulous smile.

You know, the one that boosts your confidence, makes your pictures come alive, and lets the whole wide world know that you have straight teeth.

Alas. Beauty comes at a price.

And part of that price is the work it takes to get there.

With all that hardware, keeping your teeth and gums healthy can seem like a daunting task.

If you’re a parent, you know all this already.

You also know that the last thing you want is gum disease or a mouthful of cavities after a couple of years in braces, because the teeth and gums weren’t given the TLC they needed.

But getting your child to take an active interest in his or her oral care while in braces….well, let’s just say it’s nice to get some help.

Here is a handy video (courtesy Bracesquestions.com) via YouTube that, in 3 minutes, shows how to floss the right way when you have a mouthful of braces:

Have questions? Ask us in the comments. We’ll get them answered, or tap on our friendly neighborhood orthodontist’s shoulder to help out 😉

(214) 522-3110        www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Children's dentistry, Oral Health, Smile

How To Seal The Deal And Save Money

There are some things people just should not do.

                  Talk with their mouth full.

                  Send the wrong text to the wrong person. Oops.

                  Wear skinny jeans, three sizes too small. Really?

And my personal favorite,

                  Pick their nose. In public.

On the other hand, there’s something pretty high up on my list of things they should do. And that’s getting sealants placed on their children’s permanent teeth.

I shouldn’t, but since we’re here anyway . . . .

Sealants are protective coatings placed on freshly sprouted permanent molars as a preventive measure; they drastically reduce the chances of those teeth getting cavities.

While they’re not a free pass to skimp on brushing, flossing, consuming sugary food in moderation or a dose of fluoride, they can get your children’s second (and last) set of teeth off to the races.

Molars typically come in around ages 6 and 12. Why molars? Because they have the most nooks and crannies where bacteria can gather and party harder than a Vegas nightclub. So those are the ones we pick to seal.

And here are 6 good reasons why:                                                    

1. Protect teeth and prevent decay

 And yes moms, they’re tooth colored and BPA-free.

2. Quick and easy

 Usually take less than 20 minutes.

3. No needles!

Ain’t that a treat at the dentist’s! Sealants are only placed on healthy teeth, so no anesthetic or drilling required.

4. Save money

The cost of sealants is a fraction of fillings or other restorations. Get those healthy teeth sealed early, and your child has the best chance of keeping those teeth decay-free.

5. Last long-term

Sealants adhere to teeth simply by getting into their crevices before bacteria do, and are not permanent. They can also come loose while eating certain (crunchy) foods.

That being said, they can last anywhere from 6 months to, more commonly, several years. Most dentists will replace them at no charge if unsuccessful within 6 months or a year.

6. Easy intro to dental visits

If sealants is the first “major” dental visit your child has had, they’re going to breeze through it.

In turn, this establishes a healthy comfort level at a young age should they encounter dental issues down the road. Trust me, that is no small accomplishment.

It’s pretty much a win-win on many levels. Unlike calling someone “swagdaddy”. Yeah, I don’t know either.

We’ll let you know at your child’s check up when their permanent teeth are ready to be sealed. And when they’re in for their visit, we’ll walk them through each step, make it easy and even fun.

Plus, they all know about the goodies in the Treasure Chest after they’re done, as they should.

What they shouldn’t do, is quote The Jersey Shore. That’s just an awful situation.

Questions? Thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

www.raodentistry.com     (214) 522-3110

If you like what you see, please share it on Facebook or Twitter. Gratzie.

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Filed under Children's dentistry, Oral Health

7 Smart Tips for All You Baby Mamas

Ahh . . . the joy of a new baby.                                                                                     

For any new mom, it is truly a wondrous time. The little fingers, the little toes. Aren’t they just adorable?

They look at you, you look at them, and say, You had me at whannn.

That is, between 2am feedings, diapering, feeding, 4am feedings, bathing, rocking, 6am feedings. Sigh.

You feel the need . . . . the need for sleep.

As the weeks go by, your little one eventually falls into a routine. You hope.

But around 6 months or so, expect another change; this is when your baby is most likely to start teething.

Unless, of course, yours is an overachiever, in which case, this can happen earlier.

You’ve got the basics down (hey, anyone’s a pro after their 127th diaper change). So what the heck do you do now that your baby is trying to grow his or her first chopper?

Because you’re a busy mom (is there any other kind?), I’ve compiled a list of basic do’s and don’ts as a quick guide to help you so you can snooze instead of trying to do this yourself.

Please, hold the applause.

DO . . .

1. Keep your baby’s mouth clean

Elementary, my dear Watson. Yes, starting from babyhood, clean your baby’s mouth just as you would your own. Well, not exactly the same. Just grab a clean, wet washcloth, wrap around your finger and gently rub their gums. A couple of times a day is plenty, preferably after feedings.

2. Start brushing when the first tooth comes out

When that first tooth sprouts, it’s time to switch to a children’s soft toothbrush. Wet with water and gently brush once a day.

As more teeth join the ranks, you may use non-fluoridated toothpaste (small smear) on their toothbrush twice a day. A children’s fluoridated paste is not recommended till at least age 2 or 3, when they are able to spit.

3. Take your child to a dentist

The first check-up is recommended between 6 months and their first birthday. The dentist can make sure it’s all good in the hood, and growth is normal. They can also help answer any questions, and guide you on what to expect as more teeth come in.

Taking your little one in every 6 months is ideal, and builds a good foundation early on. Remember, if you build it, they will come.

4. Encourage a healthy diet

Leave the junk in the trunk. Literally. Offer your child healthy food options, and limit sugary snacks and drinks. You want cavities in baby teeth to be strangers, not friends.

On the flip side,

DON’T . . . .

1. Let your baby fall asleep with a bottle of anything other than water

Juice, formula and breast milk all have sugars that can pool in their little mouth and provide an unlimited buffet for decay-causing bacteria (also known as “baby bottle tooth decay”). This one’s a BIG no-no!

2. Give them over-the-counter teething ointments

The FDA recently issued a warning against these, so skip them. To soothe any teething pain, try teething rings instead.

3. Underestimate the importance of keeping baby teeth healthy

Yes, they’re the starter set, but keeping them cavity and infection-free sets the proper stage for the permanent ones to follow suit. Cavities may prevent your little one from chewing food, or worse, be painful. And nobody puts baby in the corner.

Learning to keep up with your baby is an ongoing journey. Just when you think you’ve got one thing down pat, here comes another. Although I hear the teenage years are a breeze.

But when it comes to taking care of baby’s teeth, take heart.  You are now fully armed.

May the force be with you.

Have questions? Or thoughts to share? Let us know in the comments. Oh, and more cheesy movie lines are welcome too.

www.raodentistry.com    (214) 522-3110

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Filed under Children's dentistry, Oral Health

What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Dentally

To say pregnancy is a time of change is an understatement.

While the imminent pitter patter of little feet brings sheer joy, the passing weeks and a growing belly make it almost impossible for the mama-to-be to ignore her own health. Why am I throwing up AGAIN? Where is the nearest restroom? And my personal favorite….I thought the second trimester was supposed to be better; why did they LIE?

Between the baby shower and the nursery, it’s easy to leave your oral care on the way side. I mean, how can you even think about going to the dentist when you just discovered that your mother-in-law is planning to stay with you for a month after the arrival of her first granddaughter?

Take a deep breath, ladies! While I may not have all the answers (especially about your mom-in-law), I can tell you why keeping up with your dental check-ups is a must:

Hormones are a-changing!

While the hormone tsunami is necessary for the baby’s development, it can increase your risk of gum disease (“pregnancy gingivitis”) and in turn affect your baby’s health. Pregnancy is no excuse to skip your dental cleaning and check up; in fact, it is recommended.

Morning sickness, anyone?

You may have had the (ahem) pleasure of bouts of vomiting during the first twelve weeks (or 30, like me). If this keeps you from brushing, let us know. You may find that switching toothpaste or brushing later in the day helps, as does rinsing with water or mouthwash after the “exodus”.

Keep those cavities in check

While elective procedures are better left for later, a check up can reveal any issues before they get too hot to handle. Ideal treatment time is the second trimester. What you DON’T want to do is ignore a small cavity early on and it turn into a dental emergency.

Let’s hear it ONE more time

Last, but not least, your dental visit can shine up those pearly whites, keep that plaque under control, and encourage you to keep up with your home care. As additional ammo, we can also provide a high fluoride toothpaste to combat the potentially higher cavity risk. This is particularly useful if you have a weekly rendezvous with your friends Ben & Jerry.

Now that you have the highlights, feel free to call us at (214) 522-3110 if you have more questions. Or ask us in the comments below. Happy mothering 🙂

www.raodentistry.com

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