Tag Archives: dental

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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How To Prevent Your Teeth From Breaking

This has been a summer of hot temperatures, hail storms and the Olympics. prevent teeth from breaking

And broken teeth.

Is there an ice-chewing convention in town that I don’t know about?

Pretty much every week this summer, we’ve had folks break their teeth on “salad” or “oatmeal”, or my favorite, while “flossing” (ahem).

Okay, now I know not everyone is crunching on ice (or hard candy), but if there IS a community event of the sort, I’d appreciate some advance notice.

It goes without saying–but I’ll say it anyway–we’ll take take of you and your teeth as needed, but let me take this moment to harp on something, which is the concept of preventing such a tooth calamity.

If you know/suspect/have been told that you clench or grind your teeth, please consider getting a night guard. A custom guard from your dentist is the ideal choice, but if that’s over your budget, get one from a drugstore.

All that muscle action on your teeth can not only chip or break your teeth, but weaken the fillings and crowns you already have. Not to mention trigger jaw pain and headaches.

If you chew ice, consider quitting. Your teeth WILL eventually lose that battle. Trust me.

Switching to shaved ice is a tad better, but only a tad.

If you have a cavity you’re aware of, it will only get bigger (I have yet to hear of one that self-heals). It’s worth it to get it taken care of while it’s small, before it gets big enough to cause you pain or break your tooth (and your wallet).

Skipping x-rays, just this once? Well, okay, but know that without them we can’t see in between your teeth or what’s going on under your crowns and old fillings. You need to be comfortable with taking that risk more than your dentist.

Contrary to popular misconception, we don’t take pictures of your teeth for a secret dental Facebook society. We take them to gauge your oral health and diagnose more accurately.

Small problems caught early = easier to fix

A couple of things to keep in mind–if you’re a “cruncher”, i.e., a lover of nuts, granola, chips, etc., take it easy when you eat those things. An almond is just as tasty as 4 plopped in your mouth all together, and less risky.

See? Making a few small changes can keep you miles away from a dental emergency, a tooth ache or looking like a hillbilly.

I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.
~ George C. Lichtenberg

Don’t want to be a statistic? Ask us how to get prevention for your teeth into high gear:
(214) 522-3110                www.raodentistry.com
Image source: Phaitoon

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6 Signs You Have The Wrong Dental Insurance

wrong dental insuranceThe dental insurance offered to you at work is the product of an agreed affair between your employer and the insurance carrier.

After they’ve hit the (spread) sheets a few times, they mutually agree to offer a few plan options that you get to choose from.

Please note that your dentist is not involved here, since no one likes a third wheel.

Yet somehow dental insurance companies have managed to shove under the covers the fact that they have not increased the amount of coverage in 40+ years.

Suffice it to say, neither you nor I can expect any changes to that unfaithful move anytime soon. Well, not without a dirty fight anyways.

However, getting some is better than none for most people these days. At the very least, your basic visits are covered, and so are varying parts (note: part, not “all”) of most dental procedures such as fillings, crowns, dentures, etc.

Still, some glaring red flags can alert you that you may not have the “average” insurance, but one that is altogether wrong:

1. The plan is neither a PPO nor a DMO….but a NO-NO.

2. When you call them about your dental benefits, they don’t allow humans to answer the phones.

3. The fine print says they will pay on your claim only on the 4th Tuesday of every other month, but only if it’s raining.

4. The insurance company’s philosophy is that they prefer not to pay for prevention, and certainly not for major treatment. (Yeah, I’m still scratching my head on that one.)

5. The insurance company denies coverage due to a pre-existing condition: that you have teeth.

6. The insurance company prefers that you DON’T see a dentist.

The above points may be somewhat funny, but are somewhat true.

To avoid getting into a messy tangle, it pays to know the different plan options available, and also to note the fine print on the plan you choose, i.e., having a general idea of what’s covered and what’s not.

Being informed keeps you on top. This way, if you and your dentist have to go all the way to figure out why the insurance company isn’t paying, at least both of you will be on the same page.

But, should you discover that you indeed have the wrong dental insurance and desire good oral care, I encourage you to sack it and find a better one as soon as possible.

(214) 522-3110                    www.raodentistry.com

Image source: Grant Cochrane

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Almost Famous: Sex And Oral Cancer

In the range of ‘popular’ cancers, the one that often flies under the radar is oral cancer.

But is it really a big deal? It seems to pale in comparison to the cancers of the breast, pancreas, cervix and the like. Well, until a celebrity brings it under the spotlight.

Famous or not, however, it is a force not to be messed with. No sireee.

Here’s why:

  1. More than 40,000 Americans will get it this year, and it is predicted only about half will survive it
  2. It usually spreads silently and painlessly….there may not be a red flag signalling for your attention
  3. Survivors have a 20% higher risk of developing a secondary cancer….after the initial occurrence
  4. More people under 40 are being diagnosed with it, and it used to affect mostly those over 40
  5. Historically, the main causes have been smoking, or smoking + alcohol (risk increases 15X). But there’s a new kid on the block–and growing fast via sexual transmission–HPV-16 (Human Papilloma Virus)

All in all, it may be the ‘underdog’ of cancers, but still a force to be reckoned with. The numbers, unfortunately, are on the rise, especially in women (rising from 1 in 7 to 1 in 3).

The scary thing is that because of its stealthy nature, it is often diagnosed after it’s spread to other parts of the body. And treatment for oral cancer is not an easy road either. I’m talking radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, and restorative procedures after that.

As in many health issues our nation faces today, lifestyle choices have a huge impact on the quality of our life. Modern science can do (and has done) a lot to improve it, but while we’re waiting for a magic pill to solve whatever ails us, there is the smarter alternative of taking charge of our own health.

Preventive measures for oral cancer include:

  • Early detection
  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting alcohol intake
  • A healthy diet, high in fruits and vegetables
  • Regular exercise
  • Safe sex (especially the young ones, since their rates are rising via HPV)

Last, but not least, every dental check up you come in for does include an oral cancer screening with us. We’re in that area more often than your physician, and thus more likely to spot something early on.

Any lumps or bumps are documented and you are informed. A follow up with us or a specialist is always discussed if anything out of the ordinary is suspected.

Till the number of those affected with oral cancer approach zero, smart lifestyle choices and early detection are your best bets in making sure that oral cancer does not grab center stage in your life.

(214) 522-3110          www.raodentistry.com

Image Source: photostock

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Filed under Health, Oral Cancer, Smoking

The Essentials Of Teething In Babies

Teething in babies can be one of the quirkiest, unpredictable and interesting experiences.

And that’s just for parents.

But your little bundle of joy knows no different. She cannot communicate yet what she’s feeling. So she does what she feels as her little baby teeth (a. k. a. “primary teeth”) get in line to come forth.

Speaking of which….

When do babies start teething?

As early as 3 months, as late as 14 (often preemies). It’s rare, but some are even born with a tooth or two. Hey, I did say unpredictable.

More commonly, though, their first tooth sprouts around 6 months, and it’s usually the bottom front one (“incisor”). Teeth like to come in pairs, so once you see the first, the partner is soon to follow. Then come the ones on top.

Here’s a handy-dandy chart (from TheBump.com) of the order in which baby teeth come in:

You can download and print this chart (pdf) by clicking on the image or here. (You can fill it in as teeth come in, and it makes for an interesting addition to the baby book.)

I think my baby is teething early!

You may think so, if your little one starts gnawing and chewing on anything she can get her hands on as early as 2 or 3 months.

Most often, though, all the drooling and chewing doesn’t lead to an actual tooth until around the 6 month mark, or even later. My daughter, a preemie, could not chew enough when she was 4 months old, but didn’t get her first tooth till 11 months. Go figure!

As those teeth come in, you may wonder….

When should my child start going to the dentist?

When the first tooth appears in the general rule of thumb, but no later than her first birthday.

Your dentist can make sure everything is looking a-ok in there, answer any questions, prevent small issues form getting bigger, and offer tips on how to take care of their mouth at different stages of teething.

In addition, early positive dental experiences build good oral care habits from a young age so your little ones grow up with healthy teeth right from the start.

Need more information? Call or email us!

(214) 522-3110            www.raodentistry.com

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7 Pearls Of Transcen’dental’ Wisdom

1. The fastest way to brighten your day: SMILE. 

2. Beauty without health is like a song without a melody.

3. The Floss Police does not exist (but do it anyways).

4. Everything you do to take care of your body, matters. Even the little things.

5. You can speak “smile” in any language.

6. Conquering your fear: priceless.

7. No smile is too white for that delectable glass of red or a lovely cup of coffee 🙂

Do you have more pearls to add to this list? Tell us in the comments below!

(214) 522-3110     www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Cosmetic, Smile, Teeth Whitening, Wellness