Tag Archives: dental check-up

5 Super Easy Ways to Help You Remember To Floss…For Good

Get your floss on, and ace your next dental check up and cleaning. We’ll ignore the fabulous health your mouth will be in5 Super Easy Ways To Help You Remember To Floss...For Good as a minor consequence.

The only thing is, you have to remember to do it.

Every night.

So, just (well, sort of) like Mrs Jones….Let’s get it on.

Here are 5 super easy (and FREE!) ways to help you remember to floss:

1. Floss before you brush

You know you have to brush before you sleep at night, so making flossing a habit before you brush is the easiest, simplest way to guarantee that it will happen. Plus, flossing beforehand removes plaque and food debris so flouride from your toothpaste can get in between your teeth more effectively.

2. Go post-al

If you’re a visual learner, this will work for you. Stick a post-it note on your bathroom mirror. Preferably right in your face, so to speak. Kinda hard to ignore neon green paper telling you to FLOSS (in caps, for a stronger effect). “Or else”, if you have a flair for the dramatic.

3. Go smart

If you are one of the 3.5 people who doesn’t own a smart phone, skip this one. Open up your calendar app and set a reminder alert (with sound) so it beeps, barks or yodles at the time you usually get ready for bed. Brrriiinggg! Floss.

4. Reward yourself

Nothing like a little incentive to ensure that the job gets done. We do it with kids, so why not grown ups? Pick an enticing reward for, say 30 straight days of flossing. Come the last day, treat yourself to a reward of your choice and partake of the joy well-earned.

5. Do as I say AND as I do

Parents. Time to walk the talk and floss the…um…floss. Kids need to floss. You need to floss. Why not make it a double date? Setting a good example while taking great care of your gums and teeth…well you’re just setting the stage for a lifetime of good oral care. Also works with your significant other, and pet, if they’re willing.

Give one, or all, a sincere try. You’ll surprise yourself at how easy it is to be a flossing pro and will shout these tips from the roof tops (I may be exaggerating slightly).

Did I miss any? Do you have any tricks up your sleeve that helped you remember to floss?

(214) 522-3110                          www.raodentistry.com

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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

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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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7 Ways To Whiten Your Teeth, Without Professional Help

DIY Whiten TeethYour precious teeth. You know they’ve got the right to be as white as they can.

You’ve looked and looked in the mirror…..then looked some more, willing them to be their whitest.

But, to no avail.

Actually, the answer may be a lot easier than you’d expect.

There are two paths to a whiter, brighter smile

  • slow, steady, continuous–things you can do to improve your smile
  • faster, as-needed (or wanted)–whitening products and whitening options dental professionals can provide.

Your results will be better and last longer if you do both.

Here are the “slow and steady”, but very effective, ways:

1. Use an electric toothbrush

A good quality electric toothbrush will not only clean your teeth and gums more effectively, it will also remove stain better than a manual toothbrush (unless you’ve got sonic hands), especially when combined with a whitening toothpaste.

2. Floss

There just doesn’t seem to be getting away from this one, is there?

If keeping plaque and gum-disease away are not enough motivation, think of it this way: with last night’s dinner still stuck between your teeth, how are your toothpaste and toothbrush bristles going to remove stain?

3. Modify soda and other dark liquid consumption

Dark liquids may excite your taste buds, but in terms of stain (and many, to your general health)–they’re doing you no favors. One solution is to use a straw to drink them, which reduces exposure to stain.

Of course, it’s not exactly a classy way to enjoy a glass of red wine (the waiter at Chez Paree might frown), so try a different solution–sip some water right after, and be sure to brush as soon as possible.

It also helps to drink your sodas and ice teas in a few minutes rather than sipping on them for hours.

4. Curb/quit smoking

If vanity can ever be the final straw, let it be for white teeth. Smoking will take your teeth nowhere but the dark side. Cut back on (or cut out) smoking and the stain will go with it. Pipe stains can be especially tenacious.

5. Eat raw fruits and vegetables

The most delicious tip of the bunch. Crunchy foods like raw apples and celery, and fruits like strawberries have natural stain-removal properties. If you eat these foods anyway, give yourself bonus points!

6. Keep up with your dental visits

Those dental tools may not be much to look at but boy, in the right hands–like your dentist’s or dental hygienist’s–not only do they provide better oral health but get to nooks and crannies you can’t.

Stay on schedule with your teeth cleaning and check up appointments and they’ll get your pearlies spruced up before stain gets out of hand.

7. Start early

Don’t shoot the messenger, but……age definitely contributes to staining of teeth. With the exception of internal stain due to antibiotics or other developmental reasons, external stain is a factor of our oral care and diet, and gets more stubborn over time.

Start good habits (as listed above) early, and maintain them, and you’ll reap the fruits of your labor for years to come.

Ready for a brighter smile? Then get started on these tips today. Combine them with professional whitening, and you’ve not only got a winning combination, but a winning smile too 🙂

Call us: (214) 522-3110         Visit us: www.raodentistry.com

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