Tag Archives: dentist

Parents: How To Avoid Passing Dental Fear On To Your Kids

Parents: Avoid Passing Dental Fear To Your KidsSome of the most fun times at our practice are when kids come in for their check ups.

Whether they’re shy, playful or loud and chatty, they bring smiles all around (it’s hard not to when you’re so darn cute).

Beyond fun, what we love even more is the opportunity to give them a positive, happy dental experience. There’s no better opportunity to make a good impression as when they’re young and, well, impressionable.

Unfortunately, many adults have experienced the opposite. Going to the dentist was scary, boring or just plain unpleasant, planting the seed of fear that few can shake off over the years, despite numerous advances.

Today, dentistry is more comfortable than ever before, from

–effective anesthetics,

–fast acting materials, to

–cushy chairs…with pillows,

happy gas (yippee!) or something stronger, and

–iPods for music to tune out, if need be.

But mostly, we care a whole lot more about your comfort.

Regardless, as parents, we always aim to do better for our children. In terms of establishing good habits, one of the best things we can do is to NOT pass on our fears to them. It doesn’t matter if it’s the taste of broccoli (yum, in my opinion!), a fear of heights or, going to the dentist.

If we encourage good habits in our children and do so in a positive light, they will not only be better received but practiced more authentically.

Which is exactly why this is so important. If you had a not-so-great experience with your dentist, passing dental fear on to your kids will only continue the negative cycle.

Using a dental visit as a “threat”: if you don’t behave, I’ll take you to the dentist, be ready, it’ll hurt or I always hated the dentist...comments such as these may sound innocent enough but children, especially as young as 2 or 3, take them to heart. Already, going to the dentist or brushing their teeth becomes a punishment rather than part of taking care of themselves.

Instead, using positive reinforcement, prizes or treats for a job well done, as well as oohing and aahing about healthy, bright and shiny teeth can be a better alternative.

These little steps can go so far in breaking the negative cycle. Kids start appreciating the value of oral health, and establishing good habits that last for life.

Every day is a new opportunity to start fresh. Let’s take the positive approach and get our children started on a path to a lifetime of great oral health.

If you’re ready to get your kids off to a great start on their oral health (and have fun while doing it), call or email us:

(214) 522-3110                             www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Children's dentistry, Experience, Oral Health, 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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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 Get More From Your First Dental Visit

Dental VisitIf you’ve been away from the dentist in a while, and have (finally!) decided to get back on the wagon, your first visit is a great opportunity to start a good, long-term relationship.

To begin, I strongly recommend you choose your dentist based on a referral from friends, family or co-workers. Strong online reviews can also be an alternative if you’re new to an area.

To help ensure the optimum first visit–because it tends to be more involved; you are new to them and they to you–here are some tips:

Before Your Visit

1. Check out the website, location, reviews, and what services are offered, and ensure they match your needs.

2. When making the appointment, get the highlights–insurance questions, verify appointment time, appointment length, etc.

3. You know there will be paperwork, so check if it’s available online.  If not, make plans to be there 10-15 min ahead of your time. If you carry dental insurance, remember to bring your card. This gives you plenty of time to get it done, or else paperwork will spill over into the time the dentist or hygienist could be giving you their attention.

4. If you’ve had x-rays within the last year, request them from your previous dentist, or get new ones taken. Regular check ups and x-rays are key to staying in maintenance/small problems-easier-to-fix mode instead of darn-I-have-an-emergency-and-it’s-gonna-be-painful-and-cost-twice-as-much mode.

During Your Visit

5. If you have specific questions or issues, be sure to ask them (write them down and make a list if you think you might forget).

6. If you have any appliances you want checked, such as a night guard, retainers, snore guard, etc., take them with you so the dentist can check the fit and even freshen them up.

7. If you feel the discussion with your dentist is too complicated, please do not hesitate to ask and clarify. Discussions about your oral health should be a two-way street. And knowing the ‘why’ makes the ‘what’ and ‘how much’ easier to understand and modify if/when needed.

8. At the end of the visit, be sure to ask any questions that come up during your appointment. You can also consider buying any recommended products (they’re often at better prices than retail or pharmacy). Pick up a business card or two as well, so as to have their contact info handy.

9. Relax! Every dentist and their team are aware that most people are somewhat anxious and uncomfortable during a dental visit. If something is uncomfortable, say so. Modern tools and technology can make dental treatment much more comfortable than in the past.

Keeping an open mind and a good attitude can allow the dental team to do their best, and in return, you get their best. Most dentists really do want to try to keep your visits comfortable and pleasant, and help you achieve and maintain great oral health. And your first dental visit can pave the way.

Ready to find your dental home? Call or email us:

(214) 522-3110        www. raodentistry.com

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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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Filed under Dental, Teeth Grinding

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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A Ridiculously Simple Way To Improve Your Smile

Do you feel that, as an adult, you’ve missed the boat on straight teeth?boat on the beach

Maybe you never had braces growing up.

Or you did, but never wore retainers (oops!) and things have shifted since.

What if having straight teeth didn’t matter then, but it matters to you…now?

The simple answer that your teeth may be looking for is Clear Braces.

Clear Braces are the modern adult’s straight teeth solution.

They are:

  • esthetic
  • convenient
  • removable
  • effective

As an adult, you get to decide what your perfect smile is. If you’ve discussed porcelain veneers and cosmetic bonding with your dentist, and decided those are not the way to straight teeth for you, orthodontics may be the option ‘X’ that marks the spot.

Being clear on what you want

If you know your goal–and you very well should–is to dot every “i” and cross every “t”, perhaps traditional braces are the way to go, because they offer more control and can do more.

Heck, if your bite is off kilter, using clear braces to correct it is like using a tugboat to pull a tanker. Getting a proper diagnosis and deciding which one you’re a better candidate for is KEY.

When the solution is clear

Now, if want to improve what you’ve got, to correct a relapse from previously having braces, especially if your front teeth look like drunken sailors trying to prop each other up……well, clear braces may be the perfect solution to get them looking like the guards at Buckingham Palace instead.

The popular brand making airwaves is Invisalign. While it’s a great system (and we have it available), we work with one called Red, White and Blue. Same principles, similar method, half the cost, great results.

If you think your ship has sailed on straight teeth and a confident smile, you may want to do a double take. There’s another one in the harbor, clearly waiting just for you.

Did I get you hooked? Call or email us and we’ll get you straightened up in no time (well, almost):

(214) 522-3110                            www.raodentistry.com

Photo credit: chokphoto

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