Southlake Family Dentistry Blog

The 4 Most Common Ways to Ruin Your Invisalign Treatment

May 4, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — southlakedental @ 5:18 pm
Woman holding her Invisalign tray.

If you’ve just started Invisalign treatment, congratulations! A straighter set of teeth is on the horizon—but only if your treatment is successful! And despite the relative ease and convenience of Invisalign, there are still many things that can influence and ultimately deter your progress. Keep reading to learn more about 4 of the most common ways that patients compromise their Invisalign treatment, so you can ensure that your straighter smile is delivered right on schedule.

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Are Cosmetic Dental Procedures Safe?

April 6, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — southlakedental @ 6:23 am
Dentist with beautiful female patient

Given the touted results of cosmetic dentistry, the field can sometimes sound too good to be true. There’s got to be a catch, right? Like, is cosmetic dentistry really safe? They say that artists suffer for their art, so perhaps you suffer for the gleaming smile that dentists give you.

As it happens, though, cosmetic dentistry is just as safe as any other vetted medicine. Below is a summary of its common treatments and why they’re safe for patients.

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Your Guide to Halloween Candy: What to Avoid and How to Take Care of Your Teeth

October 21, 2021

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health,General — Tags: , , — southlakedental @ 6:05 pm

Trick-or-treating is fun for the whole family, and children often anticipate the evening of fun the entire year! Halloween is coming up and we want you and your children to enjoy the festivities….without damaging your teeth! Here is a list of some of the most harmful treats for your teeth and how you can better protect them this October 31st.

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Questions You’ve Been Wanting to Ask Your Dentist

September 20, 2021

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — southlakedental @ 12:48 pm

Do you ever feel like you have a million questions to ask of your dentist but can’t think of them on the spot? This post is for you! We get these questions frequently here at Southlake Family Dentistry and want our patients to have the answers. So, here are the top questions you’ve probably been wanting to ask your dentist. 

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How Your Diet Impacts Your Dental Health

August 16, 2021

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — southlakedental @ 8:54 am

Your diet plays a huge role in your overall health, specifically your organ functions and weight stabilization. But did you know what you eat heavily affects your dental health too? Foods that are good for, say, your digestion system, aren’t always good for your teeth. Let’s dive into all of the hard facts surrounding your diet and your dental health. 

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5 Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

July 19, 2021

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , — southlakedental @ 8:11 am

Have you ever experienced tooth sensitivity? It’s that painful sensation that some of us feel after biting into a popsicle or taking a big sip of hot coffee. If you feel pain after eating/drinking hot and cold foods, you likely have tooth sensitivity. You might be wondering where it comes from and why it only happens to some of us. There are several reasons, but let’s go over the 5 most common culprits. 

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Root Canals 101

June 21, 2021

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — southlakedental @ 10:56 am

You’ve probably heard about root canals before, even if you’ve never had one. And more often than not, there’s a negative connotation that goes along with the procedure. Root canals were historically a painful treatment, but the procedure is not as rough as it once was with the recent advancement in technology. And did you know that according to The American Association of Endodontists, more than 15 million root canals are performed per year? You’re not alone! 

What is a root canal?

Root canal procedures are done to treat a severely cracked tooth, a deep cavity, or issues from a previous filling. A root canal is needed when the pulp or the center of your tooth becomes inflamed from infection or damage. 

How do I know if I need a root canal?

You might be a perfect candidate for a root canal procedure if you have frequent toothaches, sensitivity, discoloration, swelling, or a recurring pimple on the gums. If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your dentist today so we can determine the right treatment to eliminate your painful symptoms. 

What happens during the procedure? 

The first step in performing a root canal is to create an “access hole” into the affected tooth to remove the pulp, any bacteria, and decayed nerve tissue. Thanks to modern medicine, we use local anesthesia to numb the tooth so you shouldn’t feel any pain, similar to a filling. Once the bacteria and pulp have been removed, a series of files are carefully placed into the hole and used to clean the sides of the root canals.

Once the access hole has been cleaned, and all the decayed tissue has been removed, it’s time to seal the tooth. Your dentist may fit this all into one appointment, or you might have a second appointment to finish it up. If you are going to have a subsequent appointment, your dentist will place a temporary filling in your tooth until you see us next. 

Lastly, we always consider restoration. Sometimes, this includes placing a crown on the tooth for protection, preventing it from breaking, and giving the tooth full function. However, you should speak to your dentist about restoration options. 

Don’t let the past of root canals frighten you! Suspect you might be due for one? Contact the Southlake team to schedule an appointment today.

5 Signs You Need a New Toothbrush

May 17, 2021

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — southlakedental @ 1:05 pm

Your dentist has been telling you that brushing your teeth twice a day is important for your oral health. But if your toothbrush isn’t in good shape, your healthy brushing habits might not be benefiting you as much as you think. Your dentist likely gives you a new toothbrush every time you visit the office (which should be twice a year). But you actually need to replace your toothbrush more often than that. Here are some signs that it might be time to throw out your toothbrush and replace it with a new one.

1. The bristles are worn down, broken, or falling out.

Frayed or bent bristles aren’t doing a good job of cleaning your teeth. If you notice the bristles of your toothbrush are declining, or they’re just in bad shape, it’s time for a new toothbrush.

2. Your toothbrush bristles touched someone else’s or fell on the floor.

This one is self-explanatory. The germs that your toothbrush could pick up from the floor or another person’s toothbrush could make you sick. It’s best to replace it if it’s been contaminated by other germs.

3. You stored your toothbrush in a container.

The air-tight toothbrush containers that many people use for traveling are the perfect place for bacteria to breed. If you’ve been storing your toothbrush in a container for a prolonged period of time, throw it out. 

4. You’ve been sick. 

Being sick is no fun, and using the same toothbrush after being ill will not help the cause. If you’ve had a virus such as the flu or a cold recently, replace your germy toothbrush with a new one. 

5. You’re halfway to your next cleaning.

If none of the above things occur before three months have passed, then it’s time! We recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months to get the full effects of brushing. If you use an electric toothbrush be sure you are replacing the toothbrush head on the same schedule.

Keeping your teeth clean and healthy starts with proper brushing. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with an ADA-approved toothpaste. Also, be mindful of the places your toothbrush has been and what it has touched. Contact our office to make an appointment for your next cleaning.

5 Tips for Teaching Kids Good Dental Habits

April 19, 2021

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — southlakedental @ 3:07 pm

Is getting your child to brush their teeth a daily chore? Teaching them good dental habits early isn’t always easy, but it’s an important lesson that will impact their health for the rest of their life. You might have a hard time getting your child(ren) to brush and floss every day, and that’s normal! Encourage proper techniques and habits, leading by example. There are, however, some techniques you can pick up to try and make it more fun.

  1. Start Early

We recommend you start taking your child to the dentist by the time they turn one – or six months after their first tooth comes in. As soon as your child’s first tooth sprouts, it is accessible to plaque, which can lead to cavities and other dental complications. Ask your dentist about the proper steps for caring for your baby’s first teeth.

This is also a good time to get advice on your child’s incorrect oral habits such as thumb/finger sucking and pacifier use. Follow up with your dentist as often as every six months. They will be able to assist you in making an oral care schedule for your child.

  1. Get Them Involved

Letting children make their own choices about their toothbrushes and toothpaste will help spark their interest in dental care so it will seem like more of a fun activity than a chore. If a princess toothbrush makes taking care of their teeth more fun, go for it! Just make sure whatever they choose is approved by the FDA and ADA. 

  1. Offer Incentives 

Let’s face it, as parents, a little bribe here and there will work. Start small – offer extra playtime or a treat over the weekend. We don’t recommend big rewards every day because this can lead to unmet expectations and ruin your progress. Small rewards over a longer period of time will allow for “weaning” off this technique, at the same time encouraging good oral care.

  1. Educate

Teach your children all about dental care and the consequences of not following proper cleaning techniques. Be sure that they understand why we take care of our teeth and how they help us every day. And make sure older siblings are on board too! 

  1. Make it a routine

Children respond well to patterns and routines. Be sure to incorporate good dental care into their morning, afternoon, and evening routine. Keep an eye on them during these times to ensure they are using proper techniques and ask your dentist if you have any questions about how to improve their daily routines.

If you have any additional questions about your children’s oral health, contact us!

Bad Breath: What Causes it and How Can I Fix It?

March 19, 2021

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — southlakedental @ 4:14 pm

If you have ever worried about having bad breath, this post is for you. Also known as halitosis, bad breath is extremely common in adults – in fact, 1 in 4 adults experience it. Before you start to worry, halitosis is a little more chronic than just morning breath. The real concern is if your halitosis is chronic and doesn’t resolve after brushing, flossing, and using a mouth rinse. 

What Causes Bad Breath? 

The number one culprit is the bacteria that live in our mouths. Tiny microbes feed on food particles and dead cells. The unpleasant odor comes from the sulfur compounds that are left behind by the microbes. This probably isn’t something you want to think about, but it is important to know what’s causing bad breath in order to deal with it.

How to Check if You Have Bad Breath  

You can always ask a trusted friend or family member, but that might not be the route that you’re comfortable taking. If you’d prefer to perform this task solo, keep reading.  

The oldest trick in the book: hover your hand over your mouth and exhale. Quickly smell the lingering odor in your hand and you be the judge of how it smells. You can also smell your floss after its use, or use a cotton swab to dab at your tongue. There are plenty of simple methods that can work here! 

Preventing Bad Breath 

Proper Oral Health. Of course, our number one tip is preventive care – brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Make sure to keep your tongue clean as well. You can do this by using a tongue scraper or if you don’t have one, use a toothbrush or a spoon.

Don’t Rely on Mouthwash. Mouthwash only masks bad breath for the short term, and can actually make halitosis worse in the long run. Most over-the-counter mouthwashes contain alcohol. When used, the alcohol will dry out your mouth tissue, causing less saliva production, in turn making your halitosis worse.

Proper Diet. Even when following proper dental hygiene habits, you may still experience bad breath. The culprit here is likely your diet. Here are some foods to stay away from and others that actually help to prevent halitosis from occurring: 

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol

For fresher breath, try incorporating foods like: 

  • Sugarless gum
  • Yogurt
  • Water
  • Herbs and spices (including parsley, cloves, anise, and fennel seeds)

If you’re still struggling with chronic halitosis after trying these methods, contact the Southlake Family Dentistry team. We are here to help with all of your oral health needs!

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