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 Habits that Hurt Your Teeth

January 15, 2021

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — southlakedental @ 2:25 pm

Here at Southlake Family Dentistry, we want all of our patients to have the healthiest and strongest teeth possible. However, there are several bad habits we often see that can hurt your teeth. Many of these habits can lead to tooth damage, cavities, and staining. While we’ve seen a multitude of practices that harm your teeth, here are the top five. 

  1. Smoking 

Smoking is terrible for almost every function of your body, including your teeth and mouth. Not only does tobacco stain the teeth, causing yellowing, but several health risks have to do with your mouth. For starters, smoking can lead to severe gum disease, bad breath, increased loss of bone in the jaw, and an increased risk of oral cancer. If you haven’t quit smoking, we highly suggest quitting to reduce your risk of developing any of these dreadful conditions.

  1. Drinking Coffee 

Drinking coffee seems like a necessity to some, especially to our working individuals. But you might not be aware that it isn’t good for your teeth. The most obvious reason is that it causes staining. The drink is dark in color, and if you drink coffee every day, your teeth are probably a bit more stained than non-coffee drinkers. Coffee also sticks to your tongue, causing bad breath or halitosis. But don’t worry, there are alternatives! Try drinking green tea or eating a large and nutritious breakfast instead. And if you must have coffee, just brush your teeth afterward. 

  1. Eating Chewy or Hard Candy 

Most foods with high sugar content are not going to be good for your teeth. But if you’re going to stay away from one thing, it should be chewy or hard candies. Harmful bacterias feed off of the sugars and turn into an acid, which erodes your teeth. This process eventually leads to cavities, which can be annoying and painful. You can avoid this by staying away from hard or chewy candy, and if you decide to eat some, brush and floss right after. 

  1. Nail-Biting 

Almost every person has bitten their nails at some point in their lives. But nail-biting is a more problematic habit to break for some. The routine can wear at the enamel of your teeth, eventually leading to cracking, chipping, and weakness. If you or your child struggles with nail-biting, The American Academy of Dermatology Association provides a list of ways to break the habit. Save your teeth and break the habit as soon as possible! 

  1. Eating Ice

This last bad habit isn’t too obvious but can still cause damage. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, but that does not mean it’s invincible. Chewing ice can damage your enamel, even causing cracks or chips in your teeth. Avoid this risk and just wait for the ice to melt.

Don’t let your teeth suffer damage from any of these bad habits. Contact Southlake Family Dentistry for any questions regarding your teeth, or visit our website to schedule an appointment. 

Special Dental Concerns for Millennials

June 15, 2018

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , — southlakedental @ 6:36 pm

You might be surprised to learn that the generation known as the Millennials tends to have poor oral health. Why? There are several reasons: Their busy lifestyles don’t accommodate dental appointments. They have the advantage of good health overall, so they don’t have any pressing needs when it comes to their oral health. And, possibly one of the most important, the types of jobs many Millennials have don’t offer dental benefits. If you are a Millennial, check out this guide to keeping your smile healthy.

Reduce Your Stress Levels

It’s easier said than done, but if you have a lot of stress in your life, as many Millennials do, it makes sense to take steps to reduce it. Stress can cause teeth-grinding, which can lead to enamel erosion, TMJ problems, headaches, cracked fillings, broken teeth, and even loose teeth. If you grind your teeth, you might experience mouth, jaw, and head pain, particularly in the mornings, along with molar sensitivity when you eat. A nightguard can help stave off symptoms while you get your stress under control.

Observe Excellent Oral Hygiene

You might operate under the theory of, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” but this is a mistake when you’re dealing with your teeth. Things can go from perfectly fine to quite painful (and expensive) in a relatively short period of time. Don’t ignore your oral health: brush twice daily and floss before bed. Also, make an appointment with your dental hygienist if it’s been longer than 6 months since your last visit. Finally, if you notice anything amiss (loose tooth, bleeding gums, uneven filling, mild pain, etc.), make an appointment to be seen by your dentist.

Spruce Up Your Smile

If you hesitate to flash everyone a toothy grin because you aren’t quite happy with how your smile looks, take action now to improve your appearance and boost your self-esteem. Ask your dentist whether teeth whitening, dental veneers, or braces might be worth considering. Invest in your smile and then make sure you do your best to help it last a life time with good oral hygiene and regular dental visits!

How Your Oral Health Impacts Your Overall Health

March 15, 2017

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health — Tags: , , — southlakedental @ 3:02 pm

You probably do things that will improve your health: You exercise regularly, eat your veggies, take any prescription medications your doctor has recommended, and get enough sleep. Did you know, however, that brushing and flossing your teeth are important not only for your oral health, but for your overall health as well? If you don’t take care of your teeth and gums, you could be negatively impacting more than just your smile. Read on to find out how your dental health regimen could be affecting other parts of your health, as well as how your overall health could be impacting your teeth and gums.

Problems From Bacteria Overgrowth

If you don’t brush or floss well, or if you have cavities that aren’t taken care of, you could end up with an overabundance of bacteria in your mouth. The signs of this happening include swollen gums, bleeding gums, loose teeth, and bad breath. If you don’t get that addressed, it’s possible that the bacteria will move into your bloodstream, where it can cause a host of problems. You could end up with a septic infection if the bacteria overload is severe. If you have heart problems, rheumatoid arthritis, or an artificial joint, bacteria can settle in these areas and cause infections around the heart or in the joints.


If your teeth are crumbling and your mouth is painful, it’s likely that you will not be able to eat the fresh fruits and vegetables that you need for good health. One problem with neglecting your teeth and gums is that your mouth will not work the way it needs to when it comes to chewing and swallowing food. You might make small changes in your diet that you think won’t make a difference, but over time, a lack of nutrition can build up. If you have noticed yourself changing your diet to accommodate a sore tooth or difficulty chewing, this is a sign that you should see your dentist promptly.

Problems With Your Teeth Caused by Health Problems

The relationship between your oral health and the rest of your health goes both ways. If you have diabetes, for example, you might be more prone to gum and tooth infections. People with cancer who take chemotherapy often find that their dental health suffers as a result. Pregnancy or even monthly hormone fluctuations can cause gingivitis in women. If you have any health issues or hormonal changes, talk to your dentist about ways you can preserve your oral health.

Remember that your teeth and gums are vital parts of your body and that most body systems work hand in hand. If you are concerned about your oral health, make an appointment with your dentist to have your questions answered and to develop a treatment plan, if needed.

Creative Commons image by Moyan Brenn.

Smoking and Your Oral Health

February 25, 2017

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health — Tags: , — southlakedental @ 2:09 am

If you smoke, you already know it’s bad for you. It can cause emphysema, heart problems, and various types of cancers. What you might not know is that in addition to putting your overall health in danger, it also creates mayhem inside of your mouth. There are both cosmetic and health concerns when it comes to the way smoking impacts your teeth and gums. Check out these issues that you might run into as a smoker, as well as some tips on mitigating the damage.

Gum Disease

Smoking can interfere with the way the cells of the gums live and function. This can make you more susceptible to gingivitis (early stage gum disease) and also periodontitis (later stage gum disease). If you notice bleeding when you brush or floss, or if your gums are red or swollen, it’s likely that you have gingivitis. If left to progress without treatment, your gums can become infected, and this can lead to loose teeth and eventual tooth loss.

Oral Infections

Smoking also affects the way tissues heal, so any minor abrasion in your mouth is more likely to become infected if you smoke. It can be something simple and otherwise fairly unnoticeable, like a minor bite on the inside of your cheek or a canker sore that hasn’t healed properly. You can also get infections at the gumline or at the apex of the root of a tooth. Also, if you have oral surgery, such as an extraction or gum surgery, you are at an increased risk of infection and poor healing if you smoke.

Halitosis and Yellow Teeth

You probably already know that smoking causes a range of cosmetic issues, like yellowed teeth and bad breath. Teeth may become badly stained, and infections or tooth decay can contribute to the bad breath associated with smoking.

What You Can Do

Obviously, the best course of action is for you to quit smoking. If this is not an option for whatever reason, there are some other things you can do to mitigate some of the damage caused by smoking. First regular brushing and flossing is a must. You should also clean your tongue well and use mouthwash if recommended by your dentist. Since some foods (like coffee, wine, and dark berries) cause staining, avoiding them can minimize overall yellowing of the teeth. Seeing your dentist regularly can help, too; your dentist might recommend coming in every three or four months instead of every six months. This is particularly true if you have gum disease.

Talk to your doctor about ways to quit smoking if you’re having trouble. Also, let your dentist and hygienist know that you smoke so they can offer you advice for minimizing the impact on your teeth and gums.

Creative Commons image by Yana Lyandres.