Posts for: September, 2014

By Today's Dental
September 24, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures

tooth-friendly diet tipsAt Today’s Dental, we’re proud to care for the smallest patients by providing pediatric dentistry services. We recommend most patients are seen as soon as they get their first teeth or by his or her first birthdays. One of the surprising aspects we hear from many parents is that their child can experience cavities, even with their “baby” teeth.
 
 
In addition to brushing your child’s teeth twice per day or ensuring your child brushes regularly, you can also keep your child’s teeth healthy by ensuring they make healthy diet choices. A healthy diet is linked with dental health because excess sugars in the diet can attract cavity-causing bacteria. Also, eating healthy foods gives a child’s body the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain healthy teeth. Here are some tooth-friendly diet tips from our Houston, TX dental office to help your family:
 
 
1. Avoid excess fruit juice. While fruit juice can seem like a healthy choice for kids, it is often loaded with fruits and sugars and isn’t considered as healthy a choice as eating real fruits. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children younger than six months should not drink fruit juices while those from ages 6 months to one year should not consume more than 6 ounces of fruit juice per day. Children from 7 to 18 years should limit their juice intake to 12 ounces per day.
 
 
2. Limit post-toothbrushing snacks. Children thrive on routine, and brushing their teeth should be a part of their nightly routine. What shouldn’t, however, is to continue to eat after brushing his or her teeth. Post-brushing snacks increase the likelihood for cavities because a child does not have as much saliva flowing when he or she is asleep. This reduces the ability to wash away harmful food particles from the teeth.
 
 
The same is true for refraining from putting a child to bed with a bottle that has sugar, such as milk, fruit juice or soda.
 
 
3. Promote calcium intake. Teeth are predominantly made from calcium, an ultra-hard mineral that gives teeth their protective enamel shell. When your child is old enough, give him or her milk as well as healthy calcium sources, such as broccoli and yogurt. These foods will give your child the nutrients needed for strong, healthy teeth.
 
 
4. Make sugary foods for special occasions. Cookies, jellybeans, syrup and gummies are all kid favorites, but they aren’t helpful when it comes to protecting a child’s teeth. These sugary foods also tend to be higher in calories, which can contribute to childhood obesity. For this reason, limit your child’s sugar intake to special occasions and encourage him or her to brush after eating sugar foods.
 
 
For more information on pediatric dentistry services offered or to make an appointment with Today’s Dental, please call (281) 580-0770.

By Today's Dental
September 23, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
BracesHaveComeaLongWaySaysVannaWhite

Everyone knows Vanna White as the elegant co-host of the popular game show Wheel of Fortune. But here's one thing you may not know: White is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as television's most frequent clapper, with an average of 720 claps per show — that's over 28,000 per season! And here's something else: the star with the megawatt smile wore braces as a kid, and she's not too shy to talk about it.

“I only had to wear them for a year and it was a good experience for me,” she told an interviewer for Dear Doctor magazine. But when it was time for her son to get them, White noticed something different. “We used to have those silver bands that went all the way around each tooth, and they don't have that anymore. It is fascinating to see how far they have come.”

We're glad she noticed! In fact, orthodontic appliances have advanced a good deal in the past decade or so. Instead of using metal bands, brackets holding the wire part of braces are now typically attached directly to the teeth with a dental adhesive. For an even less obtrusive look, ask about using colorless brackets instead of metal ones — that way, the only part that's clearly visible is the thin wire itself. And in some situations, braces can be placed on the lingual (tongue) side of the teeth, making them all but invisible.

Another type of nearly invisible appliance is the clear orthodontic aligner. The aligner system consists of a series of precision-made transparent “trays” that fit over the teeth. Each tray is worn for a few weeks, and each moves your teeth by a small amount; together, they can help correct mild to moderate orthodontic problems. And the best part — they're really hard to notice! That makes them perfect for both adults concerned about a “professional” look, and image-conscious teens.

So if you're a TV star — or if you'd just like to have a brighter and better smile — it's never too late to get started! If you would like more information about orthodontics, please contact us for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Clear Orthodontic Aligners.”


NotJustforTeenagersOrthodonticscanImproveanAdultsHealthandSmile

There was a time when most adults with a bad bite or misaligned teeth considered it too late in their lives for corrective treatment. Fortunately, times have changed — today, one in five orthodontic patients is an adult.

There are solid reasons for considering corrective treatment for bite problems at any age. Poorly aligned teeth are harder to clean, which raises the risk for tooth decay or gum disease. Correcting alignment may also improve your chewing ability, making eating more comfortable with less joint pain. And, last but not least, orthodontic treatment could greatly improve your smile — with potential benefits to your self-confidence, social life and career.

So, should you consider orthodontic treatment? That will depend on three factors: your periodontal (gum-related) health; your general health; and what type of orthodontic problem needs to be corrected.

If you have gum disease, you are at risk of losing supporting bone — since treatment involves gently moving teeth within the bone that supports them, the inflammation may cause bone loss and may not lend itself to a successful outcome. Moreover, besides aggravating and worsening your periodontal condition, the treatment may result in teeth that may not stay where they were moved and could continue to stay mobile long afterward.

There are certain medical conditions that could make orthodontic treatment difficult or even prohibitive: heart-valve disease; bleeding disorders; leukemia; severe diabetes; and taking medications for arthritis or osteoporosis, or those that increase mouth dryness. If you have serious medical conditions or you take prescription drugs, it’s wise to first consult with your medical doctor before considering orthodontic treatment.

The last consideration is whether the misalignment could involve more of your jaw’s skeletal structure than just misaligned teeth. If, for example, the malocclusion (bad bite) is related to the way your jaws fit together, you may need orthognathic surgery to straighten the jaws’ alignment while having orthodontic treatment.

There may be an additional roadblock to treatment — many adults feel self-conscious about wearing braces. If this bothers you, you may have another option: clear aligners. These transparent trays that fit over teeth have been a popular choice among adults because they’re not as noticeable as braces.

In any event, orthodontic treatment can be a little inconvenient, but only for a relatively short time. The lifetime benefits — better health, improved function and a more attractive smile — are well worth the inconvenience.

If you would like more information on adult orthodontics treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”