Posts for: October, 2016

By Today's Dental
October 26, 2016
Category: Oral Health

When Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell set out to teach her young daughter Ashby how to brush her teeth, she knew the surest path to success would be to make it fun for the toddler.

“The best thing with kids is you have to make everything a game,” Nancy recently said in an interview with Dear Doctor TV. She bought Ashby a timer in the shape of a tooth that ticks for two minutes — the recommended amount of time that should be spent on brushing — and the little girl loved it. “She thought that was super fun, that she would turn the timer on and she would brush her teeth for that long,” Nancy said.

Ashby was also treated to a shopping trip for oral-hygiene supplies with Mom. “She got to go with me and choose the toothpaste that she wanted,” Nancy recalled. “They had some SpongeBob toothpaste that she really liked, so we made it into a fun activity.”

Seems like this savvy mom is on to something! Just because good oral hygiene is a must for your child’s health and dental development, that doesn’t mean it has to feel like a chore. Equally important to making oral-hygiene instruction fun is that it start as early as possible. It’s best to begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they start to appear in infancy. Use a small, soft-bristled, child-sized brush or a clean, damp washcloth and just a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.

Once your child is old enough to hold the toothbrush and understand what the goal is, you can let him or her have a turn at brushing; but make sure you also take your turn, so that every tooth gets brushed — front, back and all chewing surfaces. After your child turns 3 and is capable of spitting out the toothpaste, you can increase the toothpaste amount to the size of a pea. Kids can usually take over the task of brushing by themselves around age 6, but may still need help with flossing.

Another great way to teach your children the best oral-hygiene practices is to model them yourself. If you brush and floss every day, and have regular cleanings and exams at the dental office, your child will come to understand what a normal, healthy and important routine this is. Ashby will certainly get this message from her mom.

“I’m very adamant about seeing the dentist regularly,” Nancy O’Dell said in her Dear Doctor interview. “I make sure that I go when I’m supposed to go.”

It’s no wonder that Nancy has such a beautiful, healthy-looking smile. And from the looks of things, her daughter is on track to have one, too. We would like to see every child get off to an equally good start!

If you have questions about your child’s oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Taking the Stress Out of Dentistry for Kids” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”

By Today's Dental
October 21, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   veneers  

It's the little things that tend to bother us the most, whether it's a small scratch at the corner of your dresser or a chip in your tooth. veneersCovering up that scratch is an easy fix, and so is concealing little flaws that keep your smile from being perfect. Dr. Tiberiu Oancea and Dr. Jeromy Thornton, your Houston, TX dentists at Today's Dental explain how you can benefit from veneers.

Veneers hide flaws

Veneers are created in a dental laboratory using a very thin layer of porcelain. The thin porcelain shells are attached to the front surfaces of your teeth, completely covering imperfections. The entire process only takes two visits.

Dental veneers offer versatility

Veneers can conceal a variety of flaws. Perhaps you hate the color of your teeth and are frustrated after multiple attempts to lighten them. Although whitening products can be helpful, they can't always get teeth as white as you would like. Thanks to dental veneers, you can achieve the bright smile of your dreams. You'll even be able to pick the shade of white you want. Veneers work equally well if just one or two teeth are discolored. Your dentist will make sure that your new veneer matches the color of surrounding teeth.

Chips or pits in the surface of your teeth can be very noticeable. Veneers cover those flaws, allowing the treated teeth to blend in effortlessly. Veneers are also a good choice if you have a small gap between your front teeth or one tooth isn't quite as long as the others. If the gap is large or your tooth is very short, your Houston dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment or a crown to correct the problem.

Veneer care is simple

Brushing and flossing your teeth will keep your veneers in perfect condition. You won't need any special equipment to care for veneers, but you should avoid abrasive toothpastes that can scratch them. It's also important to avoid biting into hard foods or objects, like hard pretzels or plastic packaging, as this can break veneers. If you grind your teeth at night, consider wearing a nightguard to prevent damage to your dental veneers.

Are you ready to improve your smile with dental veneers? Call Drs.Oancea and Thornton, your Houston, TX dentists at Today's Dental, at (281) 580-0770 to schedule an appointment.


Durable as well as life-like, dental implants are by far the preferred method for replacing missing teeth. But they can be costly and, although not as much, so can traditional bridgework. Is there an effective but more affordable means to replace a few missing teeth?

There is: a removable partial denture (RPD). In fact, RPDs have always been the less expensive alternative to bridgework and implants. Today's RPDs are usually made of vitallium, a strong but lightweight metal alloy. Because of the metal's characteristics, we can create an appliance that precisely matches the contours of your gums, is thin and hardly noticeable. We anchor prosthetic (false) teeth made of porcelain, resins or plastics in acrylic or nylon that resembles gum tissue.

The most important aspect of an RPD is to design it to produce the least amount of movement in your mouth as you eat or speak. A good design will minimize pressure on both the underlying bone (which can accelerate bone loss) and on the remaining teeth that support the RPD. Although a little more costly, it may be advantageous to use a dental implant to stabilize a lower partial denture when no end tooth is available for support.

To get the most out of your RPD — and to prevent dental disease — it's important for you to practice diligent daily hygiene. RPD attachments can make remaining teeth more susceptible to plaque accumulation, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that can cause tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. To avoid this you should remove the RPD and thoroughly brush and floss your remaining teeth. You should clean the RPD every day with recommended cleansers. You should also take it out at night while you sleep to discourage further bacterial or fungal growth.

Besides daily care for your RPD and natural teeth, be sure to visit us for cleanings and checkups at least twice a year. Taking care of both your appliance and your mouth will help ensure your RPD serves you for many years to come.

If you would like more information on removable partial dentures or other restoration options, 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 “Removable Partial Dentures: Still a Viable Tooth-Replacement Alternative.”