Have you flossed today?

Few of us realize the importance of flossing. It’s one more thing to do and often it is the first thing to be neglected after a person has had her teeth cleaned. I think one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard about flossing came from an article in Reader’s Digest. It said something like this: “If your hands bled every time you washed your hands, you would immediately make an appointment with your physician. And yet, each time we attempt to floss and our gums are bleeding or inflamed, we treat that as normal.” Read more about flossing, its importance to your oral health and how to improve your technique in this Academy of General Dentistry article. If your gums are bleeding, give us a call to find out how we can help.

Can Chewing Gum Help Control Cavities?

Cavities are caused by dental caries, a bacterial disease in which diet plays a major factor. Sugars, as we know, promote caries and thus cavities. Dentists have regularly told their patients to avoid sugary foods, brush and floss after eating, and if they chew gum, use sugarless gums. A recent article in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that chewing gum sweetened with xylitol may have some beneficial effects. Xylitol does not contribute to caries and may even reduce the accumulation of plaque on the tooth surface. The xylitol-sweetneed gum inhibits the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Also, chewing stimulates saliva production which is also helpful in preventing plaque. So if you are note near a toothbrush after a meal, try chewing a xylitol sweetened stick of gum for at least five minutes. But don’t use sugarless gum as a substitute for regular brushing, flossing, fluoride and professional visits! For more information about prevention and caring for your mouth, give us a call to set up your appointment.

Is your dentist still learning?

Dr. Nauert and Dr. Vaughan believe in the power of continued learning. Dentistry is a constantly changing filled and staying current on the latest trends and technology in the profession is extremely important. Through activities like residency programs, advanced training continuum like the L.D. Pankey Institute, dental study clubs, and other comprehensive CE programs, Dr. Nauert and Dr. Vaughan are able to keep their standard of care and patient care at the highest levels. Both doctors have achieved advanced professional designations with the Academy of General Dentistry due to their extensive record of continuing education. To read more about the importance of CE, read this great article from the Academy of General Dentistry?

What you don’t know about your gums can hurt you…

How healthy are your gums? Did you know that sometimes peridontal disease silently progresses without any overt symptoms? Read more about gum disease in this great patient information sheet from the Academy of General Dentistry.

But they’re only baby teeth…

The New York Times recently published an article on the importance of taking care of your kids’ teeth.  It’s a great read, and definitely worth the time to sit down and learn more about why baby teeth are important too.  If you have any questions or want to get your child scheduled in our office, give us a call at 713.668.9119.


Has your child had her first dental visit?

When your new baby is born, it’s hard to know what to do and when to do it. Many times the first dental checkup gets lost in the shuffle and parents might not bring their child in until there is a problem. So when should your baby come in for that first visit? Read more from our informational handout below, and feel free to share with friends and family. If your child is due, call our office and we will get that cute kid on the books!

Get Your Smile Ready for Summer!

There are many people out there who want to be happy about their smile, but just don’t know what to do to get a great result. The truth is that there are many options, ranging from conservative to aggressive and inexpensive to costly. How does a patient go about deciding what the best treatment option is? Well, the simple answer is that it all starts with a consult with your dentist. Below is an article from the Academy of General Dentistry that explains the various options related to achieving a beautiful smile. If you have questions or are ready to take that next step, stop by our office or give us a call at 713.668.9119.

Restoring Smiles with Dental Implants

Dental implants have become an important part of how we take care of our patients’ smiles. Replacing what was missing rather than doing more irreversible work on adjacent teeth helps us give patients the best chance at returning them to ideal oral health. The Academy of General Dentistry recently published a fact sheet for its members to use in our efforts to educate our patients and the public on the benefits of implant dentistry. Please take time to read the information below. If you or someone you know might benefit from implant dentistry, don’t hesitate to call our office at 713.668.9119 for a consult.

Get That Whiter, Brighter Smile!

Whiter, brighter teeth can make you look years younger.  Tooth whitening has grown in popularity and there are several ways you can get the results you want.  The fastest way is an in-office whitening system called Zoom!  In just over an hour your teeth will be dramatically whiter.  The procedure is safe, effective, simple and painless.  A whitening gel is placed on your teeth, which is activated by a specially designed light.  A fluoride treatment completes the procedure.

Another safe method used is a bleaching process that lightens the enamel and dentin using a mild peroxide-based solution placed in a custom-fitted tray.  The tray is worn over your teeth for a period of time each day until you achieve the results you want.  Both methods (in-office and take-home) are effective and safe ways to help you achieve that brighter smile.

Teeth whitening can sometimes make your teeth temporarily sensitive.  This goes away within a few days.  If you used coffee, tea, red wine, or tobacco, you may find your teeth darken more quickly.  Touch up applications will help eliminate this problem.  For all your tooth whitening and bleaching needs, visit our office.  Call at 713.668.9119 or email us at [email protected] to schedule your appointment.

Back to School Dental Health Issues

As your children begin school again, there is a flurry of activity to make sure they have the proper clothes, school supplies, backpacks, etc.  You might want to give some thought to their dental care needs as the spend most of their day at school.

It is always a good idea to start the year off with a dental exam and cleaning.  Ask the hygienist about fluoride treatments and sealants.  Sealants are a great investment because they coat the teeth with a protective covering that helps prevent cavities.  While at your visit, discuss with your dentist the types of sports your child is involved in.  He can give you tips on how to protect their teeth during sports play, and whether an athletic mouth guard might be a good idea for your child.  Should a sports injury occur to the mouth, these are often very scary because the soft oral tissue does bleed profusely.  Put an ice pack on the injury, try to find any displaced teeth and bring them to your dentist right away to see if the teeth can be reinserted.  If a child loses a baby tooth prematurely, a spacer may be considered to insure that the adult tooth has the room it needs to emerge properly.

Another important issue when children return to school is their eating habits.  Parents have less control as children eat meals at school.  Be sure they start their day with a good breakfast and they brush after eating.  Pack healthy foods for lunch and avoid sugary snacks and sodas.  While most children are not going to brush during the school day, get them in the habit of a thorough brushing and flossing twice a day, mornings and evenings.  A fluoride rinse after brushing strengthens the teeth’s enamel and helps protect against cavities.

Don’t slack off monitoring a child as they enter the teen years.  I have seen some teens with very bad soda habits that have rampant decay that threatens their ability to keep their teeth.  While most schools don’t allow kids to chew gum, studies have shown that chewing sugarless gums with xylitol sweeteners help stimulate saliva flow and inhibits bacterial growth.  So some sugarless gum on the ride home could be a treat with an added benefit to their dental health.

Give the office a call at 713.668.9119 to get your back to school checkup scheduled.  We see all ages of kids at Contemporary Dental.